Posts Currently viewing the category: "Technology"

How water-resistant is the iPhone 7?

Last updated on Mar 28, 2017

The iPhone 7 is Apple’s first water-resistant iPhone. But just how water-resistant is the iPhone 7? Apple rates the iPhone 7 as IP67, which means it can be submerged under water for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter. That does not make the iPhone 7 an underwater camera. I took my iPhone 7 Plus under water regardless.

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iPhone 7 water-resistance test

The amazing progress both Isabella and Lucas have made at SwimKids of Georgia is already subject to various videos, but I couldn’t resist producing another one.…

Print to PDF in iOS

As part of my paperless workflow, I save a lot of documents in PDF format. Some applications don’t support “save to PDF” but fortunately, macOS has a “print to PDF” feature that works system-wide and in any application. In this article, I will show you how to “print to PDF” on an iOS device running iOS 9 or newer.

Before Apple added the print to PDF feature to iOS, I had to use third-party apps. Some of those apps worked well, but they all had issues with the native Mail app due to lack of direct integration.

Print to PDF in

Starting with iOS 9, Apple added print to PDF functionality to the Mail app.…

Review: Wireless workout headphones for running and jogging

In this article, I’ll review my two favorite wireless workout headphones for running and jogging: the Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones and the Plantronics Backbeat Fit Wireless headphones.

My workout routine consists of Crossfit-type exercises or of running with the kids or alone. When I run alone, I like to listen to music. Before I got the iPhone 6S Plus and the Apple Watch my running gear included the iPhone 6Nike Distance Armband, and Bose Mobile in-Ear headphones.

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  • Plantronics BackBeat Fit Wireless Headphones (Amazon)
  • Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones (Amazon)

The above setup worked, but it wasn’t ideal.…

Apple Watch battery life

Apple is working on watchOS 3.1, which is still in beta. I don’t know what changes Apple made to the new version of watchOS, but the under-the-hood changes have led to a dramatic improvement in battery life for the Apple Watch.

Battery life of the Apple Watch

The battery in the old Apple Watch would last about 18 hours, under average usage conditions. With the launch of the new Apple Watch Series 2, I was hoping for a larger battery and thus improved battery life. Apple delivered bigger battery but indicated that the battery would not last any longer than in the earlier model.…

iOS 10 Mail threads

How iOS 10 organizes emails as threads

Last updated on Mar 5, 2017

The Mail app in iOS 10 organizes emails “as threads” to make them easier to read. But sometimes this particular way of organizing email conversations has the opposite effect, making them harder to read. In this article, I’ll shed some light on how threads work in Mail under iOS 10 and I’ll show you a trick how to better handle them.

The perils of blogging

To illustrate some of the techniques I’m showing you below, I sneaked out my wife’s iPad at 6 am and drafted a dummy email conversation between her and me. The conversation was about having dinner tonight at one of our favorite restaurants.…

Tapback in iOS 10

When Apple announced Stickers and Tapback for iMessages in iOS 10, my first thought was: “What a useless gimmick”. I would have preferred that Apple had spent more resources on making iCloud Drive more like Dropbox. It’s been a few weeks since iOS 10 was officially released, and I have to admit that I’ve been using Tapback a lot.

Tapback. Just tap to send one of six quick responses that let people know what you’re thinking.

Maintaining the context

Between my wife’s Costa Rican family, my Austrian family, and friends in the US, I take part in several iMessage group chats.…

Portrait Mode makes the iPhone 7 Plus worth it

Is the iPhone 7 Plus worth it is a question I have been asked a lot. In my opinion, if the iPhone 7 Plus only had a new camera system and Portrait Mode but no other new features, it would be worth it. I upgraded from an iPhone 6s Plus and didn’t regret it. As an enthusiastic amateur photographer, I love Portrait Mode and the new camera system Apple put into the iPhone 7 Plus.

Pundits have criticized the lack of innovation in the new iPhone 7, but most criticism is based on the iPhone’s design that hasn’t changed since the iPhone 6.…

Workout and Activity App

With the release of the Apple Watch Series 2, Apple has reconfirmed its focus on Fitness. Not surprisingly, watchOS 3.0 and (to a lesser extent) iOS 10 feature improved Workout and Activity apps. But there is still a lot of room for improvement, and in this article, I present you my wish list for Apple’s Workout and Activity apps.

A note up front: I’m aware that there are third-party apps that have all the features listed below. Runtastic, Map My Run, and others come to mind. Before Apple released watchOS 3.0, third-party apps could not access certain features of the Apple Watch, such as the heart rate sensor.…

Apple Watch Series 2

I love running and my Apple Watch, and in this post, I’ll review the Apple Watch Series 2 from a runners perspective.

The Apple Watch Series 2 I ordered looks almost exactly like the previous generation (Amazon): Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sports Band. The differences between the old and the new Apple Watch are subtle. Apple Watch Series 2 is slightly thicker and heavier and has a second microphone cut-out on the left side of the case. Otherwise, they look identical.

Setting up the new Apple Watch Series 2

If you have iCloud Backup enabled and if the iPhone is locked and connected to its charger, iOS creates a backup of your device.…

macOS 10.12.1 Beta and LaCie Kernel Extension

After upgrading my iMac to the latest developer beta version of macOS 10.12.1 (16B2327e), I noticed that I lost write-access to my LaCie 5big Thunderbolt 2 Raid.

Upgrade to macOS 10.12.1 Beta

When Apple released the Golden Master (GM) build of macOS 10.12, I did a clean install, not expecting Apple to release another GM build ahead of Sierra’s official release. Then, just days after macOS 10.12 was released to the public, Apple released the first beta of 10.12.1. I installed it first on my 12” MacBook and didn’t notice any issues. Yesterday, I installed the beta on my iMac, and that turned out to be a mistake.…

SuperDuper before macOS reinstall

When to reinstall macOS and how to do it

Last updated on Mar 5, 2017

macOS (previously known as OS X) is a very solid operating system that usually doesn’t require a lot of reboots and only rarely has to be reinstalled. But occasionally you run into an issue that warrants reinstalling the operating system (OS). That’s especially true if you installed beta versions of macOS. In this post I’ll explain what triggered me to reinstall macOS twice and what I did to make the process as painless as possible.

macOS Public Beta

In the past few years, I installed the first available developer preview of what was then called OS X. This year I waited until Apple released a Public Beta of macOS until I installed it on my MacBook and iMac.…

AppleScript to detect OCR

For a while I have struggled to find a simple solution that would allow me to detect if OCR has already been applied to a given PDF document. I finally figured it out and wanted to share the solution with you.

As part of my paperless workflow, I scan every document with my trusted Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 before feeding the scanned document to Hazel for further processing. When I’m traveling I use Scanbot to digitize receipts. In both cases, scanned documents are saved to a Dropbox folder that Hazel monitors. You can read more about my Hazel workflow here and here.…

Lightning strike - surge protector

Most electronic devices are very sensitive to electrical power surges and can get easily damaged if one occurs. So it’s a smart idea to invest in a good surge protector. But if you make the same mistake I made, you may still end up with damaged equipment.

We have had a lot of thunderstorms and rain over the past couple of weeks in Georgia. But I wasn’t worried, because most of the electronic devices in our household are either connected to an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) or a surge protector. I have two APC Back UPS Pro 1500 units in my home office and one in the family room.…

Quicken 2016

Quicken 2016 for Mac worth the Upgrade?

Last updated on Mar 5, 2017

In the past few years, Intuit has done an incredibly awful job positioning Quicken, its personal finance software, on the Mac. Despite my experience with Quicken Essentials and Quicken 2015, I decided to upgrade to Quicken 2016. In this post I’ll share my first impression of the latest version and tell you if the upgrade was worth it.

Quicken: A Brief History

Intuit used to have a fairly decent personal finance software called Quicken for Mac 2007. It was a PowerPC application that stopped working when Apple switched to the Intel (x86) processor architecture and deprecated Rosetta in OS X 10.7 Lion.…

In this post I’ll show you how to redact and encrypt PDF documents using an Automator workflow, Apple Script and PDFpenPro.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about using Automator to batch-encrypt PDF files. I did some more research and came up with an even better way to protect sensitive information, including redaction.

Why Redact and not Encrypt

Encrypting sensitive data is one of the best ways to making sure your information stays secure. But encryption comes at a cost! Encrypted PDF files are no longer searchable via Spotlight and opening them requires a password. I would have to type in a password every time I opened an encrypted file because Keychain in macOS cannot be used to retrieve the password.…