October 2, 2017 brianradio2016

Battery drain issues with iOS 11? Here’s some easy fixes

Charging your iPhone used to mean finding a cable (and hoping it wasn’t frayed) and hooking it up to the nearest charger. But the iPhone 8, along with the upcoming iPhone X, brings with it new charging features.

Here’s everything you need to know about charging the iPhone 8.

Must read : Here are the Apple products you shouldn’t buy (and three that you can’t buy anymore)

First off, the standard USB Lightning cable and charger is the same old fayre, and will charge the iPhone 8 no slower or faster than chargers that Apple has been shipping with new iPhones for years. It charges at the usual 4.85V/0.95A (give or take) and will take about 2 hours to charge the iPhone 8, and about 3.5 hours to fully charge your iPhone 8 Plus (about 15 minutes faster than the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus because the batteries are a little smaller).

Using a higher-power USB charger — such as the Anker Premium 5-port 60W USB charger — predictably results in faster charging.

But regular old charging is old-school for the iPhone 8, because built into this device are two new features.

The first is wireless charging. Basically, what you need for this is a Qi-compatible wireless charging pad and you’re ready to go. Apple will be releasing its own charging pad in 2018 called the AirPower, and this mat will allow hardcore Apple fans to charge their iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods (as long as they buy the new wireless charging case) all on the same mat.

Until then, you have to rely on third-party wireless charging pads, which, to be honest, aren’t bad at all. I’ve tested a number of cheap fast charge wireless pads — such as this $15 pad from RAVPower — and found them to be acceptable.

Here are some observations I’ve found using wireless charging.

  • Standard plastic/silicone/rubber/leather don’t seem to affect wireless charging. In fact, I’ve found that charging can be faster on some wireless pads when the iPhone is in a case.
  • Charging using third-party 15W wireless pads is faster than using the bundled charger.

All in all, wireless charging works, and it works well.

Then we come to the fast charge feature. And this is where things get interesting.

The first thing you’re going to need for fast charging is a USB-C to Lightning cable. But it can’t be any old cheap, third-party USB-C to Lightning cable. It has to be Apple’s USB-C to Lightning cable. Yes, it has to be that one. The one that costs $25, or $35 if you want a 2-meter long one (charging that much for an additional meter of cabling is simply ridiculous, and is nothing but greed on Apple’s part).

I’ve tested dozens of third-party cables, and none supported fast charging. I’m told by contacts within the industry that third-party cables are coming, but for now, you must have the Apple’s special $25 cable.

You also need this cable if you own a new MacBook Pro and what to be able to fast charge your iPhone from it (although for basic data sync or regular charging, you can use a third-party cable).

As far as USB-C chargers go, you can either use an Apple USB-C charger (the cheapest being the 29W USB-C charger that retails for $50), or any Power Delivery compatible charger, such as the Anker Premium 5-port 60W USB charger.

You can also fast-charge from any power bank that supports Power Delivery, such as the Anker PowerCore+ 20100 USB-C powerbank.

Some observations about fast charging the iPhone 8:

  • It’s fast! It’ll take an iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus from flat to 50 percent charge in about 30 minutes.
  • Fast charge works whether the iPhone is locked or while you’re using it, with the speed of charging only slightly affected by using the handset while it’s charging (so for the fastest charge, stop fiddling with your iPhone).
  • There’s no discernible warmth from the iPhone while fast charging, so you can still use it.
  • When the charge hits 80 percent, the iPhone switched from fast charge mode to regular charging to complete the charge.

Apart from the crazy cost of Apple’s USB-C to Lightning cable, I think that fast charging is the best option for charging the iPhone 8, with wireless charging being good for an overnight charge or for charging the handset during the day.

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October 2, 2017 brianradio2016

Starting Monday, Star Wars fans can pre-order one of 4,000 limited edition iPhone 7 iRing accessory kits. Aauxx, the maker of iRing smartphone accessories, put the collection together to honor the Star Wars 40th anniversary, which occurred in May 2017.

For those unfamiliar, like I was, with iRing before receiving a demo unit and various Star Wars accessories, an iRing attaches to the back of a smartphone, tablet, or iPod Touch.

The ring provides a place for a user’s finger for better grip and doubles as a kickstand or hooks to hang the device.

star-wars-iring.jpg Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

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Included in the collector’s box are three iRings: Rebel Alliance, Galactic Empire, and one with a Star Wars 40th anniversary logo. According to Aauxx, the Rebel and Empire iRings are coated in 24K gold. The anniversary iRing is matte black.

Also included in the box is a black leather iPhone 7 case (that should also fit the iPhone 8, an iRing pocket that adds storage for a credit card and ID, four iRing hooks, and an iRing dock. All of which match or feature some sort of Star Wars logo, emblem, or anniversary decoration.

Aauxx sent one of the collections to me, along with various Star Wars iRings. The various iRings feature everyone from BB-8 to Luke Skywalker to Darth Vader and Chewbacca. As previously mentioned, I wasn’t all that familiar until installing one of the standard Star Wars iRings on one of my devices. I was surprised at how sturdy it was, particularly when used as a stand.

If you’re interested in pre-ordering one of the limited edition kits, you can do so right here.

October 2, 2017 brianradio2016

customize-control-center-ios-11.jpg(Image: Jason Parker/CNET)

It seems that no matter how many people participate in Apple’s beta program, the rollout of a new release seems to bring with it endless woes for some users.

Must read : Here are the Apple products you shouldn’t buy (and three that you can’t buy anymore)

Last week saw Apple release iOS 11.0.1 in order to patch up a nasty email issue that was plaguing users who had made the leap to iOS 11, but things are far from smooth sailing.

While iOS 11.0.1 did indeed fix the email issue, it did nothing for the myriad of issues that users have been complaining about on Twitter, Apple’s official support forums, and Reddit. Widespread reports highlight problems ranging from poor battery life — surprise, surprise — to crashes, lock-ups, poor Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and frame drops.

But it seems that iOS 11.0.1 has added to these issues, with users complaining that this release is even more unstable, with some claiming that constant crashes and lockups have essentially made their devices unusable.

A Reddit user metricrules cataloged some of the problems encountered:

“iOS11 issues so far, it has almost bricked my phone: Spotify stops being shown on the lock screen, reboot fixes then occurs again after a few hours. Alarm is silent when phone is in silent mode, no fix yet. Volume control doesn’t work when locked or display, reboot sometimes fixes. Remove aux cable and no sound via phone until app is ended. Multiple apps don’t open properly, freeze on launch screen for 20 seconds or more, seems to work again after phone sorts itself out. I think that’s all the big ones, anyone else had these issues? Edit: iPhone 6s Edit 2: can’t use it as a phone. Stays on speaker phone no matter what and I can’t hear or talk to anyone… Edit 3: buttons on official apple headphones don’t work most of the time Edit 4: can’t use official headphones as a workaround to talk on the phone (have not tried facetime yet) Edit 5: phone is now freezing and rebooting itself after updating to 11.0.1 Edit 6: can now use the phone as a phone when it doesn’t freeze and reboot itself”

Another user complains of poor stability:

“anybodys phone start freezing 10+ times a day and then restarting? Since IOS 11 my phone has been freezing a lot and with IOS 11.0.1 it’s doing it even more… so frustrating”

Another repeating a common Wi-Fi issue:

“Anyone having problems with wifi connection? I am using an iPhone 6 and wifi would only connect if I am centimeters near the router… and working poorly. Tried in 2 different networks and the same thing. Erased iPhone twice and the problem remains.”

And the complaints go on and on and on.

But help is on the way. Apple has already pushed out a beta of iOS 11.1 to testers, and initial reports suggest that this update goes some way to fixing at least some of these issues.

My advice, as always, is that if you rely on your iPhone or iPad and don’t want to be inconvenienced by problems, hold off upgrading for a few weeks until Apple gets a few updates out and things calm down.

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October 2, 2017 brianradio2016

The optimization techniques used by the JIT (just-in-time) compiler in the Common Language Runtime might lead to unpredictable results when your .Net program is trying to perform non-volatile reads of data in a multithreaded scenario. In this article we’ll look at the differences between volatile and non-volatile memory access, the role of the volatile keyword in C#, and how the volatile keyword should be used.

I will provide some code examples in C# to illustrate the concepts. To understand how the volatile keyword works, first we need to understand how the JIT compiler optimization strategy works in .Net.

Understanding JIT compiler optimizations

It should be noted that the JIT compiler will, as part of an optimization strategy, change the order of the reads and writes in a way that does not change the meaning and eventual output of the program. This is illustrated in the code snippet given below.

x = 0;
x = 1;

The above snippet of code can be changed to the following—while preserving the program’s original semantics.

October 2, 2017 brianradio2016

Apple has published ARM-optimized source code of the iOS kernel, but don’t get all excited about the prospect of being able to download and run a homebrew version of iSO. It’s just not going to happen.

Must read: Here are the Apple products you shouldn’t buy(and three that you can’t buy anymore)

Apple has always published the source code for the macOS kernel, and since macOS and iOS share the same Unix-based XNU core called Darwin (where XNU is an abbreviation for “X is Not Unix”), technically this was also the iOS kernel.

However, because it wasn’t optimized for ARM chips, it was next to useless because the code wouldn’t run on any smartphone or tablet platform.

But now Apple has quietly published ARM-optimized source code, we – developers and security folks especially – can finally get a deeper look into how iOS ticks at a low level.

However, beyond that, it doesn’t mean that much. You’re unlikely to see any homebrew iOS builds being made because the source code includes only the kernel, and not the user interface or developer framework or the apps that lay on top of that.

And even if you had the time and effort to put all that in place, Apple’s source code is offered with a pretty restrictive license that wouldn’t allow it to be used in the same way as, say, Linux.

I suppose the most interesting angle of this is that now Apple has published ARM-based code that could be integrated into macOS, and possibly pave the way either for MacBooks powered by ARM chips, or devices that contain ARM chips in addition to Intel CPUs to handle specific tasks.

See also:

October 2, 2017 brianradio2016

RIP iPod (Died July 2017)

Once Apple’s top product, the iPod is now little more than a reminder of what propelled Apple into the consumer space.

Apple still sells iPods — in the form of the iPod touch, iPod shuffle, and iPod nano — but these are all years old. The iPod touch got its last refresh back in July 2015, while the iPod nano and iPod shuffle last got a major refresh (excluding new colors added to the lineup) in September 2012 and September 2010, respectively.

The only iPod still going is the iPod touch.

September 30, 2017 brianradio2016

It’s not me and it’s not really Apple, it’s the state of most smartwatches today.

A couple of years ago I wrote that the Apple Watch was the best Apple product I’ve ever purchased. Yesterday, I sent my Apple Watch Series 3 back to Apple after a week and no longer have an Apple Watch in my collection.

A few days ago, I wrote about my experiences running with the Apple Watch 3 and Samsung Gear S3 Frontier. As you can see in that post, the Gear S3 Frontier offers more than the Apple Watch, with a bit shorter battery life. The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier works with iOS and Android, has classic watch styling and design, is stainless steel with a fantastic design, has a rotating bezel and OS optimized for the watch, and works on LTE with no real limitations.

I have also now spent about three weeks with the new Fitbit Ionic and it is refreshing to charge it up about once a week. It’s smartwatch capability is very limited, but it offers what I need for fitness, onboard music, detailed sleep tracking, a large community of family and friends to help motivate me, and a sleek design that looks great while essentially disappearing on my wrist for days.

Battery life has always been the deciding factor on whether or not a wearable stays on my wrist or ends up in a drawer. The Apple Watch Series 3 has a great battery life, for a high end smartwatch that is doing a lot. However, charging daily gets to be too much for me after a period of time any anything that cannot at least get me through a weekend of running, yard work, fly fishing, and entertainment ends up off of my wrist.

I may get an iPhone X just because it’s the first time since the first iPhone launched that Apple is bringing us a new phone product and maybe I will revisit the Apple Watch Series 3 again. In the meantime, the Fitbit Ionic, the Garmin Fenix 3 HR, or maybe another new Garmin will likely be found on my wrist the majority of the time.


Leaving the phone behind: Running with the Apple Watch Series 3 and Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

Run without a phone while still having the ability to keep in touch with family and friends. It’s the safe thing to do.

Apple Watch Series 3 first impressions: No LTE issues, battery life is surprising

There’s a lot to like in the new Apple Watch and Jason Cipriani posted his thoughts on using it for several days.

The Apple Watch Series 3 isn’t off to a good start

The reviews are in, and Apple has some work to do before its latest smartwatch can live up to its promise.

Fitbit Ionic review: Tops the Apple Watch with fitness focus, long battery life, detailed sleep tracking

The Fitbit Ionic brings everything I have wanted in a GPS sports watch with essential smart watch functionality in a sleek, attractive form factor.

September 30, 2017 brianradio2016

Nelson basically owned 1990 and ’91. But, despite having four top 40 hits and selling five million copies of their debut album After The Rain, the Nelson twins, Matthew and Gunnar, couldn’t get a follow up released for five years and by then tastes had changed and the moment had passed. Still, the brothers have carried on entertaining crowds playing their own music, doing Christmas concerts, and even performances showcasing their famous dad Rick’s material. They’ve never gone away, show business is in their blood after all. Today, After the Rain will be re-released on vinyl, making those songs rife for rediscovery. Matthew discusses how their careers were affected by grunge, how the image overwhelmed their talent at times, and what the plans are for the near future. He’s a total pro!



September 29, 2017 brianradio2016

Some Whole Foods customers may have had their credit card information stolen after the company stated Thursday it had been tipped about “unauthorized access of payment card information,” Consumerist reports. The data breach would only affect cards used at the taprooms and full-service restaurants at some Whole Foods locations. Customers…

September 29, 2017 brianradio2016

With Apple finally bringing native wireless charging to its iPhone lineup, the technology will become far more widely adopted, both among consumers and within corporations.

Apple chose to use the Qi specification, which uses inductive charging technology, for its iPhone 8 and iPhone X lineup of smartphones. Samsung committed to the same specification for its flagship Galaxy smartphones; in all, about 90 smartphone models use Qi today, making it the industry’s most popular among three standards. In addition to desktop charging stations (typically in the form of small charging pads), the automotive marketplace has also adopted in-cabin wireless charging.

Nearly 80 car models, from Audi, Chevrolet and KIA to Hyundai, Nissan and BMW, offer in-cabin wireless charging based on the electromagnetic Qi charging specification.

Qi wireless charging damage your iPhone Wireless Power Constortium

Nearly 80 car models now offer Qi-based wireless charging in their cabins.

There are more than 5,000 public Qi charging locations worldwide, according to the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the entity in charge of the Qi standard.