Menu

Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Marco Arment on needed watchOS updates

Marco Arment:

But limitations in watchOS 4 make it impossible to deliver standalone podcast playback with the basic functionality and quality that people expect.

His post focused on updates that are needed for podcast apps to make sense on watchOS.

After using the Apple Watch Series 3 while traveling for the weekend I expect to see a massive OS update from Apple in watchOS 4.1 and 4.2 to enable much more capabilities for developers through APIs. The Series 3 is not being fully tasked by the third-party apps currently. Not by a long shot.

How to save battery life on the Apple Watch Series 3

The following tips are very likely no-brainer battery saving tips for most of you and I’ve only used my Apple Watch Series 3 for a single day so feel free to completely ignore me. However! Here is my current strategy for saving battery power:

  • Only turn on Cellular when needed – If I have my phone with me or I’m home, I’m turning off cellular. If I go for a hike or a walk or a paddle, and I do not bring my phone along, I’ll flip up from the bottom of the watchface and turn on cellular in Control Center. Simple. I gain tons of battery power and I lose nothing.
  • Turn off Raise to Wake – This will be a controversial choice. I know we all want Apple to figure out how to leave the watchface on in some way, but for me the sheer number of “wakes” that the watch does compared to the actual number of times I look at it is staggering. A very, very gentle tap turns the watchface on.

By doing these two things I seem to be getting far, far better battery life than all of the reviewers thus far. And, I haven’t really lost anything in the meantime.

I’m seeing some reviews for the Apple Watch Series 3 that complain about the watch apps, such as Uber or Lyft, still relying on the iPhone app. Remember, no developers have had this watch yet. Give them 90 days and they’ll all use cellular.

Austin Mann’s iPhone 8 Plus camera review

Austin Mann:

While the iPhone 8 Plus looks essentially the same as the phone we’ve had since the 6 Plus, there are some new features in the 8 Plus which really impact creative pros across the board — most notably Portrait Lighting, along with a few other hidden gems.

As per usual for Austin, he does an excellent job highlighting the capabilities of the latest iPhone’s camera system. The results are gorgeous.

One thing I take away after pouring over his entire review; we’re at a point now where every single adjustment and improvement that Apple makes to this camera system is seemingly subtle but has dramatic results. 

For example, the new file formats are invisible to the user yet save 50% space on both device and in the cloud. As someone who paid Apple for 1TB of iCloud storage (which they recently upped to 2TB for free) and who stores nearly 100,000 photos and videos … this means I will be able to store four times the amount I was able to before this update. This is a marvel at nearly every level of technology – hardware, software, and file system.

Other examples are HDR in Portrait mode, the new Lighting effects (which is one of the most practical uses of ARKit that I’ve seen yet), the Lock Camera setting, the new “smarter sensor”, etc. When you see Austin’s photos the improvements are absolutely stunning. You can tell he is even surprised by the results.

I’ve long been impressed at the camera system in the iPhone. It is my primary reason to upgrade from one iPhone to another each time I do. But we’re now in a territory where Apple will soon be selling not just the most popular camera in the world, but the best camera in the world.

/via Matthew Panzarino on Twitter.

Pre-Apple Watch chat (audio)

Listen to me ramble on about the Apple Watch for a few minutes.

Download

iPhone X’s new margins

Brian Voong on his excellent YouTube channel Let’s Build That App:

With the introduction of iPhone 10, we as developers are now faced with another option for our apps to be displayed in. Fortunately, Apple has provided us with the necessary APIs to get around the unsafe regions of this phone. We do this by using the new safeAreaLayoutGuide anchors in our code. Enjoy.

Great overview of the very easy to implement adjustments.

Side note: If you’re jumping into iOS development I highly recommend subscribing to this channel and going back through his videos. It is a trove.

WatchDots

WatchDots:

Personalize the look of your Apple Watch™ Sport with WatchDots™. Available in a variety of colors, WatchDots™ are precision cut, durable and thin. This is how the Apple Watch™ Sport should look.

Personally, I have no issue with the red dot on the Series 3. We’ll see what I think once I have one in my hands.

Serenity Caldwell on Apple Watch Series 3 “LTE issues”

Serenity Caldwell:

In any case, no, this isn’t a problem with the watch’s Cellular service. It’s an existing issue that’s just suddenly become extremely relevant.

Glad to see that it is very likely going to be solved in short order. My bet is that there are a few people at Apple that are going to pull a few all-nighters to get an update to us by next week. We’ll see if I’m right.

That being said, my iPhones have all had a similar problem. If Wifi signal is weak, or is fully connected but there is no connection to the Internet through that network, then it does a terrible job switching to LTE. Perhaps this is more a bug in how Apple handles this on all of their devices. Maybe now it will get some attention.

John Gruber on Apple Watch Series 3

John Gruber:

Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular networking completely alleviates this anxiety. It is not a replacement for a phone, and is not supposed to be. But it lets you leave your phone at home when you go for a run, or in your locker while you’re at the gym, or in your hotel while you go to the beach, and not worry in the least that you’re out of touch.

I can’t remember a time I’ve been so excited to not have my phone.

Reviews are beginning to trickle in – both in text and on YouTube – and I’ve been paying close attention. The Apple Watch clearly isn’t for everyone. And cellular is for even less people. But overall, people love the watch.

Eliza has had a Series 0* since they day they came out. She wears it nearly every day, it is her only watch at this point, and she’s using it more and more as the software gets better. So Apple is definitely iterating in the proper direction. It reminds me so much of the original iPhone (even the way it is aging) I can’t even describe it.

I’ve never used an Apple Watch** but I’m excited to try one. I’ll be sure to let you know how necessary the device is once I’ve had it for a month or two.

John also mentions that he’d like to see a camera and an always-on display in an upcoming version of the Apple Watch. If there was one more feature that I could request of the Apple Watch it would be the always-on display. Perhaps a forward-facing camera for Facetime makes a lot of sense but I do not think I’d ever expect the Apple Watch to have a camera you’d take vacation photos with. Unless, of course, you’re a spy – then obviously you need the camera in the watch to take photos of Top Secret documents.

* Believe it or not, the Series 3 is actually Apple’s fourth iteration of the Apple Watch hardware. It is likely very confusing to people that don’t pay close attention to these things. The current offerings are Apple Watch Series 1, Series 3, and Series 3 with cellular. It sounds as if Series 1 is very old compared to the 3 but in reality it is only about a year old. Apple hasn’t been doing very well with names lately.

** Obviously I’ve toyed with Eliza’s. In fact, recently I’ve been putting it through its paces in the evenings learning the menus and options in preparation for when I get my Series 3. They’ve made the watch very customizable.

Please turn on Do Not Disturb When Driving!

Jason Snell for Six Colors:

iPhone users, well, there’s still great stuff there—Do Not Disturb When Driving is going to make the world safer—but it’s a bit less of a world-shaker.

Not a world shaker? This isn’t a ho-hum, hum-drum update for iPhone. This is going to save a ton of lives, injury, heartache, and money. I wish every single review led with strong advice to turn this feature on immediately.

I cannot stress enough that people turn this feature on today. Please please please.

My tips for new iOS 11 upgraders

I’ve been using the iOS 11 public betas on my iPhone and iPad for several releases and I think it is one of the most important updates to iOS. It brings lifesaving features to the iPhone and powerful features to the iPad.

Tomorrow iOs 11 is being released to the public, I thought I’d jot down a few things that I believe people should do on the day they upgrade, so that they don’t just move on with their busy lives and forget.

  • Turn on automatic Driving Mode detection. This setting could save your life and those of others. You have no excuse good enough to justify being able to text while you drive. iOS 11 does a good job of detecting when you are driving and turns off all notifications. Almost immediately when you exit your vehicle at your destination your messages are waiting for you. I love this setting. Settings > Do Not Disturb > Do Not Disturb While Driving.
  • Set up Driving Mode auto-replies. Optionally, you can set iOS 11 to automatically reply to certain people with messages that you’re driving. Or, you can keep this feature off and people will simply believe you have a life and cannot respond to every text message within 15 seconds of receiving one. Settings > Do Not Disturb > Auto-Reply To.
  • Customize Control Center. The control center (the screen you get when you flick up from the button of the screen, or from the top-right on the iPhone X) is very different than iOS 10. You can now add or remove buttons from it, and even customize their position on the screen. I’ve chosen to have Camera, Notes, and Voice Memos easily accessible in the bottom-right of the Control Center. I love it. Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls.
  • Identify faces in group photos. For those of you without a Mac, you’ve never had facial detection and naming capabilities for your photos. Now you can put a name to a face in iOS 11 and when your device is locked and plugged in it will rummage through your photos for you and find the vast majority of the other photos with that person in them. I’ve found that using large group photos is the quickest way to finding the most people. So, start off finding a few dozen group photos, naming everyone in them, and then let iOS 11 go to work at night. It is surprisingly good and getting better with every release. Photos > Find a Group Photo > Swipe Up > Click on person under People > Tap “Add Name” (repeat for all people in the photo).
  • On iPad: Customize your Dock. You can have up to 15 apps in your Dock on iPad. You can also add more by adding folders of apps. There is also an area on the right side of the dock that can show recent apps. Turn on Recent Apps in Settings > General. Otherwise, drag your favorite apps into the Dock.
  • On iPad: Practice multi-tasking, split-screen, and drag-and-drop gestures. iOS 10 has had split-screen features for iPad since it was released and I still see many iPad users that do not take advantage of them. iOS 11 makes these features even more powerful. Unless you make these part of your muscle memory by practicing them, you might be under-utilizing the power of your device. Watch this video on YouTube to see how best to open multiple apps, drag-and-drop files, and more.
  • Try out Notes’ new features. Notes has some new features that you will definitely find useful but you need to know they are there. Try some of the following:
    • If you have an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, try tapping your Pencil on the lock screen. This results in a new note. Pretty slick.
    • Try the document scanner. iOS 11’s ARKit features allow for a pretty practical use of this technology in scanning a document and being able to sign it with ease. It is remarkably good. Put a document on a table, open Notes, in a new Note hit the + symbol, select Scan Documents. Prepare to be wowed. I wish this feature were part of the camera somehow or its own mode from Control Center. Again, here is a good video showing how this works.

By doing the above you may just save a life. But, also you’ll get far more use out of the device you already own and take full advantage of this monumental release of iOS.

If you have any others, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

_DavidSmith on the Apple Watch Series 3

_DavidSmith:

While I’ll have to live with it for a few weeks to see if it really pans out, imagining a future where my iPhone is no longer a ‘must carry’ device is remarkable.

This is why I’m ordering one. As I said I would.

I am happy that I have to do very little to my app’s UI for it to work on the iPhone X. Apple has handled that well.

iTunes no longer including the App Store is likely the best occasion to use the word finally you’ll see all week.

Repost: The Next Web re: iPhone X benchmarks

👉 TNW:

iPhone X leaked benchmarks match MacBook [Pro] speeds and destroy Android phones

That is impressive and remarkable.

I can’t believe Control Center, which I use somewhere in the realm of 100 times per day, has been relegated to a swipe down from the top-right of the tallest iPhone screen to-date. It went from a one-hand to a two-hand gesture.

Repost: Maciej Cegłowski re: iPhone X

👉 Maciej Cegłowski:

iPhone X summary: wireless charging (with wire), all-screen display (with black bar) and sleek, flat shape (with camera bump)

I’m going to have nightmares tonight about that notch.

Repost: Daring Fireball on the iPhone X notch

👉 John Gruber:

Long story short: embrace the notch.

Repost: Mike Rundle on Twitter re: the iPhone X notch

👉 Mike Rundle:

In landscape the notch literally chops out part of the video. Can’t believe they didn’t indent it a little bit.