October 2011 MSS Newsflash
Apple iOS 5 released
Apple released iOS 5 on Wednesday. Should you update? I've spent the last several days updating dozens of iPad 2s to iOS 5 for a local private school. Based on the success of that experience, I've now updated personal iPads and iPhones (3GS and 4) to iOS 5.
There is no imminent need to make this upgrade if your iOS device is working well, but it appears to be a safe and solid update that adds many new and improved features. Note that in addition to the hour it takes to upgrade your device, it will take you some time to discover and learn all the new features. Although the essential functionality of your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch will remain the same, you may wish to dedicate an hour or two to explore all the changes.
In the eNewsletter I sent just before the iOS 5 update, I suggested waiting a week before updating. Some people who updated as soon as possible have reported problems because they could not reach Apple's servers (which were swamped by the number of people updating!). I did not experience this, and at this time I do not believe you will either. iOS 5 is, in short, an excellent free update, and one I am now recommending.
iOS 5 is available through iTunes when you connect your iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, or 3rd or 4th generation iPod Touch. You can see a list of iOS 5 features here
iCloud and Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion"
Apple's MobileMe replacement, iCloud, only works with 10.7 "Lion."
Though Apple's new free iCloud service adds some nifty new features
, it requires 10.7 Lion on the Mac. As you may recall, I do not recommend Lion at this time. MobileMe users can continue to use that service until June 2012. Others are, at this point, sadly forced to choose between upgrading to Lion and using iCloud or not using iCloud at all.
With Apple's release this week of Mac OS X 10.7.2, many of the outstanding bugs in the system have been squashed. I continue to be reticent about issuing a full-throated recommendation yet—that will likely come with 10.7.3—but if you decide to go to Lion, you should find fewer problems than before.
As for Lion itself, I've been using it for the last several days on one of the school's Macs—this is a new MacBook which came with Lion—and I'm happy to report that the system itself seems stable under 10.7.2. If you are a run-of-the-mill user (email, web surfing, word processing, and the like), you're probably OK to upgrade if you have the desire. There may still be an unfixable bug here or there, but by and large I think Lion is ready for day-to-day use by standard users. (That's not a recommendation, just my experience.)
IMPORTANT: Remember that no PowerPC software will run. Quicken 2007, Office 2004, AppleWorks 6 are dead, dead, dead under 10.7. Make sure "mission critical" software is Universal or Intel before you update!
If you need help with any of these updates or if you have additional questions, please feel free to call me (503-507-0410) or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you!