September 12, 2018
Screenshot_2018-09-12 iPhone XS

Review of Today’s Apple iPhone and Watch Announcements

Apple’s two-hour event didn’t disappoint, though there was little surprise when it came to the design. Here’s some of the most important points to take away from today’s event.


Apple Watch

  • The Series 4 will come in two sizes: 40mm and 44mm. This measures the case size, which lines up with Apple’s explanation that the screen is 32% and 35% larger, respectively, while also being a bit thinner.
  • Battery life appears to be roughly the same as the previous generation.
  • Series 3 will fall into the slot of the low-end Watch offering.
  • All existing watch bands will fit the Series 4.
  • Watch faces will be more highly customizable with complications from both Apple and 3rd-party developers. Some faces will feature more extensive complication arrangements, too.
  • The Watch will be able to more closely track heart behaviors and optionally notify emergency services if a fall event occurs where medical attention is required.
  • Pricing will break down as follows (all US dollars; 40mm/44mm; sport bands):
    • Aluminum GPS: $399 / $429; GPS + Cellular: $499 / $529
    • Stainless Steel GPS + Cellular: $699 / $749 (no GPS-only option available)
  • Availability: pre-order starting September 14th, Available starting September 21st.

Apple iPhone

Three iPhones were discussed during today’s Apple event: the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and the iPhone Xr.


iPhone Xs

The replacement for Apple’s prior flagship phone, the iPhone Xs will ship with the same dimensions and a whole host of improvements:

  • Face ID will be quicker to respond and unlock, though they did not explain how much faster.
  • A third color option, gold, will join the white and space grey options being carried forward.
  • 5.8″ Super Retina screen at 2436×1125 pixels and 458 pixels per inch (ppi), the highest density of any smartphone currently on the market; wide color gamut (P3).
  • Weight: 6.24 ounces (177 grams)
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 5.65 in (143.6mm) x 2.79 in (70.9mm) x 0.30 in (7.7mm)
  • New A12 bionic chip with:
    • 6-core processor with
      • 4 high-efficiency cores that are up to 50% more energy efficient
      • 2 high-performance cores that are up to 15% faster than the A11 Bionic)
    • 4-core GPU that’s up to 50% faster than the A11 Bionic
    • 8-core 5 Trillion ops/second Neural Engine that performs up to 9x faster than the A11 Bionic
  • Updated camera with better edge detection and image capture for Smart HDR and after-the-fact adjustable depth-of-field, as well as stereo audio capture for video recordings.
  • IP68-rated splash, dust, water resistance (up to 2 meters for up to 30 minutes)
  • 12MP wide-angle f/1.8 aperture and telephoto f/2.4 aperture cameras
  • 7MP front-facing f/2.2 aperture camera
  • Support for FDD-LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32, 66, 71, and TD-LTE bands 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46
  • Gigabit-class LTE with 4×4 MIMO and LAA
  • 802.11ac WiFi with 2×2 MIMO
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC with reader mode
  • Battery life extension of up to 30 minutes over the iPhone X which amounts to:
    • 20 hours talk time
    • 12 hours Internet use
    • 14 hours video (wireless)
    • 60 hours audio (wireless)
  • Dual SIM support (1 physical sim, 1 e-SIM; dual physical SIM for the Chinese market only)
  • Pricing:
    • 64GB: $999
    • 256GB: $1,149
    • 512GB: $1,349
  • Availability: pre-order starting September 14th, available starting September 21st.


iPhone Xs Max

A new, larger variant of the iPhone Xs, it’ll ship with everything the iPhone Xs does along with:

  • 6.5″ Super Retina Screen at 2688×1242 pixels and the same 458 pixels-per-inch (ppt) depth.
  • Weight: 7.34 ounces (208 grams)
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 6.20 in (157.5mm) x 3.05 in (77.4mm) x 0.30 in (7.7mm)
  • Battery life extension of up to 1.5 hours compared to the iPhone X (not the iPhone 8 Plus) which amounts to:
    • 25 hours talk time
    • 13 hours Internet use
    • 15 hours video (wireless)
    • 65 hours audio (wireless)
  • Pricing:
    • 64GB: $1,099
    • 256GB: $1,249
    • 512GB: $1,449
  • Availability: same as iPhone Xs


iPhone Xr

The new entry in the iPhone X lineup. Some features will be the same as the iPhone Xs/Xs Max. Here’s what’s different or new:

  • 6.1″ Liquid Retina display with a wide color gamut (P3) and true-tone support, 1792×828 pixel resolution at 326 pixels-per-inch (ppi; Retina)
  • Six colors:
    • Yellow
    • White
    • Coral
    • Black
    • Blue
  • Weight: 6.84 ounces (194 grams)
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 5.94in (150.9mm) x 2.98 in (75.7mm) x 0.33 in (8.3mm)
  • IP67-rated splash, dust, water resistance (up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes)
  • 12MP wide-angle f/1.8 aperture rear camera
  • 7MP front-facing f/2.2 aperture  front camera
  • Support for FDD-LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32, 66, 71, and TD-LTE bands 34, 38, 39, 40, 41
  • LTE Advanced support
  • Battery life extension of up to 1.5 hours more than the iPhone 8 Plus
    • 25 hours talk time
    • 15 hours Internet
    • 16 hours video (wireless)
    • 65 hours audio (wireless)
  • Wireless charging (Qi)
  • Single SIM
  • Pricing:
    • 64GB: $749
    • 128GB: $799
    • 256GB: $899
  • Availability: pre-order October 19th, available starting October 26th

Other things

  • The iPhone 6s/SE have been discontinued. The new previous-generation low-end phone is now the iPhone 7. The iPhones 7 and 8 received price reductions to starting points of $499 and $599, respectively.

Apple iPhone Event is Today

This year’s Apple iPhone event takes places in the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park. The event starts at 10AM PDT.

September 11, 2018

Anil Dash’s reflection on the Last 17 Years since September 11, 2001


People don’t even really ask, “Where were you that day?” anymore. For all of the ironic “Never Forget”s, the whole moment has largely faded into history, even as the whole world really was reshaped. There’s a mall there now, a temple to the “go back to shopping” doctrine introduced in those first days of chaos and grief. In the current moment, it’s clearer than ever that those murderous attackers succeeded far beyond their wildest dreams, achieving forms of destruction and destabilization that they probably never even dreamed of.


Leaked Images of 6.1″ iPhone Sim Trays Infer Dual-Sim Support

From Ben Geskin on Twitter:

If these are legitimate (9to5Mac seems to think they are), this is good news. It makes me wonder if the flagship and flagship+ will also have dual-sim capability.

On top of that, the images imply five colors: red, blue, black, silver, and brown. I’d imagine the silver tray is meant for a white phone. 

Famed analyst/Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Apple will over six version of the 6.1″ iPhone, as well. His list states gold, grey, white, blue, red, and orange as being the colors of the fleet. Looking at the trays, I can see that. The “orange” might be more of a brown/copper, though. Tangentially, Macotakara reported white, black, yellow, bright orange, blue, and taupe are on the list. While described a bit differently, these seem to mostly line up.


A Potential Solution to Our Social Network Problem

I haven’t spent much time publicly discussing the idea of alternatives to social networks. Luckily, Manton Reece did which served as a great jumping off point for this post. I won’t re-hash too much of Manton’s discussion because it’s entirely worth reading on its own but he did mention a couple things that I feel like is worth mentioning here.

Manton broke down what it would take for us, as a collective to free ourselves from the monolithic nature of our current social network landscape. He’s been on this train for a while and with good reason., the microblogging community/platform is his doing and exists because at the end of the day, we should spend more time crafting our content using less-specific and more ambitious platforms. To those who travel in the own-your-own-content circles, this is known as POSSE. 

That’s not the topic of this post, though he does touch upon that. The biggest takeaway I have from this post is that our social networks should be smaller, not larger. It’s a tough idea to wrap one’s head around when you think about why people end up on the networks the do in the first place and you have a pretty large hurdle.

Looking back on how I joined MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like, there was always some sort of motivation based on a friend or other people I knew. I frankly can’t remember how I came to learn about MySpace, but I know I joined Facebook because people I knew were joining Facebook. There wasn’t anything particularly appealing about the platform at all. What I knew was that my friends were there and that’s where I wanted to be. 

A lot of folks do not care about the nuances of social networks and said networks know this all too well. 

When we present the idea of smaller social networks (in contrast to the idea of having just a handful of very large ones), this is the challenge to beat them all. Most folks just won’t care. All they’ll find important is if the platform can get them access to their friends. 

Conversely, some will ignore this notion. My fiancée doesn’t use Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., even though I’m sure a not insignificant amount of her friends on also available there. She’s found what she needs to stay in contact with the right people on Facebook and that’s that. 

If I told her that XYZ was the coolest new social network and she should join because they care about things like privacy, ads, etc., all that would happen is the information would enter her head and disappear. She would fall into the category of desiring function over form. 

I land somewhere in the middle. I’m all for more communities of people that mean something, but it’s a very fine line to walk. Twitter and Facebook already become an echo chamber quite easily if you’re not careful. Smaller communities are even more prone to such a concept. 

Wisely, though, Manton’s overall focus is on content ownership. If Facebook died tomorrow, I’d probably lose a not insignificant amount of photos, but the ones that matter most are already in other places (iCloud backups, for example). Not everyone is so lucky. There could be years of vacation photos that by one way or another only exist on Facebook. 

In his last paragraph, Manton accurately describes a solution to social media frustration is blogging more. I entirely agree. Even if not many people read it, or you only find yourself writing once a week, take the time writing there about topics you care about, instead of retweeting everything you see (guilty!). Turn those re-tweets into posts. Expand your thoughts. If nothing else, it’ll help you form a better opinion about why you like that thing you found. 

If you’re keeping a close eye, you’ll notice that this post in itself is exactly the kind of idea Manton is describing. Taking time to write down thoughts and share them with the world on a platform you control and then share them with the world. 

Blogging will always be something I enjoy. I’ve had periods of time where I failed to discover anything meaningful I wanted to say–this happens to everyone–but even in down periods, I had topics on the brain. The easy way out is to just write a tweet. The satisfying way out is to blog. 

Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography