Question: My brother recently purchased two new Apple devices - an iPad Pro and a MacBook Pro. Both come with a free year's subscription to Apple TV Plus. My brother set up 'Family Sharing' in order to share his subscription with two family members. However, Apple payment and Apple-related direct debits for those family members included in the 'Family Sharing' arrangement are now being debited from my brother's account. For example, my iCloud monthly fee is now being deducted from my brother's account. Is it possible to set up 'Family Sharing' without converging accounts? - Brian McGuinness
Apple's 'Family Sharing' is designed for the likes of parents and kids. In other words, it's for families where people live in the same house and are happy to share personal responsibilities. So it's not aimed at grown-up siblings living in different houses or family adult family members who otherwise pay their own way for things.
The way Apple sets the guardrails for this is by requiring that you're using the same wifi service in the house, as well as the same Apple ID on your Apple iPhones or iPads or Macs. This is something that would be natural for a parent and child to experience, whereas it's unlikely to be something that flatmates would do. So it follows that whoever normally pays the bills (apps, services, purchases) associated with that primary Apple ID will pay for purchases by anyone else using that Apple ID.
So if your question is whether you can set up Family Sharing for one service (paid for by your brother) such as Apple TV+ but then allow the flexibility of others using that service to pay for other apps and services on the same Apple ID themselves through their own separate credit cards, I don't think it's possible. In other words, you can't set up Family Sharing and then split the bills.
I have thousands of photos on my old Mac and 20,000 on my iPhone. Can you advise the best way to bring them all together and to be organised and stored in one place? I don't mind using new software if needs be and it doesn't have to an Apple service. There must be loads of people with the same problem.
- Ronan Hourigan
The cheapest and quickest way is to upload them all to Google Photos, which is unlimited and free. You can do this on your Mac (I'm assuming it can get an internet connection) at photos.google.com and on your iPhone by downloading the Google Photos app and uploading all your photos. It's pretty easy to do as it walks you through the process. If you have a Gmail or Google account already, it's the same login and password. If not, it's free and quick to set one up. Organisation of the photos is reasonable. As well as a timeline of photos, Google will automatically create albums based on people, places and things.
If you want to stay in the Apple ecosystem entirely, its Photos archive system is very good but you'll need to pay a monthly fee to store them all there.
Following your recommendation to buy the Nokia 5.3 recently, I purchased the phone from my local Argos store. However it only accepts a nano-sim and my old Nokia 3310 sim card is too big. I want to keep my number and my pay-as-you-go Eir plan. I'm not very tech-savvy and have read that cutting a sim to size could easily destroy it. Can you suggest a solution?
- Tom A
Eir should offer to swap your larger sim for a nano-sim and let you keep your number and plan: just ask them in any Eir store.
If for some reason they don't, many independent mobile phone shops will simply do it for you by cutting the active part of the larger sim into a nano-sim (it's only the metal bit that really counts).
But you're right not to try this yourself as you could damage the sim card.
Can you recommend a good wifi extender for upstairs in my house? I've used a TP Link N300 TL-WA850RE and a Netgear N300 EX2700, both about €30 each. Both are now not really working after just a few months. I need something so that the kids and I can view YouTube and other things a couple times a day upstairs. I'm willing to spend upwards of €100 on something that definitely works. Our router is downstairs and the wifi is great there.
- Joanne Walker
The wifi extender I most often recommend these days is Google's Nest wifi system. It's not cheap, at €215 for the recommended set of two. But it's the best one I've come across, both from a quality and ease of set-up perspective.
Recommendation: Google Nest wifi (€215 from store.google.com)
Email your questions to email@example.com
Samsung Tab S7+
€909 from multiple retailers
Another Samsung review gadget is across our desk, this time its top-end 'pro' tablet. It offers a bigger, better screen than the iPad Pro, its main competitor. But it doesn't have the same number of tablet-optimised apps, which is a very big drawback if you're spending €1,000 on a 'pro' tablet for work.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
€2,065 on pre-order from Samsung
Every year, there's one great big experimental expensive flagship gadget. In 2020, it's Samsung's new Galaxy Z Fold 2 - the folding phone. I've only had this a few days, but it's certainly different. One minute it's a smartphone, the next it folds out to become a huge 7.6-inch tablet. The cameras, storage and power are all high-end too. Still: €2,000?