Don’t Reply to iPhone Thieves

“The messages prey on people’s emotions by giving them the impression they have access to personal things such as photos, even if they actually don’t,” Campbell said. “Many people don’t think clearly, just think about wanting their lost data or not wanting it to get in the wrong hands.” More here.

Suspect most reading this would not fall for it, but if sharing saves one person from these scumbags it’s worth posting.

Is the iPhone the best value smartphone?

I think it’s safe to say iPhones hold their value. A recent visit to Gazelle (opens in new tab) finds iPhones going back to the iPhone 6s still for sale (granted why would you buy an $84 6S when you can get an iPhone 13 mini for $589?).

Even with all this, Apple’s iPhone isn’t always winning. In late, 2020, Apple was briefly Number 1 with roughly 20% market share, but then it dipped through the summer of 2021 as customers waited for the iPhone 13.

My point is, though, that people will always come back to Apple and its high-value iPhone and not just for the iconography or the ghost of Steve Jobs. They pay more because, in the end, they get more… More here.

The article above ticks most of the boxes for why the iPhone is ultimately one of the best value smartphones, and likely the very best if you have the money to buy it. My daughter uses an older iPhone 7 and it’s working fine, and to date all of our family iPhones have been used for at least 5 years.

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.

One feature of iOS 16 changes everything

I have been largely accepting and underwhelmed with the iOS 16 beaters (oops, should be betas- thanks Simon!) so far, but there is one improvement that stands head and shoulders above the rest.

The dictation is phenomenal and above any other system I have used in the past. I am writing this article by simply speaking to my phone and I am doing so at normal pace while the full stops and commas, and everything else are put in for me.

It almost doesn’t feel real as it’s happening, because it goes back to correct itself, the grammar is corrected as I speak, and I am watching the cursor jump back to insert punctuation where it is needed, whilst all the time not one word is misspelt or misheard.

Seriously, you need to try it for yourself to understand what it’s like for everything from text messages to quick emails. I find it hard to believe that the on-screen keyboard could get anywhere close.

Apple makes a big deal about changing everything. This time they actually have. It’s amazing.

Hamilton Khaki Field Auto / Garmin Vivosmart 5 / iOS 16

The Hamilton Khaki Automatic is, to me, the quintessential watch. I owned one when I first got into watch for approximately 1 hour. A purchase from eBay, but alas the one I bought was way out and lost over 10 minutes a day. The seller was nice, but he had no other stock and so I left the watch alone, presuming they were all like that.

Of course they are not all bad and the movement inside is actually very impressive for the price, a modified ETA 2824-2 with 80 hours of power reserve and a 6 beats per minute second hand. This means that you can actually see the second hand judder from time to time as the human eye can see ticks below 8 per second, but in a way this adds to the feel of the watch. Mine is currently 2 seconds slow a day which is brilliant.

As a watch, the finishing and design are just about perfect to me- not flashy in any way, kind of a tool vibe and a design that looks good on any strap, and in any situation.

This was the first ‘proper’ watch I bought and it’s the latest. I would love to say it’s the last, but I like watches so we know that won’t happen.

Whenever the Vivosmart is photographed some of the text disappears…

The Vivosmart 5 is Garmin’s latest update to the only adult wrist tracker it makes. A variety of fitness watches come out from Garmin, but the Vivosmart has long fell behind the rest and was in dire need of an update.

And so Garmin releases the Vivosmart 5 which on most accounts is also way behind the competition and was in dire need of an update as soon as it arrived. The styling, or lack of, and monochrome screen look like a 2016 creation and there is nothing about it that creates any positive emotion.

I have worn it for a few weeks while I put the Epix away and wore the Hamilton. It has proved to be much easier to use than the Vivosmart 4, the screen is visible in all conditions and the single button on the front makes a huge difference. It is bigger than I expected and close to impossible to wear in bed for sleep tracking, but alas Garmin sleep tracking is never great anyway no matter what device you use.

Overall I would rate it as a competent fitness tracker and it works well alongside the Garmin Connect software, but the phantom step issue remains. I painted an old desk over a period of 30 minutes and got 4,500 steps for my efforts. 4,500! Driving also adds steps which is annoying to a similar level to what the Epix does and I remain perplexed by the fact that the Apple Watch does not do this.

If you want fitness tracking it is hard to know what to choose, but I am coming around to the fact that Apple seems to do it better in almost every metric apart from battery life- that should change later this year.

iOS 16 has been an interesting beta(1) this year. Totally stable for me, a bit of a drain on battery performance, but otherwise it feels fairly complete.

The new Lock Screen feature is a nod to customisation, but it falls well short of being anything other than a different Lock Screen. I prefer the notifications at the bottom and aside from that it doesn’t seem to do much at this time. Hopefully it is the start of something that will grow, but until that time it feels somewhat experimental.

Of all the new features, most of which will not gain many headlines, the ability to unread a message is huge for me. Being able to edit a message, pull back emails is useful, but leaving the notification live for a message I need to go to later feels like the ticking of a final box.

Nothing about iOS 16 wows me in any way and I don’t think that’s possible anymore, but there is no way I am moving at this point. It’s there, I am here and I guess that’s enough which sounds like a sad state of affairs when I consider the cost of these devices. The problem is that it does so much for me and so my inclination, and energy, to move is simply not there.

Apple (March 2021)

Tim Cook started by announcing weekly baseball Apple TV+ content. Baseball, a game that is a child’s version of cricket. Cricket, a game that is not a sport. It’s just standing around waiting for something to happen. So, as a Brit the first scoop kind of bypassed me;)

Next up, iPhone 13/Pro in 2 new colours. Nice I suppose, but 99% of iPhones are cased 99% of the time so…. moving on.

A new iPhone SE with a better chip, the A15 bionic. Better photography, battery etc. It’s good to see this smaller phone getting an update in so many different areas.

A new iPad Air which I was not excited for because my Air (2 years old) is working well for everything I need it for. There are changes to connectivity (5G), an M1 processor, the cameras and certain apps which are useful plus the expected ‘green’ marketing stuff. And that was it… I am far from an iPad power user so I am not the target market for this, but all of the powerful hardware in the world will not push the form forward without some major changes to iPadOS.

The M1 Ultra chip was up next. Very very impressive and some will want/need this- it just seems to push Apple even further ahead which must unnerve the competition massively.

Mac Studio (a Mac mini Pro?) is an interesting product and one which I am still considering in my mind. Very powerful, great design and it appears to be a winner at first glance. And while I am again not the target market, this level of power puts even more professional tasks in the hands of individuals in any location. This level of ‘freedom’ should not be overlooked.

The Studio Display is also brilliant and so typically Apple. It does complete the Mac Studio solution as it should, but the price is, well, typically Apple. $1599…

This event was as expected thanks to all of the leaks that came before. It was somewhat muted which makes sense in a time when people are being slaughtered in Ukraine and when we are still in the Covid-19 era (we are not post-Covid yet), but what was shown highlighted that Apple can progress at a speed that many will feel is not innovative and still win. The fact is that it is all impressive and it does not need to wow us. In 2022 we just need to get on with our lives and these products seem to fit the moment.

OpoLua: the return of Psion!

View MBM image files, OPL scripts, and AIF resources, listen to sound files, and run OPL scripts and programs from Psion and Psion-compatible computers on iOS and iPadOS… More here.

It’s not perfect and it takes some time to understand how to install files, but this is a welcome development for those of us who have never forgotten the magnificence of the Psion system.