Six things every new iPad (or iPhone) owner should do immediately

Six things every new iPad (or iPhone) owner should do immediately

Summary: Just get a new iPad (or iPhone)? Here are a few critical things that you should do right now to keep your new gadget safe and your privacy protected.

TOPICS: Apple, iPhone, iPad

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  • Enable Activation Lock in iOS 7

    iOS 7 includes a new feature called Activation Lock, which makes it almost impossible for anyone to use or sell your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch once it's gone missing or has been stolen.

    It starts working when you turn on Find My iPhone in iOS 7 Settings > iCloud > Find my iPhone (see previous Gallery item). With Activation Lock, your Apple ID and password will be required before anyone can:

    • Turn off Find My iPhone on your device
    • Erase your device
    • Reactivate and use your device

    Activation Lock has been heralded by big city police departments (like the NYPD) as a potential deterrent to the increase in "Apple Picking" -- snatch and grab iPhone thefts in the United States. 

    Activation Lock keeps the data on your device secure, even if it is in the wrong hands. It also improved your chances of recovery dramatically. Even if you erase your iPhone remotely, Activation Lock prevents another user from reactivating it without your permission -- effectively destroying its resale value.

    To take advantage of this new feature, simple keep Find My iPhone turned on (Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone), and remember your Apple ID and password. One word of caution: there's no way to override Activation Lock if you forget your password and are unable to reset it.

    There's an Activation Lock overview and Frequently Asked Questions document in Apple Knowledgebase document ht5818. I also recommend that you read these tips on how to prevent Activation Lock from potentially bricking your iPhone.

  • Enable Auto-Lock and Passcode Lock

    If you leave your iPad in a taxi or on an airplane, anyone can pick it up and look through your email, contacts and photos -- and that's probably the least of your worries. A simple way to avoid unnecessary data exposure is with a Passcode Lock. You can enable it in Settings > General > Passcode Lock. A Passcode Lock is useless if a thief grabs your iPad while it's awake.

    I also recommend enabling Auto-Lock which locks your iPad after a defined period of inactivity. If you're super security-minded (or General David Patraeus) I recommend that you also disable the 4-digit "Simple Passcode" in lieu of something more complex. According to Agilebits, developer of the excellent 1Password, a four-digit passcode can be cracked in 20 minutes, while an eight character passcode comprised of lowercase letters and the spacebar will take 1,000 years to crack. 

  • Purchase the AppleCare+ Protection Plan

    If you didn't buy the AppleCare+ Protection Plan (APP) for your iPad or iPhone at the time of purchase, don't sweat it. You can purchase the Apple extended warranty -- which I highly recommend -- for up to 30 days after purchase. In addition to extending the technical support period from 90-days to two years, the new AppleCare+ package offers adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage (even if it was due to negligence), subject to a $79 service fee.

    In the past, the old AppleCare (before they added the "+") didn't cover drops, shatters, or liquid submersions, but the new AppleCare+ does -- again, subject to a $79 deductible. Anyone's who's ever shattered their iPhone screen or baptized it in the toilet, sink or pool will agree that paying $79 is a lot better than the $269 Apple charges for an "out of warranty" service on an iPhone 5/5s/5c.

    AppleCare+ must be purchased within 30 days of iPhone purchase and requires inspection of your iPhone and proof of purchase. You can no longer purchase AppleCare after an incident has occurred. So it's best to purchase AppleCare+ before you leave the store. If you buy an iPhone and AppleCare+ online, Apple will auto-enroll you so there's no additional work required to active your coverage.

    If you're still on the fence, I recomment an article in Macworld by Jonathan Seff published on September 9, 2013 called Is AppleCare worth it?

Topics: Apple, iPhone, iPad

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  • AppleCare

    Whilst Apple have to provide a 2 year warranty on their hardware, in the case of the iPhone, the AppleCare warranty is useful. Here in Germany, if the iPhone stops working, you either have to bring it to a carrier shop or use their telephone service to get it fixed.

    This normally takes 2 weeks, during which time, you will be without your beloved iPhone. The AppleCare warranty brings the repair service into line with other manufacturers, meaning that you will receive a replacement phone when they collect your defective one.

    An expensive way to get the standard of service the other manufacturers provide for free, but given the reliability of the iPhones we've had, it is worth the money. One user here has a had 7 replacement iPhones in 2 years, 6 were hardware defects, the 7th due to the phone being dropped.

    I didn't have AppleCare with my iPhone 3GS and spent 6 of the first 7 weeks of ownership without the phone as it was sent off to the Apple repair centre 3 times without them finding the fault and returning it unrepaired! After the last failed attempt, they "graciously" replaced it, after I made a very loud comments about their incompetence in a very full shop.
    • What you're saying is

      your iPhone and that of the other person you mentioned are crap. Six hardware defects in 2 years? Yours being repeatedly sent to Apple without being repaired. Gee, it sounds to me like the best protection for Apple products is not to buy them.

      Have a nice day,

      • start with step 3 above...

        Wipe the phone,
        Then run, do not walk, to the nearest Best Buy and trade it in for another phone that's not an iPhone.

        Much simpler :-)
    • Fandoid script

      Uh huh.

      I had to replace exactly two iPhones in all the years I owned them (4s), both because an iHome alarm clock killed the 30 pin connectors.

      Well, that's not quite true. My brand new iPhone 4 fell out of my pocket while blowing snow one especially snowy winter, and was buried in front of my house. Find my iPhone found it in front of my house, but I couldn't for the life of me locate it, even playing sounds.

      It mocked me for three days before running out of juice. It was discovered by my snow thrower's auger a couple of weeks later, and its desiccated bones were left the next spring on my front lawn once the snow pack melted.
      • fell out of your pocket while blowing snow?

        I didn't know that there was a snow blower app for that! :)
  • LOL!

    the first thing that you want to do with your new 'iCrap' is don't tell anybody. Secondly, go out and find a cover for it so no-one can tell what it is!
    • lol lol

      Im not sure I can be bothered to read articles which arent relevant to my interests let alone bother to make the effort to comment. Why not use your time more efficiently and take this much interest in articles about the device you actually own?
      • Follow The Money

        It's because Mujibahr and other 3rd worlders are being paid by Samsung to disparage Apple products in public forums. This seems to be a new front in the Apple - Samsung war, which Apple has declined to participate in. In the end, Samsung's nefarious ways will turn out to be the best sales tool for Apple products ever.
        • Andriod is like a Brothel

          Anyone can go in and F any one. Apple is not like that. you need to have the credentials to use one :)
        • More likely Microsoft, rather than Samsung...

          Yes! There are a lot of paid shills (or astroturfers) here on ZDNet (and other blogs). I think Mujibhar is more Microsoft than Samsung. Have a look at his other posts! Very pro Windows 8.
          I am Gorby
          • aren't you not one of the astroturfer

            for your beloved platform? think about it before blaming someone without knowing the other person.
            Ram U
          • Yup, because no one would ever have a negative opinion of an Apple product

            unless (of course) they are PAID to have a negative opinion by a competitor.

            Because we all know that Apple and there products are 100% devoid of any issues, defects, or shortcomings, so who would ever have anything other then glowing praise for them?
    • Hmm

      You sound disgruntled Mujibahr.. Does your camel not have Wi-Fi service?? Sorry to hear that.. now get back under your box unless you have something constructive to add.
  • Number 1 should be

    Trade it in for an Android, with numbers 2-6 being an Android buyers guide :-D
    • Almost

      Trade in for 2 more powerful devices (mini to N7 or i4 to N10) and share one with your friends. After all it is the season.
    • trade magazine

      ((( "Trade it in for an Android..." )))

      That would be like trading in a signed first edition of Huckleberry Finn for a stack of People magazines.
  • Find my iPad/iPhone - critical additional step

    I'm not normally one for online comments, but this is really important. In addition to the steps outlined above for Find My iPhone, you should go to Settings>General>Restrictions, scroll down to Privacy, and then tap Location Services. Tap Don't Allow Changes - if you don't take this step, a savvy thief that takes your phone before the auto-lock engages can simply turn off Find My iPhone as fast as you activated it.

    In my opinion, this is a bug apple needs to fix - there should be a separate "lock" you can enable on Find My iPhone. Adding this restriction requires you to visit this area every time you add a new app and want to allow it to use location services. Until Apple fixes this though, it is a worthwhile inconvenience.
    • Agreed...

      You're absolutely correct. Although I've found a similar but simpler way (at least on OS 6, not sure about earlier versions) that allows you to avoid locking down location services, meaning you don't have to keep enabling and disabling them every time you want to install an app that uses them.

      Go to Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions. You will be asked to enter a four-digit passcode and then confirm it. After that's done, if a thief makes off with your iPhone, he won't even make it to the Restrictions page without knowing the passcode. So he won't be able to disable the "find my iPhone" function.
      Minit Mafia
      • Not so Agreed...,

        If a thief makes off with your iPhone, he just needs to put it in DFU mode and wipe it. Very simple, pretty quick, and find my iPhone wont work.
        • Keep upto date

          That all changed in ios7

          -you need the apple id password to turn off find my iphone toggle in icloud settings

          -dfu'ing no longer gets around the lock; once dfu is complete the device will not activate without the apple id password

          -if find my iphone is enabled you can no longer swap the phone at a genius bar without proof of ownership if find my iphone is on (and you don't know the password)