Apple devices obsolete after 18 months?

The original IPad was the current model until superceded by the iPad 2 in March 2011. 18 months later Apple are no longer providing IOS updates for the iPad 1 and app updates are appearing which require a minimum of IOS 6 and cannot therefore be installed.

I appreciate devices can’t be supported for ever but making devices obsolete after 18 months is totally unacceptable.

Will you buy an Apple device now that you know it may not be fully functional in 18 months time?

iPad, out on Safari

What, no zebras? Sorry for those expecting some heavy-duty wildlife gracefully chasing across the African plains but I’m talking about the Safari browser on Apple mobile devices such as the iPad and iPhone.
Have you ever typed something into a form on a web page then nipped off to get some information from your contacts then returned to your browser to find all your typing has disappeared? I have lost count of the number of times I have suffered from this on my iPad and iPhone, although my neighbors may have a count as they hear my screams of anguish as I lose half an hour’s work.
The last time it happened I finally decided to look into what was going on and see if I could solve the problem. After almost 40 years fighting with computers I should have known better.
Having done some research I came to the conclusion that this problem, or ‘facility’ as Apple might phrase it, is caused by the device having insufficient memory to store all the information within the various browser tabs you have opened. The wise people at Apple therefore decided they would throw everything away when you move away from Safari then read it all again from each web site when you return. A cunning plan, except, anything you typed on a form in your browser, but hadn’t submitted to the web site, is lost! If you are on a mobile connection it will also mean delay and a higher data bill.
OK, I now know what is happening but how can I get around it? A look around the App store and a wander around the Internet led me to install three other browsers on my iPad. These were chosen because others seem to think they are worth a go, and they are free! I don’t mind paying for something but I do object to paying to try something out. Come on App writers, give us a free ‘Lite’ version so that we can try your App out before committing to a purchase.
First I tried Opera as it has been around for a while so should be reliable. Bad start; I decided to fill in an online form relating to a planning application which, after much typing, failed to work. So, back to Safari, made sure I didn’t leave the page and all worked fine. Bye, bye Opera, the fat lady has sung.
Some good reviews for the Diigo browser, it looks like Chrome, result! Well no; I was starting to like it but after a while I realised it has the same problem as Safari, it reloads the pages each time you return to the browser.
Finally I tried the free Lite version of Mercury which is limited to two browser tabs if you don’t want to pay. This doesn’t seem to reload pages and otherwise seems fine so I have a candidate for Safari replacement!
Er, no I haven’t, this is of course IT and in particular Apple IT so real world rules of logic don’t apply. If you click on a link in an App such as Mail, Facebook or Twitter it will conveniently let you open the link in a browser, any guesses which browser? Well done the lady at the back, the answer is SAFARI! Can I adjust a setting to convince it to use Mercury instead? Of course not, in Apple land you do things their way, so unless you want to ‘jailbreak‘ your device you are stuck with Safari and losing work if you dare to nip over to another App.
My current ‘halfway house’ plan is to use Safari when it makes me and Mercury when it doesn’t but please let me know if you have a better idea.

It’s good to talk, but how?

I say ‘talk’ but I was actually thinking about sending messages electronically rather than getting the vocal chords vibrating; the title just didn’t seem to work with ‘message’. So, to get to the point, I want to send someone a message from my iPhone, how should I do it?
Well, I could send a text and as long as the intended recipient has a mobile phone we are in business. The down side is it will cost me money and, from experience, they may not get the message until tomorrow or they may not get it at all.
How about Facebook Messenger? I can send a message, and even a photo, plus we can all get together and have a group bonding messaging session. Ah, my friend doesn’t use Facebook, back to the text.
Hold on though, after wasting a couple of hours of my life I installed IOS 5 on my phone yesterday; part of the reason I had no time to blog. This shiny new version of my phone’s software includes the new Apple iMessage facility which allows you to send messages! Oh no it doesn’t, unless the person at the other end has an Apple device with IOS 5 on it.
I could spend ages working through the various messaging options available to me but it seems whichever I choose I will need to know more about the person at the other end than I actually do. Is Great Aunt Eric on Facebook or IOS 5, does she (or he, I’m not even sure about that) use Google Messenger/talk/chat or whatever it is called?
We now have numerous ways to send messages to people IF we know what THEY use, otherwise it seems we are stuck with a text – I just hope it arrives!