Category Archives: Technology

iOS 10, more Apple apps I do not want and what is old? @OctagonT Updated

iOS 10 and more Apple apps I do not want

I loaded iOS 10 onto my iPhone 6S last night and here are my initial impressions:

  • I was pleased I was not an early updater, as for some of those people Apple tuned their device into a “brick”!
  • I really like the reliable finger print security, however now a touch on the home button only unlocks the phone it requires a second full click on the button to clear the lock screen.
  • The new, two page, clean layout of the “Pull Down” Information/Notification screen is a great improvement of a function I should use more.
  • The same clean design has been applied to the Control Centre and that also has two pages which has stopped it being too crowded. However it would be great if Apple could provide a button to control the Power Saver mode on this panel.
  • iMessage has become a huge app – not sure I am going to use it that much, for many this will be the best thing about iOS 10.
  • The music player has been redesigned with a bold clear layout making it much easier to use – I am disappointed though that I will not get this benefit on my iPod, which I bought last year to play music.
  • I have more Apple apps on my phone that I will not use, or that I will not buy extra hardware for, that I cannot delete.
  • One bad thing is that I cannot put iOS 10 on my iPod Touch. So some time in the future when Apple moves on and Microsoft stops support for iOS 9, OneNote may stop working on that device. I carry the iPod for iBooks and music, but I often use the pocket sized device as a second screen when I am working in my phone and if OneNote, in particular, will not sync correctly then I will have to change the device.

    Overall I like the design idea that things should be bold, clear, clean and well spaced, I hate the ideas of “skeuomorphism” and was so pleased when Apple gave it up. When I am on my phone I want a clean interface that I can use quickly so I like this upgrade.

    As ever a new iOS is only really a shuffling of the chairs when it is put on an older device and there will always be those older devices that are left behind. The geek in me says that software features and security move beyond older hardware. The business person says it is impossible to support too many older devices. The cynic in me says it is a marketing ploy to sell more devices. What is “old”? Production of 5th generation iPod Touch devices stopped in July 2015 – that is not old.

    Apple iOS 10 – a full description


    Our friends at Basic Business Services replied to my Tweet about this blog post:

    So I have set up the Home button to my preferences and deleted all the stock apps I could – I never thought to try just deleting them as in previous versions they would not delete!

    Apple stick apps

    Thanks again to Basic.

    Something new… @OctagonT

    Something new... iPhone 6S

    If I can get this new phone set up tonight, this will be the last “photo of the day” taken on the iPhone 5.

    The challenge is that I am away for a couple of days on a course in Bath and I only have my Windows 10 tablet with me. I have installed iTunes on it and my iTunes database is on a removable hard drive. My problem may be that I have a single USB port on a dongle for the tablet and things will have to work with a USB hub I have packed.

    If things do not work out then this will be the last but one photo taken on my iPhone 5!

    Office 365 – @OctagonT

    So far today I have been sorting out an issue a client is having with their Office 365 subscription. Microsoft has done away with the plan the client was using and Microsoft have auto-renewed them into a new plan. Sounds OK except the licenses on the PCs are not updating correctly! So now we are fixing the issue.

    Office 365 - @OctagonT

    Even though there are the occasional issues with it, I still think Office 365 is a great product. At Octagon Technology we use it fully, across all the devices we use including iOS, Android and Linux, using all the tools including OneDrive, Skype and our favourite app OneNote. One if the best things about it is that we are not now asked to keep reinstalling Office from a CD, where the licenses have already been used, that is being passed around an office!

    External Power Bank Packs and real capacity values

    External Power Bank Packs

    Today’s “photos of the day” are for an Octagon Technology blog about smartphone and tablet battery life.
    External Power Bank Packs 25Ah power pack - iPod Touch - 50Ah power pack
    My external power bank packs – 25Ah unit – iPod Touch (to show the sizes) – 50Ah unit

    For a while now I have used a series of large external power bank packs when I am camping and backpacking to charge my various devices. These large batteries are a great way to supply power to power hungry gadgets when there is no mains power available. My current model is rated at 25Ah, has two USB outputs one is 5v at 1A the other is 5v at 2.1A and is slim and lightweight, ideal for backpacking.

    External Power Bank Packs 25Ah battery pack

    Charging in the MX-5

    When I am car camping I regularly charge my gadgets from the car lighter socket, including using a power inverter and a mains plug for my iPad, even when parked and the engine is off. Parked charging is not an issue (although I always take advantage of charging whilst driving) when I am using my diesel car with a large battery.

    But when I am using my Mazda MX-5 things are different! Charging whilst driving in the MX-5 is not a problem – I have a USB charge point on the car radio and I have a twin USB socket in the lighter socket.

    Mazda MX-5 charging

    However the car battery in the MX-5 is small and I do not want to risk using it to charge gadgets, so I have bought a 50Ah external power bank pack for charging at the campsite.

    External Power Bank Packs 50Ah Power Pack

    When is 50Ah not 50Ah?

    The other day I decided to full cycle my 25Ah external power bank pack, getting it ready for a camping trip later this month. The first thing I did was charge the iPad Mini, which had closed down because the battery was drained – the power pack was showing a three quarters charge (3 LEDs showing out of 4). However when the iPad was fully charged I was disappointed to see that the power pack was more discharged than I was expecting.

    Was the pack faulty? Had the eBay seller description not been accurate? Were there excessive power losses through heat and inefficiencies?

    A check of the spec on the 50Ah pack showed it was 50Ah at 3.7v but I needed the vales at 5v.

    3.7/5*50=37Ah and 3.7/5*25=18.5Ah

    About 25% less capacity than advertised and then add to this power loss through heat and inefficiencies.

    The iPad battery capacity is 4.4Ah so it looks like the power pack is OK, I was just a little misled when buying the packs! I am not disappointed by my findings, they will still meet my needs and were great value, I paid £9 for the 25Ah unit and about £11 for the 50Ah one.

    If you are planning to buy one if these devices be aware of the actual capacities, check with the supplier if you want clarification.

    Charging requirements – car camping

    iPhone5 1.44Ah
    iPod Touch 1.03Ah
    iPad Mini 4.44Ah
    Bluetooth speaker 0.4Ah

    Maximising battery life in iOS devices.