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Apple iOS 11 - Peregrine Digital Media Albuquerque Web Designers

Have you Updated to iOS 11?

Have you updated to iOS 11? I found it pretty painless on an iPhone7 and iPad Pro. I’ll upgrade the older devices over the weekend. There are a lot of update, though most minor. If you haven’t updated in a while, it could be a pretty big leap. The iPhone 8 and 10 are for pre-sale and Watch 3 was announced.

Mobile device updates - mobile web development by Peregrine Digital Media

Are you integrating a watch into your digital use? Would you like it to have a hone connection of it’s own? Now you can with Watch 3 GPS+LTE. There is a non-LTE version, because service on someone like AT&T is and additional $10/month and requires a regular iPhone plan.

If you need to roll back your update here is an article that can help.


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24 hours with IOS 10 – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

By Stephen Sutherlin

The new Apple operating system for iPhones and iPads came out this week, and as usual, it was designed for the latest devices. In particular, it is for the iPhone 7. There was the usual hype, a big Apple event, and a lot of speculation. But, here is how it went for a mid-level user who knows his way around these things and has been through every iOS update since v2.

THE GOOD

Let’s start with the positive. I had no trouble loading the new software on my iPad Pro 9.7 that I bought this year. I also successfully loaded it on our iPhone 6s and our older iPad Air (v2). Older hardware we will discuss in detail in a moment. In this first day download, I was even surprised at how fast Apple’s servers were able to get me the goods. I loaded my iPad mid-day with great speed and efficiency. The phones, which I did in the evening, took a little longer, but this was expected as more and more people piled on for the download.

Once in, there are some great new features in iMessages. Now you can add stickers and hand written notes or even a heartbeat over messages. My family spent the evening texting each other and having a lot of fun with the new tricks. There are some new customizations to the opening screen that allow you to arrange your widgets and the info displayed there. 10 takes a turn from the delicate fonts that were used for iOS 8, to big fat fonts for the apparently aging eyes of the senior Apple staff. Since fonts are subjective, I will leave that for you to decide and move on.

THE BAD

Unfortunately, these other two sections are more lengthy. I have an older model car, with a replacement stereo that is capable of bluetooth connection and USB direct plug-in. I listen almost exclusively to my own playlists when I am driving, and occasionally Apple Radio. I am an Apple music subscriber, so I have a mix of purchased and “leased” songs on my current list. First off, my bluetooth would not recognize my device. (I ended up needing to go to my settings and re-identify the bluetooth connection to make that function work.) This was frustrating, because there is a neat new airplay button that is supposed to make connecting happen with the flick of an icon. Not so much.

So, I plugged in the thunder connector into the USB port on my stereo, and the first station I ever created started to play instead of the playlist I had just selected. That was annoying but it was a song I liked so I forgot about it and drove on. Then what happened freaked me out and pissed me off. They played a commercial for “Draft Kings” the fantasy football and huge money making game that I believe (but please fact check me) Apple has a financial stake in. I listen to playlists so I don’t have to listen the commercials during my commute. Plus, I am paying for Apple Music, so commercials are unacceptable in this space. As Angie found out, you can’t have both a subscription and an advertising model where the consumer pays both financially and with their time. You have to pick one model or risk the loss of your user base.

This reminds me of a shift in iOS that I believe was 7, where music access and streaming was working perfectly until the update and then everything went to hell with the update.

Songs that played fine in iOS9 were suddenly skipped and not streamed. The song needed to be downloaded on my phone already to play properly. So here again the experience equaled a loss of function that I am paying for monthly, e.g. the ability to stream all the songs in my playlist from Apple Music without downloading them and taking space on my phone.

Other complaints from my household include a dislike for the new Home button function and the new home screen messaging which are white, intrusive pop-ups, and a cluster of clutter on the opening screen. After reading an article, I was able to fix my wife’s phone, so that she could at least use her finger print to access the phone, instead of the new multiple clicks required in the new default. This is achieved by going into settings > general > accessibility > (scroll down to) home button > (turn on) “rest finger to open”. Wow that’s already a lot of going back into Settings to make the device work like you may want. Now obviously these are personal preferences, so what’s a developer to do? You have to show the user your new changes, right?

THE UGLY

BACK UP YOUR DEVICE BEFORE YOU UPGRADE! PERIOD. Now on to older hardware. Just to check, I tried to update my iPhone 4 and an older iPod touch. No go, no update. But we have a Gen2 iPad Mini with Retina that was a total failure. I ended up spending 3 hours and a call with Apple to get it resolved and it required a total restore.

iPad Mini 2 Retina failed to load iOS 10
iPad Disabled – Well this is certainly new

We started the download and load on the mini, without backing it up first. This device is primarily used by one of my kids, so there wasn’t critical info on the there, but… The device froze during the download. It was already late in the evening, but I took it to my (Mac) computer, because I had rebooted and got the “connect to iTunes” screen. iTunes tried to reinstall the OS but failed. It then wanted to do a restore. (It was too late, I had no back up, so I was left to restore to factory settings.) It didn’t work. I went to bed.

Got up, tried it again. Read an article that said to hard boot it. Hold the home button and power button until Apple icon appears. Sat through another bunch of fails with Photos launching (until I had to turn that off) and another “waiting for device” that turned out to be related to 2 step verification. Gave up again and scheduled a call with Apple support.

Tried again before the call. Fail. Got the call back from Apple, the rep was very nice, but walked me back through everything I had already done for two hours. I have two-step verification. A security counter measure to help reduce the chances of a hacker gaining access to my Apple ID. So, had to login and turn that off, which requires your other device. For someone who is having this issue on the device they use for this, they could have a real problem turning it off. We turned off verification but had the same issue “waiting for device”. At this point the iPad says “iPad is disabled – connect to iTunes”. The first article I read told me to let go of the buttons once the Apple icon shows on the screen from a reboot. However, to get it to restore, you have to keep holding the buttons until you get the traditional screen with the iTunes icon that says “connect to iTunes”. Finally, after 3 hours and a 1/2 hour on the phone with support, the restore to factory settings install took, and I had a new device to set up. Typically this is where your back up comes in. You would restore your back up and get on with your life. Since I didn’t have one, we had to re-install everything and reset all the settings the way we like.

I am an Apple fan and power user. If this would have been my mom, she probably would have panicked and called me. Regular back-ups are vital to keeping your data in any scenario. Do it regularly, and always do it before downloading new operating systems.

I order the new shiny black phone, and I am sure the iOS will be wonderful on their new hardware, but this is one case where the software could have been left well enough alone. My experience with iOS8/9 has been a good one on my iPhone 6 and iPad Air, Mini, Pro… Sometimes newer ain’t better. Here in my first 24 hours, my opinion is Don’t Upgrade, unless you have the latest hardware, like iPad Pro or iPhone 6s. In that case, if you have bad eyes and want big fonts, you might like it. Otherwise, wait til you upgrade your hardware. I can only give the improvements 3 Stars ***

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Mobile device updates - mobile web development by Peregrine Digital Media

Wired – Apple Ups Ad Block Capabilities

When ads power much of the free content on the Internet and TV, the public trade-off is more and more subscriptions to access the content they want. If a content provider cannot sustain its business off of advertising, then they have to ask their consumers to pay for access. Or in the case of Hulu, you have to do both to be able to keep your content providers happy.
Personally, I like free content. It makes me happy. The price of advertising is one that I have paid with my time since I became the first generation to grow up glued to the boob tube. On the other hand, I have also been happy to subscribe to HBO, Netflix and Wired, or whatever other content I want to consume. The trade off becomes all the accounts I have to manage.
http://www.wired.com/2015/06/apples-support-ad-blocking-will-upend-web-works/

 

Google’s Latest Algorithm Update

Being hailed as Mobilegeddon by the SEO Community

This shift in Mobile delivery in the Google Algorithm this time has a number of people scurrying to figure out what to do. Desktop results are not overtly affected by this update. Luckily for our clients, we either have been working on new mobile ready-platforms to rollout with this change or we were already there. A primary pleaser for Google in this change is a responsive website. They clearly laid out the ground rules in advance and even have provided Webmaster Tools to verify how they are reading you.

There are a few approaches to mobile. You can serve a separate mobile version of your website using coding and scripts, or you can develop an application on-web or downloadable on device. Or you can utilize Responsive design. Apps and other content take other plans like content management and app proliferation. Often these approaches require resources to maintain and promote.

Responsive Design

Google has been abundantly kind to responsive websites in this shift. So let’s examine. A responsive website is one that changes or adapts based on the screen that is reading the page. HTML 5 and CSS3 allows for media queries to identify page delivery based on the size of the screen the content is being served to. Therefore, good responsive design anticipates and adjusts content to fit the user’s device. If on a desktop, the page has three columns of content, but in the mobile version the columns stack organizing the content down the page instead of in columns. The content adapts to the screen.

This is not an update to be ignored. With a growing migration of web users to smaller screens, your web presentation there becomes important. And if your architecture is getting in the way of you being seen in Google’s mobile universe, it is now officially time to update your web presence.

For more on this, read Search Engine Land’s Article

 

 

WordPress Major Security Update

If you have WordPress running your website, then this is one update you cannot ignore. Your web security could depend upon it. Due to an inaccuracy in the WordPress documentation there became a widespread mis-usage of a common code tag. This led to a deep vulnerability that needed to be addressed in the major update 4.2 “Powell”. Subsequent update 4.2.2 closed the remaining gaps and publishers scrambled to update their plugins and themes.

If you know you are running WordPress, you need to update your site immediately. Contact your webmaster to make sure this gets done. All of our clients updates were done upon release of the new updates.

For more information, here are some additional articles.

Security Updates for Our Plugins – SEO by Yoast

WordPress 4.2.2 Release – WordPress

Original Cross-scripting issue identified (XSS) 4.0.1 – WordPress

Your Hack may only be as bad as your last back up

The Internet has exploded with hacker activity, and you’d be amazed if you knew how often your site is being probed or attacked. Most sites may receive this kind of activity, but if a failure happens to you. There are a few step you can take to recover.

BE PROACTIVE

Set up a back-up system, or insure that your host is doing it for you. If you are using dynamic database system that utilizes PHP or a Content Management like WordPress or Drupal, make sure you have security measures in place. You want to institute higher security measures on dynamic sites, because there are more susceptible to code injection and take over. Typically, with a proper back-up, once the invaders have been flushed out and passwords changed, you can have your site back in a day (fingers crossed.)

If you have been hacked, the first thing you need to do is contact your host and inform them, then contact your web-services provider if they are separate. Key information (LIKE PASSWORDS) needs to be reset on your website and hosting immediately.
*May require an expert

  • *FTP accounts – scrub these with new passwords delete any unfamiliar accounts
  • WordPress/Drupal/Joomla/etc logins need to be reset, especially those with admin clearances, look for unfamiliar accounts
  • *Email logins should also be updated

If you would like more on this topic, read here
https://kb.asmallorange.com/customer/portal/articles/1603741

Web Maintenance – Security

10 Bases you need to cover before you change web services

It’s 2015. The Internet is not just something to think about this year. If you aren’t paying attention in earnest and allocating budget accordingly, you may already be behind. No situation is perfect. Attrition happens in every business. There is always a competitor with an aggressive sales staff or an upstart that is hungry and calling on you for your business. I’ve heard every line, and even get the emails myself. And the grass is always greener…

First, it’s OK, but move forward with caution. Your Web Guy most certainly holds some, if not all of the keys to your digital kingdom. For a smooth transition, don’t piss them off. They can do more collateral damage in 10 minutes than you have probably considered. Security mistakes are most often made close to home or close to work, where our guard is down.

Sometimes enough is enough. You’ve decided you need a fresh start with your web game. I built my business on being helpful when a website relationship had worn out it’s usefulness. So, before you make a move to change your service provider, take your digital inventory and make sure your cache is in your control.

1) Domain Names/DNS – Do you have administrative access to the account and login for the domain names you think you own? I can’t tell you how many businesses have their domains on a Go Daddy account and then have no idea where their hosting is. Your domain registration is the key to your website being live. It is the single fastest way to cripple or redirect a site

2) Hosting Services – Who is hosting your site? If you don’t know, you can start by checking your WHOIS record. Network Solutions provides an easy to use WHOIS checker www.networksolutions.com/whois/. You need to know that your personal information may be published as part of the record depending on who set it up for you. We recommend using your business info or a PO Box for your record. This is also a primary place for people to scrape business addresses and emails for communication or SPAMMING purposes. Many hosts offer a Privacy feature for an additional annual or monthly fee.

For identifying your host, look for the Nameservers. These 2 – 4 web addresses often begin as ns1.asmallorange.com followed by the host domain. You may have to do a little digging. Go Daddy does not use their root domain for their nameservers.

3) Email – There are the eMail addresses for your business and domain and there are Mail Marketing systems like Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, iContact and Demand Force. These systems will have their own logins and you may need to remove logins or accounts of your agents.

4) Social Services – Facebook, Twitter, Google +, You Tube, Vine, Stumble Upon, Tumblr, Pinterest and that’s the short-list. Make sure you have and keep a log with your account information with every account that has been set-up or claimed on your behalf.

5) Google/Bing – Search Engines include their own service for you to submit information about your website. It’s typically called Webmaster Tools and this is where current sitemaps.xml need to be submitted to insure that your latest content is indexed. This is the first step in telling the search engine who you want to be. Bing uses a Microsoft account to verify your business listing and to login to its webmaster tools. These days everything Google is managed from one account.

6) Citations / Maps / My Business-g Have you received a phone claiming they’re Google and they have to fix your listing? The odds are, unless you recently set-up or ran an Ad Words campaign, then this is an outside firm wanting to sell you their citation clean-up service. While this is a legitimate way for you to build links and be discovered in a variety of applications and mapping services, make sure you are buying from a credible source. You should also check with your web marketing person or SEO, they might already be doing this for you.

7) Analytics-g – Google Analytics is the Free-est and easiest way to keep track of your website performance. Ideally you want your Analytics account tied to your primary business Gmail account. If you don’t know what that is, this is the first thing you need to make sure you get control of. If the other guy has it all tied in to his accounts alone, you may have to start from scratch which with analytics can mean years of data lost.

Also, when a new company is taking over your website, it is always great to have a backward view in which you can benchmark their success.

8) Advertising – Ad Words, Facebook, banner ads and more. Your Ad Words account should be controlled and linked to your Analytics account. This is the best way to benchmark those ads performance. Know whether or not your FB business page is tied to your personal FB account. It should be, even if you don’t use Facebook. Know what other accounts might be tied to your name and your credit card.

9) SEO / Links – There are two kinds of links that a web developer may employ to achieve your web goals. The first may be links providing images or content to your existing site. This includes embeds for videos, images, and links to other websites. Make sure you know how your site was put together and that you understand what relationships you are severing. If all of a sudden your website has gaps or broken images, check the code and see what the source of the missing image or embed is. Chances are the address or content no longer exists. You can do this by right clicking in the Google Chrome browser and selecting “Inspect Element” or “View Source”.

When building  a performing website for Google and Bing, your web guy will engage in a variety of activities to help expand your inbound links from other websites. If these relationships are suddenly severed, or your guest content is pulled, your rankings could be affected immediately.  So, keep tabs on the programs they are engaged in to help your performance.

10) WordPress/CMS – Make certain that you have an administrative level login and that you or someone you are working with knows how to update user accounts and lock out your previous administrator. Unlike a website that is composed of static HTML pages, Content Management Systems are usually dynamic, so you can’t just cut and paste your site into a new server. These systems are often PHP driven and database dependent. This means, there is a lot of programming and special exports that need to be conducted to smoothly move your site to another server. Make sure you are working with someone who is an accomplished programmer or has expertise in moving WordPress sites. Otherwise, you may have to rebuild your site from scratch.  Also, ask your previous provider if they have historical backups available to you.

 

I hope this helps as you are deciding on a new web firm. If you would like a confidential evaluation of your current status, we offer a one-time, no commitment, digital audit for $150 – Sign Up Today >>  

Speaking of back ups, watch for my next article – “Your hack may only be as bad as your last back up” and we’ll discuss website security in the age of hackability.

– Stephen Sutherlin, Peregrine Digital Media

This is a general overview and is intended for entertainment/informational purposes. These are simply my opinions and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any companies mentioned. I do not work for or intend to imply affiliation with any of the aforementioned companies. 

 

-g = Google
Google Account = Gmail, Google+, My Business, Maps, You Tube, Ad Words, Webmaster Tools (and many more you may not be aware of).

*As with everything I publish about my industry, by the time I hit submit some element presented here may have changed.

 

Net Neutrality – ABQ Business First Poll

For those of you who are confused about net neutrality, I have this opinion on it:

The telecoms claim that by being able to meter and control connection speeds, they can pass the savings on to you and I, the end-users. They will then leave the high-use websites and ISPs to fight and bid for the fastest speeds, which means big dogs like Google and Netflix will buy large to protect their dominant positions and leave small business owners and small-scale ISPs to suffer ever increasing costs for their web operations and a frustrating consumer experience, because you have no guarantee that the websites you like will be readily available. It will essentially bring the open and equal internet of  today to it’s knees, and be replaced by only content from the highest bidding corporations. It’s Internet super-highway robbery!

http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/poll/poll/13743992

For some historical perspective on this topic read the book
“The Future of the Internet and how to stop it” by Jonathan Zittrain

This graphic is the property of Albuquerque Business First

SEO – The saga continues

There was a bit of a digital brawl that broke out on SmashingMagazine.com over the topic of SEO. Since SEO will continue to be something that businesses will be bombarded with through sales calls in 2013, I want to air both of the arguments for discussion. I will say that my opinion leans harder towards the SEOs response, with the caveat that  is absolutely correct when he says that content is a core part of ranking success. However, his Ludite response to the many quality SEO based solutions that can help grow businesses and website traffic is quaint at best, but dramatically ill-informed.

The Inconvenient Truth About SEO

What The Heck Is SEO? A Rebuttal