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iOS 11 control center running on iPhone and iPad

iOS 11 and watchOS 4 Delight Me

I know High Sierra has already come out but after a week with iOS 11 and watchOS 4, I really wanted to talk about what has surprised and delighted me about these two operating systems. There’s no big, long, involved story here, just a list of what has made me smile in the past week.

Bigger and Bolder

Both watchOS and iOS seem to improved visually. Take the watch for example. The keypad to type in your PIN was ok, but it was pretty easy to mistype. They made it way bigger on watchOS 4 and now it’s a lot harder to make a mistake. I still manage to mess it up from time to time but that’s on me now. On iOS 11 on the iPhone, there are a lot of big, bold headings, like in Mail the letters are huge telling you that you’re in All Inboxes. No mistaking that. Continue reading “iOS 11 and watchOS 4 Delight Me”

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I’m In Charge of QA for All the Things

I told the story about how Rogue Amoeba was so terrific responding to me about a bug I found in their recording engine for Audio Hijack. I stand by my praise of them. I also mentioned that it would have been ideal if the problem hadn’t happened in the first place. I have to say, recently I feel like I am personally in charge of Quality Assurance for all of the things. Let me explain. Continue reading “I’m In Charge of QA for All the Things”

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Apple’s New Strategy: We’ll Meet You Half Way

Right airpod showing more blue corrosionLast year before the new iPhone 7 came out, all four of the iPhones in use by my family were suffering from the battery shutdown problem. Kyle was getting a new iPhone 7 from me for his birthday but I asked him to take his iPhone 6 into Apple while it was still under AppleCare to try to get it replaced. Apple told Kyle there was nothing wrong with the battery and refused to replace it. They said to do a DFU (Device Firmware Update) and to not restore from a backup and that would fix it. They were certain that there was something in Kyle’s apps or data causing the problem. We know from recent reports that Apple is now admitting that something was indeed wrong with the OS that was causing the problem and they’ve been able to measure a decrease in the problem from a recent iOS update.

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NC #608 AirPods Updates, Missing Magsafe, AirPods Lag, Time Machine via Netgear Router

Chit Chat Across the Pond was a discussion with Allister Jenks about Affinity Designer and the place vector-based image applications have in our workflow. We’ve got a lot of listener feedback about AirPods, including Garth Humphreys from the iBlindTech podcast. Jill recommends the small and lightweight Bluetooth remote control from Satechi for use with the iPhone and AirPods. We talk about the AirPods and the Trekz both having trouble playing audio from iOS this week. I do a bit of an anti-review, explaining that the USB-C Griffin Breaksafe will not take the place of Magsafe in your life. Then we’re back to more AirPods talk where I delve deep into why Bluetooth headphones have lag and syncing issues where wired headphones do not. Many thanks to Chris from Rogue Amoeba and Stephen Coyle who tested Bluetooth vs wired headphones for lag and published his results here. Finally I answer Steve Davidson’s question about whether it’s possible to plug a USB drive into the Netgear X8 router and run a Time Machine backup on it.

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AirPods – Lag or No Lag?

Audio video sync testI mentioned in my AirPods review last week that I did some tests of audio/video syncing for Dave Hamilton. I’ll review a little bit and then walk into some more advanced questions.

Dave had asked me to watch some YouTube videos using the AirPods to see whether the sound was in sync and the results were very positive. I found an audio/video sync video that’s really cool. There’s a horizontal timeline sliding from left to right, with several dots and then a long dash every second. Then there’s a ball bouncing on the dash as it goes by and it makes a click sound when it hits. The idea is that from the timeline you can measure how many milliseconds of delay there are between when you see the ball hit and when you hear it hit. I tested the AirPods and it was spot on with this test.

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NC #607 Primitive, Lost Voicemails, AirPods, Security Bits

It’s Christmas Day but there’s a fresh NosillaCast anyway – no best of show for us. Allister Jenks joins us to talk about the photo manipulation app Primitive for Mac from…. I’ll tell you the tragic story of how Melissa lost her father’s voicemails and our joint discovery of how to get them back. I’ll give you my review of the Apple AirPods and we’ll talk about whether Bluetooth on them is fiddly, how they fit, and usability with Siri. Steve will jump in to talk about music playback quality (since that’s not my strong suit. Rush Sherman tells us about how he and I worked out a way to help him support the podcast through Patreon at a price his family could afford. Bart Busschots joins us for Security Bits.

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Apple AirPods – Bluetooth With Less Fiddling?

Al airpods christmas hatI’ve mentioned many times that I got really lucky in the husband department. Last week highlights that. Steve gets up pretty early (especially for a retired guy) and when the AirPods went on sale early one morning, he immediately ordered me a set before the ship dates moved out to January. They arrived a day early, on the 20th and he didn’t make me wait till Christmas to open them.

The promise of the AirPods is many fold. One aspect is that they’re supposed to make pairing much easier. Let’s see if Apple really got rid of this major annoyance. We’ll start with the first experience of opening them up.

Packaging and Setup

People seem to be getting disenchanted with Apple in some ways but it’s indisputable that they do packaging like no one else. The AirPods come in a very small plastic case that acts as the charger. I was really surprised at how small it is, It’s about 2 x 1.5 x .75 inches. It looked a lot bigger in the photos I saw ahead of time. Remember the case itself charges the AirPods, so It has a Lightning port on the bottom.

The top of the case flips open and closed with the most delightful magnetic click. Seriously, you’ll find yourself opening and closing this obsessively. Continue reading “Apple AirPods – Bluetooth With Less Fiddling?”

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