The iPhone 6s Plus

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About a month ago, I wrote that my wife, mother-in-law, and I had switched from the iPhone 6s to the iPhone SE. In the month that I was using the iPhone SE, I decided that I really didn’t like how small it was so this past Friday, I once again took advantage of T-Mobile’s JUMP On-Demand feature and switched to an iPhone 6s Plus.

Surprisingly, it didn’t take me very long to get used to the drastic change in size. When I originally upgraded from the iPhone 5s, I went to the iPhone 6 Plus and felt like it took me weeks to get used to how huge it was. This time it was markedly different–it felt normal versus the tiny size of the iPhone SE.

I guess my indecision about iPads and sizes has somewhat spilled over into the realm of the iPhone now. That said though, I think I’ve settled on the devices I’ll keep going forward. In addition to doing normal “phone stuff”, the iPhone 6s Plus is big enough that I can use it to read comfortably in bed (the 12.9″ iPad Pro is sometimes a bit awkward to use lying down) and the 12.9″ iPad Pro remains my workhorse for everything else.

SF Mono in Coda for iOS

SF Mono in Coda for iOS

Ever since the WWDC announcement a few months ago, I’ve wanted to get my hands on the font they used–which appeared to be a monospaced version of the San Francisco system font–but it wasn’t available anywhere.

That changed on Monday with the release of the Xcode 8 beta. Not only is SF Mono a real thing, I’ve installed it in Coda on my iPad and it’s glorious. If you’d like to grab the font, you can find it inside the Fonts directory in the Xcode 8 beta package:

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Enjoy :)

SF Mono in Coda for iOS

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iOS 10 First Impressions

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In what has become normal practice after the WWDC keynote, I’ve installed the latest iOS beta on my devices. This year is a little different than the few previous as I’ve installed it on both my iPad and my iPhone. This the first time I’ve run a developer beta on my phone since the iOS 6 betas a few years ago–typically I only install it on my iPad. I’m not sure what made this year different, but oh well :)

Some quick thoughts:

  • I love the new 3-pane interface for Mail and Notes on the iPad Pro (9to5Mac has more info and screenshots)

  • My favorite feature that I’ve come across so far are the videos you can generate for each person’s photos in the People section of the Photos app. They are awesome.

  • I really like the updates to the Maps app.

  • Spotlight search is super-fast.

  • I like the system UI updates (notifications, etc).

  • The Apple Music changes are great. Also, IT NOW WORKS WITH SPLIT SCREEN!!!

Overall, some apps are a little crashy, but I’m not complaining–that’s to be expected, especially with the first beta build. I definitely feel like the changes so far are a step in the right direction and can’t wait to see how things progress as they stabilize over the course of the additional betas up to release in the fall.

Day and night revisited

Back in October, I made some changes so a different color scheme was shown depending on the time of day. I was using PHP to handle the changes at the time and ended up getting rid of it because it didn’t play nice with the caching I was using.

Anyway, earlier today I reimplemented the feature in javascript, and the theme you see is now based on your local time of day instead of the server time of day. If you visit the site between 7am and 8pm Pacific, you’ll see the default light theme. If you visit between 8pm and 7am, you’ll see a dark theme.

Please let me know if you notice any issues.

From hueniverse:

A decade later, I’m the founder of a scrappy startup trying to reinvent web conversations. We have limited resources and a staff of almost 3, struggling to tame this fucking web. It is amazing how hard it still is to build innovative, quality web experiences. It is very much possible – there are plenty of amazing web developers building mind blowing experiences. The problem is, I can’t afford to hire them, especially since a big chunk of them work for Google and Facebook.

From M.Blazoned:

Hey Kids,

Feel free to leave your stuff wherever you want this summer. Half drunk smoothies in the family room? No problem. I got it. Socks in the hall. I’m on it. Dishes in the sink? Keep ’em coming. Legos? Everywhere? Love it. Oh, and feel free to drag your blankets all over the house and abandon them the moment you no longer want them. I’ll fold them lovingly for you and return them to your rooms.

And doors? Shutting them is optional. I’m right behind you, so, seriously, don’t worry about it. I love when the wasps get in and the air conditioning gets out. Who are we to be sequestered in our climate controlled house? Open door policy in this house. We have endless money.

Hah! My wife sent me this earlier and I feel like I say these things almost every day.

The iPhone SE

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Last week, after much discussion, my wife and I decided to switch out our iPhone 6ses (and my mother-in-law’s) for the iPhone SE.

The reason for doing so was a pretty simple one–cost. We currently lease all three of our phones through T-Mobile and have their JUMP On-Demand feature with our plan. This means we can switch/upgrade our phones 3 times a year at no extra cost. Since we’ve been looking for ways to save some extra money, switching to the iPhone SE from the 6s would end up saving us about $30 per month in lease fees. Add that on top of the $30 per month savings I managed to get by tweaking our T-Mobile service plan, and our total savings is around $60 per month. Not too bad.

As for the phones, they arrived yesterday and I set them up last night. If you’ve ever used an iPhone 5 or 5s, you’ll already be familiar with the iPhone SE. It’s been a few years since I had a phone this size, but while setting it up last night I quickly remembered how great it felt in my hand and how easy one-handed use is–something I couldn’t do easily when I had the 6+ or the 6/6s. It took a little while to get used to the screen size–everything felt huge for a bit–but now that I’m used to it, the smaller screen doesn’t bother me.

My only complaint so far–and it isn’t really a complaint–is that I forgot how loud the vibration motor was in this design of iPhone. It startles me every time it vibrates on my desk and even though I turned the ringer volume way down, it still vibrates like crazy. That’s going to take some getting used to after a couple of years with the far more subtle 6 and 6s vibration, but if that’s not a first world problem, I don’t know what is :)

My wife is still adjusting to it–I’ve heard “I FORGOT HOW TINY THIS SCREEN WAS!!!” a few times since I handed it to her last night–but I expect she’ll get used to it in another day or two. I still need to switch my mother-in-law’s over tonight and drop the iPhone 6ses off at our local T-Mobile store next week, but switching to the smaller model has been a pretty painless process so far.

You can learn more about the iPhone SE on Apple’s site.