iPhone 3G: 10 Years Later

Great post by Stephen Hackett on the iPhone 3G. The 3G was my first iPhone, which I got for Christmas in 2008 - almost 10 years ago(!). For it’s time it felt like a huge step forward in technology, particularly when exploring the App Store and seeing what was possible.

The home button was noticeably soft to press, and as the months wore on, became harder to press without feeling like you were going to break it. 1 I loved the plastic back and the chrome trim. I don’t think Apple have made an iPhone since the 3G/3GS that feel as comfortable to hold.

I still have a lot of photos that I took on the phone from that time backed up to iCloud, and those photos still hold up really well today I think.

For all the progress that has been made over the past decade, the 3G still looks so familiar. Home button, big screen, border at top and bottom, mute switch, lock and volume buttons - these are all still present in more or less the same position of last years iPhone 8 line.

Despite this, as we move towards edge to edge design I have a feeling that the next few iPhone releases will make the 3G feel like a relic of the past.

  1. Nothing like the Taptic Engine that powers the home button of the 7 and 8 phones. 

Instapaper is going independent

Instapaper blog:

Today, we’re announcing that Pinterest has entered into an agreement to transfer ownership of Instapaper to Instant Paper, Inc., a new company owned and operated by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper since it was sold to betaworks by Marco Arment in 2013. The ownership transfer will occur after a 21 day waiting period designed to give our users fair notice about the change of control with respect to their personal information.

We want to emphasize that not much is changing for the Instapaper product outside the new ownership. The product will continue to be built and maintained by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper for the past five years. We plan to continue offering a robust service that focuses on readers and the reading experience for the foreseeable future.

I’m glad to see this move, seeing as Instapaper has been unavailable for use for the past few months in the EU becuase of it non-compliance with GDPR. I’ve since moved onto using Pocket as a replacement, but it would be great to see Instapaper return.

Why I love New Star Soccer

John Mundy, writing on Pocket Gamer:

There have been a fair few mobile football games that have attempted to emulate the beautiful game over the past decade. I’d argue that none have done so as expertly as New Star Soccer.

You can keep your FIFA and your PES. The two undisputed console footy heavyweights have never been able to translate their highly technical magic to a tiny touchscreen.

I can’t think of any mobile game that I have played that comes close to how addictive New Star Soccer is. It’s the perfect companion to the World Cup, or if you want to mindlessly kill a few minutes hours from time to time on your phone/tablet.

On macOS Mojave’s Dark Mode

Nice overview of Dark Mode in macOS Mojave. After reading through this it makes me even more happy to see a dark mode introduced.

Aside from looking great, I find darker colours much easier on the eye, which is something to be aware of when spending long periods of time working at a computer. Hopefully it makes its way onto iOS in the future.

Dark mode on macOS leaked


Developer Steve Troughton Smith today tweeted photos of macOS 10.14 with some very juicy details about Apple’s upcoming operating system. The OS is very clearly sporting a fresh new dark theme, presumably a toggle-able setting, with the dark UI affecting all application chrome. You can also see an icon for a Mac News app in the Dock, as well as a first look at Xcode 10.

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

WWDC 2018 wishes

WWDC 2018 kicks off in San Jose on Monday 4th. iOS 12 should be light on new features, instead bringing some much-needed stability to the platform, which is fine by me. Siri should also see some stage time with meaningful improvements. Hardware wise, it’s anyone’s guess.

I have one wish, and one wish only (which I’ve had the previous two years)….system wide dark mode. Don’t let me down Apple. 🙏

Tony 10

I recently watched “All Bets Are Off1, a documentary hosted by Baz Ashmawy about gambling addiction in Ireland. One of the people featured on the documentary was Tony O’Reilly, a former branch manager at An Post who stole a mind boggling €1.7 million from his employers and managed to win an even more mind boggling €10 million, only to lose it all. ‘Tony 10’ was the username of his online betting account.

Tony, along with author Declan Lynch, recently released a book, “Tony 10: The astonishing story of the postman who gambled €10,000,000… and lost it all”, documenting his story from falling into gambling addiction to eventually overcoming it and becoming an addiction counsellor himself - not before spending time in jail and losing just about everything in between.

The book opens by painting a picture of an ordinary man in an ordinary town. What begins with a €1 bet “to have an interest” in some of the 1998 World Cup matches escalates into a world where numbers have no meaning. €10000 on a tennis match, €20000 on a horse may as well be €1 or €2 bets.

The big take away from reading the book is that it is extremely easy to get sucked into gambling addiction. Betting shops are in every town in Ireland and online betting is available to anybody at any place and time.

The fact that Tony O’Reilly was able to walk into betting offices with enormous amounts of money in cash and could bet that money away day after day without any questions being asked makes you wonder how often this type of thing happens, and how betting organizations are getting away with it.

Tony 10 is an interesting read, and one which gives a great insight into the power of addiction and how easy it is to lose the run of yourself.

  1. Highly recommended by the way. At the time of writing this, it can still be watched on the RTE Player. 

Why I love link blogging

Matt Birchler, on why he loves writing linked posts on his site:

More often than not, I write articles for this site after reading something someone else wrote. I browse the web for articles and tweets that I find interesting, and the ones that make me think are very often the ones that inspire me to write something myself.

This leads to a funny situation as a writer though: do I write my article as a brand new post that gives the impression I thought of something in a vacuum? Do I write a normal post and link to the article/tweet that inspired me inline? Do I do a full block quote that shows off what idea got me going and write from there?

I personally love the third option. Link to someone else, provide a relatively short block quote of what idea set me off, and then take on the topic from there.

The web allows us to create content that is connected with the rest of the web. Everything we do, especially us writers, is kicked off by something someone else said, and we should embrace that. Make your blog a part of a conversation, not an island that feels like you’re just doing this all on your own. None of us are, and we should be proud of that.

Besides, if someone reads my site and I link somewhere else, hopefully that will make people click that link and some of them will discover a new writer they had never heard of. If that linked article also links somewhere else, then the rabbit hole can get very deep, but that’s just more chances to find some gems out there.

Couldn’t agree more.

Blogging System Rewrite

Brent Simmons, describing the recent changes he has made to his blog:

I realized that I want my blog to be me on the web. This used to be true, but then along came Twitter, and then my presence got split up between two places.

To make this work, I needed two things that my old system from 2009 didn’t provide:

  1. Title-less posts, and
  2. The ability to run the site generator on my server, not just on my Mac.

In other words, I needed to be able to write tweet-like posts with no title — while on the go, on my iPhone or iPad.

It’s interesting to see the influence that Micro.blog has had on the blogging community. I’m seeing more and more of this style of posting.

Blogs set up with microblogging are interesting to read. It’s like having a Twitter feed with occasional long form blog posts sandwiched in-between.

The ability to cross post to social media ensures that you can keep your output under your control, as it always lives on your own site.

This is not something I see myself setting up as I don’t really post enough on social media to justify it, but it’s a smart move for anyone concerned with owning their own identify.