iPhone X Review

I’ve had it for a week now, the phone that was anticipated to be the greatest smartphone yet designed, and have to say that I am extremely impressed. It really does match the expectations. FaceID is wonderful, and works so much better than I ever thought it would. It just seamlessly unlocks, even at night time, where it uses the limited screen brightness to unlock the phone. (It really surprises anyone who sees you use it with Apple Pay), the screen is incredible and the overall build quality is outstanding.

The main highlights for me in terms of day-to-day use are definitely the camera, which is without doubt the best I have ever used, and gives others the impression that I am a much better photographer than I really am. Photo file sizes are extremely large (one portrait photo can be almost 100Mb).

A low-res version of a portrait photo of our cat taken with the iPhone X

I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the battery life,  now I understand that it is still brand new, but it is so lovely to have a phone that I don’t have to charge every night! After moving from the iPhone 6S running iOS 11 where I was lucky to get to mid-afternoon with any battery left to now getting to the end of the day and still having 70+ % remaining is wonderful. I’ve been only charging it every other day. Finally not having to worry about if there is enough battery left to display boarding passes to get on flights at the end of a work day is fantastic.

Another favourite feature I’ve found so far – Bluetooth. I’m not sure how Apple has achieved it, or if it is just a side-effect of the faster processor in the new phone, but Bluetooth pairing seems to take a fraction of the time that it used to. The Bluetooth sound quality seems slightly improved too, the only minor down-side of the speed increase appears to be that the range is slightly decreased from the older devices.

As a test I tried going back to the iPhone 6S for a few hours, and having to have a physical button to press feels positively clunky, as does the iOS 11 experience after seeing how fluid and vivid it is on the new phone.

In summary, it is insanely expensive, but this is the Concorde, the CD in the world of cassettes, sliced bread, the revolutionary iPod, and like me, I suspect that once you have used one, you won’t ever be persuaded to go back to a lesser phone.

Spam calendar invites from 16700700.com

Anyone else’s calendar getting completely spammed with invites from 16700700.com or 35700700.com ?

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-15-02-48

 

If you are, you are not alone – my calendar has been absolutely crammed with them. As far as I can tell there is no malware or anything security-wise that I have done to allow access to my calendar, it would appear that anyone can invite themselves to any calendar – an obvious security issue.

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-15-06-45

Its easy to remove them, by right-clicking and choosing Decline, but shortly after doing this for a single item on my calendar it was absolutely inundated with them, so don’t do that! By declining you notify the person that it is a valid email address for the calendar.

 

Update: 14th November 2016 – Apple engineers have got back to me letting me know that they are working to resolve the issue as it is a huge issue affecting lots of Apple iCloud accounts and that they have seen a sudden increase in the requests over the past 2 weeks. On other more worrying news I now have bogus photos requests too.

The most important things you should do is: Change your iCloud password to something new, and turn on 2-factor authentication for your account.

Welcoming Sierra

macOS, iOS, tvOS and watchOS all announced at WWDC tonight – looking forward to trying them out when we are developing new iPhone and iPad Apps in the coming months. I think that building in voice integration to all apps is absolutely critical for apps in the future. More and more users are going to want to use computers/devices and apps solely by voice, so it’s great to see the full integration of voice directly into an operating system for the first time.

What do you think? Will you start talking to your Mac?

Swift 2 – Make phone call from App

Apple updated its guidelines a while back so that if you want press a button in your App to then make a phone call, it must prompt first to ask the user for confirmation that they wish to make the call.

After hours and hours of trying to make my own UIAlertController and really struggling with the Confirm button not running the function to actually make the call, I decided to do a lot more googling.

Turns out there is a fantastically simple way to use the built-in prompt.

if let url = NSURL(string: “telprompt://01234567890”)
{
UIApplication.sharedApplication().openURL(url)
}

iPad Pro Safari Crashing when pressing the address bar??

Its very rare for me to have to create a post these days about an Apple product that is not working as it should! If you have tried to use Safari today with the latest iOS 9.2.1 and press the address bar it crashes instantly. Thankfully there is an easy, if annoying fix!

Go to Settings and then down the the Safari section on the left and TURN OFF Safari Suggestions! Crash fixed!

Safari settings for safari suggestions

Live Photos – are we in the world of Harry Potter?

Apple’s New Live Photos have just arrived on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. (http://www.apple.com/ios/photos/)

Essentially, the camera captures a couple of seconds of video before and after each photo, meaning that photos can have movement. giphy

Remember those wonderful scenes in Harry Potter where the wizard newspaper photos move… expect that to start arriving in your Facebook news feed, desktop wallpapers and generally take over everywhere on the web within the next 6-12 months as everyone goes moving-photo mad. Will you look back in 2-3 years time at an old photo and wonder why it doesn’t move. Will our children find our static photos quirky, old-fashioned and boring?

No more static images, instead of a moment in time of a university graduate about to throw their hat up in the air, you will get to see them throwing it up, again…and again….and again! Essentially its a high-quality animated gif.

The problem with animated gif’s was always that they only had 256 colours, meaning that if you tried to use it with a colour image they ended up always looking grainy and un-natural. Once again Apple have come up with a completely new take on something that already existed and have improved it to make it fit in with the way people use their phones and devices.

Here it is explained in a great video by Mashable.