|January 16, 2019|
Apple's iPhone used four different location functionalities: Assisted GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS.
These are used to identify your exact location and used by any application that uses the Location settings.
These are the exact same services that were on the iPhone 6s Plus. The iPhone XS Max doesn't add any new location services or functionality.
The location support hasn't changed much over the years. I thought it would be interesting to learn a bit more about each of the location services on the iPhone.
Assisted GPS makes location tracking faster and uses other sources to correctly identify the location of the phone. For example, if you're in a shopping mall, you may not have a strong GPS signal. Assisted GPS will use Cell Tower distance as well as ISP information to pinpoint your exact location.
Assisted GPS functionality is actually a hidden cost that your cellular provider will charge you. On Verizon, this will appear as "Time & Location" under System Services. On other providers, they may show it as "data access." To cut down on the amount of "data access" simply disable location services to Apps where you don't need them.
Assisted GPS is a FCC requirement to make cell phone location data available for 911 operators.
There are 31 active GPS satellites in orbit.
GLONASS is an acronym for Globalnaya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema which translates to Global Navigation Satellite System. It's a GPS system developed by the Russian Federation in the 1980s.
It's an alternative Global tracking system to help with precision location tracking. By itself, it's not a strong as the standard GPS system. However, combined with the standard GPS system, it helps the accuracy of the location coverage.
There are 24 active satellites in orbit.
Galileo was created so that the European Union wouldn't have to depend on the United States GPS system. Initially, the civilian signal was stronger than the GPS. In 2000, that changed when President Clinton changed the GPS civilian access to be the same as the military access.
Galileo has 18 operational satellites available all around the world.
There are currently 18 satellites in orbit.
The Quasi-Zenith Satellite System is a project of the Japanese government for the development of a four-satellite regional time transfer system. Its primary focus area is in the Asia-Oceania region with a focus of Japan.
There are 4 active satellites in orbit.
|January 9, 2019|
After 3-months, I have settled with a new case for my iPhone XS Max. I now have the Evutec Phone Case for iPhone Xs Max 6.5 inch, [Northill Series] Premium Leather + TPU Shockproof Interior Slim Protective Case-Canvas/Black.
Some of the things I like about the new case:
This is the first iPhone that I have purchased where I am not going to get put on a front screen protector. The protector on my last phone came off about a year ago and I didn't encounter any scratch issues with the screen.
The iPhone XS Max is using Corning's Gorilla Glass 6. It's been shown to be the most scratch resistant and shatter resistant glass ever available on any smartphone.
|January 2, 2019|
Portrait Mode is the ability to take a picture of a person and have the background blurred out. This cool effect uses both cameras on the iPhone XS Max and figures out the foreground and background. Portrait Mode is available in the rear and front camera.
You have control of the background Depth using the built-in editor.
Using Portrait Mode on the iPhone XS Max, I was able to take a great picture of our dog.
|December 19, 2018|
One of the main features that Apple announced with the new iPhone XS Max is the use of the A12 Bionic chip. The iPhone 6s Plus has the A9 chip with 64-bit architecture, so the iPhone XS Max chip is 3 generations newer.
Question is, what does the faster chip mean for the average iPhone user? Why difference does a fast chip mean, and what applications perform better using the A12 chip?
The biggest change will be in the applications that use Apple's Machine Learning framework. One of the applications that use Machine Learning a lot is the Homecourt app. Apple promoted at the iPhone XS Max kickoff. This application will watch you play basketball and analyzed the shots you make and miss.
The Facial Recognition technology that is used to unlock the iPhone XS Max is where people will see the biggest improvement with the A12 Bionic chip. The faster chip helps speed up the facial calculations so the phone opens almost immediately.
Machine Learning is the ability to learn without being programmed - for example looking at hundreds of facial expressions and knowing which ones match.
Artificial intelligence is when machines/applications perform tasks that are similar to human intelligence.
|December 12, 2018|
One of the nice things about the iPhone 8/X generation of phones is the wireless charging. You simply put the phone down on a Qi pad and it will start charging. It’s a very convenient way to charge your phone.
I have a Seneo Wireless Charger at my desk. It’s not only a great way to charge the phone, but it puts the phone in a position when I can watch videos while working - for example, Udemy training videos. The other thing that it’s good for is that I can just look at the phone and it unlocks. If I had it placed on the desk, I would have to pick up the phone in order for the facial recognition to work.
The nice thing is the Seneo Wireless Charger stand is cheaper than a standard Apple Cable - around $20. There are plenty of times that it’s offered at a discount.
When Apple announced the iPhone XS Max, they said it would offer faster wireless charging. There's nothing in the technical specs on what makes the iPhone XS Max wireless charging faster.
There are three standards to Qi Charging:
There's no supporting information that iPhone XS Max now supports the Qi Medium-power. So it's unclear how Apple is able to get a faster boost from the standard Qi format.
If your doing any traveling with your iPhone XS Max, your best charger would be the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD with 30W Power Delivery Charger, Portable Charger Bundle for iPhone XS/XS Max/XR/X/8, Nexus 5X 6P, LG G5 & USB Type-C Laptops. This device will help you charge your iPhone XS Max faster than a standard 5w charger.
Yes using the plug-in charger is the fastest option when you need to quickly charge the phone. But not any plug will do, make sure to get one that has 30W or 87W to charge your phone as quickly as possible.
The Anker one is nice because the portable charger is fast - perfect for when you need to charge up your device between shots or waiting in line in Disney World. It comes with the fast USB wall charger so you can charge your iPhone XS Max at night.
Unfortunately, the high speed has a high price tag - $129. It's a good option for those that do a lot of traveling and need to have their phone always available.
Qi Charging is great to have at the office so the phone is in standup position and charging. You don't have to worry about connecting cables, and when you need to step away, simply take the phone with you.
|December 5, 2018|
If your looking for an application that overlays weather information WeatherShot is the application to do that. You can instantly show how hot or cold it is with the actual temperature.
If you really like the application you can upgrade to the Weathershot Pro Premium subscription version for only $19 more a year (There is a first-year plan for $9). This allows you to removed the application name when you apply the weather overlay. In addition, you get to access more skins.
There are some customers that are not happy to know that after purchasing $9 for the application, that they have to spend an additional $9 to remove the logo.
Once you upgrade you get full access to all 90 different skins.
I have found that there are 2-3 skins that I would use. Most of the time, I just want to show the location, temp and the feels like temp - on those really cold days. There's not a lot of skins that show the "feels like" temperature. I am surprised that only one of their winter skins has the "feels like" value.
In the Doodle-Art there is some animation - such as bike riders and runners. These graphics stay animated when you save the files as GIF format. I did find that the saved animated version looks a bit jumpy than the preview version within the app. Perhaps it's because the GIF isn't using the same frame rate as the preview.
You can adjust the size of the temperature number by using your fingers to expand or contract depending on what looks good for you.
The application works both in Portrait and Landscape modes. So if you take pictures in landscape mode - which most pictures should be - make sure to use the application in Landscape mode to get the best view.
WeatherShot was at one time called InstaWeather - it got changed on June 18, 2018. The app was targeted for people posting Instagram Photos, (Check out some past Twitter posting using the #InstaWeather). Also checkout my first review of the InstaWeather App.
Weathershot Pro Premium subscription users are supposed to get new content every month - but I haven't seen much in what's new. That is, there are no announcements on any new skins or functionality. Since October, the "What's New" talks about "we're preparing a special design pack, so please stay tuned!" (This sounds like another premium add-on.) The last time Premium subscribers got an update was in September.
There is nothing special about using this application on the iPhone XS Max.
If you plan to focus your blog/Instagram/Facebook posting using weather data, then getting the Premium subscription might be a good option. At least the WeatherShot text doesn't distract users from your image.
As for the other skins, they are nice to have. I don't really think they are something that I would use on a regular bases.
|November 28, 2018|
Have you played around with the Time-Lapse camera functionality? It's pretty cool to set the camera on a tripod and just record the sessions for a while and then watch it all unfold in a matter of minutes.
There are some limitations to the Apple's Time-Lapse camera:
Instagram's Hyperlapse is a good alternative solution to Apple's Time-lapse. While they don't fix all the limitations that Apple's Time-Lapse has, you do get a lot more flexibility. It's also free - so the price is right!
If you want the most flexibility with Time-Lapse videos, take a video using the regular video option and then change the speed at post-production. I use 4k at 24 fps for all my videos. I can use iMovie or Wondershare Filmora to slow it down or speed it up. Just make sure to have plenty of disk space.
Oh, one more thing... Make sure to put the iPhone in Airplane mode! You don't want the video to get interrupted by a robocall.
|November 21, 2018|
The latest iPhone XS Max is using the 802.11ac WiFi speed. Which is pretty fast, it can download files at 1 Gbps compared to 600 Mbps using the old standards. It's the latest and greatest WiFi speed that has been available for a few years.
How WiFi Speeds has changed since 1999
|November 14, 2018|
ProCam is yet another popular third-party application on Apple's iOS. It offers a lot of features to expand the basic capabilities of taking photos and videos using your iPhone.
ProCam Photo Menu give users a lot more control than the standard Apple Camera App.
Actual video screen shot capture from a 4K 24 fps video. I used Pro Cam capture feature, it looks as good as if it was a regular picture!
One of the camera modes that are unique to ProCam is the ability to take 3D Photos. This is a creative way to use both cameras on the iPhone XS Max.
You take a picture in landscape mode. ProCam takes a photo with both lenses at the exact same moment. Then align one of the photos. When you click 'Done' you get a shifting photo. You can save the photo as a GIF, JPEG + GIF, Video + GIF.
This isn't something that I would use on a regular base but does add a cool effect to post on Facebook or Twitter.
|November 7, 2018|
In May, the team at Snap Snap Pro updated Camera+ to Camera2 Plus. This is the first major update in
The above shows the power of the Clarity functionality in Camera2 Plus. You can see more of the train station when the Clarity filter is applied.
Camera 2 Plus is available to purchase in the iOS store. Currently it's only $2.99.
I think it's worth the investment for the five points that I mentioned above. The Clarity filter comes in handy when you want a quick touchup to any photo and don't have time/resources to touch the image on the computer.