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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 TechCruch.com 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 TechCrunch.com’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!

AppleNewton=Note8

AppleNewton=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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GoodNotes to combine Passion Planner and Bullet Journal

GoodNotes is available for the iPad, iPhone, and Mac platforms.

GoodNotes is a note taking application that you an enter text into text boxes or use handwriting ink to create content. That handwriting ink is saved as a vector graphic so it can be scaled with no pixelating and is searchable. You can import PDFs and annotate them. You can export any note as a PDF. Pretty powerful and flexible. Includes native Apple Pencil support on my iPad Pro and iCloud syncing.

My eureka moment is when I starting finding samples of planners and bullet journal pages as PDFs and realizing that means in GoodNotes I can import them in and draw over them as I needed. BINGO! My solution.

My Passion Planner with Bullet Journal

My Passion Planner with Bullet Journal


What I did was get the free Passion Planner PDF pages, since I liked thier layout and extras and imported them in. I choose the compact version so I could have “two pages” on one GoodNotes page. Importing them in made one page per PDF page. Perfect!

To import in GoodNotes while in a book you can tap the “+” button on the upper left and “add page above / below” options from the template library. Or just import a PDF as a new page by tapping on the 4 squares in the upper left and then tap the “+” button and Importing the page. Simple.

The flexibility is I can delete any Passion Planner pages I did not want to keep. I added in a water tracker and a notes page between my planner pages. This is the same as the physical Passion Planner or Bullet Journal that many enhance with tape.

The notes page I can freehand my notes and reference any event. Free handing in drawings or weather conditions can be helpful. GoodNotes lets me export any page as a PDF so if I need to change a page or add in an optional budget journal I can mark it up, export it to any cloud storage, and import that page in. That saves my changes into the background.

So I had the solution I needed with minimal modification in a digital approach where I can sync my notes from my iPad Pro to my iPhone or Mac with no fuss.

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Bullet Journal and Passion Planner techniques

After three years of trying to find a methodology of keeping my work and personal life organized. I am trying something new this year.

I researched what people have been doing to keep organized. I found something called a Bullet Journal (or BuJu for short) and also rediscovered a paper approach called Passion Planner. Below are simplistic descriptions and you can get more information from their websites.

I first heard about Passion Planner two years ago. www.passionplanner.com

Passion Planner

Passion Planner


This planner was created in 2013 by Angelia Trinidad. It has the approach of a planner with extras to help you figure out what is important to you. There are many sections like a roadmap over the next many years, reflections for the past month, and checklist for each month. This approach keeps you on track. I dismissed the Passion Planner since I was trying to find a digital means and had stopped my physical Moleskine paper notebook and digital Evernote combination approach. I do like some of the ideas of this system. I liked the setup of the traditional planner layout that Passion Planner has and rediscovered this product again in January 2017.

Bullet Journal is a quick minimalistic approach to keeping track of everything in a physical paper way. www.bulletjournal.com

Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal


Bullet Journal was created in 2013 by Ryder Carroll. You use an index to keep track of where stuff is by page number. Have a key so you know what symbols (like a bullet, circle, square, “X”, etc) are events, tasks, and notes. Then layout everything for month, week, and day. Since you are creating all of this in a paper journal with dots for the paper you can draw out everything where you want and how you want it. If you like writing, drawing, and wanting to spend a lot of time laying out the pages, this is the system for you. I did not want to spend a lot of time making my pages. I do like some of the ideas of this system.

My Bullet Journal Future Log aka Yearly Calendar

My Bullet Journal Future Log aka Yearly Calendar


My Bullet Journal Monthly page

My Bullet Journal Monthly page


I looked for a digital approach but no apps exist that follows either of these approaches. What I did find was a large community of blogs, Facebook groups, and people sharing ideas. Perfect. Both communities has something I like. Maybe not all of the ideas but a lot.

Hmmm, I thought. What if I combined these into “my system”. I like the planner approach of month and week. I like the ability to add notes and todos and carry them forward. I like being able to keep it flexible.

I looked for an app. Nothing like these. Just the traditional journal apps with text entry only or the traditional planner apps with no customability.

I still longed for a replacement for my Apple Newton I used in 1990. iPad and iPhone was close but no native handwriting ink and shape recognition with a stylus/pencil. There has been add ons that I used to kind of give it that ability. Nothing really worked across the entire device.

What if I could take a template and just write on it with digital ink? What if I could add bookmarks to use for my “index”? Then it hit me. I have bought a product a year or two ago that would work.

GoodNotes!

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2014 – 2016 Life Planner journey with my iPhone and iPad

Time to get organized again for the new year. I decided that after the past three years of trying different ways of organizing my work and personal life I was going to look for a way that fits me. Here is my journey.

Previously I always use used a calendar app in iCal, Calendar in iOS, and Outlook. They synced together good but my notes were separate.

Three years ago I went with the Evernote solution as I could load that app on my iPad, iPhone, Mac, and Windows computers. Being able to access everything everywhere was important. With the free plan I did not have any limits. The only times I had a limit was when I was back loading notes and research results from prior years that were still relevant. I bought a Moleskine Evernote book which came with a free month of Premium. I used this Moleskine book as a way to capture handwritten notes and uploaded a photo of them. Evernote could search on these notes which bridged the pen and text worlds. Planner type of events with using the Calendar app and Outlook at work synced. Anytime I needed more upload capacity of Premium I would buy the Evernote post it notes or found a great deal once on a year of Premium for a reasonable cost. My planner type of stuff was still in the Calendar app.

Two years ago I also tried the Livescribe pen and book system. Very expensive and it was no better then the Moleskine book. Plus if you needed to buy a new book for more notes and it was the same book (just blank) there was no way to specify it to be different so I had to buy additional books from Livescribe with different encoding. There was a max I think of 4 or 5 books total. I would end up with notes saying “Book 1″ for my work journal. And If I reused this book later it would still upload as “Book 1″ even if it was for my personal. This broke the bank on this system and I returned the Livescribe system.

I tried different apps with planners, todo lists, and the ability to track everything. I tried out 15 apps and many were nice but none fulfilled everything. I tried GoodNotes, INKcredible, Notabliity, Penultimate, Notes Plus, and others. They all had handwriting with a few templates of lined paper, grid paper, and blank paper. Some may of had more papers available but they were not what I was looking for. Many had annotating PDFs which would be great in a classroom or signing documents.

So two years ago I bought Awesome Notes for both my iPad and iPhone. It had an Evernote sync functionality so I could make a change on one and upload to the other. My iPhone was my portable note pad while my iPad was my main data entry tool.

AwesomeNotes

AwesomeNotes

The one thing I missed with Awesome Notes was real handwriting. In late 2015 I bought an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil so Awesome Notes was showing it’s age fast. If you wanted to just type out your notes and add pictures or maps in separate containers Awesome Notes would work. I wanted to incorporate my handwriting ink to be searched.

Microsoft OneNote came into the picture. I liked the ability to write with ink and then convert it later into text like my Apple Newton did over two decade ago. There was shape recognition support eventually so this was nice so I could use OneNote on all four platforms (iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Windows).

OneNote

OneNote

I bought the Office 365 to get Word, PowerPoint, and Excel working on my iPad Pro – this also gave me more storage space for my notebooks in OneDrive. That convert from ink to text was only in one of the two Windows versions of OneNote. Shape recognition was only in the mobile versions of OneNote. Syncing was a nightmare as the sync would corrupt my OneNote books if I did not “close out properly” and I lost tons of notes. Microsoft started to limit the about of stuff you could store in OneDrive about this time too.

I decided that Outline+ was the next move as it could read OneNote books directly. The only problem was it was available for the iPad only.

Outline Plus

Outline Plus


No iPhone version (which came out in December 2016) existed back in 2015. There was a Mac version so maybe I could get this to work. No real handwriting with ink halted this quickly. These handwritten notes would be part of a “drawing mode” that was not able to be searched as text. If you wanted to use this drawing mode to make a drawing or sketch, it would work for that. This would not work for me. Typing notes and adding in pictures or attachments is Outline+’s strength and it was not what I was looking for.

In December 2016 I rediscovered something that would work once I understood what one feature finally meant.

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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 Pay is the best thing since sliced bread #applepay @mcdonalds #thefuture #iphone

Apple Pay is here today and it works flawlessly and beautiful!

There I said it. The future of mobile payments is here and I just quickly paid for a quick meal in seconds.

The process is as quick as this when I bought my lunch today (Thanks for the picture McDonalds!):

Apple Pay at McDonalds

The setup was as easy:

  • Install Update iOS 8.1 (US supports Apple Pay).
  • Go to Settings > Passbook & Apple Pay
  • Set up your default settings (Addresses, phone, email)
  • Add you cards with your camera, then manually enter in the CCV2 number.
  • Verify and they are added to PassBook at the top of your SPG, Starbucks gift card, etc.

It could not get any easier than this.

 

I appreciate all of the VISA commercials saying their mobile payments are just as easy. If they were we would of all of been using these already.  Save the confusion and just use Apple Pay as VISA works with Apple Pay.

So places that I will continue to shop at includes: Macys, McDonalds, Subway, Whole Foods, PetCo, Panera Bread

Places I WONT VISIT AGAIN (until they have Apple Pay): Burger King, Taco Bell, Best Buy, Walmart

 

To be continued…

 

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How to move to your new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus #iphone #apple

Hooray! You have a new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus and need a guide to quickly get your current iPhone content into it. Here you go!

1) Remove anything you don’t need on your current iPhone.

  • Pictures (or backup to iPhoto or your Window Photos directory)
  • Music, Music Videos, iBooks, or Movies – have a few albums you don’t want to listed, use iTunes to not sync them.
  • Applications – Use iTunes to not sync them anymore.

The more clutter you clean up now the faster your transfer time will be to your backup and to your new iPhone.

 

2) Update any apps to iOS 8 compatible on your old iPhone. Many times an update is available but the app will run yet on iOS 7. Update to make sure the older version won’t cause havoc on your new iPhone – this is more of a “better safe than sorry”.

 

3) Backup using iTunes. I think this is the best way as you can enable toe Encrypt iPhone backup option and store all of your passwords in the backup. Then the only password you will need to remember if the one used for this backup and your iCloud password on your new iPhone.

Select your old iPhone and select “This computer” and check “Encrypt iPhone backup”.

Once I did not do this and every app I loaded (and iOS) prompted me for my password. This was very painful so save yourself by using the Encrypt option.

** If you are upgrading from a non-Apple smartphone – then use iTunes to transfer as much as your content as you can. The rest you will have to manually set up.

 

4 ) Plug in your new iPhone and using iTunes restore from that last backup. Proceed with the new setup on the iPhone afterwards and you should be all set.

 

5) Set up TouchID to get ready for ApplePay and other secure passwords.

 

6) Update any apps to take advantage of the new iOS features that were not updated in step 2 above under iOS 7.

 

8) Have fun!!

 

Source: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1386

 

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