The Balance of Life

With our addictions, our constant need for connection to something outside of ourselves, we forget the balance that is needed to keep our lives stable. When we eat junk and watch Netflix on a daily basis we gain weight. When we stay indoors and become antisocial with real life people we forget how to interact with others and get left behind.

Everything requires balance, if we eat junk, we need to follow that up with a workout that is just as hard as that junk. When we stay indoors we need to spend the next day outdoors. When we are mean to someone, we need to be nice to them after. Life is not perfect, we are not perfect but we can be balanced. We cannot be this perfect being at all times of the day. We cannot have happy feelings all the time, but we can be balanced.

App Overload

I download a lot of apps. I’ve gotten to the point where I download apps for every occasion. The problem with that is I get a couple uses out of the app and it just sits there, wasting space. I was about to download a water reminding app today and the question hit me, how many times will I use this app? What apps can I use in my arsenal that can handle this task? It took me about 10 seconds to figure out I could use the app Due to satisfy this need. I saved myself a download and more wasted space, mentally and physically.

That’s my plan from now on. Whenever I feel the need to download an app, I’ll start with my arsenal first. Now the next task is figuring out what apps I need to delete.

Preordering the iPhone X

For all those Apple maniacs like myself waiting for the iPhone X, I hope your alarm clocks go off a little later than mine on October 27th. Just joking, I hope we all get the iPhone X but the way things are looking, we need to be armed and ready to preorder this thing. iPhone 8 sales are not doing too great and I was hoping that would take some of the steam off.

I’m getting my girlfriend ready to preorder this thing with me on multiple computers, iOS devices and currently looking up all the tricks in the book to successfully get this thing November 3rd. I don’t know why Apple makes this so damn hard. They need to have a way to automatically send new iPhones out every year. That’s what I thought the Apple Upgrade Program was going to be. I pick the memory size the month before and they can just send me it on launch day, I don’t care about the price and neither does anyone else.

The reason why the demand for the iPhone X will be so crazy this year is because the iPhone was due for a change a long time ago. How can we flash our huge bezel iPhones off to Android users who are used to edge to edge displays. We look silly. Granted our iPhones probably work better but an edge to edge screen is the new craze now.

The iPhone 8 was a waste, they will still get money from it but that design in 2017 is akin to upgrading the MacBook Air with USB-C and a Touch Bar but leaving the screen the same. People will still buy the product but it’s disrespectful to the customers. We either keep the iPhones we have, upgrade to an iPhone 8 with the same screen we’ve seen for years, or shill out some outrageous fee for the iPhone X if we can even order the thing.

In an ideal world, they could have developed two tiers of the iPhone X. They would also scrap the iPhone 8 design so there would be complete focus at their factories to get these Xs made as fast as possible. There would be an iPhone X with OLED plus a stainless body and a cheaper version with a lower screen quality and aluminum body called the iPhone XS. Similar to the Apple Watch tiers. Customers would get the same design but not the best screen and body but many would not give a crap. The edge to edge design would be welcomed by the customers.

For us maniacs, we could order our OLED versions in peace and go about our day looking down on the less fortunate people with cheaper screens. Life would be good. More app developers would be on board to quickly upgrade and embrace the notch in their apps, probably even doing some wild and crazy things with it. But that’s not Apple, they will milk the crap out of their old designs until they no longer can, adding little trinkets like “Wireless Charging” while the industry innovates on design at a faster pace.

iPhone X Thoughts

My personal thoughts aside regarding the delayed launch dates, the iPhone X will be a welcome change to the current iPhone brand. Fast charging is going to make life a lot easier and will definitely be needed for iPhone Plus users who are used to longer battery life. I have fast charging on my iPad Pro 10.5 and it’s crazy how I get fully charged in a hour or two using a 29W USB-C charger. Looking at stats on Apple’s website, the iPhone X sits in the middle of its siblings (iPhone 8 and 8 Plus) when it comes to battery life.

The X has a more narrow screen next to its big brother the iPhone Plus but it is longer. The top notch is going to be weird to look at for a couple days but we’ll get use to it. That notch does give us Face ID which will be a game changer from all the interviews I’m reading, so you can’t be too mad at it.

Apple has also implemented more swiping gestures with the X since there is no home button. When it comes to these swipes and gestures, it brings me back to my Palm Pre days. I loved that phone but it became obsolete very quickly with the lack of development. The gestures were one of kind though and it’s up for debate as to whether Apple has stolen a page from that book. Switching apps and getting to the home page with a swipe were things the Palm Pre had going for itself. It even had magnetic charging or what you people call “Wireless Charging”.

I was a Palm fanatic back in the day, rocking the Trēo, Centro and eventually the Palm Pre. I would be on discussion boards fighting battles against the Apple “Sheep” as they were called. Eventually I had to switch over to Apple and have been content ever since. Although I enjoyed all the tweaking and modifications I was able to do with Palm, it lacked the yearly upgrades, stability and developer adoption Apple had and still grows today.

Now Apple has placed serious gesture controls into their flag ship phone for the masses. We are going to see some wild and creative things from the X, something the Palm Pre was not able to fulfill for us. It’s going to be a new way for many to handle and protect their phones, but in time it will become the normal way, that is until Apple finds another way.

Apple Event Let Down

The Apple Event is over and I’m pretty disappointed I have to wait untill October 27th to give them my money. The iPhone X is the only iPhone the crowd was excited about and to have us wait another 45 days to preorder is a slap in the face. We’re looking at early November before we can hold the iPhone X.

All in all, the only thing I’m a little enthusiastic about is the screen and smaller body which we already knew from rumors. FaceID appears decent and “Wireless”charging looks like a gimmick unless it supports fast charging. Apple’s official charging pad, dubbed AirPower, doesn’t come out until next year.

The Apple Watch LTE version seems nice but looking on the Apple website, we won’t get streaming music until later in the year. So basically I’ll have an independent watch that makes calls I never make and gets texts that almost always annoy me until Apple unlocks the streaming music feature. That sucks balls. Plus the Apple Watch app scene sucks at an even higher level right now. I foresee an LTE watch getting very little use in the near future.

So on the iPhones’ 10th anniversary we got a bunch of half baked items we have to wait for instead of something magical. Thanks Apple!

  1. We are still confused as to what Wireless actually means. Wireless means no contact and we still need contact to charge here.

Apple Event September 2017

A new iPhone, a new iOS system. Some extra surprises. It’s called an Apple Event and its coming again. This year it’s going to be held on the new Apple Park campus inside of the Steve Jobs Theater. I definitely want a smaller body iPhone with less bezel and bigger screen which is rumored this year. The current iteration has grown on me but with all the latest designs coming from Samsung and other phone manufactures, its leaving the iPhone design really outdated.

I like to see how Apple sells the iPhone 7S design to the public when there will be a more modern looking iPhone with less bezel right next to it. Even if it costs more, its going to be the phone everyone wants. With the way the phone pricing structure works in America, the costs won’t do too much to deter a buyer from the iPhone they really want. $55-65 bucks a month extra to rent an iPhone 8 (X, 10 or whatever it will be called) won’t be too much of a burden to many.

That means preorders will be crazy again, maybe worse and from all the rumors about shortages, this will cause a lot of delays if you aren’t first to preorder. They recently sent out a notice about customers of the Apple Upgrade program who can now send their iPhones in via mail. That means even more people preordering online vs waiting in a line.

If we lived in a perfect world, I’m sure Apple would’ve loved an iPhone 8 design for the whole line this year. We don’t and because of that we are going to have a shit show of preorders and people mad about delays.

Another concern is Qualcomm’s lack of involvement in the iPhone. For the last 2 years I’ve intentionally bought iPhones from Verizon or factory unlocked that have the Qualcomm chip. This allows me to switch between CDMA and GSM because of reception issues in different locations. Apple and Qualcomm have been in a dispute for a while so I’m now wondering how the chip set will work this year.

We will see tomorrow. I just want my iPhone X in black with 256GB or more, some new Apple AirPods and a new Apple TV.

Tesla Extended the Range of Some Florida Vehicles for Hurricane Irma

“Tesla’s 60 and 60D vehicles offer a range of just above 200 miles on a charge. Faced with an order to leave, one Tesla owner contacted the company, saying that they needed an additional 30 miles of range to get out of the mandatory evacuation zone they were in. In response, the company issued an update to other drivers in the state, providing them with the full 75 kWh capacity of their vehicles through September 16th. One driver posted a screenshot of his app, which showed off the new extended range.”

Tesla’s ability to do this says a lot about the power they have over your car. I mean its cool in some aspects but weird in others. Eventually when enough Teslas are on the road we’ll have cops sending updates to lower your battery capacity to catch you. That will suck during a getaway.

Distractions

Distractions. They’re everywhere and they take us away from the task at hand. Notifications are some of the most common distractions society faces today and they’re a constant reminder for us to check some non-important task. I use to get notifications from almost every app I had installed back in the day. I’d get a notification for every email, apps telling me they have some new feature, Apple’s Breathe app, etc, etc. The list went on and on.

I thought by getting an Apple Watch I’d somehow eliminate the need to keep checking my phone for every notification. As it did lower the amount of iPhone praying1 I’d do in a day, it still would take me away from the task at hand. And back before my girlfriend, Tinder, POF and whatever other dating apps that were available, would be the biggest culprits. I could be distracted from a task at hand for about 20-30mins at a time texting gibberish to random women.

It was insane. I could still get my work done but I’d be rushing everything. I was everywhere mentally. I couldn’t remember girls names without a picture and a calendar contact input that I set up with one of iFTTT’s applets. I was lost. It got better with my girlfriend but I still was being bombarded by friends, family, girlfriend, apps, work emails etc. At night would be the worst, I’d sometimes get a text from an old girl I use to talk to late at night that would make my girlfriend go crazy. That got me hooked onto the Do Not Disturb feature. It helped eliminate a lot of drama.

One day I was reading some blog, I think it was one of Leo Babauta’s posts on Zen Habits. It was talking about distractions and how they just wreck havoc in our lives. I started researching more about this and came upon some chart showing how much we sleep, how much we work, how much free time we have and of that free time how much we waste of it on distractions like our phone and television. The chart was saying we have about 10 years of free time to really enjoy life free from work and sleep. If we account for our distractions however, its more like 5 years.

I woke up right after that and just put my phone in Do Not Disturb mode 24/7. I thought I’d miss something important doing this, but I came to realize I wasn’t missing anything. If a new job called to set up an interview, they’d leave a message or just email me. I would check my emails at my own leisure. My friends would text instead of just calling me because they’d go straight to voicemail. I allowed my immediate family the ability to get through with a call or FaceTime but that was it.

I was so much more free to do whatever it was I had going on. I could get through assignments faster, focus better, workout better and so much more. I’m still working on eliminating more distractions from my life but putting your phone in Do Not Disturb mode is a great first step.

  1. iPhone Praying: when you hold your phone and bow your head to it.

Do One Thing That Terrifies You Daily

“Comfort zones can be dangerous. Naturally, we can argue that a lower level of stress and risk in our lives is a good thing. However, it’s important for us to step out of these zones occasionally and push ourselves in areas and directions that we may have previously deemed impossible.”

I tend to fall stagnant in my comfort zone many times and posts like this help me wake the hell up. We gotta push ourselves every day.

App Reviews Need Better Functionality

You know I love my apps. They are so pretty and I love the developers that make them. But what I hate is in-app review notifications. It’s like an invasion of my privacy or something. I’d rather donate some money to the developer in-app than see a notification that forces me to leave the app to review it.

I keep my phone on Do Not Disturb all day long now and only accept calls from 4 people so any type of intrusion is met with ample hostility. This has drastically eliminated so much distraction but every now and again an app I’ve had for years gets an update and all of a sudden it’s time to ask me to review it.

I even hate reviewing people on eBay. But what’s so sad is that I wait and hope people will review me when I sell them something special and include some extra stuff in the package. And when I get that review I’m super happy for some reason. The same way a person on Instagram feels when some random person they never met likes their picture.

It’s selfish to expect someone to review you if you had an app and you not review them. But you know what else, Apple needs to fix this. Why not have a way to review right from the pop up. Add some stars to it, a little section to type something quick and get back to the app. Have a notification message in the Notification Center if you aren’t up for responding right away. And if that fails, have a review section in the App Store app that you can tap into when you’re bored and want to review your apps. Make it iMessage style so it has an easy familiar layout too.

Once something like that is setup I’ll be way more willing to review my favorite apps.