Tag: iPhone 6 Plus

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Apple Lost My Heart to Google in 2015

Whoa, the difference a year makes: On Jan. 1, 2015, my main computing devices were 13.3-inch MacBook Pro Retina Display, iPad Air, and iPhone 6—oh yeah, Apple Watch, joined them six months later. My mainstays at the start of 2016: Chromebook Pixel LS, Pixel C, Nexus 6P, and Huawei Watch. I abandoned Apple and there are no plans to return. I choose the Google lifestyle instead.

I have changed computing platforms too often during the past two decades. From the December day in 1998 when carting iMac out of CompUSA, no matter what the switch, I always returned to Apple products, even after boycotting the company during second half 2012. My last rally was months ago, before giving up Apple Watch, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 Plus, the 6s Plus (for a single day), and MBP. I don’t expect to ever go back. The allure is gone. 

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Storm Warning for Apple and iPhone

On September 9, Apple will hold a media event, where, presumably, the next-generation iPhone(s) will be unveiled. The company announced new handsets the same date last year, the 10th in 2013, and the 12th in 2012. But as the big reveal approaches, shadows rise over iPhone’s future: China’s slowing economy; smartphone saturation in core markets; lower selling prices in growth geographies; the end of cellular carrier subsidies in the United States, and, most serious of all, the “good enough problem”.

iPhone rode a perfect storm of success, raising Apple’s fortunes like a tsunami crashing down on competitors. This fact cannot be emphasized enough to illustrate how the bitten fruit logo company’s fortunes could fall as quickly, and as dramatically, as they rose. All the while, Android grows from swell to monsoon. 

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Measuring Apple’s Laptop Sales Success

Through the U.S. consumer retail channel, Macs notebooks reached rather shocking milestone during first half 2015, according to data that NPD provided to me today. You can consider this a first, and from lower volume shipments. By operating system: OS X, 49.7 percent; Windows, 48.3 percent; Chrome OS, 1.9 percent. That compares to the same time period in 2014: OS X, 44.8 percent; Windows, 53.1 percent; Chrome OS, 2.1 percent. The data is for U.S. consumer laptops.

While data junkie journalists or analysts often focus on unit shipments, revenues, and subsequently profits, matter much more. Looked at another way, Mac laptop revenues rose by 10.9 percent during the first six months of 2015, year over year, while Windows PCs fell by 9 percent, and Chromebooks contracted by 9.5 percent. 

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iPhone 6 Plus Review

Sometime within the next few weeks, Apple should announce successors to iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and my review of the latter device is long overdue. Let’s get to it finally and present the key finding first: If size matters, as in you want a phone with larger screen but that doesn’t feel humongous, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus is a worthy choice. By measures that matter most—benefits from apps, calling, camera, data, performance, screen, and storage—the phablet is best of class.

As expressed in my iPhone 6 review, I regretted not buying the larger device after handing it. The Plus is big, but not overly large for my tastes. Hell, I bought Motorola-made and Google-branded Nexus 6 in January 2015 to replace iPhone 6; the screen is even bigger than Plus, at whopping 6 inches. I gained great value using either of the larger handsets, but gave up one for the other.

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Flickr a Day 165: ‘Let Me Ride–West Village’

As an artform, iPhonography is more than just about the camera or the shooter. Post-processing matters, too. That my friends is justification for picking the fifth subway pic featured in this series (see Days 2445, 72, and 155 for the others). Ryan Vaarsi captured  self-titled “Let Me Ride—West Village” one week ago using iPhone 6 Plus. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/15 sec, 4.2mm.

The photo takes the Day for composition, color, and contrast that looks more like film than digital. Ryan got the classic look in part by applying the VSCO Cam app‘s A1 “analog” preset. The app is free, but most presets cost something. A1 is among a collection of 12 for $2.99. iPhone users can shoot straight from the app or edit existing pics. 

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OK, Google, Where’s the Android Love?

Maybe disposing of Android creator Andy Rubin was dumb. Maybe buying into the “Year of Chromebook” meme was dumber. Maybe making strategic decisions in anticipation of European Union trustbusters was even dumber. Maybe selling Motorola was dumbest. Take you pick, or add to the list, because all of the above apply. Google has squandered what should be in 2015 platform riches, ceding to Apple what shouldn’t have been.

In October 2009, I asserted (before anyone else) that “iPhone cannot win the smartphones“, as the stage was set for Android and iOS to mimic the platform battle between Windows and Macs during the PC era. By the large number of Android devices shipped that analysis is true today. But Apple’s mobile platform wins the mindshare—and by other measures profit-share—wars, something Google could have, and should have, easily prevented. Time is overdue for course correction that requires smarts, not dumb-ass thinking. 

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Storage is One of iPhone’s Biggest Benefits

Oh the irony! I got up yesterday morning planning to write a version of the post you read now, choosing instead to look back at readers’ life-changing tech. The trigger: Motorola starting the New Year with a 64GB Moto X model and my previous day’s personal tech devices wrap-up, which got me to thinking abut smartphone differentiation. Processing power, graphics chips, and the like are passé. Who really cares but a minority of gadget geeks? But storage matters to everyone, and Apple gets it—as iPhone 6 and 6 Plus capacities demonstrate.

My feeds are full of reports this morning about a lawsuit filed against Apple alleging that iOS 8 consumes too much storage and, as such, the company misrepresents the amount available. I would have looked so smart writing yesterday about how much Apple gives that competitors don’t (well, to anyone who like me missed the first reports two days ago). That’s okay, now my analysis has a news hook. The point, for people reading no more than two paragraphs of any story: iPhone 6 capacities outclass competitors, and the problem of operating systems consuming much of available storage isn’t new or exclusive to the fruit-logo company. Just look to Google and Microsoft, for example.

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Journalist sets Standard for Follow-up Gadget Reviews

Whenever I receive loaner devices, I ask to keep them for months because long-term use reveals much. Initial reviews often miss important usability benefits or problems only prolonged usage reveals. No one can get to every feature or receive all the benefits in one day or week.

Something else: As I often say, in news reporting, or reviews, bias is inevitable. Time helps extinguish the new thing glow that can bias reviews and make them more favorable than the products deserve. As the glow darkens, sounder perspective brightens. 

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Bias is Unavoidable

Overnight, AppleInsider posted Daniel Eran Dilger editorial “After Apple Inc. dodged the iPhone 6 Plus BendGate bullet, detractors wounded by ricochet“. As is typical of his stories, the tone is conspiratorial and heavily biased in Apple’s favor. That’s okay. He practices what I explained in February is “advocacy journalism“.

In my book, Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers, I identify five types of journalism relevant today, and each gets a whole section: advocacy, conversational, contextual, mob, and process. Two other journalisms—data and immersive—receive cursory treatment but will be expanded whenever I next update the book. Where I deviate from traditional views about news reporting—what’s taught in J schools—is my glowing endorsement for these different reporting practices, with advocacy journalism being perhaps most controversial. 

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What Apple BendGate reveals About News Reporting

There are days I want to walk away and never write another news story. Apple’s newest product design scandal—”BendGate” or “BentGate”—is here, and how funny there is no consensus which of two names to call it. The so-called scandal is not a big a deal; the majority of reports mislead. Brace for it: Another of my diatribes about the evils of the Google free economy, where the quest for ad revenues drives pageviews and stories meant to generate them. The metric is terribly outdated. As I explain in my book Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers, audience matters more and should be the only measure for advertising.

I’m guilty of posting: “If iPhone 6 or 6 Plus bends, it’s YOUR fault“, which is a prearranged rebuttal to colleague Mihaita Bamburic’s analysis “If your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus bends, it’s Apple’s fault“; and “8 reasons why Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus ‘bendgate’ is a good thing“, simply because I felt like writing something fun. The first story purposely stands against the rash of posts claiming design flaw, while the second shows just how ludicrous this all is. 

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Who’s the Troll Here — This Dude or Me?

Honestly, I sometimes try too hard to engage commenters, when I really should know better. So I adopt a new rule today: Respond to those people who are identified — meaning I know or can know who they are. That’s one reason most of my comment engagement takes place at Google+. But recently, after abandoning BetaNews story comments for years, I changed tacts. Problem: Trolls, or people who sure seem like them to me.

The critics largely write alike, for example accusing of linkbaiting or demeaning me while rarely responding to the story’s substance. Those people defending Apple are the most alike and their tone is similar to that I wrote about earlier this month: “Apple Apologists are Dinosaurs” and “Apple Apologists Sometimes Mean Well, But…”