Prepare for iOS 7

iOS 7 should pop up as an available update on September 18, 2013.

The new mobile operating system from Apple promises to be as new, revolutionary even, as the original iPhone. I, for one, am damned excited about it.

So’s ya know, you do NOT have to upgrade to 7 right away. The safe bet is to wait at least a few days, to see if any debilitating quirks squirmed their way through the testing process.

But for all you early adopters…

Let’s do some simple steps to make sure your iPhones, iPads and iPods touch are all ready for Apple’s latest mobile operating system.

Check compatibility

Your device will need to be compatible. Techcrunch has the skinny on that.

Back it up!

On your device, go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup (at the bottom).

Swipe to the bottom of the page, and tap Backup Now.

Backup to iCloud

You can also be more thorough by doing a backup using iTunes.

Since you’re also going to update iTunes on your Mac, make sure Time Machine or your backup scheme of choice are working.


Run Software Update on your Mac, from the Apple menu. That will get you the latest iTunes.

Also, tap the App Store on your mobile gadget. Tap Updates, and then Update All.

All set

Now you’re ready. On your device, go to Settings > General > Software Update, and let the crayon-colored magic begin!

Steps for migrating to new iPhone

Important: Do not interrupt any syncing when migrating to a new phone! Be very careful not to unplug, or take a phone call, or nuthin’.

  1. On old phone, turn Airplane Mode on, so no new text messages come in.
  2. Plug old phone into your Mac.
  3. In iTunes, right-click on old phone, and choose Backup.
  4. Let the backup finish.
  5. Unplug old phone, and plug in new one.
  1. incidentally, good idea to charge new phone all the way before use.
  • Let iTunes walk you through activation.
  • It may then suggest unplugging and replugging. Do its bidding.
    1. Ignore any stuff about MobileMe.
  • The next screen should ask you to sync. Allow it to restore from the last backup of Eleanor’s iPhone (or whatever the old phone was called; the backup date should be today, right about the time when you manually backed up the old phone).
  • This first sync will go fairly quickly, as it’s only restoring the settings of all the applications, as well as text messages, contacts, calendars, and some other stuff.
  • When the first sync is done, the phone will reboot.
  • When the phone reappears in iTunes, it will start syncing. This sync is the one that will take some time; do not interrupt. It is now going to copy over all your applications, photos, music, podcasts, movies, shows, ringtones, etc.
  • When that sync is finished, don’t unplug the phone, but you can unlock it and look through the home screens and the apps, texts, voicemails, emails, photos, and iPod content. Make sure everything is in place.
    1. If everything is not in place, you need to go through the various tabs in your iPhone’s settings in iTunes, and make sure that all the conduits are set to sync correctly, the right apps are chosen and placed on the right screens, etc.
    2. Because I’m just a little OCD about this stuff, I like to hit “Sync” one final time.
  • That’s it! Once the final sync is done, and everything looks good, you can unplug your new iPhone. Enjoy!

    Posted via email from J2 Tech Blog

    iPhone abroad redux

    We are going to be in Europe for 3 weeks, and we want to have service on our iPhones. Is there anything available (even cheaper?) than AT&T?

    I have an earlier post on the subject, but thought I'd expand a bit:

    I'll say the less positive stuff first: Unless one's iPhone is unlocked, the AT&T $6/month World Traveler plan, which drops per-minute charges a bit, is an iPhone owner's only option for over-the-phone communication. 

    Unlocking happens through a hack, as described in this Wired article. Unlocking and jailbreaking — alowing non-Apple-sanctioned apps — are doable and ultimately not that hard, but we recommend against these hacks on phones that are still in use as primary phones (as opposed to being sold or converted to an iPod touch).

    Now, AT&T has some good recommendations for travelling overseas with your iPhone, including something I just found out, and wish I had known for my South America trip last year: their Data Global plan. This might come in handy; there was a lot of travel research I wanted to do on the fly. 

    But my bestest tip for people travelling internationally with their iPhones is still Wi-Fi! It's so awesome to have a great, little internet device in one's pocket. Whenever I'm travelling, and have a moment or a need, I scan for free wireless. Café-sitting is one of my favorite touring activities, anyway. I was happy enough with this for email and chat, but now you can make free iPhone-to-computer voice calls with the Skype app [iTunes link], and supposedly one-way video chat with Fring [iTunes link].

    If you don't get the World Traveler plan, do read those AT&T instructions for turning off roaming, or you can wind up with a huge bill. Even if you do buy the plan, it turns out that you get charged for any incoming calls, whether you answer them or not(!), and voicemails, even if you don't listen to them.

    My technique was to leave the iPhone in "Airplane Mode," and then turn on only Wi-Fi and scanned for open networks when I needed one. I had no surprises when I came home.

    Posted via email from J2 Tech Blog

    Mac becomes more like dog

    I used to use Salling Clicker with my Treo and my Sony Ericsson for remote control over Bluetooth. It was really cool that my Mac would recognize when my phone was nearby, and would start syncing or do other stuff that I thought handy. The iPhone doesn't do very much with Bluetooth, but this developer has figured out something pretty useful. Not bad for $8.

    Airlock allows your Mac to lock itself, plain and simple. Using your iPhone or iPod Touch, Bluetooth, and a smidgen of pixie dust, Airlock determines whether you're near your computer. When you leave the room – poof! – your Mac locks itself. “And when I come back?” You guessed it: your Mac unlocks. You can also customize Airlock to perform specific actions as you come and go – have your computer talk to you, log-in or out of iChat, walk the dog, and such.
    (By the way, this is yet another tip I got from the picks by the guys on the MacBreak Weekly podcast (iTunes link). They're always mentioning useful stuff, and they maintain a nicely rounded perspective on the Mac, while still being obvious fans.) 

    Posted via email from J2 Tech Blog

    Remote control apps for iPhone/touch

    I was planning on installing Touchpad on a client's iPhone this morning. They have a Mac mini media center, and with these apps they can start the music from anywhere in the house.  Glad I saw this rundown. 

    I'm still waiting for a cheap solution to control a stereo over wifi. My A/V friend Tom is keeping an eye out, too. It's ridiculous that people have to pay $500 for a "universal" remote — the Logitech Harmony — that doesn't totally suck.     

    "iPhone and iPod touch remote controls
    Posted on Wednesday Oct 28, 2009 3:15 AM
    by Christopher Breen ,

    Getting up from your couch to “change the channel” on your Mac-based media center is so 1970s. If you’re going to the trouble to mutate a Mac into something that delivers music and video via your AV gear—or even enjoy a movie on a 27-inch iMac across the room—you’ll also want to replicate the experience of watching real TV as much as possible. That means having a remote control that lets you manage the works without a lot of fuss and bother."

    Posted via email from J2 Tech Blog

    Look up any stored password, and then some

    We need to connect a PC laptop to our wireless router.  The computer can find the network, but I don’t know the password. Where should I look?

    Your Mac does a very cool thing with passwords: It stores them in a single file called the “keychain,” which is locked with the password that you use to log into your Mac.

    Here’s that paragraph in slightly more geeky terms: The keychain is locked with military-grade encryption, typically with the password assigned to your user account. Each user gets their own keychain, and the default keychain name is “login,” though you can rename it or create multiple keychains. Whenever you see a checkbox option for “Remember password in keychain,” or when Safari asks whether you want it to remember a particular password, that login will get stored in the keychain. (If Safari never presents you with that option, go to Safari > Preferences > AutoFill, and turn on “User names and passwords.”)

    You can find passwords in your keychain using the Keychain Access utility, which you can find, along with everything else on your Mac, through Spotlight, or by going to Macintosh HD/Applications/Utilities.

    Here’s a good tutorial with screenshots on using Keychain Access. And here are Apple’s instructions:

    To display your passwords in Keychain Access:

    1. Open Keychain Access, located in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder.
    2. Select a keychain.
    3. Click Passwords in the category list.
    4. Use the Passwords category disclosure triangle to reveal the types of passwords, and then choose a password type.
    5. Double-click a keychain item.
    6. Select the “Show password” checkbox.
    7. Enter your keychain password.
    8. To display your password, click Allow. [Editor’s note: don’t choose Always Allow, or Keychain Access will always diplay that password without entering your master password.]

    It’s worth mentioning here that sometimes we encounter problems with the keychain, usually having some application keep asking for the password. This post on the Apple Discussion boards runs through some techniques to address those issues, but the first step is to go to the Keychain Access menu (top left, up by the Apple), and click on Keychain First Aid. Enter your keychain password, and click Repair. If it finds any errors, click Repair one more time. If the errors are intractable, refer to the post on Apple Discussions.

    For Your Eyes Only

    Now, one feature of Keychain Access that’s frequently overlooked is Secure Notes. Too often, we’ll run into someone who has put private information someplace way too public, say the address book, or in Stickies. I try not to let abject horror that I’m feeling show on my face, but I pretty quickly move into a discussion of how to protect your computer and phone from unwanted eyes — turning off automatic login, and setting a passcode lock on the iPhone, at the very least.

    Of course, I prefer to keep such data digitally, and passcode-protected, rather than have someone scrawl their passwords on a piece of paper. That’s where Secure Notes comes in. Apple’s instructions:

    1. Open Keychain Access, located in /Applications/Utilities.
    2. Click Show Keychains if the Keychains list is not open, then select the keychain you want to use (if your keychain is locked, click the lock icon then enter your keychain password to unlock it).
    3. Choose File > New Secure Note Item.
    4. Type a name for the note that will help you remember what it is.
    5. Type the information you want to preserve in the Note box, or paste text you’ve copied or cut from another document.
    6. Click Add.

    Is there another way?

    You bet. I recently started using the awesome app 1Password — $39.95 from Agile Web Solutions — and I’m thoroughly impressed with it. These are the distinctions Agile makes between their program and the Mac keychain scheme:

    • Store and provide easy access to more than one account for any website.
    • Correctly handle financial websites which often disable storing passwords in Safari’s AutoFill.
    • Integrate with multiple browsers, including Safari, Fluid, Firefox, DEVONagent, OmniWeb, NetNewsWire, Flock, Netscape Navigator, and Camino.
    • Eliminate the need to synchronize your data between browsers.
    • Support multiple identities, such as personal and business identities. You can even create fake identities for websites you do not trust.
    • Fill credit card information with one click.
    • Import information from a multitude of sources.
    • Integrate a strong password generator directly into the browser for quick and painless generation of super strong passwords.
    • Sync your information to the iPhone/iPod touch, as well as Palm devices.

    That iPhone sync is great, because I use a different password for almost every service, so in the unlikely event someone tried to torture my passwords out of me, they’ll never get them all. Bwaaa-ha-ha-[cough-cough]!

    The sync with Firefox is also stellar. I kinda like that Firefox has its own password-storage system, just because it maintains their cross-platform paradigm, but I definitely do not like that they don’t have it protected with a master password by default, unless you turn it on: Firefox > Preferences > Security > “Use a master password”:

    1Password installs useful plug-ins all over the place. You get a button in the Firefox toolbar, several menu items in Safari’s Edit menu and Firefox’s View menu, and a contextual menu item in Safari and Firefox (and others, I’m sure). I just entered my credit cards as “Wallet Items,” so my browsers can fill in that info quickly without my dragging leather outta my pocket. (Did that come out wrong?)

    Check out this short video for more info.

    One more option: I’ve heard a lot of good things about LastPass, which does many of the same things as 1Password, and it’s free, although there is a Premium version. The only thing about LastPass that makes me a little nervous is that it synchronizes your data via the LastPass web site. Now, I sync my 1Password database via Dropbox, but I use different passwords for Dropbox and 1Password, so if someone hacks my Dropbox account (heaven forfend!), they won’t be able to get at my other passwords. As we’ve seen, no site is forever secure, and I want to be at least doubly sure my password database is tight.

    iPhone OS 3.1 kills tethering hack dead | iPhone Atlas – CNET Reviews

    When Apple released its highly anticipated iPhone OS 3.1 firmware update for the iPhone and iPod Touch, some users’ worries were confirmed: the tethering hack we blogged about in June no longer works.

    After upgrading, if you navigate on your iPhone to the Settings app, select General, then Network, you will see that the menu item for tethering has vanished.

    Developers have not yet been able to find a way to downgrade or re-enable the tethering hack. If you or someone you know has had a different experience, we would like to hear about it in the comments.

    Updated on 9/10/2009 at 10:15 AM PDT: According to user comments below, tethering remains intact for some, but not for others. Varying versions of the AT&T carrier file seem to be responsible for the discrepancy. We’ll be seeking comment today from AT&T and Apple regarding these carrier files.

    Now, I would never, ever try anything that would violate my terms of service with AT&T. They’re so good and benevolent, and their customer service is so knowledgeable and responsive, and they’ve never done anything to make me wish Apple had been able to choose another provider… But if you were to try this tethering hack, be warned it might break your visual voicemail.

    Oh, yeah: F*** AT&T.

    Posted via web from j2mac’s posterous

    Swap slideshows

    A friend on my bowling team made a PowerPoint presentation on his PC at work that he wants to show us all. If he emails it to me, will I be able to see it?

    Totally! (1) I’m pretty certain you have Microsoft Office for Mac, which means you have PowerPoint, which will open the heck out of that doc.

    (2) Now, check this out: Have your friend email you the file. From right in your email, click once on the attachment’s icon, then click the “Quick Look” button — or just hit the space bar. Isn’t that cool? Now, you may not see transitions, and maybe not embedded video, but almost all of the content should be visible.

    (Sidenote: Just today, a friend of mine was trying to see previews of some design files, .eps and the like, that Quick Look wouldn’t render. She found a $15 Quick Look plug-in called SneakPeek Pro that fixed that, which made me look up a whole list of Quick Look plug-ins, many of them free. These can really extend your Mac to showing you fast previews of all kinds of stuff. But I digress…)

    (3) But wait, there’s more! If you want to make presentations look just a whole lot better than you can in PowerPoint, you should look at the new iWork — it’s just so good. Apple’s Keynote software makes really fine presentations really efficiently. While you’re at it, have you picked up the new iLife, with iPhoto Face Recognition?

    (4) I just recently found out about SlideShare, a service on which to store and show your presentations. As far as I can tell, it’s free.

    (5) Finally, you could export the preso as a movie:

    Save a presentation as a PowerPoint Movie [link]

    1. On the File menu, click Make Movie.
    2. To adjust PowerPoint Movie options, click Adjust Settings on the dialog box that drops down, and then click Next.
    3. Choose the options you want, and then click OK.
    4. In the Save As box, type a name for your movie. If your movie will be viewed by users of Windows-based computers, select Append File Extension.
    5. Click Save.

    Once you do, you can put it on an iPod or iPhone, and watch it on that smaller screen, or…

    If he wanted to show it on our big-screen TV, how do we do that?

    Ahhhhhh, now that’s an interesting one. The most direct way is to run a monitor cable from your computer to your TV. (Your iMac may not feel as convenient as a laptop to accomplish that, but it wouldn’t be that unwieldy.) Any Mac or Windows computer will know that it has a new display, and will show whatever you put up.

    A couple of other options would be:

    Connecting your iPod or iPhone to a video dock, such as this or this. Here is some help from Apple on getting video off of your iPod or iPhone.

    I have one client who converts his presentations into image files that he can display as a slideshow on his Apple TV, which is an appliance that fits in with your other home stereo components, and let’s you easily play music, movies, and photos that you acquire through iTunes or by other means.

    I pwn thee, I pwn thee, I pwn thee

    Do you think that “jailbreaking” my iPhone is a good idea? I have spent some time reading up on it and feel that I am ready to give it a shot.

    Before the 2.0 software and the App Store, I definitely did have my first iPhone jailbroken, and thought that the phone was not nearly as useful without those extra features.

    Since iPhone 2.0, and especially since they cleaned up and stabilized everything with 2.1, I haven’t had a super-compelling reason to hack (jailbreak) my phone. I do often miss the features — call logs, Qik, SMS mailing or export — that were available in the jailbreaking. and which Apple has not deigned to allow its officially sanctioned apps to offer. Stinkers.

    That said, I got burned early on with jailbreaking, when I had to run an update, or had to troubleshoot by restoring the phone, and then I lost all of the data — notes, video recordings, or even game levels — that I might have created with a jailbroken app. So I’ve just learned to live without, and keep hoping that one day, Apple will open up and let some of those great ideas in.

    Now, with all of THAT said, I have in fact jailbroken a 2.1 iPhone. I had given my daughter my original iPhone without a SIM card, for her to use as an iPod touch. Worked great… until I updated it to firmware 2.1, at which point the phone deactivated itself. You shoulda seen the look on her face when I told her the next day, “Honey, I temporarily broke your iPhone.” It took me several failed attempts of using the jailbreaking tool Pwnage, and finally using the same group’s QuickPwn in a Windows virtual machine in VMWare Fusion, to get the dang thing unlocked, but I did it, and it works fine. It’ll be the same battle if I ever want to upgrade it to 2.2, and so on. You can see why I haven’t done the same with my own phone, or if my kid were a teenager who actually used it as a mobile phone; I’d hate for either of us to be without a phone for any length of time.

    (Side note: Now you’ve inspired me to google “iphone call log”, and find things like this, but it’s going to take me just a little bit of time to figure out how to use it. It appears to be only for those who are comfortable playing in Unix & AppleScript, but it’s only a matter of time before someone writes a GUI application to take care of it.)