Apple’s Top Announcements from WWDC

This past Monday, Apple held their keynote for the opening of their annual developer conference, WWDC.  Apple announced iOS 12, watchOS 5, macOS Mojave and some minor updates to the Apple TV.

Overall, I was impressed with Apple’s offerings. iOS 12, according to rumors, was supposed to be a somewhat light release. I would say Apple exceeded my expectations.

I thought I would compile a list of my favorite announcements from the 2018 keynote.

Lets jump in!

CarPlay

I love Apple CarPlay. If you do not know what it is, it is basically a way to mirror what you have on your phone to your car’s in dash display, but in a safe way. You can summon Siri, listen and respond to texts by voice, listen to podcasts, music and audiobooks and my most utilized feature, use Apple Maps. This brings me to why I am excited for an updated version of CarPlay.

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Starting in iOS 12, third party map apps like Google Maps and Waze will be compatible with CarPlay. So for those who do not care for Apple Maps, here is your solution.

Faster

Apple said that iOS 12 will be compatible with all of the same devices that ran iOS 11. If your current device runs iOS 11, you are in luck, and will be able to update to iOS 12 when it releases in the fall. Below is a list of the devices iOS 12 is compatible with.

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Since they are keeping it compatible with so many older devices, Apple decided that they would focus on performance. iOS 12 will be 40% faster, the keyboard will load 50% faster and can slide over on the lock screen to take a picture 70% faster. This is awesome. It is all of these small actions that you really do not notice until they are the ones that slow down significantly. Even if it is a second faster, for how many times we unlock our phones and use them throughout the day, those seconds add up to minutes saved, very quickly.

Memoji and FaceTime

Memoji, yet another term Apple has created. Do you remember Animoji from the iPhone X? Well this is it but a more personal iteration. Memoji is a way to make a Animoji-like character and make it like YOU! I am not a fan of the Animojis but I do think I will use the Memoji’s quite a bit. You can use this character to make little video recordings talking or replace your real face with the Memoji face in pictures. This could end up being a flop but I truly believe this will push people to buy the iPhone X and whatever other phones, that incorporate Face ID, that come out later this year.

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Apple is finally allowing us to make group FaceTime calls! Not only that, but you will soon be able to FaceTime with up to 32 people! I wish I knew 32 people to FaceTime with to try this out. I have to say, this is going to be pretty impressive if Apple can pull it off smoothly.

Screen Time

Screen Time is a new feature coming to iOS 12 that will show us all how much we use our phones. This may be somewhat scary but I think it is needed. Most of us have an unhealthy relationship with our phone. I always have. I wouldn’t be where I am without it though. It has allowed me to keep in touch with family while overseas, manage my finances, do business and play plenty and plenty of games. While all of that is great, what’s not great is when you are wasting so much time scrolling through a Facebook or twitter feed that is getting you nowhere in life.

With Screen Time, Apple will give you stats on your mobile life from how many times you pick up your phone to how much time you spend on a certain app. This will also be a welcome feature for parents who want to limit their children’s usage.

Apple Watch Competitions and Workout features

One thing I missed about my Fitbit was the competitions. Not that it mattered, my mom always beat the rest of the family, but they were fun. And it was motivating. Apple is bringing weekly competitions to the Apple Watch. For how much the Apple Watch is growing, this is going to be an awesome addition.

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Still focusing on fitness, the Apple Watch is gaining workouts for yoga and hiking. I have been on a running kick since the weather has warmed up and the Apple Watch is expanding the features of the running workout. You can now set a target pace, have a rolling mile and have a cadence count to make sure you are hitting your goals. Another welcome feature on the Apple Watch is that it will detect when you start and stop a workout. I can’t tell you how many times my fiancé and I have forgot to end a workout and had logged a three hour run!

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Wrap Up

There are so many more features that I have not even touched on. But stay tuned as I will be breaking down some different pieces of iOS 12, watchOS 5 and macOS Mojave.

Thanks for stopping by!

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All photos are courtesy of Apple.com

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Guest Post: AirPod Competition

After hearing of his issues with the AirPods and replacing them with the Jabra Elite Sport, I reached out to Jeremy for his honest comparison of the two of them. Enjoy!

-Donnie

Many companies have tried but none have been able to reproduce the power, portability, freedom, and sleekness of Apples AirPods. For a product that has been on the market for almost a year and a half now, AirPods continue to dominate the world of truly wireless earphones, but have they finally met their match?

I recently lost my AirPods and after about a week of untangling wired earbuds I needed a return to wireless. I had been having some issues with one of my AirPods being softer than the other (I had gotten them both replaced at separate times because of this) so I thought I’d go with something new. I’ve had as many headphones from as many manufacturers as Donnie has had battery cases for iPhones so I knew what I was getting into. After doing some online research, reading every review I could find, and doing some in person window shopping I finally settled on these:

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The Jabra Elite Sport Earphones.
But are they enough to take down the mighty AirPods? Let’s take a look.

Price:

AirPods can be picked up in any Apple Store off the shelf for $159. A steep price to pay for having your favorite tunes or tv show in your ear. The Elite Sports come in at an even higher price point of $219 MSRP. Neither are affordable but at a $50 jump in price I have to give Apple the win here.

Design:

In my opinion the biggest flaw most competitors have made with the attempts at truly wireless earphones lies in their design. They tend to be bulky and look like you are wearing a Bluetooth headset circa 2007. As with everything they turn out Apple figured out a way to make the AirPods small, modern, and sexy. The biggest complaint that I’ve heard about their design centers around the slim drop down cylinder on the bottom of them. I don’t see Apple rushing to change or strike it and people have seemed to be more accepting of it as more time passes since their release. Whatever your opinion may be, the all white chrome trimmed AirPod design is iconic and near perfect. With all of that said this isn’t a knock out punch for them. The Jabras come in an all black satin finish that’s pretty sexy in its own right. They have a small footprint in your ear and no protrusion jutting down to your ear lobe. They do extend about an eighth of an inch out from your ear but don’t make you look like you have a speaker hanging out of your ear. Jabra also offers color accessories to swap out the fit wings for those of you who want a pop of color or are a serious fashionista and need everything to match your latest outfit. Now, that’s a lot of pluses in Jabras column, but at the end of the day Apple’s design team hit a home run in the looks department and I don’t think there’s a pair of earbuds that looks better then them.

Fit:

This is an area where I think basically anyone could outdo Apple. While AirPods do feel better in your ear than their wired cousin, Apple failed at the simple form follows function rule. They’re built with a hard plastic shell that; while it doesn’t fall out, certainly doesn’t stay where it should. At least not for me. Can you use them for running or going to the gym? Sure. I commute to work on a bike when it’s nice and never lost one, but they always seemed to be sliding out of my ear from where they needed to sit for the best audio quality. Apple also went with a one size fits most approach, which if you’ve ever gotten a free t-shirt at any kind of event you know isn’t the best method. Depending on the size and shape of your ears they may end up feeling too big, too small, or just uncomfortable to wear. Several companies are out there making add ons for the AirPods to give them a more secure fit but they come at a cost, and while I don’t know anyone who uses an accessory with theirs I would assume that any add on would have to be removed and stored separately while charging.

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My Sport Elites on the other hand fit and feel great in my ear. They have a more traditional tip that inserts into your ear canal that can be swapped between foam and silicon as well as a silicone wing that tucks up under a fold in your ear to keep them in place. This isn’t new technology but as someone who’s dealt with this style before these are different. Out of the box you get 3 pairs of varying sizes each of the foam tips, silicone tips, and silicone wings. All are interchangeable and are designed to fit in the carrying case while charging. That’s nearly 75,000 different configurations to choose from so you are sure to find a fit and feel that you like. Mine have also seemed to form a kind of memory which has made them more comfortable over time.

This is a win in a big category for Jabra, especially if you are someone who wears your earbuds for several hours of the day like me. Commuting, working out, at work, mine are in constantly in my ears are in love with the fit of my Jabras.

Sound Quality:

Probably the most important feature in a headphone of any configuration is having great sound and the Sport Elites deliver. They provide deep bass and great high end pitches and in addition to a great frequency range Jabra offers an app for both Apple and Android users that allows you to customize the sound you get in your ear. And not to backtrack, but the fit of these earbuds helps a lot with the sound quality you get. Having a pair of earbuds that fill your ear canal and don’t move not only helps trap and direct sound into your ear but also helps block out the outside noise. The only earbud I’ve owned that provide a better sound than these are the Powerbeats and those come with a bigger footprint, an over ear clip, and that awkward tether connecting them.

Now I don’t want to leave the AirPods out of the debate completely but they are simply inferior in this category. While both claim frequency ranges from 20-20kHz (basically the entirety of the human ear range) the AirPods do not deliver on the low end. I mean don’t get me wrong, for being truly wireless earphones they sound good but there’s a lot out there that sound better. And as someone who likes to bump to guilty pleasure music on his commute, the number of times I was able to clearly hear the song playing in someone else’s AirPods was scary. They just give up too much sound to the outside.

Battery Power:

Both of these come with a carrying case that doubles as a battery charger, but which one lasts longer? Honestly both of these are going to carry enough life in a single charge to get you through most of what you ask of them. I’ve never been using them so long that they die before I put them back into their case for a charge. My AirPods did die on a trip back but they had been in constant use for around 5 hours before doing so and I know my Jabras would do the same so if you are someone that needs headphones for long distance travel (several hours) consistently than I recommend going a different route. Pick up a pair of over the ear headphones that have an option to be wired or pack a pair of back up wired earbuds because nothing in the truly wireless earphone family is going to get the job done for you. Now on paper Apples number for battery life dwarf Jabras but it doesn’t really translate to everyday use. I found myself charging my AirPod case about once a week with an occasional bonus day on weeks that I wasn’t using them as much and the exact same with my Jabras. There’s no clear winner but if that extra

cable in your life is going to bug you; you need a micro usb cable (provided) to charge them, then go with AirPods.

Features:

Both of these are packed with features but some are definitely more useful for everyday life. Both options offer an auto connect after the initial pairing which is a big win in my book as well as options to summon Siri, skip tracks, take phone calls and single ear use, but let’s get into better things.

The AirPods are simply more user friendly and honestly I miss the ease of use of them. The auto pause, while flawed (I always seemed to hold mine covering the sensor) is a great feature. And the ability to just tap and not have to press something that’s in your ear, is fantastic. These seem so simple but help so much and helped me initially fall in love with my AirPods. One big thing I missed while using my AirPods was a volume control of some kind. Siri could do it for you but was more time consuming than pulling out my phone or doing it on my watch. The advertised seamless transitioning between devices is also a lie, but for a small package there’s a lot of good stuff you get with the AirPods.

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Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way for the Sport Elites. They use a traditional button press for any response. It’s hard to do, hurts your ear, and honestly they have so many buttons that I forget which one to press sometimes. They also don’t have any auto pause. If I take out my right one my left one stops playing but there’s still music pumping through the right one while its in my hand which is just dumb. So what do they have to offer up? Being a “sport” earphone a lot of their features are centered around activity. They come with a built in heart rate sensor as well as an app that allows you to track your workouts, and even provides coaching directly in your ear over your music. I don’t use it because it isn’t for me but I’ve checked out some of the workouts and there are some really good ones for everyone. All of this is free. So if you are looking to get into shape but don’t know where to start, these will tell you. They also have a new hear-through feature that uses the microphones to give you a soft reminder of what is going on around you as you jam out. I use it a lot when biking to hear pedestrians and cars around me and is great for when I’m walking in a big city at night. I guess technically with the poor fit the AirPods have this built in. (Sorry for the burn Apple, I still love you.) In addition to all of this the Elite Sports come with an IP rating of 67. This means that they are dust tight and can be submerged in shallow water for up to 30 min. So no nasty dirty is getting in and you can really clean them after a hard workout or long day. Something AirPods users everywhere are missing out on.

Wrap Up

So where does this leave us? There’s a lot to be said for both of these products and this tech in general but who comes out on top? For me it’s Jabra Elite Sports. They are just superior to the AirPods in fit and sound which are the two most important things to me. They are packed with features and are a near perfect fit for my lifestyle. Apple did a great job innovating this technology but Jabra has molded it into a better all around package.

Now do I think they can steal to crown from the AirPods? Absolutely not. They cost too much and there are too many options out there for non-Apple options. I will say that I have seen a few pair being used around NYC which is a far cry from the 1000’s of AirPods I see daily. Apple is an iconic brand grounded in innovation and design with an enormous fan/user base, so no one is going to dethrone the AirPods in a popularity contest, any time soon. Hopefully a new version of the AirPods is released with a better fit and feel, but until then, I’ll stick with my Jabras.

If you’re in the market for some new earbuds give, Jabra a look. They have several models with various price points to fit most budgets.

Jabra Elite Sport

Apple AirPods

Thanks for reading. Deuces.

Jeremy can be found on Instagram at j_sauce0789.

All images courtesy of Jabra.

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking the link.

Review: Fitbit Versa

Apple Tree of Knowledge: Did you know that Apple considered the name of “iPad” for the first iPhone? 

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In a previous post, I commented as to why I had some interest in the newest Fitbit, the Fitbit Versa.

I was fortunate enough to receive one as a graduation gift from my fiancé and family. I wouldn’t shut up about it, when it was first released, and my fiancé got the hint.

I currently use an Apple Watch Series 2 but I am going to try to keep that out of this review but I will follow up with another post comparing the two. I want to give the Fitbit a fair review with no Apple Watch comparison.

Size & Design

The size of the screen on the Fitbit Versa is 39mm. This is a great size for both men and women. As someone with smaller wrists, I did not think this watch seemed too big on my wrist. For those with bigger wrists, unfortunately this is your only option to choose from. But hey, it does make your buying decision easier!

I am loving the weight of the Fitbit Versa. It is so light and sometimes I do forget it is one my wrist.  Having a light fitness watch is important when you are doing your workouts. You don’t want anything weighing you down anymore than you have to.

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The Versa does come with a small and large silicone band and it fits comfortably. It isn’t some fancy band that you have to look up how to use, but it is your standard watch band. Speaking of bands, changing the bands wasn’t the easiest thing in the world. It reminded me of older watches that used a pin mechanism to replace the bands. It is straight forward, but again, not the easiest.

Battery

Ive never had a smart watch last more than two full days. So this was awesome! I got three full days out of the Versa. The three full days was with All Day Sync turned on. All Day Sync basically means it is constantly syncing with your phone to sync all of your data. Obviously, this will drain your battery. If you have any type of Fitbit, this is a setting that you should check to see if it is turned on or off. It may help your battery.

With All Day Sync turned off, I got a tiny bit more battery life but still had to charge that third night. So, essentially, I got the same amount of usage out of the device either way. I have read of people getting 5 full days out of the Fitbit Versa, I clearly did not.

The only thing about a device that has great battery life is that you might forget to charge it at the right time. You don’t want to be stuck with a dead Fitbit at lunchtime when you could have charged it the night before. As a best practice, I would charge the Fitbit Versa every two days or just top it off whenever possible. Something of this size does not take long to charge up.

Function

The Fitbit Versa has three buttons: a back button, a top button and a bottom button.  Since the Versa is also a touch screen, you can navigate the Fitbit without the buttons and it sometimes makes me wonder why they put buttons on there to begin with. But I am glad they did, because sometimes, I cannot get my Fitbit to wake up. I tap on the screen, I raise it to wake and nothing. Then, the only way to turn the screen on, is that left “back” button. So, I am thankful they put some buttons on there to help when it is not functioning correctly.

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The raise-to-wake feature is something that should work 90% of the time in my opinion. It would be one thing if the Fitbit had an always on display but it doesn’t. I would say the raise to wake feature worked for me around 60% of the time. Which is annoying. I stand there looking silly as I keep flipping my wrist up to wake up the Fitbit and nothing happens. Soon, I just give up. Also, as mentioned before, even tapping on the screen will not wake up the device every single time. This feature should work 100% of the time since you are directly tapping the screen. But, again, that is not the case. When these simple functions do not work as intended, it becomes very frustrating. I have a lot of patience with technology and am pretty forgiving for stuff like this but I know the average consumer will walk away after too many issues like this.

The Fitbit Versa will give you text message and phone call notifications. They do work really well. The phone calls can be declined or accepted from the watch itself but if accepted, have to be answered on your phone. If you have an android phone, you are able to reply by voice to text messages. Us iPhone users, are stuck with just being able to read those notifications and that is it.

My Fitbit Versa shut off on me twice (with plenty of battery). Once for an hour and the next for a half hour. The first day, I kind of thought it was due to the heat as it was 90 degrees out. Once I was in air conditioning it seemed to function fine. The following day, it wasn’t hot at all and it did it again. I am not sure what caused this but it was unreliable enough to stick out in the my mind.

Statistics

The Fitbit Versa will track your steps, distance, heart rate, calories burned, floors climbed and how many active minutes you have moved. As far as I can tell, it is very accurate. And it should be. Fitbit has been doing this, and improving, for years now. I would hope that their watches have become more accurate with every new release.

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Under workouts you can choose from run, bike, swim, treadmill and weights. From the workouts I completed, which were all running, it seemed to be pretty accurate. One awesome thing about the workout function, is that it automatically paused the workout when I stopped. I had to stretch during my run at one point and it paused my workout. That was a very welcoming feature.

Again, when I wanted to view my current pace of the run, it was unreliable with the raise-to-wake feature.

Watch Faces

I am a big fan of the watch faces available for the Versa. It seems like the developer community is very active and there are over 400 different watch faces to choose from. I love having a statistics heavy watch face. I want to see every statistic I can just by looking at the watch.

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Price

The Fitbit Versa starts at $199.99 and also has a special edition that has NFC (for mobile payments) and comes with a more premium band available for $229.

Verdict

The Fitbit Versa is by far the best Fitbit I have ever used.  I absolutely love the battery life, the custom watch faces and the fitness tracking. But as a smartwatch, it has a lot to improve on.

If you are looking to upgrade your Fitbit and have never had a smartwatch, I will tell you to go buy this, now! It will not disappoint.

If you are in the market for a full fledge smartwatch, I would keep your eye open for something different. Fitbit is almost there and for the price, compared to competitors, they have done one heck of a job with the Versa.

Let me know in the comments, twitter, Instagram or Facebook if you like the Fitbit Versa and plan on buying one!

Thanks for stopping in!

Disclosure: All links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking the link.

Reading on Kindle Paperwhite vs iPad

Apple Tree of Knowledge: Did you know that it was reported, in 2011, that each Apple employee brought in over $200,000 in revenue every year for the company, while only getting paid slightly above minimum wage? This eventually led to employee outrage and Apple raised employee wages and offered better benefits. Moral of the story, know your value and you can make a case to be treated better.

I started my journey with the Kindle when I was deployed with the Air Force in 2011. At the time, I didn’t have a Kindle so I started downloading free or cheap $.99 books from the Amazon store on my iPhone 3GS. Being that it was the only device I had to read on, I didn’t know how much nicer reading on a bigger screen eventually would be.

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After my deployment, I went to Target and purchased a Kindle. It was fascinating knowing I had all of these books in one spot. Since the Kindle books are primary just text, you can fill hundreds, if not thousands, of books on a single device.

At the time, I didn’t think I had a need for an iPad. I had my phone and had my MacBook. That was all I needed until the iPad mini was released. At that point, my Kindle started to be neglected. Reading on my iPad mini was fantastic because not only could it hold all of those books that the Kindle could, but it also was my computer replacement. I could do nearly everything on this one device.

I eventually moved onto my iPad Air 2, which is my current iPad. Again, not much different than the iPad mini as far as how it works, but its size. It is a great e-book reader, but I was looking for something smaller, again.

Enter the Kindle Paperwhite.

Size

Comparing my iPad Air 2 to the Kindle Paperwhite, you will notice there is a significant size difference. My iPad is a 9.7″ screen while the Kindle Paperwhite has a 6 inch screen. Sizes of the screen doesn’t matter too much other than being able to fit more text onto the screen at one time. Just as an FYI, you can change the size of the text on both devices to make it easier to read or to fit more text onto the screen.

Where the sizes of the devices start making a big difference is when it comes down to the weight.  The iPad Air 2 weighs in at 437 grams while the Kindle Paperwhite weighs 205 grams. As you can see, the iPad Air 2 weighs more than double that of the Kindle. This will be a dealbreaker for mostly everyone if you are looking for a standalone e-reader. If you are a reader who likes to read hours at a time, the Kindle will definitely be the more attractive option for you.

Function

If you know anything about the iPad, you know that it can do pretty much everything your phone can do and can sometimes replace your need for an actual computer or laptop. When I am not in school, the iPad becomes my computer. The fact that you can take this device everywhere and do the things you can do with it, is incredible. You can use the Kindle or iBook store on the iPad. So if you have books purchased on either store, you have access to them.  As far as a device that does it all, the iPad gets that check mark.

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The Kindle is an e-reader and that is about it. And sometimes, that is a good thing. With the iPad you deal with notifications from all of the apps on the device. If you have your texts and iMessages coming through, you are distracted by that. With all of the distractions in the technology world today, sometimes you need that break from it all. That is where the Kindle shines. There are no dinging or pinging noises. It is a device to read a book. Plain and simple.

Battery

Apple tells us that the iPad will get around 10 hours of use. Of course, what you are doing on the device will make that number vary big time.

Amazon tells us that the Kindle Paperwhite under certain backlight settings will get you around 28 hours.

Regardless of how you use the devices, you can see that the Kindle destroys the iPad, as far as battery is concerned. But it makes sense. With the iPad you are getting a beautiful high definition display and the hardware and software combined does a great job making that battery last as long as physics allow. With the Kindle, it uses an e-ink display. It is far from beautiful but that is how it gets such a long battery life. This may sound silly but one downside with having something like the Kindle, that has a long battery life, is that you always forget to charge it. You rarely have to charge it so by the time it needs a charge, you already forgot to plug it in. So as a reminder, before a trip, charge your devices!

Price

The cheapest iPad you can buy right now is the iPad 6th generation (which I recently wrote about if you want to learn more). It comes in at $329 and will do its very greatest if you want it as an e-reader and a device that can handle most of your computing tasks.

The Kindle Paperwhite is usually $119.99 but as of this writing is $99.99.

Conclusion

So, as you can tell, there are quite a few differences, advantages and disadvantages to reading on both of them.

If an iPad is something that you have been eyeing up, I cannot recommend enough having one in your lineup of tech devices. It does its job as an e-reader plus much more, but also have to sacrifice size, portability and price.

If you just need an e-book reader the Kindle Paperwhite is a fantastic device. It is small, light and cheaper than the competition.

Let me know in the comments, twitter, Instagram or Facebook which device you like reading on!

Thanks for stopping in!

Disclosure: All links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking the link.

How to Defeat iPhone Battery Issues

Apple Tree of Knowledge: Do you know the story of the Apple logo? There are a lot of conspiracy theories, myths and coincidences but the creator of the logo, Rob Janoff, kept it simple. Steve Jobs didn’t give him much direction but he took the bite out of the apple so that you would always know it was an Apple, no matter the size, and not some other round fruit.

No one likes a dead phone. These things are our lifelines. We cannot miss a second. Well, as physics would have it, battery technology does not care about us. I would love a battery that could last for two to three days but I also do not want to downgrade to an old Nokia phone!

Since we have to deal with the battery technology that we currently have, here are a few tips to get you through the day.

Continue reading at Ethervision

How To: Instagram

Apple Tree of Knowledge – Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and a third, sometimes forgotten member, Ronald Wayne. After 12 days into forming the company, the third cofounder sold his 10% of the company for $800. That same percentage today would be worth well over $60 billion. Wow. 

Recently, my mom said “I need a class on Instagram”. Soon after, my fiancé was sending her screenshots with mark ups trying to explain how to search for a family member on Instagram. So I thought writing a little tutorial on the basics of Instagram may come in handy for those wanting to get started or for those who want to learn a little more.

Creating an Account

If you already created an account, you can skip to the next section.

First things first, download Instagram.

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After it is downloaded, open the Instagram app and click Sign Up With Phone or Email.

Next, it will ask for your phone number or email. Enter whichever you choose to use. Personally, like most accounts, I would use an email that you plan on keeping for a while.

The following screen will ask you for your name and a password.

Now, it will ask you if you want to Connect to Facebook.  This is totally up to you, but I find it extremely helpful connecting to Facebook if you are looking to find a lot of your friends on Instagram. Don’t worry though, if you do not connect to Facebook, I will show you how to search for people later. The next screen will ask you to do the same thing by searching your contacts. Again, totally up to you on this one.

Time to add some personalization to your profile and add a photo. Click Add a Photo and you can Choose from Library to pick your favorite selfie from your phone.

Now, you have an Instagram!

Changing Your Bio

Your profile picture and bio are important if you want people to know who you are. More than likely, depending on your name, there may be a couple of people in the world with the same name as you. So standing out, so that your friends can find you, is a good idea.

To change your profile picture, click on the bottom right of the screen and it will take you to your profile.

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Then, near the top there will be a rectangle that says Edit Profile. Click that. Now, you will see text that says “Change Profile Picture”. Next, you can take a picture in real time or search through your library and pick your favorite selfie. Click Done and you are done!

To edit the rest of your biography, simply go through the fields below your profile picture and fill out whatever information you would like so it is easier for people to know it is you.

Posting a Picture or Video

Some people do not post much and simply hang out on Instagram to view other peoples pictures. If that is what you plan on doing, skip to the next section. But if you want to share your pictures with your friends, family and possibly the world, check this out.

To post a picture, you will see a + sign at the bottom middle of the home screen of Instagram, click that. Next it will open a screen where you can choose to upload a picture/video from your Library or take a picture/video in real time.

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Lets upload a picture that you have already taken.

After clicking the + sign, you can scroll to find a picture you want to post and tap on in and click Next in the top right.

Next you can find a filter that can be applied to the photo. A filter is a way to spice up your photo with a different look. After you find one you like, or none at all, click Next at the top right.

Now, write a caption telling your followers about your picture. This is not required but it will give your followers some background on the photo. If a friend is in the photo with you, click Tag People and search for who you want to tag and click Done. If you are at a specific location or want to tag the location that the picture was taken, tap Add Location and do a search for where you want to tag and tap Done.

You are almost done!

At the very bottom you will see where you can share this post to Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. This is totally up to you if you want to share your pictures with these platforms.

Now, all you have to do is tap Share at the top right and you are sharing your photo with your followers!

Searching For People, Things and Places.

Instagram is pretty useless if you are not following anyone. Now that people can find you, it is time for you to find people. Whether it is a celebrity, a favorite company, a friend or family member start thinking of people you’d like to follow.

At the bottom of the app, you will see a magnifying glass. Click that.

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Now, at the very top, there is a long rectangle that says search. Click that.

From here, you will see a tab for Top. This is where Instagram will suggest top people for you to follow.

Where I find a lot of value is under the People and Tags. If you click People, and start typing, this is where you can search for, you guessed it, people!

Tags refers to hashtags. A hashtag is the number symbol #. This is a way to categorize topics throughout Instagram. So, if I want to view pictures of the Apple Watch, go to Tags and search for Apple Watch. At that point you will see a bunch of results relating to Apple Watch. I usually click the one that is mostly what I am looking for. So, in this case, I will click #applewatch.

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The great thing about tags is that you can search for anything and more than likely, someone posted a picture about that topic. It is a fun way to discover cool photos.

The Places tab, I don’t use very often but YOU should. If you want to see what is going on around your hometown, you can search for that location. If you want to see pictures from halfway around the world, you can do that too. It is a way to check out places that you wish you could be at or have always wanted to visit.

Stories

If you are a fan or frequent user of Snapchat, you are probably familiar with stories. Stories are photos or videos that expire in 24 hours. This is a really neat way to share with your followers what you are getting into throughout the day.

To post to your Story, on the home screen of Instagram you will see a row of circles with your profile picture first with a little blue + button. Tap that. Next, you can take a picture by pressing the big white circle or take a video by pressing and holding on that same white circle.

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I won’t go into all of the different effects, but below the white circle, you will see Normal is selected. If you swipe left or right on that, you can experiment with the different effects. Boomerang is my top used one.

After you are satisfied with the picture or video you want, you can further edit the post. At the very top of the screen you will see a square with a folded corner with a smiley face inside it. Tap that. Here, you can choose different “tags” to post on the picture. I usually use the location one so that people in the same area can view it or so my followers can see where I am. After you click on a tag, use your finger to move it where you want on the screen. To resize it, you can pinch in and out.

You may also simply write something over top of the picture. Tap anywhere on the picture and start typing. Like the tag, you can place this text anywhere.

If you are satisfied with your final product, you can tap Save at the bottom left to save that photo to your phone. Remember, you can only save this picture within 24 hours of posting it. To go ahead and post it to your story, tap Your Story. Now this will show up on all of your followers stories to view.

To view your friends stories, find that row of friends near the top of your Instagram home screen and you can simply tap through everyone’s stories. To stop viewing the stories, click the X at the top right.

Going Live

I have only went Live once but it is a fairly simple concept. Going live means you are broadcasting a video for your followers to watch in real time. So if you are at a concert or a sporting event, you can show your followers exactly what you are seeing. To go live follow what I said about posting a story but instead of taking a picture of video, swipe right until you see Live under the white circle.

Tap Start Live Video. Say HI! You are now live broadcasting to your followers. People may comment while you are live so feel free to chat with them. When you are done, tap End at the top right. Next, it will ask you if you want to share your live video for the next 24 hours. If you want to, tap Share. If you do not, click the blue slider switch and tap Discard.

Liking and Commenting on Pictures

Now that you are following some people, you can start interacting with them. If you like someones picture, you can “like” it by simply double tapping on the photo. You will see a white heart appear over the picture and it will also be marked by a red heart underneath that photo. You may also tap that white heart to turn it red indicating you liked the picture.

If you want to say something about the picture, click the bubble to the right of the heart. This will take you to a screen showing other comments and it gives you the ability to comment as well.

Messaging

Other than texting and iMessage, messaging on Instagram is where a lot of my friends and family communicate. This mainly stems from me or them seeing a photo/video that we want to share and sharing it with them.

To share a photo, tap the arrow button that kind of looks like a paper airplane.

Next, it will pop up with your followers. Search by name and select who you want to send it to and tap Send.

Now, at the top right of your home screen, you will see that same paper airplane. Tap that. This will take you to your messages. You will see that picture that you just sent to a friend.

To begin a new message, tap the + sign at the top right and search for who you want to communicate with. If you have read this far, send me a message @donnieharkcom to let me know that this guide is working for you. Now, click Next at the top right and you can now start typing out a message. Within a message you can click the camera icon to the left of the text box to take a photo and send it. You may also send a photo from your photo gallery by click the icon that has a mountain on it, to the right of the text box.

Notifications

As with all social media platforms, notifications are probably one of the most important features. Instagram will notify you when someone likes or comments on your photo, a new person follows you, someone replies to your comment on a photo and when someone tags you in a photo. If you have ever used Facebook, you will notice that you get a lot of the same type of notifications.

To view those notifications, on your Instagram home screen, tap the heart to the right of the plus sign.

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Here, you will see a list of people that liked your photo or left comments on it or if you have any new followers.

Conclusion

Did you learn anything? Well, I hope so. There are so many more details that I could get into but I think these basics will get you started on Instagram.

Remember, have fun and go find some cool people to follow!

If you found this useful, please share with those who could use it.

Please comment, tweet (or Instagram message me) or email me at themealyapple@gmail.com with any questions you may have.

Thank you for stopping by!

 

Review: ZeroLemon iPhone X Battery Case

Apple Tree of Knowledge: Do you know the story of the Apple logo? There are a lot of conspiracy theories, myths and coincidences but the creator of the logo, Rob Janoff, kept it simple. Steve Jobs didn’t give him much direction but he took the bite out of the apple so that you would always know it was an apple, no matter the size, and not some other round fruit.

As you can tell, if you are a regular reader of The Mealy Apple, you are WELL aware of my fascination with battery cases.

I used to use a mophie charging case everyday because I used to never be around charging outlets all day. That part of my life has changed and now, I find it hard to strap on a bulky case day after day. With that said, I know there are users out there that could use a battery case all day long, every day. Also, I have to tell you, they are great travel companions.

Enter: ZeroLemon iPhone X 4,000mAh Battery Case with Qi Wireless Charging

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If you have never heard of ZeroLemon, they are a battery case and external battery company. They have been around for quite some time and have gained the trust of their customers year after year.  ZeroLemon also offers their product at a fraction of the cost of their competitors. For example, mophie’s unreleased iPhone X battery case will be around $90-$100 for a 1,720mAh capacity battery. This ZeroLemon case is only $34.99 and offers a massive 4,000mAh battery. Basically, the higher the mAh, the bigger the battery and the longer it will last. So right away, you can see the value the ZeroLemon offers it customers.

Performance

With that 4,000mAh battery, I never had any battery issues. I was never able to run the battery on the case dead and trust me, I tried.  Through texting, listening to podcast, heavy Instagram usage and sometimes a struggling cell service signal, this case got me through the day and I still had battery to spare. When my phone hit 20% I charged it all the way up to 100% and still had around 50% battery in the case left. If I needed to do something or go somewhere that night, I would be confident that this case would keep my phone alive.

Design

Anyone who has ever used a battery case knows they are bulky. You usually know that going into it. You are literally attaching an extra battery to your phone.

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While I expected bulk, this was over the top bulky. It is a massive case. It has a big chin (the bottom part of the case). If you look around Amazon, you can definitely find cases that don’t have as much bulk and a big chin but I have yet to find any reputable brands that offer a better design that I wouldn’t be in fear of catching my phone on fire.

The nice thing about having that big chin is that it re-directs your phone’s speakers and makes it as if your sound is coming from the front and not the bottom.

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The case has four lights on the back of the device along with a power on/off button. Pressing that button once will light up 1 to 4 of the lights to indicate how much battery is left. If 3 of the 4 light up, you have roughly 75% battery remaining in the case.  To turn the case on, and start charging your phone, all you have to do is press and hold that power button. To turn it off, press and hold again. It is a very simple interface.

Charging the Case

Here is one of my pain points and another praise for the case.

To charge the case, it charges by USB Type C. This is becoming the standard in the Android marketplace and accessories in the tech world. The great thing about USB Type C is that it is reversible, like Apple’s Lightning cable.  Keyword there, *like. While I am glad ZeroLemon is using the Type C cable over the outdated Micro USB, I do wish they could of used Apple’s lightning cable.  You can find other battery cases out there with lighting input but…they don’t have wireless charging.  Being that it uses a different charger than your iPhone, your earbuds that come with your phone will not work with this case on. You will have to opt for bluetooth headphones or my favorite Apple AirPods.

IMG_3241This leads me to my favorite thing about the case, Qi wireless charging. If you purchased an iPhone X, more than likely you invested in a wireless charging pad since this is new technology for Apple. It would be a shame if you bought a case that wouldn’t allow you to use that new wireless charger.  Fortunately, you do not have to sacrifice that with ZeroLemon’s product. The wireless charging works great and had I had no issues.

Verdict

Is this the perfect battery case? In my eyes, no. But as of today, that perfect case does not exist. If this case was a little smaller in size, and had a lightning port, it would be perfect.

I feel like there are two options when choose a battery case in today’s market. You either pick one that has a lightning port or one that offers wireless charging. That is a personal decision that you will have to make.

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This is the best battery case for the iPhone X, that I have used. It performs exactly as intended and it is a heck of a great deal.  Coming from a brand like ZeroLemon, I can confidently recommend that you are getting a great quality product, which is very important when dealing with batteries.

If you are someone who is on the go all day, travels a lot or simply wants another option for extra juice, buy this case.  With 4,000mAh of battery, this case will keep you charged up through all of the important times in life and you won’t miss a thing. You will not be disappointed.

Disclaimer – ZeroLemon was kind enough to send me this product to review. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking the link.

Let me know in the comments or on Instagram and twitter if you are going to buy one of these.

As always, thanks for stopping by!