Ask Rene: The next iPhone, Force Touch, battery cases, and more

When you combine Twitter, email, forums, and all the other channels, Rene gets sent dozens and dozens of questions a day. Since it’s not even inhumanly possible to answer, let alone research, them all, we’re starting a new column where he can post answers for everyone. So, if you want to share your questions and concerns, hopes and gripes, send them to [email protected] or tweet them to @reneritchie with #askrene.

Note: We received a ton of questions about iOS 9 and Apple Music this week. Go figure. Rather than repeat answers we’ve already posted, I’ll just put the links below to the frequently asked questions articles we posted earlier in the week:

Both are thousands of words long and took days to put together, but are comprehensive and broken up into easy-to-follow chunks. If you have additional questions on either of those subjects, just add them in the comments to the FAQ, and we’ll update with the answers.

Could Force Touch on iPad work to Force Touch content from webpage then drag to notes in split view – Tom Evens

I’ve always thought Split View—or any form of multi-app or multi-window interface—would have to come with drag-and-drop data to be truly useful. I still feel that way, even though we’ve yet to see any sign of it in iOS 9 or on the iPad Air 2. Apple certainly could be waiting on future hardware to implement it, either because there will be more resources or more input options. The company could also just be waiting.

If and when Apple does implement drag-and-drop data in Split View, however, I hope they do it with a regular touch rather than a Force Touch.

Force Touch, as it’s currently implemented, is multitouch gone multi-dimensional. It’s for things multitouch can’t do on it’s own. It takes more effort than multitouch, so it’s been focused on actions that aren’t critical but are still important, and that seems like the perfect match. Context sensitive secondary actions, like menus on Apple Watch and pop-ups on OS X, can be “hidden” until they’re expressly called for.

There’s already a method for drag-and-drop in iOS. You can find it in Mail and Calendar, where you can drag addresses between To:, CC:, and BCC: fields; and events between times. It’s an intuitive, direct interaction—you long-press to make the item “float”, and then you drag it where you want it. It’s the same action as reordering a list in Edit mode in most apps.

And I think it would fix perfectly for multi-app drag-and-drop.

With all this talk of Metal being baked into El Capitan and its ability to improve graphical performance, what implications does this have for the ability of the new MacBook to be more efficient/quick at things like Photoshop, etc.? Pardon my ignorance if this is more a matter of GPU vs CPU performance! I really want to get the new MacBook, but need it to easily handle Photoshop (as intermittent as I use it….). Likely holding out till 2nd or 3rd gen! Thanks! – Brenden

Neither Apple nor Adobe revealed any performance improvements for Photoshop running on Metal on OS X El Capitan. After Effects and Illustrator, however, were specifically called out. So, it’s easy to think Photoshop might benefit as well.

Here’s the thing, though—if you want to run pro apps, you probably want to run them on a MacBook Pro. That’s what those machines are meant for. The “new MacBook but…” is a common refrain, but not one that will end in happiness. “I want that Ferrari, but need it to easily handle pulling my camper (as intermittent as I use it…)” might not be a perfect analogy, but it’s one worth thinking about.

I get why everyone wants what looks to be the newest and hottest new Mac, but that doesn’t mean that new, hot Mac is ideal for everyone. Every time I see someone on Twitter with a MacBook and a fist full of adapters or download queue full of pro apps, I want to take them by the hand and lead them to the Apple Store’s MacBook Pro section.

So, to get back to the question, Metal might help Photoshop on the MacBook, but the MacBook will never be an ideal machine for Photoshop.

Thank you for creating the “Ask Rene” section. I think I share a concern with many regarding the ability to easily sync “” accounts with Mail in OS X. I am trying to create a consistent experience for my family and seem to be leaning towards iCloud for mail (we use it for everything else). Although, iCloud for email doesn’t quite seem as mature as Outlook or Gmail.

My question is, in OS X El Cap, did they add an “” connection option when setting up a new account? Unfortunately, I don’t have the beta installed, so I cannot find out for myself. – Kellen

El Capitan supports Exchange, like previous versions of OS X. looks like it supports Exchange. I don’t have an account, but I’ll make one and test it at some point. Exchange is a terrific system, so if it works, it should work extremely well.

If you don’t need a ton of features or free storage, however, you can also just stick with iCloud. It’s fully integrated into everything Apple, of course, which means it’s one less system and provider to manage.

Should I get an iPhone 6 now or wait for the iPhone 6s? – Brian (and about a dozen other people, in one form or another.)

It’s the end of June now, which means, if Apple sticks to pattern, we’re about two and half months away from the next iPhone. So, if you can wait that long, wait. If you can’t wait, get the best iPhone you can now and enjoy.

New iPhones always have more features for the same price, but there will always be new iPhones. They come every year.

If you want to upgrade as often as possible, to get the latest, greatest iPhone as often as possible, you can do what some of our readers do—Buy whenever you want, sell right before the new iPhone is announced, and then put the money towards the next one. It’s additional work, and some people enjoy the wheeling and dealing more than others, but it’s an option.

Otherwise, again, buy when you need to buy, and enjoy.

Being a blind user of iOS devices I want to thank you and your team for including accessibility topics in your news and podcasts. I was wondering if you could suggest for me a very slimline battery case for the iPhone 6 Plus I don’t want to add a lot of bulk to an already large phone, and I do realize that the slimmer the case the smaller the battery inside. Any information you can offer would be of great interest. Also, if you could, please include your favorite case that also has built-in storage.
Thank you so much! – Tyler

I’ve always used the mophie line of battery cases. Unlike other iPhones, mophie doesn’t make a variety of juice pack capacities for the iPhone 6 Plus. They only make one—the mophie juice pack for iPhone 6 Plus. That might be because the iPhone 6 Plus already has good battery life, and already has significant size. Either way, it should get you through even the longest days… or weekends.

(If anyone has tried any slimmer cases they’d recommend, please let Tyler and me know in the comments.)

I am a grandmother and I’m looking for some phones for my grandchildren for gifts this year. But, I had no idea what was out there and how difficult it would be to find the phones I’m looking for.

I read online that the 3G and 3GS phones are good and safer for youths. So, I am now looking for 6 3G and/or 3GS Apple iPhones. I have spent many hours looking online only to find that the phones I have found are either used, damaged or refurbished. I don’t feel comfortable buying these phones and giving them to my grandchildren not knowing what has been done to them and whether they are safe or not. I have communicated with many individuals that have even sent me pictures of their phones for sale, but it is quite evident that they are not being honest about the true condition of the phones.

So, my question to you is how and where can I possibly find these 6 phones either new or in the best condition possible? I would greatly appreciate any help or information that you can provide.

You mentioned iPhones specifically, so I”m going to assume other options like low-cost Android or Windows Phone wouldn’t work for you. If that’s indeed the case, here’s the deal: Apple no longer manufactures the iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS, and neither device can run recent versions of iOS, the software that powers them. That means you’re only going to be able to find them second hand, and with outdated and limited functionality.

If you’re looking for something new, you could take a look at the iPhone 5c, which is plastic like the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS were, but is still sold and supported by Apple. They’re currently free on contract, or $450 off-contract:

I know you mentioned you weren’t comfortable with refurbished, but there are some companies like Gazelle that do it professional and back up the devices they sell with warranties. If that’s a possibility for you, you could look at the iPhone 4s, which was discontinued last year, but will still be getting the iOS 9 update this fall. They’re starting from $149 and up.

Hi Rene, which Webcam / cam do you use for the imore-show? Quality looks very good! thx from germany 😉 — Andy Aksen

I use the Logitech 920, which Alex Lindsay has long been recommending on MacBreak Weekly. It’s a classic, but it’s a classic for a reason. It combines great quality with wide angle and has been rock solid for me for years.

I’ve tried others, most recently the Cisco TelePresence Precision HD, but it didn’t have as wide an angle and wasn’t compatible with everything else we used, so I once again went quickly back to the Logitech 920.

Can you swipe in mail on OS X El Capitan with a magic mouse rather than a trackpad? — Nilesh Prajapati

Yes, I believe Apple specifically mentioned Magic Mouse support during the keynote.

Do you buy the buttonless [iPhone] rumors? I’d love it, personally. Force touch opens up so many possibilities! — Justin Seeley

Apple is a company filled with smart people who are typically working 2-3 generations ahead. I like to believe that anything logical and practical we can think up, they can actually explore, prototype and test. So, I think it highly likely people at Apple has explored and even prototyped iPhones that have virtualized Home buttons and Touch ID systems.

Whether they like them enough to produce them is another story. When Apple says 10000 nos for every yes, they mean it. Televisions, ARM Macs, touchscreen macs, and many other explorations and prototypes have yet to ship, and may never ship.

Will an iPhone with a virtual or highly modified Home button? See my article about smaller iPhones from back in January

That’s it for this week! To get your questions in for next week, email them to [email protected] or tweet them to @reneritchie with #askrene.

Source: iMore

About Bhavesh Rabari

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