Posts tagged “iPhone

My Apple Lock-in

Everyone goes with an ecosystem for a reason. I don’t consider myself an Apple loyalist by any means. I am a fan of technology, exemplary design and quality. Some continue to use and buy every Apple product because of iMessage and not wanting to see that dreaded green bubble.

For me, the answer is different. For me, I’ve got to have Apple Watch.


Why

Apple Watch is the only relevant smartwatch on the planet aside from devices by companies such as Garmin and Fitbit — yet these are fitness trackers first.

Where is Android Wear? Stagnating because of the fact that Google isn’t doing the best job managing the platform. Samsung wearables are seen from time to time; however, the device that occupies most wrists that are charged daily is the Apple Watch. At this point, it would be difficult to move to a different platform without having a dependable form of wristwear to accompany my smartphone.


Intangibles

There are many things that Apple Watch does that you can’t see. A device that’s so reliable, you never need to worry about it working. Additionally, the safety of having a solid ecosystem behind you is second to none. Watchbands are made by Apple to the established Hermes.


Final Thoughts

Apple Watch, not only the best smartwatch but an excellent ecosystem to be apart of.

Apple Phone Slowdown Explained

It’s never a good thing to suspect that a company, especially one as large, controlling and expansive as Apple, could be doing something nefarious.  This certainly is not the case, Apple is not doing anything to make consumers purchase new devices or give up on their old ones.  However, what they did do, in traditional Apple fashion, is lack tact in delivering information to consumers, who just so happen to be the ones making them billions.


What is happening?

Over time lithium-ion batteries degrade.  It has become common knowledge that your smartphone battery (any rechargeable battery for that fact) will hold less and less change as it only has a lifetime of so many charge cycles.  With that being said, given the fact that your smartphone battery has limited life, develops wear and tear and will hold less and less charge over time it might make sense to slow an older phone down, right?  Smartphone apps are not getting any less demanding nor are the mobile operating systems that contain them.

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Due to the systems and applications that are on our mobile computers needing such power, they simply strain the battery too much for them to remain properly functional, meaning that Apple will throttle the performance of your CPU when it detects that the battery has a certain level of wear.  When CPU spikes occur, sometimes we feel our phones getting hot (it simply means that it’s working hard under load); however, when you’re dealing with sensitive internals of a device — if your battery already a tremendous amount of wear, spike after spike of the CPU could have your device shutting off because it simply cannot handle the operations (we’ve seen this on iPhone 6), have it’s battery life plummet or worse, mechanical failure of the internal components. Users noted that after they got a battery replacement on their device it seemed to function normally presumably because no throttling was needed at that point because the battery in the device was of good integrity.

Remember the Galaxy Note 7?  You don’t want mechanical failures like that in your precious iPhone.


Apple’s Response

Since the fallout, Apple has publicly acknowledged that this was happening and reportedly has been occurring since the iOS 10.2.1 update when it was noted that the iPhone 6 battery issues had been resolved.  This comes as somewhat of a surprise to Apple loyalists when some enthusiasts have been suspecting Apple of “planned obsolescence” or intentional slowdown of older devices in order to get the user to purchase a new one.  Additionally, Apple has noted that a future software update will give users insight into the health of their battery, this will come in early 2018.


My unbiased opinion

The issue that I have is that Apple did not tell customers that this CPU throttling was happening and honestly, they have a right to know, especially with newer phones costing $1000 and more.  Don’t just sit back and apologize for Apple (or any technological company) over and over again when they make a mistake — this is wrong and cowardly when you hold such a compelling grip on your customers and can lead to consumer backlash.  Perhaps that’s exactly what the company needs to stop being so secretive and oftentimes ignoring what their customers want and think.

iPhone 8 Plus Hands On

Short story here, it’s an iPhone people. It’s an iPhone. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.


Design

The design of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus is largely unchanged from it’s predecessor, maintaining a familiar body, weight and style even allowing for previous generation cases to fit perfectly on the new devices. Immediately upon picking up the device you notice the glass back, allowing for inductive (not wireless) charging, giving the phone a slightly grippier feel compared to that of iPhones 7 and 7 Plus as well as further hiding antenna lines commonly found on mobile devices.

The glass back truly brings in “peak” iPhone design.


Features

First off, don’t let anyone tell you that the newest devices from Apple aren’t worth your attention, sure they look similar, but internally there are changes throughout. From finally adding QI “Wireless” charging, the new A11 Bionic SoC and new camera specs — we’ve got a true update on our hands.


Should I Buy It?

Question of the day. If you’re coming from iPhone 6 or 6S (either model), there is NO question here — open the Apple Store app or go to your closest store and buy one of these phones. If you have an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, you may want to reconsider. Could you upgrade? Yes, and I surely won’t stop you from handing Apple your money, however with the 7 still being extremely capable — just use your best judgement.


Overall

It’s a good device. Apple delivers year over year some of the most refined and consistent devices, iPhones 8 and 8 Plus are no different.

Apple Watch Series 3 Impressions

Anyone seen the roadrunner?  Of course, you haven’t, because it’s on my wrist.  The biggest upgrade with the Apple Watch Series 3 is it’s responsiveness and battery life improvements.


Overview

Coming from the original Apple Watch (lovingly known as Series 0), the speed increase is huge with Series 3 with GPS.  Not only is the hardware much improved internally, watch OS 4 brings out the best in it.  From an improved workout app, Siri on board and a carousel of complications — this is a solid upgrade.  It is also reported that the speed increase is even notable from Series 1 and Series 2.

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Speed

Speed increases are the biggest and best thing about the new Series 3 watch and is seen from the moment you raise your wrist from the moment you lower it.  Even the most mundane and simple tasks such as swiping from watchface to watchface, opening an app and more — say goodbye to frame drops and hello to a perfectly smooth smartwatch experience.


watch OS 4

What does watch OS 4 bring to the table besides the very useful “Now Playing” complication?  First off, Now Playing is an excellent addition and automatically puts your media front and center on your watch when there is something playing on the iPhone, just makes sense.

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PocketCasts app shown above.  The Now Playing screen is similar and accommodates to media coming from your iPhone.

With Siri here, she can actually respond to you with her voice, which is only due to the new processor in the Series 3 device.  Apple Watch is an industry leading fitness device and the OS upgrade brings updates to the Workout app with more workouts to choose from an integration into new machines that will be coming to a gym near you.


Battery Life

Unbelievable. The upgrade from Series 0 to Series 3 is massive in this respect. Since purchase, I’ve gone to sleep after having it off of the charger all day with the battery at 84% and woke up with the battery at 77% — that is with light to moderate use the previous day. Just note that if this was my Series 0 it would’ve bit the dust overnight….


TLDR

Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS or with GPS and LTE are both considerable updates to the Apple Watch line and highly suggested if you’re in the market for a new wearable device.

Is iPhone X Justified?

Last week Apple announced a flurry of revisions and updates to it’s famed iPhone product line. Not only did we get updates to the iPhones 7 and 7 Plus, we got an all new $999 iPhone X (pronounced ten). Not only is the X a beautiful device (overall), it makes compromises left and right due to the choices, made by Apple, while now developers and users must pay the cost (literally) to use this new product.


Design

In an attempt to fully utilize the entire screen, iPhone X has two notches at the top of the screen that wrap around the Depth Sensor array and speaker at the top. Apple makes to attempt to hide this notch and creates two “ears at the top of the device that alters the experience unlike any other iOS device (more on that later). So while the screen at 5.8” is the largest screen ever on an iPhone, it will feel and react more like an elongated iPhone 7 or iPhone 8, not a Plus due to resolution. Let that sink in.


Software

iOS is arguably the easiest and simplest mobile operating system to use and get acquainted with and the iPhone X, albeit polarizing, does not change that fact.


Usability

iPhone X changes the paradigm, completely, in regard to how the screen displays information. So, first off, Springboard, which is Apple’s homescreen “launcher” remains the same — but let’s dive into the specifics of the hardware notch containing the True Depth camera array. This notch throws a wrench into a normally beautiful viewing experience and is considered by my technologists in the industry a design flaw, myself included. The issue this creates is that developers have to take into account this notch for all of their apps. Do they code around it? Or do they black out both “ears” surrounding the notch and just completely disregard that space? (Option number 2 is not recommended by Apple) So, will we enter an era of screen elements potentially ending up is strange positions around this hardware notch? You bet we will.

Additionally, this brings to light Apple’s claim to being edge to edge. Does it really count in this case? I’ll say that it does, but only because I’m trying to be nice. There are other phones on the market that still give us edge to edge but still have a small bezel around the device, look at LG V30. My question here is why couldn’t Apple push the sensors in the array further up, then give us equal parts of minimal bezel at the top and bottom of the screen? THAT would’ve worked…..


Should you buy it?

This is the tricky part, if you are using an iPhone 6 or 6s — go for it, if you can deal with a first generation product (not the first iPhone but the first in a brand new design).  Value or worth is completely subjective to the person that’s willing to swipe their precious card — $1000 is a lot for a smartphone (Apple, Google and Samsung); however, when thinking realistically we use and rely on our smartphone more than any other computer we own.  We want it to always have power, look nice, keep us in contact with friends and family — at the end of the day, the phone just needs to be worth the price tag.

The answer to this question is solely resting upon the shoulders of the buyer.