iPhone 6 “iPad Nano”: Review by David Pogue

David Pogue:

The screens are terrific. The smaller iPhone 6’s screen has 1334 × 750 pixels (326 dots per inch), and the Plus’s screen is 1920 × 1080 pixels (401 dpi), which is full high definition. Other phones have more dots or smaller ones, but at this point, everybody is just chasing unicorns; these screens have long since exceeded the ability of our eyes to distinguish pixels.

David, it is pixels per inch (ppi). And nope, folks who know a lot about eyes say our eyes can distinguish pixels at far denser resolutions than 300 ppi. But you are right, those of us who are over 40 will most likely not be able to tell the resolution difference between the 401-ppi iPhone 6 Plus and the 538-ppi LG G3.

There’s now ultra-smooth, ultra-slow motion video (see the watermelon-smashing test in my video, above). There’s phase-detection autofocusing, which compares incoming light from two pixels for fast, precise focusing — or quick, smooth refocusing while recording video (hallelujah!).

The Plus model has optical image stabilization – the lens jiggles in precise motion to counteract the handheld movement of the phone itself – that works supremely well.

Phase detection autofocus is used by most DSLRs precisely because of how fast it can autofocus. However, the slower contrast detection autofocus is more accurate. Some advanced cameras use both. I understand why Apple focused on speed: iPhones have not had problems with accurate focusing, but they have had problems with focus speeds. No more with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Real time autofocusing while recording video is a feature a lot of us will enjoy using.

Watson Analytics by IBM

Steve Lohr, The New York Times:

IBM has shown an early working version of Watson Analytics to a handful of customers and industry analysts, letting them try it out, and they are generally impressed. It combines basics of data handling with the Watson technologies of natural-language processing and machine learning. A result, they say, is that a business person, who is not a statistician or data scientist, can type in questions to probe corporate data. Examples: “What high-value customers am I most likely to close sales with in the next 30 days?” and “Which benefits drive employee retention the most?”

Looking forward to the day Siri and Watson start to date.

Tony Fadell: Glock, The Verb

Original image source: Fortune, by Bryce Duffy

Austin Carr, Co.Design:

Fadell pushed his team, much as he did at Apple. His reputation is for being intense, willing to go to war with Steve Jobs and his lieutenants over the development of the first-generation iPod and iPhone, and hard on his own troops. “The kiss of death at any of these product meetings — what would send Tony over the fucking moon — was when he went around the table asking how things are going, and you said, ‘Great!’” recalls one former Apple team member. “Tony would just lose his shit, because things are never going great.” (When one employee failed to live up to his standards, Fadell ordered a manager to fire the employee, saying, “You gotta Glock Glock that dude,” as he mimed shooting off a handgun. He was joking, but unapologetic.)


Leica M Edition 60


Reduced to only the essential camera features, the Leica M Edition 60 is the first digital camera to concentrate exclusively on the bare functions required for digital photography – shutter speed, aperture, focusing and ISO sensitivity. This is also the reason for the replacement of the camera’s display with an ISO selector dial. For reasons of quality, exposures are saved as raw data in DNG format. Working with the Leica M Edition 60 intentionally demands the same care and attention as working with an analogue model. Only the sensor and the entire electronics reflect the state of the art of contemporary camera technology.

Digital technology. Analogue experience.

Apple Pay: Bumpy Ride Ahead Thanks To TouchID

The NFC chip in the iPhone 6 is restricted to Apple Pay (source: Cult of Mac). Not surprising. The year-old fingerprint recognition technology called TouchID is used for only two things: iPhone 5s unlock and iTunes purchases. With the iPhone 6 you get to do one more: Apple Pay purchases.

This is how Apple rolls: limit the scope and get to perfect as close as possible. But even after a year, Apple is not close enough to perfect with TouchID: TouchID is still far from a hundred percent in recognizing my fingerprints. Every time TouchID fails the frustration of using my iPhone grows.

Apple needs to realize each failed attempt at using Apple Pay will result in a more severe frustration. Every time Apple Pay fails it will be frustrating, of course, but because you will experience the failure in public where people are waiting and watching an Apple Pay fail will also be humiliating.

A perfect Apple Pay experience is dependent on many variables and some of them are beyond the control of Apple, but I can predict with certainty Apple Pay will not always be a smooth experience, because of the less-than-perfect fingerprint recognition performance of TouchID.

Apple: Sneaky iPhone 6 Photos

Where is the iPhone 6 camera bulge? The above image is from Apple’s main page for the iPhone 6, but there are many other profile images of the iPhone 6 on Apple.com where the camera bulge is hidden.

Apple, U2, and Songs Of Innocence

At the end of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch unveiling event, Apple pushed U2’s new album Songs of Innocence to 500 million folks who have accounts on iTunes. Here are some reactions to what Apple and U2 did:

Bob Lefsetz:

This looked like nothing so much as what it was, old farts using their connections to shove material down the throats of those who don’t want it. It’s what we hate so much about today’s environment, rich people who think they know better and [are] entitled to their behavior.

Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker:

Don’t shove your music into people’s homes. A U2 album that some would have taken seriously was instead turned into an album that seems as pointless as it probably is. Lack of consent is not the future.

Lewis Wallace, Cult of Mac:

But trotting out aging Irish rockers after you’ve wowed the world with the first glimpse of the glorious Apple Watch? That’s not thinking different. That’s a pity-fuck for a band that’s lost its edge, and an unfortunate bum note for a company that’s rarely perceived as tone-deaf.

Perhaps it is not the company that is tone-deaf. Here are some reactions to Songs of Innocence:

Alexis Petridis, The Guardian:

Nevertheless, Songs of Innocence isn’t a bad album as such. The only person who’d agree with Cook’s suggestion that The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) amounts to “the most incredible single you’ve ever heard” is someone who hasn’t heard many singles.

Steven Hyden, Grantland:

Songs of Innocence isn’t a bad album, exactly, but it’s among U2’s bottom five records. [...] It justifies its own existence, but just barely.

Tom Breihan, Stereogum:

For all that, Songs Of Innocence isn’t an out-and-out disaster. The album has good moments, if you’re ready to dig for them.

Lindsay Zoladz, Vulture:

[...] Songs of Innocence is an argument for the album-as-background-noise, or maybe just the album-as-accessory-to-technology, the forgettable prize drowning in the much-more-desired Crackerjacks.

I have not listened to Songs of Innocence, and I do not plan to. I have tried a few times to download the free songs I have been gifted by Apple but have not been able to; maybe that is a blessing in disguise. If you want to remove the songs from your iTunes music library and purchases this Apple support page shows you how.

U2 lost me at Zooropa, but I still enjoy listening to songs from Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum. I am certain there are some who are enjoying the new and free album from U2, but from where I am sitting it seems the giveaway and the music they gave away were both lukewarm.


Panasonic Lumix CM1: Android Smartphone with 1-inch 20MP Image Sensor & Leica Lens

The Verge: I have a Sony RX100 and it takes great photos for a pocketable camera. I bought the RX100 because the photo quality coming out of my iPhone 5s wasn’t good enough. The RX100 sports a 20MP 1-inch Exmor CMOS image sensor mated to a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/1.8 lens.

The Panasonic CM1 also features a 20MP 1-inch image sensor, but the Leica lens is significantly slower at f/2.8. Even the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have faster f/2.2 lenses. The CM1 — unlike regular smartphones — has a mechanical shutter and a manual control ring, like the RX100. Like other smartphones, the CM1 has a display (4.7 inches and 1920×1080 pixels) and runs an operating system (Android 4.4).

I’ve long desired a smartphone like the CM1: a full-blown camera fused into a smartphone. I don’t think the CM1 is that camera-smartphone hybrid of my dreams (that would be an iPhone 5s + RX100), but I think — like the Nokia Lumia 1020 — it’s a glimpse of where smartphones are going, but without the huge bulge.

iPhone 6 & 6 Plus: Pre-Orders


Apple today announced a record number of first day pre-orders of iPhone® 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the biggest advancements in iPhone history, with over four million in the first 24 hours. Demand for the new iPhones exceeds the initial pre-order supply and while a significant amount will be delivered to customers beginning on Friday and throughout September, many iPhone pre-orders are scheduled to be delivered in October.

The biggest advancements in iPhone history. Really? Apple’s PR, just like Tim Cook, is excessively hyperbolic. Nonetheless the fact of the matter is there were a lot of people waiting for a larger, and new — as in not just a tweak of the previous iPhone design, like the iPhone 5s was to the iPhone 5 — iPhone.

Do you know what else demand for the new iPhones exceeded? Apple.com’s ability to process that demand.


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