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!

The New iPad Pro

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We all knew a new iPad Pro was coming, but wow. This blew me away.

The new iPad Pro still comes in two sizes, 12.9-inches, and a new 11-inch model. The 12.9-inch model comes in at a significantly smaller size because now the iPad Pro extends the screen further to the edges. The 11-inch model keeps the same footprint as the previous year’s 10.5-inch.

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Along with the difference in sizes, the iPad Pro takes on a brand new look around the entire device. Its square edges are flat and remind me of the old iPhone 5 design. That design was always one of my favorites on the iPhone, so seeing it on the iPad is most certainly welcome.

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Since the screen has been expanded, this is the very first iPad without a home button. If you are someone holding onto the home button on the phone, this is a clear sign of the direction that Apple is going in the future. So, like the iPhone X, Apple has added Face ID to the new iPad Pro. I don’t hate the notch on the phone, but it is great to see an iPad without a notch but still have Face ID.

Goodbye Lightning. The new iPad Pro is the first iOS device to ditch the lightning cable.  So, whether you like it or not, you cannot use your old cables to charge this iPad. Instead, Apple opted to put a USB-C port in this new device. Not only will it be faster but it also opens up a wide range of opportunities like connecting more peripherals to the iPad.  But this is the way of the future. Before long, our iPhones will probably end up with USB-C. I am excited that Apple has finally taken this step into the future. Something awesome Apple showed off was that you can now charge your iPhone by connecting it to the iPad Pro. I am not sure how often this will be utilized but it will definitely come in handy when you absolutely need it.

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The Apple Pencil got an upgrade today as well. The new Pencil has a new design and matte finish which should make it easier to handle while using it. The showstopping feature is that you now can magnetically attach the Pencil to the iPad Pro for storage but it will also charge the Pencil when it is connected. No more having to plug it into the lightning port waiting for it to snap off. The Pencil also picks up gestures. You can double tap the Pencil while using it to select different options within an app.

If you are in need of a new iPad, give this one a look. It is early so we will have to wait and see how the actual performance is. But at first glance, this iPad Pro seems like a no-brainer for those in the market for a new one.

The iPad Pro starts at $799 for the 64GB option and goes all the way up to 1TB of storage. The iPad Pro is available to order right now with a release date of November 7th.

All images courtesy of Apple.com

Apple Watch Series 4

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The Apple Watch Series 4 was announced today!

Apple updated what was an already-great product with the Series 3, with the Series 4.

This is the biggest update we have seen since the Apple Watch launched. The new Apple Watch screen is more than 30% larger meanwhile keeping the real estate on your wrist to a minimum. Along with a bigger screen, the Series 4 also received a brand new processor with the S4 chip. The S4 chip allows the watch to move 2X as fast as the Series 3.

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The Apple Watch comes in two new sizes, a 40mm and 44mm size. Current Apple Watch users who plan on upgrading don’t have to worry, all of your older bands will work with the new Series 4 Apple Watch. There are a couple of new watch faces that will take advantage of these new screen sizes. We are still missing third-party watch faces but these new data-heavy faces will suffice for now.

That stuff is all great but the new health features are something you can only find the Apple Watch. The Series 4 has introduced three new heart features. The first being a notification if your heart rate is too low. The second heart feature is to notify you if the watch detects AFib or Atrial Fibrillation aka irregular heartbeat. Lastly, the Series 4 can run an on-demand Electrocardiogram (ECG). This is the first over-the-counter device to be offered to consumers to run an ECG. Surprisingly, and probably the only way Apple could ship this, these features are FDA approved. Finally, Apple is using updated gyroscopes and sensors to detect falls. You can have the Apple Watch notify emergency services if you are not responsive after it detects a fall. This is amazing stuff.

Apple Watch Series 4 is available for Pre-order 9/14 and available to purchase 9/21.

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The Series 4 comes in three aluminum finishes: Gold, Silver and Space Grey. Three stainless steel versions in Polished, Space Black and Gold Stainless. The Nike and Hermes brands are making a comeback for the Series 4 as well.

The Series 4 Apple Watch starts at $399 for the GPS model and $499 for the cellular model.

Are you picking up the new Series 4 Apple Watch? Let me know on Instagram and twitter!

All images are courtesy of Apple.com.

 

iPhone Xs, Xs Max and XR

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Here we are, just shortly after Apple announced their new iPhones.

We got three new iPhones today! Two of which, are brand new designs. We received an updated iPhone X with the iPhone Xs, a plus-sized iPhone Xs Max, and a third, lower cost iPhone R.

It looks like the rumors were spot on and there were very few surprises as far as the iPhones are concerned.

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iPhone Xs

As far as new devices are concerned, this one is the least exciting. Don’t get me wrong, this one is still going to be a top of the line phone and the one that I would buy, personally. It just isn’t exciting because it looks exactly like 2017’s iPhone X. The only difference physically is the new gold color. The battery on the iPhone Xs will last a half hour longer than the iPhone X.

iPhone XR

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Next up, is the iPhone XR. If you remember the iPhone 5c from years ago, this is the essentially the follow-up.  Again, this has been widely rumored so it’s not much of a surprise. This is a 6.1-inch device with an LED screen. This is also a less expensive version of the X line at $749. They can lower the price by using the LED screen instead of the iPhone Xs OLED. Other than that, it has the same A12 Bionic chip that the other two new iPhones have. Another way Apple was able to lower the cost of the phone is the camera. The XR does not have the dual camera setup that the Xs does. Which is fine, especially because Apple has managed a way to get Portrait Mode on the XR. You’re getting top of the line performance at a lower cost. Unlike the iPhone 5c I think the XR is going to be a huge seller for Apple. The iPhone XR battery will last an hour and a half longer than the 8 Plus battery. Judging from that, this iPhone will have the best battery.

iPhone Xs Max

The big boy! This monster is 6.5 inches. Essentially, you are getting an iPhone 8 Plus size phone with a bigger screen. Like the other two phones, it is powered by Apple’s A12 Bionic chip, OLED screen and boasts the always impressive dual camera setup. The iPhone Xs Max will last an hour and a half longer than last years iPhone X.

Which one?

So now the tough question, which one should you get?

I can speak to the iPhone Xs because it is an even better version of what I have. I would fully give my support to this phone. The Xs and Xs Max have upgraded water protection, faster FaceID and a new 512GB storage option.

The iPhone XR is a huge phone but lower cost. The OLED screen compared to the LED screen difference is only noticeable if comparing the two side by side. But I promise you, as soon as you step into the OLED world, you won’t be able to go back to a LED screen. But if you want a phone that does the job, big display, has a better than expected camera and top of the line speed, get the XR and save your money.

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I’ll put this one simply, if you want the best iPhone available, the iPhone Xs Max, is it. Best processor, best screen, best camera, and big battery makes this an easy choice. The only two reasons I would say no to this one is because of how big it is and how expensive it is. It is definitely a personal choice that only you can make.

The iPhone Xs and Xs Max go up for pre-order on 9/14 with a release date of 9/21.

The iPhone Xs starts at $999 for 64GB, $1149 for 256GB and $1349 for 512 GB.

The iPhone Xs Max starts at $1099 for 64GB, $1249 for 256GB and $1449 for 512 GB.

The iPhone XR is available for pre-order on 10/10 with a release date of 10/26.

The iPhone XR starts at $749 for 64GB, $799 for 128GB and $899 for 256 GB.

Which iPhone are you upgrading to? Let me know on Instagram and twitter!

Thanks for coming by!

All images courtesy of Apple.com

Apple Watch Saving Lives

Jason Perlow at ZDNet:

Rosenbaum told me I was extremely lucky the Apple Watch picked up the Afib relatively early. In a few years, the likelihood of stroke would be greater because the condition would get worse.

Fantastic read about the Apple Watch saving another life. Knowing that this technology is available, and only getting better, is great to hear. Go give this a read.

 

New iPhones Are Coming

Here we are,  less than a month away from a new iPhone announcement. This past week, Apple sent out invitations to their annual fall event. It will be held at the Steve Jobs Theater on September 12th, at 10am Pacific Time. I cannot believe that we will have a new slew of iPhones to choose from. It seems like yesterday that I picked up my shiny-new iPhone X and that is saying a lot.

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Usually, by this time in the year, I am itching to get the latest and greatest from Apple. This year is a bit different. I was thinking it was just me. I have a wedding that has been going through my mind and my wallet. So maybe that is why? I don’t think so. Is Apple just downright boring now? I doubt that either. As many others have said, to put it simply, the iPhone X is my favorite iPhone.

2018 might be the first year that I don’t pick up the newest iteration of iPhone. I have been running the iOS 12 Public Beta over the last couple of months and have noticed no slow down on my iPhone X. My battery health is showing 96%, which means when my phone shows 100% its max capacity is really only 96%.

Rumors are saying that we will probably get a low-cost 6.1″ iPhone, an updated iPhone X and an iPhone X Plus. While I loved my Plus phones before, the iPhone X has hit the sweet spot for me, as far as size goes. I just don’t know what Apple could do to push me into a newer iPhone X or iPhone X Plus. Other than a Plus size, I have not heard of any crazy features that will make the upgrade worthwhile for me. Of course, the new iPhones will have an updated camera and updated processor but both of those are already fantastic on my iPhone X.

Anyone who knows me knows that I change my mind a thousand times when it comes to iPhones, so we will really have to wait until September to see what I do. I think I am more excited about a new Apple Watch, since mine is coming up on two years old. Also, my iPad Air 2 will be four years old this fall, which is making my mind wonder whether or not I need(want) a new one. We also cannot forget that Apple’s previously announced wireless charging mat, AirPower, has yet to be released.

This September will either be one of the most expensive or least expensive Apple launches for me. Either way, I am content with the iPhone X right now and I look forward to September 12th.

Are you planning on upgrading your iPhone this year? Let me know on twitter and Instagram.

Images courtesy of Apple.