Is the iPhone 12 Mini the new 5C?

I’ve been reading more and more reports of the iPhone 12 Mini not selling well compared to the other models and looking at availability this seems to be true but it doesn’t mean it’s a flop. Like one of my favourite ever iPhone models the 5c it seems that the fan base for it is there but it’s niche.

I loved my 5c, it was small and light and most importantly for me comfortable to hold. In fact if I had the 5c shell with modern internals I’d be over the moon. It’s also why I loved the jet black iPhone 7, it’s comfortable to hold. As someone that doesn’t use cases I always appreciate an iPhone that doesn’t need to be hidden away in plastic to be used.

So back to the Mini. I do think it’s about £50 more expensive than it needs to be and personally I’d have preferred Apple not to have included 5G and brought the price down by £100. You’d have seen a different story I’d imagine but I digress.

We don’t know what Apple wants from it sales wise but if production costs vs sales aren’t great then it’ll be dropped. My hunch is like the 5c the Mini is either only going to last one year or be adapted to become a new SE.

I’d like to see an iPhone Air

  • 12 Mini externals
  • TouchID in the sleep/wake switch like the iPad Air
  • £499 starting cost for 64GB
  • Same camera system as existing Mini
  • Some cool new colours

Then drop the existing SE model.

What do you think?

Is blogging in decline?

I still write here on my blog because I want to get things out of my head and into a form that I enjoy but I see a lot of others taking the move into video, podcasts or dropping their blog completely.

I’ve tried video back in 2008 and whilst I gained some small successes I ultimately found it wasn’t a platform I was comfortable with. I don’t like YouTube particularly and their algorithms I feel are responsible for some of where we are today.

I also found that I’m not comfortable being on video, know your weaknesses right? I hated reading the comments and unless you have the cash to make great content there’s likely 100’s of people who have already done a video on it.

Anyway, I digress, back to blogging.

Maybe blogging isn’t going away but the traditional days of having your own blog is going away in favour of something like Medium, a newsletter or social media.

For me I believe that you shouldn’t build your content completely on someone else’s platform. Having your own place on the internet is a good thing to do if you can afford to run it. I’m thankful I’ve have support to keep the lights on a little longer but I am looking long term and feeling a little concerned about its future.

After building up my little blog and ultimately not being able to turn it into something that helps me keep the lights on I have to admit I’m also looking to places like Medium to help fund me going forward. I’m actually going to cross post this to Medium as an experiment to see what happens.

I guess this is a bit of ramble to say I really have no idea where to go but I don’t think blogging is going away but it’s definitely evolving into something new.

12 apps

Looking at my setup I’ve realised that it’s only really 12 apps that I use on my iPhone these days. I’ve been sorting out my devices to help distract me less and I’m trying my best to only really check in on places like Twitter once or twice a week. I purged my iPhone of social apps and I’m slowing down on my consumption of podcasts including dropping most of my tech podcasts and listening to more around my other interests like Star Wars or space.

My Home Screen is just these 12 apps and the rest are in App Library. They are apps like settings and App Store but very little else.

My iPhone use has gone down (about 20% according to screen time) and I’m feeling a little better mental health wise so I’m hoping it’s as a result of these changes.

How many apps do you think you could get away with having on your iPhone?

Sticking with what works

Sticking with what works is something that I need to constantly remind myself. This applies to everything from my watch, my tech and even my apps.

Learning new apps or playing with a new device is fun but takes me down a path of distraction.

The most recent example with gear was picking up a discounted Casio G-Shock but finding I couldn’t read the time as it was faint. I sent it back for a refund. In reality there wasn’t anything wrong with my Casio F-91w that’s light and comfortable.

I’ve also been playing with new to do apps but spending time moving between them is less time being productive.

Thinking about setup time on a new machine has me now sticking with my MacBook, there’s nothing wrong with what I’m already using.

I think it’s important before making that new purchase or productivity change to take a step back, give it an hour then think again why you are actually making the change?

The best free to do app on iOS

I’ve been testing a lot of to do apps over the last few weeks and it struck me how little free options there are. There are both paid in full one time purchases and monthly subscriptions but finding a free option is hard.

It’s not a surprise given app makers can’t give away their products and it’s not a surprise that the free options come from the big tech companies making money in other areas – Apple, Google and Microsoft.

For me if you’re all in on Apple then the best choice is Reminders. It works well across all devices and has iOS 14 features like widgets. Where it falls down is in some of the iPad keyboard shortcut features but if you’re mainly on Mac and iPhone then it’s great. Your data is safe and private in iCloud and sync works well.

If you tend to use other platforms then I’d recommend Microsoft To Do. It’s a great little app and if you’re coming from the good old Wunderlist it’s a good choice. Where it falls down for me is in it’s speed of feature updates. There’s still no iOS 14 widget, this should be basic functionality now we’re months into the public release. If you can manage without a widget it’s worth checking out.

Google tasks isn’t even worth writing much about. I won’t even link to it, it’s hardly functional.

So that’s it if like me you’re managing a budget or want to check out free options before investing in a paid app.

A relaxing iPhone wallpaper and Home Screen

I’ve been going through my library looking for calmer wallpapers. I change it up probably daily but wanted to settle on something a little more balanced.

Here’s my image, taken in West Wales on one of our many family holidays on the area.

Feel free to use it but please link to my blog and credit me if you put it on the internet anywhere.

Should you buy the iPhone SE in 2021?

This is a question I’ve been pondering for some time now and the more I’ve thought about it the more I keep coming back to who is the SE (2020) for?

As someone who uses an 11 Pro and wants to go smaller I only have two options

  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone 12 Mini

The considerations that make the decision are

  • Costs: Are you on a budget? The SE will win every time here, if you have £450 then 128GB SE is the best deal.
  • FaceID: even after all of these years past the X I’m still not sold on FaceID. I went back to a 7 a couple of years ago and loved being back on TouchID. Being able to unlock as you grab the phone is a much better flow (IMO) than picking up then swiping up. If you aren’t sold on FaceID then it’s an SE.
  • OLED and screen flicker: The OLED screens on X and later do flicker (read up on PWM) and some people are more sensitive to this than others. I’m not sure where I stand on this one but knowing my screen is flickering and potentially causing eye strain is something I’d like to look at more.
  • Camera: Without doubt the 12 Mini has the better camera system, it’s up to you whether the loss of image quality is worth the trade off in price. For me this is the main sticking point and leaves me on my 11 Pro. I think if the camera is important then spend the extra on a 12 Mini.
  • You love your iPhone 7 or 8: The SE is the only option if you love your existing 7 or 8. It’ll be a nice boost in performance, screen and camera to move to the SE.

Anyone reading this have both an SE and Mini and want to contribute to or write up a guest post?

Out of sight, out of mind

On playing around with my iPhone setup lately I’ve noticed that for those apps you want to use less and don’t want to delete, simply moving them off your main Home Screen or into the App Library might be enough for you to use them less.

I’ve found that not seeing them as soon as I unlock my device has helped me stop using them completely.

Before deleting social media apps I moved them and my usage went right down. I’d moved the habit of unlocking and loading them. After a week I just deleted the apps and don’t miss them.

Give it a try for your social media apps, move them away from where you can see them.

Cooling off on the next generation of consoles

I always get excited for new console launches and have been an early adopter most generations but for this PS5 and Xbox Series X one I’ve completely cooled my interest just now.

I was prepared to put down my money on a series X given game pass and no real new games on PS5 (over being able to play on my PS4 Pro) but between good games still on PS4 and the Switch becoming my main console I’m not bothered.

Yes I know the haptic controller seems to be a game changer but the Astro game aside it doesn’t look well adopted at the moment on other titles.

I’ll most likely pick up one or the other when our PS4 breaks down but at the moment I’m not seeing a compelling reason to pick one up (if I could even find one).

I think what would be most likely would be the Series S to get a cheaper console to use just for Halo and game pass but again there’s no compelling reason for me to do that just yet.

How are you feeling about next gen?

Discounted sponsorship

I’ve just made the discounted price for sponsorship the usual starting price now. If you’d like your app or product to reach a very engaged and tech savvy audience please reach out.

This is a great way to help keep the site going and support independent voices on the internet.