Apple owes a lot of money, but thankfully a new iPhone model is around the corner..

Personally, I don’t think Apple will get away with an appeal.  But I reckon it’ll make Apple think about where they’re going to want to put their next European HQ.  Probably a country which is in the process of leaving the EU…

Regardless, we can probably expect iPhone 7 announcements next Wednesday.  But I don’t care.  I’ve got my Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and it’s a thing of beauty.  This little (haha – but in all seriousness, even at 5.7″, it’s not as big as you might imagine) thing will have to last me at least a year – if not two.  But that’s okay, it’s got enough oomph in it to last the course.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.. DON'T PANIC!
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.. DON’T PANIC!

In comparison to the S7 Edge:

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (left) versus the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (right). Note 7 has a Spigen case, the S7 Edge has a Griffin case.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (left) versus the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (right). Note 7 has a Spigen case, the S7 Edge has a Griffin case.

What I love about the Note 7 is how clean the UI is in comparison to the S7 Edge.  I’m able to put many more app icons on each screen, and the icons are much more “professional” looking.  The S Pen works fantastically well, and I’m extremely impressed with the ability to write on the screen when it’s “off” (Samsung’s “Always On” display feature) and save the notes for later use.  Only slight issue is that the case tends to hinder even my E.T. fingers at pushing out the pen, but I’ll get used to this.  Unlike the Apple Pencil which I still keep in its original packaging because Apple couldn’t be arsed to design a holder with their covers.

While the screen is curved like the S7 Edge, it’s less pronounced and makes it much, much, much easier to grip with or without the case.  It really does feel much nicer in the hand over the S7 Edge.

The S Pen works fantastically well, and I’m extremely impressed with the ability to write on the screen when it’s “off” (Samsung’s “Always On” display feature) and save the notes for later use.  Only slight issue is that the case tends to hinder even my E.T. fingers at pushing out the pen, but I’ll get used to this.  Unlike the Apple Pencil which I still keep in its original packaging because Apple couldn’t be arsed to design a holder with their covers.

Here’s the first image I took with the Note 7.  It should be identical to that of the S7 Edge.

Note 7 image test
Note 7 image test

Finally, a word about the Iris scanner.  It’s a pain in the rear end.  I’ll be sticking with the finger scanner (and others) for the time being.

I’ll post a more in-depth review after a week’s use.

(Note: I was due to post a report on Guildford’s Comic Con, but WordPress’ text editor / image editor is playing silly buggers at the moment.  I’ll to sort the photos out in Photoshop and deal with them that way.. sigh)

iPad Pro (12.9″) Four Months On

Still loving my iPad Pro (12.9″).  But I’m not loving developers who are taking time updating their apps to take advantage of that higher resolution screen.  Google is slowly getting there, but they are still a very long way off getting everything up to date.  I’m still waiting for the official Gmail app to be updated, for example.

One of the biggest complaints I have with the 9.7″ iPad Pro (which I don’t have, by the way – I love my gadgets, but I don’t have infinite monetary resources!) is that because the resolution isn’t any better than the iPad Air 2, there isn’t as much incentive for developers to hurry up and crank the resolution up for its bigger brother.

I’m finding that I am using iPad Pro a lot more at work for note taking, and also for handwritten notes and drawings (which can be embedded into documents such as PDFs or Word files).  There is something lovely about the freedom to choose between typing and handwriting and typing/drawing.  A good app for this is GoodNotes 4.

Prompt 2 for iOS is a must-have application for those that need SSH access to servers.  Now with split-view support, one can have a web browser and an SSH session running side-by-side simultaneously.

I’m also finding that I’m reading a lot more free magazines via Surrey Libraries’ Zinio magazine service.  With 12.9″ of sceen real estate to play with, one can view magazines at a 1:1 level without having to pinch/zoom.  I have to take the keyboard cover off to free up weight, and the whole thing feels as if I’m reading the broadsheets, but it’s perfectly usable.

TIP!
Surrey Libraries give their customers access to a lot of premium services online, and at the libraries themselves (including Find My Past).  Worth checking this link out if you’re got a library card. There’s stuff there I didn’t even know about.

Web sites are still a bit of a problem.  Most sites (including this one) are designed to be “responsive”, so you’ll get the very best version depending on the resolution of your device.  For sites such as BBC News, this looks and feels like the desktop version.  But where certain technologies come into play, you’ll get a mobile version which just looks horrible.  I find, however, that using Gmail site is still better than using the Gmail app.  At least Google Chrome uses the full resolution whereas the app does not.

Overall, still very pleased with my purchase.  The limitations at this time are still developer focused, rather than anything to do with the hardware or OS itself.  But I’m sure Apple will do their best to encourage them to update, update, update.

iPad Pro – a few months on

So how’s the iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil working out?

Well, I don’t use the Apple Pencil anywhere near what I thought.  But having bought an notepad app which can combine text, graphics and handwritten notes into one, I hope to make more use of it as the number of meetings at work increase.

The Smart Keyboard continues to work well.  I really do enjoy using it.  But there is still a bug in iOS where iOS seems to remember incorrect capitalisation and is a pain to correct it: one has to backspace more than needed to be able to switch a capital letter to a lower case letter.

The biggest problem continues to be the lack of app support for this device.  I cannot tell you how frustrating it is that there are still too many Google iOS apps that don’t support the higher resolution of the iPad Pro.  Google Docs is one such example (and still feels too slow when typing despite having a good 4G connection and the power of the A9X 64-bit processor).  YouTube has only just received iPad Pro support.  It’s a similar story for other media streaming services – we’re only now getting iPad Pro resolution support.  Also amazing the number of apps that have only just gotten around to updating their support for iOS 9 despite how long the mobile OS has been around in the wild.

I’m still waiting on Microsoft to allow us to have default zoom views for Word documents.  New or newly opened documents are zoomed too much by default.  Pinching and zooming in/out works, but it’d be lovely to save that view for reuse.

Facebook hasn’t updated its main app for iPad to support iPad Pro, thus the text and graphics are all enlarged and making the experience an ugly one.  The same can be said of LinkedIn.

If the rumours of a smaller 9.7″ iPad Pro being released (or at least announced) by the end of March are true, this will more than likely mean that it’ll have a similar if not better resolution than the 12.9″ behemoth.  How long before the app developers get around to supporting it?  At the moment it’s all rather slow and depressing.