All posts by James Rogers

I am a Christian husband and father of 3 living in the Southeastern US. I have worked as a programmer and project manager in the Commercial and Industrial Automation industry for over 19 years, so I am hands on with technology almost every day. However, my passion in technology is for mobile devices, specifically Apple's iOS and iPadOS hardware and software. My favorite is still the iPad.

The iPhone XS Max as an Object

Like many other iPhone owners, I keep mine in a case pretty much all of the time. My now shipped off iPhone X and my new XS Max are no exceptions. While the look, basic shape and screen are still there in front of you every day, when you don’t handle the phone alone very often, it is easy to forget just how attractive it is and how good it feels as an object.

I was reminded of this today as I packed my iPhone X up to send back to Apple to fulfill my iPhone Upgrade Program. I took it out of the case and slid it around and flipped it over in my hand a bit before I disabled Find My iPhone and reset it. It really is the most gorgeous and beautifully designed gadget I’ve ever owned. Hands down. As good as the iPhone 4 and 4S were, nothing else is even close.

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Deals: NOVA True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

As good as Apple’s AirPods are, they aren’t the perfect earbuds for everyone. They don’t fit everyone’s ears. While convenient, they don’t have the best sound quality. The battery life is good for their size, but it is still a bit limited.  While the AirPods my be my favorite earbuds, it’s good to have choices that excel in different areas.

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The Apple Watch Series 4 Watchfaces: Calling All Complications

One of the standout features of the new Apple Watch Series 4 is its gorgeous screen. I have owned the Series 0, Series 1, and Series 3 Watches, and I would call their screens adequate, with each a little better than its predecessor. This isn’t an insult, as an adequate screen on a smartwatch that got a full day or better battery life was nothing to sneeze at a couple of years ago when this category was in its infancy.

However, the Series 4 is a completely different story. There is really no comparison between it and what came before. If you look at it next to any previous version, the difference is immediately noticeable. The Series 4 screen isn’t only larger, but it is also brighter and has a much higher resolution.  Text, colors, and images just pop in a way that they couldn’t on previous Watch hardware. As much as the coming EKG capability grabbed the headlines after Apple’s release event, the screen is the real star of this show in my book.

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Tips and Tricks: Fixing Poor Signal on a New iPhone XS or XS Max

There were widespread reports of users struggling with poor LTE and WiFi signal on their brand new iPhone XS and XS Maxs just after release. They started rolling in on Reddit and the Apple Support Forums after devices started arriving on Friday and kept up all weekend. This certainly isn’t what anyone wants when they get an expensive new iPhone. Negative reports are also the LAST thing Apple wants killing their post-launch buzz.

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The Hidden Power of Siri Shortcuts- Bypassing Default Apps

iOS 12 is a more subdued update than many we have seen over the years, with most of the changes being subtle and the improvements under the hood and out of sight. Because it is decoupled from the OS itself, it is easy to overlook just how big a shift in philosophy that Shortcuts represents for Apple’s mobile OS. When you think about how guarded they typically are with iOS and its user experience, allowing users this much access under the hood and behind the scenes is a really big deal.

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Deals: Ztylus Stabilizer Rig Kit for Smartphones

Have you ever wished you could hold your smartphone steadier while taking photos? Have you ever felt less than secure while fiddling with the focus and zoom of the Camera app, afraid you would drop it and break your screen? Have you ever needed to use a tripod with your smartphone camera? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to take a look at this.

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Siri Shortcuts Have Curiously Left the Apple Watch out in the Cold

I’ll open by saying that I really like what Apple is doing with Siri Shortcuts overall. I think it’s a great next step beyond the original intent and design of Workflow, and it could end up being the boost that finally gets Siri on the right track. That by itself would be a huge accomplishment. However, all that said, I am not sure why the Apple Watch didn’t get a real invite to the party.

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Living with the iPhone XS Max- A Few Missed Opportunities

Since the title leans toward the negative side, I’ll be clear- I love my new iPhone XS Max so far. I love the size. Love the screen. Love the resolution. I can live with the trade-offs, like over size and weight and the difficulty with one-handed use. However, after using mine for a day and a half, I think there is still some untapped potential in this hardware.

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Living with the iPhone XS Max- Day Two Morning

My iPhone XS Max finished fully restoring overnight, and I think pretty much everything is set up at this point. Here are a few stream-of-consciousness ramblings on Apple’s giagantor phone as I spend more time with it.

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Bigger Really is Better, at Least for Me

Launch days rarely work out for anymore. I thought I had it all set up today, and that I would be able to come home a little early to start playing with the new toys. Well, real life and work both intervened and that didn’t happen. In fact, I didn’t get home until after 8 PM, so my phone is still restoring, and I’ve only had a little while to play around with my new 44 mm Apple Watch.

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A Look Back at the iPhone X

My iPhone XS Max will arrive sometime tomorrow, along with many thousands of others across the US and the rest of the world. I was ready for this phone as soon as I laid my hands on the iPhone X a year ago, so I’m ready to see how much size matters. That said, this is a good time to look back on what I can honestly say is my favorite smartphone that I’ve owned to this point.

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