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iPhone X made compromises due to the top notch and screen corner rounding

Today we get to see what bad design is all about. Unfortunately, it is with the iPhone X.

Our friends at was able to review the iPhone X for 24 hours and they brought up something that I was wondering since the iPhone X announcement. When you play a video does it interfere with the top notch like the initial presentation showed?

From this screen grab from’s video no the top notch and the screen rounding does not interfere.  What we have is letterboxing instead.  Yeech.

iPhone X Video with black bars on the sides

iPhone X Video with black bars on the sides

After moving to a high definition 1080p TV screen, I got tired of watching 480p old movies and shows with the letterboxing.  That is what we now have with video content with the iPhone X. Every video looks smaller and scrumched just to avoid of missing video due to the top notch and the corner screen rounding.

I guess you have to do what you have to do. Take the lesser of two evils.  Sad that Apple choose this approach in the end. I don’t feel like and think this is what I want when I watch video on my phone. I like to see everything like in the theater. All vide0 details in the widescreen format. Too many compromises Apple has asked of us this time around. I had to move away.

This is what I like and the Samsung Galaxy Note8 delivers – a nice widescreen at 6.3″ with no compromises.  Both the iPhone X and Note8 screens are made from Samsung so you know they both are good. Apple used to deliver this with the iPhone 6/7/8 Plus at 5.5″ of goodness. The iPhone 8 Plus does not equal a better phone than the iPhone X either.

Galaxy Note 8 screen with widescreen video

Galaxy Note 8 screen with widescreen video

You have two years to make it right Apple as that is when my two years of paying off my unlocked Note8 will be complete and I will be looking for another smartphone then.








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iPhone X is not for me

I have been watiting for the official release of the Tenth Anniversary iPhone for a long time. I had many things that I would like to see and boy did Apple disappoint.

This is not the first time Apple had decided to do something I did not like. Most of the time I shrug it off and wait for the next big thing. This time I cannot. I have decided what works for me and what I want is important. Even if Apple does not see it.


First reason – the screen notch.

Yeech. In a 5.8″ display? No thanks. I had hoped for a larger screen than my iPhone 7 Plus at 5.5″. 5.8′? That is not acceptable. Keep the phone the same size and fill it in with a 6’3″ screen like the Note8.

The Notch is just something that should not have been. It is dumb on the Essential Android phone and dumb on the iPhone X.

iPhone X Notch

It is cool to have images flow behind the screen? I like the large rectangle screen. Now instead of a 5.8″ screen you have a 5.5″ screen with two .3″ sections that is basically unusable. Yes, I said it – unusable. I the official Apple fix for web sites we need to put in a new meta tag just for the iPhone X to display them properly without clipping?  No thanks.


Second reason – Newton!

Do I like a stylus – Yes, I do.  One of the greatest Apple inventions was the Apple Newton MessagePad. It was fantastic. Pen input in ink that can be stored yet searchable. Plus the capability of ink to text at any time later? Why Apple? Why did you kill this technology from 1993 that was lightyears ahead of anyone else? Microsoft and Samsung has been catching up in the past 5 years with their OneNote and Note smartphones.


I have decided to declare that 2017 is the year that:

Apple Newton = Samsung Galaxy Note8!



It is true.

After years of using the horrible black eraser style and the flat clear disc stylus styles. Nothing beats the SPen and Note8 combination.

I tried as much as I could by using a combination of hardware and apps and kyboard add ons (and spending up to $200 dollars) I could get a somewhat close version on any of my iPhones.  The Apple Pencil and the iPad Pro comes close but still lacks a clear vision of integration.


By using Samsung Experience you get a iOS type of interface and free apps. The Samsung keybaord has the ability to allow immediate handwriting to text conversion.

Samsung Notes makes it possible to create any notes with ink.

Microaoft’s OneNote can convert ink to text later (on the Windows version but the iOS and Android versions makes the ink saved so it can be done on Wiindows). Both iOS and Android have this limitation thanks to Microsoft.


In the end for now, until Apple gets it’s act together and makes a integrated OS level stylus. The Samsung Galaxy Note8 is the current successor of the Apple Newton.

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Happy 10th Anniversary iPhone

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the iPhone. The day Apple and Steve Jobs changed the world again.

Original iPhone

Original iPhone

Again you say? There were many other products that Apple released:
- 1984 Macintosh
- 2001 iPod

Not only did these products change myself, they changed the computing industry, and the world.

Macintosh introduced the GUI to the masses that was affordable at $2,499. Xerox created the GUI and did not really see a commercial product. Steve Jobs give Xerox the ability to buy Apple IPO stock in 1980 to use the GUI. That stock has not only split but increased in value many times over.

iPod made 1,000 songs to be available in your pocket. The real revolution this caused was an easy way to get music onto a portable digital player.

Without these pushes we would still have Microosft DOS command line and clunky MP3 players that cannot play any song.

iPhone 7

iPhone 7

Today we have plenty of wonderful capabilities including the original ability of phone calls, the full Internet in Safari, and a widescreen iPod. These three abilities was the main revolutionary abilities of the original iPhone. Back then these were not available in the existing “smart phones”. Those “smart phones” gave you limited mobile internet as it could not handle all of it. Limited version of email (from a few providers). iPhone handled all of that and gave you more.

Thank you Apple and everyone under Steve Jobs for all of your awesome work in getting this product out the enrich our lives.

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Essential iPad Pro accessory – Sandisk iXpand 128GB

Sandisk iXpand 128GB

The Sandisk iXpand flash drive is an amazing flash drive. It features a USB 3.0 port and a Lightining port. Connecting this to any Mac or PC to copy music/Video/pictures or documents is fast and as easy as copying files to any other drive.

You will run no your iOS device the Sandisk iXpand specific app. What is nice is when you first plug int he iXpand it will ask to bring you to the App Store and download the right app!

The best part is the Lightining port that connects to your iPad Pro (or any other iPhone and iPad). It can play 1080P video with ease to the device (4k video recording from an iPhone 6s could not be played back).

Sandisk iXpand 128GB on iPad Pro

Encryption is an option to make it an encrypted drive.

The 128GB option is the only one I feel is worthly of owning as you cannot have too much space on a flash drive. As of this posting it is $119 US for 128GB.

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Apple Watch – More battery tests 2 DAYS per charge #AWS #apple #applewatch #iwatch #battery

I decided to do two more sets of 2 days each of the Apple Watch battery tests.

This day set (of two days) was on the weekend so I did:

  • 30 minutes of Workout app
  • Looked at the time throughout the day
  • Took one phone call on the Watch
  • Check the Weather App
  • Looked at my Activity App to check out my progress
  • Looked at notifications from calendar, TapaTalk, etc. all day.

* Using Apple Watch 1.0.1

  • Get up and put my Watch on (take it off the charger) after I get dressed at 7 am (100% battery power left)
  • At 10:16 pm I put my Watch away as I won’t be needing it anymore by putting it into Power Reserve Mode (62% battery power left)
  • The next day reboot it at 8 am (60% battery power left)
  • At 10 pm put it on the aluminum charging stand (18%)

This day set (of two days) was over Memorial Day and Tuesday  so I did:

  • 75 minutes of Workout app
  • Looked at the time throughout the day
  • Took one phone call on the Watch
  • Check the Weather App
  • Looked at my Activity App to check out my progress
  • Looked at notifications from calendar, TapaTalk, etc. all day.
  • Converse through iMessage.

* Using Apple Watch 1.0.1

  • Get up and put my Watch on (take it off the charger) after I get dressed at 7:30 am (100% battery power left)
  • At 10:58 pm I put my Watch away as I won’t be needing it anymore by putting it into Power Reserve Mode (56% battery power left)
  • The next day reboot it at 7 am (54% battery power left)
  • At 10 pm put it on the aluminum charging stand (6%)

Consistently two days worth of battery since Apple Watch 1.0.1 Update. If my Apple Watch does not take my pulse every 10 seconds anymore, I am ok with that.  I only need those taken during workouts and periodically during the day.



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Apple Watch – A stand for a little money #apple #applewatch #iwatch

I went ahead and bought a stand for my Apple Watch. This is an emerging accessory area that many companies are PRICE GOUGING!Apple Watch Stand Spigen

I went with a no-name manufacturer called Spigen and bought this from Amazon for $19.95.

It is aluminum with a black plastic top part that you put the Apple Watch power connector in. Save yourself some money and get this one as it is available now.

Let’s compare the competition. Some are also aluminum, others are wood, and others are plastic:

Nomads version is $59.95

Griffins version is $29.99 ( this one is not too bad priced)

DoDoCases version is $99.95

Poetics is $19.95

The ones on Kick-starter that I have seen are also super expensive.



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Apple Watch Sport – Fifth day and long battery life tips #AWS #apple #applewatch #iwatch #battery

Battery life is an important thing, for me, in using my iPhone and my Apple Watch. I have been fortunate that with my decision of smartphones (all iPhones) and the non-need to be notified every second of my life has worked out that usually I don’t have to charge my iPhone more than once every 20 hours with normal use.

Normal use for me is: check email manually (I check it a few times a day); Tapatalk and Facebook (a few times a day); surfing web pages; updating my web site; and checking my fitness/health.

What is out of normal for me is: watching Videos (twice a week for an hour and a half each time); playing music; using directions with the Map app; using the Workout app (walking daily); and video game playing (RuneQuest for instance).

So through that I have been able to extend this to my Apple Watch. Right now I can get two days worth (12 hours a day) out of a single charge. How I accomplished this is to first tell all Apple Watch compatible apps: Not install by default, turn off “Mirror iPhone Alerts from” for the apps I don’t want to notify me on the Watch, and turn off apps I don’t need to appear in my Glances on the Watch.Apple Watch Power Reserve at 10% message Pretty simple but it works. Any day can be a combination of normal and out of normal.

A normal two day pattern for me is to (using Apple Watch 1.0)

  • Get up and put my Watch on (take it off the charger) after I get dressed at 7am (100% battery power left)
  • At 8pm I put my Watch away as I won’t be needing it anymore by putting it into Power Reserve Mode (56% battery power left)
  • At 7am the next day reboot it at 7am (54% battery power left)
  • At 8pm put it on the aluminum charging stand (The watch turned on the Power Reserve Mode automatically at less than 3% battery power left. I skipped the 10% BRM notification. I don’t know at what percent when it turned BRM on but it did.)

I tested this again another set of two days (using Apple Watch 1.0.1):

  • Get up and put my Watch on (take it off the charger) after I get dressed at 7am (100% battery power left)
  • At 10pm I put my Watch away as I won’t be needing it anymore by putting it into Power Reserve Mode (57% battery power left)
  • At 7am the next day reboot it at 7am (55% battery power left)
  • At 7:30pm put it on the aluminum charging stand (3%)

I am consistently getting two days worth.

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Apple Watch Sport – Fourth day #AWS #apple #applewatch #spg #starwood @spg @starwoodbuzz #iwatch

Travel, travel, travel. I love travelling. Discovering new places or just re-visiting old stomping grounds is something I really like to do with my spare time.

So on this adventure I was over in Seattle, WA and decided to stay at one of my favorite hotel brands, W Hotels. W is a trendy luxury hotel chain owned by Starwood. They have a redemption program that lets you earn points by staying at their hotels.iPhone SPG Keyless Directions

So if you have a SPG account you can pre-register for SPG Keyless on your iPhone. It will generate your keys for your stay and let you populate that reservation in your Passbook.

You will be notified when you arrive at the hotel that check in is available, you just follow instructions on the iPhone SPG app and suddenly you have a room number. Just venture up to your room and your Apple Watch will display a message telling you that you can “tap to unlock the door”. You can also do this with your iPhone too.

Apple Watch W Seattle

Just hold up your Apple Watch, iPhone, or “traditional plastic card” key to the door and before you know it – green lights blink on the door and it unlocks. ULTRA COOL!

Apple Watch SPG Keyless

If you every forget your room number you can also show that on your Apple Watch by going into the SPG Glance.

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Apple Watch Sport – Third day #AWS #apple #applewatch #iwatch #delta

My third day with the Apple Watch was a busy one. I was traveling so I will talk about my experience with the Delta app.

Normally, when I arrive in the airport I am already checked in through the iPhone’s Delta app. Today was no different. I proceeded to the TSA security and gave them my Passport and scanned my iPhone with my ticket information. TSA needed to verify my ticket information on my iPhone to make sure it matched my Passport. Then onward to the scanner. I put my iPhone and Apple Watch into my carry on bag and scanned it like normal.  No issues doing it this way. Plus it is harder to lift a bag than a watch.

What changed with my Apple Watch is no longer did I need to have my iPhone out while boarding the plane. I had my iPhone 6 Plus stored safely in my carry on bag. I just approached the scanner, brought the Watch and wrist up, swiped up to get to my notifications, tapped on the Delta notification, then swiped down to get to the QR code.

Turned my wrist down and scanned the QR Code and was on my way into the plane. This took maybe 2 seconds total.

The information on the Delta App boarding ticket is the same as the information on the iPhone Delta app.

All of the attendants “guarding” the scanner thought that was cool and quick. One even said they will have to get an Apple Watch to speed up their travels.

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Apple Watch Update 1.0.1 out now #AWS #apple #applewatch #iwatch

I have to interrupt my scheduled Apple Watch first looks by letting you all know update 1.0.1 is now available for your Apple Watch.

Besides Siri and performance improvements, Third Party App speed improvements!

I did not have any issue with waiting for my third party apps to load as I quickly relized (thanks to the Delta app last week in my trip to Alaska) that if I loaded the Delta App from the Apple Watch, it took a long time. If I had the Delta App on my iPhone 6 Plus open already, the wait time was drastically shorten to a few seconds.

Fitness app and other health improvements are included.  If you use your Apple Watch for a health band, you will need this update.

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