Tag Archives: iphone

Living with the HomePod- Settling In

This is day four with my HomePod, and I think I have a pretty good feel for it at this point. We all know the basics- the sound is great, Siri is no so great. However, this is the point where users start coming across more of the details of a device, and the HomePod is no exception. Here are some more observations from the last couple of days of use.

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Would You Subscribe to Apple Hardware?

A few days ago, Christopher Mims of the Wall Street Journal wrote a very interesting article that poses an even more interesting question- Would you sign up for a yearly subscription for Apple hardware?

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Apple’s HomePod Details Now Clearly in Focus as Preorders Begin at 12AM Pacific [Or Not]

[Update: The HomePod did NOT go on sale at 12 AM PST as most Apple news outlets and I expected, breaking the usual iOS-based device release mold. Apple didn’t shut down the online Apple Store last night and the HomePod still isn’t available for preorder. Apple has not made any official statement, but it has been mentioned by several people on Twitter that Apple does an automatic refresh of their website at 6:01 AM PST every day. It is now expected that the link to preorder the device will show up then, but who knows? It’s also possible that Apple is running a massive social engineering experiment to see how well it has conditioned its fans to get up at odd hours to preorder devices. If so, then based on the number of comments I saw on Twitter early this morning, I say well played, Apple. Well played.]

[Update 2: I was able to order the HomePod with launch day delivery. I’m not sure when exactly it hit the Apple Online Store for preorder, but I know it was before 8 AM CST because I checked while stopped in rush hour traffic on the way to work, and there it was. I completed my order around 8 AM CST, but it was released between 10 to 30 minutes before that  I hope Apple avoids being this random with future preorders, but it is what it is.]

HomePod preorders begin in a little over four hours [nope], so if you live in the Eastern or Central Time Zones and are planning to get up super early, it might be a good idea to turn in early, or at least catch a nap if you can [a nap sounds somewhere between good and necessary today]. With this new hardware finally coming into clearer focus, now is a good time to recap some of the additional information that has come to light since the countdown to release started ticking earlier this week.

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Tips and Tricks: Creating and Marking Up PDFs in iOS 11

As a contractor, I can tell you that PDF documents are the industry standard in my world. You don’t have to fuss with security settings or worry about them being altered the same way that you do with a Word doc, or other editable document style. If I am sending a customer a quote, it’s going to be saved as a PDF. If I’m sending a scan of a hard copy of something- PDF. When I get blueprints and specifications for a job to look at for bidding- PFD. If I am sending out a final copy of a project submittal or owner’s manual- PDF. These documents were all created using something else, such as Word, Excel, AutoCAD, etc, but they all end up as PFDs in the end. As the full file name suggests, PDF is all about portability.

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Apple Slices: Bite-sized Apple News of the Week

Time to start up Apple Slices, our series covering some of the wide variety of Apple news of the week, for 2018. We have more on the battery throttling story that just won’t go away, Apple making big commitments here in the US,  the coming HomePod, and more. Time to eat!

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Apple’s 2017 Hardware in Review: It Was the Year Of…

As we close out 2017 and look forward to a new year just a handful of hours ahead, now is a great time to look back at the year that was. This was a VERY busy year for Apple, so rather than a completely exhaustive review, I’m just going to hit a few of the highlights with Apple’s hardware in 2017.

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Review: ElevationLab’s BatteryPro

A few weeks ago, I took a look at a couple of battery packs from Griffin and Belkin for the Apple Watch. My interest in Belkin’s Valet Charger and Griffin’s Travel Power Bank was related to the increased battery demands that LTE and Apple Music streaming can place on the Watch’s battery life. Using these new features extensively will require topping off the battery during the day at times, and what better way than with compatible portable battery pack. With watchOS 4.2 now released, everyone with an LTE-enabled Watch can use Apple Music streaming and it wouldn’t surprise me if these battery packs suddenly become a lot more popular because of it.

Another Watch-compatible battery pack caught my eye when I was researching for the original review, and I was fortunate that the manufacturer was kind enough to send me one to take a look at this week. This is the BatteryPro from ElevationLab, which is also has an MFi-certified magnetic Watch charging pad built-in. This manufacturer is well-known for their high quality accessories, most notably the DraftTable for the iPad Pro (which I will also be testing over the next week for a coming review). After spending a few days using the BatteryPro, I can assure you that it is no exception, but another high-quality and very useful accessory in the ElevationLab lineup.

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Is Siri Finally Starting to Improve?

When you live with something for a while, it can be difficult to detect little changes that occur over time. The subtle differences and small tweaks can slip by without notice. I am definitely having this experience with Siri in my daily use over the last few months. I can’t tell you when both Siri and the on-board Voice Dictation started replacing and correcting words after the fact based on grammar rules, but I see that it’s happening on a regular basis now. One direct example I noticed recently would be Dictation replacing “there” with “their” based on the context of the sentence after I had dictated a few more words. I’ve seen the same with “your” and “you’re,” as well. This makes voice dictation far more flexible and usable, since I don’t have to go back and edit as often.

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Any Former Jailbreakers Out There?

Jacob Siegel of BGR, among others, is heralding what may be the beginning of the end of Jailbreaking. Two of the three main repositories that Cydia depends on, ModMi and ZodTTD, have both announced that they are shutting down. With many of the early reasons to Jailbreak worn away by the passage of time and ten years of updates to iOS, it certainly feels like this is the home stretch for something once thought to be essential to the power user experience on Apple’s mobile platforms.

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2017 Holiday Gift Guide

There are plenty of great articles around pointing out some of the best iOS and general tech deals coming up over the next few days. If that is more what you are after, take a look at BGR’s or The Huffington Post’s Apple Black Friday Deals Articles. For this Holiday Gift Guide, I’m going to focus less on what sales are out there, and more on potential gifts that can fill various needs for the iOS users in your life.

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Jony Ive Weighs in on Apple Park and the Future of the iPhone X

Photo Source: Wallpaper

Jony Ive graced the cover of this month’s Wallpaper, a well-known magazine that covers design, and gave a lengthy interview that touched on the new Apple Park campus, some of his thoughts on his time at Apple, and of course, the new iPhone X. His words lend an interesting perspective to his latest creation, and shed light on how he views both it and the future of Apple devices.

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