Why I returned my iPhone X

As you may know I’ve had an iPhone X for around 6 weeks and this week I decided to return it back to Apple within it’s return period. I picked one up to write some some freelance work and as a technology enthusiast also wanted to give one a try. I know I ranted about the price but I didn’t want to dismiss it out of hand, especially when it provided some extra work opportunities.I had the 256GB in space grey, picked up Apple Care + and used no case. It wasn’t cheap, £1380!Here’s why I returned it.

Price of entry is too high

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I was using a phone that was as much as my MacBook or iMac. Yes, there is a lot of technology but at a starting price of £999 I feel it’s about £100 too much.

FaceID

I’m glad to be back on TouchID with my iPhone 7. I can unlock the iPhone as I’m getting it out of my pocket, it doesn’t demand my attention. I also don’t miss swiping up from the bottom to get to the home screen. Call me paranoid but I also wasn’t comfortable being blasted in IR multiple times a day, it’s a small amount but there isn’t any good reporting on the effect of IR blasts into your eyes yet. Generally I feel that it doesn’t do any long term damage but after experiencing some dry eye I thought it couldn’t be helping.I really don’t miss FaceID or Animoji.

That bar at the bottom

Pretty much all the time there is a bar at the bottom of the screen to indicate you can swipe on it. I’m sure it’ll get fixed in iOS 12 but I find it annoying.

RSI

I experienced some shoulder pain using it over this period, maybe due to extra weight. In hand was fine, much better than a Plus for me.

In hand

It feels delicate and more slippery than the jet black 7. After using it for a while I think it’s the sides that make it slippery rather than the back. You need to be a fan of cases, I’m not.

It was only about the camera

Turns out the most enjoyable element of the iPhone X was the dual lens camera. I used zoom and portrait mode a lot and it was something I missed on my iPhone 7 having used a plus for a period of time. Aside from portrait I didn’t feel the shots were noticeably better than my iPhone 7. Low light still sucks and I could get closer if I wanted a zoom. At the end of the day I was paying £1380 for a camera update, more than I paid for my Canon 70D + lens.

Navigating iOS

I never fully took on board the new gestures. I hated closing apps, it was slower. App switching using 3D Touch on the edge of the screen feels more natural to me on my iPhone 7. I felt I was less efficient on my iPhone X. I’m sure over time I’d adjust and will have to if I want to use iOS going forward but I’m just not there yet.

What next?

I’m at a point where I might have bought my last iPhone. More than likely the entire range will adopt FaceID over the next two years and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I like my home button and TouchID. The iPhone 7 is still a great iPhone and an even better price now, especially in the used market.You might call me old fashioned but I hope Apple keeps TouchID on at least one model for a while yet.So whilst a marvel of technology that comes at a price the iPhone X just isn’t for me at this point in time. I’ll miss the camera and larger display but I feel at home on my iPhone 7. I feel efficient and comfortable, it’s where I want to be right now.

Apple adding news sources without your approval

I’ve been using Apple News since release but something troubling has happened to my setup – Apple are adding unapproved News sources to my feed. To add insult to injury they are also enabling notifications.

It’s always been a good app allowing me to control what I see but I can no longer trust it not to add what it thinks I want to see.

You can see above that I set up News not to suggest or show me anything I don’t follow.

On firing up the app this morning the above has been added. I’m not happy. The mainstream news is something I’m avoiding (for obvious reasons) and not being able to trust my app is a deal breaker.

At this point I’m done with Apple News.

Films I’m looking forward to in 2018

2017 was a pretty great year for films, 2018 looks to have some crackers so here are the films I’m most looking forward to watching.

(All of these are taken from IMDB so I can’t confirm if some will actually come out this year).

  • Black Panther
  • Avengers Infinity War
  • The Shape of Water
  • Coco
  • Deadpool 2
  • Jurassic World 2
  • Incredibles 2
  • Ant man and the Wasp

Most surprisingly for me Solo: A Star Wars Story hasn’t made my list. As much as I love Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon I just can’t get past two things. First up, we don’t need to see this back story. It’s better left unknown and risks ruining the character of Han Solo. Secondly I just don’t buy the actor chosen as Han Solo. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and wait until it’s release but there’s something I just don’t like. It might be the first Star Wars film I don’t see in the cinema.

I’ll also be looking forward to seeing some films I didn’t get to the cinema for in 2017 (Blade Runner 2049) and rewatching some of my favourites including The Last Jedi and Thor: Ragnorok.

What are you looking forward to?

Taking a step back from Twitter

Twitter seems incapable of acting in a way that gives me confidence that they actually care about their user base. I’m not going to get political in my blog but their inability to act on certain accounts has me not wanting to benefit their platform with my content.

Don’t get me wrong, I do get benefits and enjoy interacting with my community but enough is enough.

The problem for me is that the negative side of Twitter seems to be bubbling up to the top, I’m trying to be more optimistic in 2018 and Twitter isn’t going to help me fulfil my goal.

I’ll still be on for sharing posts and managing comments but for now I’m taking a step back, deleting the apps from my devices and seeing how I get on without checking it constantly.

Be safe out there.

Switching to OmniFocus

I’ve been using a mixture of Todoist and Reminders but now I’m into 2018 I’ve decided to make a switch back to OmniFocus.

Todoist was fine but it’s update to include little illustrations didn’t sit well with me. Reminders is ok for basics but not to plan a lot of projects.

So, I made the decision to go all in on OmniFocus.

The most important decision when choosing a to do app is trust. Do you trust that when you get something off your mind it’ll stay safe somewhere until you need to see it?

With OmniFocus and more importantly the Omnigroup I trust them as I do Apple with my data. I can’t say the same for most others.

I’ll keep you updated on my configuration and how I’m getting on.

The Dark Tower, thoughts on the film

I finally got around to watching The Dark Tower yesterday, not having any knowledge of the books. I know about the popularity of them and been encouraged to read but never had the time. I also know that the movie has been a little panned, especially from fans of the book.

For me overall I mostly enjoyed it, not a film of the year by any stretch of the imagination but for something to let me switch my brain off for a bit it was fine. I’m also glad I didn’t spend over £40 watching it at the cinema and only spent £9.99 getting it via 4K iTunes.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

First off I enjoyed The Gunslinger character and Idris Elba’s acting was solid as usual. They seemed to CG most of the stunts, which was a little disappointing and it wasn’t as slick as a lot of modern CG. The baddie played by Matthew McConaughey wasn’t really that menacing and just felt lifeless and dull to me. They also relied on CG for his end scene, again not done that well.

It just doesn’t feel like it had a big enough budget, brought production time or commitment from it’s backers.

I liked the premise of the movie, bright kids being picked up by the baddies henchman to be brought into his world in a bid to find the one that can bring down the Dark Tower (don’t want to spoil it too much for you).

Problem is, even though I don’t know the books I can’t see how 8 books fit into a 1.5hr movie. I don’t know how it even got signed off.

If this had an established director, a big budget and at least 3 films it might have served fans of the book. As it stands I feel it doesn’t serve either fans of the book or the general public looking for an interesting film.

I’m glad I didn’t pay to see it at the cinema and can only recommend watching it if it’s £10 or less or on a streaming service for free.

Picked up a new toy

Now fibre is impending I picked up a new Apple TV, this one is a 32GB 4K version.

I’ve got a 15MB (on a good day) so until I get my promised 70-80MB I’ll report back on how I get on.

Why I left Squarespace

I’ve been blogging since 2008 across several different platforms and here in 2017 I’m back where I started – WordPress.

For about 5 years I’ve been a satisfied Squarespace user but over the last few months they have not catered for my needs so decided to leave.

Here’s why I left Squarespace

  • Lack of attention on iOS apps; slow to update to the latest technologies of the latest iOS version and hardware (such as new screen resolutions)
  • They cater to photography; a very heavy focus on promoting and providing templates to photographers, it’s not a blogging friendly platform
  • Integration; more integration options on WordPress thanks to the development community
  • Polished iOS blogging experience on WordPress ; I prefer using the app than the site

So as a blogger focusing on text rather than images and is also iOS first I feel that Squarespace is leaving me behind. WordPress fulfils all of my iOS and template needs as a text based blogger.