iPhone 7 Plus First Impressions

iPhone 7 Plus-lineup

I have been an iPhone owner since the very first one was released in June of 2007.  I, like many others, was captivated by this computer in my pocket, and was extremely excited about its potential.  I have been able to finagle my way into buying an iPhone every years since than, except for the iPhone 3G–I wasn’t eligible for an upgrade since I purchased the first gen iPhone a few months before the 3G was released.  I have been an early adopter, and have either pre-ordered and picked up on launch day, or purchased a new iPhone at an Apple Store the day it went on sale.

This year, however, the planets didn’t align properly for me to make that happen on time.  I was up at 2:45 to pre-order, but both the Apple and AT&T servers were strained past their limits, pushing my delivery time out 1-2 weeks for my 128 GB 7 Plus in Black.  Between Apple’s “iconic design” being good enough for the masses and those consumers who had their upgrade cycles fall on this year, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus was still in high demand.   As I watched others cheer with delight as they tracked and received their new iPhones, all I could do was wait–until yesterday.  My new iPhone was delivered over a week ahead of schedule, and so far, I couldn’t be happier.  Let me share with you some of my initial thoughts and observations after only one day of use.

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Apple Music: Round 2

I have to say, I’m really enjoying Apple Music this second time around. I find its UI much faster to use overall. What used to feel like navigating a labyrinth of music now just feels like managing a library of music — which is as it should be.

I’ve been using Apple Music for the past month or two, and I think I’ll stick with the service for the foreseeable future. One of the major reasons I liked Spotify so much was that it made it fun and easy to discover new music, but now that Apple Music shows related music under each song, I find myself adding several tracks per week to my library. I’ve also set both my iPhone and iPad to automatically download any new songs added to my library, so it really does feel seamless when I get home. I can put down the iPhone and start playing those new tracks from the iPad, without even having to stream anything (since the songs were already downloaded to the device in the background).

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On “Newness” in the iPhone 7

I’m sticking with my 6S Plus this year, but I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday about his pending iPhone 7 Plus. We were discussing the features he was most looking forward to, and what he thought of the change in the home button from a physical to a haptic control. My friend was looking forward to the changes, but expressed something that surprised me: that the iPhone 7 isn’t new enough because it doesn’t have a dramatically different physical design.

I have trouble with this aspect because, to me, the iPhone has always been about what it enables me to do. I do like the physical design and I do still find myself drawn to the pure white front and curves on the 6S Plus, but I still see the similarly-shaped iPhone 7 — especially the 7 Plus — as a new device.

The internals have changed enough that there should be significant differences in where and how you can use this new iPhone.

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iPhone 7 and the Missing Headphone Jack

iPhone 7 no 3.5mm jack

The removal of the 3.5mm jack comes as no major surprise due to all of the advanced leaks, but it’s still a fact that will take a while for even the most die-hard Apple fans to digest. The ubiquity of the 3.5mm headphone jack has been something we’ve all come expect in electronic devices, but it’s also at odds with consumer expectations that devices should get thinner, lighter, and faster every year. Every once in a while something has to give to make space for major new features, and this time it was the headphone jack’s turn.

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How to watch Apple’s Live-Stream iPhone event

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The big iPhone announcement day is almost here, and just like they have in recent years, Apple will be live-streaming the Special Media Event.  If you are available, and want to catch all the action and announcements as they are being presented you can follow on any iOS device or Mac running the latest version of Safari, as well as 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TV’s.  Here are the minimum requirements for the devices that support the live-stream

  • iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 7.0 or later
  • Mac with Safari 6.0.5 or later on OS X v10.8.5 or later
  • PC with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10
  • Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation) with software 6.2 or later or an Apple TV (4th generation).

iPhone Special Event

The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco start will be where all the fun starts  at 1 pm EST. Be sure you’re all set up ahead time and your browser is pointed at the Apple Special Events page. 

How to sell your used iPhone ahead of the next launch

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With the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, or whatever they may be called, expected to be announced on Wednesday, the one thing on everyone’s mind right now is–how can I sell my current iPhone in time to make a new purchase?  If Apple follows their traditional pattern of announcement to availability cycle, we can expect the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus to go on sale in stores around 1-2 weeks after their Keynote announcement Wednesday, with pre-orders potentially starting as early as this Friday.

If you’re in the same boat as me, and you plan on purchasing the next iPhone when it’s released, what do you do with your current device?  Well, that depends on a couple of factors.  Is your current iPhone paid off, or is it part of a monthly installment plan?  If it’s already paid off, you’re in good shape.  Now you have several options on where you might want to sell your iPhone–if that’s ultimately your plan.  If you’re still on an installment plan, you need to verify your eligibility with your mobile carrier.  Of course, you can always pay full price for your new iPhone, too–but  since you’re reading this post, that’s probably not your first choice.  If the installment plan you’re on allows for a new renewal you have a many options available.

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Incredible Features You Don’t Know About iOS 10: Infographic

ios-10

You may have already heard about iOS 10, its official launch is just a few days ahead. Apple unveiled iOS 10 beta version in its annual WWDC 2016 event so that interested iPhone/iPad users can check the new offerings of iOS 10 and may give their valuable feedback before the full public release of full version.

If you’re one of those interested users, you’ll have to undergo the general public beta download and install it on your Apple device.

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Quick Look: Deus Ex GO

Deus Ex GO is the latest in Square Enix’ series of puzzle games on their hit console properties. Like Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO, this Deux Ex port does a very good job of optimizing its controls and gameplay for a pickup-and-play mobile experience. It’s a satisfying enough experience to sit down on the couch and run through, but still bite-sized enough that you can finish a few rounds on your way to work.

All of the games in this GO series actually play very similarly, with a tick-tock style of turn-based gameplay. You move your avatar around the map one node at a time (tick), and any active enemies will always move in sequence with you (tock). It’s all about positioning yourself to move directly into an opponent, and keep yourself from walking into an oncoming patrol. There’s never any rush to the missions because you’re free to look at the board for as long as you like before moving. You can observe how each guard is going to patrol, and plan a path to pick them all off and get to your objective.

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