On iPad 3 and Continuity

Earlier this month, Apple introduced two new iPads, the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3. Along with the new iPads, Apple released the latest version of Mac OS X called Yosemite. One of the touted features of Yosemite and the new iOS 8 is a feature called Continuity. From the Apple website:

Now you can start writing an email on your iPhone and pick up where you left off when you sit down at your Mac. Or browse the web on your Mac and continue from the same link on your iPad. It all happens automatically when your devices are signed in to the same iCloud account. Use Handoff with favorite apps like Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, and Contacts. And developers can build Handoff into their apps now, too.

I was excited to try this feature out. I have a new iMac, an ancient 2007 macbook pro, an iPad 3 and an iPhone 5s. I’m constantly switching between devices so features like Continuity and Handoff are perfect for a user like me.

In the fine print on Apple’s website, it reads, “Continuity features are available on iPhone 5 or later, iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display, and iPod touch (5th generation)”. Bummer. While my iPhone 5s can take advantage of Continuity, my iPad 3 just missed the cut. As I further examined the list, I noticed the iPad mini is included in this group. Why?

The 3rd generation iPad was the first iPad to feature a Retina Display when it was announced on March 7, 2012.  I was the owner of an original iPad and iPad 2 and I was eager to upgrade to a retina screen especially after using an iPhone 4S for a few months. Even though it was thicker and heavier than the iPad 2, the retina screen more than made up for it.

The iPad mini was introduced on October 23, 2012 and featured an all new smaller 7.9″ display with a dual core A5 chip. Apple, surprisingly, also upgraded the 7 month old iPad 3 to the iPad 4th generation which featured a further upgraded graphics chip and replaced the 30 pin connector with a Lightning port.

When you compare the specs of the iPad 3 and the iPad mini, you’ll notice that they both have the same generation A5 chips. The only thing that differs is that the iPad 3 has an A5X chip with double the graphics performance of the A5 chip to drive the Retina Display. Yet, the iPad 3 was excluded from the Continuity party.

The iPad mini, which has the same technology as the iPad 2 that was introduced in 2011, supports Continuity. The only reason why the iPad mini supports Continuity is because Apple still sells it as a new product. Many would argue that Apple should not even be selling this product but they will until, presumably, fall 2015. The iPad mini is in every way an inferior product to the iPad 3. It has a slower graphics chip and it does not have a Retina Display. It’s really unfortunate that Apple doesn’t include the iPad 3 when it comes to Continuity when a model that everyone wishes would go away gets invited to the party.

Tim Cook: “I’m Proud to be Gay”

Tim Cook has announced he is gay:

I’ll admit that this wasn’t an easy choice. Privacy remains important to me, and I’d like to hold on to a small amount of it. I’ve made Apple my life’s work, and I will continue to spend virtually all of my waking time focused on being the best CEO I can be. That’s what our employees deserve—and our customers, developers, shareholders, and supplier partners deserve it, too. Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one’s sexuality, race, or gender. I’m an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things. I hope that people will respect my desire to focus on the things I’m best suited for and the work that brings me joy.

Epic.

Rental America

I feel extremely lucky that I can afford to buy and own things that I need. Others aren’t so fortunate. A small industry of rent-to-own businesses has cropped up to service people who don’t have credit and cannot afford to pay for things up front. These businesses make their money by charging super high interest rates on furniture, appliances, etc.

By the next day, the Abbotts had a remade living room, two companion pieces, both of the same blended material, 17 percent leather. The love seat and sofa retailed, together, for about $1,500. Abbott would pay for hers over two years, though she still had paying the option to pay monthly or weekly. The total price if paid weekly: $4,158.

Fifteen hundred dollars is a lot to pay up front, so when people see monthly payments of $39 a week, it’s easy to see why some prefer to rent-to-own, even if they end up paying almost three times the cost of paying up front.

This line stood out to me.

The 37-year-old grandmother who says that pretty much everything in her house comes from this store.

I’m 34 and I have a 6-year-old step daughter and zero kids of my own.

The Best Gear for Small Apartments

The Sweethome put together a list of gear for small apartments. Some tips:

  • Choose the right size: Often this means getting smaller versions of things—like a compact fan or cordless vacuum—that will stow more easily.
  • Maximize vertical space: Hill uses floor-to-ceiling closets to provide more storage. The same principle applies to hooks, magnets, hanging racks, and pegboards that take advantage of walls and the backs of doors.
  • Use nooks: Hill created extra seating in his apartment by adding cushions to extra-wide windowsills. Morsels of otherwise unused space—a shelf under a bench, hooks inside a cupboard—can also be great places to tuck smaller items.
  • Fold away: Hill recommends investing in things “that nest, fold, stretch, or that are compact.” Items that can be stored flat or rolled, such as a folding chair, clothes drying rack, or air mattress for guests, are especially good for preserving floor space.
  • Go for quality: Well-made clothes, furnishings, and appliances may initially cost more, but you won’t have to replace them in a few years. “Sometimes, the expensive thing is the best and most financially smart,” said Hill.

Best Scotch To Buy on a Budget

Why is Scotch such a hard hit to the wallet? There are a few reasons. First, it’s an import, so there are a number of taxes associated with bringing the booze across borders. Second, Scotch is typically aged for longer periods of time than your average American rye or bourbon, so the price on the bottle is also partially compensating for the time it takes to mature in the barrel, the liquid lost to the Angel’s Share during that period, the space needed to store casks, etc. While a great American bourbon will rest for two or more years, most Scotch brands don’t get blended before three (and most typically five or above), which is a significant difference in cost when it comes to production.

I love scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch.

Fields of Fear

[Update]: Took down the video because it autoplayed (boo ESPN). Here’s a link to watch the video.

Mackey Sasser was an exceptional catcher for the New York Mets in the late 1980s and early ’90s. He could hit. He could manage a pitching staff. He could nail you trying to steal second base. But one day, there was something Sasser couldn’t do. He couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher. Suddenly the most basic act for a catcher was next to impossible for Sasser. What happened? This film explores the mental side of the game and shows how a childhood trauma can come back to overwhelm a professional athlete, and how confronting it can lead to recovery.

The Kids Are Not All Right

Our control freak quest to provide the perfect childhood and produce the perfect child is backfiring. Or worse: It is just making our kids hurt themselves.

Nothing wrong with protecting your children, but you have to say no, let them explore on their own and let them fail every once in awhile.

Your Life On Earth

Type in your date of birth and find out what has happened since you’ve appeared on this planet.

In my life:

  • There have been 75 solar eclipses
  • The population has increased by 2.7 billion
  • My heart has beaten 1 billion times

 

Weekend Long Reads – October 18, 2014

To Siri, With Love

It’s not that Gus doesn’t understand Siri’s not human. He does — intellectually. But like many autistic people I know, Gus feels that inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls, are worthy of our consideration. I realized this when he was 8, and I got him an iPod for his birthday. He listened to it only at home, with one exception. It always came with us on our visits to the Apple Store. Finally, I asked why. “So it can visit its friends,” he said.

Mac OS X Yosemite Reviews

Apple’s new desktop operating system was released this week and there are plenty of great reviews. Here are my favorite, starting with none other than the canonical review by John Siracusa.

OS X 10.10 Yosemite: The Ars Technica Review

Six Colors: OS X Yosemite Review

With OS X Yosemite, Aqua’s All Grown Up