Is there anything more psychologically pleasing than being totally right? Perhaps not. So for those you who followed our advice last month and did NOT upgrade to iOS 8, you may be basking in the warm glow that comes with feeling pretty darn smug. It's a well-earned feeling, because while many users rushed to deploy the latest and greatest operating system, they soon found that some things didn't necessarily work in the ways that they expected.
iOS 8 might be littered with interesting new features, but it also sports a host of problems, and Apple's had a bad time of patching it up. In fact, the iOS 8.01 patch to correct some of the initial problems was so bad that Apple was forced to pull it back and apologize. iOS 8.02 seems to be marginally more stable but not without complaints.
Add to this that we are still waiting for some third-party apps to get updated, and our advice continues to be to take it slow. Apple is in late beta on iOS 8.1, something I hope and expect to be stable and ready for prime time. (I expect this launch around October 16.)
For right now, iOS 8 adoption has stalled out around 47%. If you're in the happy 63%, you should enjoy the sweet, sweet feeling of being utterly right about not upgrading yet. We will say so here when we think the time has come, so you can relax in a feeling of contentment in the meantime.
Safari 7.1 for Mac
One update that Apple did get right was Safari 7.1. Among the nifty new features is the ability to natively use the DuckDuckGo (DDG) search engine. As you may know, we've recommended DDG because unlike Google, Bing, or Yahoo, DDG does is anonymous and does not track or save your searches. We are strong personal privacy advocates, and are thrilled that you can now go to Safari > Preferences > General and choose "DuckDuckGo" as your default search engine.
What's more, if you don't like DDG's search results, DDG allows you to use bangs (exclamation points) to search other engines. For example, if you enter "!g horses" DDG will search Google anonymously
for the term "horses." You can read more about DDG's bangs here
. You can even create your own bangs.
The inclusion of DuckDuckGo as one of the default search engine options for Safari is a wonderful step forward for personal privacy. If you've not upgraded to Safari 7.1, feel free to do so (under the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen, go to Software Update....)
Coming soon: OS X 10.10 Yosemite for Mac
This maybe restating the obvious, but here it goes: Do NOT upgrade immediately. Yosemite will be a free operating system upgrade for your Mac, but unless you want to risk parts of your computer being non-functional and non-fixable (at least until Apple upgrades Yosemite again), you want to wait. Generally, the ".3" update (in this case, 10.10.3) is the version that is "good enough" to warrant an upgrade, but time will tell. Don't be in a hurry!
Reminder: SMUG presentation Oct. 14
Ty Davison of MacAtoZ will be presenting at the October 14 general meeting of the Salem Macintosh Users Group (SMUG) at Comfort Suites on Hawthorne in Salem, Oregon. The meeting begins at 7:15 PM, but many gather at 6:45 PM for an informal Q&A.
The evening's talk will center around upgrading hardware, making purchase decisions among the various Apple offerings, and knowing when to buy new versus upgrade old.
SMUG dues, should you decide to join, are just $25 per year per family. If you just want to check out the group, drop by. Visitors are welcome!