What To Expect With iOS 11

I really think we take the operating systems of these magical devices for granted.  People get caught up in the new hardware even when it’s not all that new, so they can show it off at the bar that night.

Truth is the OS updates provide much more for the user experience than the hardware ever will.  But it’s much harder to show that off.

So since I’ve been using iOS 11 for a few weeks now I thought I’d share some of my favorite and not so favorite features that you can expect as the OS releases publicly today.

Updated Control Center

This was a very welcomed update as now you can customize the items that fall within control center.  This is really the first time Apple truly takes advance of 3D Touch in my opinion.

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Screen Recording

If you’re like me and are constantly showing people how to use their devices, you can now record the actions you perform on your phone alone with in the moment voice over.  This will be huge for people that want to show off their apps functionality.  Long overdue update.

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Screen Shots

You no longer need to save every single screen shot to your camera roll.  You can edit them right after taking them send them off to a friend a number of different ways and just remove it as soon as you’re done.  Android has had this function for years.  About time Apple stole it.

Drag and Drop from App

This really only works with iPad using split screen but you can now drag a photo or text from safari and drop it right into iMessage.

The Dock (iPad)

Finally you can add more than 6 apps to the bottom of your iPad screen.  Cleaning up your desktop.  Because you know you have crap all over it.

Peer to Peer Apple Pay

This hasn’t released just yet and we expect it in a future release of iOS 11 but Apple is going up against apps like Venmo to dominate the Peer to Peer currency exchange.  With Venmo being cross platform it’s going to be difficult to see how well this will work but one advantage is if you use Apple’s wallet and ApplePay technically you can use the money right away. Venmo is typically one business day to your checking account.

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Dark Mode?

Not really… Apple’s attempt at a dark mode, buried in the accessibility features seems great for everything Apple related but any 3rd party apps like Facebook and Instagram just aren’t “Smart” enough.  Yet.

File Management System

By far the most disruptive part of the Apple Ecosystem in years is their hybrid local/cloud based file management system.  I have toyed around with this but not gone full boat yet.  This means you’ll be able to sync many different types of files between macOS and iOS using iCloud.  This is going to be a MAJOR change and rely heavily on how much iCloud storage you pay for each money.  I’m just using 100Gb of my 200Gb per month plan but I know that would need a hefty upgrade once I start using this.

That sums it up.  It’s been running pretty much bug free since the gold master version released so if you’ve got a newer device you should have a pretty seamless experience.  Let me know what you love and hate about it.

Six Things You Didn’t Hear at WWDC But Need to Know.

Apple unveiled tons of new tech goodies today in San Jose.  I’m not going to talk about any of them in this post.  However I am going to talk about all the changes they made that they didn’t talk about.


 

 13″ MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 2 and Traditional USB-A ports are Gone from the Online store.

Well if you were hoping to scoop up one of Apple’s last 13″ MacBook Pro’s with a traditional USB port you missed that boat.  Your last chance to purchase one through Apple is going to be through their refurbished store.


iPad Pro still uses Apple Lightning Connector.

I could’ve sworn they said the new iPad Pro was USB-C connector but according to the website they’re all still lightning.  Turns out they just support USB-C power adapters for fast charging.  So if you were like me and mis-heard there is your clarity.

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AirPods will have more support in iOS 11.

To me this is exactly what was keeping that AirPods at 9 out of 10 but as long as they work like they should these will get a perfect 10!

I talk about this in my AirPods Review, you can only pause/play or activate Siri (useless) when tapping on the AirPods.  With iOS 11, you can now assigned different commands for each ear.  That is great except I still think they should add a 2-Tap and 3-Tap options  doubling our capabilities.

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Apple brings back the wireless keyboard with numeric pad!

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Good lord.  For $129 you can purchase Apple’s new Magic Keyboard with a numeric pad.  I LOVE having a numeric pad but I’m not sure I can justify spending that much on a wireless keyboard.


iMac Pro will not have user upgradable ram or purchase space gray keyboard and mouse separately.

Apple has confirmed that the RAM will not be user upgradable or replaceable.  This has been a big issue for Apple users for years.  Apple also tends to up-charge hundreds of dollars more for RAM than the rest of the market.  You can tell the typical door where the RAM lived in the existing 27″ iMac is gone.

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And as for those “Bad Ass” Space Gray keyboard and mouse?  You will NOT be able to purchase them outside of the iMac Pro. Try eBay for 4x what you’d pay for white ones.

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AppleCare + for the Mac.

Finally we can feel better about being more mobile with our Macs.  Starting today you can purchase AppleCare+ for the Mac which covers two incidences of accidental damage*.  (Subject to service fee). Those fees are broken down here.

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WWDC – HomePod, iMac Pro, iPad Pro, iOS 11, High Sierra

Today Apple is kicking off their annual world wide developers conference.  This conference originated around the debut of the latest softwares such as MacOS and iOS.  There have been cases where new hardware was introduced but it’s primary goal in recent years has been to give a preview of Apple’s newest OS.

Heavy rumors have been circulating for weeks surrounding iOS 11, MacOS updates, WatchOS Update, TVOS update,  a 10.5″ iPad, MacBook update, and maybe even a Siri Speaker to compete with Amazon’s Echo and Google Home.

In the meantime if you’re new to WWDC and don’t know what to expect check out 9to5Mac’s video that summed up all of 2016’s updates.

 

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1:04pm – Still waiting.  So much for being on time.

1:09pm – Finally taking the stage.

Video of a new employee basically screwing everyone with an iPhone by unplugging servers .

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The end of the world would happen…

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Tim takes the stage.

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1:12PM – “The best WWDC Ever”. That’s a bold statement Tim.

1:13PM – Features on young developers as young as 10 years old.  So I’ll be out of a job before I’m ready to retire… Can 30 year olds learn how to code with the playground?

1:15PM. – Focus on 4 platforms iOS, MacOS, WatchOS, and tvOS.

1:15PM – Starting off with tvOS

Amazon is coming to tvOS and tvApp (Funny since they might be releasing a speaker to compete wth Alexa)

1:16PM – Shortest tvOS update ever. on to AppleWatch.

1:17PM – Watch OS4.  Siri Watch face.  That uses the same type of machine learning like Siri suggested apps.   Lets hope this works better than Siri in general.

One can only wonder if they’ll still support the original Apple Watch.  I’m sure we’ll learn.

1:20PM – Just new watch faces so far.  On to Activity.

1:23PM – New UI for the workout app.  You’ll also be able to sync your Apple Watch to gym equipment.  I doubt my gym will have this for years they still have 30 pin connectors.

1:25PM – Music app for the Apple Watch.  Still no sign of showing any love for third party apps storing music on the watch.

1:26PM – New vertical dock to show everything you have coming up using the Siri watch face.

Apple really pushing people to Apple Music with no love to Spotify.

All watches will be supported on WatchOS 4

1:28PM – Tim takes the stage to talk more about the Mac.

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1:29PM – MacOS High Sierra??? Please tell me you’re kidding. Making lot so of weed references…

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1:31PM – Just bragging about how fast safari is on High Sierra.  Most people have 25mbps into their house so who cares?

1:34PM – Photos update for the Mac.  Photographers don’t use this so zzzzzz

“Apple pioneered printed books.”  Wait what??

1:36PM – File system updates.  New Finder??? Called Apple File System.

1:38PM – Optimizing video capabilities in High Sierra.

1:40PM – External Graphics cards.  This will be amazing for photographers like me music a 13″ MacBook Pro.  Sign me up.

1:41PM – Just teased some Apple VR???

1:45PM – 21.5″ can support 32Gb of Ram and 64Gb for the 27″.  Also putting some Thunderbolt 3 ports while including USB 3 ports. Hmmmm too much backlash from the MacBook Pro comunity? 8GB of VRam for 27″ iMac 5K.  That’s pretty rad.

1:47PM – VR demo using the new 5K 27″ iMac.

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1:50PM – VR Demo was insane (Video to come)

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1:51PM – Moving away from iMacs to MacBooks now. Faster SSDs.  Slashing prices on 13″ pro to $1299.

1:52PM – iMacs ship today!

1:54PM – Sneak peak about the new iMac Pro.

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1:57PM – Up to 18core processors, 16Gb of VRAm, 128GB ECC Memory, 4TB SSD, 4x Thunderbolt 3 ports, 10GB Ethernet, Still has USB 3 ports.

Everything else they didn’t have time to talk about.

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Available in November starting at $4999.

Now it’s time for iOS

Annual knock on Android OS adoption rate at just 7%.

Time for iOS 11.  What no iOS “High 10”?

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2:00PM – Starting with messages.  Auto syncing.  This is long awaited as they’re now in the cloud.

2:02PM – Apple Pay.  Expecting 50% of retailers to have it by the end of the year.  Peer to Peer payments.  Watch our Venmo.

2:03PM – You had a good run Venmo…

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2:04PM – Big update to Siri.  THANK THE LORD.  Wait just the voice is changing???

2:05PM – Really focusing on all the wrong things about Siri.  It can now translate language which could be very useful but we’ll see how well it actually works.

2:06PM – SiriKit.  That kid no developers seem to care about using.

2:06PM – Not much about Siri… well that’s a shame.

2:07PM – On to the camera updates in iOS 11.

2:09PM – Did I just see Long exposure? yeah good luck…

2:10PM – Control Center is getting. much needed update.  Still no word of customization of the controls in control center…

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2:11PM – You can trim Live Photos and choose the frame that you like.  I’m not sure Live Photos really have any value in my life at all.

2:12PM – Apple re-creates Instagram’s Boomerang and calls it Loop.

2:12PM – Looks like long exposures just blend multiple photos in well lit areas.  No night photo examples.

2:15PM – Time for an Apple Maps Update.  Detailed floor plans built in, directories, browse by floor, Airports also included in floorpans.  Navigation with speed limit and lane guidance.

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2:17PM – Do not disturb while driving.  It will automatically ask you every time your driving based on if it’s connected to bluetooth and using wireless.  You can have certain contacts break through this feature.  Did they basically just give us away messages??

2:19PM – Homekit.  They’re now configuring speakers into HomeKit with AirPlay2 with multi room audio.  I swear if my 4 AirPlay 1 speaks don’t work I will not be happy…

2:20PM – By now you basically need to use Apple Music for most of the fun things they’re talking about.  Introducing features about what you friends are listening to like Spotify has been doing for years.

2:21PM – “Big News” around the App Store.  Trying to get people going Steve Balmer style…

2:22 – The “Big News” consists of Faster App review times, reset rating, and completely redesign similar to Apple Music.

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2:25PM – Trying to help discover new apps.

2:26PM – Trying to separate Apps, Games, etc to make it easier to search.

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2:30PM – App store demo is super awkward.  Very quite in the room.

2:32PM – How iOS will be using machine learning to improve the user experiences. Nothing too exciting for the non-developer here.

2:33PM – Now we’re talking about AR (Augmented Reality).  They are brining AR Kit to developers to use it with more ease in their own apps.  Demo Time.

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2:35PM – Able to even have items interact with each other.

2:38PM – Live AR demo is pretty sweet.

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2:41PM – Tim back on stage to get us to iPad.

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2:42PM – iPad Pro getting pushed “further than ever before”

2:43PM – Adding 10.5″ iPad Pro to the lineup.  Replacing the 9.7″

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2:44PM – Full Size smart keyboard.

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2:45PM – ProMotion with a refresh rate of 120Hz.

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2:46PM – Now talking about the new performance of the new 10.5″ iPad Pro.  A10X fusion chip.  6 Core CPU. 12 Core GPU.

2:51PM – Same camera system as the iPhone 7.

2:52PM – iPad Pro is now using USB 3!  This is huge.  Is iPhone next??

2:54PM – Order today, ships next week.

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2:55PM – iOS 11 on the iPad now has a much larger dock, very similar to MacOS.  Multitasking also updated. Drag and drop now supported.

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2:56PM – New app Files that allows you to use not only local storage but cloud storage.

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2:58PM – Drag and drop works really well without a keyboard between multiple apps.

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2:59PM – Files all sync between devices.

3:00PM – In Line drawings and having a document scanner build directly into the notes app.

3:05PM – Screen shot editing UI.  I’ve wanted this since I owned my Tab s2.

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3:07PM – Tim Cook back on stage to take us to the end with a video I’ll post later.

3:09PM – “One Last Thing”.  Music.

3:13PM – Introducing HomePod.

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3:15PM – The HomePod knows hoot play best to the room.

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3:17PM – HomePod works natively with Apple Music. Has Siri built in with “Hey Siri”

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3:20PM – List of things HomePod can do using Siri.

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3:22PM – Will not send any information to Apple until you say “Hey Siri”

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3:23PM – Will be available in December at $349

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3:24PM – Tim Cook back on stage to sum it all up and close us out.

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Making the Switch to a Standing Desk

Since starting at my job about a year ago I’ve had a pretty basic cubicle full of all the technology any IT person could ever ask for.  I spend about 60% of my week in that cube sitting in an old chair starring at my displays.

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Since my family is notorious for having back pains later in life I thought I’d take another step of avoid those woes and invest in an adjustable standing desk by Ergotron.

Day 1
Got the desk setup just the way I want.  Kudos to Ergotron again for making it super easy to setup.  This thing literally popped out of the box and was good to go.

Now I don’t have all my cable ties down just he way I’d like but I needed to be functional before I can be fashionable.  I looked into getting a center bar to mount (2) 27″ displays but it seems the max supported size was 24″.  This really was fine in the end.  I don’t mind them up the way they are.  What do you think?

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I love that I’ve only got three cables running to my 13″ MacBook Pro.  Two Thunderbolt cables (one going to a Belkin Dock) and the magsafe power adapter.  This makes it really easy to unplug and go.  Also it’s nice having my SD card reader on the MacBook Pro very accessible.  Since then I’ve updated to the newest MacBook Pro with only USB-C and it’s actually become even easier.

Day 2
So like most things you’re excited about Day 1 was the honeymoon phase.  Now it’s day 2 and I’m realizing that this thin carpet is not going to cut and an am looking into a floor mat to stand on.

Day 3

Today is really the first full day of standing at the desk.  Past two days I’ve had half days so today is the first true test.  Unsurprisingly I need a floor mat.  These basic Vans sneakers don’t cut it.

The floor mat I’m ordering won’t be here for sometime and costs over $200 so it better be worth it.  You hear me Ergotron??? Get that floor mat here asap.

Other than that not too much to report I screwed my shoulder up doing keg stands over the weekend (don’t ask) so I haven’t been able to bring it up and down but I got a boat load of new accessories for the desk as well and it’s as steady as ever.

Day 14…  Where is my mat?

Day 30

Took about a month for my floor mat to come in.  Let me just say there are a million of these available on Amazon for way cheaper than what I paid for my Ergotron one.  I’m not sure how much better or worse one is than another but I don’t really care.  Anything is better when you wear Vans every day.

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The mat isn’t making as much of a difference as I’d hope but I’m only about 7 days into using it.

After a month of using the standing desk I’m extremely impressed.  My body adjusted to standing 6-8 hours a day at my desk instead of sitting.  There are very few times throughout the week I feel the need to sit down.  Also depends on how big of a lunch I eat.

If you’re considering making the transition to a standing desk here are the biggest take aways:

  • Try and get your company to pay for it.  Most companies will consider as it can save them in healthcare costs down the road.
  • If you need a union to come in and do any furniture renovations consider a model that just drops on an existing table like mine.
  • Learn how to cable manage.  You don’t want your monitors pulled off the desk because you managed them too tight.  (No this did not happen to me)
  • Go wireless with everything you can. (Mouse, Keyboard, Trackpad)

That’s really it.  I love my new desk and am considering one for my tiny apartment at home.  I don’t really have the space for a desk chair so it would be perfect for me.  If you’ve got a standing desk or are considering one let me know in the comments below.

My First Ever Impressions with Android

I’ve been tasked with developing basic troubleshooting tips and tricks for mobile devices by my employer.IMG_1747

Now, outside of two short and awful Android experiences, I’ve had no real world use with one of these devices but clearly I was going to have to become a pro with them very quickly.

So I ordered a Samsung Tab S2 tablet.  Why?  Well first off because it currently runs Android Marshmallow (Android’s 2nd most adopted OS to date), it will have the ability to upgrade to Nougat (Andriod’s latest but not yet adopted OS), and lastly it won’t have much of the garbage software that carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile install on Android devices before being sold.

First Impressions

Where the hell is the back arrow?  Using the back button located on the lower right hand side of the device is taking a lot getting used to.  With iOS when we need to go back we typically look to the top left hand corner of the app or simply swipe backward.

Why do I need multiple user accounts? (Google and Samsung)  One thing I learned at Apple is, people can’t remember their usernames and or passwords to save their lives.  Upon booting up my new tablet I was prompted to enter my gmail account for the Google Play Store (where you get all your apps) PLUS they wanted me to create a Samsung user name and password separate from my Gmail account.  I’m not exactly sure what they use this for but I’ve been getting prompted every so often to do so, so that I can take advantage of some “Samsung Essential Apps”.  This is very annoying and pops up on my screen regularly.

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Live Widgets are Fantastic.  Apple attempted to use live widgets but decided to put them in hidden places like Notification Center.  Android really allows you to customize your home screen for all of your up to date information.  I really hope Apple finds a non battery draining way to do this.

The Vibrance of the Display.  The “Super AMOLED” display is extremely vibrant.  It oddly does seem to be a magnet for dust and fingerprints though.  I find myself cleaning the screen extremely often.  I almost never have to on my iPad Pro.  Also it seems like many of the third party apps aren’t prepared to use such an available color palette.  Most of the third party apps have a very bland look and feel.

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What was that noise?  I’ve got my notifications set to minimum but I find that the device is almost always beeping about something.  You really don’t know what it is until you pull up your notifications.

Oh I get to nerd out?  Unlike iOS, Android gives you a ton of control over the device.  You can see RAM and CPU usage and how the impact battery life.  This is nice if you’re very tech savvy and want to know those things but don’t have a whole lot of real world use.  There are ways to completely customize this open source device which I haven’t really jumped into just yet.

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User accounts. Being able to have multiple user accounts (locally) seems pretty wonderful.  Our computers have been doing this for decades but mobile device haven’t.  If this device were to be shared with anyone that feature is amazing.

Day to Day Experiences

I found the tablet pretty easy to pick up for most day to day things.  Notification management can be a bit tricky and it LOVES to make noises whenever it can but I’ve just found that putting it in Airplane mode when I’m not using it, solves that issue.  Or does it?

One thing that drives me crazy is when it is in Airplane mode, it treats your notifications like water trying to get through a kinked hose.  We all know what happens when you un-kink that hose.  All the notifications come flying in at once making a horrible long lasting noise of notification awareness.  Even if I’ve addressed these notifications, such as email, from another device.

One big surprise was how well Android plays with Apple’s AirPods.  Apple specifically designed them to work optimally with iOS devices.  Now that doesn’t mean that they don’t play nice at all but it’s a different process.

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To recap how they work with Apple devices, any iOS or Mac with the same Apple ID remembers your AirPods even if they’ve never been connected through traditional pairing processes.  This makes it very easy to switch between devices.

With Android you just need to follow the traditional bluetooth pairing procedures and they work just fine.  I was surprised that the AirPods did not have to be re-paired traditionally with my Apple devices after being paired with my tablet.

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I miss the easily addable accessories such as my magnetic cover for my iPad and my keyboard cover that uses Apple’s smart connector.  I never realized how important they were to me and since I’d rather not carry around a separate keyboard this device is basically unusable for any long amounts of typing.  It seems Samsung is attempting to resolve this with the Tab S3.

Overall

I’m surprised how much I enjoy this device.  Being someone who has never ventured outside of iOS I was worried of the potential for culture shock.

The Samsung Tab S2 is extremely thin and light but I’m constantly afraid I’m going to scratch it.  I guess I’ve learned to trust what Apple devices can withstand as far as physical abuse over the years so this might change.

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I haven’t even really scratched the surface as to what this device can do but I’ll certainly get more technical with it as time goes on.  For anyone considering, maybe take a look into the more affordable devices and see for yourself.

Take it from someone who’s never ventured outside the box until now.  You may be pleasantly surprised.

Moving From a Crop Camera to a Full Frame Camera.

I purchased my first DSLR in 2007.  A Canon Rebel XT (350D) with 18-55mm & 70-300mm kit lenses.  I had ZERO idea how to use it or any of the theory behind proper photography.  I did have a strong desire to learn.

I would bring it with me everywhere and read as much as I could on forums about how to use the Rebel.

Finally I used a college elective to enroll in an entry level photography course which would teach me the basics of Apertures/Shutter Speeds and how they compliment each other.  They didn’t teach anything about ISO at the time because I think anything over iso 400 at the time was almost unusable.

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One of the first portraits I took with my Canon Rebel XT, 50mm 1.8 and 430EX Flash.

I upgraded to a Canon 20D, 30D, 50D and the 60D that I use today.  All of the cameras I’ve ever owned use what is called a APS-C or “Crop Sensor”.  These sensors are a bit smaller than a traditional camera and part of those drawbacks are that they give you less color definition and less light.  One small advantage is that they give you 1.6x further focal length on your lenses.  Example a 200mm on a Crop Sensor would really be closer to a true 320mm using Canon’s 1.6x Crop Factor.

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Notice the much larger mirror on the 6D.

This is great if longer focal lengths is what you want.  But for me I enjoy shooting a lot of landscape and live music photography which really needs better low light capabilities as well as a wider focal length.  The width is much easier to achieve with a Full Frame camera that true to spec of a  35mm film sensor.

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Let me share an example.  Since I’m currently using a 60D which has an APS-C Crop Sensor, every lens I put on there is really 1.6x further focal length than it actually reads.  So right now I use a Tokina 11-16mm lens almost exclusively for my landscape shots.  This lens was designed specifically for cameras using an APS-C sized sensors.  So if you were to mount on a full frame camera you’d have more of a true 7mm focal length which would give you an almost unusable shot.

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Photo Credit: Andrew Reid from ESOHD.com

So to recap, I want to go Full Frame for the light and color advantages but the Tokina 11-16 Lens I’m currently using isn’t going to work on that camera.  Anyone want to take a guess on what focal length I’ll need to achieve similar results to my Tokina 11-16 lens?  Hmmmm about 17-25mm.  Fortunately Tokina makes a 16-24mm lens and Canon makes a fantastic 16-35mm lens.

So now that you have a small understanding of the difference between a Crop Sensor and a Full Frame Sensor you can see that it’s a pretty major transition.  My main camera body and favorite lens are going to need to be replaced as a pair.

As you may have read, I had the ability to test out a Full Frame Canon 5D MK3 and Canon 16-35mm 2.8L Lens for a weekend.  I became obsessed with the image quality I was getting and I’m very happy with how the photos came out.  Let me know what you think.

A week or so after I was obsessed with finding a Canon 6D (Canon’s prosumer level full frame camera) with a reasonably low shutter count (similar to mileage on a car) that was within my budget.

After about two weeks of searching high and low, I was able to pick up a Canon 6D and Canon 16-35mm L lens to replace my 60D and Tokina 11-16.

Now I haven’t had a ton of time to test it out but with the 500 shots I’ve taken with it so far I’m blown away.  The colors are more true to life, the high ISO shots are much less grainy than any crop sensor I’ve shot with, and the true 35mm focal lengths are fantastic as well.

I’ll do a full review on the Canon 6D after I’ve had a few weeks to play with it.  Sure I know it’s nothing new.  In fact The Canon 6D MK2 is rumored to come out in Q2 2017, but it’ll be a good article for those considering switching on a budget.

Here are some of the things I sacrified going from my 60D to a 6D.

  1. Rotating Display – This might not sound like much but it was great for protecting the screen when not being use as well as being able to get a preview of your image in those awkward angles you sometimes shoot in.  (Especially if doing long exposures)
  2. The Continuous Drive – The Canon 60D can shoot up to 5.3 full resolution raw images per second.  The Canon 6D just 4.5.  That might not seem like much but if you’re the type of person that shoots actions shots or sports this will make a huge difference.  For me I don’t do much of that, so I’m alright.

That’s really about it.  When I do my full review of the Canon 6D, I’ll make sure to talk about all the new amazing features I love about the 6D but for now I hope you got some good insight if you’re considering moving from a crop sensor camera to a full frame camera.

Can iPad Pro Replace a Laptop?

I typically use my 13″ MacBook Pro for everything.  It links into my desk and becomes a desktop and follows me to most meetings outside of my office.  I use the iPad Pro 9.7″ for taking a lot of notes and research on the fly.

Since I’ve been using Microsoft Office 365 and BOX, I have been able to really utilize the cloud more .  With all of my documents available there and all of my systems being web based I’m going to ditch the MacBook Pro for a week and use the iPad Pro exclusively for both personal, educational, and professional use.

Now let me say that as far as computing power goes the iPad Pro is no where near my MacBook Pro but everyone uses their technology differently.  My initial thought is that an iPad can replace a laptop for very basic users.  So as someone who is much more needy than your basic user I’m going to put it to the test and let you know what I find.

Work

Thanks to Apple’s vast App Store I’m able to load up the apps I use the most on my MacBook Pro.  This includes, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote, Canvas, and BOX  Keep in mind I use built in apps such as Messages and Safari a ton as well.

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I struggled a bit with one of my employers websites getting to a source we use to take meeting minutes but with some cleaver multi-touch gestures I was able to get where I was going.

The Microsoft Suite of apps works brilliantly and makes saving within O365 and BOX very easy.  This means I’ll be able to pull them up on my laptop next week when I come back to it.

The iPad Pro Smart Keyboard is fantastic and has become very easy to type on very quickly.  I would say it’s about 80% to scale of the keyboard on the MacBook Pro.

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Since my office work isn’t very demanding the iPad Pro handles a lot of my 9-5 duties extremely well.

Photography

Now one of the things I use my laptop for the most is for my Photography.  I use Adobe’s Creative Cloud with Bridge, Photoshop, and Lightroom .  Much of what I do with those applications is simple color and light corrections.  I do little or no touching up of photos so perhaps Adobe’s Lightroom for iOS is enough.

 

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Adobe Lightroom on the iPad Pro


Just like my new MacBook Pro my iPad is all about dongles…  Since we’ve only got the Lightning port I needed to get a SD to Lightning adapter to be able to upload my photos on the go.  The preview and upload speeds of the lightning to SD card reader is dreadfully slow.  This is huge drawback even if I just want to preview some photos on a larger screen. I understand that I’m asking for 30Mb Raw images to load fast but again this is a real world test against my MacBook Pro.

 

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The iPad Pro is a decent tool to have but it by no means is ready to completely replace my MacBook Pro for photo use.  I was really hoping to even just have it to dump photos off of my SD cards on the go but since it’s so slow, I don’t think I’ll be doing much of it.

Personal Use

I’d have to say what I miss so far about the MacBook Pro is the true multitasking.  Sure the iPad Pro allows you have two windows open at once (3 if one of them is a video) but it just doesn’t feel as fluent.  Now granted when I’m in the office I’m connected to two 27″ displays with my MacBook Pro so it’s not entirely fair to compare but this is something iv’e gotten very use to.  This may be just growing pains at the moment but it does slow down my productivity.

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True Multi-Tasking on iPad Pro (Safari, Photos, and Watch ESPN)

The iPad is a nice addition to my laptop but I feel much more productive using my MacBook Pro as my primary device.

School Work

There are a lot of times I still prefer hand write my notes with pen and paper.

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Apple Pencil working in Microsoft OneNote

Sure it really defeats the purpose to having a keyboard but the Apple Pencil does allow me to do more than just write.  Being able to annotate and highlight readings I have for class has been a HUGE help for me.

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iPad Pro and Apple Pencil using Microsoft OneNote

I store ever reading that I’ll need to do for class digitally so I can take advantage of this technique.  It’s really helped me stay prepared for class lectures and discussions.

Multitasking when using the Microsoft Office makes a bit more sense than it does for most other applications.  I admit I really don’t use the split screen option very often.

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Split Screen using Microsoft OneNote and Word

I know students that use this device as their only device for school.  I wouldn’t feel as comfortable with this because you’re relying a lot on the cloud.  Call me old school but I still prefer to store much of my data locally.  I frequently have to pull things off of my computer via a USB flash drive and move it over to a classroom machine for presentations.  This would be much more difficult only using the iPad Pro.

To sum up, the iPad Pro is an extremely capable device.  For some people I think it really could be their only device.  Me on the other hand have too many needs and am set in my ways too much to make this type of change to a completely mobile based operating system.

 

Amazon Give Authorities Personal User Data Recorded From Echo.

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Amazon was recently under a subpoena to release information collected from an Amazon Echo device as it pertains to a murder investigation.

Amazon initially refused to hand over the information citing First Amendment rights but since has given authorities permission to access the data with the defendants permission.

The Amazon Echo speaker was found near the same hot tub where a dead body was found in November of 2015.

These AI or “Artificial Intelligence” devices (although I don’t think they should be categorized as such)  are always listening.  Ever notice the lack of off switch?  The Amazon Echo in particular, advertises it’s “Long Range Microphone”.  I use the Echo Dot at home for some music streaming and home automation and I can attest that it hears me from other rooms without an issue.

And look there are dozens of devices that do that these days.  Here is a list off the top of my head:

AppleTV (Latest Model w/ Siri Remote)
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Mac (Using Siri)
Amazon Fire TV Products
Roku (with microphone in the remote)
Amazon Echo (And any vendor using it)
Google Pixel
Microsoft Products (That use Cortana)
Google Home

So these devices are always listening in on our conversations and now companies like Amazon have admitted that they can provide archives of it.  How do you feel about everything you say being recorded somewhere and someone else having the ability to distribute it as they see fit?

 

The question becomes, What amount of privacy are we willing to give up to have these devices?  Surely we enjoy them but at what cost?

Imagine this, one day your device overhears your mention that you’re cold.  Suddenly North Face ads begin popping up on your devices.  Or how about this one.  You scream that you burned yourself and Amazon Prime instantly suggests that you overnight some bandages to you home.  Sure it sounds great but how far is too far?

These things are entirely possible now but major companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google aren’t exactly ready to blatantly expose the fact they’ve got more information on you than your closest friends and relatives.  Or that they can predict your spending habits better than you can.

Well Amazon took that first step today.  Even though the defendant (presumably the owner of the Echo) gave permission for Amazon to release it, the point is they’ve got it.  And as we’ve seen there are people that would go great lengths to get that information.  Such as the FBI who paid 1.3 million dollars for someone to crack into the iPhone 5c (No Thanks to Apple) in the San Bernardino shootings case. (Yes I know someone else did it shortly after for $100)

So enjoy these devices for now but prepare yourself for a much more difficult conversation that is sure to come.

Nokia Brings Back it’s 3310… but why?

Nokia thought it was a good idea to bring back the phone that made them a superpower back in 2000.

Now when I was in high school (I guess I’ll date myself here) there were two phones that made you cool.  The Sidekick (too bad it was on T-Mobiles awful network at the time) or the Nokia 3310.  Sure we all remember playing Snake.  I would ask my friend Liz in English class almost every day if I could play snake on her phone.

Shere we are 17 years after the all but complete demise of the company known as Nokia and they’ve re-released the device in some new colors.

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It hurts my head to think about all of the thought the company put into this move before actually executing it but here are they are.  Cool right?  My first thought it oh they must run a real basic version of Android.  Truth is I don’t even think they’re that smart.

They by no means try to impress us with features.  This phone makes basic phone calls and text messages on a 2G network, takes under-staturaed photos with it’s less than stunning 2MP rear camera, and plays snake.  Oh and don’t worry music lovers, you won’t need Spotify with it’s built in 16Mb of onboard storage, you’ll be able to take your top 3 songs wherever you go.

There was one other major feature that back in 2000 this phone was praised for and that is battery life.  Nokia says the new  3310 will last 31 days on standby.  That doesn’t surprise me because the phone really doesn’t do anything.  If I put my iPhone in Airplane Mode and put it to sleep it would last a month as well.

They did get one thing right and that’s the pricing.  The phone only costs about 49euro or $51.87 but really, what is the point?  Sadly there will be people out there who purchase this phone and immediately get confused when they can’t find the app store because they’ve never had a phone without one.  To those people I say good luck.  Perhaps you’ll frustrated enough to purchase one of the original 3310’s on eBay currently going for about $90 (Go figure) and see what life was really like before the App Store.

For more exciting news make sure to check out their video release of the device, which in one day has 2.5 million hits, which is about $5000 in revenue from YouTube, which could buy about 1000 shares of their company stock, which I hope was about less than their entire R&D budget for this project.

Until next time.