I patiently waited out the first couple of versions of iOS 8. After iOS 8.0.2 had been out for a while I figured it was safe to update my iPad. Not so. For iPad 2 users, iOS 8.0.2 has been causing loss of cellular data service. Obviously this only affects cellular capable iPads (3G models).
No real workaround is known. Rebooting the iPad restores service for a short time, but it soon fails again.
There is also no easy way to revert to iOS 7. So, DO NOT Upgrade to iOS 8.0.2 if you have a 3G iPad 2 and intend to use cellular data.
Apple has been slow to even acknowledge this bug, much less do anything about it.
Update Oct 13, 2014: Strange behavior — I connected my iPad to my Mac, but didn’t really do anything but transfer a picture to iPhoto. I noticed that the cellular service came back, although at one bar (I usually get 3 bars at home). It went to 3 bars, and stayed good for about a day, but is now back to “No Service”.
Update Nov 2014: This problem appears to be fixed by iOS 8.1. My iPad 2 has become glacially slow in recent updates, but that’s a separate issue.
Apple is doing its best to get users to use iCloud. It does have its uses. iCloud saved my day when I was able to open Keynote as an iCloud web app on a Windows PC, and do my presentation from iCloud just like I was in Keynote on my Mac. That was nice.
Sometimes, though, there is just no substitute for having your own files on your own hard drive. There’s no place like home. Apple makes it surprisingly hard to move files between iCloud and your own storage. Unlike, say, Dropbox, iCloud doesn’t integrate with the Finder. Really? Third party software works better with MacOS than iCloud does? Don’t ask me why Apple would ever do that.
The document-oriented Apple apps that use iCloud are Preview, TextEdit, iMovie, Keynote, Pages and Automator.
Instead of using the Finder, iCloud documents can only be manipulated from within Applications. You can use the Move To… or Export… menu options to move or copy a single open file from iCloud to local storage or vice versa.
The screenshot below shows how to drag multiple files from iCloud to the Finder. The window on the right is the open-file dialog for the Preview Application. On the left is a finder window. The default behavior is to move the files. If you want to copy instead, hold the option key while dragging.
Since each application can only see its own files in iCloud, you must repeat this operation in each application that has files to be moved.
You may notice that there are no folders or directories in iCloud — just a big list of files.
Apple seems determined to move users away from the file system paradigm. Since the file system is probably the most successful and widely used abstraction in all of computing, it’s certainly daringly Avant Garde of Apple to try to ignore it. However, I’m afraid that they are doing so to increasingly limit user’s options and further corral us into Apple’s walled garden.
The file system is a powerful abstraction in which the relationship between files and applications that act on those files is not pre-determined. It puts a lot of power into the hands of the user who gets to decide who does what to what file, and which file goes where. The current, featureless iCloud takes that power away.
Here’s one of my favorite Mac tips. This is a workflow tip. Most of the time, when opening a file in an application, you are not doing this in isolation. You are working on a project. There may be many steps and many files. You probably have the project folder already open in a Finder window.
When you select File/Open in the application, however, it shows the last place you opened a file, which is probably not where you want to be. It’s irritating to have to navigate from there back to the project folder which you already located in the Finder once.
You don’t need to do that. You can drag the icon of a file or folder into the open-file dialog box. Unlike dragging to a Finder window, it doesn’t copy or duplicate anything. Instead, it instantly navigates the open dialog to the folder containing your file, with the file selected.
As soon as you drag it in, the dialog shows the dragged file selected in its enclosing folder, ready to be opened.
Congratulations, you’ve just saved who knows how many clicks navigating to the desired folder.
MacMAD’s 30th Anniversary Event is history. It was fun to see some faces and equipment from the past. Naturally we ate dinner at San Remo Restaurant, haunt of MacMAD back in the 1980s and 1990s, and still good.