13th August 2018

I started a note a while ago to list out the things I want in the next iPhone, but there’s honestly not much that I can think of. I may really want these things, but there’s not many of them.

Just for some perspective, I’m currently using an iPhone 7 Plus, and I’m still really happy with the device. But I got it on release day, so after two years I think I’m due an upgrade. However, taking into consideration the improvements made in the iPhone X, there are just a few things I’d like the next model (whatever it’s going to be called) to improve upon.

The first has to be the battery. I don’t really ever get a full days use out of a single charge, but I do understand that I am a bit of an edge case. I use my phone a lot, whether it’s at work when I’m using it as a test device, or when I’m travelling and I’m constantly taking photos. I would like the battery life to be great for all types of users, not just when it’s new, or for someone who uses it less than me.

Following on the photography side of my iPhone use, I wouldn’t mind the camera getting a bit better. It’s a pretty good camera, and I get some good shots, but I don’t think there has been any major leaps in a while. I know this isn’t a great metric to use as a comparison, but the iPhone 6 had a 12MP camera, and so does the iPhone X. Sure, quite a lot of other things have changed, and the lens makes a lot of difference on it’s own. But I would like to see an aperture lower than f/1.8, improvements to macro photography, and general improvements to sharpness.

One thing that I expect to see, and I kind of really need in my next device, is the ability to use Face ID in any orientation. I’m still unsure about facial recognition, seeing as how reliable and fast Touch ID is, and the fact the iPhone X has to be in portrait for it to be unlocked would be pretty annoying. But with the rumours of this coming to the iPad, I don’t see why the next iPhone wouldn’t also receive it. Maybe even the iPhone X could retroactively gain support for this as well.

My next wish is something I’ve been wanting for a long time now, and it’s a reason why I’ve been tempted to buy a Google Pixel before, colourful hardware. In the past, Apple have offered multiple colour options for quite a lot of their products, the early iMacs, iPods, the iPhone 5C, and of course the Apple Watch straps. I really want a phone that isn’t just a boring slab of monochrome, (I don’t accept the gold options, and the RED edition takes ages to be launched). Why not something with a bit of character? What about adding a few accents to the side buttons like the Pixel, or going for whole colour changes, like the rumoured orange version (😍). And I don’t want any interesting options to be relegated to the cheaper models. I remember when I purchased a 5S, I really wanted the design of the 5C so I could get a bright colour for once, but I wasn’t going to buy one with old hardware. With a $1 trillion market cap, you’d think there’d be room for some more colour options for arguably their main product.

To round up my wishes, there’s just one more thing (yeah, I wrote that) I want Apple to include. Nothing big or extravagant, just a USB C to Lightning cable in the box as standard. The USB C market clearly isn’t as big as Apple predicted it would be by now, and I’ve written about how the iPad could improve this, but another push would be if the iPhone connected via USB C.

Anyway, I’ll sit back with everyone else, and await what device we’re all going to be purchasing.

12th August 2018

I was reading another great piece by Matt Birchler this morning, about the things he (an Apple fan) loves about the Microsoft Surface Go.

But when I read this little section, something about the iPad clicked in my head:

Connecting to an External Display

I keep asking for Apple to allow this on the iPad, because the ability to plug this into my 27″ screen and use it at that higher size and resolution is wonderful. This wouldn’t work on the iPad of course unless you had a larger touch screen, but it would totally work if you had one of those (not that this is impossible, of course).

There was this rumour recently, about how the Smart Connector on the iPad is going to be moved to the bottom. But there’s no real solid proof that it’s true, and there are tons of differing opinions, including one that it isn’t a smart connector, but instead, a moved Touch ID sensor.

Mac Rumors have a great page about the related Smart Connector rumours, and you can find the source CAD image below:

But what if it had something to do with extra connectivity, rather than simply moving an already existing port.

The original idea of a Smart Connector on the bottom (in portrait) was met with jokes about how the keyboard would look, and how unusable it would make it. But the image showing the Surface Go in landscape mode, with the USB C connector visible, made me think that it is, in fact, the perfect position for a connector that is designed to add more functionality while working.

I think the reason why people were originally mocking the idea of this new position for the connector, was because the majority agree that the time these ports are needed are when the device is in landscape mode, connected to a keyboard and while they’re doing real work.

So what if this allowed them to do more?

Maybe connecting to another display, accessories like cases that come with batteries, or things like an SD card reader.

However, just like the rest of these posts, this is pure speculation. And my attempt at creating a different perspective, that I don’t think has been made that much. What if, instead of simply moving a port, they were adding one, and making the experience better, rather than worse.

Further Speculation

While I’m speculating on this rumour, I’ll go a step further for a second.

What would happen if Apple added a USB C port to the iPad?

It would, of course, have to be alongside the Lightning port in my opinion. But that would open up a whole new bunch of possibilities:

  • You could charge your iPad while having EarPods plugged in, meaning they could remove the headphone adapter.
  • Fast charging would be standard, (if they included the USB C charger).
  • Connecting to portable storage, batteries, and monitors, would be extremely trivial.
  • Only one charger for your MacBook and iPad.
  • Another type of port means more chances of third-party manufacturers making accessories. It’s easier to adopt a standard connector like USB C than creating a one-off product that uses a Smart Connector.
  • It would boost the USB C world just slightly more. Or at least move in the direction of having a single port that’s available on all Apple devices. For example, you’d get one external drive, and maybe an external display, but you’d be able to connect your Mac or iPad. It sounds super simple, but that’s what it should be.

Anyway, this has probably gone on longer than it should have done. But I hope I’ve got a different perspective across, and maybe spawned some more speculation.

12th August 2018
The chillis are growing! 🌶
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10th August 2018
🌧 ⛈
#London #Storm #ObscuraPhoto
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10th August 2018

After the recent announcement of the iTunes Affiliate program closing for Apps, I reached out to iTunes Affiliate Support for some help on how payments would be released.

The way the program works is that all commission is separated into the currency that it was earned from. So they each accrue their individual amounts, and after the minimum threshold (My account is set to £20) is met, you can then release (or set it up to be automatic) the funds.

But for people like myself who didn’t particularly make much money from the program, there are quite a few currencies that haven’t hit that. Some of them are nearly at the mark, but I wasn’t sure how Apple would deal with this. I didn’t like the idea of having earnings not paid simply because they didn’t hit the minimum amount, as the ability to earn more to boost the number is being removed, for apps at least.

However, the Affiliate Program team got back to me and it’s good news. The payment threshold will be lifted after the change happens:

Regarding App Store commissions, we will waive the payment threshold requirement after the program change takes place in October. These payments will be available to you approximately 60 days thereafter with our regularly scheduled invoice cycle. You will be able to release these payments once they have been received by Performance Horizon and processed.

They also assured that the payments should be released by mid-December.

I don’t think this information will be particularly useful to everyone, but it was something I was unsure of, so I thought I’d spread the news.

08th August 2018
🌲🌲🌲
#Woods #Lake #Norfolk #ObscuraPhoto
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07th August 2018

I was playing around with my latest mini-project, an iMac G3 that I’m trying to get working, and I discovered an old relic. I was trying out various old hard drives of mine, to see which ones I could then use to install System 9.

What surprised me, was a single file in the root of the hard drive, named "blissful glitches.wav". Oh, and it was created on 1st September 2011.

I was pretty sure when I saw it what it most likely was. Because a very old hobby of mine was making and listening to Chiptune1. So I assumed this was maybe a test recording I made. I personally used to use a program called LSDJ on a GameBoy to record my music, but I hardly ever actually finished something. But it turns out this one actually sounds finished.

After I listened to it, I could definitely remember the actual song, but I can’t remember anything about the creation, or when it actually happened. The date on the file is one thing, but it may not be the time I even recorded it from the GameBoy or even the time I started making it.

Anyway, I’ll cut to the chase.

Listen to

Maybe this is where you ask for feedback, or “constructive criticism”. But I made this 7 years ago, and even back then, I always created for myself first.


  1. Music created using old sound chips from vintage computers, and game consoles, or emulated versions. 

07th August 2018
Permalink

Straight from the Instapaper blog:

To ensure Instapaper can continue for the foreseeable future, it’s essential that the product generates enough revenue to cover its costs. In order to do so, we’re relaunching Instapaper Premium today.

As a reminder, Instapaper Premium is a subscription for $2.99/month or $29.99/year that offers the following features:

  • Full-text search for all articles in your account
  • Unlimited Notes
  • Text-to-Speech playlists on mobile
  • Speed reading to get through all of your articles up to 3x faster
  • An ad-free Instapaper website
  • “Send to Kindle” using a bookmarklet or our mobile apps

Instapaper is back!

And that’s not all:

We are very sorry for the extended downtime and, as a token of our apology, we are giving six months of Instapaper Premium to all EU users affected by the outage.

I’m getting off Pocket this instant, and moving back to Instapaper.

Expect to hear more from me about this.

07th August 2018
Permalink

Matt Birchler:

9to5Mac has a good breakdown of what this jailbreak entails, but I will reiterate that you should not even think about finding this jailbreak. One, I don’t think that watchOS is really in need of a jailbreak community to push it forward right now, but two, this is an incredibly high risk jailbreak! – BirchTree

I completely agree with all the sentiments here.

05th August 2018
Boat trip! 🚣‍♀️ 🌊
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