Category Archives: Tech

Taking breaks from social media and the news

I think especially in these times taking breaks from social media and especially the mainstream news has been beneficial for my mental health. I find when I get dragged back into a link from social that leads me to main news my mood gets worse, so I’m back on a break.

Going cold turkey and deleting Tweetbot is the place to start, then just not checking the main news sites is next.

If I go quiet on Twitter I’m not ignoring anyone I’m just taking a little holiday from it.

I keep coming back to the iPhone 11 Pro

I usually get a new iPhone every year, I don’t have many hobbies or spend on other things so it’s my one treat a year. This year though I’m torn and I keep coming back to staying on the 11 Pro might be the best thing to do.

The iPhone 12 Pro doesn’t look to be much of an improvement to warrant a big outlay. It’s also slightly larger than a phone I already don’t like that much.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is probably going to have a mega camera but I doubt I could manage it day to day without flaring up my RSI again. I did try an 11 Pro Max and found it to be very top heavy.

The iPhone 12 Mini is my perfect size but I know I’ll regret it every time I go to use the optical zoom (2x), which I use quite a lot on my 11 Pro.

All of this leads me to think that keeping my 11 Pro as it’s what I’m already using, doesn’t cost me anything to keep running and I have the camera I really like might be the best thing to do.

I’ve checked trade in price on my 11 Pro and I can afford a Mini or Pro Max so I’m going to sit it out for now until I see some evidence it’s worth shifting models this year.

What are you planning on doing?

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 12 Pro, which one feels best?

With reviews coming in now for both of these models I’m finding it interesting that both MKBHD and John Gruber seem to prefer the feel and weight of the iPhone 12, something that’s got me rethinking any choices I may have been making.

Having a glossy back and aluminium sides looks to be better to keep hold of. The matte finish on my 11 Pro looks fantastic and doesn’t let it slide off surfaces but is more slippery to my hands. I’m not precious about stainless steel sides and personally prefer the look of the raw aluminium.

This really has me thinking about whether I go standard size 12 if the Mini turns out to be too small. I intend on testing one out somehow!

I’m still torn over the camera system on the Pro, that additional 2x is something I use a lot but I’m going to try not to use it as an experiment to see if I could manage without it.

I already know I’m not going near a Pro Max even if the camera is fantastic, it’s just too big.

USB-C isn’t coming to the iPhone

I’ve been thinking a lot about the iPhone 12 and where it sits in the decision to upgrade from an existing iPhone then it hit me – I don’t see USB-C ever coming to the iPhone. This is a shame as I have a lot of them around now but with the new MagSafe I don’t see Apple adding USB-C to the iPhone.

If anything the rumours of a port less iPhone seem even more likely. If MagSafe can do data then the writing is on the wall and the iPhone 11 Pro might be my choice of iPhone for a long time.

iPhone 12, form vs function

With the impending release of the iPhone 12 Mini it’s got me thinking about form vs function?

With the iPhone X onwards I’ve never really been that comfortable with the size increase from the 7. For me the 7 was the perfect sized iPhone. But, I love having the best camera I can get on the iPhone each year, but this isn’t going to be happening for me going forward.

For me the choices this year are

  • Stick with the 11 Pro. I keep the 2x zoom but left with a larger phone than I want
  • Move to the Mini and lose the 2x but gain a more comfortable form factor
  • Get a Max but know I’ll be suffering with RSI issues

Do you prefer to have the best spec or the most comfortable iPhone to live with?

I’ll most probably stick with my 11 Pro, the camera is still great and I’ll keep missing the smaller form factor but I’ll be saving money. I’ll most probably try to get my hands on a Mini to see what’s it’s like and if it’s a revolution for me I’ll switch and live without the zoom camera.

Get iOS 14 health widgets with Hidgets

I’ve come across a handy little app called Hidgets that helps you keep on top of your health progress throughout the day. At £1.99 I think this is bargain for a nice little utility where you can clearly see love has gone into it.

You can currently choose from the list in the screenshot above and I think that it covers most of the bases for most people.

What I like is that there are a few different ways to display each data item, including a nice summary view like I’m using for steps above.

Creating custom widgets in iOS 14 with Widgy

I’ve come across an app on iOS 14 that allows you to customise your own widgets – Widgy.

It’s free to mess around with but you’ll need to pay the reasonable £4.99 to use all of the features.

I’ve been pretty amazed with what you can accomplish with it via the community.

As you can see above I took a community Widgy (circle battery) and edited it to my liking via the intuitive UI. Just tap on the section to change and change it.

The app comes with some starter samples but if you head over to the Reddit community then you can download QR codes as images and import them using the ‘import Widgy’ button.

There’s too much to talk about here but download, head to the community to see what you can achieve and start to create.

Using the iPhone 12 Mini without a case

One of the reasons I’m looking at getting a 12 Mini is returning back to the days when I didn’t even think about using a case. On my 11 Pro I’m without a case probably 80% of the time but I do find the matte texture on the back a bit hard to keep hold of sometimes. I hate, hate, hate cases…

My favourite iPhones are the jet black iPhone 7 and 5 – neither of these needed a case and felt better for it.

The screen on the 11 Pro is already too big for me and when I adjust my hand to reach a corner is when I feel I’m going to drop it.

I’m fully intending to use a 12 Mini without a case and see how it feels in day to day use.