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.

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.

San Francisco font for Mac

The San Francisco font is the new font that Apple have developed for the Apple Watch. I’ve managed to find a copy eventually, so here it is, available to download for Mac!

Fonts included:

San Francisco Display Bold

San Francisco Display Medium

San Francisco Display Regular

San Francisco Display Thin

San Francisco Display Ultralight

Download San Francisco Font For Mac (.zip file, 664kb)

To install, simply download, extract and double-click on each font and then click on the “Install Font” button to install.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 15.08.26



Caution – for some reason unknown to me, when installing the display font, it has been set as default on my Mac as the font used in all menu’s etc. I’m looking in to why this might be, and how to change it back to what it was, more research needed!

Calibri Font for Mac, Cambria Font for MacConsolas Font for MacConstantia Font for MacCorbel Font for MacCalibri Font for Mac Download, Cambria Font for Mac Download, Consolas Font for Mac Download, Constantia Font for Mac Download, Corbel Font for Mac Download

There is a better way!

Turns out there are lots of things we take for granted that are perhaps not the best way of doing things! Here are just a few suggestions of alternate ways to do things!

Taking off your t-shirt with one hand – how to look impressive when taking off your t-shirt!


Chopping an apple

Packing your suitcase – turns out there is a better way than stuffing everything in!

No bottle opener? No problem! Opening a bottle of beer or cider with nothing but a sheet of paper!


500 daily visitors!

500 Visitors a day!

Wow, what a milestone – my blog now receives over 500 unique visitors every day (well the vast majority of days anyway)! Its incredible to think that there is that much information on here that people find interesting!

The top post on my blog is (and has been for some time) Calibri and Cambria fonts for Mac, added back in 2013 as part of my move to the world of Mac. Since I moved to the world of brushed aluminium, I made the decision some 3 months later to move the software company I founded back in 2006 (ISArc) to now use everything Apple too. Its been a great journey, and the more we get into the world of Mac the more we find out new and interesting things about it. For example, did you know that pressing the Command + Up Arrow when in Finder takes you up a folder? So very, very useful to know! Moving to Mac’s brings with it several challenges, particularly when you get used to everything just working, most particularly when it comes to having to support older systems that we originally wrote in ASP.Net.

Our latest project is called Employability Support and is light-years ahead of where our systems would have been if we had stayed developing in the .Net environment mostly because of the wealth of technology out there that is now available that was not available for .Net. Our new systems use a great combination of PHP, JQuery and CSS to do all database calls asynchronously meaning a much better and smoother user experience.

My personal adventure in programming and computing continues and I am now involved in a local CoderDojo helping local kids to get inspired by technology and programming (and playing Minecraft). Its a great source of encouragement when you see 10 year olds writing mobile apps, and makes me realise just how important it is for me to stay up to date with technologies as they change.