J.J. Abrams on His Projects, and Coincidentally My Feelings About the Galaxy Fold

Your Robot Overlord – Fast Company (Apple News+ link)

“This entire enterprise has been a response to the question, ‘What if?’ ” Abrams says. “The great stories, the ones I love, all seem to come from a ‘what if?’ ”

This sums up my favorite media as well, but in a weird way, it also kind of sums up how I feel about phones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold. I think the only people who should buy this phone are people who would be totally okay with $2,000 vanishing from their bank account on a lark. Frankly, the phone should be bundled with a Galaxy S10e to use when the Fold inevitable breaks or drives you crazy, whichever comes first.

But…

There’s something about the Galaxy Fold that I find supremely compelling. Foldable tech is something that feels very natural an evolution for tech to move into. We will certainly look back on the fragile glass slabs we all use today as archaic someday, and foldable, flexible, and durable devices will one day be commonplace. The Galaxy Fold proves that this is still a future dream and the tech in 2019 is simply not ready, but much like Apple positioned the iPhone X as an early preview of what the future of phones looks like, this phone makes me feel the same way, just in a phone that is far, far further from being ready for the mass market than the iPhone X was in 2017.

A Galaxy of Confusion

Apple Watch Series 4 vs. Galaxy Watch Active: What’s the best smartwatch? – CNET

For the price, it’s hard to go past the Galaxy Watch Active, especially considering compatibility across Android and iOS. It offers a great range of fitness features, a comfortable fit for smaller wrists especially and a strong showing in battery life.

This article baffles me. I own both of these smart watches and I find the Galaxy Watch Active to be quite a poor product for someone who enjoys using their smart watch for smart watch-y things. And if you’re thinking this article focused more on the fitness aspect, no it did not.

Winner: Tie. Galaxy Watch Active has the best cross-platform support, but the Apple Watch has the flexibility of an LTE-option and a built-in speaker for making calls.

Listen, there are some people who will enjoy the Galaxy Watch Active, but every piece of the user experience as a smart watch is miles behind what watchOS has going on. I bought the Active with hopes it would show me some things Apple could steal for updates to watchOS. Instead, all I discovered was that Apple is further ahead of everyone else than I realized.

And finally, who the heck cares about a smart watch working with multiple platforms? Very few people change platforms so the fact that the Galaxy Watch Active works with iOS (poorly) and Android (slightly less poorly) is not a point in its favor to anyone besides a tech reviewer. Same with the Apple Watch; why is this even in the conversation if someone has an Android phone?

This article completely befuddles me.

Podcast #176: On Video Game Accessibility

I felt compelled to weigh in on the video game debate of the day: should games like Sekiro do more to enable more people to play them? It’s a sometimes raucous debate and I wanted to weigh in.

Galaxy S10e and iPhone XS Portrait Mode Showdown

You all know the drill by now, so I’ll just get into it. This is a comparison from a walk around town today, focusing on portrait modes on each camera. In every comparison, the iPhone is first and the Galaxy is second

Girl Statue

Right off the bat we see some big differences in processing. The iPhone has what I find to be a much more flattering focal length which the Galaxy S10e simply can’t match with its wide-only lenses. On the other hand, the Galaxy does a better job with the under-hair blur and has lighter shadows that maintain more detail. I prefer the look of the iPhone color, but the Samsung device holds its own here.

Selfie Time

This photo brings to light one of the weird things about the Galaxy camera that I apparently haven’t mentioned: it flips selfies to be reversed. There is no text in the photo, but if there was it would be like looking in a mirror on the bottom Galaxy shot.

That detail aside, we have similar results to the first photo. Colors are more saturated and contrast is higher on the iPhone, while the Galaxy spits out a flatter image with a very bright exposure overall. The Galaxy is also doing a bit more smoothing in my face than the iPhone, but there isn’t a huge difference there either.

This one will also come down mostly to preference, as these are very different styles of photo.

Inanimate Object

This technically isn’t what portrait modes are meant to excel at, but it’s worth giving it a shot. The Galaxy wins slightly in edge detection, and colors follow the same patterns as above.

Fox in the Summer

Both do a good job grabbing the edges here, but for my money the iPhone smokes the Galaxy in terms of overall image quality.

Just Some Flowers

Interestingly, when you switch out of portrait mode, the Galaxy image is actually a bit more saturated. Overall clarity is similar and natural bokeh is nice on both, but I actually lean ever so slightly towards the Galaxy here. Maybe it’s just because the focus landed on the white flower though.

Zoom!

The iPhone has a big advantage in this 2x zoom shot, but I have it a shot anyway. Colors are far more saturated and look better to me, and if you are looking at this on a big enough screen you’ll be able to see the plan in the sky is far more defined on the iPhone shot.

Shutter Lag

I mentioned in my review that there was more shutter lag on the S10e than I was used to and this sort of shot displays that difference. The car is going about 30mph and I hit the shutter buttons at the same time. It’s not major, and the Galaxy has done far worse for me, but it gives you an idea at least as to the difference.