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: Netflix, Apple, and More

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Monday Musings returns with some news from Netflix, Apple’s new Instagram account, an episode of The Talk Show, and an interview that CBR did with Tom King. Check it all out below.

Netflix Acquires Millarworld

The acquisition, the first ever by Netflix, is a natural progression in the company’s effort to work directly with prolific and skilled creators and to acquire intellectual property and ownership of stories featuring compelling characters and timeless, interwoven fictional worlds. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.

Millarworld is the comic book publisher founded by Mark Millar. He created Kick-Ass, Old Man Wolverine, and more. His work is well-known and I’m interested to see how this all plays out. Will we see an uptick in Millar’s work making their way to the small screen? Seems like the chances are pretty good on that now.

Apple creates an Instagram account

Apple’s Instagram account won’t focus on their products, but instead will focus on images taken by iPhone users. They’ve launched with several images already.

The Talk Show – Nancy Reagan Was Right with Glenn Fleishman

Special guest Glenn Fleishman returns to the show. Topics include China forcing Apple to remove VPN apps from the Chinese App Store, Wi-Fi vs. LTE networking, the open workspaces in Apple Park, Glenn’s new letterpress project, the HomePod OS leak and iPhone D22, and more.

It’s always a pleasure to listen to John Gruber talk with his guests about Apple. This episode is a long one, as most of his are, but it’s well worth listening to. The talk on Apple and China is insightful and there’s some fun talk about Wi-Fi. It’s an intelligent conversation as always and if you haven’t checked out this podcast before, you might as well dive in with the latest episode.

Interview: Tom King Tackles New Gods Mythology in Mister Miracle

I’m sure there are going to be some readers here who are meeting Scott Free for the first time in this series. It’s been a while since he’s had a starring role, and he certainly hasn’t had one in Rebirth, so what are you hoping readers take away from your take on this character?

This is the most ambitious thing I’ve ever done. Mitch Gerads and I were literally like — we looked at things like Watchmen, stories that are as good as that, that sort of reflect our time. They’re great comics but they’re deeper than that, they sort of get into the veins. So we were like, “Can we do that?” And the answer is. “No.” You can’t be Alan Moore, but you can try, right? You can be ambitious! What the hell, right?

Here’s a quick snippet from Tom King’s interview about Mister Miracle. The new comic hits shelves on August 9. As someone who doesn’t know much about Mister Miracle, this limited series sounds like a good place to start. I’m a fan of Tom King’s work on BatmanVision, and Sherrif of Babylon so I’ll give anything he does a shot.

You can find all previous editions of Monday Musings here.

Monday Musings: Allie X, Manchester Orchestra, and More

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Monday Musings is back with some music from Allie X and Manchester Orchestra. Plus we have a couple articles that you should check out.

Allie X – CollXion II

I gave this album a listen last week and instantly loved it. If you’re looking for some new pop music to check out that isn’t quite as mainstream as Lorde, put this on your list.

Manchester Orchestra – “The Alien”

Manchester Orchestra are returning with some new music. Their latest single is “The Alien,” which comes with quite the interesting video.

What Took You So Long?: ‘Goodfellas’

Goodfellas brings together a killer cast and a bit of a different look at the mob life. Sometimes when you watch a mob flick, it’s something you’re looking at as an outsider. What Goodfellas does so well is it starts out with a young kid and lets you in on how he got his start with the mob. He wasn’t in one of the families; he was just some kid who knew how to hustle. That character is Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), who quickly earns his keep and in the present day, is one of the top players.

I’ve slowly been starting to write about film over at Substream. This piece was a bit of a process, but I plan to continue it as an ongoing feature with various movies.

The 10.5” iPad Pro: Future-Proof

I’ve been testing this iPad doing what I usually do – research for MacStories articles (including my future iOS 11 review), reading in Safari and Twitter, email, and collaboration with multiple apps in Split View, including Working Copy, Slack, and Messages to communicate with other team members. Coming from a 12.9” iPad Pro, multitasking and interacting with two apps at once isn’t as flexible or fast because you’re dealing with compact UIs that have to pack more elements in toolbars at the top and bottom of the screen.

Federico Viticci always provides great, interesting takes on the iPad. This time, he’s looking at the new 10.5 inch one. If I had the funds to do so, I’d consider this as an upgrade from my iPad Air 2 in an instant.

Monday Musings: Notifications, iTunes Affiliate Changes, and More

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Monday Musings is back for it’s third edition. Here are some things you should check out to kick off your week.

Mac Power Users #376: Notifications! 

Myke Hurley joins Katie and David to discuss notifications. We discuss how notifications have become a problem, dealing with distractions and wrangling the various notifications to optimize our devices.

This episode discusses notifications for Mac and mobile devices. It’s a great look at how people handle things differently even when they work on some similar things. Myke offers some great insight into why his notifications are the way they are, too.

Apple makes changes to iTunes Affiliate Program

We’d like to clarify some changes being made to the Affiliate Program. Commissions for all iOS in-app purchases will be reduced from 7% to 2.5% globally, and all other content types (including music, movies, books, paid iOS apps and TV) will remain at the current 7%.

While I largely use Amazon Affiliate links, I do have an account as an iTunes Affiliate, too. I might not make much, if anything at all, through my links, but this is good news for those who do.

Bloodline season 3 trailer

The final season of Bloodline hits Netflix on May 26th. Will the lies and secrets catch up to them? This trailer sure makes it look like they do.

It’s time for the Raptors to decide what kind of team they want to be

Toronto’s All-Star backcourt underperforms every postseason, to the point that the team’s public relations department included in its game notes last week a nugget showing how many times DeMar DeRozan failed to reached double figures in the playoffs.

Perhaps the pressure unnerves them, though DeRozan responds to every stinker with a 30-point explosion. Maybe the lack of collective playmaking in Toronto’s low-assist system is more of a handicap in the playoffs, when teams trap DeRozan and Lowry, and dare Toronto to beat them with passing and shooting the Raptors don’t have. Is that on the coaching staff for building that system, and failing to adapt? Or is that style in the DNA of Toronto’s star players?

Zach Lowe takes a look at the future of the Toronto Raptors after they lost in a sweep to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s some great insight into the various options the Raptors have going forward. They’re an interesting team with some great players, but still not quite enough to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals.

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.

Apple Should Have Airport Kiosks

iphone7-jetblk-34br_airpods-laydown-ob-printAfter listening to episode 106 of Upgrade this week, it made me curious as to why Apple doesn’t have kiosks at airports to sell smaller items like their EarPods, soon to be released AirPods, adapters, chargers, and other accessories. How many times have you forgotten something as simple as a lightning cable or power adapter while traveling? Probably more than you’d like to admit. It would be convenient, and likely profitable, for Apple to put in some kiosks around airport terminals so people can stock up on those smaller accessories.

We see similar kiosks in airports, and malls already. Although, most Apple stores, at least ones near me, seem to already be in malls so there’s no need there. It feels like Apple is missing out on an opportunity here, small as it may be. Why let other stores/kiosks profit off of accessories that may bot be as good as the ones Apple offers for their own products? It would be interesting to see Apple implement this in the immensely busy airports like JFK, LAX, and SFO before just putting them in a ton of airports, a chunk of which are probably too small to even have kiosks or stores in them.

I’m not knowledgeable enough on what opening stores or kiosks entails, but it seems like something that would be worthwhile for Apple to consider. It’s been a while since I’ve been on a flight, but I don’t recall seeing anything like what I briefly described. Hell, they could even sell phones at the kiosks if they thought it would work.

Apple: You’ve Seen It All Before, and Nothing Else Like It

On Wednesday, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, in San Francisco, the company was in full force with its fall showcase, announcing a variety of new products including a very large iPad, a new version of its Apple TV set-top box, and, of course, a couple of new iPhones—the 6S and the 6S Plus. But what was most striking was not the newness of the products. Instead, it was the fact that we’d seen most of this film before: about ninety per cent of what Apple revealed has already been shown by Google, Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft.

Mind you, this is not a new skill that Apple has acquired. In fact, some of the company’s biggest hits were simply a rethink or tweak of an old idea or two. The iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player, and Apple certainly didn’t create the first smartphone. The company also didn’t invent the first tablet, and when it introduced its new one this week, the main selling point was that Apple had enlarged an object that it had recently shrunk.

It’s nice to see Joshua Topolsky writing again after a brief break from his time at Bloomberg. His podcast, Tomorrow, is also a great listen if you’re interested.

Apple: You’ve Seen It All Before, and Nothing Else Like It

Apple Introduces Apple Music

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by Deanna Chapman

Apple has officially announced their new steaming service, Apple Music. The service will launch on June 30th with a three month trial period for all users. After the trial period, the subscription fee will be $9.99/month or $14.99/month for a family of up to six people. Personally, I will be looking forward to giving the service a try and hope that I can finally effectively have my iTunes collection and streaming service all in one. There will be plenty of new features to check out with this release, however, the real question is, will more people prefer this over the streaming service they currently use? 

You can find out more about the service by checking out the full press release over on Business Wire.