Some of you may know (and now the rest of you will, too) that I’m one of two Vice Presidents serving the Mountain View Computer Users Group in Sierra Vista, Arizona. It’s a multi-platform group that focuses on personal computing topics for Windows, macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and Android users. It started as a Mac user group in the late ’80s, but that’s a story for someone else’s blog.
Anywho, we have recurring tips of the month segments at our meetings for Windows, macOS, and iOS. At our last meeting on October 9, I provided the tips for Macs and iPhones and I thought I’d share them here.
Ever since my first iPhone, a 3GS, I have loved creating and setting custom wallpapers for both lock and home screens, especially for holidays. In the beginning I would usually just photograph something I liked or thought would work with the iPhone camera and set that photo as my wallpaper. For instance, a bouquet of flowers from my nephew’s wedding, or a needlepoint table runner with a turkey for Thanksgiving. There were others, of course—Santa Claus and snow man decorations for use as Christmas/winter wallpapers—but I eventually began converting desktop wallpapers into iOS wallpapers (you see, my wallpaper habit actually began with my first color Macintosh, a PowerBook 190c, so I have loads of holiday desktops to choose from). Eventually I began creating my own from scratch for the latest model iPhones I’ve owned (the X and XS).
It has occurred to me that maybe some of you might like some custom wallpapers for your iPhones and may not have the chops to create your own or know where to go to find what you want. Even if you do know where to go, perhaps you are not finding exactly what you are looking for. So I’ve decided to share my custom created iPhone wallpapers here from time to time. Maybe they won’t be what you are looking for, either, but maybe you’ll like them enough to use them … or not.
I’m starting with some I made for Easter. There is a lock screen wallpaper with a single Easter egg centered on a black field (I went through a phase of creating a number of lock screen wallpapers that were all black with a single image in the center), another for the lock screen with that same egg centered on grass, thirdly a copy of that same grassy egg but with some shading around the edges, and a fourth—a blurry photo of jelly beans—that I use for my home screen. A blurry background behind the icons makes them pop. They are sized specifically for the iPhone X and XS, and will work for any previous generation iPhone with a smaller screen. I suspect they will work just fine for the XS Max as well, but I don’t have one of those bigger iPhones to see them on.
“I solemnly swear to backup my important documents and precious memories on March 31. I will also tell my friends and family about World Backup Day — friends don’t let friends go without a backup.”
If, like me, you have a backup strategy implemented, then take this opportunity to make sure it’s working correctly — restore some files from your backup.
If you don’t have a backup plan in place, I can recommend a great ebook; Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac, by Joe Kissell. If you’re not a Mac user, sorry, I don’t have a book recommendation for you.
And don’t forget to backup your iPhones and iPads (and iPod touches, if you have them), too. Turn on iCloud Backup or connect your iOS device to your Mac (or Windows PC) and back it up with iTunes.
As some wise guy once said, “Don’t be an April fool. Be prepared. Backup your files on March 31.” All I can add to that piece of wisdom is to continue backing up your files every day of the year. 😃
I recently started listening to a new podcast focused on Mac and iOS security called,The Checklist. It’s hosted by Ken Ray (of the dailyMac OS Ken podcast) with security geeks Nicholas Raba and Nicholas Ptacek of SecureMac, Inc It’s been going for about seven weeks now and I thought some of you may be interested in the content. Each episode is fairly short (approximately 30 minutes), and covers a short, five-item checklist of security-related steps.
Even if your not a podcast listener, the content of each week’s list is freely available for you to read on the episode’s web page. Episodes that have aired so far cover these topics:
I installed Apple’s mobile operating system on my almost three-year-old iPhone 4 yesterday afternoon. I had initially thought I wouldn’t bother, thinking the aging A4 wouldn’t quite be up to the task of keeping the user experience as snappy as iOS 6. I have been pleasantly surprised so far.
After reading reports of some laggy-ness and overall slower responsiveness I figured I could wait until November when I will upgrade to the iPhone 5S. But after a couple of clients called with upgrade questions and seeing iOS 7 in action on a friend’s iPhone 4, I decided I would give it a go.
So far I have not really noticed that much of a performance hit. The animated transitions may be slower than they would be on newer hardware, but I don’t have anything to compare them with so they seem fine to me. They are smooth and the entire interface experience seems to flow easily. There is no jerky-ness that I have noticed so it seems Apple has done a good job of accounting for older hardware in their coding.
The only jankyness that I’ve noticed has been within certain apps. For example, the Facebook app is doggy-slow and crashes often. This was the case before iOS 7, so I doubt the problem is with Apple’s upgrade.
All-in-all, a good experience so far. It’s sort of like having a new phone. I look forward to actually getting the latest hardware and seeing this OS upgrade really shine.