Turn off automatic app updates in iOS 7?

When Apple announced iOS 7, I was intrigued by the idea of having apps update automatically in the background. At last, no more red badges on the App Store icon to tell me things needed to be updated.

Having had the release version of iOS 7 for a little while now, I’ve turned that feature off. Why? So I can find out when there’s a new version of an app with new features. Most app updates are incremental, containing bug fixes and the like. But some app updates include new features that I might not know about for a while.

By turning off the automatic updates, I know when an app has new features and I can decide whether to go play with them.

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Apple’s new iPhones: Good for attorneys?

Amid much anticipation and hype, yesterday Apple announced two new iPhones. The first is the iPhone 5c, a low-cost phone that comes in an array of five different colors. The second is the iPhone 5s, which comes in three different metallic colors and boasts the latest and greatest technology features.

Looking at the iPhone 5c, I’m not sure this will be the first choice for most attorneys. The phone itself is mostly a high-strength plastic that is colored. The front of the phone remains the same, with the high quality glass and home button. The colors are pretty bright, and they seem more appropriate for teenagers and young adults who don’t need to put on a conservative appearance. Don’t get me wrong—I think the colors are wonderful, and I think this phone will be very popular (especially with its 16 GB entry price of $99 with a two-year contract). The price puts the iPhone 5c within the reach of many younger people and those with tighter budgets. For attorneys, however, we often need to have that professional, conservative appearance. The iPhone 5c is the “fun” phone, somewhat akin to the Volkswagen Beetle whereas the iPhone 5s is the Audi A6.

With regard to the iPhone 5s, I think many attorneys will give serious consideration to this phone and perhaps upgrading as quickly as possible. The first reason is directly relevant to our duties as lawyers: security. The iPhone 5s features (for lack of a better term) a fingerprint reader that unlocks the phone. If this works as intended, this feature will mean that you—and only you—can unlock your phone. If you use your phone to communicate with clients or review client documents, this added security feature helps protect your client’s confidentiality.

As one who thinks about security a lot (thank you, Bruce Schneier, for forever changing the way I look at the world), I have to wonder about one thing: does my finger need to be attached to my body for the fingerprint reader to work? I don’t think for even a second that someone would be interested enough to chop my hand or finger off in order to get access to my phone, but the question makes for an interesting scene in a future James Bond film.

The second reason I think many attorneys will look favorably on the iPhone 5s is the new camera. The improvements in the lens, software, and flash will make it much easier for attorneys to photograph evidence for use in a case. Following along with the introduction yesterday, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at the photo technology updates, which exceeded my expectations.

As I mentioned above, the iPhone 5s comes in three metallic colors: gold, silver, and something they are calling “space gray.” The gold color seems a bit, well, over the top. I don’t think this will look as professional as the silver or space gray. If Paris Hilton doesn’t go for one of the colors of the iPhone 5c, I would expect her to go for the gold iPhone 5s. Once I can see one in person, my view might change. For now, my interest is solidly in the space gray model.

People have already asked if I’ll be waiting in line to get the new iPhone 5s when it is released on Friday, September 20. Probably not, but I would like to get one in my possession before vacation in November, so you might see me one evening at my local Apple Store hoping to pick one up.

There’s one other bonus for some people: with the new iPhones, the iWork suite (Pages for word processing, Numbers for spreadsheets, and Keynote for presentations) will be free, along with iPhoto and iMovie. For me, this is no big deal because I have them already. But for someone switching to iOS, having these apps will be a nice little extra.

What are your thoughts about the new phones? Were you hoping for more from yesterday’s announcement, like new iPads? Any disappointments? Leave a comment and let us know.

[Updated at 10:35 a.m. EDT] iPhone J.D. has a great article about the new iPhone 5s.

Password (mis)management on your iPhone or iPad

Apple’s App Store is stuffed to the gills with apps that are supposed to help you manage your passwords on your iPad or iPhone. Some are free, some are not. Some do the job well, and some are, well…junk.

Technology and security expert Steve Gibson took a look at many of these apps in a recent episode of his podcast Security Now! You can read the transcript or listen. For anyone with an iOS device, this really should be required material. If you’re keeping your passwords in a “vault” on your iPhone, you will want to make sure that your vault actually works.