Tag: iPhone 6

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Sammy

Sammy is so spectacular she gets second treatment as special guest to our neighborhood series. Should you ever visit The Hub plaza in Hillcrest, which is adjacent to University Heights, stop by DC Computers. If you’re lucky, a slanky tuxedo furball will be relaxed along a wall—or perhaps she will be in the side room, door ajar, where is her cat tree.

Call her mascot or store mouser. Sammy came to the Mac and PC sales/service shop as a six-week old kitten more than five years ago. Yesterday, one of the clerks pointed to an iMac keyboard, where the little thing lay her first day as a resident. She stays inside even when the outside doors are wide open during the summer heat. 

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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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HTC One A9 Review

So you bought iPhone 6. You love the understated styling of the aluminum enclosure and how the device feels in your hands. But iOS is a dog brain. It’s loyal and friendly, but you want more than a tail-wagger that needs to be let out to pee. HTC has your back, with the shockingly similar-looking One A9. The imitator gives you close-enough design benefits with the extra bang of the freshest Android (Marshmallow).

Over the Black-Friday-to-Cyber-Monday weekend, one in ten A9 buyers moved up from iPhone 6 or 6s series devices, according to HTC. The manufacturer has a holiday special ending Jan. 7, 2016 that allures some switchers. Trade-in one of the Apples for full discount off the A9’s purchase price (HTC mails a $499.99 check after receiving the old device). Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge traders get $200 and LG3 and LG4 owners $100. 

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Flickr a Day 231: ‘The Courage Wall’

First looking at the photostream of Dan Reed, I puzzled over the perspective and subjects, which are unlike anything else yet featured in this series. He shoots streets, buildings, and such from vantage points that are atypical. Then I read his bio. He’s an architect and city planner. Dan looks at things with a dramatically different eye than I would; he sees things in another context that is refreshing and revealing.

Dan shares his insights at blog “Just Up the Pike“, which refers to Maryland Route 29, or Columbia Pike. Our daughter was born when we lived off 29, just outside Silver Spring, which is Dan’s hometown. 

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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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Nexus 6 delights the Ears

Compressed audio gives up so much, I am surprised by the fidelity Nexus 6 gives back. Shocked is better word. I ordered the smartphone from T-Mobile on January 21 and received it the following day. As I will explain in my forthcoming review—tentatively planned as an “I love you” post on BetaNews (and here), Nexus 6 is amazing. I haven’t enjoyed using a handset this much in years. The overall user experience is spectacular.

My audio expectations were modest, when first connecting my Grado Labs Rs1e headphones and streaming from Google Music. Soundstage and detail exceed streaming from iTunes to iPhone 6, or—I do not lie—listening to music stored on MacBook Pro SSD. The differences in detail are shockingly apparent. On all three devices, graphic equalizer is not enabled. 

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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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iPhone is flawed by design

Do you remember the old Nokia bricks—even the Finnish manufacturer’s early smartphones? They were tanks. They were the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of mobiles—handsome and rugged. Then along came iPhone, and beauty bested brawn. Eight years after Apple cofounder Steve Jobs showed off the first prototype during January Macworld, design ethics applied to the original curse millions of iPhone owners today. The mobile is too destructible.

In July 2014, I wrote about my 20 year-old daughter’s breakage streak: Three shattered iPhone 5s screens in about three months. The photo you see, taken on Christmas Day, is what her newest replacement looks like today. What’s wrong with this picture? Need I even ask? The mobile’s delicate design features are lost in protective gear that shouldn’t be necessary. iPhone is flawed by design.