Wednesday, October 22, 2014


So lots of upgrades lately. iOS 8.1 came out and I installed on the iPhone 5 without difficultly. I still haven't upgraded the iPad 2 to iOS 8 as I understand it just slows to a crawl and 8.1 isn't any better. I'll just wait til I get a new iPad Air 2 which I'll do shortly.

I upgrade first the old MacBook Pro and then the iMac to Yosemite. It mostly went well. The MBP was easy and all my apps seemed to work so I did the iMac today. I started the download last night and was crawling for a while (5+ days to go for several hours) but then it started to come down quickly and was done after a few hours. There are a number of forum threads I found that said that changing DNS servers helped, but it doesn't really. (In fact I read a couple of years ago that if you change from your ISPs DNS servers to Google's or OpenDNS or something that your location information is lost and CDNs don't know which server is closest to you. I don't know if that's true, but my experience is that using FiOS DNS is at least as good as using others.).

Once it was downloaded the installer started. I quit it and made a bootable USB stick. This morning I did the install and it went pretty quickly. Then I started going through the new features, via a few articles I had saved. The only annoying thing I fixed was to Reduce transparency in the Accessibility System Preferences. I don't know why anyone would want it on.

I still have not enabled iCloud Drive because my iPad 2 running iOS 7 can't use it. But that shouldn't be much of a problem for while. Update: It turns out it breaks Tweetbot's sync'ing. It looks like there is not longer an iCloud "Documents & Data" setting, there's just iCloud Drive, so they probably have no other way to share data.

I really wanted to try some of the Continuity features that connect the mac to the phone. There were three. First I got AirDrop working. I find it's a little flakey. I enable it on both and turn on the phone but if I open the Finder to AirDrop it doesn't show me (and when it does it's just my picture with my name, not the name of my iPhone. I sometimes can use AirDrop from Safari's share menu and send it to my phone, but not always.

The next thing was Handoff. This didn't work until I rebooted my iMac. When it does work I can see the last app you've used on one device on the other device. I've used Handoff with Safari and Mail both ways and it's pretty slick.

The last one was Phone calls and that was a bear. Basically the Mac can act like a speaker phone for your iPhone and you're supposed to be able to start calls from the mac (in the old days you do this with a bluetooth connection, but that hasn't worked for a while). I kept getting an error that it wasn't working and to check that both devices were on the same wifi network and using the same iCloud account. They were. There's a setting to enable it in FaceTime and that was on too. I called AppleCare. I got a woman who didn't know much but was nice enough. She talked to second level support and left me on hold for a very long time and we didn't come to any conclusion (other than you didn't need to bluetooth pair your iPhone and mac, which didn't work anyway). She forwarded me on to some iPhone specialist but I think it went back to first line AppleCare and I got a woman with a thick accent I couldn't understand. She just seemed to forward me on to Bob. Bob was very helpful. He apologized that this stuff was new to everyone and they were getting slammed with support calls. We tried a few things (including resetting PRAM) but that didn't help. He did find on some forum the solution. On the iPhone I had to turn off FaceTime and Handoff and then turn them back on. That did it. Rebooting the phone didn't do it but manually turning those off and on did. It only took almost 2 hours on the phone with AppleCare (including hold time) but now a feature I'll probably never use again is working :)

Otherwise Yosemite seems nice. I'm fine with the new look though the new toolbars will take a little getting used to.

Also a new Emacs came out on Monday and seems to working well for me. Now to see if iOS 8.1 means my car can finally read text messages to me. :)

1 comment:

The Dad said...

I haven't tried the speakerphone thing yet, but I inadvertently discovered that ALL devices can now work this way, meaning I can use my iPad as a speakerphone. I discovered this when someone called me cell, and seven devices in the house rang simultaneously.

As you know I'm iMac shopping, so I'm not updating my current iMac until then. but when I did I'm also putting the family on their own icloud accounts and setting up family sharing. That should kill a full day.