Battery life nowadays is pretty decent. However for those who are constantly on their phone, tablet or iPod, your constantly seeking how to get more life out of your iDevice. iOS introduced a lot of new features so lets take a look at how you can tweak some settings to get more usage out of your iDevice throughout the day.
While no one tweak will magically save you loads of battery a combination of all together do amount to minutes or even hours of extra usage.
A common thing to adjust on your iDevice is screen brightness, with displays getting bigger & better our iDevices backlights can put a strain on our battery if constantly set to max level. Adjusting it manually allows you set it as you please depending on your environment additionally it may be worth turning off the “Auto-Brightness” setting within iOS settings as this constantly uses a sensor to detect lighting conditions.
iOS 9 brings all sorts of animations some of which while you may prefer at a personal level can eat up battery quite a bit. Disabling or not constantly using such things like Dynamic wallpapers can make all the difference. Additionally digging into Setting-General-Accessibility-Reduce Motion & toggle that as you please.
Low Power Mode-
iOS 9 also brought a mode that pretty much toggles a lot of these settings for you whenever you need it. Low Power Mode is accessible via the Battery menu in your settings & toggles automatically things like Hey Siri, Mail Fetch, Background App Refresh, and more.
Side note while in the battery menu it’s worth noting the apps that are taking up a lot of your usage in the first place. Being aware of apps that constantly take up battery helps you avoid killing your device faster. Sometimes apps may even leak energy such as the recent Facebook app update that had to be pushed in order to fix such issues.
Disable Radios –
Another common thing but disabling any unused radios can really save you some battery life. Things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and even Cellular when not in use is highly useful in getting that extra juice out of your battery.
If you have the “Hey Siri” feature enabled this will constantly be listening for the phrase to trigger it. So if your not using it as often or currently then feel free to turn it off to save some battery life.
Last but not least is location services. Many apps & services nowadays use location services be it GPS or Wi-Fi to triangulate our location for certain features. You can manually decide which apps do this & iOS has improved in that some apps only track when your actually in the app itself & not running the background. However if you don’t use this at all & don’t like your location being tracked then disabling it is another radio that contributes to more use out of your device throughout the day.
Of course there are multiple other things you can do like invest in a battery pack accessory for your device or carry portable chargers. However these are some tips that require no extra investment rather a couple tweaks within your iOS.
The big question for existing or new iPhone users is what model should they go with. The choice being the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus and the all new 6s or 6S Plus.
If your reading into this then I can only assume your an iOS user or looking to get your first iPhone so the Android phones are out of the question. Though some great alternative to said phones if you are interested in Android may be the S6, S6 Edge, or Note 5.
To Plus or not to Plus
The first decision to make revolves around the regular model or Plus edition. To simplify it here the Plus is the bigger model size wise. Thats really what it comes down to when deciding between the regular models & the plus editions. Both feature the same hardware with slight differences in battery life & benchmarks. The Plus screen size runs at 5.5 inches compared to the 4.7inches of the normal model. This size may run to big for the everyday user however with a shift into bigger screens some people may be interested in this size. If content consumption is your main use of the device videos, reading, etc. Then the Plus models may be something to look into & for that matter pay more for.
However both Plus models aren’t built the same.
The 6 Plus features older hardware in comparison to that of the 6S Plus. Namely the former A8 CPU chip vs the A9 CPU chip. Aside from hardware changes the new 6S Plus is made of a more durable aluminum to protect your phone overall durability.
So if you are settling for either a 6 Plus or 6S Plus it comes down to speed & the need for current hardware. If your set on getting a new iPhone & want a plus model then I’d recommend going with 6S Plus just to be ahead of the curve & able to skip or wait out the next upgrade. This assures you’ll be on the latest device & get use to new gestures such as 3D touch. If your upgrading from the 6 & want to go Plus then may as well go to the newer edition if your going to up the screen size to get the hardware benefits.
iPhone 6 vs 6S
This will be the more popular question for customers. If your coming from anything below a iPhone 5S then either phone will be a significant upgrade. The iPhone 6 will still hold many users over with the A8 CPU, Touch ID, and improved camera.
Major differences in the “S” model come in the form of
- Speed (Faster Hardware)
- Improved Camera (4k Support, Live Photos, Improved Sensors)
- 3D Touch Based Screen
- Improved Touch ID
So unless you want to be on the cutting edge of hardware or have the funds to spend then the 6 is still sufficient. There’s no real visual cues that differentiate the model unless you want the iPhone 6S in Pink… I mean Rose Gold.
If your on the the 6 currently & thinking whether or not you should upgrade go through the basic questions.
- Cost to Upgrade
- Contract Length
- How does your current phone serve you
For the most part your iPhone 6 will remain viable especially with the new iOS 9 release for the next 1-2 years. So theres no need to upgrade to the “S” model. If money is no worry for you then upgrade to your hearts content but that goes without saying.
The “S” editions are simply faster. There is no major physical differences or selling features that the “S” introduces that’ll change the way you use your device. 3D Touch is the closest thing to what Siri was for the “5S”. This enables you to use iOS differently depending on how long & hard you touch the screen. Is this something everyone is raving over? Not at all.
The “S” devices are always the second wind of an existing device. Bringing a faster & better device with subtle hardware changes while keeping the overall design the same. This year we received a more durable metal, new color, and faster hardware (A9/M9 chips), and improved screen with 3D touch sensors. Offering a phone that is faster but nothing evolutionary when it comes to smartphones. It’s the iPhone you know & have seen around with 6 & 6 Plus.
If your already on the previous model & it serves you fine as is then there’s no rush to upgrade or for that matter can be skipped over. If your a new iPhone user or switching then your options are more wide spread. The previous models have been knocked down in the price & may be more appealing if you have a budget, however if your simply looking for the best phone to hold you over then go with the “S” lineup to avoid any worry for future support & longevity.
For a great detailed breakdown & a more technical approach check out Apple’s comparison tool here.
Apple’s September 9th 2015 event was sufficient as far as product launches goes. In short they announced the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, updated Apple TV, iPad Pro, iPad Mini 4th Gen, and expectant releases for Watch OS 2, El Capitan, iOS 9 and other hidden gems.
Let’s breakdown the event by each category with some follow up thoughts regarding each.
Watch OS 2 & Apple Watch:
- New color schemes (Rose Gold)
- Variety of new bands (including Hermes collaboration)
- Watch OS2 update to be rolled out September 16th
With a reiteration of everything we knew to be coming out with Watch OS 2. Native apps, new faces, and some other features/demos.
Really the highlight being the customizability & personalization with the watch bands/straps.
The rumor mill was eventually right & the iPad Pro is officially in the line up of Apple’s tablets. Introducing the following.
Like something out of a straight Apple Parody.
- 12.9 inch screen
- A9X CPU
- Four Speaker Audio
- 3D Touch Enabled Screen
- Baseline model starts at $800
- Accessories include Apple Smart Keyboard & Apple Pencil
First off it’s big. That’s literally they’re slogan & in this case bigger is yes you guessed it, better. Featuring a faster processor which nearly doubles the iPads speed & GPU performance to match. Overall this is a iPad for a market whom 9 inches isn’t enough. More geared towards those who use iPad as a content creation device though consumption is absolutely stunning on the pro. More real estate allows for a better overall experience. Also the Apple Pencil, don’t even ask me why its called that is a real product & it costs $100. Let’s just call it what it is, a stylus. Allows for better interaction with the iPad Pro & its built in technology actually serves great in creation scenarios detecting force, tilt, rotation and more. Overall the iPad Pro starts off at $800 but can easily surpass that of the baseline Macbook. This is an iPad for a specific power user & not everyday consumer.
Perhaps my favorite of the announcements the all new Apple TV.
- Siri Capability
- All new remote featuring touchpad & Siri button + other feature such as ability to control TV volume/power
- Updated OS & UI
- Starting price $150 (32gb Model)
This is Apple’s answer to the long awaited updates of its set top box. Sporting its classic yet more minimal design the updates really focus on the internal changes. The new UI is even more simple & easier to navigate with a big focus on “Siri”. The voice assistant seems to be more useful in this scenario than ever. Allowing you to find actors, new releases, and skip through your program with a simple voice command. Apple’s new remote sports a touchpad to help navigate the interface easier & doesn’t rely on IR (thankfully) anymore. All of this in an effort to produce a better entertainment device. The Apple TV much like the Watch is receiving its own store to bring the app experience to the big screen in a more native way. The TV OS is even being released to developers to start production of TV scaled apps/games. More promising is the future for this all new product, Apple is said to want to become a major player in the content game & this is their gateway to it.
iPhone 6S & 6S Plus:
The main announcement of the keynote centered on their “S” upgrade to the 6 lineup.
- New Rose Gold color scheme
- A9/M9 upgrade
- 12 Megapixel Camera
- 4K Video
- Live Photo (gifs)
- 3D Touch capability
- Baseline starts at $300
This “S” update really centers on the 3D touch in my opinion. It’s faster & better of course on paper as its an upgrade. You’d expect nothing less, however the new features & possibilities really stem from the touch capabilities. This will change how we interact on iOS & surely will be rolled out across all iOS devices in the time to come. We’ve seen it on the trackpads now tablets & phones. Improvements to the camera continue to showcase why the iPhone features the best camera in terms of mobile currently & the addition of gimmick such as “Live Photos” is a nice touch. However other decisions such as keeping the 16GB model in as the baseline model is beyond me. With additions such as 4K video you’d think Apple would realized nowadays 16GB is not enough! However that may explain why they cut pricing on their iCloud storage & increased capacity. Overall the new iPhone upgrade is sufficient for a lot of users who’ve been waiting to upgrade such as myself. If your on the 6 or 6 Plus you don’t have to go running to upgrade as you’ll surely still be fine especially with iOS 9 bringing a refresh to your device. All in all it’s the typical “S” upgrade driven with the 3D touch as the selling point.
All in all Apple’s keynote really did feature a variety of product launches. A longer keynote that ran 2+ hours & featured numerous demos really showcased the Apple of tomorrow. In reality however its what we expect out of a top company such as Apple. An attempt to stay ahead & continue their dominant climb while throwing in some nice to have features in the middle. Nothing crazy out of the blue aside from iPad Pro but even that was predicted to drop. No one more thing or innovative new product but in reality the technology & advancements they’ve made alone to get things such as the Apple TV, iOS 9, iPhone 6S sensors and so on all out in this time frame is a feat in itself that can’t go unnoticed. None the less Apple fans rejoice as they have a lot of options to choose from in the coming months & updates that’ll surely bring new life to their devices. While others users can look on & decide whether or not its time for them to A) Switch or B) Continue on with whatever works for them.
But come on Apple Pencil really? That’s going to be a meme for a couple weeks.
September 9th, 2015 Apple will be hosting its popular event in which they announce the next update to the iPhone line. Headlined “Hey Siri, give us a hint.”. Really try it, you’ll get all sorts of colorful replies from Apple’s voice assistant.
The event itself will be scheduled for 10:00 AM on September 9th at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California.
Here’s a look at what we can expect from the upcoming event.
Being an “S” improvement this will focus on mainly internal hardware changes. No noticeable design changes.
Hardware improvements such as
- A9 Processor
- 12 megapixel camera
- Force Touch
- Rose Gold Color Scheme
There’s also rumors of Apple switching to a new aluminum based shell to reduce the bending of the iPhone 6 & 6+. The notable upgrades aside from speed of course will be the Force Touch integration. Force touch is a technology Apple has integrated into their Macbook trackpads that can better detect taps on a touchscreen. Long presses, harder presses, so on, and react differently. This will tie into the iOS software allowing you to interact with items dependent on your touch.
In a long awaited update Apple’s set top box will be refreshed with some new hardware now confirmed by various sources.
Hardware wise Apple TV will now come in a slimmer design compared to the current model. More importantly the main hardware will be updated with the following-
- A8 Processor
- New Touch Based (Black) Remote
- More Local Storage
- Full App-Store
- Siri Functionality
It’s said to maintain all current ports without any upgrade to support 4K quality. The notable changes here come in the form of software & speed. The faster hardware will go hand in hand with the app-store they plan to add to their set top box. This could be a way for Apple to integrate their already popular apps across the big screen & living room. Capturing the entertainment & gaming space in one device. All suspected to start around $149. This is a big part of Apple’s longtime strategy as they have a big interest in this space. Apple is said to want to enter the streaming space under their own brand & partner with content providers to go against services such as Netflix. This wouldn’t be far different form their other models of controlling software + hardware.
iOS 9 & Watch OS 2:
We’re also bound to hear about the progress of iOS 9 & Watch OS 2 as we expect the new iPhones launch to coincide with iOS 9 which will bring a number of incremental upgrades to iOS 8. Watch OS 2 additionally will bring a whole set of features that Apple Watch users have been waiting for such as native Watch OS apps & so on. We’ll see a highlight of what we’ve already heard about each & more importantly a set date for release.
Overall the events focus will be taken up on the iPhone 6S & 6S Plus. Only to then be turned to the Apple TV. These are by no means revolutionary updates rather ones we’ve all been waiting for. Though as usual with Apple already at the top of its game they’re providing just enough to keep their customers satisfied & sales in tact. We’ll have more coverage of the event live on September 9th.
I’ve decided near the end of every month to round up the technology I’ve been using the most throughout my day to day life. Be it work or personal, hardware or software, services & websites you name it. In an effort to take a step back from focusing on the latest & greatest and write up about things that I’ve just been enjoying. New or old.
So consider it a roundup of my favorites for whatever specified month & whatever I have ongoing in my life at the moment.
I bought these about a year ago before going on a trip to Osaka, Japan. I’ve been looking for a decent pair of noise canceling headphones with that being the priority. Now grant it Bose isn’t the greatest in terms of sound quality & while I am a stickler for quality they do a great job for my use case. I’ve been putting these through the paces traveling with them constantly & using them in the office daily. Draining batteries constantly which can be a pain but other than that no major issues. The noise cancellation is amazing especially on planes. The second part coming in the comfort, the design is simple & easily sits on my head for hours without any issues.
I have a whole series of music streaming service content upcoming however Spotify seems to be the one I’ve turned to the most. Working primarily at my desk & in the office Spotify is always on If I’m not recording, watching something, and or in a call for work. I have this weird thing about silence. Spotify fills that void with access to literally millions of songs. Specifically the premium service which I find is highly worth the price tag. Filled with main stream & indie artists alike it has everything I need. Their recent addition of the Discover Weekly playlists adds the recommendation layer to it. If your a fan of music its a no brainer.
Klok Timezone Converter App/Widget
A recent iOS app I discovered & reviewed that is a must have for me. If you work with multiple timezones at all & easily want a way to convert it on iOS then this is for you. The app adds a widget to your notification center that elegantly displays time zones & makes a simple tap to to see time conversion across multiple locations.
Beme (Social Network)
I’m a big fan of content creator Casey Neistat so when I heard of his new social network I knew I had to try it out. Beme is different. It works it a very unique way compared to social networks, promoting honesty in video. No editing, filters, or preview just shoot & upload. Achieving this via the proximity sensor in iPhones & soon to be released for Android users. Beme isn’t perfect & I think will take time & updates for the masses to adopt it. Authenticity is a hard to thing to really capture especially with an app & phone involved. However I love the premise & path its on.
In my downtime I try to step away from work not so much the desk by playing games. I play with friends locally & abroad as such we need to communicate while playing. Services like Teamspeak provide low latency which is important when it comes to gaming. The lower the resources the better. I recently purchased my own TS server after the one my group of friends used went down. It’s simple & works great for gaming or just having a conversation. Set up multiple channels, push to talk, its like Skype without the loads of other unnecessary features or interface.
Ton of apps like this nowadays however it simply showcases visually the biggest files on your drive. Simple & straightforward.
This piece of software for OS X is literally the core focus of a lot of my work. If your serious about screen capture based recordings nothing compares to it on OS X. Camtasia has made a OS X version that I’ve tried but nothing beats Screenflow’s interface, editing tools, and general ease of use.
That about rounds up my most used tech for this month, mainly software focused. Feel free to add your most used picks in the comments down below!