The Color-Time Edition Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Apple Watch Series 5 Review: Always On Time, by Lauren Goode, Wired

So instead of the screen going totally black, the face dims and shrinks a little bit. This always-on mode only works across certain apps and watch faces to start. It works on all of Apple’s own watch faces; Apple still isn’t open to the idea of third-party app makers owning the face of its smartwatch. It also works in Apple’s exercise app, which means during outdoor runs I could always catch a glimpse of the workout timer and my pace and distance.

Unfortunately, this dimmed display is also hard to see in bright sunlight, something the thin-film transistor LCDs found in some other smartwatches don’t suffer from as much. And with other apps on the watch, like the phone app, always-on mode simply shows the time of day. If you’re using the Watch to make a call, the dimmed face won’t show the length of your call or the red “end call” button.

Apple Watch Series 5 Review, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

While improved battery life would almost certainly be a welcomed feature in future updates, Apple’s made a bit of a compromise, offering an always-on watch that lasts the same stated 18 hours as its predecessors. I found I was, indeed, able to get through a day no problem with standard use. My own usage had the product lasting closer to 20 hours without the need to recharge, but even so, the device needs to get charged once a day, regardless — otherwise you’ll almost certainly be out of juice the following day.

Apple Watch Series 5 Review: The Best Smartwatch, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

I love the always-on screen on the Series 5. Apple’s implementation is better than other smartwatches I’ve used for two reasons: it legitimately doesn’t hurt the battery life as much, and Apple keeps a little color visible in ambient mode.

Apple Watch Series 5, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

To me, the always-on display is the Apple Watch’s retina display moment — once you see it, you can’t go back.

Humans Shoot Dogs

An iPhone 11 Pro Review For Dog Owners, by John Paczkowski, Buzzfeed

My dogs and I have spent the past few days with the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and I think they would agree when I say that it is an excellent camera for humans who enjoy photographing dogs.

IPhone 11 And 11 Pro Review: Thinking Differently In The Golden Age Of Smartphones, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

That’s because we are now living in the golden age of smartphones, where the gadgets’ improvements each year are far from seismic. Devices that debuted three years ago remain zippy and more than capable. Those with the iPhone 7 from 2016, for example, still have a very good phone with a stellar camera and fast speeds.

Apple Taps Recycled Rare Earth Elements For iPhone Parts, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

Apple said it will use recycled rare earths in its “Taptic Engine,” a part that lets iPhones mimic a physical button click despite being a flat pane of glass. The part is about one-quarter of the rare earth elements inside the iPhone models.


Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said Apple’s use of recycled rare earths was “not related” to trade tensions but could help it maintain a steady supply.

Coming Soon

13 Features Of iOS 13: Find My, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

It’s all encrypted to ensure privacy, but we are about to enter a world where Apple devices emit low-power Bluetooth pings in order to better let you find where they are. The Find My app will be a major beneficiary of this tech.

13 Features Of iOS 13: The Long Press, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

The long press expands upon the Haptic Touch features introduced in last year’s iPhone XR, as well as absorbing the now deprecated 3D Touch hardware-based features first introduced in the iPhone 6s.


AirPods Versus PowerBeats Pro: Same Parent, Different Paths, by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, TidBITS

So it’s important to understand the attributes of each and how they fit into different lifestyles and use cases. There is quite a bit to digest, so let’s dig in.

PCalc 3.9 Adds Dark Mode And The Latest Shortcuts Features, Expanding The App’s Automation Capabilities, by John Voorhees, MacStories

With PCalc’s new Shortcuts actions, we can reduce the number of actions from twelve to just four. It’s a fantastic demonstration of the power that iOS and iPadOS 13 add to third-party shortcut actions and the reduction in complexity that can be achieved with even a relatively simple shortcut.

Things 3 Update For iPhone Arrives With Improved Siri Shortcuts, New Share Extension And More, by Brent Dirks, AppAdvice

One of the biggest additions in version 3.10 includes integration with Siri Shortcuts. There are four Things actions to use in the Shortcuts app: add to-do, show to-do, show list, and run Things URL.


Natural Lighting Is The Key To Apple’s Remodeled Fifth Ave. Store, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

When the store reopens, a series of skylights flush on the ground of the plaza will be doing much of the heavy lifting for the lighting during the day. Each of those round portholes will be frosted to let the light in, while protecting the privacy of people walking above, with supplemental lighting from silver LED rings. That, in turn, is augmented by 18 (nine on each side of the cube) “sky lenses.” Oriented in two 3×3 configurations, the “sculptural furniture” will also provide seating in the outdoor plaza.

Bottom of the Page

Right now, I am at the 2-year mark of owning my existing iPhone X, and it is in much better condition than all my previous iPhones at their 2-year mark. Some of the problems previously: lousy responsiveness of the home button; blurry photographs for the rear camera; and a headphone jack that required a little jiggering occasionally in order to have sound in the EarPods.

The iPhone X is the most expensive iPhone that I've bought for myself. And, so far, it has proven to worth every additional penny.

(Of course, now that I have jinx it, I expect to drop my iPhone X and have it broken into a million pieces any day now.)


My iPhone X is my first -- and last? -- Apple device that have 3D-touch. And I have turned off 3D-touch in the first year because I was sick and tired of having either the camera or the flashlight turned on accidentally.


Thanks for reading.