Hey Siri, send a text … please wait resetting (again, and again)

I awoke this morning to my iPhone buzzing every so often, surely I wasn’t getting that many emails come in.. what might be the reason?

My first hope was a text from Vodafone of course to notify the iphone X was finally shipping, too much to ask I know. As I started using the phone the “I’m doing shit” spinner appeared briefly before the phone asked for my pass code / touch ID, weird. I pressed Finger and all okay, then 30 or so seconds later it happened again, and again.

I hit the Whirlpool forums to see if it was just me or were others getting this as well, several others were reporting the same issue. Some had tried factory reseting their devices and restoring without any luck.

It is interesting that this has occurred on that will be 1 December in the USA. A similar bug occurred in the past when the mouth changed, I forget when, and Apple was forced to quickly push something out. Meanwhile we are stuck with iPhones in constant reset loop due to poor coders, just as we saw the other day with the macOS root no password stuff up and then the and introduced a sharing problem. Oh to resurrect Jobs.

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Round: Meds app

I take a few different medications, heck I joke we're I to jump I might just rattle.

A few years back my pharmacy had me subscribe to an app to remind me when my meds were getting low, I could then press a button to just order and pick up later that day, it was quite good. Sadly they decided against continuing with the service, moving to SMS messages that were weeks ahead oh my needing a refill.

I did rely upon the SMS messages but would delay my response, but they too stopped. Just last week I went to take a pill and noticed I had none left in the draw, the box was atop the draw, my signal to self I need to visit the pharmacy – I failed!

I decided to go in search of an app that might help keep track of my meds and the number of pills remaining, and more importantly prompt me to restock when I am running low. Hitting the iOS App Store I eventually found Round Health (https://appsto.re/au/upbk_.i).

Round Health allows entry of your meds and when you take them, but unlike most apps I've seen before its reminders work on a range e.g. 5-7am, so you will actually be reminded twice if you don't indicate you've taken the meds. To assist with restocking you enter the number of pills you have remaining, when at 5 you will be reminded to visit the pharmacy. If like me you have an Apple Watch it includes an app which is convenient.

Check it out.

iOS 11: Hopes

I’ve been a long term user of iPhone, having jumped onboard with its release here in Australia with iPhone 3G. Currently using an iPhone 6S Plus it is amazing to compare that old phone to my own when I come across it occasionally.

Over the time I’ve owned iPhones of course it’s operating system has changed and improved greatly, and even been renamed. However, despite the improvements there are always niggling items we’d like to see improved. For me my wish list for iOS 11 would be:

Podcast app: The Podcast app is generally okay, however Cupertino we have a playback problem, it just randomly stops playing. Initially I thought this related to Bluetooth playback interference from nearby users, however it only ever seemed to happen with this app and a search online revealed others too experienced the same issue. Thankfully they suggested use of an alternate app, Overcast. I’ve just downloaded and will trial before I delete my podcast subscriptions from the Podcast app.

App updates: A move to patching instead of full downloads is long overdue here. When we see Facebook issuing updates every two weeks that now weigh in at 244MB it gets beyond a joke. The other day I had Facebook, Microsoft (Excel, Word and Outlook), Google Sheets, and a few others on the list for update, total download size in excess of 1GB. I’ve regularly updated a Microsoft app only to have them two days later issue an ‘oops, bug fix’ .1 release and another 250-300MB download, I’ve got better things to do than download 10-20 sizeable app updates.

Siri: Let’s face it, Siri is really not that useful, more a casual tech fling with a bit of sass. All other virtual assistants seem well ahead of her now, though I do hear language support is her one remaining win. It would be nice if Siri’s capabilities were greatly expanded, if she could interact with other applications and perform tasks within. It would also be nice if ex-USA support for Siri was greatly expanded, it’s far to USA-centric at present, a large number of features work within that country but step outside that country and support drops off.

Cut/Paste/Insert: I find I go to paste/insert something into an email I’m writing and it’s an almighty effort, wish was easier. Perhaps the addition of a keyboard button might assist here with addition of 3D touch to reveal desired functionality?

Photos: There doesn’t appear to be a means of specifying a face from which Photos app can then learn other photos within your library, it’s so frustrating. I tried doing on my Mac but it didn’t flow through for some reason. I feed discouraged from any continued use of the Photos app on the Mac now, I only opened this app on the Mac in hopes of specifying a face and hoping it might sync via iCloud to my phone and iPad, but this never eventuated.

iTunes Sync: When syncing with iTunes I get annoyed that iTunes will restore apps that i have previously deleted from my iPhone. Why does Apple restore apps to my iPhone when I have removed them? If I chose to delete them surely I don’t want these any longer, right?

I do wonder what Apple is going to announce at the WWDC in June, will be interesting to see if maybe they’ll finally address some things, finally. I did read the other day the iTunes Podcasts app is being renamed Apple Podcasts, so looks like it will finally get some love, exactly what who knows.

Facebook, I’m curious

The past week I have noticed a blank notification within my Facebook app on iOS, I have no idea who this is; maybe it is a Facebook coding glitch?

Facebook iOS app notification shows blank person notification
The notification just shows the standard blank person icon and a time, nothing else. With the other notification included in the image you see (blacked out) a name, what they were doing, on what, and how long ago. 

I’m curious, why is it happening suddenly? Glitch in the matrix? Anyone else seeing this?

iOS 10

Thursday’s release of iOS 10 initially came with some caution, some early adopters having their devices bricked. Thankfully by the time I awoke several hours later Apple had managed to resolve whatever the problem was with their initial code, or perhaps it pertained to something else, who knows. I decided given it was in excess of 1GB I might download at work as my speedy 6Mbps internet speed at home would make for a slow upgrade, this ended up being a very smart decision, it took just 2-3 minutes to download the package.

Reading about updates and experiencing them I think are often two different things, for months I had had been reading on various sites the pending changes in iOS 10, but it wasn’t until I started having a play with this latest update that I came to appreciate things. One particular update I very much appreciate was the change to unlocking the phone on my iPhone 6S Plus, it used to annoy me in iOS 9 that it would unlock immediately when I’d press the home button, I could never see the notices on the lock screen, iOS 10 finally fixes this. But perhaps my favourite change, and related, is the raise to wake functionality, and I guess this is actually stolen from the Android camp, I’m sure I’ve seen this before, but I so love it, I can see the notifications and choose to unlock and see things or just ignore.

One thing that annoys me in iOS 10 is that Facebook notifications don’t seem to allow me to go directly to the item, I could do this previously, but trying to do so now no longer does anything other than take my to the Facebook app. The following day post-install I parked my car at work and whilst working to my building got my phone out of my jacket pocket, to my surprise Maps had a notification that it had marked the location of my car for me, I hadn’t been using Maps – given I know how to get to work, but a nifty feature for when you might need it I guess.

I’m dying for friends and family to convert to this latest upgrade so I might try the enhanced version of Messages, it’s all gimmicks I know, but just a bit of fun. The balloons feature will be cool for people’s birthdays at least.

iOS 10 so far seems to work better too with my car’s Bluetooth than did iOS 9, that release I had problems with it dropping out or stopping play. Time will tell if it continues to perform well, but I can only hope.

Next update, the new macOS.