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Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 4

You can use Siri on the Apple Watch to launch and start playing any music content.  “Hey Siri, Play “name of Playlist” shuffled”

Posted by HamWeg on September 24, 2017 at 2:00 PM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

What happened to the EDIT PLAYLIST button? How do I edit now?

Posted by 24 Hour Man on September 23, 2017 at 10:52 AM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Guess what: custom lyrics support is utterly borked in this version. Get Lyrical.app was just rendered useless by this “update” (you can actually add lyrics manually, but you have to do it one song at a time, which is plainly insane). I’m seriously considering a downgrade to iTunes 12.6, but with High Sierra right around the corner, I can’t see how I’m going to do that…

Posted by João Gomes on September 22, 2017 at 11:35 PM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 4

Unfortunately I have to disagree.
Your comment regarding the inability under Watch OS4 to start music playback directly on your iPhone is an understatement.
Previously I could peruse my iPhone music library (much bigger than my watches), choose tracks, change playlists on the fly etc all without needing to be within reach of my phone.
Now if I want to listen to music via the iPhone I need to physically pick it up, select and start it on the iPhone first and then I can use the watch to FWD/RWD/Pause etc.. How is this an OS change that Apple has allowed!
Many may say big deal, you have to pick up your phone. I myself have a spinal injury and the phone would often be on charge away from me. Getting to it and selecting/activating the music was a big deal and I loved my Apple Watch for what it could previously do. Unfortunately I jumped to an upgrade early (something I don’t usually do) and have now lost what I saw as a fundamental feature of the watch.
I would advise others not to upgrade until Apple fix this flaw.

Posted by Kerb on September 22, 2017 at 5:06 AM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Of course you still have to deal with two weaknesses of this solution. The first is that you share a combined recent calls list and the second is that if people share photos with you and you comment on them you need to remember to put your initials underneath your comment to differentiate yourself from the other person who shares your Apple ID.

Posted by Philip Benjamin on September 22, 2017 at 4:24 AM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Thanks Jesse for the customary cogent answer.
You’re so good at sharing what you know I just want to share something that I’ve learnt as well. As someone who has continued to battle to have a shared primary iCloud account with my wife (so that we can share a single cloud photo library and avoid having to pay for two lots of storage) Whilst using individual Apple ID is for services such as messages and FaceTime, it’s been tough because after each recent iOS upgrade Apple has overridden individual messages on FaceTime settings to make the match the primary iCloud account Apple ID. As if people who are choosing to have different Apple ID is for the services would just ignore it but how do use their phones and iPads. However the update to iOS 11 seems to signal a change of approach. Apple is no longer bossing people into changing their messages and FaceTime Apple IDs but instead is making it impossible to sign into Messages and FaceTime with a different Apple ID unless you first sign out of your primary iCloud account. So if you want to continue with the combination of shared and solo Apple IDs you can and in fact you may going forward suffer less turbulence. But only if you don’t upgrade to iOS 11 With in overwritten Apple ID and messages or FaceTime.

Posted by Philip Benjamin on September 22, 2017 at 4:16 AM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

No worries… it’s never too late :)
This is definitely the case for apps that have simply been updated. A friend of mine had become obsessed with maintaining a special Product(RED) edition of a game because she liked the colour scheme, and despite the fact that the game had been updated at least a half-dozen times, every time she restored her new iPhone, she got the same version back.
Unfortunately, when it comes to apps that have been withdrawn from sale, this is a bit of a grey area, as it largely depends on why the apps are no longer available.
As a rule, if a developer simply pulls their own app from sale on the App Store, older versions of that app will still remain available — in fact you should still be able to see those apps in your “Purchased” section in the App Store on your iOS device. On iOS 11, you’ll see a lot of greyed-out download icons now for older apps, but that’s a different issue — those are the apps that are no longer compatible with iOS 11 due to the new 32-bit requirement.  Note that this has also long been the case for media content — if an album, movie, or TV show that you’ve purchased gets pulled from sale, you’ll still have it in your purchase history and iCloud library, and can continue to stream or download it.
However, if Apple pulls an app for violating App Store policies, in most cases that means the app is gone from the App Store completely, and therefore won’t likely be restored to your iOS device either. This is still a bit of a grey area, however, as it depends on why the app was pulled by Apple — if a developer gets banned from the App Store entirely, you can safely assume that all of their apps will go away with them, and similarly apps that are banned for containing offensive content are likely going to be pulled entirely. Apps pulled for more minor technicalities — especially where it’s an update to an existing app that causes the issue — may continue to be available for re-download.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on September 21, 2017 at 8:14 AM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

A question - I hope I am not too late as this article is a few days old.
Jesse you mention in the article that the version of the app whose data you backed up is the version that will be restored from the cloud in the new regime.  Does this mean that if an app is withdrawn from sale it will still be accessible to be restored?  This I thought was one of the big reasons to bother keeping your App Updates in iTunes up to date.

Posted by Philip Benjamin on September 20, 2017 at 11:15 PM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

The reason so many people still using Itunes to download apps, including me
– the stupid restriction made by Apple limiting to 100 (now 150MB) apps when downloading on an iphone
–  I’ve unlimited data line with no fixed line, and use this phone as personal hotspot for the entire house. Now I’ve got office apps not updating (>300MB). The unnecessary constricting policies by apple.

Posted by one9712745 on September 20, 2017 at 7:17 PM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Jesse, thank you so much (again) for all the responses and information.  This has been most helpful for me, and I’m sure for others who have had the same questions (fears) and have not been able to find specific answers.

Posted by Pat A on September 20, 2017 at 7:09 PM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Also, one additional point about backups in case you’re not aware… If you’re planning on restoring data to a new iPhone, be sure to use an Encrypted backup in iTunes. This will ensure that all of your passwords and other sensitive data such as HealthKit data gets restored to the new device.
In fact, this used to be the only way to ensure this data got transferred, as iCloud backups didn’t use to use this encryption. Fortunately, Apple changed this for iCloud within the past year, so if you’re using iCloud backups, this happens by default, but with iTunes backups, you still need to make sure you’ve clicked the “Encrypt this backup” button and supplied a password.
(To be clear, iTunes does back up this data securely either way, but if you’re not using an encrypted backup, it’s stored in a way that can only be decrypted by restoring it to the same device it originally came from).

Posted by Jesse Hollington on September 20, 2017 at 8:00 AM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Yeah, it seems that Apple is lagging a bit behind in their knowledgebase articles about iTunes 12.7. I also don’t think there’s anything nothing on their site about the new Apple Music social features yet.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on September 20, 2017 at 7:57 AM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Yes, your entire home screen layout will be restored. From a user perspective, nothing has changed at all, and the process still mostly appears to work in the same way as it did before.
The only possible bump in the road is if you don’t have an Internet connection on your iPhone when restoring. In that case, the apps won’t get reloaded right away — they’ll all sit greyed out in the “Waiting” stage until your iPhone actually connects to the Internet.  Ideally, you’ll also want to have a Wi-Fi connection to do this, as larger apps won’t re-download over cellular in order to conserve your data plan.
Even in that case, however, once you’re connected to Wi-Fi, it should start right up again.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on September 20, 2017 at 7:56 AM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Jesse, thanks so much for also confirming this. I don’t know why I haven’t been able to find anything anywhere else that addresses backing up and transferring using iTunes 12.7 and how it will work with apps. Perhaps more will come out in the next few days, but I’m thrilled I found this site!

Posted by Pat A on September 20, 2017 at 7:52 AM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Thanks, Josh! That explanation pretty much nails it, and that’s exactly what happens.
In fact, the actual restore process hasn’t really changed — only the where the apps get reinstalled from. If you’ve ever restored from iTunes, you may have noticed that it’s always been a two-stage process:
<ol>
<li>The data and settings are restored from iTunes.</li>
<li>The phone restarts, and performs an initial sync with iTunes, during which all of the apps and media that were on your device before are re-transferred from your iTunes library.</li>
</ol>
All that happens now is that in Step #2, the apps will be downloaded directly from the App Store instead of coming from your iTunes library. However, if you’re syncing your media content from iTunes (as opposed to iCloud Music Library), that will still get re-transferred directly from your iTunes library in step 2.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on September 20, 2017 at 7:42 AM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Josh, thanks so much for the explanation - this is the first time I have seen this scenario described so simply and straightforward! Everything else I’ve read has only focused on the App Stire no longer being available and the need to redownload all the apps from the “purchased” section of the App Store app, but nothing about the apps still being backed up and then being “automatically” redownloaded and put back to their “original” positions. I feel so much more at ease about this now!
By any chance do you happen to know if the “folders” I’ve created to contain some apps (e.g.: “News”, “Finance”) will also be restored automatically, and if sites saved to the home screen will also be restored?
Thanks again!

Posted by Pat A on September 20, 2017 at 6:50 AM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

It’s okay, iTunes should now work like this:
- iTunes will back up app data (but not the app itself) from your old iPhone (plus media, etc).
- When you plug in your new iPhone and restore, iTunes will restore that app data (but not the app itself).
- When you connect the iPhone to WiFi for the first time, the iPhone itself will automatically download the app over the internet. They will show up greyed-out in the order you left them in on the homescreen until they install themselves.
I hope that helps!

Posted by Josh Campbell on September 19, 2017 at 11:34 PM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Hi. I’m trying to find a straightforward (non-technical) answer to my question. First, I have only ever purchased apps on my iPhone or iPad (not through iTunes), and then downloaded onto the other device via the Purchased section of the App Store on the device. I also updates all of my apps on each device. While my devices are backed up automatically to the Cloud, my main use of iTunes has really been for backing up my devices to my PC, and for installing iOS updates (which I prefer to do from the PC, rather than wirelessly). So whenever there was an iOS update, I would first backup each device to the PC, followed by the update.
Like a lot of people, I’m now planning on getting a new iPhone. In the past I would make sure to first back up the iPhone that was going to be replaced, then connect the new iPhone, go through the initial set-up process, then do a restore from backup which would get everything transferred to the new iPhone just as it was on the old iPhone. Everything was nice and easy. I can’t seem to find an answer as to how this process will work with this latest iTunes upgrade that, like most people, just happened, and now I feel stuck.
Does this mean that all of the Apps on my old iPhone will no longer get backed up to my PC and will no longer “restore” to a new (or existing) iPhone, and the only way to get them onto the new device will be to download them from the purchased section of the App Store, which means they will all need to be arranged and new groups created for those I keep together? I would find it to be a bit preposterous if this ends up being the case (as will everyone else), but I have not yet been able to find a straight answer to how this scenario will work. Again, I’m fine with purchasing and updating apps on my devices, and am really only concerned with how backups and restores will work. I’m also curious to know if websites saved to my home screen will transfer over to the new phone, or will I need to go back to each and re-save”? Hopefully someone knows the answer!

Posted by Pat A on September 19, 2017 at 10:46 PM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Yeah, I’m glad you pointed it out. I have screenshots taken over the past couple of days where it’s clearly not there, so I’m not sure what triggered it to appear today, but I’m glad Apple didn’t opt to cut that off along with the app management.
As for app support, sadly that’s up to the app developers themselves, not Apple — they have to write their apps specifically to expose their files to iTunes.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on September 19, 2017 at 5:26 PM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

You had me worried that it was some fluke that would disappear without notice!
I just wish it would work with more apps, especially save game files for a couple Beamdog games. I used to be able to do it with Funbox, but Apple shut that down several updates ago.

Posted by David Brown on September 19, 2017 at 5:23 PM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Yes, you’re right. For whatever reason that definitely wasn’t there during my initial testing, so I’m not sure what triggered it to appear. File sharing used to be located in the “Apps” section, below the actual list of apps.
Despite the overall removal of app management, Apple has obviously kept that one element in place, which is definitely good news.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on September 19, 2017 at 4:50 PM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

I’m not sure if we’re talking about the same thing?
I am using iTunes 12.7 now.  When I plug in my iPad and select the device there is “file sharing” line below “music” and “podcasts”.  When I select it several apps come up; including Baldur’s Gate, Kindle and Word.  By selecting the app, well some of them anyway, I can add or remove files from the app.

Posted by David Brown on September 19, 2017 at 4:43 PM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Interesting. Thanks for pointing that out. I still have two first-generation Apple TVs sitting on the shelf here, but there’s only so far back we can justify going for testing purposes :)
To be fair, Apple dropped the first-generation Apple TV to “obsolete” status two years ago, but it’s still unfortunate that iTunes has suddenly removed support for it.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on September 19, 2017 at 3:46 PM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Nope. Sadly that functionality goes away with all of the app management features — in short, there’s no longer any sign of an “Apps” tab when viewing your iOS device settings in iTunes.
Going forward, I think Apple’s expectation is that people should just use the cloud, however I expect third-party tools to step up and fill the gap for those who still want to transfer data via a wired connection.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on September 19, 2017 at 3:43 PM (CDT)

Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

iTunes 12.7 has broken the 1st gen Apple TV. iTunes can still airplay audio to it but impossible to sync. Apple TV cannot be upgraded (receiver needs optical audio).

Posted by GeneMaster on September 19, 2017 at 2:34 PM (CDT)

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