Apple CEO: Watch is ‘profound,’ Apple Pay ‘fantastic,’ Alibaba the right kind of partner

From the Cnet.com article “Apple CEO: Watch is ‘profound,’ Apple Pay ‘fantastic,’ Alibaba the right kind of partner” by   

Tim Cook says the Apple Watch is “cool,” the iPhone will remain Apple’s top moneymaker, Apple Pay is in a skirmish with retailers, and he’d love to team up with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — Apple CEO Tim Cook said the new Apple Watch is a “profound” gadget that people will want to use so much they’ll end up running down the battery every day and need to recharge it overnight.

Of course, he didn’t say what the battery life is for Apple’s first wearable, a smartwatch introduced last month and set to go on sale in early 2015 starting at $349.

But Cook, in a wide-ranging interview at the Wall Street Journal Live technology conference here Monday night, did say he’s encouraged by the new “constituencies” interested in the device. That includes health and fitness fans and fashionistas, who haven’t been the typical audience for tech gadgets. Cook credited Apple design chief Jony Ive and his team for recognizing that the wearable, which works with newer versions of the iPhone, needed to be more personal than the company’s other devices.

“They saw that something you wear has to be more personable, more customizable,” Cook said. “When you begin to wear something, it’s got to look really cool. It can’t be geeky.”

Apple is looking to new product categories like wearables to drive sales growth as competitors from Amazon to Google to Samsung work to woo away customers from its key products. Together, the iPhone and iPad account for more than 70 percent of Apple’s sales. But even with the Apple Watch in the wings, Cook said that the iPhone, which delivers more than half of revenue and the majority of Apple’s profit, will continue to be the company’s biggest moneymaker for the foreseeable future. (Apple earlier this month announced it won’t break out watch sales when the device is released.)

As for the iPhone, Cook said the smartphone brings in revenue from apps and services, including Apple Pay, a new mobile payments system that went live last week. More than 1 million people activated the service in the first 72 hours, with Cook boasting there are now more credit cards activated within Apple Pay than in all other so-called tap-to-pay or touchless payment systems combined.

But Apple’s chief acknowledged that the company is in a battle with retailers who may endorse rival payment systems as they seek to avoid paying transaction fees to credit card companies including MasterCard and Visa. Last weekend, drugstore chains CVS and RiteAid said they won’t accept Apple Pay. “It’s a skirmish,” Cook said. “Merchants have different objectives sometimes. But in the long arc of time, you only are relevant as a retailer or a merchant if your customers love you.”

In a 30-minute question-and-answer session, Cook also shared his thoughts on taxes (Apple, he said, is the largest US taxpayer), said he believes law enforcement should go after individuals to obtain smartphone and other personal data because Apple doesn’t want to be “Big Brother,” and warned that some “kind of event” will happen that will raise public awareness of security concerns.

He also said that he decided to discontinue the 160-gigabyte version of the iPod Classic because Apple could no longer get parts for the iconic media player, and that the engineering resources required to update it outweighed user demand.

Fans who have been waiting for the company to step into the television market heard a repeat of Cook’s criticisms of TVs, but no news of what Apple might have in the works. “You work on your computer and iPads and iPhones one way, and then you go into your living room and you’ve stepped back in time. I think there’s a lot to be done in this area,” he said. “What we’ll do I don’t want to be so clear on, but it’s an area of a lot of interest. I’m optimistic that there can be something great done in this space. ”

Cook stepped onto the stage after Jack Ma, co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, said he would love to do a deal between Apple Pay and Alibaba’s own payment technology, Alipay. “I hope we can do something together,” Ma said.

While he expressed his admiration for Ma, Cook wouldn’t say what kind of a deal the two companies could do – only that such a partnership held appeal. “‘We like to partner with people that are wicked smart, with flexible teams that are product based that push us,” Cook said. “I think Jack has a company that’s exactly like that. If we can find some areas of common space, I love it. I love partnering with people like that.”

Here’s an edited transcript of Cook’s remarks.

On the iPhone continuing to be Apple’s biggest moneymaker in the next three to five years: The phone right now is the majority of the company’s revenue and profits. But that doesn’t mean the other businesses aren’t really important. And of course the phone is the sum of many things. Apple Pay is included in the phone. We have many services included in the phone. We have an $18 billion services business that doesn’t get noticed a lot but it’s huge and incredibly important to our ecosystem…In the long arc of time, there’s going to be a lot more smartphones sold and they’re going to continue to get better and better. I’m really proud of the products [we released this year].

In that period of time, the iPhone is still going to be the majority — at least 50 percent — of the company’s revenue and profits.

On the Apple Watch. I think the watch is profound. We’re super excited about it. We’re not shipping it yet and so everybody will have to see what they think when they start wearing it. But the thing I’m really encouraged about is the constituencies that are looking at it — these are vastly different kinds of constituencies. There’s the technology sector we always listen to, and that’s very important to us. But health and fitness is a new area. We have many people that are looking at it from that point of view and are really excited about what it offers.

And then we’ve got the fashion thing, which is totally new for us, totally new for most technology companies. I give Jony [Ive] and his team an incredible amount of credit here because they saw that something you wear has to be more personable, more customizable. When you begin to wear something, it’s got to look really cool. It can’t be geeky. It says something about you.

We think people are going to use it so much that you’re going to wind up charging it daily — overnight….Given my own experience and others around me, you’re going to wind up charging it every day because you’re using it so much that it’s going to need to be charged.

On uptake for Apple Pay and retailers like CVS, RiteAid saying they won’t play along. It’s a skirmish…We started last Monday. We’ve been at it for a week. I follow these numbers pretty closely. In the first 72 hours, we’d gone over the 1 million mark on activations of cards. Visa and MasterCard — we talked to these guys today, and they told us that if you sum up everyone else that’s in the contactless mobile payment at the point of sale, we’re already No. 1. And not just No. 1, but we’re more than the total of all the other guys.

Now we’ve got a lot more to go. We’ve got a lot of merchants to sign up, we’ve got a lot more banks to sign up, and we’ve got the whole rest of the world. We’re only in the US right now. We’re just getting started, but the early ramp just looks fantastic.

Merchants have different objectives sometimes. But in the long arc of time, you only are relevant as a retailer or a merchant if you’re customers love you.

I don’t know about you, but last year I had to change out my credit cards twice…This is a pain in the butt.

On Apple’s interest in TV and HBO’s decision to sell its content service a la carte. I think what HBO is doing is very smart. I applaud what they’re doing. They’re thinking about the consumer, and content companies win, just like any other company wins, when they really focus on the consumer. I think there’s consumers out there who want HBO but today it’s too hard to buy. Who wants to go spend all their life on the phone to get it activated?

I think it’s very clever what they did. I think you’ll see more content companies willing to do this, particularly if the mergers are allowed to occur…I think it’s the right thing as a consumer.

I think the current system has a lot to be desired. Content is really great, but I think if you go beyond the content, we’re living in the 1970s. Yes, we’ve got a faster pipe, and a faster pipe is good, but the interface into your TV is literally you’ve gone to a time capsule and it’s 30 years old. It hasn’t kept up. You work on your computer and iPads and iPhones one way and then you go into your living room and you’ve stepped back in time. I think there’s a lot to be done in this area. What we’ll do I don’t want to be so clear on, but it’s an area of a lot of interest. I’m optimistic that there can be something great done in this space.

On the health of the Macintosh computer business. The Mac business grew remarkably last quarter. It was up 21 percent in units. People a few years ago or just a year ago or two years ago thought that PC business was kind of dead. The PC business is going down — that was correct — but the Mac business has done well. We’ve kept investing there, we’ve kept innovating there. And we think the Mac has a great future.

With reporting by CNET News’ Shara Tibken.

 

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iPhone 6 preorders estimated to have hit 100K in Samsung’s homeland

From the cnet.com article ‘iPhone 6 preorders estimated to have hit 100K in Samsung’s homeland’ by   

The iPhone numbers in South Korea top the preorders seen for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 over a similar period, says the New York Times.

The iPhone 6 is already proving hotter than the Galaxy Note 4 in Samsung’s home base of South Korea, according to preorder data cited by the New York Times.

Apple’s latest iPhones hit the preorder stage last Friday with all three of the country’s mobile carriers jumping in to take orders. Two of the carriers had reported preorder numbers in the tens of thousands in just under an hour, the Times reported Monday, surpassing the numbers for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 over a similar time frame in September.

The high preorder numbers in South Korea continue a trend seen in other countries. In the US and several other markets, initial iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus preorders reached a record 4 million in just 24 hours on September 12. In China, preorders for the new phones reportedly shot past 20 million over three days.

In mid-October, Apple announced that latestiPhone will sail to 36 more regions before month’s end to reach 69 markets altogether. The company plans to expand the phone to 115 countries by year’s end, which Apple said would be the fastest iPhone rollout yet.

In South Korea, the iPhone 6 officially will go on sale Friday. On the same day, sales will also launch in Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Guam, Hungary, Iceland, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Thailand.

Among the three South Korean carriers, KT Corp said that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models captured 10,000 preorders in just one minute, then surpassed 50,000 in 30 minutes, the Times reported. Fellow carrier LG Uplus, which is a newcomer to the iPhone, said it counted 20,000 preorders for the phone in 20 minutes.

SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest mobile provider, wouldn’t reveal specific numbers but told the Times that both the first and second batch of iPhone 6 presales have been fully booked. A third round was slated to start Monday morning.

Counting the specific numbers from KT Corp and LG Uplus and likely estimating the ones from SK Telecom, analysts believe that total presales for the new iPhones have hit around 100,000 in South Korea. That figure tops the estimated 30,000 preorders for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 seen last month over a similar period of time. A spokesman for LG Uplus confirmed to the Times that the pace of preorders for the Note 4 hasn’t matched that of the iPhone 6.

However, Samsung still is by far the dominant mobile phone player in South Korea with no immediate danger of being knocked off its throne. The company owns 63 percent of the market in its home country, said the Times, citing data from Counterpoint Research. In fourth place, Apple accounts for just 4 percent of the mobile phone market in South Korea.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment.

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Apple dumps SSL 3.0 for push notifications due to Poodle flaw

From the Cnet.com Article by    

Apple will switch to the TLS encryption standard after disclosure of vulnerability that could expose encrypted data.

Apple said Wednesday it will stop supporting the encryption standard Secure Sockets Layer 3.0 for its push notifications service in response to a vulnerability identified earlier this month in the aging protocol.

Apple announced on its developer site that it will switch on October 29 from SSL 3.0 to Transport Layer Security (TLS), SSL’s more modern, less vulnerable younger sibling. Disclosed earlier this month, the vulnerability — called Poodle — allows encrypted information to be exposed by an attacker with network access.

“Providers using only SSL 3.0 will need to support TLS as soon as possible to ensure the Apple Push Notification service continues to perform as expected,” Apple said in its bulletin. “Providers that support both TLS and SSL 3.0 will not be affected and require no changes.”

To help developers test compatibility, Apple said it has already disabled SSL 3.0 in the development environment on its Provider Communication interface.

Poodle, which stands for Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption (PDF), is a problem because it’s used by both websites and Web browsers. Both must be reconfigured to prevent using SSL 3.0, and Poodle will remain a problem as long as SSL 3.0 is supported.

Once the most advanced form of Web encryption in use, the 15-year-old SSL 3.0 is used by few websites anymore, according to a study by the University of Michigan. However, Poodle still poses a threat because attackers can force browsers to downgrade to SSL 3.0.

Twitter already notified its users that it has disabled SSL 3.0 support, while Mozilla advised Firefox users to install a Mozilla security add-on that disables SSL 3.0. Along with Google and Mozilla, the University of Michigan researchers detailed how to disable SSL 3.0 for Internet Explorer.

Mozilla plans to disable SSL 3.0 in Firefox 34, the next version of the open-source browser. It’s currently in beta testing, with a release planned for the end of November. Mozilla has been testing the change in its Aurora version of Firefox, the precursor to the beta version, and so far, “There has been much less screaming about this than I anticipated,” said Mozilla’s Martin Thomson on Wednesday, discussing the change on Mozilla’s bug-tracker. Complaints would come from people who couldn’t use Web sites that required SSL 3.0.

CNET News staff writer Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.

 

 

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Siri, an autistic boy’s best friend

From the Cnet.com Article ‘Siri, an autistic boy’s best friend’ by   ()

A writer describes how her 13-year-old son seems to talk with Apple’s digital assistant more easily than with her. Can technology design virtual humans as we’d wish real ones were?

Can technology release us from the need to demand perfection from others?

This thought might cross minds after reading an extremely touching New York Times story about a 13-year-old autistic boy who gets on with Siri seemingly better than with his own family.

“Just how bad a mother am I?” writes Judith Newman, as she watches her son Gus and Siri interact happily for hours.

She describes how Siri can chat with Gus indefatigably. Siri is a bottomless mine of the very detailed information he craves.

But there’s a more moving aspect to Siri — and this story might just as well be about any digital assistant (say, Cortana): Siri, says Newman, is patient, polite and kind.

She doesn’t stoop to the knee-jerk, I’m-a-jerk responses that emerge from human mouths. She doesn’t shout or show anger. And if she mocks, she does it in the most gentle, kind way, as opposed to the brusque, condescending or contemptuous manner that humans all too often adopt.

When technology takes the place of a human, it doesn’t always have a happy ending. A recent videodramatizing (as if it needed it) the sheer agony of getting past automated customer service shows the pain that machines can induce.

But humans are dangerous.

We’re a primitive species that thinks it’s very clever. We demand perfection of others, when we’re hopelessly inadequate ourselves. We expect politicians, lovers, even bus drivers to be consistent, then we’re blithely contrary and capricious every day.

Somewhere inside, we know that we’re fairly incompetent most of the time. We frequently hate ourselves and our very inadequacy.

Then along come intelligent designers, gods who we hope have some good in their hearts. They present us with alluringly clever virtual beings who serve to remind us of aspects to which we can only aspire.

Will their role be less to entirely replace us than to free us from the burdens that we place upon ourselves and have little hope of overcoming?

Will Siri, Cortana and the rest of the traveling sisterhood serve not to dominate us, but to help us relax a little, perishable as we are? Will they actually release a little more of the good humanity and allow some of the bad to subside?

For many AI designers, the aim is not merely to assist, but ultimately to predict our needs. Google, for one, would adore it if you’d take its advice as to your future desires. Just think of the ads they’d have prepared in advance to make your life complete.

At what point, though, might we be able to trust our Siris more than we trust our silly selves?

At what point might machines be able to point our way to — or at least to create the circumstances for — more pleasant, caring behavior?

Is the true test of a better world one in which people are nicer to each other because they can finally accept themselves and their true deficiencies just a little more?

It’s an alluring thought that technology can make people not smarter, not more productive, not more self-aggrandizing, but merely more pleasant.

 

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Stop Bending the Apple Store’s iPhones

From the Gizmodo.com Article by Ashley Feinberg

In the wake of the uproar that followed last week’s purported iPhone 6 Plus pliability problem, some people have apparently taken it upon themselves to go into Apple Stores and bend iPhones. And while it pains us that this even needs to be said, guys, please: Breaking private property doesn’t prove anything. Except that you’re an asshole.

The most notable case of bandit benders so far comes in the form of a couple of British teens, who tried to stick it to the man by breaking wildly expensive smartphones that they did not pay for. As the Daily Dot notes, in the five-minute video the pair posted online, the kids not only recorded themselves breaking thousands of dollars worth of hardware for all the internet to see, but they round it all off with a solid “I don’t even care to be honest, because it’s Apple’s fault.” Except that no, it’s not.

Apple itself acknowledges that there are confirmed issues with new iPhones bending under some circumstances. But intentionally seeking to destroy an iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t mean it was poorly built, any more than walking into Best Buy with a baseball bat and smashing TVs doesn’t mean that the TVs should be more shatter-proof. It just means that you’re an idiot.

But they’re kids, you might say. Kids make mistakes. They sure do! And hopefully these particular teens have been publicly shamed enough that they’ll at least make their criminal activity less absurdly indictable in the future. But it’s not just kids that are doing this. Full-grown, literate, presumably mentally sound adults are walking into Apple Stores, bending iPhone 6 Plus floor models, and sharing their abuse of private property under the pretext that this somehow validates people’s complaints.

Why are you doing this? What is there to prove? Apple has received at least 9 official complaints. Some users have bent their iPhones through typical use. And physicists haveacknowledged that, yes, this phone does have some weak points. All of this is already established. When you go breaking private property on purpose, you’re not proving anything. You’re just creating noise. You’re distracting from the real conversation that needs to be had, which is just how common is this bending under normal circumstances, not under the circumstance where you intentionally act like a half-wit.

So please, stop going into Apple Stores to break the iPhones. And for god’s sake, don’t put it on the internet if you do.

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6 of 30 tips (from CNET.com) every new iOS 8 user should know

Yesterday we brought you a CNET article that showed you how to hide photos on your iOS 8 equipped I-device, today we bring a handful of tips from their 30 tips every new iOS 8 user should know by James Martin, if you’d like to learn more please click the underlined link.

  1. Get notified when your boss emails: Tone down the number of email alerts you receive by using the new Notify Me feature in iOS 8. With it, you can set alerts for any email thread.To enable thread notifications, swipe left from the message list > More > Notify Me.
  2. Cut the clutter: Double-tapping the home button in iOS 8 not only shows you the app switcher, but also displays your “Favorite” and recent contacts.
  3. Find out what’s killing your battery: Finally — finally! — there’s a tool that shows you how much power your apps use. The tool organizes them in a list starting with the app (or setting) that demands the most.
  4. Use the camera’s built-in tools: Apple knows how much its users like taking photos, so it included some really useful camera tools in iOS 8. You can now control exposure without affecting the focus, and even shoot timelapses. Get to know all of iOS 8’s camera features.
  5. Find My iPhone — even when your battery is dying : If you lose your phone as the battery is dying, Apple can now automatically save its location data, increasing the chances of finding your phone. In order to use it, you’ll have to enable the option in your iCloud settings.
  6. Hand-free Siri commands Want to prompt Siri without holding the home button? There’s a setting for that. With the setting enabled, you can say “Hey Siri” and the personal assistant will start listening. There’s just one catch — your phone needs to be plugged in.
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How to hide (but not delete) a photo in iOS 8

From the CNET.com article by Matt Elliott

Now that you where to find your photos in iOS 8, let us discuss a new feature of iOS 8 that lets you hide photos.

In the Photos app, you now have the option of deleting or hiding photos. Neither choice, in fact, removes a photo immediately from your iPhone. When you delete a photo, it gets sent to the new Recently Deleted album, where it’ll stay for 30 days before being permanently deleted.

Each thumbnail in the Recently Deleted album shows you how many days it has left before it’ll get tossed for good, and you can take immediate action by selecting photos from this album and deleting them a second time, which removes them from your iPhone on the spot.

In addition to changing the photo deletion process, Apple has added a new feature that lets you hide photos from the Years, Collections, and Moments views but not from Albums, including the Recently Added album.

To hide a photo, tap and hold on a photo or its thumbnail till a small dialogue pops up with two options: Copy and Hide. Tap Hide and you’ll be given a large Hide Photo button along with a reminder that the photo will still be visible in Albums.

You can find all of your hidden photos in the new Hidden album. And from this album you can tap and hold to unhide a photo.

 

 

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Steve Jobs Turned Out To Be Completely Wrong About Why People Like The iPhone

Excited about the new iPhone 6 plus? Steve Jobs would have been surprised. Check out this excerpt from Business Insider’s Jim Edwards or read the full article HERE.

The launch of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus — and the latter’s massive 5.5-inch screen — appear to prove that Apple founder Steve Jobs was completely wrong when he said in 2010 that “no one” would want to buy a phone with a big screen.

And while this sort of hindsight wisdom feels a little bit tawdry, it actually cuts to the heart of what is driving the $276 billion smartphone market right now: screen size.

Apple launched its new phone with 4.7- and 5.5-inch screens for a reason: Rival companies, particularly Samsung, have spent the past two years building a market in a space that Apple ignored — the market for people who want big, bright screens that are great for consuming mediaand doing work.

To recap: Jobs launched iPhone and its initial updates with a 3.5-inch screen. When the iPhone 4 ran into trouble because it appeared to drop calls when users held it the “wrong” way, Jobs held a news conference. He was asked, why not just make the phone bigger, so that the antenna might have more space within the device and thus get better reception?

He replied that he disliked the new crop of bigger phones from Samsung et al. “You can’t get your hand around it,” he said, “no one’s going to buy that.” He also derided big phones as “Hummers.”

By 2013, however, executives within Apple began to rethink that. Internal documents from that time show that iPhone sales growth was slowing, even though the market as a whole was growing. All the growth was in the sub-$300 price range and among phones with screens bigger than 4 inches. “Consumers want what we don’t have,” was the title of one slide in the documents.

Another document showed that Apple’s own customers placed the small screen size of the iPhone 5, 5C, and 5S among their top complaints about the devices. The iPhone’s small screen size actually seemed to be a liability for Apple, not — as Jobs argued three years earlier — an advantage.

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Apple Iphone 6 & 6 Plus hardware Revealed

In case you kept getting programming interruptions or couldn’t hear over the Chinese interpreter,  here’s a run down on the specs of the new iPhone 6/6 Plus and some information about the Apple Watch.

Storage Capacity: Both the Iphone 6 & 6 Plus come in 16gb, 64gb, or 128gb capacity ranging from $199-$399.
Weight & Dimensions: The iPhone 6 measures 5.44″ x 2.64″ x .27″ and weighs only 4.55 ounces. Its big brother the 6 Plus measures in at 6.22″ x 3.06″ x .28″ and weight 6.07 ounces.
Display specs:  The iPhone 6 has a 4.7″ Retina HD multi-touch display with IPS technology. Its resolution is set at 1334×750 with 326ppi and 1400:1 contrast ratio. The 6 Plus features a 5.5″ Retina HD Multitouch display with IPS technology, 1920×1080 resolution and a 1300:1 contrast ratio.
Processor: Both the 6 & 6 Plus feature an A8 chip with 64-bit architecture and an M8 motion coprocessor.
Camera: Both versions sport an 8-megapixel iSight camera, Autofocus with Focus Pixels, and a plethora of shooting modes including Burst mode,  Timer Mode, Panorama Mode, and improved face detection. Both phones can shoot video in 1080p at 30/60fps, slo-mo video at 120/240fps. Facetime cameras on both phones shoot at 1280×960 resolution and can record in 720p hd.
Security: Fingerprint identity sensor once again appears in the Home button.
Wireless Communication: NFC, 802.11 a/b/g/n/AC Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0

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If you’d like to learn more about the new Iphone 6/6 Plus check out Apple’s Iphone 6 site HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Ready To Upgrade To IOS 8

Apple will be releasing another updated to its mobile operating system platform in just a few weeks. Are you and your device ready? We will give you a few pointers to help that upgrade as smooth as possible.

1) BACKUP YOUR DATA! It happens sometimes, we get super eager to upgrade to our latest and greatest and we forget the critical step of backing up our device. Best case scenario is that you don’t lose any data but if the worst case scenario occurs an your data is erased, without backups in place, you are up a creek without a paddle. If you have the iCloud space available, connect to wifi and back it to the cloud or you can always perform a backup to a pc/mac with ITunes.

2) Make sure you have latest version of iOS before trying to upgrade to iOS8. Without the latest version of iOS you won’t be able to successfully upgrade.

3) Free up some space, since you have already performed a backup of your data why not free some space for your new operating system. We aren’t talking about 50mb more like 3gb, which was around the same size as what iOS 7 required.

4) Check your compatibility, sure you just did all of that hard work but even if you’re not compatible you still needed some much needed preventative care. If you’d like to see if your iDevice is compatible HERE (scroll all the way to the bottom of the page)

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