How to Fix iCloud Message Problems Between iPhone, iPad and iTouch (Dec. 2013)

The lifeless corpse of Steve Jobs has risen to resolve iCloud message synching problems between iPhones, iPads and iPods.
The lifeless corpse of Steve Jobs has risen to resolve iCloud message synching problems between iPhones, iPads and iPods.

For the past month, adults everywhere have found their text messages going to their children’s iPads. And the kids, if they’re old enough, are sending messages to their friends, which in turn go to the parents’ iPhones. So guys like me are at the office getting bombarded with texts from kids, and our own texts aren’t going through.

These are the symptoms of Apple’s changes to iCloud synching, and I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs is turning in his grave. The tech folks at Cupertino should be glad he’s dead, but still fear his wrath in the afterlife.

Here’s how to fix your iCloud problem:

  1. This is not caused by the fact that your kids are using your me.com or mac.com account to buy apps on their iPads. Giving them their own account for the iTunes and App stores will not solve your problem.
  2. The beginning of both the problem and solution lies in the settings > iCloud menu. Your iPad and iPod devices are probably logged on to the same iCloud account you use for your iPhone. That means all your text messages go to them. And vice versa. This is something that changed in mid November 2013.
  3. Once you’ve deleted your iCloud account from the iPod/iPad, you will need to set up another if they still plan to message other devices. This requires a credit card.
  4. Next you need to grab their iPad/iPod and go to settings > message. Turn that off iMessage off. Good, now turn it on again. And off.
  5. Theoretically you should be fine. But the bug makes iCloud link these devices even when you delete the account on them. The iPods, iPads and iPhones remember the iCloud account even after you delete them entirely… So you need to delete it. Turn it off. Turn it on.
  6. Do you see the insanity? There’s no pattern here. You just need to keep turning iCloud and iMessage off and on and eventually you will get lucky. It’s a bug. Eventually you’ll do things in the correct sequence and it will resolve.
  7. Once it seems to work, test it by sending a message from each device to a different phone. Then start shopping for a Samsung. This isn’t the beginning or end of Apple’s decline.
i hate apple
i hate apple

While you’re experiencing this, it’s best to scream like a maniac. Threaten never to buy another Apple device again. Tell your kids if they ever login to your iCloud account you’ll take away their pad. Belt out that you will not spend an entire Sunday being the damned tech support desk for the entire family. Tell your wife and kids that if they have another problem with their iPhone, iPad or iPod that they are forbidden from even TELLING you about the problem much less asking for your help.

And here’s the dirty little secret. Apple knows damned well that families share many Apple devices. And families were getting by quite fine without needing synchronized messaging between devices. Apple has allowed this bug to exist, primarily to irritate us into establishing separate iCloud accounts for each device. When we’ve set up separate accounts, we’re more likely to buy songs more than once. We’ll likely buy apps more than once. It’s a conspiracy, man. This is a deliberate attempt to squeeze out “lazy money” from loyal Apple customers, and I’m sure it’s working. This reminds me of when Apple decided to make it impossible for me to shop Audible from my phone. Really, you greedy dick?

I was on the fence about jumping to Android, and the past few weeks have knocked me right over. Apple has been “pulling a Blackberry” in the past few years — it’s been absolutely lazy about feature upgrades since iPhone 3 and 4. Siri? A fingerprint reader? Please. Meanwhile, the Samsung has overtaken iPhone in 2013… it’s awkwardly large, but that’s a sacrifice I’ll need to make.

Who’s up for an Apple exodus? Did the company ever make you feel like it gives a shit if you switch?

apple eats bloody apple

What Camera Should I Buy: Holidays 2011

What digital camera should I buy? It’s a question I get a lot, so I’ve identified some favorites with the help of Consumer Reports.

If you’re gonna buy one, follow the links, eh? They’re affiliate links so I get a small percent and you pay the same price you’d pay going on Amazon directly. 🙂

Best digital camera december 2011
  1. Looking for a low-priced but highly rated slim camera? The Panasonic DMC-FH25K tops the ratings on Amazon. It’s $146 bucks.
  2. Looking for a mid-priced advanced feature “point and shoot”? The Canon Powershot G12 tops the list. It’s a steal at $379 with top ratings by Consumer Reports and high consumer ratings on Amazon.
  3. Looking for a smaller, lighter camera that still allows you to change the lense? That’s either the Sony SLT-A55VL ($799) or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 (also $799) that I own. It takes great pictures and video, and I like the depth of field with the lense.
  4. Finally, looking for an SLR with more advanced features? Check the Canon EOS 60D ($1119) or Nikon D7000 ($1499). These are obviously for advanced users as they’re not cheap. If you feel like buying me a Christmas present either one would be fabulous.

Then there’s this option if you’re in debt like me, and are feeling nostalgic.

What Net Neutrality Vote Means To You (No Dick Rule)

Lots of news today about Net Neutrality, and basically little changed at all. You’re still entitled to your free Internet, and you’re still entitled to whine when you start paying for more broadband. And you will.

But so you sound smart in work, school or at holiday parties, let’s give you “the least you need to know” (also “the most I care to understand” about Net Neutrality). It’s a top 10 list. Hang in there.

  1. Let’s start our story with the two main characters. There’s the internet service provider (Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner) I’ll call pipes. And there’s the content provider or application vendor (YouTube, Netflix, Vonage, Skype) I’ll call the shit. (Via this analogy you’re sucking sewage down the pipe… hey kids, don’t forget to subscribe!).
  2. Net neutrality means the pipes can’t tier their shit like HUV (high occupancy vehicle lanes, which allow cars with 2 or more passengers to get a fast lane). Net neutrality means the shit has to have equal access to the pipes so it can be poured into the spot where your head used to be. Net neutrality means all shit is equal. Democratic shit pipes.
  3. There isn’t exactly “neutrality” in most markets, but we try to keep people from being dickheads in America. Triage happens on television and just about everywhere else. But people get their “knickers in a knot” with the web because hippies are concerned about the internet providers (pipes) being dickheads about it.
  4. Left to their own devices, the pipes will be dickheads about it. The hippies are kinda right.
  5. Furthermore, left to their own devices, the pipes wouldn’t develop any new shit. They don’t innovate unless forced by customers or market conditions because they’re like giant leeches.
  6. Here’s the central problem. The service providers are competing with some of the crap you enjoy free through their pipes. They’re pipes and shit makers. The pipes would rather you eat their shit instead of someone elses. Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner wants you to buy their shit, and they benefit from putting the squeeze on the shit makers that don’t have pipes. That can piss off a market.
  7. Good news, however. There are two forces to prevent the pipes from abusing their position of power. First, we have laws against monopolies. They can’t exist (at least for long). Second, as long as we have decisions, we can shop. We have economics. Supply and demand. That takes care of a lot of stuff you don’t have to worry about.
  8. In fairness, the internet service providers did build the infrastructure, and theoretically should have the right to tier and segregate the shit based on the marketplace. They can be greedy but hopefully the two conditions in point 7 prevent them from being dickheads.
  9. Sorry- If you’re sucking down loads of streaming content (Vonage, YouTube and Skype), you’re costing the internet providers (pipes) money and you’re going to eventually pay for it. Otherwise you’re being subsidized and acting like an entitled whiner.
  10. You’re not entitled to free shit or pipes. Free isn’t sustainable for businesses or evolution. It cost money to build infrastructure and keep it alive. It cost money to crank out shit. You don’t have to buy it.

Any questions? Here’s an even better layman’s explanation but without the color.

Free Web Seminar: Online-Video Secrets from Steve Garfield

Steve Garfield,  the “Paul Revere of video blogging,” will join Pixability CEO Bettina Hein in a free 1-hour webinar on December 1, featuring latest trends in online video and related media. Topics include:

  • The benefits of marketing with online video
  • How to shoot video like a pro (recording, editing, exporting, etc)
  • How to build presence with video on the social web
  • How to increase views for your video

Garfield also is raffling off ten copies of “Get Seen: Online Video Secrets.” Space is limited, so register now for the free webinar, held December 1, 2010 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Garfield’s book is part of David M. Scott’s “New Rules of Social Media,” which also includes my book (Beyond Viral).