All posts by jhrogersii

Why Was Apple’s HomePod Delayed Until 2018?

If you haven’t heard by now, Apple has pushed the release of the HomePod from the more advantageous Holiday sales season to sometime in early 2018. I can’t say this comes as a massive surprise, because there has been very little news on the device over the last month. Part of that is because of the massive wave of interest in the new iPhone X, but if it had been coming out in December, we would have seen some leaks by now. This is definitely unfortunate for Apple, as they will certainly lose potential sales in a market where they are already later to arrive than usual. However, the why is more interesting than the what in this situation.

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Review- Apple Leather Folio for the iPhone X

I’ll be completely honest in saying that I’ve never been a big fan of Apple’s case solutions, in general. I loved the original iPad Smart Covers for the iPads 2 through 4, but that’s about it. They changed that design to a setup that I don’t prefer, and I haven’t bought another one, or any other Apple cases or covers since. Despite my skepticism of past products, however, I have been eyeing some of their Leather iPhone case colors for a bit and thinking of picking one up. When I saw that the new Apple Leather Folio for the iPhone X had wallet-like storage pockets and was also the first case ever to bring sleep/wake functionality to the iPhone, it nudged me over the edge.

As is the case with many Apple products, the deciding factor comes down to whether it is worth the typically higher Apple price to you. This has been a barrier for me, since most of their previous cases were more about looks than compelling functionality, with the Smart Cover being a notable exception. However, the Leather Folio adds a bit more in the functionality column, so it was well worth taking a look at in my book.

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Apple Music Streaming on the Apple Watch is a Mixed Bag

Before diving into the details, I will say right off the bat that Apple Music streaming on the new LTE-enabled version of the Apple Watch Series 3 works. The music sounded the same over my AirPods that it would if I were using my iPhone or iPad, which is good. Searches with Siri were performed quickly. I never had any issues with tracks skipping, even though I only had two “dots” of LTE where I was doing my testing. So functionally, it works fine and is a welcome addition to the Apple Watch. Also, it’s good to keep in mind that this feature is still in beta, so things could change a little here or there before full release.

However, when I also say that streaming Apple Music on the Watch is a mixed bag right now, I’m not kidding around. It is functional in the way that the original Apple Watch was- useful and novel, but also scattered and confusing at times. The interface and experience are spread out over two different apps, a leftover from watchOS 1, and Siri. At the end of the day, I am glad to have it, since it extends the Watch beyond the bounds of the old iPad Nano and Shuffle as a mobile music player. However, Apple Music integration doesn’t come without its share of growing pains.

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Deals: Pinpoint Precision X2 Rechargeable Stylus

I used to be somewhat of a stylus aficionado before the arrival of the Apple Pencil along with the iPad Pro. I hated the old “Kindergarten Crayon” capacitive styli that used to litter Amazon, eBay, and electronic retailer’s shelves early on in the life of the iPad. I was always on the lookout for something better.

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Deals: Neva Tech Qi Wireless Charging Pad

Wireless charging has finally come to iOS with the 8, 8 Plus, and X, so its time to pick up your new accessories and enjoy the convenience of powering up with no wires. Also, Apple just released the beta that will bump the wattage the iPhone will accept up to 7.5W, so it won’t take an eternity to accomplish a decent recharge.

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PSA: Family Members May Be Able to Train Their Way Into Your iPhone X via Face ID

You might want to consider changing your iPhone X passcode to something unique if you want to insure complete control over your new phone around your family. As evidenced by several reports of siblings, half-siblings and other close family members being able to “trick” Face ID, this is the best way to lessen the odds of it happening. Why do you ask? Because knowing the correct passcode to unlock the phone is the key to training Face ID. The X’s neural network that governs Face ID only acknowledges facial input for machine learning upon a failed unlock attempt after a subsequent successful passcode unlock. It also learns any changes to your face over time after successful unlocks. If you are letting someone else you are related to unlock your phone via passcode, there is a possibility that they will be able to train their way into unlocking your X via Face ID if you look enough alike.

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How Significant is the Reported Face ID Hack?

You’ve probably already heard by now that a Vietnamese “security firm” (a fancy name for a front for hackers) called Bkav has announced a successful hack of Face ID. Let the uproar begin. However, while everyone in the tech press loses their minds and attempts to pull in a boatload of easy clicks over this, let’s take a brief moment to step back and look at what has been reported in some context.

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Living with the iPhone X- Week 1 Grab Bag

It has now been more than a week since my iPhone X showed up. After some initial hiccups getting the backup from my iPhone 7 Plus restored, it has been pretty smooth sailing. It has been reliable and I haven’t seen any issues with the screen, Face ID, or even the problem related to sensitivity to temperature shifts. I’ve spent time taking about gestures, testing Face ID, and taking pictures up to this point. Today I want to touch on a few random thoughts and observations I’ve had on the X over the course of the week.

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Do We Really Want an iPad Pro with Face ID Right Now?

Photo Source: iDrop News

I guess this was inevitable. Right on heels of the release of the iPhone X, we now have rumors that Apple will roll out a new iPad with Face ID, no Home Button, and a bezel-less design. My first reaction upon seeing pictures of a mock-up of this potential device from noted leaker Benjamin Geskin (courtesy of iDrop News) was to drool a bit.

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Deals: Jamstik+ Portable Smart Guitar

I am a musician, but I’m most definitely not a guitarist. After I got comfortable reading music and playing various percussion instruments, I tried my hand at guitar. It didn’t take. I tried again in college. Still no dice. My fat fingers made playing an exercise in frustration. I was able to pass a college-level Piano Proficiency Exam, but I never could get anywhere with a guitar

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A Fix is On the Way For the iPhone X’s Temperature Tantrums

Like the “i” issue, the problem of iPhone X screen unresponsiveness during sudden exposure to cold temperatures is not one that I have personally experienced. However, there are plenty of people who have in areas where cooler temperatures have already set in. It’s real and seems to be affecting a significant number of phones.

While Apple likely tested the X at the extremes of its usable temperature range, it would be easy to miss this issue that occurs only at the onset of exposure to colder temps. This is one of those bugs that gets discovered when a phone goes from being tested by a few people in controlled conditions to millions out in the world. The “i”  bug should have never made it out the door, but as someone who builds and tests large systems for a living, I can understand how this one slipped by.

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