Monday Musings: iPhone 8 or iPhone X?

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Monday Musings is back (a bit later than usual) to bring you some iPhone reviews. The main dilemma is do you want the 8 or the X? Check out what some tech folks have to say about them.

iPhone X Review (TechCrunch)

When Face ID did fail for me, it was almost always a function of one of two things: I wasn’t looking at the phone when it made the attempt (I have attention detection toggled on) or it was at too steep an angle and couldn’t see my whole face. If it was pointed at me and I was looking, it opened. There were definitely a couple of failed tries, but no more than I’ve seen with a Touch ID finger placement not being good enough. A second swipe/try typically opened it.

Matthew Panzarino took the iPhone X to Disneyland to test it out during his one-week review period. It’s a fantastic way to test a phone. You’re out and about, you can see just how well the battery works during a day trip, and well, it’s Disneyland so you can take plenty of pictures to check out the camera’s performance.

I Tried The iPhone X — And The Killer Feature Is Its Size (Buzzfeed)

The home button, the iPhone’s longtime escape key, has been replaced with a slew of different swipes and volume control/power button combos. Swipe up to get back to the homescreen. Swipe down from the top right for the Control Center. Swipe up from the bottom and hold to go to the app switcher. Press and hold the side button to activate Siri. Press and hold the side button and volume button to turn the device off…and so on and so forth.

Nicole Nguyen at Buzzfeed was able to test the iPhone X for a week, too. This one is a great, thorough review of what all the phone is capable of.

Review: Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (Wired)

If you do buy an 8, it’ll be for one of two very important, very noticeable upgrades. The first is wireless charging, a decade-old tech that’s finally made its way into the iPhone. Apple doesn’t make a wireless charger yet—the AirPower mat comes next year—but the iPhone 8 works with any pad using the popular Qi standard. The phone charges quite a bit slower on the pad than plugged into the wall, but it’s worth it for the freedom. Wireless charging makes the iPhone feel less like a Tamagotchi needing constant feeding, and more like a digital sidekick that’s always ready to go.

The iPhone 8 is more of an update than a whole new phone like the X. David Pierce has a good review of what’s new on it.

You can find all previous editions of Monday Musings here.

Monday Musings: App Recommendations

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Photo Credit: Ian Baldwin

Monday Musings is back and we’ll be doing things a bit different for this one and all future ones. With my newsletter, Pop Culture Hustle, being similar to what this initially was, I wanted to switch things up. So these will now have themes each Monday and focus on one topic. This week, I have some app recommendations to share.


This recommendation can be used on the web or on mobile devices. My device of choice to use the app on is my iPad. It’s perfect for reading some articles. At this very moment, I have over 100 articles saved to Instapaper. Basically, I have a lot of catching up to do. It’s hands down my favorite read it later service.


My podcast app of choice. It’s only available on iOS, so my apologies to any non-Apple users. I support the app and developer, Marco Arment, by paying $1 per month for the app. It’s a small price to pay for an app that I use on a daily basis and usually for quite a few hours. I listen to a ton of podcasts and can’t imagine using any other app to do so at this point.


This is my email app of choice right now. I’ve tried so many of them including Airmail and Polymail. While the others have features I like, this one has been the most consistent for me. It’s a nice, clean look and I can easily sort through all of my emails.

Overcast 3 Update

Overcast just received a 3.0 update on the app store. Overcast quickly became my favorite podcast app and it was a no-brainer to support Marco Arment. You can see some screenshots of the app above, but I highly recommend reading Marco’s post about what went into the new update. You can grab the app via the App Store.

tvOS Apps Can Now Be Purchased on iOS Devices and Macs

From MacStories:

Today, Apple added tvOS apps to its iTunes Link Maker web app and enabled tvOS app purchases on iOS devices, even if the tvOS app is available only on the Apple TV. iTunes Link Maker lets you search for and generate links to iTunes content. tvOS app links generated by the iTunes Link Maker open in iTunes on macOS and the App Store app on iOS where the apps can be purchased or downloaded. If automatic downloads are enabled on your Apple TV, any apps acquired this way should show up on your Apple TV the next time you turn it on. Links generated with the iTunes Link Maker also work with the iTunes Affiliate Linking program. This means that for the first time a customer can click or tap a link and purchase a tvOS app without leaving their Mac or iOS device and have it waiting for them they sit down in front of the TV.

This is a nice little move on Apple’s part.

Spotify Acquires Subscriber Analytics Firm Preact

From Billboard:

Spotify has purchased Preact, a four-year-old startup that utilizes machine learnings and audience behavior metrics via social media to draw and retain subscribers. Preact’s web site describes its service as having the ability to “identif[y] which of your customers are likely to churn, renew or upgrade by analyzing product usage patterns and operational data using big data, behavioral science and machine learning technologies.”

Spotify, the worldwide subscription leader in streaming with 100 million monthly users and 40 million paid subscribers (as of September), has had little trouble in beefing up its paying customer base as of late, having added 10 million of them since March. But as the company continues to build out product features — it has been continuously tweaking its playlist functions while beta testing new advertising products and tweaking its video strategy — a company like Preact would theoretically help guide which avenues its subscribers and potential new customers would gravitate towards and value most.


Instapaper Premium Goes Free

From Instapaper:

Before, some of our greatest features were limited to Instapaper Premium subscribers. Now that we’re better resourced, we’re able to offer everyone the best version of Instapaper. Starting today, all users will have access to:

  • An ad-free Instapaper website
  • Full-text search for all articles
  • Unlimited Notes
  • Text-to-speech playlists
  • Unlimited speed reading
  • “Send to Kindle” via bookmarklet and mobile apps
  • Kindle Digests of up to 50 articles

I currently happen to have a ton of articles saved in my Instapaper account so I look forward to checking out these new features I’ll have access to.