Using an iPhone 7 in 2019

Tech

I’m doing a little experiment with my devices at the moment. I’ve swapped my iPhone XS for a 7 and a Sony RX100 compact camera. I wanted to see if I preferred a smaller phone to carry and if having a pocketable camera alongside would help me to be more intentional about using my device. I was also experiencing some eye fatigue that I wanted to check was due to FaceID and/or the OLED.

First up the size and weight of the 7 is comfortable and I’m enjoying having a device that’s easy to pocket and forget.

TouchID has always been reliable for me and it unlocks quicker than FaceID. I’m also not blasting eyes with infrared.

The camera isn’t up to the XS but gets closer than you’d think. In low light it’s not great but outside I’d have trouble telling the difference. But on day trips the Sony will be coming along.

Surprisingly the performance holds up. Now its setup and indexed I don’t see a huge difference in performance between my XS and 7. Maybe in editing images in Photos but day to day stuff I’m not bothered.

App switching with the home button or hard pressing the edge of the screen feels old but I’m back used to it.

The major downsides so far are screen size and battery. I’m struggling to type on the smaller 4.7″ screen and reading articles is much less enjoyable. But I can now reach everything with one hand.

On the battery, even after a couple of days I’m noticing I can’t get through a day whereas I can go two on my XS with my current reduced usage.

So will I stick to it? Yes, within my return window on the iPhone 7. I need to do a few day trips first but I’m confident I’ll know the best setup for my in a week or so.

Going back to using a point and shoot camera

Tech

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I’m using my devices. I’m trying to use my iPhone less and be more intentional. This coupled with the fact that the screen on the XS is starting to bother my eyes made me rethink my whole setup. The conclusion I came to was that the main reason I upgrade my phone each year is for the camera.

This gave me an idea, if I got a small point and shoot I was happy with I wouldn’t have to fret over the iPhone camera upgrade each year.

So, I’ve picked up a Sony RX100 and an iPhone 7 (jet black, my favourite iPhone to date) to see if this new setup with a portable comfortable iPhone and great small camera will be all that I need.

I’ll report back in a few weeks on this one.

Wait for the iOS 13 public beta

Tech

There’s been lots of chatter about how iOS 13 beta 1 is buggy and from running it across my devices I’m taking it off and waiting. I’m not going to renew my Apple Developer account this year, I’m not developing an app so £99 seems like a waste of money just to test beta software. If you’re tempted I’d recommend waiting until the public beta as I’ve lost iCloud data this time around.

A look at Calendar in iPadOS 13

Tech

Love it or hate it the standard Calendar app does the job for me, it’s basic but has enough view options for me to see what’s going on in my day. With iPadOS 13 there aren’t a lot of changes but some little UI tweaks I’ve discovered that make things a little simpler.

If you have a lot of all day events you used to have to scroll in the little windows in the top, now it shows all of the events, a radar I raised and glad to see it’s implemented.

When viewing your calendar in week view you can pinch to compress the items to see it in a smaller view. Basically it seems to compress any free time to show the calendar events closer together.

I’ll update this post as I discover more.

Rethinking things

blog

I did well before WWDC, I stayed off Twitter for a good few weeks and felt the better for it. With WWDC last week I got sucked back in but as before it’s not been great for my mental health. I enjoyed seeing people’s take on the events but since then I’ve

  • Gotten caught up in threads with people being awful to each other
  • Feel like I’m achieving nothing when I see what others are doing (this is my problem not theirs)
  • Find myself checking the feed rather than spending some quiet time or writing something here

So, I’m back off the service and not sure if I’ll be back to be honest. I’m also reviewing this blog, whether to keep it going or not. This is partly because again seeing how little I’m achieving compared to others for the outlay that it had on me, both financially and physically. I’m planning on a little break whilst I figure this out.

If you want to reach out please use the contact page on the site.

Cheers, Lee.

Some initial thoughts on iPadOS

ipad, Tech

I managed to avoid spoilers this year before the keynote and was pleasantly surprised by Apple creating a fork of iOS just for the iPad. It’s long overdue and I’m hoping it means each year now we’ll see improvements to the iPad. As someone that lives on the iPad I was really excited to give the beta of iPadOS a try. In the 48 hours I’ve had to play with it here are some of my favourite things about using it.

New home screen

Not a huge change but significant enough to make a difference to how I use it.

I have my most used apps on the right, now it’s more compressed they fit nicely. On the left I have Calendar and Reminders widgets reminding me about my day. This is a positive improvement and although I’d like to see the option to remove app names I’m pleased with the implementation.

Reminders

Reminders has had a big overhaul and in my time using it I loved it. Very buggy at the moment as to be expected but fitted the way my brain thinks about tasks. I enjoyed being able to create a Today list free from having to pick a specific time. I’ve raised over 15 radars with Apple on issues and suggestions so I’m hopeful it’ll become my only to do list manager come September.

Quick path typing and small keyboard

I was surprised at how much I loved using this little one handed keyboard on my 10.5″ Pro. I’ve also come to love (and miss now I’m off the beta) the swipe keyboard.

Sidecar

I installed Catalina on my MacBook and was very impressed with being able to use my iPad as a second screen. I didn’t use the pencil but simply as a second screen for info.

Photos

Big update for Photos and it looks particularly great with dark mode. Took me a while to get used to the new default view when you launch the app but definitely missing the beta. Looking forward to using it again when the public beta launches.

Dark Mode

Again took a while to get used to but found it easier on my eyes. I enjoyed using the default apps in dark mode, particularly Reminders. It’ll be a mode a lot of people will enable and then go back to white I imagine but for those of us that prefer a darker look it’s been implemented well.

Performance

I’m running on my 10.5″ iPad Pro and even though its beta 1 I had no performance issues. That said I can’t recommend running the beta at the moment. It’s so buggy right now and I’ve experienced several iCloud issues.

Overall thoughts

There are a tonne more improvements including files and multitasking but to be honest I don’t use those apps or features much. I’ve tried to highlight the ones that made a difference for me using iPadOS. I’m planning on a full review as we get through the beta cycle. I’m so pleased that Apple have recognised that the iPad is its own thing and needs a dedicated development path away from the iPhone. Now iPadOS is a thing we can expect to see improvements year on year and fingers crossed will push the iPad forwards at an increased pace.