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Showing posts from November, 2017

An iPhone user of 24 hours: things I miss from Android

This is the first time I've ever switched to iOS fully, used this as my main device, plugged in my SIM card and everything. To be clear, I'm running on the latest version of iOS, iOS 11.1 on an iPhone 6s. Although this is not a first impressions post, I've already discovered a mounting list of complaints that I have (I understand many of these have workarounds or solutions, and if you've come to the post looking for those, I've included those. If I don't know them, please leave it in the comments!).

1. You can't delete messages from Gmail in the native Mail app. (Solution: download the Gmail app.)

2. You can't change notification sounds of third party apps, namely Hangouts, Messenger, WeChat, and Google Calendar.



3. The Contacts app doesn't tell you which account your contact is from. So when you're editing your contact, you're left in the dark as to whether you're editing a contact in your Google account, iCloud, or other source.



4. Cortana…

US cellphone plans are expensive

Cell phone plans in the United States are pretty expensive. For those of you not living in the US (analytics reports that's 15% of you), let me give you a rundown of the carrier situation here: (hint: it's all about the cost).


US CarriersThere are four major networks, with a few minor ones that are partnered with the major ones: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. AT&T and Verizon tend to have the best overall coverage, while T-Mobile and Verizon tend to have better speeds. Sprint has by far the worst coverage, speed, and network quality, but also tends to be the cheapest or offer the best deals. Verizon tends to be the most expensive, but also offers LTE cellular service in very remote regions of the country.
There are also MVNOs that offer cheaper substitutes or prepaid plans, some of the most popular being Cricket Wireless, Tracfone, and Ting. Project Fi is relatively new and gaining in popularity, but is limited to Google-branded devices, so it will be ignored for t…

What's wrong with iOS notifications, and suggestions to fix it

iOS notifications have a myriad of problems. To say that iOS notifications are perfect and don't need changing would be an insult to other operating systems: I'm going to come and say right now that Android notifications are far superior to any other notification system in any other operating system, it is extremely polished in Android Oreo, and that that is an objective statement.

You might disagree with me. But let's start with complaints I have with iOS notifications, my solutions, and why it doesn't affect Android (or if it does).


You can't group notifications by app.




If I am looking through 6 Facebook Messenger notifications, why do I want to see an ESPN notification in the middle of it? This is something I don't understand: group notifications by app was a feature available in iOS 8 and 9, and then removed with the iOS 10 update. Although you can bring it back with a tweak and a jailbroken iOS 10 device, there is no way to do this on iOS 11. In this way, not…

Geekbench 4 is currently free: why benchmarks don't matter

Geekbench 4 is currently free on the iOS App Store, and Geekbench 4 Pro is currently free on the Google Play Store. So what are you waiting for? Go get it, download it, and benchmark your phone if you so choose. But I am making a claim: benchmarks do not matter anymore. Phones have gotten so fast and operating systems so efficient, there is not a noticeable performance delta between two phones that may have vastly different benchmark scores. This is true, with one slight exception: video-heavy applications. When it comes to 3D rendering, modern processors still struggle with optimized applications or raw speed. To render a 4K project in Premiere using a cellphone is one thing, to render a 3D 8K project from Cinema 4D or After Effects is a completely other thing. Of these two examples I just mentioned, rendering 4K projects in Premiere is possible, but there is a noticeable performance delta between processors. If I were to render such a project on the iPhone X, which hosts the A11 Bio…

Face ID, Windows Hello, and more: facial recognition UI is terrible

Before everyone starts hating me in the comments section.



Face ID is great. It's the hot new kid on the block, and everyone is ranting and raving about it, since it comes shipped on the shiny new iPhone X (it's pronounced ten) that Apple just launched. I'd have to agree, it's a cool piece of technology. Using a dot scanner for additional security and being extremely fast are some great benefits of Apple's Face ID unlock system. In sunlight, it's faster than Samsung's facial recognition system and Windows Hello, both which become interfered with the sun's own infrared light rays.

However, that's not the problem I have. The problem I have is the UI of all of these unlock systems. Of all of them, only Microsoft (and maybe OnePlus, now) gets it right, but it still has other shortcomings. Microsoft's Windows Hello is not available on most computers, and is more than just IR scanning. It's the name that encompasses all of the possible biometric unlo…

A MacBook Pro user of 2 weeks: initial thoughts

I've now been a Mac user for 2 weeks.It may come as a surprise to many of you that know me quite well. As I have not used a Mac long-term for 7 years, many things have changed since then, and I have switched from being an Apple apologist to a user the PC world. Ever since I went there, I do not think I'll ever able to go back: the upgradability, moddability, price, and consumer choice offered by PCs/open mobile computing platforms are things that I can't leave, once experienced.

There's also software that I use on Windows that I can't use on Macs. Granted, I know I can use virtualization software or a separate partition to boot to Windows, but given that I'm only borrowing a MacBook Pro for the long term, I don't want to do too many irreversible things. That being said, I already miss Solidworks, EAGLE, and other engineering programs that only work on Windows machines. I may decide to later, but considering I'm swapping the drive for a 250GB SSD, that do…