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CalendarSeptember 23, 2016

iPhone 7 Review - One Week Later

iPhone 7 Review - One Week LaterWaking up at 1:55 AM CDT on September 9 was worth it. I was able to access the online Apple Store at 2:09 AM and was one of the first people to order the new iPhone, with a delivery date of September 16. A few minutes of clicking refresh is better than waiting several hours in line at a physical Apple Store IMO.

I ordered the 256 GB Jet Black iPhone 7 for AT&T. The purchase and financing options were confusing, but I ended up choosing the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program, which includes AppleCare+ and an option to upgrade in 12 months. It was only $5 more per month than the other options, so I figured it was worth it.

Design

The iPhone 7's design is striking in the sense it is strikingly similar to the iPhone 6. It is the exact same size as the iPhone 6 and 6s and all the buttons are in the same places. That means an iPhone 6 case should fit, right? Nope, the camera lens on the back has been moved and is shaped differently so most old cases won't work. Wa wa...

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 7 rear cameras

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CalendarSeptember 10, 2016

AT&T Passport - Is it worth it?

AT&T Passport - Is it worth it?I just returned from my annual trip to Sweden. I've traveled to Denmark and Sweden so many times and know how readily available Wi-Fi is, that I decided to try an experiment. I skipped AT&T's Passport plan, meaning I had no access to cellular data.

AT&T Passport is a 30-day add-on that provides you with a small amount of cellular roaming data, cheaper calls, and unlimited messages. It conveniently starts at whatever date you choose and automatically expires in 30 days.

AT&T Passport Options

The plan used to be $30, but AT&T recently increased the price to $40. In the bucket of trip expenses, $40 is still just a drop, but I decided I would forego the plan this time and see how I fared just using only Wi-Fi.

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CalendarAugust 22, 2016

Pokémon GOing Away or Here to Stay?

Pokémon GOing Away or Here to Stay?We all knew it wouldn't last forever. The Pokémon GO craze that swept through the world last month has already faded to a fraction of the popularity it had just a few weeks ago.

"Craze" is an apt word to describe rise of Pokémon GO in July. It was crazy how many people — young and old, male and female — got wrapped up in a game they had never played before. Many people who downloaded the app didn't even know what Pokémon was before they installed it.

I have lived in the same city for over ten years and I have never seen so many people swarm together at the park near my house. On a peaceful Tuesday night in mid-July, I decided to go for a run around the park at 11:00 PM. I expected the path to be pretty empty, but there were at least 200 Pokémoners walking around catching the little creatures on their phones. It made for quite an obstacle course.

While I didn't have my phone on me during my run, I was able to document some of the craziness at the end of July. Below is a photo I took at the local park on July 24.

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CalendarJune 30, 2016

Why HiDPI

Four years ago, I bought the first MacBook Pro with a retina display and I've never looked back. In fact, my next computer was an iMac with a 5K display, which I am using to write this article.

Both of these computers have "HiDPI" screens, or as Apple calls them, "retina displays." They have a much higher resolution than previous computer monitors and laptop screens. Most HiDPI displays have exactly twice the resolution of traditional displays, which makes it easy to scale graphics. Below is an example of an Apple MacBook with and without a retina display.

MacBook retina vs non-retina display

Major operating systems like Windows and OS X support HiDPI displays. That means the OS and most programs will display all the text in high resolution. Ultra-smooth text makes reading documents, emails, and webpages easier and more enjoyable. It really feels like you are reading from a piece of paper rather than a pixelated screen. You can also read small text that was previously illegible and you can see the detail of emojis more clearly.

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CalendarMay 24, 2016

3 Reasons Why Virtual Reality Will Fail

3 Reasons Why Virtual Reality Will FailThe VR hype train keeps on going. At some point it's going to crash.

Every few years, virtual reality tries to make a comeback. With each iteration, proponents tout the latest version as "the one" that will finally bring VR to the masses. While more companies have bought into the current VR hype than any previous generation, I still think virtual reality will fail. Here are three reasons why:

1. You have to wear something on your head.

This obvious but often overlooked fact of virtual reality may be a deal-breaker in itself. Most people simply don't want wear a clunky headset — it's that simple. VR headsets look silly and they can be uncomfortable. They are also a hassle to set up and use compared to the standard controllers most gaming consoles provide.

VR headsets could be less of a drawback in a future generation of virtual reality if they can be developed with a form factor similar to glasses. But that's not going to happen anytime soon. Even if it does, I think most people will prefer a handheld controller.

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