Warning about the FaceApp app for the iPhone

In case you didn’t hear there is a new iPhone app called FaceApp which allows it create a photo of what would you be like if you are older [I am guessing not many changes if you are quite old?].

But, according to the license agreement, by using the app, you give the developer full life-time rights to use the photos without your permission. It may also be able to post your photo to the internet including your user name and location) and could be visible for everyone to see.

FaceApp also collects information about browsing history and location.

The agreement claims “we will not rent or sell your information to third parties outside FaceApp” but will share information with “third-party advertising partners” to deliver targeted ads to users.

The same app was pulled in late 2017 because it allowed you to chance your race [i.e. black, Asian, Indian or white].

Note: There is a FaceApp for Androids but it seems to be different.

Disabling Siri on an iPhone lockscreen

There has been a couple of recent stories where someone can access an iPhone without having your password. While the probability could be unlikely, it may be a good idea to disable the option of using Siri with a locked screen.

You can disable Siri on your iPhone’s lockscreen by going to Settings, choosing Touch ID & Passcode, and selecting Disable Siri on the Lockscreen.

While even less likely on an iPad, it still maybe a good idea.


Apple’s latest iGadget updates

So Apple had their big day on the 7th with the release of the iPhone 7. Nope. The rumors of a different name wasn’t to be true.

Apple probably made enough changes between this series and the previous series to warrant a new series.

Aside from an updated iOS which include an automatic “wake” feature that kicks in whenever you pick up your device, Uber integration, etc.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus toss out the wired 3.5 mm headphone jack. So you will need either a lightning headphones [included] or a Bluetooth headphones. Also included in the box is a 3.5-mm-to-lightning connector jack.

The Plus version of the phone will include two 12-megapixel, rear-facing cameras, with the second camera’s 56-mm, telephoto lens designed to improve the phone’s magnification capabilities.

The regular phone model will still have only one 12-megapixel camera. Both models will have an optical stabilizer and a wide aperture included with their cameras. The front-facing camera will capture seven megapixels.

Apple claims the iPhone 7 series’ processors operates 40 per cent faster than the ones in the iPhone 6s.

Of course they made some changes such as a smooth finish, a new home “button”, and water and dust resistant.

The phone will come with either 32, 128 or 256 gigabytes of storage, and will retail for the same prices as the current 6S model.

Something new is the AirPod headphones which are Bluetooth enabled ear pods They have a battery life of 5 hours [which isn’t much] and will charge when inserting in the case. This will be considered a basic edition. Beats by Dre [owned by Apple] will release its own line of premium wireless headphones using the AirPod technology [somewhere in excess of $300 each].

Expect people to be losing one of their ear pods quite easily as they are small. In addition, they could be something that would be attracted by a small child or a pet to swallow.

Question whether you can purchase one [instead of a pair] to replace a lost ear pod. A pair will sell for $160US [$220CDN]. Maybe Apple will add it to AppleCare.

Speaking of which, Canadians won’t be happy as Apple says the iPhone 7 will be priced the same as the iPhone 6S [with equivalent configuration] but all iGadgets [iPhone, AirPod, Watch, etc.] will be higher in Canada – more than just the exchange rate between the Canadian & NUS dollar. Anywhere between 5% and 10% more expensive. The AirPod should of been about $205CDN but are $15 more.

I wouldn’t put it pass Apple to tweak the headphones so they only work with Apple products.

People are taking to Twitter to already comment on the AirPods with the comments like “FindMyEarPods app coming soon” and “I don’t have AirPods yet but somehow I’ve already lost them.”

Apple CEO Cook called the iPhone “the best-selling product of its kind in the history of the world” with over 1 billion products sold. [Sound a bit like what Donald Trump would say.]


Apple revenue drops, Cook is still in charge

For the first time in 13 years, Apple’s reported falling revenue in the last three months to $50.6 billion – a decline of 13%. In the first quarter of 2015, Apple announced record revenue from the iPhone. The iPhone pulls in about 66 per cent of all Apple’s revenue with the remainder from Macs and the App Store.

Compare to last year where apple made $53 billion on goods and services. This was an all time high. Compare that to 1996bwhen Apple lost in excess of $1.5 billion and would eventually get a “loan” from Microsoft to hold off in bankruptcy. It is also Apple’s first revenue decline since 2003 [fell 1%].

As 2015 closed, Apple claimed record growth in China for Q4 thanks to new iPhones. 40 per cent growth in iPhone sales and 71% overall. But it turned into an 11 per cent year-one-year decline in the second quarter in China.

Research company Gartner earlier this month reported the era of double-digit market share growth for smart phones is done as it suggested global 2016 growth at 7% as consumers are also starting to hold onto their older phones for longer.

Apple already has stiff competition from cheaper phone providers in China [where Apple never was big] as well as Samsung and others around the world.

Apple is planning a $2 billion inventory reduction to choke off existing supply of iPhones already out there in order to regenerate demand.

Further problems is that under Steve Jobs, Apple innovated. They were the first with a true smartphone and tablets and were a leader for music players. Under current CEO Tim Cook, they seem to be copying everyone else for features.

In the last few years Apple has had many issues which have come up but rarely existed under Jobs. Among them:

  • “AntennaGate” – where holding your smartphone a specific way, reception was bad.
  • Numerous issues when upgrading OS X. For example when El Capitan came out, major upgrade issues. Took 2 updates to correct the problems.
  • An increasing amount of security issues [where odd things allow access to their iGadgets].

Sales of the latest low-end iPhone 6se hasn’t sold well. The latest iPad isn’t selling because older iPads are still functioning [unlike a smartphone, there is no contract for an iPad – so you don’t have to change it every two years]. Apple doesn’t even want to publically say how well the Watch has sold. Not a good sign.

Remember the MacDefender malware in around 2011? When it first came out, Apple sort of denied it even though about 25% of new support forum comments were related to it. After two weeks they acknowledged the issue and said to go buy an ant-virus software [which was unheard of before] from the AppStore [so Apple gets 30% of what you buy – nice – profiting from others’ misery]. Then only 2 weeks later was an update released to combat the issue.

Selling a base model iGadget reduces revenue as the consumer would most likely buy the full version – particularly if a Fanboi or Fangurl. Jobs never wanted to sell an iPad Mini for that reason [among others].

Apple continues to claim the end of the PC era but continues to sell them. Hypocrites.

Time to dump Cook. Surprised the shareholders haven’t done so by now.

Wiping an iGadget’s contents for disposing

When it’s time to get rid of your iGadget [what I call any of the gadgets from Apple – iPhone, iPad, etc. that use iOS], you must wipe the data off your iGadget before you dispose of it [which will end up in some Chinese landfill but hopefully actually recycled instead] or giving it to someone to use.

The following instructs will wipe your data. Note that as iOS changes, these instructions may not be exactly the same.

HUGE WARNING: This involves wiping out the data on your iGadget. You won’t be able to get the data back [or at least not so easily]. So make sure you have a copy of what you need.

  1. Perform a full backup of your iGadget either to a computer or through the This will allow you to restore your data if you are migrating to a newer iGadget.
  2. On the iGadget, tap Settings | iCloud. Scroll down and tap Sign Out.
  3. You will be required to confirm, so tap Sign Out again. Note that this will remove iCloud access completely and all the data associated with that account on the current iGadget. This includes disabling Turn off my iPhone service, which is also known as Activation Lock.
  4. Go to Settings | General, and tap Reset.
  5. At the Reset screen, tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  6. If a passcode is configured [hopefully it is], you’ll be required to enter your passcode.
    Tap Erase iPhone [or equivalent] when prompted.
  7. The iGadget will reboot and display the Apple logo with a progress bar below it indicating how far the wiping has been completed.
Note: Make sure the iGadget is kept on to make sure the wiping is completed correctly. If needed, plug it in to keep charged.

iOS 9 upgrade for some turns Apple gadgets into bricks

If you have ever replaced your iPhone’s screen but not repaired by Apple, you may wish to hold off on upgrading to iOS 9.

It seems the upgrade software will detect that your screen is non-standard and the upgraded dies with “error 53” and bricks your iPhone. [The term brick is primarily an Apple term (but not from them) where the device is rendered useless.]

The company says, when a system check during a software update reveals the iPhone or iPad Touch ID sensor doesn’t match the device’s other components, the update fails – but miserably. Apple says to restart the device but in most cases, it won’t start. In that case, you need to contact Apple support or go to a store. Because of the issue, some have waited in excess of an hour before being told that the gadget is a brick.

Apple says if you had your gadget repair, but not by Apple, Apple can repair it at out of warranty costs – expect it to be quite a bit.

Some users have complained that they lost data on their gadget because of this issue.

There are already some reports of possible class action lawsuits in the US an UK over the issue, saying the company acted illegally [most likely for excluding third party hardware from being allowed]. If the hardware worked fine with iOS 8, why not with iOS 9?

Wait a bit before updating your iPhone and iPad

If you have an iPhone or a iPad, iOS 8 should be available from Apple. If it is like previous releases you may want to hold off a bit for a number of reasons:

  • The amount of people trying to upgrade their devices.
  • Verify the compatibility between iOS 8 and your applications.
  • Do you really want to be a guinea pig? Judging from previous versions, there has always been some issues.
  • Over The Air [ITA] upgrading requires you to have extra disk space. Upgrading to iOS8 requires between 4.7 GB and 6.9 GB of space available on your device.
  • If your iPhone is not owned by you, you may need to check with your company’s IT department before upgrading.
  • You cannot go back to the previous iOS version once you upgrade.
  • Older models [the ones that barely made the upgrade cut] may not work as fast as they use to be.
  • The OS may still have some quirks or bugs that weren’t found in the testing cycle.

A good suggestion is wait a week or two while the dust in the upgrading settles. By that time, the majority of issues should be made public and then you can decide to upgrade or wait for the first update.

Of course the fanbois and fangurls who want the latest and greatest won’t care.