iPhone XS review: The best iPhone from Cupertino yet.

Last year when Apple released the X it was interesting. For the first time, the design was changed.

Sporting a 5.8-inch screen, no home button, Face-ID, and coming in at $999 (US price). The phone was a big step for Apple.

In 2018 Apple has carried much of those notions into the phone line up for this year.

3 phones to choose from: Take your pick

For 2018 there are 3 phones in play. I’ll explain each one more later in this post, but without further preamble they are as follows:

iPhone XS coming in 2 models, Max and not, and a new iPhone XR with a 6.1-inch screen. The iPhone 8 and 7 series are still available from Apple should you want to get a device with Touch ID.

Hello Face ID, it’s nice to meet you

One of the reasons why I played it safe last year and got the 8 was to let Face ID mature. This was a fantastic notion on my part, as it means now Apple is using the second-generation Face ID technology, which to put it in their own words is faster when performing facial recognition. Indeed, Locking and unlocking my XS does seem to be faster when using the Face ID.

All three phones are powered by the new A-12 chip, the first nano chip with 3 billion transistors on the logic board. These phones are very fast for every day use. I’m excited to see what app developers do with all that computing power in the next 3-5 years.

Apple is the king when it comes to mobile silicon architecture.

Conclusion

These new phones are worth it 100%, even for an S series, what Apple has produced this year is spectacular.

Rating:

5 Stars Outstanding.

iOS 12 review: The best version yet.

Introduction

I’ve been using iOS, The operating system that powers iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch since 2009.

I still remember my excitement when I got my first 3rd generation iPod Touch with VoiceOver.

Back then the 3GS was hot, And the notion of a screen reader on a flat touch-screen device was new.

Let us fast forward to 2018 and both what we expect from our mobile devices and indeed the power said devices bring to the table has become almost magical.

What’s new

From Siri shortcuts to a much-improved notifications system there’s a lot to love about iOS 12.

I won’t delve much into everything that is new but will say that the experience and speed is noticeable, specially if one is coming from an older iOS device.

Apple claim that the camera app now opens 70% faster, the overall performance is much improved.

Another area I really love is the way now iOS handles notifications. Say you get 20 notifications on Facebook. You can just tap to dismiss them all, or with Vo running double tap on clear all.

Conclusion

With apple’s focus on stability and speed, this update is very much recommended for anyone who can run it.

Big changes like a new home screen are coming in iOS 13.

For now, iOS 12 is the best.

iPhone 7 review. Goodbye headphone jack.

With no headphone jack, the 64 fusion CPU, a double lens arrangement for the larger 7+ this year’s iPhones make a big bold statement for the future.

Introduction

At Apple’s special event held in September CEO Tim Cook and other executives demoed the new iPhone 7 and 7+.

Most of the features this year appear to be subtle upgrades that hint at something bigger to come.

Press my home button

One thing long term iOS users will notice is that the iconic home button is no more, rather it’s become a button controlled by software. If the phone is turned off you’re unable to depress the button at all.

Turn it on however, and you’ll feel a gentle tap to mimic the physical click.

It takes some getting used to but is probably a nice addition as there is one less component of the phone to fail.

Design

Apart from being a tad heavyer you’d be hard pressed to tell apart the 7 and 7+ from what came before) 6s and 6s+).
The only change is a new paint job there calling glossy black.

Sighted members in my family and some friends that have the glossy version tell me it looks wonderful.

I personally went with my favourite standard gold.

For the first time ever for an iPhone you can get the biggest storage quota 256GB an obscene amount of storage.

This will please music and movie junkies or those who love to have everything at hand.

The larger model also comes with 3GB and 2 cameras something that will be welcome for people that take a lot of pictures.

The FaceTime camera has now been upgraded to 7MP.

Optical image stabilisation is also now present in both phones.

Conclusion and overall impressions

With Google rebranding their Nexus line Apple had to bring something to the table and as stated previously it would seem that this year there testing the waters.

If you have a perfectly working 6s or 6s+ I’d stay your hand and wait it out.

For those of you with a 6 or 6+ the upgrades will be huge.
Go for it!

Rating

4 Stars excellent.

Pros

The best mobile software period, feels good in the hand, new home button is interesting.

Cons

No headphone jack is painful, no fast charging, design is getting old, can get inordinately expensive specially if you get all the cases and adapters required.

A personal tech journey Why I switched back to Windows after more than 5 years.

Introduction

Back in 2010 fresh out of high school I decided to give the  Mac a try.

I had heard some podcasts by David Woodbridge of Vision Australia, and having had the iPhone for about 6 months I went in head first.

The good stuff

There’s something to be said for being able to set up/take any Mac out of the box and get VoiceOver running. With no sighted assistance I was able to set up the Mac.

Within a couple of hours I had the  machine up and running. Over the next 2 weeks or so I listened to all of David’s podcasts and visited Www.applevis.com to get a feel for how things worked on the Mac.

Being a long time Windows user. One of the things I had to get use to was interacting with webpages and alike. Although Safari was great this interacting drove me crazy.

The PDF problem

Windows screen readers have always worked better when working with PDF content. JAWS and other screen readers allow one to get a feel for how documents are structured. Not so on the Mac. I have emailed Appple’s accessibility department to no avail. This is one of the main reasons I have come back to the Windows platform.

Recently a friend told me that Word for the Mac had become accessible, but it’s no where as good as the version on Windows.

Conclusion

I really hope the state of PDF accessibility changes. When and if that changes I might return to the Mac. Until then it’s Windows all the way.

Beats by Dr . Dre studio Headphones reviewed

It’s not always easy to get excited about a pair of headphones at $400 AU, these headphones are definitely not for those looking for a bargain.

What are they?

The Beats by Dr . Dre are a luxury high-end pair of headphones designed for people who want to get every bit of sound from there tunes.

Design

The Beats by Dr . Dre are a sweet looking set of headphones. Coming in your choice of silver, black, red, and gold you will most definitely turn heads when wearing these headphones.

Sound quality is nothing to scoff at, their appeal as eye Candy  is undeniable. For audio enthusiasts and professional DJs    like myself the Beats Studio headphones are a must.

The Beats by Dr . Dre may not be all about style, but you wouldn’t know that just by looking at them. If you wear these headphones in public, you will turn heads. The thick and padded glossy black headband descends seemingly seamlessly into the circles that hold each ear cup, which are oblong and padded in a leatherette material that is obscenely cushy. They also swivel slightly in their support in order to provide a comfortable fit.

Of course, a pair of headphones maybe gorgeous but if they don’t perform then your wasting your money.

luckily,  this is not the case with the Beats Studio which offered an exceptionally–one might say  shockingly –crisp response. Maybe I’m pigeonholing here, but I expected Dr . Dre’s headphones to be excessively heavy on the low end. That’s not to say there’s no bass–it does thumb–but the these ‘phones are nicely warm and balanced in the mids and truly impressive in their delivery of high-end detail.

At no point did I suffer through the muddiness that can ail bass-heavy headphones.  The genres that really shine are electronic, dance, pop, hard rock, and hip-hop, although other genres are also very good for the most part.

No matter what the music, be forewarned that these headphones have fair amount of sound leakage, so your listening experience won’t be entirely private.

I’m happy to report however, that the Beats Studio headphones strike a good balance between the world outside and your music thanks to ANC ( active noise cancellation technology).

Conclusions and final thoughts

The Beats Studio headphones by Dr . Dre are a wonderful investment for anyone who is blind and serious about there sound.

If you DJ, are into sound engineering, or just want to drop some swag on some nice looking headphones that offer form and functionality in a sleek package then the Beats by Dr Dre . Studio headphones are for you.

Pros

lovely industrial design, insanely comfortable, well-made, compatible with most of today’s popular devices.

Cons

If your put off by the price of these headphones your probably not the target audience for Dr Dre . anyway. Look elsewhere. As they say you do get what you pay for.

Rating

5 stars outstanding.

Compatibility

compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 3gS, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad air, iPad Mini ) original model) iPod touch 5th generation, the Apple Mac, and all Windows PCs with a Standard 3.5 millimetre headphone jack.

Editor’s note

This review was contributed to by Jasmine France from cnet.com