The Mealy Apple Turns Three

It is hard to believe the blog is three years old this month. A lot has happened over the last three years. Not only in my personal life, but also in the tech world.

We had the original AirPods release, the iPhone 8 and of course the iPhone X. Another year went by and we got the iPhone XS and then the iPhone 11, this year.

The iPad has gotten some great improvements with the iPad Pro and has really hit the sweet spot in price with the 7th generation iPad.

Over the three years, I have learned a lot. I have gotten my first paid gig. I received my first products to review from very gracious companies. And, I have also made a few bucks from affiliate programs.

I have felt pretty nostalgic lately—about a lot of things. From video games, to TV shows, to older technology that has come and gone. But more recently, I have been thinking a lot about Tech TV. Remember Tech TV? It was a network that had a slew of tech programs. One of the lead hosts at Tech TV, Leo Laporte, started his own podcasting network over at TWiT.TV and that has been as close as anyone has gotten to the old Tech TV days.

I miss the shows like Call for Help, The Screen Savers, and the video game review show, X-Play. Now, I’m not going to start my own tv network. But I have been thinking more about legacy. I am not doing the blog for money, though I’m not turning it away either. This is my outlet to talk about the things that I love. 10 years from now, I want my audience to have grown and look at me as someone they can trust with my opinion and thoughts on tech. This is a marathon and I am enjoying the ride.

There have been so many times over the last two years that I have wanted to give this up because I am not putting out as much content as I would like. But I would rather put out quality content over quantity and trying to keep up with news outlets. Because that is impossible. Then, each September, I have folks send me a message asking which iPhone they should get and what the best value is. I love that. That keeps me going.

So, where does The Mealy Apple go from here? I am going to keep up what I have been doing with reviews and the random thoughts on news. Could there be a podcast in the future? It is possible. With all of the tech podcasts currently out there, I would want to try something different that would set me apart. So until then, I will keep thinking on that part. I thought about putting out an audio version of each blog post that I put out. I know YouTube is a happening place, but I have never thought seriously about video. Writing is where I wanted to start and that is where I plan on keeping my focus over the years to come.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by the blog over the last three years. You are all awesome.

Come give me a follow on twitter and Instagram so that we can connect and you can let me know what you like or don’t like!

Turning Off Live Photos

A Live Photo on your iPhone is a photo that records 1.5 seconds before and after you press the shutter button. This allows you to capture a little bit more than just the single photo you are used to.

Recently, Apple has started allowing us to edit Live Photos so that you can select a part of the photo that you actually want. This is cool.

But I could do without the feature. It bugs me. Every time I turn it off, it comes back on. This has been driving my wife and I nuts since we got our new phones.

I forgot about one little feature.

To turn off Live Photos and keep it that way, first go to your camera and tap the target-looking logo in the top status bar.

Then, go to Settings > Camera > Preserve Settings > Toggle on Live Photo.

This will keep it turned off. I know this is a simple tip but can be frustrating when it keeps coming back on after you have turned it off.

7 Ways to Deal with Burnout, Stress, and Imposter Syndrome

This is a real good article that touches on a couple of different issues including burnout.

Jeff Perry at RocketPanda.net:


I have seen people I follow and consider my peers gain success in their own ways and I can’t help be get a little jealous and envious of them for growing while I am not growing fast enough to my liking. This kind of thinking is how you get discouraged and throw in the towel. It isn’t healthy to always be looking how well others are doing and comparing yourself to them. If anything it will drive you insane.

Like Jeff, it is hard not to keep checking your growth on different platforms and comparing yourself to others. I think you have to ask yourself why you are doing something. What is your goal? When I had more time and just started the blog, I would reach out to individuals on twitter who had questions about products that I wrote about. I got a lot of clicks that way, made some more money and provided tons of value to people looking for answers. But that was also a lot of work. With work, comes results.

Go give Jeff’s article a read.

How I Read 26 Books in 2018

26 books may not sound like a lot to some readers but recently I heard, on a couple of different podcasts, that people struggle to even complete two books a year. Some people have a goal of 12 books a year and that was my starting point.

Reading 12 books was my overall goal for 2018. I committed to read 20 pages a day for the year. That comes out to around 600 pages a month which, depending on the book, varies how many books you will actually complete. I think most of the books I read were around 350 pages. So I was knocking out a book and a half to two books easily.

I kept a daily log, in Apple Notes, that showed how many pages I was behind or ahead as of the current date.

If I missed a day of reading, I would simply add 20 to my count that needed to be read. If I read over my 20 pages, I would subtract the difference from my total count that needed to be read. It was a simple way to keep track everyday.

2018 was a busy year. So I often got behind. In all honesty, I didn’t catch up on my reading until the beginning of December.

Making this something you have to do everyday may seem like a chore for some people. If that is the case, do not follow it because you will not enjoy what you are reading. You should want to read what you are reading or you are just wasting your time.

When my wife and I went on our honeymoon, our goal was to relax. We didn’t want to go on excursions or be too busy exploring. We wanted to chill. And that is what we did.

While in Jamaica, we both read a lot. Drinking some frozen vodka lemonades or Rum and Cokes by the pool and reading our next book was truly relaxing and we knocked out a lot of reading. With all of the time that goes into getting married, I was already behind on my reading. So this free week of doing nothing was a great way to catch up. Again, I’m not saying to spend your entire vacation reading but if it is something you enjoy doing, that is what vacation is for!

For 2019, I started using this app called Strides. It is a habit tracking app. After I do my reading for the day, I check off that I did it. It keeps track of how many days in a row that I have completed those specific task. I also have it set up to remind me at 8 PM every night if I have not completed the tasks that I have put in there. In the short amount of time that I have used it this year, I find it very useful.

People will often say that they do not have time to read (or whatever other thing you WANT to start). But if you really want to start with something, you have to make the time. It sounds cliche, but it is the truth. When I was getting behind on my reading in December, I woke up a little bit earlier to make sure I did my reading. Or if I knew my evening was booked, I made sure to wake up earlier to compensate for the lost time in the evenings. The biggest thing is, is that you have to want to do what you are attempting to do. With no motivation, nothing will ever get done.

All of this might sound silly and unnecessary, but it worked for me and kept me on track. The best thing I can tell you is to find a way that works for you, modify it as needed, then stick to it. Carve out that time to read what you have been planning to read for years. You got this!

If you want to see all of the books that I completed last year, check out my Instagram!

Changes

When creating The Mealy Apple, I came up with the name because I didn’t want it to be primarily Apple focused. A mealy apple is mushy and no longer as solid as it once was. I wanted to write about technology in general, beyond Apple. And I have.

I love being asked my opinion on all-things-Apple and I still plan on keeping it that way. But I have other interests. I would love to talk baseball, relationships, fitness or family. I would like to post about what I learn while creating me and my wife’s podcast, We Swiped Right.

Over the past month or so, I have contemplated re-branding The Mealy Apple to a different name. I reached out to Jeff Perry over at RocketPanda.net because I loved his blog’s name change from Tablet Habit. He gave me some great tips. But ultimately, this was my decision and chose to keep The Mealy Apple name.

The tech stuff will stick around. There is no doubt about that. Along with the Apple ramblings, keep an eye out for stuff that is going on in my life, interesting finds on the internet, books I have enjoyed and just overall topics that get me going.

I am turning off ads on the blog so any money generated will be through freelancing, affiliate links, and sponsors (both of which will always be clearly and fully disclosed).

Thank you all for the great support over the last two years. The fact that more than one person wants to read what I write is amazing to me, let alone thousands. So if you like what you see, share with your friends and family!

Thank you and Happy New Year!

Donnie

mophie Juice Pack for the iPhone X – Review

I have been expecting this case for well over nine months now and finally, it has arrived.

In the past, mophie has released their Juice Pack battery case for new iPhones within three months or so of the newest iPhone’s launch. The iPhone X Juice Pack launch went a little different.

A year later, it is finally available. You may see posts that say that mophie released a product that is already discontinued, and yes, while this is true, this battery case will also fit your new iPhone Xs. So it’s not for nothing. Let’s check this thing out.

Size

I will come right out and say it, this is the best size battery case that I have used on the iPhone X/Xs. It is slimmer than any I have used before and fits in the hand perfectly. I can’t promise that it is the slimmest case on the market but compared to those that I have used, it is a welcoming size in the battery case world.

Performance

This case has a 1,720 mAh battery capacity. What that means is that it should charge your iPhone X around 63% and your iPhone Xs – 64%. Of course, this is in a perfect world. After doing that math, I really thought I would get at least 60% extra battery by charging from 20% to 80%. I did my test and in just over in an hour, with my phone connected to wifi and not being used during that time, my phone charged from 24% to 64%. 40% is all that I got out of this case. Frustrated, I completed another test. This time I got from 20% to 64%. So it wasn’t a fluke.

Compared to other cases on the market, a mere 40% is ridiculous. Unless my case is a dud, I can confidently say you will only get 40% extra charge with this case.

Charging

The Juice Pack can charge two ways, through QI wireless charging and Micro-USB. Yes, unfortunately, Micro-USB is still a thing. I thought by this time, mophie would have switched all of their cases to USB-C. I am thankful that you can charge this case wirelessly as that is how I primarily charge my iPhone these days.

The other thing to think about is if you use Apple CarPlay. Since you can’t use Apple’s lightning cable with this case, you have to rely on a Micro-USB cable in the car. Fortunately, CarPlay does work when the case is on your phone. This is a big win because the only other Apple certified battery case, from Moment, does not work with CarPlay.

Price

The mophie Juice Pack for the iPhone X is $99.99.  The case comes in black and blue.

Like Apple products, mophie is a premium brand with premium prices. I am not saying they are perfect but I have never had any quality issues with mophie in the past. They are a brand that you can trust.  How you spend your money is up to you, all I can tell you is that this case works as advertised. Is the $100 price tag a bit much? In my opinion, yes. But this has been mophie’s going price for these devices for as long as I have known about them.

Let me know if you plan on picking up this mophie Juice Pack or already have a favorite battery case!

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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.