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Preparing for New iPhones

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing color, the air is crisper, and the new iPhones are almost here. If you’re a crazy upgrader like I am, that means it’s time to get ready to sell your old iPhone.


You should try to unlock your old iPhone. Unlocking allows the phone to be used by different cellular carriers by changing SIM cards. It makes the phone more valuable as a result. Outside the US, phone locking isn’t even legal. And the fact that a US carrier can keep a phone locked after you have paid off the contract for the phone and sold it to someone else makes no sense. Unfortunately, it’s up to you the consumer to know that unlocking is even a thing.

If you’re with AT&T, you can follow these instructions:

You need to fill out all the info, get an email, then click on a link. Oddly, you then are instructed to backup your phone to iTunes and then perform a restore. All the steps take hours if you have a lot of data. And you’ll need to re-setup Apple Pay if you have cards on that.

For more information on how to unlock, look at this post from Gazelle:

Backup to iTunes

When you get your new phone, you can restore from your iCloud backup or from your computer’s iTunes backup. I always use the iTunes backup because it will backup more information if you have it encrypting your backup (see image below from iTunes). It will back up your passwords, Health, and HomeKit data. I suggest backing up to iTunes prior to getting the new iPhone since this takes a while.

iTunes iPhone Backup

Turn Off Find My iPhone

Before you sell your iPhone to someone, you also need to turn off Find My iPhone. This allows someone else to use the phone.

You get to this from Settings – iCloud – Find My iPhone

Reset iPhone

Finally, before you sell your old phone, reset it by going to Settings – General – Reset – Erase All Content and Settings. This will put the phone back in startup mode.

Protect Your Online Privacy

I just found out about a great resource for online privacy, the website It’s covers all the major privacy concerns and how to protect yourself from being snooped on.


Apple Watch printouts

The Apple Watch will be out in April. If you’re looking to see what size fits best, you can print out cutouts from the icon factory. And if you’re a serious Apple fan, you can add your favorite picture and wear it around. Battery life is great. 

Baby Tracker App

Have a new baby and need to track feedings, diapers, sleeping, and growth statistics? I initially thought the tried-and-true pen and paper approach would be easiest. But after reviewing most of the baby tracker apps, I found an app that is simple and easier than anything else. Most baby apps are bloated with features and ugly. Baby Tracker by nighp is an iPhone and iPad app that looks like it was designed by Apple.

One of my favorite features is the ability to use it with others. I set Baby Tracker to store its data in dropbox so my wife and I can both enter and review information. So if I do a late night bottle feeding, she can wake up and see when the feeding started and ended.

It’s the perfect app for the nervous new parent.

iPhone 6 Mockup Cutouts

Download iPhone Mockups to See Which Size You Prefer

Not sure which mythical new iPhone is right for you? If you are a self-respecting iPhone user, you will print out mockups, cut them out, tape them to cardboard, and carry them around to help see which model you prefer.

iPhone 6 Mockup Cutouts

Download my mockups which show the expected 4.7 and 5.5 inch models next to the existing 4 inch iPhone 5/5s. When you print, be sure to not scale the document. Or manually enter scaling of 100%.

After cutting out mockups, tape as much cardboard as you need to reach your assumed phone thickness.


Are your hands big enough to reach the top left of the screen one-handed? If you are Shaquille O’Neal, you won’t have a problem with the 5.5 inch model. Otherwise, are you okay crimping your hand in a weird grip for one-handed operation? I can barely do this for the 4.7 inch, so the 5.5 inch would be a two handed operation for most of my use. This means I would type on the 5.5 inch iPhone like an iPad, two thumb style.

The 5.5 inch iPhone would be more difficult to use while crammed on the metro. Scrolling through an article would work, but navigating around the phone could mean a hazardous lapse of holding onto the safety bar. And no one wants to be knocked over by someone carrying a giant phone.

Does the phone fit in your pants and jacket pockets?  Do you feel like an idiot holding a large rectangle up to your head? There isn’t much time left to decide before the September or perhaps October announcement.

Tip: don’t let people at work see you using a pretend iPhone. Not everyone understands the importance of this decision.