Archive for July 2017 - Page 1


    iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra books available for pre-order


    As I have done since 2012 I have written two e-books over the course of the summer. While the final touches are being put on the books, they are now available for pre-order. As I mention in the books, I did something a bit different this year. I kept track of the total time spent working on the books. So far, I have spent 178 hours on these two e-books. This encompasses everything from watch the Apple Development videos, writing, editing, and image gathering. All of this work has resulted in over 95,000 words between the two books. It is a huge undertaking every year. Nonetheless, the e-books are available for pre-order. They will be released as soon as their corresponding operating systems are released.

    iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4 for Users and Developers covers all of the new features for each platform. On iOS this includes history of the iPhone, iOS 10.1 to iOS 10.3, 32-bit apps, the redesigned lock screen, home screen, and new cover sheet. Other topics include the all new Files app, control center, changes to Siri, the App Store, updates to Messages, Notes, Camera, the Music app, and Photos, along with many other changes

    A primary topic is the iPad, specifically multitasking, the Dock, Drag and Drop, and how iOS 11 brings a whole slew of new iPad-specific features to the forefront.

    watchOS 4 covers the new User interface, watch faces, and workout types, along with the redesigned music app. tvOS 11 brings Right to left language support, changes to app sizes, and home screen sync.

    For developers some of the topics include changes to Swift, Xcode 9 changes included the Code Editor Window, Source Control, Colors, and developing on iOS. Other topics include APFS, AirPlay 2, Metal 2, CoreML, and networking changes.

    iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4 for Users and Developers has something for all types of users, whatever your primary interest lies in iOS, watchOS, or tvOS.

    It is available for pre-order from Apple in either iBooks, or ePub format. It is $3.99. You can pre-order the e-pub version from Amazon for $4.99.

    macOS High Sierra for Users, Administrators, and Developers covers topics for all types of users. Some of the areas covered include new additions and changes to Photos, Safari enhancements, updates to Mail, Notes, iCloud, Siri, and the Apple File System (APFS).

    maOS High Sierra for administrators covers some changes around File Sharing, Caching Service, Time Machine Server, and Xcode Server. Along side this, a layout of all of the new and changed Profile Manager payloads and options.

    Lastly for developers, some of the topics covered include changes to Swift, Xcode 9 changes included the Code Editor Window, Source Control, Colors, and developing on iOS. Other topics include APFS, AirPlay 2, Metal 2, CoreML, 32-bit Apps, and external graphics.

    macOS High Sierra for Users, Administrators, and Developers has something for every type of user to learn all about the new features that are within macOS.

    iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4 for Users and Developers has something for all types of users, whatever your primary interest lies in iOS, watchOS, or tvOS.

    It is also available for pre-order from Apple in either iBooks, or ePub format. It is $3.99. You can pre-order the e-pub version from Amazon for $4.99.


    Improving Wifi Speeds


    While doing some testing I began to look at my network and was trying to figure out why my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook were all only connecting at 802.11N speeds, instead of at 802.11AC speeds, like I thought they should be doing. Let me explain my setup first.

    Being the nerd that I am, I have a more complicated setup than most, but it is not super complicated. I have two Airport Extremes, one fifth-generation and one sixth-generation. The fifth generation is the flat AirPort Extreme and is capable of running at 802.11N speeds. The sixth generation is the tall model and is capable of running at 802.11AC speeds. The two Airport Extremes are connected via an ethernet cable, with the 5th generation Airport connecting to the Cable modem that I use for my internet.

    6th Generation Airport Extreme5th Generation AirPort Extreme

    My goal was to have the devices that I use the most connect to each other as fast as possible, and short of always plugging everything in via a wired connection, which is impractical for iOS devices, this was the alternative.

    When I originally setup the second AirPort Extreme, I wanted to extend the network that I already had, so I had setup the sixth-generation Airport Extreme to use the same 2.4GHz and 5GHz network names that I had already established.

    When I began looking into why my devices were not going as fast as they could I started by looking at which devices were connecting to each AirPort Extreme. I noticed there was no real rhyme or reason as to which device was connecting to which AirPort. I tried forcing connecting to the 802.11AC AirPort Extreme, by rebooting the fifth generation airport, but this only lasted for a little while before an 802.11N device would connect to the 802.11AC Airport again.

    I then decided to change the AC Airport's 2.4GHz SSID to a different Name, on the hopes that it would allow connectivity to be at 802.11AC speeds. This did not work. After I changed the SSID, I realized that the 2.4GHz frequency does not really support 802.11AC speeds. I then tried changing the 802.11AC 5GHz SSID. I then connected to the new SSID on the 5GHz and I then saw the speeds I was expecting.

    This was what I was expecting and I was glad I was able to figure out how to achieve this. Although this still has some issues.


    There are still some issues with this. I have a number of devices using the same Apple ID. What this means is that all of my network connections are automatically synchronized between devices, hence any SSID that I connect to on one device will be synchronized to the others. This results in some devices connecting to the 5GHz AC network, even though I do not want them to.

    I could remove the network from the device, but again that would result in it being removed for all devices, which is not the intention and counter productive. Instead, I had to result to trying some other solutions.

    Limiting Access

    This has resulted in taking a rather drastic approach. There is an option within the AirPort Extreme for "Timed Access". Timed Access allows you to determine when certain devices can access an AirPort Extreme.

    To limit access you can perform the following steps:

    1. Open Airport Utility.
    2. Click on the AirPort Extreme that you want to restrict access on.
    3. Click on the "Edit" button.
    4. Click on the "Network" tab.
    5. Click the checkbox next to "Enable Access Control".
    6. Click on the now enabled "Timed Access Control" button. You should now see a dialog that has "Unlimited (default)" under "Wireless Clients".
    7. Click on the "+" button under "Wireless Clients" to add a new device.
    8. Under "Description" enter in a description for this rule.
    9. Under "MAC address", enter in the Wireless MAC address for the device you want to limit time on.
    10. Under "Wireless Access Times", configure the days that you want to provide access, or restrict access. Alternatively, you can select "No Access" to deny all access.
    11. Once you are done adding times, Click on the "Save" button.
    12. Click on the "Update" button in the lower right. This will prompt you to confirm that you want to apply changes and reboot the AirPort.
    13. Click the "Continue" button to save and reboot the AirPort Extreme.

    Once this is done, you can try and reconnect the device. If you attempt to connect to the Airport during times that the device you configured is not authorized to connect, you will be prompted for the SSID password. Even if you enter in the password properly, it will not connect.

    The setup I have is definitely not one that many will need, but it may be something that you need to configure. It is too bad that Apple has stopped manufacturing the AirPort Extreme, it can still be a good way for parents to limit the screen time for their kids, should the need arise.


    Summer Weather in Chicagoland


    The midwest during the summer is known for a few things: Heat, Humidity, and storms. The latter being the topic of this post.

    The Chicagoland area does get intense storms from time to time, including the occasional tornado. Luckily, we do not get tornadoes that often. However, we did get a rather nice storm today.

    It started off like this:

    As one might expect, it started to rain and continued to rain and rain. It created some hail, as one might come to expect. I just didn't expect it to be this size of hail.

    And then even larger hail came by.

    Here is a photo of all of the various sizes of hail that we received today.

    Along side these, here are a couple of videos. mistakenly, my iPhone wasn't set to record in 4K, so these are at most, 1080p.

    And to complete the entire circle of Chicagoland Summer weather, this was a half hour later. This is just how summer in Chicagoland can be.


    New Emoji coming this Year

    One of the items that gets updated every year is the Emoji that are available. While the codes that define emoji are standardized, how they look on the different platforms is up to each platform vendor. This is because the look of emoji needs to fit into the overall look and feel of the platform. For Apple, an emoji update comes after the release of their new operating systems in the fall. Typically in the .1 update, so this year should be iOS 11.1 and macOS High Sierra 10.13.1. Some of the new emoji that are arriving later this year are:

    [caption id="attachment51966" align="alignleft" ]Bearded Person Bearded Person[/caption] [caption id="attachment51968" align="alignleft" ]Coconut Coconut[/caption] [caption id="attachment51969" align="alignleft" ]Crazy Face Crazy Face[/caption] [caption id="attachment51970" align="alignleft" ]Elf Elf[/caption] [caption id="attachment51971" align="alignleft" ]Exploding Head Exploding HEad[/caption] [caption id="attachment51978" align="alignleft" ]Face Vomiting Face Vomiting[/caption] [caption id="attachment51972" align="alignleft" ]Genie Genie[/caption] [caption id="attachment51974" align="alignleft" ]Lotus Position Lotus Position[/caption] [caption id="attachment51975" align="alignleft" ]Sandwich Sandwich[/caption] [caption id="attachment51976" align="alignleft" ]Star Struck Star Struck[/caption] [caption id="attachment51977" align="alignleft" ]T-Rex T-Rex[/caption] [caption id="attachment51967" align="alignleft" ] Woman Breastfeeding[/caption] [caption id="attachment51973" align="alignleft" ]Woman with Headscarf Woman with Headscarf[/caption] [caption id="attachment51979" align="alignleft" ]Zebra Zebra[/caption] [caption id="attachment_51980" align="alignleft" ]Zombie Zombie[/caption]


    There are 69 new emoji that are in the Emoji 5.0 specification. A complete list can be found on


    An iPad Pro Cell Data Issue and the Fix


    So I have had my iPad Pro for only about two weeks now. In those two weeks, I have managed to inflict some damage on my iPad, nothing that affects the actual usage, just some damage in the top corners and some scraping on the back. However, that is not what I am going to discuss today. This one is related to Cellular Data.

    The 2nd Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 10.5-inch iPad Pro have an embedded Apple SIM within the device. The devices still have another SIM tray that can be used to put an additional SIM. This is designed to be used if your preferred carrier is not useable with the embedded Apple SIM. Additionally, the tray also works if traveling internationally, so you can put a local SIM into the iPad.

    When I got my 1st Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, I was able to get T-Mobile's Mobile Data for Life plan. This deal ended in early May 2017. What this means is that you cannot move the Free Data for life from one iPad to another, since it is tied to the IMEI number on the iPad that it was first activated on. T-Mobile is unable to activate that plan on a new device, since it is not longer offered. With all of that information here is the series of events that occurred.

    I wanted to see if I could move the Data for Life from my old 12.9-inch iPad Pro to my new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. This was before I found out it could not be moved. I tried to use the SIM from the first generation iPad Pro to the new one. After it did not work, I called T-Mobile's support and was told the the plan was no longer offered and it could not be moved.

    After learning it could not be moved, I put the SIM back into the old iPad. When I did this, an issue began. I could no longer sign up for an account with T-Mobile on the new iPad Pro. This is because when I would try to do anything on T-Mobile it would bring up the account information from the old iPad Pro. I kept fiddling with it, trying to see if I could get it to work. Unfortunately, I could not. So I had to call T-Mobile, since it seemed to be an issue with their system.

    So I called T-Mobile. I talked to a representative and I attempted to explain the situation to them. At first they thought I was talking about a phone, clearly I was not since I mentioned iPad at least four times. I had to keep reiterating that this is an iPad. They did eventually figure out that I was talking about an iPad. The representative suggested that I could just take out the SIM and they could activate it on the new iPad. I had to re-iterate to the representative that the SIM was embedded and could not be removed. Eventually they passed me off to a technical support person, who could not figure out the issue and effectively stated that their systems did not show the iPad as being in use, despite the account information being shown.

    T-Mobile indicated that I needed to contact Apple. So I did call Apple. The Apple representative that I talked to understood the issue and walked me through some of the steps that they thought might fix the issue. Unfortunately, none of them worked. The only option remaining was to restore the iPad to factory default and set it up as new. I went ahead and did this, but guess what, it dd not fix the issue. I contacted T-Mobile again, went through the same rigamarole as before and they still could not help. During this time, I talked to a customer service representative, was transferred to a "technical" person, whom was not very technical. I then asked to be transferred to their manager since they kept talking over me, and would not listen to what I was saying. Upon being transferred, my call was dropped. This greatly helped my attitude towards T-Mobile.

    I then called T-Mobile back again and had to talk to yet another representative. After having to explain to this representative the issue I was having, they attempted to try some more things. Again, this representative kept talking over me and did not listen. This is when I got irritated and told them that they were not listening to what I was saying. Besides not listening to me, this representative was literally breathing into the damn microphone they were using. Pro Tip: Do not breathe into a microphone.. After talking to the representative some more, they came back again and said that they could not fix the issue.

    I then contacted Apple again, via chat, and the Apple chat person was having issues with their computer. I ultimately ended up setting up a Genius Bar appointment. Shockingly, there was actually an appointment for later that day. I should say, by "later that day" I mean 18 hours later, it was after midnight when I made the appointment.

    After getting some sleep, I sent out this tweet:

    I then got a reply from T-Mobile's Twitter help account to send them a Direct Message. I did so, and began explaining the issue to them. They attempted to help, just like the customer service representatives that I talked to. I informed them that I had an appointment with Apple and would let them know what came of that appointment.

    My Genius Bar appointment was late in the afternoon. So I head to my appointment. I got there early, like I do, but could not check in until 10 minutes before my appointment. So I spent some time checking out the new Macs.

    Once I do checkin and get my appointment started, I explained the issue to the Genius. They begin looking at things and the genius was a bit confused by the situation too. After trying a few more things and asking more questions the genius called over a colleague who specialized in activations.

    I gave a brief description of the issue to the activation person, making sure to include the fact that that I was using the embedded SIM. By now, I had repeated the details of the issue no less than a dozen times to various people.

    The activation specialist emphatically stated, "iPads do not have embedded SIMs". I countered, that the latest iPads do have embedded SIMs and this was clearly stated on the website. This was corroborated by the genius that was helping me as well as the "Pit Boss", as I will call that person. After a bit of back and forth, the Activations Specialist understood that there was indeed an embedded SIM in the iPad. What really made it sink in was that there was no SIM in the tray already, yet there was still the ability to try and setup the Cellular Data. Ultimately, this led to the fix.

    The Fix

    So, here is the fix. Insert an unactivated T-Mobile SIM into the secondary SIM tray. This will clear the existing account information. Apple let me take the SIM with me, even though I do not need it. I was able to successfully sign up for data using the embedded SIM.

    Other Thoughts

    Throughout the genius bar appointment, the woman sitting next to me, whom was getting her iPhone fixed, kept laughing because I kept having to give Apple employees more information about their own products than they had. I realize it was a relatively new product, but it seems strange for the geniuses to not know about the products that their company sells.

    I did reply back to T-Mobile with a fix for the issue. I asked them to make sure that their customer services representatives are aware of the fix should the issue arise for others. I think the next step may be to send an email to Apple indicating the same, so that the geniuses can be aware of how to fix the issue. Let’s hope that T-Mobile actually informs their customer services representatives.