To start, I’ve always been an Apple fan – more than that really, an Apple evangelist, when it comes to technology, unified hardware/software platform, design aesthetics, mobile app security and so on.
Back in 2007, I bought the original iPhone 1 even though there was not even 3G service in my region (rural KY). Finally it came. Over the years I bought the iPhone 3G, 4, 4s, 5s and now am still using an iPhone 6s because my contract ends in February. I also had the original iPad 1, original iPad Mini and now have a iPad Mini 2 that serves my purposes.
But come time to buy another phone, it will NOT be an iPhone… Here’s one of the numerous reasons why, starting at the latest and are two major ones that have made it hard to explain to people why I like(d) Apple.
The other day a clients, and good friend of mine, house burnt down. It was a complete loss, his phone, laptop and everything else he owned was completely destroyed, he basically had the few clothes on his back and his vehicle.
Being a small business owner, he went to his cellular carrier and bought a new iPhone 8 as soon as he could. He lives in a very rural area and didn’t even really need WiFi at home, so when I saw him at the local tap room, he would almost religiously backup his iPhone to the iCloud ever since the Android he had prior was stolen and he wasn’t able to retrieve all his data remotely.
I had actually recommended him get an iPhone as a replacement to it because I’ve restored to new devices for years and never had any troubles.
So it’s now after his life was turned upside down and everything is lost and one little additional thing happens to him. He forgets his iCloud password… No big deal, just got to the iForgot page. I meet up with him, start through the process, he remembered the iCloud account User ID so we enter that, his phone number, partially obscured (***-***-**95) is displayed and we enter the full number, it’s the “Trusted Number” on his Apple ID. A text message is received from Apple and is entered correctly, but since the new iPhone be bought is not the original “Trusted Device” on his account, it will not allow him to reset the password.
So it suggests “Account Recovery”… Account Recovery asks him no additional information such as his security questions or CC information verification and immediately states it is going to take 12 days to recover…
12 days? Really? So your house burns down, just suck it up and take a 12 day vacation from business and wait for Apple to get around to helping you.
So I read around Apple forums where it says additional information may be required and he was ready to give, but it couldn’t be done online… So I called Apple Support with him, we explained the situation and the rep stated, unequivocally, that there was nothing that could be done and that “12 days wasn’t so bad, some people have to wait up to a month”… We reiterated the complete loss he experienced in the fire and the rep said there was nothing he could do.
I don’t blame the rep, I blame Apple.
- I understand the need for security, but when my friend can’t even immediately provide the additional information needed (online or via a rep), that is unacceptable.
- His new iPhone should have automatically became the new “Trusted Device” on his Apple ID since both the ID and the phone are connected to his phone number through the carrier that is a direct partner of the Apple Corporation. This is the most obvious, simple and secure way in my opinion.
- Granted, my friend probably didn’t update his iCloud since the last round of security precautions were put in place, but Apple should have either a) Forced him to via on phone messages, where he would’ve contacted me or b) allowed him to recover with the lesser security on his account since he established it.
It seems that in the process of studying all use cases, implementing them and making the iCloud accounts the most “secure”, Apple forgot that sometimes the information needed to do so was never entered into someones iCloud account, hence them should have “forcing” the user to update the information.
To finish up this particular issue, 12 days is way too long, not having ANY way to expedite the process is unacceptable, especially when Apple users place virtually their entire lives, which Apple encourages, onto their device. In my friends case, the iPhone was his only Apple device and if my suggestions are taken, will be his last.
Another friend of mine received an older iPad that still had her iCloud account connected to it. She also forgot her password and since it was an older account, it didn’t have all the information Apple *currently* requires to reset the password, therefore that account could not be removed, older apps connected to that account could not be updated, etc. So she decided to wipe it, being an older iOS version, it allowed her to wipe it, but when it came back to the setup process an “iCloud Activation Lock” was put in place and, basically, could not be removed.
The entire iPad become worthless and bricked and since it was bought used, she could not provide the original proof of purchase Apple required. I did my best to “hack” my way in, find a way to install another OS or something to make the device usable again, but Apple locks even their hardware down so much, none of that was possible.
Not having infinite time or money to pursue it, I gave up helping that person. I apologized for Apple being how they are to both of the people mentioned and will no longer recommend Apple devices to any of my clients, friends or family ever again if asked.
Apple isn’t perfect, Android isn’t perfect, nothing is really, but I personally feel much better having my devices intimately connected with my GMail account (GSuite), that I use every day, than with an iCloud account that I don’t and is completely based on Apple’s methods. At least Google offers secure and smaller waiting period to recover accounts. Even though I have friends horror stories of account recovery with Google, I know myself or my clients I manage will never have that issue.
So what am I getting next? Most likely a Google Nexus 5X or 6P that is directly integrated with the GSuite account, the same GSuite account connected even to the Google Chromebook I’m typing this message on at this very moment.
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I finally upgraded my iPhone from the 4S to the 5S. Overall it looks like the 5, but the new features are pretty cool and from hearing about bad battery life from my friends on the 5, it most likely has been increased as well. It is definitely better than my 4S’ battery life.
So far, I’ve mostly played around with the camera. It is substantially better than previous ones and has much better low light capabilities. Video is now 1080, but doesn’t benefit much from the low-light lens. Here is a video I took of my friend’s cat. I slow-motioned it at the point the kitty dives off the counter chasing a laser.
Compared to previous iPhones, it also seems quite a bit more responsive. The new TouchID is awesome, but I found that if you work your hands and get minor cuts or abrasions, the sensor can have a hard time distinguishing your prints on those fingers. Also after washing dishes, it had a hard time probably due to “granny” fingers from the water.
I would recommend this phone as a good upgrade if you’re out of contract or on a 4S or below. 5 users may want to wait for the next iteration if they are happy with their current phone.
Dear Steve Jobs,
I feel that with the “death” of the XServe Server and the uncertain future of Mac OS X Server OS, Apple should delve into offering hosted services to pull in entities who are now scattered among numerous other services such as Google Apps for Domains, commercial hosting, and numerous other third party hosted or self hosted apps, which require a lot of maintenance, multiple accounts, billing, etc. Many of my IT associates who have switched to Apple laptops and desktops have commented to me that they hate still having to use non-apple apps to complete their daily business.
For example, the MobileMe interface already is an attractive and functional interface for email, contacts, calendar, iDisk, Photos and location services. How much harder would it be to allow a company to signup and fully attach their own domain to the MobileMe framework. Perhaps even create a separate enhanced version of MobileMe in their [Apple’s] newest “cloud” datacenter in North Carolina and, over time, have an ‘a la carte’ offering of additional new services that users need/request. Maybe even allow developers to write custom Apps that can be cleanly integrated into the web interface and a matching app for the iOS device(s).
Keep the price reasonable, no more than $1-2/mo per user, which would be very attractive for small businesses, special pricing for larger corporations and perhaps discounts when Apple devices are purchased and attached to an account. Perhaps 1 year for free when any iOS device is purchased to draw users in.
The advantages of this would be numerous, it would give small businesses and organizations a unified and complete “Apple Branded Experience” on their Mac PCs, iPhones, iPads, etc. Almost everyone I know has a Apple device of some kind and many would prefer to use their own domain. Apple does offer the capability of attaching a domain to your MobileMe webspace, but that does not extend to customization of the other services.
Also, with minor modifications to the existing MobileMe framework, it would bring a whole new potential residual revenue stream that millions of users could utilize. It may also spur additional companies and users to buy Apple hardware knowing that all these services are so well intergrated. Adding similar features as Google Apps for Domains and improving upon them would make it a very attractive alternative.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do use and am VERY happy with Google Apps for Domains, but it would be nice to have some competition from another major player to keep things interesting. Google does accomplish a lot of what I’ve stated in this email, but it’s not as “pretty”, well integrated and cost effective for those with many needs.
Perhaps Apple could even purchase a VoIP company and add that to their portfolio of services. With an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and an old Mac Mini, it would be nice to get deep integration of all my communications needs while not being forced onto the @me.com domain.
I guess only time will tell how far Apple is willing to ascend into the cloud.
Square Card Reader in iPhone 4
Guess I’m a little late jumping on the bandwagon, but this past week I discovered Square. Square is a, in my opinion, revolutionary way to accept credit cards, whether it be within a company’s location or anyone who is constantly on the go.
It is very easy to signup and really the only thing to do is verify your bank account, so Square can direct deposit the funds you charge and the waiting time for the reader itself. I only signed up this past week, so I’m still waiting on my reader. Once it comes in, it looks as if it’s compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch, iPod and some Android devices. Just plug it into the headphone jack, open the app and swipe away.
When you swipe a card with the Square reader, the fee is only 2.75% which is quite excellent. Manually entering the card is 3.5% + 15¢, which is bit higher, but still not bad for the convenience it provides. I went ahead and manually entered a test charge from one of my cards and it went right into my account, minus the transaction fee. So even with the higher charge, $20 came out to $19.15.
A photographer friend of mine uses Square and it increased his revenue quickly. An IT associate uses “Square Up” with his clients onsite and does not have to worry about monthly invoicing paperwork and running to the bank to deposit paper checks. You don’t even have to be a “business” to utilize this, even individuals can use it. Square can be very helpful for anything from flea market selling to adding a convenient payment option for garage sales. Heck, you could even sit outside at your kid’s lemonade stand and use it for the “larger” transactions.
I plan on primarily using this “app” when I do work onsite for clients or over the phone if credit cards are the best option for them. I may add a slight surcharge if it’s done manually. But I think with the convenience it provides, it’ll definitely help increase my revenue stream.
Looks like the new iPhone has officially been announced.
As usual, it looks like and the new features are excellent, features we wanted are still missing and logical things that Apple could do like make MobileMe free (to spur wider use) still haven’t happened, although it is rumored.
Even though I did go ahead and get an iPad. I WILL not get the iPhone 4 until they offer more carrier options. There’s no way in hell I will go back to AT&T, so hopefully the fall release of a CDMA version for Verizon and/or Sprint, along with other smaller local carriers, will happen. That is the only way myself and tens of millions of others will get the new iPhone.
Two other things that would be nice:
- Upgrade the iPod touch to the same form factor and feature set minus the cellular radio, or even include 3G data like the iPad for those who don’t want to switch or already have a good cellular plan.
- Make the whole experience more “open”… I’ll leave it at that. Being tied to iTunes just to get the Apple Experience sucks. I use a Mac, but not primarily, I use Linux a lot, Windows is almost out of my home-office IT Ecosystem. Put it all on the device with ties to “the cloud”.
Otherwise, I hope Apple keeps up the innovative edge in design and function. I look at a lot of devices and there is nothing that appeals to me more than their design, even though sometimes it doesn’t seem as feature laden as some other devices.
Simplicity+Function = Winner
Outside of a few minor updates to the iPhone (3G) and updated laptop line, Apple has gotten pretty stale. I think they put the hopes of “Apple Faithful” (I’m one I’ll admit) into overdrive and couldn’t keep it up. Sure the economy is a little bad. Well maybe a lot bad, but if they would put out another totally new item, like the iPhone was, I think it would sell like hotcakes.
I’m at the point now, technically, where I have all the desktops I need… Also have a 17” and a 12.1” laptop, a Mac Mini, an older G5 Tower and some Dell servers. Due to the price of the iPhone data plan, it has mostly been used for a PDA (I don’t have 3G here). The only thing that would fill the void in my book would be a mini tablet (see picture) or a home server/firewall type device with TBs of storage space + N router + other goodies.
With something like $14,000,000,000 cash in the bank, they should be putting out new stuff for people to spend their “stimulus” monies on. 🙂