Battery life on the iPhone has never been phenomenal, and the iPhone X, unfortunately, doesn’t change that much (review in the works!). However, the iPhone X does bring with it a new tool to improve battery life. First, a little background. The iPhone X features an OLED display. There’s a few huge differences between the old screen, the LED, and the new OLED display, but the lighting on OLED displays makes the biggest difference for battery life. For an LED or LCD display, the whole screen is lit up. A few big, bright lights are on all the time, shining through the pixels to light them all up equally. OLED screens light up each pixel individually. This means the whole screen doesn’t have to be lit. Not only does this improve contrast on the screen, it drastically reduces the amount of electricity the screen uses.
You can take advantage of this now if you have an iPhone X. A wallpaper that’s all or mostly black would use less electricity than a colorful one. Even a grayscale display would have more dark pixels. There’s a secret super-low-power mode in iOS, one you can unlock by using invert colors and grayscale—features already built in to iOS—to increase the black pixels on the display, and therefore us a lot less energy. How much less? One tester saw a 60% improvement over the stock settings! You’ll have to change a few settings to make switching back and forth between regular usage and the super saver mode, but once you do, you’ll have a new way to save hours of battery life. Here’s how you can do that yourself in just a few easy steps.
This might be a photo of a Texas Ranger or FBI agent. Or it’s a child who doesn’t understand what they’re doing. I can’t tell the difference anymore.
Hey, I’m not making a mockery of American justice, that’s the job of FBI agents and Texas Rangers, apparently. Despite knowing that the shooter in the Texas church shooting acted alone from his history of such violence, had no ties to terrorist or militia groups, and was only able to get a gun due to the Air Force’s lax enforcement of gun control laws in response to domestic abuse, the FBI and Texas Rangers want to get into the shooter’s iPhone. They know nothing’s there, it’s the principle of the matter. No, really, they’re using a case that stirs up strong emotions to try to set a precedent. This way, they’ll be able to get into future phones.
Beyond the fact that there’s nothing on this phone, and ignoring the fact that the phone could have been unlocked if the FBI and police didn’t sit on it for two days straight, there’s something these bumbling law enforcement organizations seem to be missing: Apple didn’t make the iPhone SE as insecurely as the iPhone 5c in the San Bernardino case was. That means they likely can’t unlock it either now. They definitely can’t unlock the LG phone the Rangers also asked Apple to unlock.
I’ll shout that a little louder for the guys in the back eating their boogers:
Even if you didn’t royally screw up, the phone has nothing, and now Apple can’t unlock it, even if they wanted to.
By now, if you’re interested in tech, you’ve probably seen a video or two of the iPhone X being unlocked by someone’s face that isn’t the owner. Apple said it was more secure than Touch ID, at least twice as secure, so what gives? There are a few factors at play here. It involves the machine learning Apple uses to make Face ID work, Face ID’s limitations on children, and, unfortunately, some really bad news for anyone with an identical twin (especially if they’re an evil twin). To answer your biggest question, no, Face ID isn’t easily compromised, but there are steps you may be unintentionally doing that are making you more vulnerable. Here’s an explanation of what’s happening, and how you can ensure your phone is secure.
Fair warning, macOS and iOS users, you’re going to be a little mad at Apple for this, but I’ll wait until the end to explain why. Firefox Quantum has been in beta for a few months now, and I finally decided to take it for a spin about a week before release. Currently, I’m putting together a browser comparison, one that will show real world performance, benchmark performance, memory usage, and battery life impact, on both my 2010 MacBook Pro (representing older hardware) and the 2015 MacBook Pro I have from work (new hardware) but that’s going to take some time. Perhaps before you read that, you’ll want to try out Mozilla’s latest and greatest browser for yourself.
Firefox Quantum was designed to be a modern browser, made to meet current expectations of what a browser should be and take us to the future, a complete revamp of Firefox and the web browser itself. After using it for about a week now, I love it, and, as such, I’m once again pissed at Apple.
Greenpeace takes companies to task over their lack of commitment to the environment. They’ve rated a number of popular electronics manufacturers in three main categories, energy, resources, and chemicals. Energy is easy to understand: a good rating means renewable energy sources used with low or no emissions in the production and sale of a product. Resources is what’s needed to make the product and sustain it over its lifetime. This includes the rare earth metals in smartphones, whether or not the materials used are recyclable, and how long the devices can last without needing replacement. Finally, there’s chemicals. This is the use of hazardous materials in the manufacture of our devices. There’s a reason you can’t just throw an old phone out. Besides the fact that it can mostly be recycled, there’s also toxic materials within these devices that can be released if damaged or burned, as people who work in recycling plants may have to do. Performing well in all three categories makes the planet safer and lowers the human cost of creating the electronics we take for granted every day. Apple didn’t score the best, they received a ‘B-,’ with Fairphone, a company that prides itself on designing phones to be as ecologically green as can be, taking the top spot. What could Apple be doing better? Continue reading →
The past few weeks have been rough for me. I’ve been apartment hunting, packing, and moving. On top of that, I stayed up until 4 AM last Friday to pre-order the iPhone X. Refreshing my Mac’s browser as well as both my iPad’s and my iPhone’s Apple Store apps, both on and off my WiFi. I was going to be one of the first people in America to order the iPhone X. Or so I thought. None of my devices loaded the page until around 3:07. By then, the earliest I would receive my iPhone X would be on November 17th. So, instead of typing this with an iPhone X sitting next to me, I instead am looking at my boring old iPhone 6s. I’ve got to wait at least two more weeks to write my own review. Since, by then, it’ll be 2 weeks late, I’ll likely use it for a week or two before reviewing, so I can give a detailed review of the phone that accounts for everyday use. I’ll even be able to compare it to the Samsung Galaxy S8, so look forward to that review and comparison in a few weeks.
Until then, I’ve collected information from a number of reviews to answer some of the big questions about the iPhone X. Continue reading →
Abortion is a touchy subject because both sides of the issue feel as though their values are being attacked at their core. To these people, the choice is freedom and control over one’s own body or religious faith and consequences for one’s actions. It’s tricky for me to write about, personally, because, I, like everyone else, feel very strongly about it. However, for the sake of the story, I’ll lay out the facts, and let you decide whether or not you believe what Apple did was right. I also, as always, list some sources below, for further reading, if you so choose.
The app was called Human Coalition, which shares the name of the non-profit that created the app. The app was simple, perhaps too simple, if Apple’s reasoning is accurate, and told users to pray for women who had become pregnant, urging users to pray for the woman to allow the pregnancy to come to term, leaving her with a child. Apple cited “functionality requirements,” and, whether the app did or did not meet those requirements, Apple may have had grounds to remove it. Continue reading →