Blade Runner 2049 Wallpapers for Your iPhone and iPad

If you have not seen Blade Runner 2049, I highly suggest you stop right here and watch it today. But whether you have or have not seen the film, hopefully you’ll enjoy the 6 variants of this 2049-inspired wallpaper.

As always, these are all in 4K resolution to look good on any phone or tablet out there.

iPhone (2160×3840)

iPad (3840x 3840)

Returning to the Pixel 2 for a Day

This last week I have actually used my Pixel 2 instead of my iPhone for most things for a couple days. As I have grown accustomed to iOS again after my stint with Android back in October through December, I wanted to see how Android Oreo felt to me.

The first thing that I noticed was that I still really, really prefer the notification system on Android. It’s frankly night and day in terms of letting me keep up track of my notifications as they come in. Some people like the chronological stream of notifications that iOS has, but I do not understand that preference at all and would take Android’s system in a heartbeat. I missed fewer messages, I was better able to filter actionable notifications from needless ones, and I felt the notification panel was a useful tool rather than a dumping ground.

I also remembered immediately how much worse the app ecosystem is than it is on iOS. Just as I found in my review, every app I used felt like a downgrade from the iOS equivalent. Additionally, my recent adoption of Workflows in recent months make iOS feel so much more powerful than Android at accomplishing very specific tasks that I need to get done. Yes, I could use some automation app on Android to accomplish similar things, but:

  1. Workflow allows for more actions than any automation app I’ve seen on Android.
  2. Workflow has an interface that it designed to allow anyone with even a little bit of technical aptitude to build automations.

And finally, somewhat related to the app ecosystem aspect, I have to talk about the camera. The camera on the Pixel 2 is damn good. It’s damn good as long as you use the built in camera app, that is. Google’s image processing is second to none, and the results they get from a single lens is pretty impressive. I’ve gone deep into this already, but suffice it to say that the images that come out of the Pixel 2’s stock camera are crisp, clear, and look really grid with zero edits.

Portrait mode continues to be a mixed bag for me, as the selfie shooter does great work:

But the normal portrait shots look really hit or miss:

But what makes me a little sad about the Pixel 2 (and Android in general) is that the third party camera apps out there are a big letdown. I use Adobe Lightroom and Halide on my iPhone 8 Plus to take rather incredible RAW photos that hold up against $1000+ cameras. I have not found a RAW camera app on Android that gets even lose to these apps, as even Lightroom which is on Android, results in terrible artifacts and frankly broken images basically half the time.

Overall, my position remains the same as it was in December when I wrote my Android review: iOS is a far superior operating system as well as ecosystem in all the ways that truly matter to me. Android has some wins in there, notifications being the biggest one, but there are so many other areas where Android falls woefully short for me that I can not see myself switching to Android anytime soon. Well, until the Android P beta hits this spring and I run this whole experiment over again 😄.

macOS High Sierra Has Yet Another Password Bug

As explained by MacRumors, here is the flow:

  • Click on System Preferences.
  • Click on App Store.
  • Click on the padlock icon to lock it if necessary.
  • Click on the padlock icon again.
  • Enter your username and any password.
  • Click Unlock.

The stakes on this page are low so it’s not the end of the world, but COME ON APPLE. If I was in their QA team I would make a special task to look at every single place in macOS where authentication happens and regression test the hell out of it.

I’m not particularly interested in whether Apple’s software is better or worse than before, but there are a a ridiculous number of authentication issues in Macs revealed in just the last few months and it’s hurting Apple’s reputation. One of the selling points of a Mac is that you need to do less to secure it than a Windows PC, but lately there have been multiple ways someone could just walk up to my computer and just blow through password prompts.

This one event isn’t the end of the world, but this is how reputations degrade over time. Apple needs a software win soon, because it’s really just been a streak of bad news for them for months.

Philips Hue App Getting a Much Needed Update Soon

Philips announced a few new things to do with their Hue line of products at CES this week, and this part stood out to me the most:

In Q2 2018, the company plans to update its iOS and Android apps to version 3.0, bringing about a redesign of the app inspired by comments and feedback from current Hue users. Philips said 3.0 will “enhance” existing and new features so that the smart home lighting system can be activated “with even more ease.”

Thank god! Seriously, the Hue app as it exists today is really rough. It just looks bad and feels like one of the most unreliable apps on my iPhone.

They also had this little nugget:

A “Hue Sync” app for macOS High Sierra and Windows 10 devices will be coming in Q2 2018. Hue Sync will let you create and customize light scripts for games, movies, and music played on a Mac or Windows computer.

It’s quite interesting to me that the whole smart home/IoT revolution has been happening completely separate from the PC. This will be the first real app that I’ll use that lets me manage any part of my smart home that isn’t on iOS or Android. Probably not a larger trend that we’ll see from other device makers, but interesting nonetheless to see something (anything!) happening in regards to smart home management on the PC.

Titanic

The Insane True Story Of How “Titanic” Got Made – BuzzFeed

Mechanic told him, “this film is wildly out of control. Nothing is going to change that. All we can do now is contain it. So here are some scenes we’d like you to cut from the shooting schedule.” Cameron studied the list of scenes, and immediately refused to cut any of them.

“If you want to cut my film,” James Cameron told the president of Fox, “you’ll have to fire me, and to fire me you’ll have to kill me.” Then he stormed off set. The scenes stayed in the picture. Mechanic had little choice but to relent: No other director could manage all the moving parts Titanic required.

I am not particularly attached to Titanic myself, but I find Cameron’s passion to be completely infectious.