Camera improvements are no longer good enough for an iPhone upgrade

It’s that time of year where I’d normally be looking forward to seeing what the next iPhone looks like but with the current global situation and also some personal financial changes it’s got me thinking – are camera improvements enough to warrant a £1000 iPhone purchase?

I know the rumours point to a slight redesign this year but with most people putting it in a case I don’t think it’s as important as it once was. There aren’t a lot of us that use their devices without a case or even appreciate it’s design, I think every iPhone I see is stuck in a plastic prison.

The last few upgrades for me have been about the camera. I don’t like FaceID but it’s the draw of the telephoto that’s keeps me on an 11 Pro (If an SE had zoom I wouldn’t think twice, I’d be getting one ASAP). The 11 Pro is in my mind the best camera I’ve ever used in a phone. Even putting it up against my Canon 70D in certain lighting conditions it beats it. Where it falls short is the cropped detail in lower light and zoom.

I genuinely feel we have now reached the peak for this form factor. I can’t justify an upgrade if all we see are some minor camera updates. For a justified £1000 upgrade I want to see something significant, be it Apple’s take on a folding screen or a 10x optical zoom but with money being tighter and no job security the best approach (and Apple has done with this with the SE) is for manufacturers to make really good £300-£600 phones. I can see the market being sat here for a while and value for money is where it’s at.

This is were Apple is king with the SE and at least for me I’m interested to see how Apple are going to cater for a changing market. Samsung seem to have lost the plot with their £1000 and £2000 phones this year and I think this price point with the addition of the pixel has it’s best shot at making some headway to showing manufacturers we can’t afford £900+ anymore.

How are you feeling about your purchase plans this year?

Budgeting for your passion projects

As you most probably know I make no income from my passion projects. I gave up trying to make a career out of writing a long time ago be it freelancing or my own stuff.

With this in mind on a recent review I realised I was spending too much on my passion projects, especially in light of 2020. I’d been spending money on Micro.Blog, WordPress, domain renewals and hosting.

I needed to set myself a budget in light of several things happening at the moment that affect my finances. I decided I couldn’t afford to continue over at Micro.Blog, I dropped renewals on several domains and dropped all of my podcast hosting.

The only budget I have for my passion project, this blog is the £40 a year for my WordPress site.

In terms of products to review or write about, well I’ve set aside some money to potentially pick up an iPhone SE or Google Pixel to write about but I’m hanging onto this for now as I’m not sufficiently interested in picking one up before iPhone announcements.

Other expenses are apps and accessories. I do have some contacts to get accessories but with the current climate these have all gone quiet for me. Apps I can pick up for review as they would be free or minimal costs.

So, if you have a passion project be careful and don’t be like me in terms of running ahead and not sitting back and actually realising how much it’s costing you monthly.

Is F1 2020 better than F1 2019?

I’m a huge F1 fan and have enjoyed the yearly updates to the codemasters series of games. As with any game that updates yearly on the same theme it’s always hard to know whether or not to spend the £60 on the latest update.

For me, F1 2020 is the best iteration of this franchise yet.

The handling model is improved, graphics improved and the ‘my team’ feature is worth it alone. You can now create, manage and drive in your team and it’s been a lot of fun.

If you haven’t tried one of these games yet then this is the most accessible. If you are a fan then the ability to create your own team is a major factor to upgrade.

So, yes F1 2020 is better than 2019 and in fact any of the other ones in this series.

Apple cuts itself off from the future of gaming

I can see some reason behind this move but wow what a miss. Streaming games in my opinion is blatantly the future of gaming and to not have it on your platform is a big mistake. A large proportion of people wanting to play games in the future aren’t going to want to buy a new console every few years, let alone the £60 for every game. I’ve been a gamer since the 80’s and even I’m holding back with the price of entry.

This is on top of not allowing Microsoft xCloud highlights the worry I have about Apple’s hubris that like the Jedi in the Star Wars prequels might end up being their downfall.

It might seem wild to say this but young people coming into the market will be swayed off a platform for this kind of reason. iPhone and iPad will be the devices your folks use, like Facebook has become to the younger generation. This really is a chance for Android, they need to capitalise on it and start heavily marketing to the younger generation.

I’ve been excited about these streaming gaming platforms and even as an iPad guy I’m starting to hold back on any future purchases in the Apple ecosystem if we are going to see moves like this.

If I were Microsoft I’d be looking at moves to take Minecraft off iOS, if they want to fight fire with fire.

This is a move Apple absolutely has to review internally but I don’t see changing.

Given Apple Arcade is a thing this may also not help their anticompetitive case but I won’t go any further on that one here.

I’m hoping Apple review this, my next devices may be Android ones.

My iPad writing workflow (2020)

I’ve been blogging on and off since 2008 and over the years now I think back on it my workflow hasn’t really changed that much. I’ve tried lots of different workflows and apps but like back in the day where I would write using Safari and WordPress today I am doing the same but via the app.

I did try using IA Writer to publish to the blog but I find that any of the third party apps I use on iOS always result in me being dissatisfied with the way that the post looks in WordPress.

What I’ve found on both my iPad and iPhone is that I just keep it basic and write using the official WordPress app. I can start to write out an idea or a whole post then save as draft to edit later or post now.

The window to type in looks fine, I can see the text clearly and it fits with how my brain works. The only issue with using WordPress is that they seem to want you to use the block editor so you may find with an app update it’s suddenly the default again.

So that’s it, writing/blogging from iOS for me is simply having the WordPress app installed.

Does wireless charging damage your battery?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I charge my iPhone 11, this isn’t some sort of sad hobby but it started to not charge consistently using the port (if you encounter this just clean the port, it’ll have lint in there I bet).

When I checked the battery health of my 11 month old iPhone 11 Pro I was surprised to see it’s at 100% capacity still.

The only thing I’ve done differently with this phone is I’ve never used a wireless charger. My X and XS were at least 96% at this point and I regularly put them in the wireless charger.

I’m reaching out to you to check what’s your battery health after wireless charging regularly?

Messing with the design of your blog

I’ve not really written much lately but as I start to embrace the hobby again I found that I wasn’t that bothered about design before. I didn’t want to spend too much time messing with the design and not actually producing any content. I’ve settled on this new WordPress Theme (Twenty Sixteen), which I actually really like. It’s basic but does the job and goes back to the roots with some widgets I’ve added to the sidebar. Having a sidebar felt old when I was here before but I really like it now.

Let’s see how long this lasts but I don’t plan on changing it up (unless everyone tells me they hate it!).

A renewed love for blogging

As you know if you’ve been following me I change my mind a lot, I’m not very decisive and quite often struggle sticking to one thing for too long (check out my two failed podcasts, so far…) but writing sticks. I’ve freelanced for years now (not so much over the last few to be honest) but always come back to my blog here. It’s where my workflows work for me and it’s simple and quick enough for me to get my thoughts down. I don’t enjoy Twitter so much these days but thanks to Tweetbot I can still dip in and out and interact with some of the great folks that follow me but my main thoughts have always come back to blogging.

I can write from any device, be it a quick post like this one or something more like a review. More importantly I’m very thankful for everyone that reads my stuff and believe me that really does help keep me motivated.

It also lets me write without worrying about my voice or how I come across, something I’m very conscious of. Podcasting is great but I’m not sure I’m cut out for hosting one anymore to be honest, it’s something I’m wrestling with at the moment.

Anyway a bit of a ramble just to share how I’m feeling about blogging at the moment.