On episode 53, I go on one of my trademark rants. On a previous post, I shared my observations after spending over an hour at the Apple Store. This was before I found out my iPhone repair was going to take longer than expected. Download the latest episode to listen to me complain about my experience at the Apple Store.
Listen and subscribe in Apple Podcasts.
I recently discovered a brand new podcast. It’s called Dissect, and it’s described as a “serialized music podcast that breaks long form musical analysis into short, digestible episodes.” It is currently on season two, where he covers Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, probably one of my favorite albums of all time. If you’re familiar with Serial, the podcast that kind of put podcasting into the mainstream, it is similar in that format. It is highly produced, well researched, and very compelling.
In the first three episodes, the narrator goes over some backstory to set up his analysis of the album. After that, each episode covers a single track. He covers everything from producers, what songs are sampled, guest appearances, and most importantly, overarching themes and lyric meanings. It’s a genius idea for a podcast and I would go as far to say that it is the best podcast I’ve ever listened to. I binged on the existing episodes and can’t wait to listen to more.
If you’re a fan of podcasts and/or Kanye West, give it a listen.
Dissect on Apple Podcasts
Every summer, Apple Stores offer Apple Camp for children ages 8-12. This year, they offered 3 different camps: Coding Games and Programming Robots; Creating Characters and Composing Music; and Stories in Motion with iMovie. Malia has shown an interest in making movies and YouTube, so I decided to enroll her in the iMovie camp.
I was impressed overall with the camp. It’s 3 days and each day is 1.5 hours. Enough time to keep them engaged, but short enough that they don’t lose interest. Each camper gets a free t-shirt and an Apple USB flash drive that doubles as a bracelet. They would be storing their footage and creations on these drives.
Each day focused on different aspects of making a film. The first day, they covered brain storming ideas, story boarding, and different filming techniques, such as panning, close ups and landscape shots. The second day focused on editing in iMovie. They took the footage they filmed and started editing in them in iMovie on iPads. And on the last day, they all presented their films for everyone to see.
I was surprised at the level of detail. I noticed when they plugged in their flash drives into Macs to transfer their files, each drive was already labeled with the name of the camper. So when my daughter plugged in her drive, it was already named “Malia” on the desktop. When it was time to edit, each camper was given their own iPad and their own set of Beats headphones so they could only hear their movies. And when it was presentation day, instead of loading each flash drive and double clicking every person’s file, the employees created a Keynote presentation and had each movie as it’s own presentation slide and each movie was preceded by the creator’s name. So that way they could just hit play and not have to load each movie file.
It was a great experience, for myself and for Malia, and I definitely see us doing this again next summer. And it was completely free. Highly recommended.
I got the iPhone 7 last Friday. Some thoughts:
- I went from the 6S Plus to the regular size 7. I wanted the Plus more for the larger battery than the larger screen. I found out that the larger battery still wasn’t enough for my typical usage. This time around I went with the regular size 7 and got Apple’s Smart Battery Case. I liked checking the case’s charge from within the OS. And I actually like the “hump”. With my normal usage on the 6S Plus, I would make it to around 1pm until I would have to charge. With the 7 and the battery case, I got the 20% Low Battery warning at 10pm this evening. I start my days between 6am and 7am normally.
- I did the iPhone upgrade program last year and was interested to see how they would handle those of us upgrading. Unlike others, I was able to get the model that I wanted. After about 20 minutes in line and about 30 minutes in store doing “paperwork”, I walked out with my phone. No complaints.
- The new Home button is weird for the first few minutes. That’s it.
- I got the matte black version. In my opinion it looks damn good. The Jet Black is crazy supply constrained. The person helping me said that they did not even have one on display in the store.
- The speakers are way louder. One nice side effect of using Apple’s battery case: because of the way the case is designed, it takes the output of the bottom speaker and reroutes it towards you. That, along with the new speaker in the ear piece, gives me even better stereo separation.
- No headphone jack. It’s a bummer but not that big of a deal. I prefer no wires (who doesn’t). I have a Bluetooth speaker and headphones. I added Bluetooth in my car via an adapter a few years ago. My wife’s car supports CarPlay. So there’s never a point where I need to use the headphone jack anymore.
Now that I’ve had my watch for a few weeks, I definitely notice what people are wearing on their wrists. Maybe because I live in the Bay Area, with a lot of tech savvy people, I’m starting to see more people with Apple Watches on their wrists. I even saw one in the wild a few months before they came out. I’m starting to notice that if someone else who has a Watch notices that I have one, they usually give a nod of approval.
The Apple Watch seems to be the iPod of this generation. When the iPod first came out in 2001, people were quick to criticize it. Famously, a post on Slashdot pointed out “No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.” When I got one of those first few iPods, people thought I was crazy spending a few hundred dollars on what was basically an mp3 player. Soon enough, iPods were the gadget to have. People were sporting the iconic white headphones. An entire ad campaign centered around those ear buds. But in the early days, it was common to give a nod to others with the white ear buds since you knew they had an iPod as well. It’s pretty crazy to think that before the iPod, no one else made white ear buds; all you had was standard black.
Today it’s the Apple Watch that has its doubters. Similar to why anyone would pay $400 for an MP3 player, many people don’t understand why the watch exists. You can buy perfectly accurate watches for less than $100. But once you show people the use case for the watch, it slowly dawns on them. With the iPod, it was easy to make the case. 1000 songs in your pocket. The Watch, is not so obvious, but once it clicks, people will want one.
Invest in bourbon:
To put it in bartenders’ lingo: Distillers are putting up the tab for millions of rounds of bourbon years before they are even ordered. The production poses an inherent risk, but hitting the moment right — a big supply meshing with big demand — could mean a serious payday for companies big and small.
If you haven’t visited in awhile, you may have noticed a few changes around here. To be quite honest, the consulting never really took off so I wanted to find something else to do with this site. I figure, switching things up a bit would encourage me to write and post more. I decided to put less of an emphasis on the consulting aspect of this site and wanted to concentrate more on linking and sharing cool and interesting things I find on the internet. It won’t be limited just to technology things either. I have a lot of interests and I plan to share them here. These include, and are not limited to, tech, Apple, food, coffee, cars or just anything I think people may find interesting. I’m still tweaking a few things but for the most part, the layout of the site is still the same. I hope you enjoy and keep coming back. Thanks.
The Macintosh turned 30 years old last week. Apple has a great retrospective on their site. It’s amazing how far it has come. It’s also amazing how little has changed in 30 years. “File Edit View” on the menu bar on ALL computers today originated on the Macintosh.
The iPad Air is set to be released this Friday, November 1st. The reviews of the unit came out yesterday. Here are the reviews that I thought were the best and easiest to read.
John Gruber – Daring Fireball
“So I’m envisioning two types of people:
Those who still need or merely want to carry a MacBook with them when they travel, but who also want to carry an iPad.
Those whose portable computing needs can — all, or even just most, of the time — be met by an iPad.
I think it’s worth considering the iPad Air from both perspectives.”
John Dalrymple – The Loop
“It’s very hard to describe how good the iPad Air feels in your hand without actually picking one up. It’s kind of like the first time you saw a Retina display for the first time—shock.”
Ben Bajarin – Techpinions
“For many who do not depend daily on a desktop workstation or portable desktop (notebook) the iPad Air will more than suffice as their everyday personal computer.”
The iPad Air is a very significant update, arguably the largest since it’s introduction in 2010. It improves from the previous generation in every conceivable specification. The only decision you have to make is whether to buy it or wait until the Retina iPad mini comes out.
Google is introducing relevant ads to search inquiries through their Maps app. Instead of showing you the most relevant search result, they will present an ad if your inquiry closely matches a paid advertiser. This is quite sad. Fortunately there are alternatives as I’ve written about here.