How I solved my iPad storage full problem

It was so frustrating. My two year old 64GB iPad 4 running iOS 8 was constantly flashing ‘storage nearly full’ warnings. I couldn’t understand why: the first generation 64GB iPad it replaced always had around 50% capacity free. What was going on?

Today, I bit the bullet and did a reset to factory settings (Settings/General/Erase all content and settings) after doing a back up. As a result, I now have 31.5GB free space. It appears that the device is storing data from multiple back ups. Either way, I now have a working iPad again.

My iPad, four years on

iPad 1

Falling in love with iPad, 27 May 2010

Four years ago today, I got my first iPad – the day before it was released in Britain. It’s the first time I’ve ever been an early adopter. And, as I blogged at the time, it was love at first sight.

The joy of the iPad was getting online almost instantly, thank to its flash memory: no need to wait for a computer to start. And being able to carry a decent but incredibly light computer with me in a rucksack or John Lewis messenger bag was a bonus. I’ve never regretted opting for the cheaper wifi only version, especially after discovering Three’s Huawei mifi.

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Solving Daily Telegraph iPad app problems

Daily Telegraph iPad app

Daily Telegraph iPad app

I love reading newspapers on my iPad. I get them delivered to my tablet without having to go to the letterbox, never mind the newsagent. I can catch up on the news wherever I am in the world, as long as I’m online. The Daily Telegraph iPad app is one of my favourites, as it’s one of the most elegant apps.

But it’s not the most reliable. It rarely if ever downloads automatically, unlike the Guardian and Sunday Times. And recently it has stopped downloading at all: it sticks at 8% downloaded.

Time to use the app equivalent of turning a pesky computer on and off again: I deleted the app completely and downloaded it afresh. This is where I ran into difficulties. It asked me to enter my details as a subscriber. I chose ‘digital subscriber’. But it didn’t recognise me. I tried again. And again. Still no joy. It kept asking me to buy a subscription, which I already had.

At this point I called the 0800 number. A helpful man told me I needed to take a different route: click on the cogwheel on the bottom left of the app screen. Click subscriptions, then choose restore purchases. Enter Apple ID password – and you’ll not be asked to buy a new subscription.

Restore purchases

Choose restore purchases

This solved the 8% hitch. It still doesn’t download automatically though…

Why I’m cancelling the Guardian after 36 years

The Guardian: from print to pixels

The Guardian: from print to pixels

I’ve been reading The Guardian since 1978: the year the winter of discontent started and the first test tube baby was born. As a 1980s student I endured days when the paper never appeared because of strikes and days when photos were so badly printed they were impossible to discern. Today’s paper is a miracle in colour – and the writing is as glorious as ever – yet I’m cancelling my subscription.

But this is no act of infidelity. I’ve decided after two years that the Guardian’s iPad edition is perfect for me. I prefer pixels to print, at least during the working week. I can read the ‘paper’ at the breakfast table in San Francisco and Sirmione as well as at home in our Buckinghamshire village without looking for a newsagent. I don’t have to recycle yesterday’s paper. And my fingers don’t get mucky with newsprint.

I made the decision after weeks of never buying the print edition with my subscriber’s vouchers. Most days, I read the iPad edition over lunch at my desk at work, avoiding the queue at WH Smith for the printed paper.  I couldn’t see the point of spending almost £40 a month for the print subscription when I could get the digital version for around a quarter of the price.

I’ll still buy the printed Guardian on Saturdays. Weekends are different, and Karen and I enjoy sharing the weekend paper – I devour the opinions and sports sections, while she enjoys Family and Travel. (We both love the Weekend magazine.)

The Guardian is special. It stands out from the overwhelmingly authoritarian, right wing British national press. It has been a digital pioneer, although it was slow to introduce an iPad edition. Like many, I wonder how long it will maintain a print edition. Yet I’ve surprised myself. When I started reading the Guardian, Times and Telegraph on my iPad, I thought printed newspapers had a unique appeal that would endure. Now I’m not so sure.

Britain’s papers have embraced the iPad. The broadsheets have become pixel publishers, yet it’s not clear how much money they’re making from their digital editions. But there are two brutal truths: they cannot survive on print alone. And giving away content for free online threatens everything. It will be fascinating to see how this story develops over the next few years.

PS: my review of the very first Guardian iPad edition has stood the test of time. You can also read my post about The Times’ iPad edition.

The Telegraph's iPad front page

The Telegraph’s iPad front page

I love my first generation iPad – but its days are numbered

iPad 1

Taking the tablet: iPad arrives, 27 May 2010

I got my iPad on 27 May 2010 – the day before it went on sale in the shops. (I had ordered it in advance.) It was love at first sight, as I explained in a blog post that evening. I went on to rave about how quickly it got me to my chosen websites. For the first time in my life, I was an early adopter.

It’s been a constant companion ever since. I’ve used it to watch movies on flights to California, to blog about major events and to read books. I’ve enjoyed listening to music on Spotify’s iPad app. I’ve read the Guardian and Times iPad editions while on holiday and business abroad.

But it’s showing its age. Apps crash far too often. The Daily Telegraph’s iPad app won’t open if I’ve got any other apps open. The Guardian’s iPad edition’s letters links don’t appear most of the time. In short, it’s time to upgrade.

Some will argue that it’s shocking that a device less than three years old costing over £500 (I bought the 64GB model) no longer works properly. I’m more understanding. The iPad changed everything. It wasn’t the first tablet computer (far from it) but it was the first to make the tablet popular. Later models were more powerful, and apps developed to match their higher specs.

I’ll keep my original iPad – but it’s time to accept that it’s no longer good enough.

How to play BBC iPlayer on Apple TV

I finally bought an Apple TV box last weekend. It’s a lovely piece of kit. But my biggest question was: can I use the BBC iPlayer on it?

The simple answer is yes, but not straight from the Apple TV box. I played the iPlayer on my first generation iPad, streaming it to Apple TV via AirPlay. It works beautifully – you wouldn’t know it wasn’t a live broadcast. This is what I did:

  • Choose the content you want to play on the BBC iPlayer app on your iPad or iPhone.
  • Double-click the iPad/iPhone home button – the physical square button on the front of the device. This will bring up your open apps. Slide the icons to the right, revealing various video buttons and the AirPlay icon (a square with a triangle underneath) – as seen in photo below. Click the AirPlay icon, and select Apple TV. Click the play button on the iPad or iPhone  – and enjoy the show.

Playing BBC iPlayer on Apple TV: getting started

(NB: remember to set up home sharing on Apple TV and your iPad before you start.)