“I like the iPhone, but I wish it had a manual I could read.”
Years ago, Apple streamlined its product packaging to only include the bare essentials, and the company decided at that point that those bare essentials didn’t include a user’s manual. After all, Apple products are easy enough to use straight out of the box, right? Why bother with bulky documentation that very few customers ever use.
I’ve actually heard this complaint from a lot of the customers who come in to the retail store where I work. So I know that this is a recurring theme, at least among a certain type of my clientele: Often older customers who are simply more comfortable with printed matter.
Unfortunately, the days of big books that come with computers and accessories is waning. It’s wasteful, it adds a lot of weight and bulk to product packaging, and the fact is that few people use them.
The good news is that there are manuals available for most Apple products. If you already have a Mac, iPhone or iPad, you have everything you need to get started. The secret is Apple’s iBooksapp.
iBooks is Apple’s electronic book reading software. It’s Apple’s alternative to Amazon’s Kindle, or Barnes & Noble’s Nook (apps that are also available on the App Store). It’s available for both iOS and for OS X. Here’s the link to Apple’s section on the iBook Store.
Apple periodically updates product documentation to reflect changes in new operating system releases, highlighting new features and newly exposed functionality.
The best part is that it’s all free, and you don’t even need to own the device to download the documentation. So if you’re curious about how Apple’s MacBook works, or you’d like to know a little bit more about the Apple Watch before you drop $350 this Christmas, you can visit the iBook Store and download Apple docs to your heart’s content.
iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan debuted with transit maps for a variety of North American cities, but Boston was left off the list. It didn’t take Apple too long to fix that, though. The company has updated its maps data with transit information for Boston commuters. If you plan to use the MBTA or Commuter Rail to get in and out of Boston, you can now use Maps to plan your route.
There are, of course, third party apps that have filled the gap quite nicely, like Transit. Still, it’s convenient to use built-in apps, and Handoff integration makes it convenient for you to plot your route on your Mac then transfer it to your iPhone.
You shouldn’t need to do anything to see the new content — it’s all server-side on Apple’s end.