Bohemian Rhapsody is an enthralling celebration of Queen, their music, and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied stereotypes and convention to become one of history’s most beloved entertainers. Following Queen’s meteoric rise, their revolutionary sound and Freddie’s solo career, the film also chronicles the band’s reunion, and one of the greatest performances in rock history.

blog

  • Reading List for March 2022

    Reading List for March 2022

    March is now over and April has begun, so it is time for my reading list from March.

    For the month I listened to 14 different titles and in the past month seven of them were new titles, or 50%. This is the highest percentage in a while. For the highlighted title, it is the Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi.

    Giant monsters run amok in Hugo Award–winning author John Scalzi’s wild adventure. Jamie is spinning his wheels at a rotten job when an old friend offers him an intriguing new opportunity. As part of a “wildlife protection” group known as KPS, Jamie is tasked with protecting our world from kaiju (think giant monsters like Godzilla)—as well as protecting the massive beasts from humans. Scalzi drops us into a thrilling multiverse where nuclear weapons have torn the boundaries between worlds and giant monsters are one atomic blast away from smashing through our cities. Maybe the best thing about this comic fantasy novel is that it’s not the setup to a massive trilogy—although we wouldn’t say no to a sequel! The Kaiju Preservation Society is a short, fast, fun cross-dimensional romp. 

    I am not sure how many books I will end up reading during April, but there will be at least one new book in April.

    Disclaimer: The links below will provide a bit of a commission if you purchase anything.

    Title Author First Listen Amazon Apple
    Origins and Ideologies of the American Revolution (Great Courses) Peter C. Mancall Yes Amazon Apple
    Miniatures John Scalzi Yes Amazon Apple
    Chicago: City of the Century Donald L. Miller Yes Amazon Apple
    The American Identity (Great Courses) Patrick Allitt Yes Amazon Apple
    Warship (Black Fleet Trilogy Book 1) Joshua Dalzelle No Amazon Apple
    Call to Arms (Black Fleet Trilogy Book 2) Joshua Dalzelle No Amazon Apple
    Kaiju Preservation Society John Scalzi Yes Amazon Apple
    Rumors of War (Green Zone War Book 1) Jake Elwood No Amazon Apple
    Star Peregrine (Green Zone War Book 2) Jake Elwood No Amazon Apple
    Prison Planet (Green Zone War Book 3) Jake Elwood No Amazon Apple
    Rogue Navy (Green Zone War Book 4) Jake Elwood No Amazon Apple
    Rogue Battleship (Green Zone War Book 5) Jake Elwood No Amazon Apple
    Columbus Day (Expeditionary Force Book 1) Craig Alanson Yes Amazon Apple
    SpecOps (Expeditionary Force Book 2) Craig Alanson Yes Amazon Apple
    Total   14    

    Previous Reading Lists

  • Site and App 2021 Year in Review

    I do not normally do a yearly “recap” blog post, for the site, but I thought I would do so for this year. It’s been an interesting year for the site and the Here are some statistics.


    Posts

    Total number of posts: 193
    Number of non-‘availability’ posts: 70 (including this one).
    Number of Reviews: 12, which is an average of one a month.

    Total Word Count (not including “availability” posts): 81,704 / average of 1,167.20 words

    Average Word Count: 1166.80 words per post
    Number of “Availability” posts: 123

    • AirTag: 13
    • iPad Pro: 10
    • iPhone 100

    Page Views

    Total Page Views from 2016 to 2021:

    • 2021: 13,860 / 37.97 per day
    • 2020: 9,594 / 26.21 per day
    • 2019: 13,475 / 36.91 per day
    • 2018: 11,573 / 31.71 per day
    • 2017: 29,126 / 79.80 per day
    • 2016: 34,166 / 93.35 per day

    Most popular post: Account Locked after updating macOS Big Sur – 3,933 views
    Most Popular Review: A Review of the 5th Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro – 809 views


    Book Statistics

    I don’t normally post about how well my books sell, but here are those statistics: Total Books sold from 2019 to 2021:

      2021 2020 2019 Total
    Apple 322 475 561 1,358
    Amazon 48 130 251 427
    Paperback (B&W) 21 32 115 166
    Hardcover/Color Paperback 0 8 10 18
    Total 391 645 937 1,973

    I’m not sure why I sold significantly fewer books this year as opposed to previous years, but that seems to be the case. I am not sure if it just that I have not been linked from other sites, or if I did not promote my books well enough, or if it is because I only wrote one book this year instead of two so people presumed I did not write a book this year. It is also entirely possible that is for another reason that I could not think of. 

    I hope next year’s book sales will be higher, closer to 2019’s numbers.


    App Statistics

    wwriteLite app icon

    App Updates: 9, with an average of 34 days between each release. Here are the new downloads of wwriteLite per year:

    • 2021: 69
    • 2020: 56
    • 2019: 66
    • 2018: 136
    • 2017: 101
    • 2016: 132

    There are some big changes coming in the next update to the app. So if you want to be one of the first to get access to the features, go and sign up for the TestFlight.


    Closing Thoughts

    Overall 2021 was not too bad for the site, app, and books. Of course I would have preferred to have sold a few more copies of the books, and had a few more downloads of my app, but alas, it is what it is. I hope the numbers improve for next year, but only time will tell on that.

    What kind of content did you enjoy? What would you like to see covered that was not? What would you like to see changed? Let me know via twitter.


  • Halloween Movies: 2021 Edition

    Halloween Movies: 2021 Edition

    Every year I tend to watch a bunch of Halloween movies, or at least Halloween adjacent movies. I have actually written about the list previously in 2014, 2016, and 2018. If my update schedule held, I would have updated them last year in 2020, but last year was well, not a normal year. So, instead I have updated the list again. There have not been many changes.

    Below is the list of movies that I watched this year, in the order that I watched them. The last two items on the list will actually be watched tomorrow, Halloween, because they are family friendly and it is not a problem to have them on if any Trick or Treaters come by.

    It is possible that you may be able to find these streaming on one of the available streaming services. However, the links below are for Apple TV and Amazon.

    Disclaimer: The links below will provide a bit of a commission if you purchase anything.

    Title Apple Amazon
    Contagion Apple Amazon
    Dawn of the Dead Apple Amazon
    The Fog Apple Amazon
    Battle: Los Angeles Apple Amazon
    Knowing Apple Amazon
    The Day the Earth Stood Still Apple Amazon
    The Happening Apple Amazon
    Scream Apple Amazon
    Cloverfield Apple Amazon
    The Crazies (1973) Apple Amazon
    Return of the Living Dead Apple Amazon
    The Dead Don’t Die Apple Amazon
    The Crazies (2010) Apple Amazon
    28 Days Later Apple Amazon
    28 Weeks Later Apple Amazon
    Shaun of the Dead Apple Amazon
    Hot Fuzz Apple Amazon
    Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse Apple Amazon
    Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil Apple Amazon
    The Village Apple Amazon
    Cockneys Vs. Zombies Apple Amazon
    Signs Apple Amazon
    Zombieland Apple Amazon
    Hocus Pocus Apple Amazon
    It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown Apple Amazon
  • Review of ElevationLab’s TagVault Keychain and MagBase

    Review of ElevationLab’s TagVault Keychain and MagBase

    ElevationLab is a company that has created a lot of third-party accessories. While many are designed for Apple products, the do have some other accessories for Android and even some general headphone accessories. Specifically for Apple, they have things like iPhone stands and docks. There are two accessories that I have purchased and thought I would review. These two items are the TagVault: Keychain and the MagBase. Let us start with the TagVault.

    TagVault: Keychain

    One aspect to most of Apple’s product is that most products provide a market for third-party accessories. One of the products that provides the largest variety of options is the AirTag. Apple provides some accessories that you can purchase for the AirTag, however the ones that you can buy from Apple may not be usable in all situations.

    The TagVault: Keychain is an AirTag holder that can be put on a keychain, which is very similar to Apple’s AirTag Leather Keychain. One of the possible downsides of Apple’s AirTag holders is that they may not hold up to abuse. That is where the TagVault can shine.

    The TagVault: Keychain is an AirTag holder that encloses the entire AirTag in a water proof case. The waterproofing is accomplished by having two hard plastic outer halves, with a waterproof ring between the two halves.

    ElevationLab TagVault: Keychain opened up.

    The two halves of the case are secured with four screws. When these are tightened down, this will protect the AirTag and with the ring, it will be secure the AirTag. Now, you may think that you would need to have a screwdriver that will fit the screws that come with the TagVault, but that is not the case.

    Included with the TagVault is a tool to be able to easily remove the screws and put them back in place. This is quite helpful and a small touch which adds to the overall appeal of the product.

    Having an AirTag enclosed in a water proof case will have some effect on the functioning of the AirTag. The biggest impact is that the sound on the AirTag will be reduced. According to ElevationLab it should be two-thirds of the decibel level of the AirTag outside of the TagVault. This is a trade off that has to be made for waterproofing.

    Tip

    TagVault Keychain included tool

    When I was putting an AirTag in the TagVault I realized that many might think that you should completely remove all four screws. This is not necessarily the case. In fact, you may only want to fully remove three of the screws and leave one mostly removed.

    Possible Future Improvement

    One slight improvement that I would like to see with this product is that I would like to see screws that cannot be removed from case, but would still allow the back half of the case to be removed. This way, the screws would not have a possibility of being lost.

    Now that we have covered the TagVault, let us move onto the MagBase.

    MagBase

    MagBase with extension cable

    When Apple introduced the iPhone 12 line of phones, there was a feature that can make life a bit easier. That feature is MagSafe. MagSafe allows you to use the magnets that are in the iPhone 12 line and magnetically attach accessories. There are a number of accessories like the MagSafe Battery Pack, Wallets, and even PopSockets. The benefit of MagSafe is that nothing is permanent, since it is only magnetically attached.

    MagSafe is not exclusively used for accessories, but can be used to charge the iPhone as well. Through the aforementioned MagSafe Battery Pack or by using a specially designed Apple accessory called the MagSafe Charger.

    The MagSafe charger is a charging puck that will allow you to charge your iPhone through the built-in Qi charging. There are two downsides to MagSafe charger. The first is that it has a completely flat bottom. This can lead to the charging puck moving around when you want to place your phone on it. The second downside is that the cable from the Charging Pad is only 1 meter (3 feet) long. This is often not long enough.

    ElevationLab has an accessory specifically designed for the MagSafe Charger called the MagBase. The MagBase solves both of the issues mentioned above. It includes a base for keeping the charging pad in one spot as well as a USB-C extension cable.

    The USB-C extension cable is also one meter long, which makes the overall length 2 meters or 6 feet. This makes it much easier to place the MagSafe charger where you need. The extension cable works well and can be used for whatever you need because it is a USB-C to USB-C cable.

    The MagBase itself is a medical-grade silicone that uses micro air bubbles to be able to keep the MagBase adhered to the surface that you place it on. When you place the MagBase you need to make sure that it is firmly pressed to the surface. It may sound like you are permanently attaching it, but you are not. You need to press firmly because this is where the micro air bubbles will be able to attach.

    After you have placed the MagBase you can then place your MagSafe charger in the base. You are able to easily pick up the phone with the MagSafe charger attached to use it while charging. Alternatively, if you need to remove the iPhone from the MagSafe charger entirely you can slide the phone off of the charger. This is possible because the micro bubbles will keep the MagBase in place.

    As mentioned earlier, the MagBase is made of medical-grade silicone. Because of this, your iPhone will not get scratched when you slide it off of the MagSafe charger while it is in the MagBase.

    Longevity

    The MagBase in itself is useful, however I have encountered an issue which may reduce its overall effectiveness. After about a month of usage the MagBase stopped staying in place on the night stand that I have it on, without me moving it at all. Cleaning off both the bottom of the MagBase and the nightstand allowed the MagBase to stay in place again.

    Closing Thoughts

    Both of these accessories work well. The TagVault will allow you to have a super sturdy AirTag holder that can stand up to the elements. Even though the sound that is emitted from the AirTag is diminished when in the TagVault, it is still audible.

    The MagBase is useful if you want to be able to keep your MagSafe charger in one spot without

    Neither of the accessories is expensive. The TagVault is $12.95 for a single item, $39.95 for a four-pack and $74.95 for a pack of eight. There is only one color available, black. This is likely the color that most will want anyway. Similarly, the MagBase is $12.95. It only comes in white.

    I hope that ElevationLab is able to come out with additional colors in the future for each of these products. If you need a waterproof AirTag case, definitely take a look at the Tag Vault. If you think the MagBase might work well for your situation, definitely consider it as an option.

  • A Story of an Attempt to Switch AT&T Unlimited Plans

    I have owned an iPhone since June 30th, 2007, which is the day after the first iPhone was made available for purchase. At the time, the iPhone was only available on one carrier in the US, and that was AT&T. When you got an original iPhone with AT&T, one of the things that you had to purchase was an unlimited data package. At the time it cost $30 per month.

    The AT&T Unlimited Data plan was eliminated in June of 2010. The replacement options were $15 for 200MB or $25 for 2GB. If you had an existing unlimited data plan, you could keep it, provided you did not change your plan at all. I did not want to give up my unlimited data plan because who knew if AT&T would ever bring back unlimited data options. In 2017, AT&T brought back their unlimited data plan, albeit with some changes.

    At some point between 2007 and 2010 my brother wanted to get an iPhone and so he bought one and his line was added to my account. When he did this, he also got the unlimited package. In 2015, I added another line to my account. This line was one that is used by a flip phone with no data. Each additional line, after the first one, is $10 per month, along with any extras. So this means that I had three lines on my account.

    In 2015, AT&T increased the price of the grandfathered unlimited plans to $35 per month. The first increase since the introduction. However, this is not the only increase. AT&T increased the price to $40 in 2017 and then raised it to $45 per month in 2018.

    If you have a grandfathered unlimited data plans, there are some features that you do not get. These are tethering, which was added in 2010, and more recently HBO Max with the “elite” plan. I am not as concerned with the HBO Max streaming, but I would like to have hotspot capabilities as a backup for internet.

    Earlier this year my brother moved his line to its own account. While this reduced the bill, it did not reduce it as much as I might have thought. I got to thinking that I should reduce my cost and switch to one of the newer unlimited data plans, so I can get tethering, and if I so chose, HBO Max. After my brother moved his line, I was no longer able to modify my plan. In order to change my plan, I would have to call AT&T.

    Today, I decided to actually call AT&T and inquire about changing my plan. So, I called and talked to a woman. I explained to her my situation and it took her like 10 minutes to figure out which plan would make the most sense for me. When she came back she said it would cost $190 for the two lines. Knowing this did not make sense, I asked her why. She stated that there were two lines at $95 each, so it would be $190. I explained that the second line is a flip phone with no data. She repeated that it would be $190 per month.

    There is no way that I am going to be uselessly paying for data on a flip phone. I thanked the representative and decided to go to the store instead, hoping that they would be able to help me.

    I went to the AT&T store and talked to a representative. Again, I explained the situation to her and she looked into it. She thought that she would be able to keep the plan for the flip phone and change my She wants to verify something with her manager. She indicated that if I changed the plan, the new price would be $150 per month, before tax. This is $15 moreover moth than I am paying now. It would be $55 for a flip phone with no data. Let me repeat that, $55 for a phone with no data. Naturally, I am reluctant to do that. The representative understood and indicated that I should call the Loyalty Department. She provided the direct number.

    I called the AT&T Loyalty Department, explained the situation to the representative. She thought she would be able to help me. She took a few minutes to figure it out if it was possible. She came back onto the phone and indicated that it would be $150 per month for both lines, before tax, just as the store representative indicated. Needless to say, I did not change my unlimited data plan.

    What bothers me the most is that the cell phone companies are able to get away with charging people $50 for a line without any data. How is this even legal? I understand not being able to keep the $10 per month, but $55 for a phone with no data is complete highway robbery.

    I went looking at AT&T’s site to see if there were any plans without data. I was not able to find a single plan without data. While I understand the desire to provide people options for data, but there are some who do not need data and just need a cellular phone. I guess the only option for those are to go with a pre-paid plan or mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, like StraightTalk or Cricket.

    I may ultimately be able to save myself some money at some point in the future by changing my unlimited plan, but for now, that is not the case.

  • Apple Updates 13-inch MacBook Pro

    Apple Updates 13-inch MacBook Pro

    Today Apple released a refreshed 13.3-inch MacBook Pro. Amongst the changes are a new keyboard, increased base storage, and new processors. Let us look at these in detail.

    Across the Board Changes

    There are four different configurations that Apple presents on their page. There are the two lower-end models and two higher-end models. A majority of the changes only apply to the higher-end models. However, there are changes that have occurred across the board.

    The first change is that the keyboard mechanism has gone from the butterfly mechanism back to a scissor switch mechanism. As you might expect, Apple has decided to name these keyboards “Magic Keyboards”. The Magic Keyboard is the same type introduced with the 16-inch MacBook Pro. This means that it has 1mm of travel, an inverted-T arrow configuration and a physical escape key.

    With the 13-inch MacBook Pro getting a new keyboard, there are no current products that have the Butterfly keyboard mechanism in them. The 13-inch MacBook Pro was the last model to still have the butterfly keyboard.

    The second change that is across the line is the base storage. The lower-end models have gone from 128GB and 256GB respectively, to 256GB and 512GB respectively. The higher end model similarly gone from 256GB and 512GB to 512GB and 1TB respectively.

    Those are all of the changes that have occurred across the board. The higher-end models have seen some additional changes. Let us look at those now.

    Higher-end Model Changes

    In addition to the base storage and keyboard changes, the higher-end 13.3-inch MacBook Pros have seen additional changes, including memory speed and processor changes.

    The processors available for the higher-end MacBook Pros are the 10th generation Intel processors. Both models come with a 2.0GHz quad-core processor that can go up to 3.8GHz with turbo boost. These can be configured with a 2.3GHz 10th generation Core i7 that can go up to 4.1GHz with Turbo Boost.

    With the processor update, the speed, and type, of memory has changed. These higher-end models now have LPDDR4X memory that runs at 3733Mhz.

    The faster memory in conjunction with the processor upgrades will allow, according to Apple, “ up to 80 percent faster performance over the previous generation 13-inch MacBook Pro for 4K video editing, faster rendering, and smoother gameplay.

    The last big change with the graphics is that you can connect it to a Pro Display XDR for full 6k resolution, which will be good for those who have a Pro Display XDR monitor and would like to connect a MacBook Pro to it for displaying something.

    Closing Thoughts

    The updated 13-inch MacBook Pro are available to order today and start at $1299 for the base model with 256GB of storage and the 1.4GHz Quad-Core 8th-generation processors. If you are a student, you can get a discount and the price starts at $1199 for the base model. They will begin shipping this week.

    If you were holding off on purchasing a new MacBook Pro until Apple refreshed them, then now is the time to buy.

    Source: Apple.com

  • A New Start

    A New Start

    A millennial is defined as someone who is born between 1981 and 1996. I am a millennial, albeit an early one. If you ask someone to provide one thing that would define a “millennial” it is possible that they will respond with something like “they are constantly jumping from job to job”. If you were to look the resume for what one might call a “typical millennial”, you would likely see them jumping from job to job typically every two or three years. In this respect I am not a typical millennial.

    I got my first job when I was 16 and I stayed with that employer for almost 17 years. This clearly is not typical behavior of a millennial. During my tenure there I did just have a single position, I had four of them. I wrote up a whole post about it when I did change jobs.

    During my tenure with my second employer I have managed to automate a number of things so they no longer require direct staff intervention, which has freed up staff time to handle other projects. Along with this, I have created many internal applications that have allowed for more streamlined workflows. Friday was my last day with my second employer.

    I was not planning on leaving my second employer, but sometimes the right job comes around at the right time; this is one of those cases. I think my second employer is in a much better position than they were before I started three and half years ago.

    Tomorrow I start a new job with my third employer. Similar to my last two jobs, this one is is still related to libraries. I will be doing many of the same things as my previous job, but there is one big addition. I will be working on an iOS app. It will not be a public app, as it will be for internal use. The idea of doing an iOS app was one of the big factors in taking the position.

    This new job will be a new adventure for me. While it does have with a bit more of a daily commute, each job has tradeoffs. It is the next logical step in my career. Having been a web developer for my day job, as well as doing an iOS app on the side, I am excited to be able to work on an iOS app for my day job.

  • Apple September 2019 Event Round-up

    Apple September 2019 Event Round-up

    Today Apple held their “By Innovation Only” event. The event was a mix of information about Apple’s services and hardware.

    Apple Arcade

    Apple Arcade on a variety of devices

    One of the areas where Apple is attempting to focus is with services. One of the most anticipated is their all new gaming service, Apple Arcade. Today we got some additional information about the service. Specifically, it will launch on September 19th. It will cost $4.99 per month, but that includes the entire family. This will also come with a one month free trial so you can try all of the games out before committing to purchasing the service.

    Apple Arcade will include 100 mobile games that are exclusively available on Apple Arcade.

    Apple TV+

    Apple TV Plus

    The second service that is anticipated is Apple TV+. Apple TV+ is Apple’s original programming service. When it was announced in March, not a whole lot of additional information was available. Today Apple unveiled the price of $4.99 per month, for the entire family. Along with this, if you buy an iOS device, Apple TV, or Mac, you will get a year of Apple TV+ for free. Apple TV+ will be available starting November 1st.

    iPad

    Apple iPad - 7th Generation

    The iPad is an important product in Apple’s line up. There is only one iPad that has received an update today, and that is the most popular iPad, the 9.7-inch model.

    There is an all new seventh-generation iPad available. This has an all-new form factor and now has a larger screen at 10.2 inches diagonally. It includes the A10 Fusion chip, which is the same as the one that is in the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X. This means that it will be fast when it comes to playing games or just using the device in general.

    One of the other features is the Smart Connector, which means that you can now use the Smart Keyboard with the 7th generation iPad. It still has the same 10 hours of battery life as well as a Touch ID sensor.

    It comes in three colors, Silver, Space Gray, and Gold. It also comes in two storage sizes, 32GB and 128GB. The 32GB model is $329 and the 128GB model is $459. There are cellular versions which are $130 more for each size. You can order the new iPad today and it will begin shipping on September 30th.

    Apple Watch

    The Apple Watch is one of Apple’s forays into health and fitness. Before we dive into what’s new, let us look at its other foray, Health Studies.

    Health Studies

    Apple has done some health studies in the past, most notably a heart study which lead to the EKG sensor on the Series 4 Apple Watch. There are three new studies, the Apple Hearing Study, which will study daily sound exposure. The second new study is the Apple Women’s Health Study, which will study the women’s menstrual cycle. The last study is the Apple Heart & Movement Study. This study will use the Apple Watch to look for early warning signs of health issues.

    Apple is partnering with the University of Michigan, Harvard School of Public Health, and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, respectively, to perform these studies. These will be available for you to participate in, if you so choose, later this year.

    Apple Watch Series 5

    The Apple Watch Series 5 bring some new features to the Apple Watch. The most requested amongst these is the all new “Always On” display. This means that you can go ahead and check the time whenever need to. But besides the time always being shown, your complications will also be shown.

    If you wrist is turned down the display will dim so that it is not at full brightness, however, if you turn your wrist to see the display, it will go back to full brightness.

    You might think that this could be a power drain, but that is into the case. This is due to the new power efficiency built into the display. It can adjust its refresh from anywhere 1 hertz to 60 hertz, depending on its need. Because of this, battery life is not impacted and you still get 18 hour battery life.

    Besides the new screen, there is a new compass that is built into the Series 5 Apple Watch. The new compass will work within Maps to show you where you are located and which direction you need to go. There is a complication that you can add to your watch faces as well. The compass will show your latitude and longitude as well, so you can see where you are within the world.

    Along with this, developers can take advantage of this and utilize the compass within their own applications.

    The Series 5 Apple Watch is available in four different case styles; Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Titanium, and Ceramic. The Aluminum ones are the same three colors, Silver, Gold, and Space Gray. The Stainless steel is available in Gold, Space Black, and Polish (Silver). Titanium is available in Natural brush, or Brush Space Black. The Ceramic case is available in white.

    All of these models are available in 40 and 44mm varieties. Prices for the 40mm for each of the styles above start at $399, $699, $799, and $1299 respectively. The Cellular models are $100 more.

    The Apple Watch is available for ordering today and will be delivered and arrive in stories on September 20th. There are Nike Sport models as well, however these will ship beginning on October 4th. Next let us look at the change around the iPhone.

    iPhone

    The iPhone is Apple’s most important product. While it does not command as much of Apple’s revenue as it once did, it is still a majority. This year there are three different models to replace the existing high-end iPhones. Before we delve into each of the replacements, let us look at the commonalities between the devices.

    Commonalities

    All of the new iPhones have an all new A13 Bionic chip within it. The A13 brings the lead of the iPhone’s processor even further ahead of the competition by including a new power efficiency built into each transistor. This means that each of the 8.5 billion transistors can be controlled individually to allow the most efficient experience. This will improve battery life, that will be discussed with each model.

    Along with this, there is a third-generation neural engine that will handle a majority fo the machine learning tasks that iOS 13 needs to tackle. While the neural engine is tuned for some tasks, there may be more some instances where it is not the ideal solution. For those cases, the CPU and GPU can be used. Both of these have been improved to accelerate matrix multiplication so computations needed for machine learning will be even faster than before. In fact, the accelerators are now 6x faster.

    The Camera app now has a new feature called “Quick Take”. Quick Take will allow you to take video quickly, by holding down the shutter button and a video button will show. You can then take a video right in the middle of taking your photos.

    Besides Quick Take there is a new feature called “Night Mode”. Night Mode is designed to work well in low light situations like at a birthday party or at night. Night Mode will automatically be enabled when necessary and it will make photos in low light look like they were shot in the daytime.

    Now, let us look at the new iPhones, starting with the replacement for the iPhone XR.

    iPhone 11

    iPhone 11

    The iPhone 11 has the same screen size, of 6.1-inches. However, it has an all new design. The iPhone 11 takes cues from the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max in that it has glass on both the front and back of the phone. However, the back of the iPhone 11 is all a single piece of glass.

    The iPhone 11 also has a new improved camera system. Instead of the single camera from the iPhone XR, it now has two cameras, and Ultra Wide and Wide camera. The Ultra Wide camera has a 120 degree field of view, which can result in being able to take larger pictures without losing any information.

    The iPhone 11’s battery life is an hour longer than the iPhone XR’s battery, which is all due to the power efficiencies made with the A13 Bionic chip.

    The last new feature specific to the iPhone 11 is the fact that it is water resistant up to 2 meters for 30 minutes, which meets the IP68 specification.

    The iPhone 11 comes in 6 different colors, White, Black, Green, Yellow, Purple, and (PRODUCT)RED. There are three different storage capacities, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. These are $699, $749, and $849 respectively. The iPhone 11 will be available for pre-order this Friday, September 13th, at 5a.m. Pacific time.

    Next let us look at the “Pro” iPhone models.

    iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max

    The iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max are the replacements for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The screen sizes remain the same at 5.8-inches and 6.5-inches respectively. The models the same excluding the size.

    The screen is an improved OLED display that still has True Tone, and Haptic Touch, but it now has a 2 million to 1 contrast ratio and can display up to 1200 nits of peak brightness. This means that what you see on the screen will be even brighter. This is called the “Super Retina XDR Display”.

    To go along with the new Super Retina XDR Display, the iPhone 11 Pros supports spatial audio sound, so the sound will be even more realistic than before. Along with this, HDR 10, Dolby vision, and Dolby Atmos are also supported on the devices.

    The iPhone Pros have an all new design that is similar to that of the iPhone 11 in that they are made out of a single piece of glass and the bump around the camera is contoured to fit exactly. The back of the iPhone 11 Pros starts with a surgical grade stainless steel band and the glass ends up having a Matte texture to it.

    One of the reasons that users upgrade their iPhone is to be able to take great pictures. The iPhone 11 Pros have an all new camera system. There are three cameras on the Pro models. These are the Telephoto, Wide, and Ultra Wide lenses.

    The Ultra Wide camera is an ƒ/2.4 aperture lens with 120-degree field of view. The Wide camera is an ƒ/1.8 aperture lens, and the telephoto lens is an ƒ/2.0 aperture lens.

    Due to this configuration you are able to get 2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out, using the ultra wide camera, and digital zoom up to 10x.

    One area where users have been clamoring is in regards to battery life. With the A13 improving power efficiency, the battery life of each model has improved. The iPhone 11 Pro now gets 4 more hours than the iPhone XS, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max will get up to 5 hours more than the iPhone XS Max. This is a significant improvement.

    In order to be able to charge these as fast as possible, an 18-watt charger will be included with each iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

    The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max come in four colors, Silver, Gold, Space Gray, and Midnight Green. There are three storage sizes, 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB. The iPhone 11 Pro pricing is $999 for 64GB, $1149 for 256GB, and $1349 for 512GB. The iPhone 11 Pro Max is $100 more for each size.

    They will be available for pre-order this Friday, September 13th, at 5a.m. Pacific time.

    Other Changes

    There have been some other changes. The Apple Watch Series 4 is no longer available for purchase, nor are the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone XS, nor the iPhone XS Max.

    However, the iPhone XR is still available at a lower price of $599 for the 64GB and $649 for the $128GB model. The iPhone 8 is still available in 64GB and 128GB models, for $449 and $499 respectively. The iPhone 8 Plus is only $100 more for each size, so $549 and $599 respectively.

    The last change is with the Series 3 Apple Watch. It is still in the lineup and is at a reduced price of $199. This makes the Series 3 a great purchase if you need to track your health and fitness but do not want to spend a lot.

    Closing Thoughts

    Apple’s “By Innovation Only” event is one that provides a lot of new things to explore and products. Apple Arcade will be available on September 19th for $4.99. Apple TV+ will begin airing on November 1st, and will be $4.99 per month, but you will get 1 year free if you purchase an iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

    The Apple Watch Series 5 is a great improvement, particularly with the always on display so you can see the time without needing to raise your wrist. The inclusion of a compass should help point you in the right direction.

    The iPhone 11 is a great phone with an even better price than before. The dual cameras will be able to produce even better pictures than before. The ultra wide camera will allow you take even wider photos and get more of a scene into a single picture. The variety of colors are a great addition as well.

    The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are significant upgrades. The battery life on these models should be even better than before, thanks to the power efficiencies in the A13 processor.

    One thing not explicitly stated in the keynote is that iOS 13 will be available on September 19th.

    I will have a post about how well I did with my predictions in the coming days.

  • A Story Like Mine

    Yesterday was the Women’s March. The musician Halsey read a poem she wrote titled “A Story Like Mine” at the New York City women’s march. Below is the video of her reading the poem. It is worth listening to, particularly if you a guy. This is not something that just happened to her, but happens to almost all women.

  • Book Sales from 2012 to 2017

    Book Sales from 2012 to 2017

    If you have been following me for any length of time, you probably notice that I try to advertise my e-books from time to time. I have been writing books about macOS and iOS since 2012. My first book was OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Server Review, which coincidentally is my overall best selling book. However, it is not the one that has sold the most during its release year, but more on that later.

    I do no often post about how well my books are selling. This is not necessarily because I do not want people to know how well they are doing (not as well as one might think), nor is it because I care if people know how much I make from them (again is not nearly as much as one might guess). The reason I do not post more about them is because it may not be that interesting to many individuals. The last time I shared my e-book sales it was in 2014, when I released my iOS 8 e-books, and that was only because it was anomalous.

    I thought I would look back at my entire sales history of all of my e-books. Part of the impetus for doing so is to determine where I should focus my attention for my books. Should I focus more on iOS or more on macOS? I tend to try and release my e-books on the day that the new version of iOS or macOS is released. This is likely due to the highest amount of interest being near the release of the operating system.

    The Process

    The first thing I had to do, in order to be able to gleam any information about my e-book sales, was to create a database of all of my books and then I needed to pull all of the sales information from both Apple and Amazon. Thankfully, being the data driven companies that they are, I was able to pull in the information, after a bit of tweaking.

    There are still some issues with the way that I have it all setup and some aspects require manually adding some records to get the correct information, but given that my sales are not as large as you might assume, it is not a big deal. I will eventually fix it, but for now it is not an issue.

    There were a few specific areas that I wanted to look at. The first was I wanted to compare release year totals, to “all-time” totals. The second was which country sold the most, after the U.S. To answer each of these required a different report to be created. Because I can program webpages for my day job, and because web programming has been a hobby for much longer, it was not a difficult task to accomplish. What I found was interesting.

    macOS vs. iOS

    The first thing that I found was the breakdown of macOS vs. iOS e-books. For just sales during the release year, which for most books is three to three and half months. Apple is 59.54% macOS vs. 40.46% iOS. Amazon is 69.40% macOS vs. 30.60% iOS. Overall the breakdown is 63.99% macOS vs. 36.01% iOS. This tells me that I need to focus on the macOS release more than the iOS release; which is the exact opposite of the amount of time I spent on each of the latest versions of my e-books.

    Now if we look at all-time sales, this is where it really becomes interesting. For Apple sales, the macOS vs. iOS breakdown is 72.44% vs. 27.56%. For Amazon it is similar, 75.57% vs. 24.43%. The overall percentages are 73.71% vs. 26.29%. What this tells me is that the long tail for macOS e-books sales is much longer than for iOS. This is borne out with the next group of statistics.

    Release Year

    The next group we will look at is the percentage of sales that are release year sales. As mentioned above, I suspected that most of the sales were near the time when the new version of each operating system is released. From Apple, for macOS the percentage of sales that are from the release year only is 53.36% for macOS versus 95.30% for iOS. If I look at Amazon, it is even higher at 71.27% for macOS and 97.22% for iOS. The total for each is 60.88% and 96.01% respectively for macOS and iOS.

    This statistic is the one that surprised me the most. This ultimately lets me know that once I am done with my iOS books, I am effectively truly done with them. Not many people end up buying iOS books beyond the initial release year. While I did not look into this specifically, it would not surprise me if the iOS books did not really sell beyond the first 60 days and possibly even the first 30 days. I could create a report to look at this, and I might at some point in the future.

    Similarly, it might be a good idea for me to update the macOS books as new features, if any, are added. With the annual release of macOS, it may not be worth the effort to do this, but I will think about that in the future. Along side this, the Mac is a very mature operating system and the number of new features in each release is minimal.

    After some thinking, it does not surprise me as much that macOS has a longer selling life than iOS. This is because many users upgrade their iPhones every year or two, so they may only be looking for a book about the version of iOS that comes with their upgraded phone. Conversely, users likely upgrade their Macs every three to four years, if not longer. So it would make a lot more sense that users may be looking for information about the latest version of macOS. At the same time though, it is also possible that users wait much longer to upgrade their Macs and want information about the latest version before upgrading. Next, let us look at the breakdown of sales by country.

    Sales by Country

    The last statistic we will look at is which countries, besides the U.S., do my books sell the best? One might suspect that the United Kingdom or even Australia as the second best selling market, after the United States, due to the language being the same. However, for whatever reason, this is not the case. In fact it is Germany that is the second best selling market, followed by the United Kingdom, France, and then closely by Canada.

    Physical Books

    In 2017, I decided to add physical books as an option. This was done as a means to increase sales and as another option for those who prefer physical books instead of e-books. For each book there is a color and a black and white version. I opted to provide both as a means to see how well each would see. Naturally, as one might suspect, the color version is a bit more expensive than the black and white version.

    Given that this is the first year for physical book sales, I do not have any historical data for comparison. I published these through Amazon’s CreateSpace platform. It is possible to publish a physical book alongside a Kindle e-book, but CreateSpace offers a couple of additional features beyond the Kindle Direct Publishing platform.

    I opted to go through CreateSpace because it allows distribution by more than just Amazon, but also through third-party resellers, like your favorite book store. This also allows libraries to purchase copies as well. A vast majority of sales have come through

    With that in mind, for sales through the end of December are as follows. The macOS versus iOS sales percentages are 82.69% for macOS and 17.31% for iOS. The breakdown of black and white versus color is 65.38% black and white and 34.62% color copies.

    Anomoly

    There was one statistic that I intuitively knew, but did not have quantitative information for. That statistic was that 2014 was an anomalous year for my e-book sales. This happens to coincide with an anonymous year for iPhone sales too. I do not know if there is any causation, but there is a correlation. In 2014, 41.10% of my “all-time” sales of my iOS e-books, were for my iOS 8 book.

    Overall Sales

    The overall sales of my e-books have not been too bad. Not nearly as many as I would like, but I cannot complain too much. They will not allow me to quit my job and become independent wealthy, that is for sure. I do not know if any of the advertising nor any of the sales that I have done over the years have helped or not. If you would like to support the website, you can always purchase an e-book or two, or even a physical copy.