AWT News Update: September 18, 2017

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It's the day before three operating systems -- iOS, watchOS and tvOS -- get major upgrades, so we've got some fun and useful information for to help you along your way. In addition, if you were running macOS High Sierra beta in APFS on an iMac or other Fusion Drive Mac, Apple wants you to switch back to HFS+:

  • PCalc will have a fun augmented reality Easter egg built into it when iOS 11 is installed
  • What Apple Watches will watchOS 4 run on? What iOS devices will iOS 11 run on? We have the short list here in the podcast
  • If you're a bold person and plan on doing the iOS updates tomorrow, we've got some suggestions for you on how to get things prepared
  • Complete instructions on how to convert a Fusion Drive that was converted to APFS back to HFS+ are here, and they're not for the faint-hearted

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for September 19, 2017. You may hear construction equipment and a loud radio in the background of this recording; I apologize for that, we’re having some new landscaping put in.

One of my favorite apps on any Apple device is PCalc from James Thomson. It’s not just a damn fine calculator, but it has always featured some fun Easter eggs for those who choose to look for them. The latest is really fun and takes advantage of iOS 11’s augmented reality features. If you have PCalc, upgrade your iPhone to iOS 11 tomorrow, tap the info button on the calculator keypad, select Help, and then tap About PCalc. A floating 42 badge appears, then tap anywhere on the screen to bring up AR controls. Those controls let you throw virtual marbles, dice and bananas into the real world around you, and you can even choose to set those items on fire. Throwing virtual flaming bananas at my cats? Sign me up!

Tomorrow is also the day that watchOS 4 becomes available, and you might be wondering if that Apple Watch Sport you bought back in mid-2015 will be able to run the new operating system. Well, yes it will. Every Apple Watch made can run watchOS 4, so it’s a no-brainer upgrade. As for iOS 11, your iPhone will need to have an Apple A7 chip inside, which basically means every iPhone from the iPhone 5s to the iPhone X, plus the iPhone SE can run iOS 11. That iPhone 5c that you bought for your kid? Nope, it’s not going to run on that because it has an Apple A6 chip inside. For iPads, iOS 11 runs on the iPad Air (both generations), the iPad mini 2,3 and 4, the 2017 iPad, and the iPad Pro. 

What should you do before upgrading to iOS 11 tomorrow? Use iTunes to perform a hard local backup of your iOS device. Many of us back up our iOS devices wirelessly to iCloud, but by having an iTunes backup on your Mac or PC, you can actually revert back to the previous version in case of an install failure. Next, make sure your device is updated as far as it can on iOS. That means that you’ll want to make sure your device is at iOS 10.3.3. You can check the version of iOS and update it if necessary by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Step 3! Make sure you’ve updated all of your apps to the latest versions, and also get rid of any 32-bit apps you might have. TO find out if you have any 32-bit hangovers, go to Settings > General > About and then tap on Applications. If nothing happens, you’re in good shape. If there are still 32-bit apps on the iOS device, it will display a list of them for removal. Most 32-bit apps have been displaying a warning message to users for some time now. Finally, keep your eyes open and pointed to Apple World Today, and we’ll be sure to let you know when iOS 11 becomes available. 

You may have read our article about APFS and macOS High Sierra over the weekend. Basically, what we know is that Hard Disk Drive and Fusion Drive Macs will not be converted to Apple File System while Solid State Drive Macs will automatically be converted. However, some beta testers were able to convert their Fusion Drives to APFS, and Apple is now providing instructions on how to convert that drive back to HFS+. It’s a lengthy process, and we’ve got a link to it right here. It appears that a future version of macOS High Sierra will indeed allow for non-SSD drives to be converted to APFS and take advantage of its faster capabilities, but right now, it’s a no-go except for those MacBooks.

That’s all for today; I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.

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