No, I didn’t buy one. (Though I could have; the nearby Apple store has had them in stock each day.) But I did spend about 20 minutes playing with one, just to compare it to my 8 Plus. Here then are my thoughts after that extensive hands-on period…
The Good Stuff
The screen is lovely (most of the time; see below). Very high pixel density makes for incredibly crisp text, and the OLED tech means blacks are black, and colors in images look stunning.
The 120Hz sample rate on the touchscreen makes for very snappy interactions.
Compared to my 8 Plus, the narrower iPhone X feels nicely sized in my hand.
I don’t think it would take too long to get used to the gesture-based interface; I already find myself wishing that the “short drag up” to activate the app switcher worked on my iPhone 8 Plus.
Face ID is very easy to set up, much more so than Touch ID. (The store phones have a demo setup so you can see how it works and test it, but not really apply it as you would on your own iPhone.)
There’s more, of course, but they’re things that apply to the iPhone 8/8 Plus, too: The glass design feels good in the hand, much improved cameras, speedy CPU, etc. The X has all of that, though with an even better camera, thanks to stabilization on the zoom lens, too.
Almost exactly two years ago, I bought my first pair of Bluetooth headphones—Sentey Bluetooth headphones which were amazingly cheap and worked quite well. They worked great, right up until the charging port broke and I could find no way to fix it—this was about two months ago. Not bad for $50.
When it came time to replace them, I wasn’t quite sure what to get—I didn’t want to spend a lot on headphones. But while browsing Costco, I came across the Sony MDR-100ABN noise canceling wireless headphones, set up in a “try before you buy” display.
I tried them on, and found them comfortable—and the sound was quite good to my ear. I also checked the Amazon reviews, which were quite positive. The Costco price (login required) was $200, anywhere from $29 to $148 cheaper than on Amazon. (Why the broad range? Costco only sells the black colored headphones; Amazon has all the colors Sony offers, and they range from $229 to $348.)
So I splurged and bought them. And I’m glad I did—these are not only great wireless headphones, they’re great headphones in general. Here’s why I really like these headphones…
With the recent unveiling of Movies Anywhere, Apple has—willingly or not, I do not know—opened up the world of iTunes to movies from other places. Stated another way, you can now have movies in the Tunes ecosystem that weren’t purchased there, or that weren’t digital versions acquired by using an iTunes redemption code with a physical disc purchase.
To put it bluntly, this is huge; I’ve long wanted a way to get all of my movies into iTunes (and iOS) so that they could sync to devices, easily stream (without the computer on) to the TV, etc. The service goes well beyond iTunes/iOS, of course—the full list of supported players is quite extensive.
Important: As of now, Movies Anywhere is a US-only service. If you’re not in the US, hopefully something similar will be coming to your country at some point in the future.
What’s really amazing, though, is that you can not only combine purchases from multiple sources into iTunes, but convert and/or upgrade them in the process. Thanks to Movies Anywhere, I’ve been able to do two seemingly amazing things…
Put an UltraViolet-only (i.e. no iTunes version) digital redemption movie into the iTunes ecosystem.
Paid a modest fee—not to Apple—and converted an old physical DVD into a high-def —digital version.
Note: The original version of this post stated that you could convert a DVD into a 4K iTunes video. That is not the case, based on this article and my own testing. Thanks to @netnothing for the pointer.
How does this magic work? Honestly, I don’t really know.
This finally irked me enough that I went looking for an answer…and found one, on only the second entry in my search results.
As the linked answer explains, you can fix the problem by specifying that your Photos library is the System Photo Library, as seen here:
I hadn’t specified that my Photos library was the actual System Photo Library, so that button was still active. Once I clicked it, the button grayed out, and on next launch, no more welcome screen!
I think you’ll only run into this problem if you (1) migrated an iPhoto library, and (2) kept that iPhoto library on an external drive. In those cases, Photos doesn’t set the library as the System Photo Library.
Update: With the passage of time—one calendar day, in this case—I can now say that this hint is wrong. Photos does not respect partial day values. Instead, any value less than one is rounded to zero, so all you can really do is create a Smart Album that finds imports you made during the current calendar day. That is, Date Added – is in the last – 0 – days. This is what I’m using now, as it’s better than one day, which actually shows two days (today and yesterday), but it’s not as nice as iPhoto’s Last Import album.
I’ve left the hint up, because it’s been linked to and tweeted a few times, but it’s wrong. Sorry for the lack of testing before I posted it.
I find slow-motion video of falling snow oddly compelling, and was looking forward to filming some snow with my new iPhone 8 this winter. Little did I know that winter would arrive this morning, at least briefly in central Oregon (where I am for a few days).
It was too warm to stick, but we had a good 30 minutes of these huge, fluffy flakes falling early this morning. Here’s a decent-quality brief snippet in slow-mo (240fps at 1080p)…
I uploaded the original version (1:13, 122MB) if you’d like to watch a longer version—though I don’t know that anyone else finds this as visually interesting as I do.
As noted in priorposts, I’ve recently moved to Photos from iPhoto. So far, it’s been a mixed experience. There are some elements of Photos I like, but as of today, those things are outweighed by the things I don’t like.
I’ve vented on a number of the things I dislike on Twitter, but wanted to expand on both the positives and the negatives in more detail. Hence, this “one week in” review (of sorts) of Photos, from the perspective of an experienced iPhoto user.
I’ve also included some tips for working with and migrating to Photos for those who haven’t yet made the move from iPhoto. Finally, if you’re still reading, I’ve listed the key features I’d really like to see come to Photos in a future update.
Note that I am not a great photographer, but I do take a lot of photos—I have over 40,000 photos and a couple thousand video clips in my database. To keep things organized, I use lots of keywords and Smart Albums, so much of my feedback on Photos is concerned with those areas of the program.
First off, my time with Photos hasn’t all been bad; there are some things that I really like in Photos…
My migration from iPhoto to Photos continues, and today’s snafu was my discovery that I couldn’t rename files in Photos. This is something I’ve long done in iPhoto—not for every file, but for ones I’d like to group together using something other than Keywords.
For example, I have a collection of iOS wallpapers, for both the home and lock screens. I name each with either “H_” or “L_” as the start of the filename, which let me create this Smart Album to see them all together:
The inability to rename files isn’t critical, in particular because the Title field can be used for the same functionality. But I had a problem: When I migrated, Photos created Titles for some, but not all, of my custom-named images. In particular, it missed all of the iOS wallpapers. I’m not sure if this is because these aren’t photos in the traditional sense—they’re edited photos I export as PNGs. But whatever the reason, I had hundreds of images that needed a Title that was equal to their Filename.
AppleScript to the rescue…this simple bit of code acts on the selection in Photos, and sets the Title equal to each image’s filename.
error"Select photos before using script."
To use this bit of code, just select the photos you’d like to modify in Photos, then run the script. You can make it a bit easier by saving the script into your user’s Library > Scripts > Applications > Photos folder (create as many of those as don’t exist). It will then be available in the AppleScript menu in the menu bar, assuming you’ve enabled that in the AppleScript Editor’s preferences.
This saved me literally hours of work, copying and pasting filenames to the Title field. (I was surprised this worked, but it did—you can’t change the filename, but you can select and copy it.)
As a recent somewhat-forced convert to Photos, I’m struggling with a number of things—more on that coming in a future post. But one of the tougher adjustments for me is that Photos uses a floating Info window, whereas iPhoto had an embedded info panel.
I keep the Info window open all the time, because I do a lot of work with keywords and location. (I also like to keep the Keywords window open, though this one was also floating in iPhoto.) I resize the iPhoto/Photos window quite often, depending on what I’m doing with other apps—sometimes I want my photos covering the screen, sometimes I don’t.
In iPhoto, this isn’t an issue (left GIF), as the info panel is attached to the main window. In Photos, though, resizing the main window leaves the Info window floating in space (right GIF).
I don’t like the big gap, either visually or operationally, so I wind up moving the Info window next to the newly-resized main window.
There are a few solutions to this problem, the best of which only Apple could provide. They could make the Info window a panel below the photos, or they could make it magnetic so that it would stick to the edge of the Photos window, even as it resizes. I don’t suspect we’ll see either solution coming from Apple, though.
Instead of waiting for Apple, I used one of Many Tricks’ own apps, Moom, which (among its other tricks) has the ability to save window layouts, either within an app or across many apps.
This morning, I was thinking about putting a clear screen protector on the iPhone 8 Plus, just because I had one that came with one of the cases I purchased. While cleaning the glass, though, I noticed something disconcerting: My iPhone 8 Plus is already showing fine scratches on the glass.
Compare my year-old iPhone 7 (top) with the weeks-old iPhone 8 Plus (bottom)…
Both phones are in similar cases that extend above the edge of the glass—I tried two minimal cases on the iPhone 8 Plus, but have only used the full-sized cases out in the “real world.” Both phones have been used in similar ways, sitting in my pants pocket or in a tray in my car. After a year of such treatment, the iPhone 7 glass looks practically brand new. The iPhone 8 Plus glass, however, is already showing fine scratches. (There are similar scratches near the bottom of the phone, too.)
These scratches aren’t—yet?—visible in day-to-day use, but it concerns me that they’ve developed to this degree after only a couple weeks’ use. How bad will things get after a few months?
Are any other iPhone 8 (Plus or non-plus) users seeing such scratches on their displays? I’m tempted to go visit the Apple Store with my phone, because I can’t believe this is normal, especially given how well the iPhone 7 (and all my prior phones) have resisted scratching.