With the advent of iTunes Match, a backup of your iOS device is not really a full backup with it enabled on the device.
When you restore, your 2000+ songs that were on the device taking perhaps 20GB or more will be gone.
You will see the songs and titles, but alongside each will be the little cloud symbol to download them again.
With a large library this is a timely and costly process. There are tricks such as creating a playlist with all your songs and downloading them on the device. In short however, if you ever backup and restore, it’s a long expensive process to get your music back.
I felt there needed to be a better way. The songs are all on my Mac waiting for transfer to the iOS device right? If you have iTunes Match turned on the answer is no.
To transfer your songs to the device you need to switch iTunes Match off on the device.
It’s okay to have iTunes Match enabled on your Mac.
With this configuration the next time you sync, all your music will be transferred to the device.
It’s been some time since I’ve posted on this blog. On the whole I don’t feel there’s been anything that exciting to write about.
That changed this morning with Apples latest announcements from WWDC. It seems there’s finally something to get excited about.
The new Mac Pro. A revolutionary product design that reminds us how Apple came to prominence over the last 5 years.
OS X 10.9. At the moment this looks promising with some promising features.
iOS7. Again early days but a whole new look and some welcome additions. I suspect some users will dislike the new look and feel just because it differs from the previous look. So far I like it. The only major gripe I’ve got is the continued loss of music and books.
Despite backing up prior to installing iOS 7, all my music is gone along with books I added as PDFs. I hope Apple address the music issue in particular. Having to download all my music across the net is slow, expensive and frustrating. At this rate I might stop using my phone for music and use a dedicated non-Apple product.
2013 is looking like a great year for Apple releases.
A few years ago I became aware of the Dvorak keyboard through a colleague who absolutely swore by them. At best I considered it an interesting idea, but perhaps not much more than that. It was something I filed away as a thing to consider or explore further one day, but perhaps first and foremost was actually laying hands on one of these keyboards to give them a go.
For those not in the know, the Dvorak keyboard is an alternative to the QWERTY keyboard intended to allow much faster typing by placing more frequently used letters within shorter reach with less hand movement. What many people may not realise is that the QWERTY keyboard was actually designed to slow typists down so their typewriters wouldn’t jam.
A recent spur of the moment purchase made me realise just how easy switching to Dvorak can be. The purchase was a silicon keyboard protector for modern style Mac keyboards, such as those found on the MBP, MBA or wireless keyboards. My first thought was a Dvorak silicon overlay. These varied in price from $24 dollars to $64+.
A little more research revealed that rearranging the letters on the Mac keyboard is not actually that hard, and all you need is a paper clip.
Step one is to unbend one end of the paperclip. On the Macbook Pro and Air, slip the end of the paperclip under the bottom right of the key. Don’t “dig” down with the clip. Slip it along the bottom of the key cap, lifting so you are able to grasp the key cap and gently lift it with your fingers. It will unclip with very little force.
With the move to iCloud, and iOS devices no longer needing iTunes for updates, Apple needs to do a major overhaul of iTunes and the iCloud paradigm.
There is no better example of this than iBooks and Preview iCloud storage. If you own a lot of Apple kit as I do, trying to get a PDF from a MacBook Pro onto your iPad can prove to be a major mission. Despite iCloud connectivity, the only way this can be accomplished is by dragging the PDF into iTunes, then syncing your iOS device. Herein lies a massive problem.
Each iOS device can only sync with one iTunes library. I’ve found ways to sync with that one library across multiple computers by copying that library to the other computers. This becomes very unwieldily with large iTunes libraries.
Just as you can sync photos with iPhoto, or even access them via PhotoStream, so Apple needs to do with PDFs and books.People using OS X Mountain Lion have been finding they can save PDFs to iCloud using Preview, but there’s no way to access those documents on iOS devices.
The underlying issue here, where iOS devices are concerned, is that iTunes is fundamentally broken and outdated. When I try to sync content with a device, it shouldn’t be replacing what’s on that device. It should be looking at what the device already has, and merging what’s on the device with what’s on the computer. In this way one can easily get PDFs into iBooks without going to huge effort.
There is one interesting work around which works pre-Mountain Lion. If you enable web sharing on your Mac, copy the PDFs to your sites folder, you can then browse to them in Safari on your iOS device, then save them to iBooks.
The reason this isn’t fast or simple on Mountain Lion is because web sharing has been removed from the sharing preference pane. Apache2 is still included in Mountain Lion. You just need to manually configure and start it.
Perhaps a simple fix for iTunes that Apple could consider, is allowing wi-fi syncing between Mac devices. Maybe all that’s ready needed is a simple easy way of getting PDFs from your computer to your iOS device, and readable within iBooks!
I first tried Android on an HTC Sense phone in 2010. I was ultimately underwhelmed as quickly I had been initially impressed by the OS. There were a lot of nice things Android had that iOS4 didn’t. iOS5 introduced a few missing features such as notifications. iOS6 has gone some way towards introducing others, such as scheduled notification profiles. IE: Getting your phone to shut up at night time without muting it. At the end of the day, Android frustrated me more than anything else. It just wasn’t polished. The marketplace was no AppStore and I ended up really hating the HTC handset because of this.
Roughly 2 years on and I’ve decided to give Android another go. Android 4 looks very nice with it’s glassy aqua swipe panes. Despite the downside of the huge Samsung Galaxy S III display, it’s very nice to look at. For those not in the know, the reason Apple have stuck to their original screen size, is your thumb can comfortably reach all parts of the screen using one hand. Given you use two hands at least 95% of the time, I’m not so sure that design criteria should be adhered to going forward.
Android has come a long way in 2 years. It’s not quite as “flakey” as it previously was, and the Google Play store is quite functional. It’s as easy to make purchases in as the AppStore. Android however is no iOS and I can clearly articulate why.
If there was a single word to separate the Apple OS from Android it would be consistency. Almost everything works the way you’d expect it to. Many will argue that iOS significantly lacks a lot of cool stuff Android does. Like the customisations. The ability to put widgets onto swipe screens. The ability to change the system font and even download additional fonts to completely personalise your phone.
I’m going to venture out on a very long limb here and guess that many Android fans are also Windows users. I’m going to put my neck out even further and say because of that, they’re probably used to things not working the way the should, nor working consistently.
Here’s two really good examples I’ve noticed on my Galaxy S3. Sometimes you can use the keyboard swipe feature to write words with predictive text. Other times you can’t. I’m fairly certain Apple would never allow that situation to occur. If they implement a feature, such as the original pasteboard, it’s all or nothing. It’s somewhat frustrating I can use that feature in some places but not others.
Widgets are the second example. Some apps I install have widgets, others don’t. Some widgets allow me to pick a range of sizes, and even resize them, others don’t. I can’t always get the size I want, which is a little frustrating.
Probably more annoying than this, is the fact that widgets like the mail widget requires a manual refresh after I’ve read emails. That almost defeats the purpose of having a widget, as it’s not showing me the latest information.
If I tap an email message on that widget, I expect to be reading that email, not just dumped in the mail app where I last was, not even in the same email account the message I tapped on came from.
It’s these kinds of inconsistencies and lack of simple detail that keeps Android behind iOS. It’s not to say it doesn’t have it’s attractions. I like the concept of widgets and custom swipe screens, I just don’t like the execution.
At an App level things get very ugly. It’s here perhaps more than anywhere else that intuition goes right out the window. People might well groan about the strict criteria iOS apps must meet in order to be approved. The upside is that on the whole, you get consistent, usually polished apps that work within a standardised framework. I found with Android apps, the level of presentation is far poorer. Some apps function in a manner you’d expect, others are a complete mystery.
I can’t help feeling that this fundamental air gap will always exist between iOS and Android. For the very reason certain people don’t “get” Apple, nor particularly like them, nor will they realise how things could be. Consistent, polished and refined.
Do Apple products always “just work”. In most cases yes, but as this blog illustrates, not always. Does Android “just work”. In many ways no, but it does have some nice features. I understand why people love Android and hate iOS. For all that iOS might lack in bells and whistles, I prefer the premium finish iOS offers over the mish mash of some things work well in Android, many things don’t. Maybe that’s a good thing for Apple.