Tag Archives: iOS

Apple’s Not First, It’s Best

Apple didn’t release the first smartphone, they didn’t release the first touchscreen phone, but they did release the best, by a wide margin. Since then, other smartphones evolved to look more like Apple’s, and from there, we get the iOS vs Android duopoly that we have today. Apple wasn’t the first to make a GUI, the first PC manufacturer, the first to put a fingerprint sensor on a phone, they weren’t the first with two cameras, or even the first to make an MP3 player, but they’ve done the best versions of all of these things, changing the market forever. That’s why I hate graphics like the ones above, which seem to come out every time Apple releases some exciting new iPhone. No, Apple wasn’t the first, but they’ve done everything so much better, so the question becomes, why did the others create such half-assed projects to begin with? If you’re going to do something right, take your time and do it right, don’t rush it and release something that’s less than the best. That’s Apple’s philosophy, it’s why iPhone users stick with iOS, and it’s why we’re excited to use the iPhone X.

So, what about the points raised in the graphics above? I’m going to tear each of them apart. Why? Because I hate the spread of fake news far more than I hate know-it-all fanboys, and this involves both.
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Don’t Open Pandora’s Beta Box

There are developer and public betas out for Apple’s upcoming operating systems. You could, right now, put iOS 11 on your iPad or iPhone, macOS High Sierra on your Mac, or tvOS 11 on your Apple TV 4. But you’d be opening Pandora’s box of operating system woes, unleashing unstable, often broken operating systems on your devices. These are works in progress. You wouldn’t climb scaffolding on a building in construction just to see what it’ll look like from the top once it’s completed, would you? Perhaps if you’re a daredevil, seeking out an adrenaline rush, but certainly not if you intend to keep yourself safe. Those who have used iOS 11 on their devices have found it rapidly drains their batteries, often crashes, and that not all apps work with the operating system. This is perfectly normal for software that’s in development. Apple’s beta operating systems won’t truly be “safe” to install until the golden master. Personally, I’m usually willing to take the risk around the time of the 4th public beta, but even then, I’ve frequently come across random issues, like apps not working and crashes. The new operating systems may be tempting, but you must resist. 

Now, if you’re an app developer or you have a spare iOS device laying around, then, by all means, check out what Apple’s working on. But do not risk your only or most important device on incomplete software, you will regret it.

KGI: iPhone 8 to Feature Greatest Screen to Body Ratio, but no Touch ID?

KGI’s analyst Ming Chi Kuo has a decent enough track record. One estimate places his accuracy for iPhone leaks at 44%, which is not bad for the industry. His latest information on the iPhone is likely sourced from suppliers of iPhone 8 parts, though he (hopefully) has incomplete information. On one hand, he’s come with some good news: the iPhone 8 will have the greatest screen to body ratio of any smartphone on the market today. It’s hard to imagine anyone beating the phenomenal screen on the Samsung Galaxy S8, but the S8 screen doesn’t cover the entire device, though it seems to. There’s a portion at the top of the device for the front facing camera, earpiece, and other front facing sensors. On the bottom, there’s a symmetrical bezel. The iPhone, if current leaks are to be believed, won’t have that. Instead, there will be a cutout on the screen for the front facing cameras and sensors, and no need for a symmetrical bezel on the bottom of the phone. Though the S8’s screen may wrap around the phone slightly on each side, this won’t be enough to beat out the iPhone’s large but flat screen. The screen will be 5.8″ in size, but will have a function area, like the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, which will make the usable screen space about 5.2″. The device will be only slightly larger than the iPhone 7.

What was Samsung thinking?

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is far from perfect. Annoyances in Samsung’s customized version of Android is the biggest detractor. However, there’s one major problem with the otherwise wonderful hardware: the fingerprint sensor. Samsung placed this on the back of the phone, directly next to the camera, meaning a right handed person will likely smudge up their camera lens every time they unlock their device. There’s no space on the front of the device, clearly, and Samsung thought this was the best spot on the back of the device for the sensor. According to Ming Chi Kuo, Apple will fix their Touch ID problem in a different way: omitting it altogether. But if Apple does that, will the iPhone still be worth purchasing?
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What’s on your iOS 11 Wish List?

WWDC starts on Monday, and Apple will reveal new versions of macOS and iOS. iOS is expected to undergo its first major user interface (UI) overhaul since iOS 7, released four years ago. Beyond that, leaks have been incredibly hard to come by, we just don’t know what’s coming up next. What could Apple be working on? The UI changes alone could be substantial, but perhaps Apple’s doing more, like upgrades to Siri, a dark mode, better third party integrations, or all of the above. What do you want to see next in iOS? To help you out, I’ve outlined a few ideas from my wish list below. 
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iOS Browser Benchmarks

There are many different ways to compare browsers. You could decide based on it’s raw performance, it’s effects on battery life, its third party plugins, its feature set, syncing between desktop and mobile versions, built-in VPN features, ad blocking, or even the cuteness of its mascot (Firefox has them all beaten there, seen below). In this post, I take a look at six popular iOS browsers, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, iCab, and Dolphin, I used the Jetstream and Motionmark benchmarks from browserbench.org. Each browser was tested on the 9.7″ iPad Pro with no other applications running in the background, with sleep turned off, and with the device plugged in. The Jetstream benchmark checked JavaScript capabilities. JavaScript is the scripting language that powers much of the web. The other benchmark, Motionmark, measures graphical capabilities. Though the best browser isn’t necessarily the fastest, and while these benchmarks cannot offer a perfect measure of performance, they do give us a good idea. Surprisingly, a few browsers made giant leaps in performance, while others are just as slow as ever. 
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The Samsung Galaxy S8 is Samsung’s Best Phone. But Can it Beat the iPhone 7 in a Speed Test?

The Samsung Galaxy S8 comes with Snapdragon’s latest and greatest processors along with 4GB of memory, making it one of the fastest Android phones money can buy. In the multicore Geekbench benchmark, it proves itself to be just slightly faster than the A10 in the iPhone 7, though it’s beaten in single core tests. Do those benchmarks translate to real world power? Absolutely. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is snappy and looks incredible doing it. But is it faster than the iPhone 7 in real world usage, opening apps?

Check out the video below to be sure. 

 
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This Retro Shooter for iOS Was Built on an iPad

Starsceptre is a retro top-down shooter for the iPhone and iPad. Interestingly, it’s a game that was made for iOS devices, by iOS devices. The developers at 8bitMagicGames wrote the game using iPads and a programming tool called Codea, which uses the Lua programming language. Below, you can check out the trailer of the game in action, which is coming soon to the App Store. The game looks to feature the frantic pacing and controls the genre is famous for, with players tapping on the screen to shoot and tilting their devices to move, allowing them to shoot enemies and dodge obstacles and enemy fire. These kind of ferociously fast-passed shooters in space have always been popular with gamers, and have a long history. The first video game was Spacewar, which was also a top-down shooter. Making a game like this with a retro style isn’t just poetic, it’s a tried and true game genre, tons of fun and easy to learn. 
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