One Year With HP Instant Ink - Is It A Good Deal?

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We signed up for HP Instant Ink last summer.

It's been 14 months, which gives us enough time to look at our printer usage and billing, and determine whether this was a good deal or not.  

Did Your iOS 10 Update Break Messages? Here's How to Fix

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Yesterday was iOS 10 day.

And for several iPhone owners, that led to some problems.

For me, it meant that Messages became unusable, crashing on startup.

It was so bad that checking the settings for Messages would crash Settings!

Now, everything seems to be working fine. Here's how I did it.

It's iOS 10 Day - Welcome, HomeKit

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As I'm typing this post, it's a little after noon, Central Time, on September 13, and my iPhone 6 is updating to iOS 10.

I could have waited.

I'll be picking up an iPhone 7 Plus on Friday, and that will definitely have iOS 10 installed.

But who can wait for that? iOS 10 means HomeKit.

And HomeKit is the reason AAAD exists. Let's go.

Apple September 2016 Keynote - Finally, HomeKit!

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After literally years of waiting, HomeKit got a bit more than lip service today. 

Tim Cook discussed the new Home app as one of iOS 10's key new features. 

Home will provide centralized control for all of our HomeKit-compatible devices.

So far, most of us don't have any of those devices. 

But that will change!

One Week Until the Apple Keynote - iPhone 7, HomeKit on the Way!

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We know we're getting a new iPhone next week.

We don't know what it will be called.

Review: Tile (Gen 2) - Does What You Expect, and More

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Losing your car keys used to be annoying. 

That said, it wasn't financially crippling. If you dropped your key into a sewer grate, you could get new keys made for a few dollars. 

But, time marches on. Today's "smart keys" cost hundreds of dollars to replace. 

Which is why you should invest in a Tile. 

SlingTV and AirTV - Getting Ready to Cut the Cord

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We've been huge fans of DirecTV and its Genie product.

Our original review - back in 2012 - was an unqualified rave.

At the time, DirecTV was offering the only HD interface, and the only whole-home DVR. We could store a massive amount of programming on the internal hard drive, and access it from every room.

But next month, we're moving on entirely.

High Five - Top 5 Apps for Traveling Abroad With Children

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Sorry for the long absence!

We just finished up our summer vacation, visiting my sister in London, with side trips to Paris, Wales, and Dublin.

We traveled by air, land and sea - with a 10 year old, and a 2 year old.

It wasn't easy. But traveling with iOS devices makes things a lot easier.

Here are our Top Five iOS tips for traveling abroad, with kids.

My iPhone 6 Leather Case Has Grown Warts

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This is a weird post to write.

Because I really like the iPhone Leather Case.

But these days, I can barely stand touching it. I'm actively repulsed by it.

Summer Updates - Staying Connected

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We're still here - sorry for the lack of updates, but there hasn't been a whole lot going on in the world of AAPL or AAAD.

We're almost-but-not-quite finished with our basement renovation, so I haven't been able to pull the trigger on the final "Going Underground" update, either.

Going Underground - Basement Update - This is It!

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It's been a really long process, but we're finally done.

Today is the Grand Opening of our newly-finished basement!

Ultimately, this was less of a DIY project than we would have liked.

But it turned out a lot better than I'd hoped.

And a lot better than I was capable of doing on my own.

Getting a Head Start with HomeKit

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As we all know, HomeKit will finally get an official Apple app with iOS 10.

It's shocking that it took this long. 

And frankly, it's shocking that anyone made HomeKit-compatible devices with no centralized way to control them. 

Well, the past is past.... and finally, we can move forward with our iOS home. 

But who wants to wait until fall?

Let's jump the gun, and get our HomeKit ecosystem started early....

Basement Remodel Update - Finishing Touches

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Our last basement update was titled "Entering the Home Stretch". 

We're even closer to the finish line now. 

Finally - a HomeKit App

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It's been 2 years.


But that wait is over.

Today, Apple announced that iOS 10 will have a dedicated HomeKit app, called "Home".

This isn't the huge step forward that we may have been hoping for. We'll have to wait for that Alexa-style Apple speaker.

But it's the first tangible step we've seen from Apple on the HomeKit front since... well, since HomeKit was announced.

Home will act as a single controller for all of your HomeKit devices.

You'll be able to set scenes, and use proximity triggers for those scenes. For instance, the lights will turn on when my wife pulls into the garage at night.

Time will tell - but this should kick HomeKit into high gear.

With guaranteed real-estate on every iPhone, developers will be more likely to support Apple's ecosystem.

Adding channels to tvOS just got better.

The other huge takeaway from WWDC? Single sign-on for all tvOS apps.

Today, adding a tvOS app is an almost hilarious chore.

We have to download the app, enter our TV provider (still DirecTV... until August), and get a code.

Then we have to run to the office, fire up the iMac, go to the TV channel's "activate" screen, remember our sign-in credentials for DirecTV, fail at least 3 times, get locked out, and eventually remember the login and enter the code.

Then, it's back to the living room and the AppleTV, to find that our kids/wife/friends already found something else to watch and no longer care.

Then, when you want another app, you repeat the entire process.

With Single Sign-on, you'll enter your TV provider once.

And that login will be stored on the AppleTV, and will not require individualized log-ins for every app.

SlingTV for AppleTV

Here's another big step forward.

Apple may say "the future of TV is apps" - but I don't necessarily agree with them.

There's a place for streaming on-demand content... but there's also a place for watching what's on right now.

SlingTV brings a huge slate of live TV to the Apple TV - including ESPN.

We're getting closer and closer to my dream scenario, in which the AppleTV's "default" is live television, and you "flip through" the various channels and content providers you've chosen.

Anyway - a big day for Apple. OSX becomes macOS, and gains Siri. watchOS gets a lot more powerful and intuitive. Huge changes to Messages and Maps - and third-party APIs everywhere.

But tvOS and Home are my 2 favorite takeaways. I'm really looking forward to going all-in with HomeKit when iOS 10 lands this fall.

It's Apple Keynote Day!

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It's that time of year again - the Apple Keynote at the WorldWide Developers Conference.