Apple Wallet is the stickiest of sticky things

Now, with its foundation being laid over the last decade, Apple is putting its foot on the accelerator to make Apple Wallet inescapable, for better or worse. Apps will soon be able to get ID and age verification (enabled by the rollout of digital driver’s licenses); flying and other governmental checkpoints should be faster; and a pay-later service will be available. These things are all being enabled to make Apple Wallet on iPhone a trusted and important part of daily life… More here.

iMessage was for a long time considered to be the sticky that kept people using the iPhone and by association Macs, iPads etc, but it is so much more than that. I use Apple Pay for 99% of payments and have done for a long time, and truth be told I cannot imagine using anything else.

I could move away from Apple Music to Spotify or another competitor, I don’t use Apple Books, Apple Arcade is OK and I don’t currently use an Apple Watch, but there are some things that I would struggle to give up.

iCloud is everywhere for me (photos in particular). Perhaps it shouldn’t be, but it is.

Apple Pay is essential to me.

Messages would be difficult to ‘downgrade’ from.

Ultimately I just prefer iOS and macOS to the competition for so many reasons, far too many to list, but those particularly sticky areas really are the glue that stop me from even looking elsewhere. That’s good and worrying at the same time…

Rudderless HTC

Presumably the buzzword gimmicks are meant as a distraction from the fact that the HTC Desire 22 Pro is a generic-looking mid-range phone. It has a Snapdragon 695, a 120 Hz, 6.6-inch, 2412×1080 LCD, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 4520 mAh battery. It has Android 12, a fingerprint reader, wireless charging, a microSD slot, and an IP67 water-resistance rating, which HTC only describes as “splash proof.” For cameras, you have a 65 MP main camera, a 13 MP ultrawide, 5 MP depth sensor, and 32 MP front camera. HTC’s spec sheet curiously also lists “Face ID” as a feature, which is an Apple trademark. HTC probably means generic face recognition… More here.

HTC was the king before the iPhone and before any other company it jumped on the touch screen only format to compete. From that point onwards it has been nothing but failure and I am surprised phones are still released to this day. Time to give up, do something else and find a way to thrive again.

“Atari Was Very, Very Hard”

When you hear the name “Atari,” if you’re of a certain generation, you might think back to a period in the very late 1970s and early 1980s when the Atari 2600 home video game console seemed unstoppable. But prior to Warner Communications purchasing Atari in 1976, the young company experienced four wild years of uncertainty and success while its employees relentlessly innovated a brand new class of electronic entertainment… More here.

An excellent article, if you can get past the billion adverts strewn all over the page…

‘The’ custom BMW R18

While relaxing at home, Brice stumbled across a documentary about the old AVUS circuit in Berlin—a road that was specifically designed to function as both a freeway and a race track. Since the R18 is built in Berlin, it felt like the perfect springboard for the project… More here.

Ever get that feeling of just wanting to go on a very long journey and say f*ck it all? This would be a very good choice to make that journey on. Stunning.

The iPhone Generation

It’s been 15 years since the first iPhone was launched and it feels much longer to me. I remember the Psion, the Palm Trees and various other smart(ish)phones, but the iPhone has become so much a part of my life and so many others that it can be hard to truly remember.

This video from WSJ called The iPhone at 15: An Inside Look at How Apple Transformed a Generation is worth a look because it highlights the impact of the product and how we now have a generation of people who do not know life without it, and without the competition that often feels more than a little familiar.

Not everyone thought the product would grow into the phenomenon that we have today, as highlighted in this tweet (image above) and of course there is Mr Ballmer…

I don’t even think about the iPhone as a product anymore. I don’t marvel at what it can do or hanker for the next version. It’s just there with me all day, every day and it isn’t going anywhere for some time to come. 30 years? It is possible unless I am being short term-ist and am not able to visualise what comes next.

An iPhone / Apple Watch / AirPods charging stand that is cheaper than one MagSafe charger

The (deep breath) Magnetic Wireless Charger Stand, 3 in 1 Magsafe 18W Fast Charging Station with QC3.0 Adapter for Apple iPhone13/12,13/12Pro,13/12Pro Max,13/12Mini,AirPods 2/pro,iWatch 6/ SE/5/4/3/2 is currently available in the UK on Amazon for £28.89.

The HiRise 3 Wireless Charging Stand from Twelve South is $99.99 and by all accounts doesn’t work as it should for the money (review here).

I decided to try the Magnetic Wireless blah blah thingy from Amazon following some reassurance that the reviews appeared to be genuine and extremely positive. And it has proved to be an excellent product that delivers in all of the areas that are important.

It is not a sleek product by any means and does look relatively thick, but it is sturdy and never feels like it will fall over. Charging could be a bit quicker when giving all three devices a burst of power, but it will certainly work well overnight or on a desk.

When you consider that it is cheaper than one MagSafe charger from Apple there is no doubt that it offers superb value for money. I cannot, however, verify that it won’t burn your house down due to poor electrics, but that risk will be up to you and how you feel about non-brand products like this.

When design fails

Take a look at the above watch I bought last week for £50. It’s a 1972 Avia Swissonic which is an electric watch and which was arguably right at the cutting edge of technology at the time. Electric watches were pre-quartz and they were designed to offer an alternative to mechanical timepieces. A battery and a tuning fork were used to keep time, and there are many available today in a variety of impressive 1970’s styling.

I say again, take a look at it and if you think hard you may notice a ‘huge’ design flaw in the dial.

The new Twelve South HiRise 3 looks impressive as well. It has the ability to charge an iPhone via MagSafe, an Apple Watch and a set of AirPods. It is $99.99 and can only charge an iPhone up to 10 watts, the Apple Watch cannot work in Nightstand mode and if you have a case on your iPhone it won’t connect properly. Jeez! That is so poor from a company that has historically made excellent products. A review highlighting the issues is here.

Oh yes, the watch. Look at the number of markers between the 5 minute markers. There are 3.

How on earth can you set the time accurately and, even worse, how can you tell the time accurately on this watch which was marketed as being a much more accurate timepiece for the modern generation? That’s appalling design for the sake of design while forgetting the actual functionality, and something that thankfully Apple rarely does.

Have you any examples of terrible design on products you own?

UPDATE: Neil may have solved the Watch conundrum- ‘Am I being dense? On the electric watch, I wonder if one is supposed to use the gaps between the markings, rather than the markings, to count the minutes?’