There were several large protests in downtown Indianapolis last weekend and even more this past week. All were regarding the Roe vs. Wade reversal, and all were peaceful, which s a lot better than the mess we had downtown a while back. I’ve grown up in a conservative household and have always considered myself a conservative, but as I get older, I start seeing myself siding with some liberal issues. I think I’m a Centrist, and I’m OK with that. As an example, I’m Pro 2nd Amendment as well as Pro-Choice when it comes to women’s reproductive rights. I’m not a fan of Big Government, but I also understand the need for subsidies, where needed, for the greater good. I’m a proud American, and I appreciate the freedom we have to exercise our right to protest and use our vote to produce change peacefully. I’ve left a long career with a very conservative (politically and financially) privately owned company and moved to a more liberal, not-for-profit organization. Within the first month, I opened my eyes to some things I would have never noticed before. It will be a wild ride, and I’m looking forward to growing my understanding of the “other side.”
I had to get a new phone when I left my last employer, so I upgraded from an iPhone 12 Pro to a 13 Pro. I haven’t had to pay for a cell phone for 20+ years & was a little surprised at the cost of a non-enterprise line and phone! I decided to purchase the iPhone 13 Pro outright to give me flexibility should I want to upgrade at a future time and trade this unit in for credit. You get a surprisingly decent amount of money for used Apple products when you trade them back into Apple.
The 13 Pro has slightly better battery life, a better camera, and screen than the 12, but that’s about it. I had been upgrading my work phone every two years and was on the “Even Cycle” of phones (8/10/12) vs. the “Odd Cycle” (9/11/13). The Even cycle of iPhones always seems to have the most significant technological leaps, with a rumor that the iPhone 14 will switch from Lightning to USB-C for its power connector. Of course, Apple could remove the connector altogether and be a true wireless phone.
Luckily I get a decent stipend from the new job to cover the cost of my cell phone, but it’s nothing like having it provided for free as an employee perk. I find myself being much more careful with this $1200 device than I was when it was standard issue equipment as part of the job. I’ve also never been one to use a screen protector, but after finding what looks like a small scratch on the screen of my new phone, I ordered some tempered glass screen protectors from Amazon. We’ll see if they make a difference or not.
And finally… CNBC had an interesting YouTube video about Amazon. It’s a combination of several pieces, so there is some redundancy, but it does a good job explaining what happens when you return an item to the shopping behemoth.
We’re staying in today & watching the snow come down in Central Indiana. I was looking around on Reddit and came across a post with a link to a website where you can make your own Smart Phone wallpaper from a map.
Here are a few I made for the Indianapolis area, and another one for downtown:
You can select any location in the world and adjust the color and size to perfectly fit your particular phone. I’m particularly fond of this one on my iPhone 7 Plus lock screen:
Do you know of other sites that allow you to create these kind of wallpapers? If so please leave a comment below!
Trying to get back into the blogging habit after a long hiatus. Too many distractions with the amazing summer weather we’ve been having this year! I’m working on a recap of what we’ve been up to & should have it up here in a week or so.
BUT, for now I’ll publish a draft I had sitting in the queue and hopefully it’ll come in handy for some of you.
I don’t know about you but in my world manufacturers and restaurants have this silly habit of using smaller and smaller fonts everywhere. Case in point, try looking at the IMEI number on the back of your iPhone. It’s TINY!
BUT, I have a solution to share with you that I’ve used for a while now. It’s call the Triple-Click-Magnifyer and it’s amazing!
1. Touch the “Settings” icon on your iPhone’s home screen.
2. Touch the “General” button followed by the “Accessibility” button.
3. Touch “Triple-click Home” (or “Accessibility Shortcut”) located at the very bottom of the Accessibility screen.
4. Tap any of the accessibility options to assign that option to the Triple-click Home function. A check appears next to the option to indicate you selected it. If you select more than one option, the iPhone will ask you which one you want to activate when you use the Triple-click Home feature.
I only use the Magnifier option at this time and it works amazingly well. It’s not the same as firing up the camera and zooming in. It allows for much closer focus and an almost unbelievable amount of zoom.
Now all you need to do is unlock your phone and quickly press the home button 3-times. That’s it!
If you found this tip helpful let me know in the comments section.
This should make you think twice about enabling the Always On “Hey Siri” in the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus! When I’m listening to Podcasts in the car and someone mentions Syria Siri wakes up half the time. IOS9 has a training feature that will, hopefully, eliminate this.
…and so far I like it!
It’s larger than the 5s it’s replacing and about as big as I’m willing to go with a phone. NO WAY was I going to even think about the 6 Plus. The Apple leather case is a great addition that gives enough grip to keep me from dropping the phone every time I pick it up but not so much that you can’t easily slip it into your pocket.
The release of iOS8 has caused just about every application I use to issue an update (or two) & that seems like all I’ve done is update apps this afternoon. I still have a few that are crashing (like DropBox) & I’m hoping the next update will resolve that.
I’m fortunate that my employer pays for me to get the latest and greatest gadgets to help test before we deploy to 300+ engineers who have no patience for things that don’t work (the way they want them to). If you have an iPhone 4/4s/5 it’s worth considering an upgrade. If you’re already using a 5s you’re not going to see that much of a difference (yet). I’m very excited to see how the mobile pay application works once it comes online in October. And I’ll have to admit the watch look pretty damn interesting too.
This is it folks. We’ve all been waiting for it & now it’s finally here!
It’s been a few days since Apple released their latest mobile operating system and now that the dust has settled I thought I’d post some of my first impressions about iOS7. This is not a complete review, of which you can find all over the web by better writers than myself, it’s just a summary of my initial thoughts after using it for a few days.
iOS 7 was unveiled at last Septembers World Wide Developers Conference and has been eagerly anticipated ever since. With this new OS Apple has introduced a new look and feel which gives new life to some of their older devices (iPhone 4 and above is supported). Visually everything seems somewhat flat and less cartoonish. The typography used throughout (mostly Helvetica Neue Ultra Light) is clean and easily legible, although I did need to bump up the font size a touch to help with my aging eyes.
We all have our likes/dislikes with various products. I’m going to focus more on what I don’t like about iOS7 (it’s a pretty short list).
- Smaller folder screens
- You can only have 9 icons on a screen vs 12 in iOS6 (but you CAN have more than one page!)
- Takes up more storage
- 3.1GB needed to upgrade and you only get 2.8GB back
- Parallax Effect
- Not very smooth on the iPhone 4S or iPad 4th Gen, I ended up turning it off
- No AirDrop on pre iPhone 5 devices
- I was really looking forward to this feature but DeskConnect provides an alternative
- No weather app for iPad
- Plenty of 3rd party options but it’s odd not to have it on the Notification Screen
- Only searches local data, no more Web or Wikipedia searches
With the negatives out of the way there are PLENTY of things to like about iOS7.
- Fresh new look
- Bug fixes
- Control Center
- iTunes Radio
- Slide anywhere to unlock
- Multi-page folders
- Safari Improvements
- Camera improvements
- Photo Collections
- App Switching
- iMessage Timestamps
- Siri Improvements
Overall iOS7 introduces a lot of new and updated features. I’m not sure where Apple is going to go from here but I think we have a few years before we’re going to see anything truly unique and revolutionary. I have an iPhone 5s on order & I’m looking forward to seeing how some of the restricted features work on it (AirDrop, new camera, etc.). I’ll be sure to post an initial look at the 5s once I get it in my hands & have some time to put it through the paces.
After using the iPhone for a while I’ve become quite fond of it but with any device there tends to be a few quirks. Case in point; the iPhone alarm clock…
The Apple iOS starts just about all phone interactions with a swipe of the finger. That swipe becomes second nature to a lot of us because we’re unconsciously swiping to unlock our phones all day long.
So guess what happens when your alarm is going off at 6 am and you grab your phone to silence it (in my case hit snooze a few times)? That instinctive swipe motion turns the alarm OFF! You have to press a small red button titled “Snooze” to silence he phone for nine minutes. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve accidentally disabled my iPhone alarm in the morning. I think I’m finally getting the hang of it though…
Who came up with the nine minute snooze threshold anyway? Three of the four alarm clocks I’ve ever owned all had the nine minute snooze. The fourth one had a seven min snooze. I want a 10 minute snooze so I can easily calculate how many times I can hit it before I REALY need to get out of bed…
As much as I read online you would think I’d already be using an online clipboard but the usefulness was lost on me until about three weeks ago. Pocket (formerly Read-it-Later) is changing the way I collect and process online content.
Adding a simple bookmark to your browser allows you to take the article you’re reading on the screen and transform it into a very readable (i.e. NO ADS!) format you can take with you anywhere. Just launch the app on your phone and once downloaded you can get access to the information without any kind of network connection.
Tired of reading on the small screen? Visit the Pocket website and read on your computer. Pocket is cross-platform and integrated into a lot of applications (like Twitter for iPhone) where it will grab a link and process it for later reading. Finally you can email any link to [email protected] and have it processed that way.
Definitely a great way to grab content for later consumption. The only drawback I’ve found so far is I have a LOT more to read and it’s getting hard to keep caught up!
It’s been just shy of 3 weeks since I turned off the Blackberry and started testing the iPhone as a potential replacement. In that time I’ve had the opportunity to install/uninstall software, test accessories, and perform an operating system update (all without issue or lost data).
The iPhone is not perfect my any means (what piece of technology is?) but it’s preformed quite well during my testing phase.
While testing I made some mental notes along the way:
- Application Availability – If you can think of it there’s probably “an app for that”.
- Build Quality – Solid with tight tolerances and attention to detail.
- Screen Resolution – I can actually read PDF files now!
- Overall Responsiveness – Very little delay between user input and system output.
- Camera – Forget the Mega Pixel count, the optics are very impressive for a phone.
- Audio Output – Loud and clear.
- Messaging – iMessage, FaceTime & just about every Social App available.
- Productivity – Full Exchange Compatibility (with the addition of a 3rd party application*)
- Location Based Reminders – Arrive/leave a location and get reminded of something you need to do at that time (Example – Set the trash out every Wed when you get home from work).
- Battery Life – If you use the phone at all you’re going to have a hard time getting through the day on a single charge (I found a solution I’ll discuss below**).
- On-screen Keyboard – I’m slowly getting used to it and the auto correct has not burned me (yet).
- Data Network – I seem to lose 3G coverage more than I did with the Blackberry.
- Software Limitations – Some Apps I could use (like a Wi-Fi scanner) are not approved for use by Apple Corp. This is resolved by Jail Breaking, so I hear…
- Siri – This has SO MUCH potential if it would just do more than basic functions.
* TaskTask a $4.99 app fixed the issue with Outlook Tasks not syncing with the iPhone. This would have been a deal breaker for me if the app did not exist. I live and die by my task list (Insert GTD fanboy laugh here).
** As discussed in a previous post the PhoneSuite Elite solved by battery issues. I can use the iPhone all day without any worry of falling offline due to a low battery.
- Remote Controls – I can now control Roku, iTunes, Media PC and the U-Verse DVR from the iPhone.
- Games – Words with Friends is pretty addictive as are any of the EA Games titles.
- Dragon Dictation – This app is built in and does an incredible job of turning spoken words into text.
So there you have it, yet another move to a new platform. Let’s see, in the last 20+ years it’s been:
- Pen & Paper
- Casio Address Book
- HP Palmtop
- Motorola Pager
- Motorola 2-Way Pager
- Motorola Star-Tac
- Palm (several models)
- Windows Mobile (several models)
- Blackberry (several models)
- iPhone 4s
Who knows what the future will hold but it the past is any indication it’s going to keep getting better and better.