iOS 8 Initial Reaction and 3 Things to Do Before Upgrading – WHS 122

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iOS 8 released this week and while there are some really neat features I’m not very impressed. Battery life is poor, some apps are buggy, and my device seems a little slower. I share more about my experience in this week’s podcast so make sure you listen.

The best feature is the Family Sharing account you can setup and Apple Insider has a great article that covers all the details.

3 Tips for Updating to iOS 8

  1. Backup your device to your computer. Don’t just rely on iCloud. It’s great for your photos but you could lose some important settings if your device doesn’t update correctly. Take the extra time to do a full back up of your device. Directions for backing up your device can be found at Apple’s website.
  2. Update all of your apps first. Sometimes apps stop working or don’t perform as expected after a major iOS update. If you’ve got dozens of app updates waiting for your attention take care of it before you update iOS. If you’re not a control freak like me and you have automatic update enabled this shouldn’t be a problem.
  3. Make sure you have enough free space. This is the biggest problem people will run into when updating iOS. If you have tons of pictures and videos or a lot of application data it can prevent you from updating iOS. You’ll need about 6 GB of free space to complete the upgrade.

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The Wired Homeschool is a proud member of the Tech Podcast Network. For more family-friendly tech podcasts visit techpodcasts.com

Music for the podcast by Kevin Macleod.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Microsoft Purchases Minecraft for $2.5 Billion

I don’t normally report on gaming news but Minecraft seems to have a large foothold in the homeschool community.

Kid-friendly servers have been created and there are even curriculum designed around the game. We’ve been able to avoid it in our home so far but I suspect that we’ll soon have it installed on our PC.

Microsoft Buys the Company Behind Minecraft for $2.5 Billion

If your family has Minecraft and you’re using it for homeschool, what do you think about Microsoft’s acquisition?

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10 Methods for More Productive Studying [Infographic]

I’ve noticed that study skills among homeschool students can sometime be lacking. When the student goes off to college they may lack the proper skills for studying. Sure, they can memorize the information but they sometimes don’t know some of the tricks we learned as parents who went to public school.

What are you doing to teach your kids to study?

P.S. My employer is referenced in this infographic. Cool!

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iPhone 6: Is Bigger Better for Homeschoolers – WHS 121

On Tuesday, September 9th, 2014, Apple held a keynote event to announce 2 new iPhones, a watch, and a new mobile operating system. There was a lot talked about in the 2-hr event. Here’s what I think homeschoolers will want to keep their eyes on.

iphone 6 ios 8

Image credit: Apple, Inc.

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New iPhones and Pricing

The first thing you’ll notice about the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is the larger sizes. Sporting new 4.7″ and 5.5″ displays, respectively, Apple has once again stepped up the size of their display. Both devices come with stunning new Retina HD displays and a slim design to make up for the additional weight of a larger screen.

iphone6-sizes

The cameras receive an upgrade too adding features like faster focusing due to Focus Pixels, image stabilization (6 Plus only), 1280p video, and new 240 fps slow-mo option for capturing the horrified looks on people faces when the take the ice-bucket challenge.

Wi-Fi assisted calling has been added along with faster LTE speeds but so far no major carriers are supporting the new wi-fi feature that allows you to make phone calls using a wi-fi network. This generally allows you to save minutes used on your carriers service. T-Mobile has announce that they will support wi-fi calling but that means purchasing an un-subsidized iPhone.

Speaking of subsidies and pricing, the iPhone 6 will run you $199, $299, $399 for 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB models. The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 for a 16GB model, $399 for 64GB, and $499 for 128GB. If you want a 32GB model iPhone you can get the iPhone 5s for $149 or for $99 get the 16GB model. The iPhone 5c now becomes the free phone offered by carriers with a 2-yr contract. All the other prices above come with a 2-yr contract too.

There are a number of additional features like health monitoring and a better powered-down mode to conserve battery life but I don’t want to get too deep in the technical weeds. There’s more technical information available from Apple if you choose to dig deeper.

There Needs to Be More

So what’s missing from the new iPhones that you might find in other current generation smartphones?

32GB entry-level model. Apple needs to ditch 16GB models and make the 32GB phones the baseline.
Wireless charging. Seriously, why are we still plugging in our phones at night to charge them? At least make it an available option.
Water-proofing Accidents happen. You’re dropping $1,600 on a smartphone over the entire 2-yr contract. This should be standard.
Extended battery life. Making the iPhone 6 just a few millimeters thicker could have gone a long way in improving batter life without adding too much weight or bulk.
Multi-user mode. People share their devices. It would be nice to be able to log out and let your kids use your phone with restrictions enable for them.

A lot of the “new” features in iPhone 6 were available in Samsung and Nexus devices 2 years ago. Apple tend to follow the mantra that slow and steady wins the race but the once innovative smartphone maker has now become a follower in some key areas of smartphone development.

Apple make a high-quality device, no doubt, but they’re losing the battle when it comes to the new normal. Samsung and Google will continue to add more and more features and Apple will choose to slowly develop their devices. I’m sure the iPhone 7 team is hard at work right now looking at what new features they’ll have available in the next model.

Connect Socially!

Leave a Voicemail

You can call 518-290-0228 to leave me a message or use this convenient widget to record a message right from your computer.

Etc.

Want to be notified of any upcoming news regarding the podcast or if I’m speaking in your area? Join my spam-free mailing list. You’ll receive monthly updates and news about future projects and I’ll let you know if I’m speaking in your area at a homeschooling convention.

The Wired Homeschool is a proud member of the Tech Podcast Network. For more family-friendly tech podcasts visit techpodcasts.com

Music for the podcast by Kevin Macleod.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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