2018 MacBook Pro Review – 39 Days Later

It was a surprise low-key announcement by Apple. An upgrade to the MacBook Pro line. I wasn’t expecting it as everyone was telling me not to expect a MacBook Pro capable of supporting 32GB of RAM until 2019. Perhaps when Apple starts using their own processors instead of Intel. I was just as surprised as the rest of the world. I was also happy that the wait was over. I had been holding out going to a new MacBook Pro for years. I was still using my work Mid-2014 MacBook Pro 15″. At work we are allowed to upgrade computers every 3 years and unfortunately for me that was in 2017. Instead of going with a 2017 MacBook Pro (which wasn’t much better than the 2016 MacBook Pro), I opted to go with a 27″ iMac instead. Most of my day-to-day work and live streaming is done from my home office these days. I don’t do roadshows and tours like I used to. Therefore a nice fast desktop Mac was the way to go.

The reason I skipped the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pros

In 2016 Apple made the radical decision to redesign the MacBook Pro. In the process they did away with all the traditional ports and instead went with 4 Thunderbolt 3/USB C type ports. At the time this was painful for most users because it meant buying an adapter for every single peripheral that you wanted to connect. I was still intrigued until I talked with others that had the new one. The feedback was pretty consistent. I didn’t find a single friend/colleague that raved about the new 2016 MacBook Pro. Everyone I asked “so how is it?” the response was pretty much the same “it’s OK. It’s not really any faster than my previous model.” This coupled with having to buy a bunch of dongles and adapters AND still being limited to 16GB of RAM meant a pass from me. Apple upgraded the MacBook Pro again in 2017 moving to a faster Kaby Lake processor, but that was about it. It was still limited to 16GB of RAM and no significant speed benefit. There was also the problem with the design of the keyboard. I remember the day one of my colleagues sat down next to me and started working/typing on his 2016 MacBook Pro and the clicking/clacking was so loud that I wanted to scream. This coupled with the high number of people reporting keyboard failures meant another pass in 2017 and going with the 27″ iMac instead as I didn’t want to be stuck for another 3 years on 16GB of RAM.

Why the 2018 MacBook Pro?

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The Thinnest iPhone X Case I’ve Ever Seen

Often when you choose a case for for your smartphone you usually choose between a nice thick case that offers more protection for drops and other mishaps or you choose a case that is thin and protects against scratches. I tend to go for thinner cases as I rarely drop my iPhone. I would go without a case at all if they were scratch proof or less slippery. The thin iPhone X case by totallee is hands down the thinnest case I’ve ever used.

The pros and cons of a thin case

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I Found a Magnetic Wireless iPhone X Charging Mount for my Car

Now that I have an iPhone that supports wireless charging I wanted that same convenience in my car. Putting my favorite wireless charger in my house is a piece of cake. I really like the Anker Wireless Charging Pad¬†for my desk and nightstand. However, in the car i had been using a magnetic vent mount that I really like. Here’s one that I like and used with my iPhone 7 Plus from Arkon and here’s one that I like from Kenu. The only problem with either of these two mounts is that while they securely hold my iPhone in place, in order to power it I need to also plug in a cable. I want a solution that is just as convenient as the Anker Wireless Charging Pad, but for my car vent.

I found the right mount!

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iPhone X Review

It’s that time a year again and I know I’m late to the iPhone X (pronounced 10 as in Roman Numeral X) review party. This is the first iPhone in 10 years that I didn’t receive on release day. I did place my iPhone X 256GB Black order just after midnight Pacific Time on Friday October 27th, but my ship date was immediately given as November 17th – November 24th (2 weeks after the first shipment). I did receive it a few days early last week on November 14th. With that out of the way let’s get on to the review.

Wow! Hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the first iPhone. I have done a review every year and it’s fun to go back through the years and see how much has changed. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can see my first iPhone review here. A lot has changed since 2007 and while many iPhone versions (like the “s” models) have been evolutionary, the iPhone X does feel like a brand new iPhone. It’s the first iPhone in 10 years to ditch the home button and this may surprise you, but…

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The Find My iPhone App Saved Me Twice in One Week

BlackPods AirPods
You can get your AirPods painted black at blackpods.store
I’m usually very good at keeping up with my gear. To date I’ve never lost a phone, iPod, camera or other portable electronic piece of gear. However, last week I had a couple of close calls and both were quickly solved with the free Find my iPhone app by Apple. Don’t let the name fool you. “Find my iPhone” isn’t just limited to finding lost/stolen iPhones. It can find just about any piece of Apple gear that’s equipped with WiFi, Bluetooth or Cellular.

I almost lost an AirPod

I remember when I got my AirPods at the beginning of the year, the number one question/concern people asked me was “aren’t you afraid of losing them?” I wasn’t afraid of losing them at all. They fit snuggly enough in my ears not to fall out on their own and whenever I’m not using them I return them to the charging case. However, I almost lost one last week in a weird way:

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Before you upgrade your iPhone or iPad to iOS 11…

Apple will release the highly anticipated iOS 11 update tomorrow Tuesday, September 19th 2017. However, unlike previous iOS updates this one is likely to leave some of your apps behind.

P.S.A.: Before I go any further, don’t even think of installing iOS 11 without having backed up your iOS device first! Now on to the topic at hand:

With every operating system update since the beginning of time there have always been incompatibilities with 3rd party applications. In most cases the applications have small glitches and sometimes the more severe incompatibilities cause the applications to crash upon launching. However, this time you may have some applications that will never work again!

Apple is dropping support for 32bit applications in iOS 11

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The Best Lightning Cables for the Money – Anker Powerline II Dura Review

On the left is an Apple Lightning cable, in the middle is the new Anker Powerline II Dura and on the right is a NewerTech Lightning cable.

If you use an iPhone, iPad or iPod then chances are you’ve worn out the supplied Apple Lightning cable. They usually wear out around the connectors, exposing wires or simply failing to work anymore. I stopped buying Apple branded cables for this reason. I tried other brands, but they all seem to fail at one point or another. Some wouldn’t even give error messages indicating that the cables weren’t completely compatible. Sigh.

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My New PITAKA Minimalist iPhone 7 Plus Case Excites me and Scares me

I would say that probably 99% of the smartphone users I know have their devices in a case. Usually your case choice (or lack there of) says a lot about you. You’ll see cases that are thick and protective, decorative and pretty and very thin offering basic scratch protection.

What’s the point of having a super thin phone if you’re going to put it a thick heavy case?

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A Wall Charger and Backup Battery in One – Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000 Review

Last year I standardized on Anker for all my mobile device charging needs. Their products are top notch and so far their Lightning cables have outlasted all other brands I’ve tried. I’ve used several of their backup batteries, but this new one is a great idea! Normally you’d carry a phone charger when you travel so that you could charge your phone at night or when you’re going to be in one spot for a while. You’d probably carry a backup battery too. This way you could charge your smartphone ore tablet on the go when you’re not near a plug. Now imagine if you could have one portable charger that served both purposes.

The NEW Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000 replaces two things in my backpack

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