iOS 12 wish list

Tech

We aren’t too far away from WWDC 2018 and iOS 12 so I’m doing my usual write up.

This years theme I’m hoping is “speed and stability”. I want iOS to run better on older hardware and deal with some of the long time outstanding bugs such as rotation on iPad (dock being left in wrong orientation etc.). I also see a lot of UI issues in Apple Music, especially on iPad.

I’d also like to see some investment in Reminders but Apple appear to have all but given up on improving their productivity apps so I won’t even talk about what I want to see. Same deal with Mail and Calendar.

Yes, it’ll seem like a boring release but I’d be quite happy with a low amount of visual changes but a high amount of polish and bug fixing.

This will be shorted post I’ve written for an iOS update but I really don’t want to see many bells and whistles, just a ‘boring’ stability update please.

How to reset Apple TV 2nd gen without a remote

How to, Tech

I’m having a bit of a tech clear out and was faced with a second generation Apple TV that I didn’t have a remote for. I couldn’t get the Siri remote to work so was a bit stuck.

On looking at the back of the unit I realised that it had a mini USB port. I took it to my iMac, plugged in a usb cable and iTunes recognised it. It then gave me an option to factory reset.

Using an iPhone 6s in 2018

Tech

After playing with the iPhone X for a month I decided it wasn’t for me, so I switched back to my iPhone 6S. I am looking at maybe getting a 7 Plus but for now wanted to see if I could still use it with the latest iOS. It’s also strangely relaxing not being on the latest and greatest hardware, it feels less fragile and somewhat comforting. For reference before my X I’d used a 7 since launch, until I got the X in November 2017.

Overall performance

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how good this phone runs iOS. It doesn’t feel any slower than the iPhone 7 I’d used previously. I notice some lag using a few third party apps, most noticeably Instagram but iOS is pretty slick. Apple core apps run fine and navigating iOS is a good experience. It’s not what I was expecting to see. From everything I’d read I was expecting to be throwing it out of the window within a day but I’m really happy with it. Nothing I’m seeing so far would put me off recommending using a 6S on iOS 11. I know Apple gets a lot of stick about the quality of their software but credit where credit is due I have to give it to Apple on this one, well done.

Battery

In short, I need a replacement. I feel I have to keep it on charge to get through the day. Overnight it drains about 30% doing nothing. I’ve yet to get my £29 battery replacement but I think its time I booked my phone in for a battery change. I hate using the battery percentage indicator but for now I’m going to be leaving it on.

Camera

Coming from a 7 the 6S camera is fine, coming from an X I miss the zoom. Portrait mode has been hit or miss (and my DSLR does better) but having the option to tap to optical zoom is the feature I miss the most. I don’t take selfies so no opinion on the front facing.

Home button

Coming from the X its kind of nice having a home button back. Where I like it the most is being able to tap it to see the lock screen without it trying to unlock. Given it’s a physical button on the 6S coming from the 7 it does feel like I’m having to press it down harder than I would normally. I prefer the lack of home button as on the 7 and 8.

App switching

Gestures were nice on the X but I really didn’t care for how you closed apps. Getting to app switcher also seemed liked it was slower. Now being able to hard press on the side to bring up app switching then simply swiping apps up to close is more intuitive for me. It’s a habit I’ve developed and the main use of 3D Touch I use. I’m glad to have this back.The iPhone X gesture model needs a lot of work. Control Centre feels in the wrong place and closing apps are my worst offenders.

Headphone jack

I use AirPods most of the day but having an option to charge and use my expensive over the year headphones is nice I have to admit.

Screen

I don’t miss the OLED on the X. In fact I experienced eye strain using it. The technology used means the screen flickers, I must be sensitive to it. I see the benefits of the larger display and it’s one of the main reasons I’m considering getting a Plus.

Am I going to continue?

Yes, for now. I think I’ll ultimately switch to the 7 or 8 Plus to get the better camera though. I’m looking at used prices and I actually feel pretty good that I’m keeping an older device going rather than buying new.

I’m in no rush to move on from the 6S for now, I’ll enjoy not fretting over my X and battling with myself on the ethical choice of spending over £1000 on an iPhone.

iPhone X features I miss

Tech

I’m so conflicted about the iPhone X, now I’m back on the iPhone 7 I’m finding I actually miss a few features that I didn’t think I would.

  • Screen: I feel a bit boxed in now on my 4.7″ screen. You do tend to only focus on the middle portion but being able to see all my calendar entries on one page etc was a good feature. I also miss full screen YouTube and Netflix viewing.
  • Zoom on the camera: I didn’t quite realise how much I used the 2 x optical zoom day to day.
  • Extra keyboard space: Got to be honest, I’m feeling a little cramped on my iPhone 7 keyboard. I’m adjusting ok and is definitely a first world problem but I’m getting cramp. I’m actually finding my RSI is getting worse now I’m on a slightly narrower iPhone.
  • Qi charging: I’ve been using the Anker Qi charger next to our entertainment system and didn’t realise how convenient it was. With my iPhone 7 I’m running out of juice halfway through the day mainly because I’m out of the habit already of plugging it in somewhere.

Maybe I’ll revisit in a month or so but this year is one of the most conflicted I’ve been about an iPhone purchase in the 10 years since it was introduced.

Apple adding news sources without your approval

apps, News

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.

Switching to OmniFocus

apps, Productivity, Tech

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.