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iPhone 6 Sync Speed

I don’t know if the iPhone 6 syncs faster than the iPhone 5s, but my iPhone forced me to re-sync my music, so I thought I’d time it. (Somehow, after syncing all my music, it turned on iTunes Match, and deleted everything.


I synced just under 44 GB of music and podcasts, and it took just over 40 minutes.

Apimac Timer001.png

If I have some time later, I might try the same thing on my iPhone 5s, and see if there’s any difference. Note that I’m syncing from a Mac Pro, and I noticed, once I got this Mac, that it synced faster than my older Mac mini.

iPhone 6: First Impressions

I must have been at the beginning of the delivery guy’s route today, because I got my iPhone at about 9:06. After setting it up and syncing it, I’ve had some time to work with it, and here are some first impressions.

2014-09-19 11.32.48.pngIt’s a lot bigger than I thought. I bought a basic case as soon as I ordered the iPhone; it’s a Spigen plastic case, and it cost £9 (or $11 in the US). (, Amazon UK) So I had an idea of the size, but it’s not the same as holding the phone in my hand, feeling the weight, and, especially, using my thumb to tap icons. I have a Motorola Moto G, and the screen is about the same size as the iPhone display, but the iPhone is much taller. It’ll take some getting used to this size.

One advantage is that in standard mode (see this article for more on Display Zoom), I can put 24 icons on each home screen, as you can see in the screenshot to the left. That’s definitely a good thing; I don’t like hiding apps in folders, and only do it for a handful of items that I don’t need to access often. Also, while I have very large hands, I can’t really reach the top-left icon when I hold the phone in one hand; it’s also hard to reach the bottom left of the keyboard with my thumb.

This said, I can’t imagine using an iPhone 6 Plus; it would only be usable with two hands.

The on/off button on the side of the phone, instead of on the top, is in the right place, at least if you’re right-handed. If it were on the top, it would be hard to access with one hand.

The display is beautiful. Since the iPhone went retina, the displays have been very nice, but the iPhone 6 has much better contrast than the 5s; it looks as though it has a better gamma setting as well, with the colors being a bit less saturated. And the larger screen size makes it easier to read a lot of apps whose developers choose font sizes that work well with twenty-something eyes, but not with those people who don’t see as well as they do. It also looks a lot better when you’re looking at the display on an angle, even hen it’s simply on my desk, and the display is roughly on a 45 degree angle from my line of sight.

It’s hefty. Not heavy, but I can feel the difference between the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 6: 129 grams for the iPhone 6, 112 grams for the iPhone 5s; and my cases weigh about the same amount. I’ll get used to it, but it’s noticeable. It’s a bit slimmer than the 5s, but not by much; it feels slimmer, though, because it’s larger.

Thank you, Apple, for extensions and third-party access to Touch ID. The time I’ve saved already, with those two features, using 1Password, is amazing. The ability to now log in to a web page using Safari, instead of having to either use 1Password’s browser, or switch back and forth to 1Password to get a password, is amazing. But it’s what we should have been able to do for a while; I’m glad it’s finally here, but I wish it had been part of iOS a long time ago (at least the extensions part). I think extensions will be the biggest feature of iOS 8.

The vibrator doesn’t feel any different from the iPhone 5s.

As I go through the day, and the coming days, I’ll add more observations to this post. Feel free to post any comments about your thoughts if you, too, have a new iPhone 6.

Six Colors: Why I [Dan Frakes] bought the iPhone 6 Plus

“It wasn’t until I stopped thinking of my iPhone as a phone, and started thinking of it as a computing device, that I warmed to the idea of a honking-big smartphone. My hope with the iPhone 6 Plus is that I’ll find myself carrying a second device much less frequently. Sure, the 6 Plus may be bigger than the “perfect” phone size, and it may be a tight fit in my front jeans pocket, but it’s still incredibly small for a powerful computing device, and as long as it fits in my pocket at all, it’s better than carrying a smaller phone and a bag or sleeve with an iPad or laptop inside.”

While the iPhone 6 Plus isn’t for me, Dan makes a good point. It’s a computing device, not a phone. I’d say I use my iPhone as a phone 1% of the time. I don’t want something as big as the 6 Plus, because it simply won’t fit in many of my pockets, but I can understand why some people want it. I’m curious to see if Dan keeps the 6 Plus or if he returns it.

via Six Colors: Why I bought the iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 Zoom Mode Lets You View Content in Two Sizes

I got my iPhone 6 early this morning – about 9:06 am – and am currently setting it up, syncing lots of music to it (I got the 128 GB model). One of the first new things I noticed during the setup process was a choice of two display modes. You can choose during setup, or you can later go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Display Zoom.

Here’s the screen you see during setup:


And here’s how it looks in each mode, in the three examples that you can view from the Settings app:

IMG 2266    IMG 2267

IMG 2268    IMG 2269

IMG 2271    IMG 2272

For now, I’ve chosen to use Zoomed mode, because my eyes aren’t that great, but I may switch back to Standard mode after I’ve used the phone for a while. Since you can set the system font to a larger than normal size, Zoomed mode doesn’t offer a lot of advantages, except for those apps where you cannot change font size.

One advantage to Standard mode, however, is having an extra line of icons on your home screens. For that alone, it might be worth sticking with Standard mode.

The Committed Podcast Talks iPhone

The Committed Podcast Icon 1400x1400 01On this week’s episode of The Committed podcast, Ian Schray, Rob Griffiths and I talk about the iPhone 6. Not much else. Because the iPhone 6 was the news of the week. As we were recording, iOS 8 was released, so we didn’t talk much about that. But we did talk about the iPhone 6. And phone contracts, unlocked phone, and the iPhone 6.

Listen to The Committed, Episode 50: Nonplussed.

And on next week’s episode, Ian and I should each have received an iPhone 6, and we’ll talk more about the iPhone 6, this time with some hands-on discussions. Rob, having ordered an iPhone 6 Plus, won’t have much to say…

Hide Recent Contacts or Favorites in iOS 8 App Switcher Screen

One of the new features in iOS 8 is the ability to see little icons for favorite contacts and recent contacts in the App Switcher screen. You display this screen by double-tapping your iOS device’s home button; you’ll see these icons at the top of the screen, first Favorites – which you have marked as favorites in Contacts – then Recent Contacts.

I don’t like this idea, and I’ve found, judging from some Twitter conversations today, that I’m not alone. So here’s how to disable the feature, wholly or partially.

Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts & Calendars, then scroll down to Contacts. Tap Show in App Switcher, then you’ll have toggles for Phone Favorites and Recents. Turn off either or both.

2014-09-18 15.35.35.png     2014-09-18 15.35.37.png

Do this, and you won’t be bothered by those annoying icons at the top of the screen any more. I like having my favorites display; it’s a quick way to make a call or send a text message. But I really don’t want to see all my recent contacts. In most cases, these are not people I need to contact again, at least right away.

Change Screen Resolution on Headless OS X Server

I recently set up my old Mac mini as a server. I replaced it a few months ago with a Mac Pro, and wanted to muck around with OS X Server, taking advantage of some of its features, especially centralized Time Machine backups and software download and update caching.

I set up the server, but, since I’m running it headless – with no attached display – I could only view it in one resolution using OS X’s screen sharing feature. If the Mac mini runs headless, the GPU, not detecting any display, doesn’t activate.

There’s a way around this, however, and it’s pretty simple. I bought this CompuLab HDMI Plug with Remote Desktop Access, or 4K Display Emulator (the name is different on the two Amazon sites, and Amazon UK). This $25/£21 dongle fits in the Mac mini’s HDMI port, and emulates the presence of a display. With this attached, there are a number of different resolutions, from 1360 x 768 to 4088 x 2304.


I’ve chosen a low resolution, since running it at, say, 4K resolution makes interface elements so tiny that I can’t do anything. The only downside to me is that all the resolutions are 16:9; I’d have preferred something with less width.

This is a really simple solution to an annoying problem. If you’re running a headless OS X server, you should definitely get one of these. It will make your life a lot easier.

Apple Working on New Music Format with U2? Take Such Rumors with Many Grains of Salt

u2_timeintcover0929.jpgTime is reporting that Apple is working on a new music format with U2.

Bono tells TIME he hopes that a new digital music format in the works will prove so irresistibly exciting to music fans that it will tempt them again into buying music—whole albums as well as individual tracks.

Any comment such as this should be taken with many grains of salt. A “music format” is something such as MP3, AAC, FLAC, or other codecs used to create digital files from music. There are no good reasons to create a “new” music format, and many downsides to doing so. As the article says:

The point isn’t just to help U2 but less well known artists and others in the industry who can’t make money, as U2 does, from live performance.

This seems to have nothing to do with a new music format, but rather some new way of packaging digital music, similar to the iTunes LP format, which, for the most part, has been ignored.

I can’t fathom what sort of packaging of digital music would help artists who don’t make money from touring, but don’t count on it being anything like high-resolution music.

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