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Backup / Restore

Whoops, I Bought An iPad Air (32GB, Space Grey)

By TechnologyNo Comments
Lit Up Reindeer I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a tablet for a while now. I wanted something I can access Facebook on, use to listen to Music and watch Films/TV Boxsets on while being in the living room with the cats.

When I saw the previous generation Kindle Fire for £99 on Amazon’s website, I wasn’t sure whether this was a Christmas offer or Black Friday offer. I wasn’t even sure if the Kindle tablet would be what I wanted. But at that price, I had to look into it.

So during my visit to Manchester Christmas Market (see Getting Into The Festive Spirit: Manchester Christmas Market) my friend and I nipped into Currys PC World to have a look at the Kindle.

I was looking at the newest Kindle the Fire HDX and the screen was just seven inches. So on the one hand the Kindle was cheap, but on the other hand the screen was far too small for what I wanted to use it for.

Undecided on cost or screen size, I spoke with my friend about it and then to mum. With some persuasion from mum, I decided to buy the much more expensive iPad Air (32GB in Space Grey). Whoops! Here are some obligatory photos:

iPad Air - Box New iPad Air - Case Boxed New
iPad Air - Cover Green iPad Air - Home Screen
iPad Air - Back

The reasons I bought the iPad Air were: bigger screen, compatible with my other Apple Products (iMac & iPhone 5), really light, great hardware specs (including better camera than most other tablets) and a massive range of Apps via the App Store.

I also splashed out on a cover. A cover, just covers the front of the iPad (the screen), costs £35, comes in a range of colours and is perfect for using the iPad at home. Whereas a case, covers the entire iPad (front & back), costs £65, comes in a range of colours and is ideal if you’re planning on taking the iPad out and about. Be careful when buying, as their package design is very similar.

I’ve had my iPad for a few weeks now, so I thought I’d give you my first impressions of some of the Pros and Cons:

Pros Cons
  • Light-weight, feels lighter than the average book.
  • Great Battery Life.
  • Charges really quick.
  • Compatible with my iPhone 5 charger and USB charging.
  • Like the Space Grey effect, reminds me of the Star Trek pads.
  • Easy to set up & use.
  • Always on, quick to check Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
  • Great Apps available on the App Store.
  • iPad specific Apps, to make the most out of the iPad Air.
  • Made for media consumption, whether it be: Music, films, TV Boxsets or ebooks.
  • Now comes with free Pages, Numbers, iPhoto, iMovie and Garage Band.
  • It just works. No crashes at all (so far), not even Apps.
  • Silent operation – no sound of cooling fan.
  • Reasonable speaker sound quality.
  • iMessage & FaceTime.
  • Can be backed up through iTunes or iCloud.
  • Updates Apps Automatically.
  • Has Siri.
  • Find My iPhone – Works for iPad, so you can detect where it is if its ever stolen.
  • iPad as a device is expensive.
  • Doesn’t come with headphones.
  • Would literately be a blank canvas without the Apps on the App Store.
  • Covers are expensive at £35. Cases are extortionately priced at £65.
  • Made for media consumption – Feels difficult and slow to create things on the iPad.
  • Inhibits creativity and makes it less likely that you’ll spend your time creating something.
  • Pages, Numbers, iPhoto, iMovie and Garage Band are all designed to help you be creative, but each takes up an awful lot of disk space.
  • iTunes doesn’t accept .avi files, so most of my movies can’t be played on the iPad. Have found a work around which I shall be blogging about soon, it’s just frustrating because I shouldn’t have to do this.
  • No way to access my wireless hard drive.
  • Doesn’t seem to want to link to my iMac through WiFi.
  • Missing the biometric security, the finger print scanner the iPhone 5S has.

One or two of the Cons might just be things I haven’t worked out how to do on the iPad yet. If you know how to do something that I’ve put on my Cons list, feel free to leave a comment.

The iPad Air 32GB Space Grey is available to buy on Amazon, on the Apple Store Online or on your local high street (at various retail outlets).

Write soon,

Antony

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My Visit to the Apple Store & Time Machine’s True Test

By Technology, Thinking2 Comments
Apple-logo After my iMac’s hard drive failed (see My iMac and The Blue Screen of Death), I was quoted 5-7 days for repair.

On Thursday (day 4) I gave them a call to find out if they’d had chance to take a look at it. The Apple Rep. said that it was still in the queue, that there was nothing she could do as it hadn’t been the 7 days quoted and that they would call me when it was ready to pick up. I thanked her for taking the time to check.

By Saturday (day 6) I still hadn’t received a call from Apple. I became increasingly frustrated at the lack of communication from Apple and the lack of a working iMac. I started to read reviews of bad customer service experiences and even thought about going back to Windows on the Lenovo Ideacentre A720 27 inch All-in-One PC.

Steve called Apple. The Apple Rep. said that it would be ready in a few days. This was outside the 7 days quoted. Steve asked why they hadn’t called to let us know, the Apple Rep. was unable to give an answer. The Apple Rep. sounded generally unconcerned and was generally unhelpful.

So Steve & I decided to go into the Apple Store (Trafford Centre) on the Sunday (day 7) and speak to them. We arrived at around two in the afternoon and headed to the Genius desk. They said that it wasn’t ready so I politely asked to speak to a Manager. The radioed Manager arrived, I explained my story and he didn’t look like he was going to help.

apple-mountain-lion-hard-drive-icon But then a second Manager interupted, spoke to the first manager and then addressed me. He said it would be repaired that day and advised me to come back twenty minutes before closing.

At five thirty Apple called to say my iMac was ready for collection. Steve & I went to pick it up. I spoke to the Apple Engineer who said he had replaced the hard drive. He said that as part of Apple’s new Quality Improvement Program he did a test and it had red flagged the graphics card, so he had replaced that as well. Both covered under the EU law. I thanked him and took my iMac home.

The repair being done on the day did restore some of my faith in Apple. However some of my disappointment remained and I realised it was because of the lack of communication when Apple knew they wouldn’t meet their quoted turn around time. I think because Steve & I turned up at the Apple’s Store they prioritised my repair; otherwise I could possibly still be waiting now.

I got my iMac home and Time Machine’s true test was about to take place. I set my iMac up as a new one and then restored from my Time Machine backup using Migration Assistant:

apple-os-mountain-lion-migration-assistant

The restore took time but worked perfectly and this rebuilt some more of my faith in Apple. I had to re-enter the product key for Microsoft Office and re-sign into a few other Applications, then I was back in business. Relatively hassle-free.

The lesson learned from this experience: don’t rely completely on one machine. I’m considering getting some sort of other computer/laptop so that I can continue as normal if my iMac goes down.

Write soon,

Antony



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Technology Review: The iPhone 5

By Reviews, TechnologyNo Comments
iPhone 5 White I recently upgraded to the iPhone 5 (white, 32GB) from my iPhone 4 (black, 32GB). The upgrade was free as I sold my iPhone 4 back to the network.

I was excited when iPhone 5 arrived and as soon as I got my hands on it I noticed it was a lot lighter and slightly taller than previous iPhones. But this excitement soon turned to frustration as I tried to transfer my Apps, Contacts, Photos, Music and other data over to the new iPhone 5.

First I tried to Backup my iPhone 4 on iTunes to Restore on the iPhone 5, but apparently when I’d set up the iPhone 4 I hadn’t checked a box in iTunes and it wanted to erase my iPhone 4 before it could Sync it.

I managed to workout how to Transfer my Purchases on iTunes, then I completed a Backup of my iPhone 4 and Restored it on the iPhone 5. I thought I’d cracked it; but then I noticed that all my Apps weren’t organised how they used to be on my iPhone 4. Now I know that my Apps being unorganised doesn’t seem like a big deal but I love Apps and have hundreds of them organised in folders. The folders help me find the right App quickly and efficiently. After browsing the web I finally found a solution an iCloud Backup & Restore.

The iCloud Backup & Restore was a slow process and once it had finished it had to download all my Apps again, but at least it put them in the right places. I had to sign into all my Apps (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) again and put my music back on. So the switch from iPhone 4 to iPhone 5 was a right hassle and I couldn’t help but be disappointed with Apple who usually make things so easy.

Once it was finally set up I began to look for things I like. Firstly I like Siri the voice controlled Personal Assistant. Some of his answers to questions were funny and below are some Siri funnies:

Siri Funny Happiness Siri Funny Family
Above: Siri’s definition of happiness.
Above: Siri thinks of me as family.
Siri Funny Meaning of Life 1 Siri Funny Meaning of Life 2

Above: Siri defines Life 1.
Above: Siri defines Life 2.
Siri Funny Flirting Siri Funny Marriage
Above: Is Siri flirting with me?
Above: Siri and I discuss marriage and his/her gender.

I like the taller screen although I think Apple could have used the opportunity to make it wider as well. I thought the retina display in the iPhone 5 would make a massive difference to my user experience, but it didn’t. This is presumably because of the size of the screen.

The iPhone 5’s camera is brilliant and I particularly like the new panorama feature. The headphones look & feel revolutionary with the sound being of a excellent quality, but they do take a bit of getting used too. Apple’s experience of making hardware & software compatibile means that the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 work together to give a noticeable increase in speed. It also feels like Apps crash less often.

iPhone-5-Lightning-connector The Lightening Connector is slimmer and able to go into the iPhone 5 either way which is handy when trying to plug it in before bed in the dark. But it soon came a source of frustration as the new connection meant it now longer worked with my speaker/dock device. I bought an Apple Adapter, but unfortunately this only allowed charging and not audio transfer.

I eventually found a work around by plugging one end of a AUX Wire into the back of the speaker/dock device and the other end into iPhone 5 headphone socket. But this turned out to be the first of a few dislikes.

Since the iPhone 5’s launch a few months ago there’s still a lack of speaker/dock devices with for lightening connection, as well as other accessories (e.g. cases, car hands free kits, etc.). This is a disappointment as I hadn’t realised how often I listened to music on my speaker/dock device or how often I had my hands free set up in the car.

The positioning of the aerial in the iPhone 5 regularly causes interference with my stereo in my car. This interference lasts more than a couple of seconds and interrupts my enjoyment of whatever I’m listening to. Something my iPhone 4 never did.

The iPhone 5 touchscreen is less sensitive sometimes requiring multiple taps for it to sense what you’ve pressed. Although only minor, at times it is frustrating and is another of my dislikes.

We live in a world where we are required to multi task. Yet the iPhone 5 still doesn’t allow me to actively run multiple apps and flick between screens. This is something I dislike about the iPhone, especially as other phones can do it.

Many reviewers have dubbed the iPhone 5 as an evolution rather than revolution; I would have tended to agree with this statement if there had even been enough evolution to warrant the cost. As it is, the iPhone 5 was a huge disappointment from Apple with only very minor changes (not all of are which good!) from the iPhone 4. I would seriously encourage people thinking of upgrading to speak to people who have already upgraded/bought the iPhone 5 to hear about their experiences.

In a post coming soon I’ll give my advice to Apple around how to make the iPhone 6 successful, as well as my thoughts on what else they could be doing better.

Write soon,

Antony

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