Weekly Roundup 9/11 - 9/16

I'm going to be trying something new with the site. Since I have a day job that takes up most of my time I am going to write weekly roundups of things going on in the tech world. I would love to hear what you think.

This Weeks Tech News

This week we had the major release of iOS 10, watchOS 3, and tvOS.

iOS 10

iOS 10 isn't a bigger update it is a deeper update. It really works to refine what Apple has done in iOS 7 - 9. I could try and list all the features, but Federico Viticci did an amazing review at Macstories, so go check that out for all of the whats new.

watchOS 3

In my opinion watchOS 3 is the big update out of everything that was released today. This OS feels like what the watch always meant to be. Everything seems more fluid and is substantially faster. iMore did an awesome write up on everything new in watchOS 3.

tvOS

I was a little disappointed today with the release of tvOS, the feature I was looking forward to most, single sign on, was delayed until later this fall. While that was a bummer once I saw the newley minted dark mode I was very happy. I think tvOS dark mode should be the default and come to the rest of Apple's platforms. Macstories did another awesome write up on tvOS.

Why I'm (Probably) Not Upgrading To The iPhone 7

Thursday night I was watching the clock move closer and closer to 12:01 AM Friday morning, I had every intention in preordering and iPhone 7 Plus (Yep I'm going back to the plus club after I just left, but you saw that camera). To make a long story short, I had problems getting into the store, and then when I finally did the handoff between Apple and AT&T wasn't working for me. I got frustrated and decide to go to bed, the wait times were already in November for the Jet Black Plus. I woke up that morning, grabbed my iPhone and went through the checkout process, this time the hand off worked, got all the way to the end and thought do I really need this.

I usually upgrade iPhone's every year, I love technology and I loveApple so why wouldn't I. But this time I really thought about it. My iPhone 6s is a great phone, amazing camera, super fast, though it could use a better battery. Nobody was going to come by and take my phone away, or some how make it worse. It will still be a great phone a year from now.

I am going to try something new for me, I'm not going to preorder this iPhone. I'm going to wait to see what everyone says about it, and if it really is that much better maybe I will go get one when the supply is better. But I usually have this feeling of I have to have the latest technology or I will be left out, and I think this is the first time I am fine just waiting.

iOS 10 Tip

The new control center is great, If you 3D touch on one of the application icons it allows for some quick actions. I have found these really handy in the betas. The unfortunate part is you have to have a devices with 3D touch, so only the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7, no iPad support as of right now.

App Of The Week

One of my favorite and most used app of all time Overcast which is an amazing podcast player is my pick of the week. What separates this podcast players from other is it features. The major feature with this app is Smart Speed, this will speed up the spots where no one is talking allowing you to go through the show much faster. I have saved 86 hours using this feature. Voice Boost will go through and make the voices louder without sacrificing quality, which works well for podcast that are using proper microphones or if you are using the iPhones built in speaker. Another great feature is the ability to create custom playlist, I have one playlist that takes all of my show and puts them oldest to newest and just keeps playing, this is great for long drives. The design of this app is very beautiful and with the addition of dark mode recently the app has never looked better. There is also a file upload button available to supports of the application that makes it easy to upload audio books or any other form of audio you want to listen to. I cant recommend this app enough for podcast listening.

Hardware Recommendation

With the release of the iPhone 7, Apple removed the headphone jack to make room for some new features including a bigger battery and force touch home button. So with that in mind I thought I would talk about some Bluetooth headphones. I use the Mpow Swift bluetooth headphones I originally got them for running, but that only lasted two days. I am happy to report the headphones have lasted longer then my running, and I am quite happy with them. The quietly is definitely not the same level as good wired headphones but for podcasts they work great. The battery also last me all day and I have never had a problem dying on me, except the one time I forgot to charge them. Another pair I have seen being talked about are ARCTIC Bluetooth stereo headphones I have not tried these, but have heard some great things about them. I will probably order a pair in the future as I like the over ear style better. I know a lot of people have been down on the idea of just having bluetooth headphones and I have to say they have always worked out very well for me, but maybe thats just cause I'm a bluetooth unicorn.

Home Screen Of The Week

I wrote about my my home screen back in June so you can read about it there. If you like this sort of thing please email me a screenshot of your iPhone or iPad home screen and what makes it work for you at christopherlawley0@gmail.com and I would love to feature yours.

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A Few Thoughts On The Removal Of The Headphone Jack

The 3.5mm headphone jack is based on a piece of technology thats over 100 years old. In that time technology has made leaps and bounds forwards. So why should we keep this ancient piece of technology around?

The headphone jack has one purpose and that is to play audio. And I understand company's like Square were using it for other things but those are hacks, and are not meant for what that port is for. So why in 2016 should we keep around something has has only one purpose, thus taking up space and not allowing us to allocate that space to new technology. People have been complaining for years that the iPhones battery doesn't last long enough, well thanks to the removal of the headphone jack now the battery last longer.

Taking jumps is the only true way to move technology forward and evolve as a civilization. We as a species could crawl if we wish, but I think we would be stuck back in the bronze age. It's company's like Apple that understand this and are pushing towards a better future.

They did not remove this port to make people mad, they did it so that other company will get on board making wireless audio truly better. Now I have not tried Apples Airpods but from what I can see of demo they do work as Apple says, that is a jump forward. And if you truly don't like it then buy an Android phone or an iPod, I think Apple still sales those.

I am going to take a quick sidebar to also mention a lot of news outlets have been quick to bash Apple because its easy page clicks for them. What they forgot to mention is that in the box there are a new pair of Earpods that connect to the lightening port and and adapter in the box to go from lightening to 3.5mm headphone jack.

Apple Event Predictions For Sept. 7th

Apple announced a keynote for September 7th today. It is quite obvious that it will be in regards to then new iPhone and maybe a few other products. I put together a list of all my event predictions.

  • The plus model will have duel camera system.
  • The new iPhone will come in a blue model.
  • No headphone jack. (time to accept this one people and welcome or new Bluetooth overlords)
  • Apple Watch 2 will be announced but will ship later this year.
  • The new iPhone will start at a 32 GB model. (Finally)
  • No physical home button. (there will be a dedicated force touch area for these interactions where the home button was)
  • I will not be called the iPhone 7. My guess is iPhone 6 SE and iPhone 6 SE Plus.
  • And finally I hate to say this one because it needs to happen soon, but no new Macs.

Apple Software Update Day 5/16/16

Today Apple released OS updates for all of their platforms, though it is all minor updates it is always a good idea to stay up to date. Released today was OS X 10.11.5, iOS 9.3.2, watchOS 2.2.1, and Apple TV. The one notable change is now night shift works while in low power mode. Other then that there is nothing crazy in these updates mostly security updates and bug fixes. With new major OS release on the horizon there is nothing shocking in this.

Also Apple released a new version of iTunes that is suppose to help with the non reproducible iTunes bug that deletes users music. I still think this is user error and not an iTunes bug though.

Happy Updating!

Apple Music Gets A Revamp

According to Bloomberg Apple Music will be getting a major revamp and 9 to 5 Mac who has a great track recorded says the app is due a for a full overhaul. Apple is suppose to be focusing on features like lyrics, black and white design, and artwork. I will wait to pass judgment until I see it, but this is great news for those of us that stuck with Apple Music after the three month trial.

To be honest I am not a big fan of any one streaming service, I find all of the layouts very cumbersome. I don't ever use Apple Music Connect or Radio, though I doubt they will drop those feature I wouldn't mind being able to hide the features I don't use. So if Apple does makes a solid UI in the app I will be very excited. Right now I mostly use Apple Music with Siri, and that for me is the biggest compelling feature to keep Apple Music around. Reports say we will see something come June at WWDC.

PRO Tip: If you go into the restriction in the settings app and turn off Apple Music Connect it will be replaced by the far more useful playlist button.