Post image for The Best Way to Install iOS 8 & Not Delete Apps & Data

Apple’s iOS 8 has been released and people are complaining that they have to delete applications and/or data and media in order to install the new mobile operating system. This is true if you do an OTA (Over The Air) update. Sometimes, even connecting to iTunes on your computer and trying to do the upgrade there prevents you from doing so if you don’t have enough free space on your iOS device. But there is a better way to install the update and NOT have to delete any data, even if you don’t have much free space on your iOS device.


First some non-technical information on why Apple needs so much space to install the new iOS. If you choose the OTA upgrade process, first, your device needs to store the upgrade file. If you download the OS on its own (on a computer, for example), the size of the file is probably a couple of GBs. Most likely, Apple compresses the upgrade file for OTA updates. That means that it then needs to uncompress the file prior to upgrading your OS. It needs space to do that. Then it needs to swap out the old OS data files with the new ones. So at one point, during an OTA update, you have old and new files together which requires a lot of space. Eventually, the OTA file and the old OS files are deleted. While this process is potentially convenient (you don’t need to connect to a computer), it is not that efficient.

Similarly, you could try to do an upgrade by connecting your mobile device to iTunes on a computer. But this, as well, may require you to free up space in order to do the upgrade.


It’s actually better to completely wipe your device and install the new iOS fresh and then restore from a backup. This process cleans out garbage and can actually make your iOS device run more efficiently.

That being said, here is the BEST way to install iOS 8, in my opinion.

The Best Way to Install iOS 8

If you follow these steps, most likely you won’t have to delete any of your data or media or apps.

Note: this processes may take a while depending on the size of your device and how much you have on it. Set aside an hour or two just in case.

  1. Turn off “Find my iPhone/iPad” on your device otherwise, later in the process you will see this warning:
  2. Tip: if you set a password under “Encrypt local backup” then you don’t have to enter in all of your passwords for email and such.
  3. Connect your iOS device to your computer running the latest version of iTunes (you might want to update all of your apps while you are in there). You can let iTunes sync and back up (but you will back up again later on in the steps).
  4. Download the appropriate iOS 8 (restore) file. See my previous article for links. Save it somewhere on your computer.
  5. In iTunes, transfer your purchases from your iOS device. You can left-click (PC) or control-click (Mac) on your iOS device within iTunes to show the “transfer purchases” option.
  6. Once that is done, you should back up your iOS device.
  7. Once the backup is complete (AND THIS IS CRITICAL, BE SURE YOU HAVE A BACKUP!), you are ready to restore.
  8. On a Mac, Option-Click the “Restore” button. On a PC, Control-Click the “Restore” button.
  9. Select the .ipsw that you downloaded in Step 4 above.
  10. Click “Restore”
  11. The update will be extracted and verified with Apple.
  12. Once your iOS device has had iOS 8 installed, it will ask you if you want to set up as a new device or restore from a backup. Choose Restore from backup and select the backup that you just made earlier (look at the timestamp).
  13. Then you sit back and wait while all of your settings, apps and data are copied from the backup to your iOS device. (Note: first, your data/settings are restored, your device will restart, and then your apps, music, movies, podcasts, etc. are copied over.)

Assuming all goes well, your iOS device will have a fresh install of iOS 8 and ALL of your data will be back on it, without you having to delete anything.

Hope this worked for you. Leave a comment with any questions or other information you may have.

HTD says: You DON’T have to delete to upgrade!

The post The Best Way to Install iOS 8 & Not Delete Apps & Data appeared first on HighTechDad.

The Best Way to Install iOS 8 & Not Delete Apps & Data

Post image for Direct Download Links for Apple iOS 8 & Prep and Install Tips

Apple’s newest version of their operating system (Apple iOS 8) for iPhones and iPads is now available. There are a few ways that you can update. You can plug your compatible iOS device (iPhone 4S and newer, iPod Touch 5th gen or iPad 2 or newer) into your computer and connect with iTunes and do the upgrade that way, you can use the OTA (over the air) update, or you can download the upgrade file manually and then update via iTunes on your computer. I have found that sometimes downloading the .ipsw (that is the file extension for the iOS image) is faster than waiting for iTunes to download, so here are the direct download links for Apple iOS 8.


Tips Prior to Updating to Apple iOS 8

As mentioned, the process it pretty straight forward with the 3 options listed prior. Just be prepared for Apple’s servers to be initially heavily loaded when iOS 8 is release. That being said, here are some quick tips/reminders prior to updating:

  • Be sure you have free space on your iOS device (a couple of GBs is usually a good rule of thumb)
  • Try to have a good internet connection (the servers will be slammed initially)
  • Don’t do an OTA update on cellular only (unless you want a big data bill or have a slow process)
  • Typically, doing a “Restore” vs and OTA update is better for the performance of your iOS device
  • BACK UP your device prior (it’s important to have a backup in case you need to restore – and if you use the manual process, you DO need to follow the restore process)
  • Don’t get frustrated if it takes a while (downloading and installing is a slow process)
  • Update your apps prior to installing (always helps to ensure that you have the latest and greatest)
  • Be sure you have a compatible iOS device (iPhone 4S and newer, iPod Touch 5th gen or iPad 2 or newer)
  • Back up your Purchases and Apps that you downloaded on your iOS device to iTunes
  • Remember there may still be some bugs or “unsupported features”
  • Be sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer!

That being said, ready to upgrade?

Direct Download Links for Apple iOS 8

Sometimes it is just faster to go directly to the source to download the upgrade file for your device. BE SURE YOU CHOOSE THE PROPER FILE FOR YOUR DEVICE. These files can be a couple of GBs in size to be sure you have adequate space on your computer.

Note: I have note tested each and every link. If there is an issue with a link, please let me know!

Here are the direct download links for Apple iOS 8 (note – these are hosted elsewhere and I cannot control them in any way):



iPod Touch:

Don’t see your device listed? It’s probably because it isn’t supported with Apple iOS 8. Bad link? Please let me know!

If you aren’t sure what the iOS Model is for your device, head over to these Apple support links to find it and then download the proper one: Apple iPhone or Apple iPad.


How to Install the Apple iOS 8 Update

Assuming you have downloaded the proper .ipsw file, have backed up your iOS device and are ready to go, the steps are pretty easy.

  1. Connect your iOS device via USB.
  2. Once recognized in iTunes, Option-Click (Mac) or Ctrl-Click (PC) the “Restore” button. This will open a dialog box to let you select the unzipped .ipsw file.
  3. Select the .ipsw file and click open.
  4. Let iTunes verify and install the update (there may be reboots of your iOS device).
  5. Once completed with the install, select the most recent backup you made of your iOS device for the restore.
  6. Sit back and let all of your settings and apps populate in your updated iOS device.

Did you run into any issues? Leave a comment on what you encountered or the work around you use. And let me know what you think of the update.

HTD says: Enjoy the new Apple iOS 8 goodness!

The post Direct Download Links for Apple iOS 8 & Prep and Install Tips appeared first on HighTechDad.

Direct Download Links for Apple iOS 8 & Prep and Install Tips

This is a review of the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive 35i. You will find my “likes” and a couple of “dislikes” of this vehicle. You can read more reviews at my website: This video brought to you by BMW of Fremont (owned by AutoNation) and AutoNation, the nation’s largest automotive dealergroup. &

Post image for Running Flat But In Style – Likes & Dislikes of the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i

I’ve been test driving cars for a several years now. It’s definitely a lot of fun to try out the latest and greatest designs by a car manufacturer. Other than having to sometimes pry the keys from my hands with some cars when I have to return them, for the most part, I haven’t had any type of issues. That is, until I test drove the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i. I had a major “problem” with that car.


autonation_logo-on-blackBefore I go into the details of the 2014 BMW X5, I’m pleased to share that this review is sponsored by AutoNation BMW of Fremont and AutoNation, America’s Largest Auto Retailer. Buying a new car? There are over 20,000 AutoNation Associates at 250 new vehicle franchises across 15 states. Looking for a used auto? Get CARFAX history report, 135-point safety inspection, 3-day/150 mile money-back guarantee and more.


I typically get vehicle on loan for about a week. That way, I can really learn about the things that I like or dislike about them. Unfortunately, my time with the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i was cut short due to something that every car driver has encountered. A flat tire.

Here was the situation, and your can replace any of the variables here to make it fit your situation. My wife was out of town. I had 2 kids that I had managed to get off on playdates so that I could do my 50-mile, one-way commute (which varies in time between 1 hour and 3 hours depending on traffic). I had the X5 so I wanted to get the full luxury of driving it during my commute so I drove it to my day job. I had to time everything perfectly on the return because I had to be home in time to get my kids before their activities. I left a few minutes early for my return commute home and when I got into the BMW X5 and turned it on, an indicator on the driver’s display came on, indicating an issue with one of the tires.

I figured that perhaps one of the tires had been low on pressure so when the tire cooled in the garage, it triggered the sensor into thinking it had low pressure. But as I drove, the sensor alert didn’t go away, in fact on the larger display, I watched the psi drop, eventually hitting zero. I pulled over safely and went to check the tire that was bad. When I looked at it, it still seemed inflated, a bit softer to the kick but not much. I grabbed the (physical) manual to look up “changing a flat” and found that some cars were equipped with BMW’s RSC (aka, “run-flat”) tires. Long story short, I was able to drive my 50 mile commute home, albeit going 50 mph the whole way which took a bit longer, all with a tire that showed 0 psi on my dashboard readout. But I made it home safely, relatively on time and using the RSC tires.


There are pluses and minuses of RSC’s, I won’t go into details. I experienced the plus side of not having to take up time changing a tire. Unfortunately, once I got the X5 safely home, my test drive ended so I was only able to spend a couple of days for my review.

“Likes” & “Dislikes” of the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i

Not every car is perfect, and obviously any review is subjective. I try to look at cars not from a super geeky auto-enthusiast perspective (there are plenty of sites that do that), but rather from a real-world, practical standpoint of a dad of kids, specifically 3 girls. So, I get feedback from my wife and my daughters on what they like (or not) about any particular vehicle. Often they mention things that I would never have seen as a male driver. My reviews are really for families or people wondering about real-world testing, not skid pads or slalom courses or drag coefficients.


That being said, here are some of my likes and dislikes of the 2014 BMW X5 xDRive35i. You can either be lazy and watch the video below (or directly on YouTube) or read on for some of the highlights:

Like – Storage


Lots of good storage. The X5 seems to be perfect for 4-5 passengers with lots of room for luggage and other cargo.


There is even a stow-away cargo section where the spare would have potentially gone.

Like – Engine


The X5 has a 300-hp, 3.0 liter, TwinPower inline 6-cylinder, 24-valve engine. Oh, and it’s turbo-charged as well. What does mean? Basically, the engine was peppy and powerful.


And even with the power, the X5 still manages to have an average MPG of 21 (18 city and 27 highway) which is decent for an SUV/Crossover-type vehicle of this size.

Like – Run-flat Tires


Yeah, well, see the story above for details on this. But the tire above is flat. You can see how low it rests.

Don’t Like – No Auto-unlocking of the Car


In other models/trimlines, I really enjoyed the ability to just put my hand on the car door handle and it would automatically unlock, provided you had your keys on you. This model didn’t have that feature. While it is a minor item, after using a car that has that feature, I find myself trying to unlock other cars just by holding my hand in the handle. This was something that I think that BMW should have as standard to differentiate from others.

Like – Driver’s Seat Adjustments


The driver’s seat has something like 10 buttons for configuring the front seat to your liking. That includes 4-way lumbar support. And the nice thing is, once you get the seat dialed in, you can save it for the next time you drive.

Like – Panoramic Moonroof


Want to make your car feel even bigger than it is inside? Just throw in a panoramic moonroof! A standard feature, this is a huge plus in my book. It felt like having a convertible.

Like – Vehicle Status Updates


One of the great things in the X5 is the informational displays present in the main display as well as within the speedometer/tachometer region. When I got the flat, I was able to see the psi of the tire in issue as well as which one was having problems. On the driver’s gages, there were written words “Low tire. Stop carefully.” as well as a small icon of the car showing the front right tire having issues.

Like – The Different Drive Modes


The BMW X5 comes with 3 drive modes: Sport, Comfort and ECO Pro. I tended to use the Sport mode the most. But every once and a while I turned on ECO Pro mode to see if could squeak out a few extra MPGs. Comfort was pretty much that, comfortable (but a bit boring).

Like – Auto Parking Brake


When I first started seeing button-powered parking brakes, I thought, how are people going to slam on the parking to power slide through turns (thinking back to playing video games).There is no hand-held brake in the X5. Instead, it is a button that you pull to engage and push to turn off. It’s convenient and eliminates the need to know how hard to yank up on the brake to fully set it.

Like – Dual Climate Controls


My wife and I continually argue about temperature. I tend to run hot so I like having cold air blowing on my face. My wife runs cold so needs to crank up the heat. Dual controls eliminates the need for argument. Seat warmers are great to have as well. No seat coolers though unfortunately.

Like – Paddle Shifters


If you want to upshift or downshift, you can use either the shifter or the paddle shifters, which I tended to prefer. They are attached to the steering wheel (as opposed to being stationary and mounted to the steering column). I like having the shifters attached to the steering wheel because then they are always under your fingertips.

Like – GPS Navigation Input


Be sure to take a look at the video (above or here on YouTube) and forward to 2:58 and you will see the GPS input. There are the traditional ways of using the rotational dial or voice input to enter a destination. But quite by accident, I discovered you can use the top of the navigation dial as a touchpad to hand-draw in letters and numbers.


It takes some getting used to but once you get comfortable, you can enter in addresses without looking.

Don’t Like – Small Vanity Mirrors


This was something that my daughters and my wife pointed out to me. The vanity mirrors were tiny, barely enough to get a single eye into view. There is a lot of space on the visor, so my wife and kids couldn’t understand why it wasn’t used more efficiently.

Like – Radio Tuning with a Dial


The dial tuning feels like a throw back to the past with older, analog radios. You use a dial to tune to the station you want.

Don’t Like – No XM/Sirius Radio

No picture here simply because XM/Sirius Radio was missing from the package that I test drove. While the X5 did have HD radio and you can always stream via Bluetooth, I have come to like having satellite radio in the cars I test drive.

Like – Steering Wheel Controls


Having controls on the steering wheel seems like a no-brainer to me. It’s bad to take your hands off the wheel as you drive to reach for the volume.


There were many convenient controls here that ensured that your hands truly stayed on the wheel.

Like – Dimming Rear Mirrors


The mirrors in the BMW X5 are “smart.” When they detect bright lights at night, they dim a bit so that the headlight glare isn’t as strong.

Like – M Sport Package


The M Sport package, which adds $4600 to the over-all cost of the vehicle, in my opinion, is worth it. You get larger tires (20”), automatic sport transmission, multi-contour seats, aerodynamic kit and more.

Like – Online Manual


Many people stash their driver’s manual in the glove compartment. With this BMW, the manual is moved online and you can use easy identification through scrolling to find the item you need more information about. Unfortunately, you can only use the online manual when you are parked so it isn’t much different than stopping and pulling the physical manual out of the glove compartment. In fact, the tradition manual can be looked at by the passenger while the car is in motion, something that can’t be done with the digital version. Regardless, it is handy having it stored electronically.


The 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i has a base MSRP of $55,100. The price as I tested it was $68,675 which includes the M Sport ($4600), Cold Weather ($550 – adds heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and retractable headlight washers) and Dynamic Handling Packages.


The X5 still has an aggressive look and feels very solid with the strong body and the 8-speed automatic transmission. While I realize you can buy run-flat tires for just about any car, I felt a bit more secure with the X5 driving at 50 MPH with a fully flat tire. BMW is known for safety and I had that feeling of safety during my entire drive home, even with the fully flat tire.

Disclosure Text: Apart from the 7-day loan of the BMW X5, I have no material connection to BMW. More information can be found in my About page.

HTD says: The 2014 BMW X5 has nice refinement, good safety and a ton of great features.

The post Running Flat But In Style – Likes & Dislikes of the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i appeared first on HighTechDad.

Running Flat But In Style – Likes & Dislikes of the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i

9/11 annual memorial in our neighborhood. Bigger & better every year! #neverforget #911 (at El Curtola Bridge)

9/11 annual memorial in our neighborhood. Bigger & better every year! #neverforget #911 (at El Curtola Bridge)

Function vs Fashion (Pebble has 1 but MICA has both!) #IDF14 #wearables

Function vs Fashion (Pebble has 1 but MICA has both!) #IDF14 #wearables

Post image for How to Turn Off Facebook’s Auto-Play Videos & Save Data

If you are anything like me, you watch your cell phone’s data consumption very closely. And given that I have 4 other people on my family shared plan (3 of them being teens & almost a teen), there are some apps that simply gulp down data. Tweens and teens absolutely LOVE image and video apps (think Instagram, Vine, SnapChat and others) and while many kids are not gravitating toward Facebook, Facebook is typically a high-consumer of data. The Facebook mobile app has a very sneaky way of gobbling up data, especially because of the feature that auto-plays any videos in your news feed. Luckily it’s easy to prevent this from happening in Facebook auto-play settings.


I took a quick look at my cellular data consumption of my Facebook app, and it showed it was one of the biggest consumers of data (read on and I’ll tell you how to check those amounts on the iPhone). So, I wanted to find out how to turn it off in certain situations.

How To Turn Off Facebook’s Auto-Play for Videos

The process is pretty straight forward, once you know where to look.

For iOS devices like the iPhone & iPad:

  1. Open the Settings application
  2. Scroll down and choose “Facebook”
  3. Click on the “Settings” section
  4. Below Video tap “Auto-play”
  5. Within the “Auto-play” section, you can choose whether you want Facebook’s auto-play to be: Off, Wi-Fi only or On

For Android, the process is similar (sorry, no screenshots as I don’t have an Android phone).

For Android devices:

  1. Open the Facebook application
  2. Tap the device’s “menu” button
  3. Tap “Settings”
  4. Scroll down and tap “Video Auto-play”
  5. Adjust the setting to your preference

If you want to save some data consumption when you are not on Wi-Fi, you should choose either Wi-Fi only or Off.

How to Turn of Facebook’s Auto-Play of Videos in a Web Browser

If you find the Facebook Auto-Play of videos annoying in general, there is a way to turn it off within the browser application as well. The settings are a bit more buried.

First click on the little dropdown (triangle) icon and choose “Settings.”


Then if you look all the way at the bottom of the Setting menu, you will see the Video option. Click the Video option and then choose the Auto-Play Video setting that you want: On or Off (the only options).


Unfortunately, this won’t save you on cellular data consumption (unless you are tethering your computer with a cell phone).

How To Check Mobile Data Consumption of Apps on iOS

Apple has nicely put in a fairly easy way to check to see how much data is being consumed by individual apps, much the same way you can see what apps are occupying the most space on your iPhone. To see your app data consumption (which you unfortunately can’t sort by size, it only shows alphabetically), head back over to your Settings.


Click on the Cellular settings. Once you are in there, if you scroll down, you will see all of your installed apps and you have the ability to toggle the data on or off for each individual app. But right below the name of the app, is the amount of data it has consumed since you last reset the counter (you can reset the statistics at the bottom of the screen).


So there you go. Some quick easy ways to find out which apps are consuming the most data (of these, I’m guessing the Facebook is one of the higher ones) and how to change Facebook’s Auto-Play video settings on your mobile device and browser app.

HTD says: Diving into settings can actually be quite useful, and even possibly save you money.

The post How to Turn Off Facebook’s Auto-Play Videos & Save Data appeared first on HighTechDad.

How to Turn Off Facebook’s Auto-Play Videos & Save Data

One more #Weezer at #IDF14 shot

One more #Weezer at #IDF14 shot

#Weezer at #IDF14!!! #rockon! (at Moscone West Convention Center)

#Weezer at #IDF14!!! #rockon! (at Moscone West Convention Center)

1 note

Waiting for Weezer #IDF14 #nofilter

Waiting for Weezer #IDF14 #nofilter