Robert Vinet

Insatiably Curious

Tag: Apple (page 1 of 2)

Considering the Google Pixel 4

I’m in the market for a new smartphone. My iPhone SE is fading quickly. Some pixels are dead and the screen has blotches across it. It’s also feeling a bit dated, but I don’t mind the dated look. I don’t have it to impress others. I love it mainly for it’s size. It fits nicely in my front pocket. It fits nicely in my hand.

It’s ridiculous that most smartphones last an average of 2 years or less. Isn’t it? That’s the industry average, and it’s mirrors my experience. I’m sure I’m not the only one to think that’s an absurdly short amount of time for the kind of money they are asking.

So I was looking forward to this week’s Apple event where they were expected to announce the new iPhone 11. But meh – I had a similar reaction last year. The 11 is not much more than an incremental freshened up XR. And most of the honest reviewers seem to agree. Forget the fan boys that love anything with an Apple logo stuck to it. Even with it’s $50 cheaper price tag over last year than last year’s entry model (iPhone sales numbers are dropping and Apple is shifting focus more towards services), it’s still outside the limits of what I think we should be paying for a phone. Those with short memories will have forgotten that last year Apple increased the base price of the base model iPhone by $150.

So I’ve started considering Android again. And I’ve reluctantly started looking at the Google Pixel phones again.

I’m reluctant to go with a another Google product. My previous phone was a Android One Motorola X4. It just stopped working one night, while I was asleep. I wasn’t plugged in. It was sitting on my nightstand. I had used it before going to sleep. It died a couple weeks after the warranted period ended. Before that I owned a couple of Nexus phones. They were all middle of the road phones. So I’m reluctant to buy another Google product.

But the Google Pixel 4 official “leaks” are looking interesting and come hot on the heals of the iPhone 11 announcement. There are a lot of photos and specs of the Google Pixel 4 available over at GenK. (You my need to decipher the Vietnamese with the help of Google Translate, as I did.) Most prior leaks of the Pixel 4 had blurry photos. These are nice shots that show a very interesting phone with very interesting features.

Way back in June, Google themselves tweeted out a photo of the Pixel 4 when the leaks started spilling out.

The leaks have only accelerated, seemingly never ending, and creating a lot of buzz, which is probably what Google was hoping for.

For me, it will come down to price. Right now, through Sept 28, the Pixel 3 is discounted by a whopping $400 in Canada, $300 in the US. That’s nothing to sneeze at, particularly if you are serious about your mobile phone photography and you want the pure Android experience. The Pixel 3 is still one of the best, and at the current discount, it has to be near the top of anyone looking for a mid-range priced phone. This was Google’s flagship smartphone less than a year ago.

But then there’s the Teracube to consider.

Updated » Apple iPhone Safari Hack that has existed for a couple of years is revealed

Aug 30

Video from SkyNews… The iPhone has been hacked!

Sept 8

This upends pretty much everything we know about iPhone hacking. We believed that it was hard,” respected security expert Bruce Schneier writes on his blog. “We believed that if an exploit was used too frequently, it would be quickly discovered and patched. None of that is true here. This operation used fourteen zero-days exploits. It used them indiscriminately. And it remained undetected for two years.” While I am unlikely to switch to Android, my trust in the privacy and security capability of their devices has eroded.

» If we can’t trust Apple, who can we trust? » Om

More at Michael Tsai, BuzzFeed, John Gruber, TechCrunch, MacRumors, The Verge, Zeynep Tufekci

Mac Web Open

Mac Open Web is a collection of open and indie Mac, iOS, and web apps that help promote the open web.

Not only open source software, but they included in the list.

Finally, Apple offers genuine iPhone parts and tools to independent repair shops

This is a surprising and welcome change. Although, lets not forget this came after a lot of media and public pressure over a long period.

The company has announced the Independent Repair Program, which will provide independent repair businesses, regardless of size, with the same genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals, and diagnostics for iPhone repairs as it gives to Apple Authorized Service Providers. After piloting the program with 20 repair business in North America, Europe, and Asia, Apple is launching the program in the United States with plans to expand it to other countries.

There’s no cost for repair shops to join the Independent Repair Program, although the application information notes that applicants must be established businesses in a commercially zoned area, and all repairs using genuine iPhone parts must be performed by an Apple-certified technician.

Read More by Adam Engst at TidBits…

Google was fined by the EU, but Apple deserves the same

Bloomberg (paywall):

If Google is at fault for its de facto monopoly in Android app stores, Apple should be held to account for a similar violation. Although an Android user can easily shop in a few alternative stores (though none is a match for the Google Play Store), an iPhone user cannot go outside Apple’s App Store without “jailbreaking” the phone, a process that disables operating system updates. That makes Apple a monopoly in the truest sense of the word, and the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a suit challenging this super-dominant position on behalf of consumers who have no choice but to pay Apple’s 30 percent commission for developers as part of every app’s price.

Like Google, Apple makes its preinstalled browser impossible to delete from a phone. Google, however, allows users to choose their own default applications, including the browser and maps. Apple doesn’t do that; you can, for example, install Google’s Chrome browser and Google Maps on an iPhone, but they won’t launch by default when you click on a link in an email or another app. That’s even more anticompetitive than simply preinstalling one’s own software and hoping users will keep it because it’s good enough.

More Canadians Getting High; Peacocks Attacking Cars; Cross Country on a Unicycle; Japan is Shrinking; Meditation Saves a Life

Iceland is a gun-loving country with no shooting murders since 2007 – NBC News

A historic exodus is leaving Venezuela without teachers, doctors and electriciansWashington Post

Monique Richard, the first woman to summit Mount Logan in Yukon’s Kluane National Park, Canada’s highest mountain, solo, says her biggest fear came when she fell into a dangerously deep crevice. – Canadian Press

51 year old swimmer Benoit Lecomte sets off from Japan in a record Pacific crossing attempt. His planned destination is the U.S. west coast. It should take him about 6 months to complete. – BBC

  • If you are doubtful this is impossible, Lecomte previously swam the frigid Atlantic Ocean in 73 daysThe Independent // But that was 20 years ago, and that trip was some 2,400 kilometres shorter.

New report finds no evidence that having sex with robots is healthy – WSJ (paywall) // Did someone, anyone, really believe it was?

The death toll from Guatemala‘s volcano has climbed to 69 people as new explosion hampers rescue efforts – ABC News, CBC

A 23 year old Alberta student is attempting to cross Canada on a unicycle, and has so far made it over the Rockies. – CBC

Canadians are expected to be smoking, eating and vaping up to 35% more marijuana once cannabis is legalized – CBC // Will that make us even nicer?

Unintended benefit? Unlike alcohol, cannabis has no caloriesCBC

Apple copied Google Android, again, and unveiled new features in iOS 12 to reduce distractions, including Screen Time, Do Not Disturb at Bedtime, grouped notifications, and new parental controls – Apple // Or you could exercise a bit of self discipline, take back control of your life, and simply power it off at bedtime and when you don’t want to be disturbed.

The CEO of Aetna, an American health insurance company, was considering suicide before he found meditationQuartz

Japan’s shrinking population: A record low 946,000 children were born in 2017. Meanwhile deaths hit a post-war high of 1,340,433, resulting in a natural decrease of 394,373 people. – Japan Times

Feral peacocks are attacking vehicles in British Columbia, causing thousands of dollars in damages – CTV News

A leaked Apple memo warns employees not to leak information

Apple is obsessed with controlling the message coming out of Cupertino.

It’s also worth nothing that it’s widely known that Apple itself is a major leaker of information.

Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. warned employees to stop leaking internal information on future plans and raised the specter of potential legal action and criminal charges, one of the most-aggressive moves by the world’s largest technology company to control information about its activities.

The Cupertino, California-based company said in a lengthy memo posted to its internal blog that it “caught 29 leakers,” last year and noted that 12 of those were arrested. “These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere,” Apple added. The company declined to comment on Friday.

Apple outlined situations in which information was leaked to the media, including a meeting earlier this year where Apple’s software engineering head Craig Federighi told employees that some planned iPhone software features would be delayed. Apple also cited a yet-to-be-released software package that revealed details about the unreleased iPhone X and new Apple Watch.

Apple sued a small, independent iPhone repair shop and lost

Apple claimed an independent unauthorized repair shop owner in Norway violated its trademark by using aftermarket iPhone parts. However, that court decided in favour of the shop owner.

Jason Koebler, Motherboard:

Last year, Apple’s lawyers sent Henrik Huseby, the owner of a small electronics repair shop in Norway, a letter demanding that he immediately stop using aftermarket iPhone screens at his repair business and that he pay the company a settlement.

Norway’s customs officials had seized a shipment of 63 iPhone 6 and 6S replacement screens on their way to Henrik’s shop from Asia and alerted Apple; the company said they were counterfeit.

In order to avoid being sued, Apple asked Huseby for “copies of invoices, product lists, order forms, payment information, prints from the internet and other relevant material regarding the purchase [of screens], including copies of any correspondence with the supplier … we reserve the right to request further documentation at a later date.”

Video: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says ‘you’re the product with Facebook and Google’

 

Video: Jim Reekes, the designer of Apple’s iconic sounds

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