Obliterating the Competition

Let's start with Geekbench 4, which measures overall performance. On the multicore portion of this test, the iPhone 8 hit 10,170. That's 54 percent faster than the score from Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 — currently the fastest Android phone.

The Android competition wasn't close. The Note 8 scored 6,564, and that's with an impressive 6GB of RAM paired with Qualcomm's fast Snapdragon 835 chip. How about the OnePlus 5 and its 8GB of RAM and Snapdragon 835? That handset got 6,542. With 4GB of RAM, the Galaxy S8 scored 6,295 with the same processor.

It’s not just the fastest phone available on the market, it obliterates everything else. Seriously, why Android?

And if you couldn’t even click the link to read further and investigate, here’s another excerpt.

If you're wondering how all this translates to real-world performance, we have more good news for iPhone 8 shoppers — and bad news for everyone else. To really put the A11 Bionic chip through its paces, we put the same 2-minute video, shot in 4K by a drone, on the iPhone 8, Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8+, and then added the same transitions and effects before exporting and saving the video.

The iPhone 8 finished this strenuous task in just 42 seconds, while the Note 8 took more than 3 minutes. The Galaxy S8+ took more than 4 minutes.

Friends don’t let friends buy slow technology and yes, both Apple’s iPhone 8/8 Plus and X all have the same processor. mic drop

The iPhone X Reviews and My Thoughts

iPhone X envy is in full effect! I literally forgot to preorder the device last Thursday/Friday at midnight and truth be told, I reminded myself and the wife at 11:30pm but got caught up watching Grey's Anatomy with her. She loves the show and I indulge only with her. Next thing you know, it's 12:30am, I check twitter and the iOS Apple Store and it's listed at 4-6 weeks. I gave up that night but maybe, just maybe, you might find me in line this upcoming Friday.

Onto the reviews (if I get a unit, I will post a review just for you):

Matthew Panzarino for Techcrunch was lucky enough to be one of the few who got a test unit for a week and took his iPhone X to Disneyland.

It works so quickly and seamlessly that after a while, you forget it’s unlocking the device — you just raise and swipe. Every once in a while you’ll catch the Face ID animation as it unlocks. Most of the time, though, it just goes. This, coupled with the new “all swipe” interface, makes using the phone and apps feel smooth and interconnected.

And, more importantly, it enables a whole new set of use cases and behaviors that feel organic, natural and just plain cool.

This is one thing that I am most excited about. When I had my iPhone 5 for two years skipping TouchID in the iPhone 5S, I was envious because typing in a passcode every time sucked.

Nicole Nguyen from Buzzfeed also reiterated my thoughts:

For a normal human who isn’t aware of the 30,000 invisible dots being projected on their face or the 3D map of their head encrypted somewhere deep inside their phone, there’s nothing “futuristic” about these interactions. Using Face ID is what life without a passcode — life before we all became paranoid technofreaks — felt like.

We live in a post-passcode world and, in this world, your passcode is your face.

This everyone is the future and Apple is paving the way once again. Here's Lance Ulanoff from Mashable reiterating my point:

Apple’s iPhone X is the beginning of something new. Even if you don’t want an iPhone X, I encourage you to pay attention. Everything the iPhone X is serves as a roadmap for future iPhones.

Ring Protect Launches Dramatically Undercutting Nest

Now Ring is announcing its own product, called Ring Protect, and it’s deeply undercutting Nest on price. The base unit costs only $199 and includes a single door/window sensor and an motion detector. Additional door/window sensors will sell for $20, and additional motion sensors will sell for $30. That means you could outfit 10 windows and five rooms just for the price of getting started with Nest’s system.

This is a stellar deal which forces me to reanalyze my entire projected home security system. Nest is an amazing ecosystem but it is far too expensive compared to the alternatives.

A Small-Screen iPod, an Internet Communicator and a Phone

This comparison is apt: the Watch is effectively stealing usage from the iPhone. At first it took alerts, timekeeping, and basic messaging away. Now it’s taking basic phone calls and music and maybe maps.

It’s fitting therefore to remember how the iPhone was launched; as a tentpole troika: A wide-screen iPod, an Internet Communicator and a Phone. Today the new Watch is a small-screen iPod, an Internet Communicator and a Phone.

Succinct point. Have I bought in? Yes but only on the Apple Watch Series 2. 

Austin Mann and Apple’s new iPhone 8 Plus

After shooting 100 portraits or so, I can easily say Studio Light is my favorite of the effects. It emulates a gold bounce card as if it is just outside of the frame, bouncing nice warm light into the face and eyes of the subject. It does a nice job of making the face subtly pop from the rest of the background without doing anything too dramatic.

If there is one feature that I am excited about on the new iPhones, it’s Portrait Lighting’s new Studio Lighting. Every year Apple really does come up with features that do make you want to upgrade.

If you’re a photographer of any kind, they say the best camera is the one in your pocket. There is no excuse for anything less than the iPhone 8 Plus (at least until the new iPhone X comes out in a month and a half.)

iPhone 8 Plus Camera Review

The Apple iPhone 8 Plus is the best-performing mobile device camera we have ever tested. Its overall DxOMark Mobile score of 94 sets a new record, beating out the 90 points for both the Google Pixel and the HTC U11, as well as the 92 that its sibling iPhone 8 just scored. Its Photo score of 96 is also a new record, blowing past the Pixel’s 90. For Video, its score of 89 is among our highest, but tied with the HTC U11 and slightly below the Pixel’s 91. Of course, the Pixel is nearly a year old now, so it makes sense that Apple’s new flagship is breaking new ground.

The king returns as the best of the best.

An Insight to Apple's Spaceship

We go upstairs, and I take in the view. From planes descending to SFO, and even from drones that buzz the building from a hundred feet above it, the Ring looks like an ominous icon, an expression of corporate power, and a what-the-fuck oddity among the malls, highways, and more mundane office parks of suburban Silicon Valley. But peering out the windows and onto the vast hilly expanse of the courtyard, all of that peels away. It feels … peaceful, even amid the clatter and rumble of construction. It turns out that when you turn a skyscraper on its side, all of its bullying power dissipates into a humble serenity.

For the next two hours, Ive and Whisenhunt walk me through other parts of the building and the grounds. They describe the level of attention devoted to every detail, the willingness to search the earth for the right materials, and the obstacles overcome to achieve perfection, all of which would make sense for an actual Apple consumer product, where production expenses could be amortized over millions of units. But the Ring is a 2.8-million-square-foot one-off, eight years in the making and with a customer base of 12,000. How can anyone justify this spectacular effort?

I'd love a tour of this architectural marvel. Anyone?

Garmin's New Tri Watch

Even with Garmin's latest iteration in their running / triathlon sports watches 935, Apple's Watch keeps on drawing me back in.

Check out Ray Maker's "In-Depth Review". If you ask me, $499 is a little steep. For now, I'll wait for the Apple Watch 3.

Razer's Blade Is Tempting

In a lot of ways, the Razer Blade is almost like the MacBook Pro that Apple should have made: the latest powerful hardware, both USB 3.0 ports and a USB-C jack, an HDMI port, and a proper black color, rather than the slate gray Touch Bar models. And it supports VR, which no Apple machine, laptop or desktop, is certified for (although the Blade still can’t charge over USB-C, using a legacy barrel port to actually charge the battery).

If it wasn't for Windows, I would have happily bought a Razer Blade already. The specs obliterate Apple's latest and newest MacBook Pro w/ TouchBar. Granted the mess of ports and not being able to charge via USB-C on the Blade is silly and a disappointment but it's still an awesome machine.

Bottom line: I've been contemplating making the switch back, but I'd miss too much of the daily apps I use on my MacBook Air. #ecosystem

Republicans Getting Bought

A look at eight of the country’s largest providers, as well as five of the trade groups that signed a letter in January in favor of overturning the rules, show that in the last six years, they gave a total of at least $1,726,288 to those 22 senators — an average of more than half a million dollars per election cycle.

Idiots. We should probably harvest their internet browsing history and share it with their constituents. Idiots. It's our political system and if this isn't a form of corruption, I don't know what is.

via 9to5mac

Charge and Play Your Switch

The takeaway from all of this is that while this is by no means an exhaustive test, what I’ve found is that any good power bank designed to power tablets will be sufficient to power the Switch. So long as a bank can deliver 5V @ 2A or better, then it can power Nintendo’s console.

It's amazing that the AC Adapter that comes with the Nintendo Switch is actually more powerful than the one that's included with Apple's 12" MacBooks. But, nonetheless, if you want to charge and play, Anandtech currently is recommending RAVPower's 26800 mAh Power Bank. I'm sure that Anker's PowerCore+ 20100 USB-C will also the trick, but then again, I'm a little partial to them since that's all I'm been privy to.

A 3D Printed Granny Flat

Definitely could use one of these in the backyard! And for "only" $10k plus furnishings, definitely doable.

Zelda's Nintendo Switch

As a “Zelda”-playing machine, the Switch works well. Nintendo is selling the latest chapter of its Hyrule saga, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”, as a launch title alongside the system. With its gorgeous cel-shaded visuals that look like something out of a Studio Ghibli movie, the game is impressive. But at times, the Switch has trouble handling so many enemies and effects on the screen at once.

In terms of size and scope, “Breath of the Wild” dwarfs previous titles and makes the world of “Fallout 4” look like quaint region compared to the expansive continent of this reimagined Hyrule.

It's quite an expensive game at $299.99 + $59.99 but here's hoping for the a future pleathora of releases and continued "fun-factor!" Mario Kart 8 Deluxe up next on April 28, 2017 and much more!

Splatoon 2 & Super Mario Odyssey both tagged for December 29, 2017, which, I know is so far away, but Snipperclips is going to be downloadable on Friday!

And if you're with Amazon Prime, all those games I mentioned above are 20% off when you pre-order. Best Buy might price match but I know that Gamestop cannot.