iOS/iPadOS 13 impressions

iOS 13

The Good:

  • Dark Mode - finally!
  • Controller support - finally!
  • Shortcuts Automations
  • Better use of the iPad home screen
  • Apple Arcade look promising
  • Photos.app revamp is great

The Bad:

  • App Updates are hidden in the App Store
  • Haptic Touch is replacing 3D Touch

Tiger Woods

The career of Tiger Woods has to be one of the most interesting sporting stories of all time.

Written by Jeff Benjamin and Armen Keteyian, Tiger Woods is a biography of the golfer from when he was born until the end of 2018, when he had come back from numerous scandals and injuries to win again on the PGA Tour. 1

What surprised me most was Woods early life, where he was effectively brainwashed into golf from the age of two, watching his father his shots for hours on end. Not only was he learning his craft from an extremely young age, he was also learning how to play like an ‘assassin’, to not only beat his opponents but to beat them by as much as he could. It’s clear to see how he became so dominant in the sport.

The cost of that level of success at such a young age was that he never really had a normal life, which was a big factor in the scandal that broke in 2009.

Any sport fan would enjoy this book, whether or not they follow golf. Well worth a read.

Highlight: The period of 2000-2007 when Woods was untouchable on the tour.

  1. It’s a shame that the book came out not long before Woods won the 2019 Masters. 


An Alternate ‘View’ on the Most Hated Bond Movie Ever

A View to a Kill

The most disagreement off my list — the movie that the most readers argued should have been included — was 1985’s “A View to a Kill,” the seventh and final Bond adventure featuring Roger Moore as 007. This did not surprise me at all. “A View to a Kill” is routinely ranked around or at the absolute bottom of every other list of the worst Bond films. It’s been that way for decades.

I’m probably a bit biased, seeing as Roger Moore is my favourite Bond, but I agree that A View to a Kill doesn’t deserve to be at the bottom of the list of Bond films.

I don’t see Moore’s age as being much of an issue here 1, nor do I find it too far fetched, which many argue Moore’s later films tend to be.

The film has two of the most memorable villains in the series in Zorin and Mayday. It has some great action sequences, (snowboarding, parachuting off the Eiffel Tower, a car getting cut in half, a fire truck chase, a blimp exploding above the Golden Gate Bridge. Am I missing anything?). It even has the whole MI6 gang at the races.

There’s a lot to love in this film.

  1. Well…maybe aside from that Mayday scene. 


Choosing Between the 2019 MacBook Air and Entry-level MacBook Pro

The latest update to the MacBook line simplifies things nicely, making it easier to choose between models.

The 13 inch MacBook with physical escape has been replaced with an entry level model which includes a Touch Bar, True Tone display and a T2 chip. The MacBook Air is now cheaper, with a True Tone display, while the 12 inch MacBook is no more.

MacBook Pro 2019

The most interesting decision for most people will be which to choose: the MacBook Air, or the similarly priced MacBook Pro 13 inch base model.

Stephen Hackett sums things up nicely:

Once you start poking around, you can see some differences. Upgrading from the $1,099 MacBook Air to $1,299 MacBook Pro comes with these features:

  • A quad-core Intel processor, with twice the cores of the MacBook Air. While the base clock speed is slower on the Pro, its Turbo Boost frequency is higher, and in its higher-TDP application, the Pro should be able to sustain higher speeds for longer.
  • A display that at 500 nits is a full 100 nits brighter than the MacBook Air. The Pro’s display supports the P3 wide color gamut while the Air does not.
  • The Touch Bar. Your mileage will vary on how useful you find it.
  • A slightly more robust Intel GPU. The Pro can push more external pixels, but performance wise, it shouldn’t be a night and day difference.
  • Worse battery life. The Pro comes with a 58.2-watt-hour battery clocked at 10 hours on Apple’s “wireless web” test, but the Air’s 49.9‑watt‑hour unit tested at 12 hours. I’d blame that core count.

I think for almost everyone, the MacBook Air is the right notebook. It’s thin and light, with plenty of power for most tasks, but if you need a better GPU or more cores, the MacBook Pro is a logical upgrade.


Apple iPhone 11 Max final design confirmed

T3:

Remember those high-resolution renders of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max successor with the chunky square-shaped camera bump taking up an unhealthy amount of room in the top left-hand corner of the rear panel?

Well, it turns out those renders were probably very accurate.

Ok, there’s no denying that this camera bump is extremely ugly, but that is going to be a monster camera on the iPhone 11 (or iPhone XI..?).


Roysh Here, Roysh Now… The Teenage Dirtbag Years

This book is a bit of a blast from the past. I hadn’t read it in a number of years but I’m happy to report that it still brought as much laughs as the first time.

For anyone unfamiliar with the character, Ross O’ Carroll-Kelly is an exaggerated fictional south side Dubliner, coming of age in the Celtic Tiger era.

This is one of the early releases in the long list of ‘ROCK’ books, and follows Ross through his first year in UCD and his summer in the states afterwards.

If you’re looking for an easy read and some pre-recession laughs, it’s worth a read.

Highlight: Any interation with Ross and his doting father, affectionately nicknamed ‘dick-features’.



iOS 13 to include Dark Mode

Big scoop over on 9to5mac about the next version of iOS. Apple are finally adding a system wide Dark Mode!

First, the long-awaited Dark Mode is finally coming to the iPhone and iPad with iOS 13. There will be a system-wide Dark Mode that can be enabled in Settings, including a high contrast version, similar to what’s already available on macOS. Speaking of macOS, iPad apps that run on the Mac using Marzipan will finally take advantage of the Dark Mode support on both systems.


How Apple Arcade could make Apple a major player in gaming

Apple Arcade is an interesting new service due to be launched this year by Apple. Time will tell if it can take iOS/Mac gaming to the next level, but the premise is definitely worth watching out for.

Macworld have a good overview:

Beginning sometime in the fall, you’ll be able to pay Apple an unspecified subscription fee that grants access to around 100 “new and exclusive” games. None of the games will have in-app purchases, and they will only be playable on iOS devices and Macs. All of the games will be accessible offline.

This is all smart stuff as games have been among the primary drivers of revenue for the App Store for years now. Apple Arcade could be a sign that Apple is finally taking games seriously

The importance of MFI controllers was also highlighted, which for me would be the real game changer. If Apple can produce a great controller, or allow other manufacturers to, along with incentivizing developers to create in depth, ad free games, then that would make for a really great gaming platform. 1

Subtle clues that Apple wants to get serious about gaming have been dropping for months. With iOS 12, for instance, Apple finally allowed MFi (Made for iPhone) controllers to use the “L3” and “R3” buttons, which you normally activate by pressing down on a gamepad’s thumbsticks. For whatever reason, Apple previously wouldn’t certify controllers that allowed you to do this, which effectively made some iOS ports unplayable. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this kept iOS gaming from being bigger than it could have been. The new Rotor Riot controller is the first one to take advantage of that, and I have little doubt that others will follow suit in the near future.

  1. A controller and an iPad, or even a Mac, would be a great gaming setup. Play anywhere, get up and running in seconds, no wires, compact. 


iPad naming conventions, Part 2

The new iPads released over the past few days have added even more confusion over iPad naming.

For those keeping track:

  • iPad
  • iPad 2
  • iPad (3rd generation)
  • iPad (4th generation)
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Pro (12.9-inch)
  • iPad Pro (9.7-inch)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad Pro (12.9-inch) (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro (10.5-inch)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad Pro (11-inch)
  • iPad Pro (12.9-inch) (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)

As for the newly resurrected iPad mini:

  • iPad mini
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini (5th generation)