iPhone 6 Followup Review

Posted by Mark

Late last month I picked up my iPhone 6 from Geant and I’ve been using it ever since. It’s been just over two weeks now and the phone still hasn’t grown on me. The biggest issue I had with the iPhone 6 was the size, it’s just too big to use with one hand and two weeks later this remains my biggest issue with the phone. But, if that wasn’t enough, two more annoying issues have popped up as well.

I tend to leave my phone on silent most of the time because the vibration is usually strong enough to be felt and loud enough to be heard, or at least that was the case with my iPhone 5. With the new iPhone 6 the vibration is so much more weaker and quieter that I started missing a lot calls and now no longer keep my phone on silent.

The second issue I’ve been having with the phone is the grip since the phone constantly slips out of my hand. It probably has to do with the fact the edges are really curved and the phone is pretty wide making it difficult to get a good grip.

On the plus side everything else about the phone is just way better than my iPhone 5. I just wish Apple made the iPhone in three different sizes.


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My iPhone 6 Review

Posted by Mark

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I got a surprise phone call from Geant earlier in the month. At first I thought it might have something to do with the comments under my post from the previous day on customer service in Kuwait but it turned out to be unrelated. Instead, someone over the phone wanted to give me an iPhone 6 to review for the blog and the timing couldn’t have been better since I was thinking of pre-ordering one the following day from the Apple store website. At first I thought it was a bit odd that Geant was the one calling me up this year to review the iPhone since the previous years have always been electronics stores but then again, I’ve bought countless electronics from Geant myself without realizing it, my TV, two printers, a scanner and a bunch of external hard drives and memory sticks. So once they got the phones last week, I passed by their 360 Mall branch and picked up my unit.

I’m not going to go into the specifics of the phone since there are a million websites out there who have reviewed the phone thoroughly. Not only that but I don’t think majority of the people care if the battery lasts an extra hour or if the screen is slightly sharper or at least I don’t. The improvements year by year aren’t as drastic as they once were and I was perfectly happy with my iPhone 5 (not even an S) even though it was scratched up, dented and one of the volume buttons did’t work. The only reason I wanted to upgrade my phone was because the app 1Password would now unlock using my fingerprint and that would save me so much time instead of having to type out my very long and complicated master password.

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When I first picked up the iPhone 6 last week my first reaction was oh no, they accidentally gave me the larger iPhone 6 Plus. Compared to the iPhone 5, the iPhone 6 looks and feels huge. I liked the size of the iPhone 5 and I really don’t need a larger screen and I definitely don’t need a larger phone. Even though I’ve gotten used to the size of the phone now I still think Apple should have kept the previous screen size. Navigating the phone with one hand is a lot more difficult now even though you can double tap the home key and have the whole screen shift down closer to your thumb. That’s an extra step I didn’t need before. My biggest concern though was if it would fit in my shorts. My running and cycling shorts have a small pocket in the back where I put my iPhone in so I could listen to music while exercising. It was already a pretty tight fit with the iPhone 5 so I was worried the iPhone 6 wouldn’t fit and that would be a deal breaker for me #firstworldproblems. Luckily, my shorts use a stretchy material for the pocket so the iPhone 6 fit without issues.

Size aside everything else is fairly similar. The camera is slightly better the screen is a bit sharper, the battery life a bit better and compared to my iPhone 5, the phone definitely feels a lot faster. The only other major difference compared to the previous iPhone is the way it looks. It’s a much more slicker looking iPhone this year, it’s curvy and more comfortable to hold in your hands but I also feels it looks very generic and lacks the character of the previous generations. As I mentioned earlier, my iPhone 5 is just covered in dents and scratches, it had taken a lot of abuse from me and somehow I only cracked the screen once. I’m not very sure how much abuse the new iPhone will take, my gut tells me I’m going to end up cracking the screen very soon but hopefully that’s not the case.

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Do I like the iPhone 6?
Yes I do, I do wish it was smaller but I’m getting used to this size. On the main home screen I’ve moved the apps I use the most to the lower half of the screen for easy access and I’m getting the hang of the double tap for reachability feature.

Should you upgrade from an iPhone 5S?
No, you don’t need to. The biggest feature I’m using with my iPhone 6 is the fingerprint scanner and the 5S has that.

Should you upgrade from an iPhone 5?
No, you don’t need to, not unless you need the fingerprint scanner.

Should you upgrade if you own anything older than an iPhone 5?
You don’t but you probably should, the speed difference is considerable, the newer cameras are much better, your battery is probably getting old by now and not holding a charge like it once used to and iOS8 needs one of the newer phones to run reasonably well.

Geant are selling the iPhone 6 starting at KD269.990 for the 16GB, KD299.990 for the 64Gb and KD369.990 for the 128GB. I think 64GB is the best size, 16GB is just too small and 128GB too big unless you’re never deleting your photos and videos from your phone. The iPhone 6 Plus is more expensive, they start at KD399.990 for the 16GB, KD449.990 for the 64Gb and KD489.990 for the 128GB. No one under the age of 60 should be getting an iPhone 6 Plus, if you want a tablet get an iPad mini and if you want a phone then get the iPhone 6.


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iPhone 6 Prices in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

iphone6

The iPhone 6 is already available in Kuwait although at unreasonably high prices. zDistrict posted some of prices and they’re insane as they usually are when the iPhone first comes out. The prices right now are as follows:

iPhone 6
16GB KD390
64GB KD420
128GB KD460

So its definitely not worth getting one locally at the moment.


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Dating with Tinder in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

tinder

A friend recently asked me why I don’t write about the dating app Tinder. At first I wasn’t very sure if the local Tinder users would appreciate this extra attention, but then I thought about it again and realized a post about Tinder could actually boost it locally. So I decided to do some research and the first thing I did was google “tinder kuwait” which landed me on an extremely entertaining local blog called Single in the Shires. The blog is about the dating adventures of a single British girl living in Kuwait and since she was a Tinder user, I decided to contact her and ask her if she’d be willing to write the review instead. She nicely accepted and you can check it out below:

Swipe Right
When Mark asked me to guest blog for him I was delighted. Then I realized that I had to write about my shameful love life for the Kuwait blogosphere to digest. I hold my hands up… I am in my 30s and I’m single (audible gasp). And moving to Kuwait certainly hasn’t helped change matters. How could it? Gone are my days of meeting guys in nightclubs and bars. First date nerves are no longer steadied with a couple of wines. Dinners no longer turn in to dancing. And, for a change, I can remember every single disastrous detail the next day (not always a good idea). Plus, how on earth are you supposed to meet eligible bachelors in Kuwait – and by eligible I mean NOT the ones that follow you through Avenues, try and get your attention whilst driving dangerously or beep their horns as they drive past you when you’re trying to cross the street. Those men are a no no.

So, moving to Kuwait has meant embracing online dating – something I wasn’t a fan of in London. In fact, I’m even less of a fan now but needs must. And without match.com or mysinglefriend.co.uk there wasn’t much chance of even an internet date. Until Tinder popped up.

Tinder is an app that allows you to select your chosen target demographic (in my case: male, 32-38, within 50km) and then view their pictures. Like the look of them? Swipe right. Don’t like the look of them? Swipe left. Yes it’s shallow but it’s more fun than reading dating profiles that have been embellished beyond belief (ie the guy who said he was over 6 foot and was shorter than me on the date – and I’m 5 foot 7). The app pulls the pictures from your Facebook profile and it seems many users in Kuwait fail to review these and make any changes. Why else would there be 100s of profiles featuring men with their brides or profiles pictures that are of their children?!

You see, to some this is a dating site and to others it’s a hook up app. From talking to friends it seems men treat it as a hook up app and girls are a bit more willing to believe they’ll meet someone lovely and ride off in to the sunset to start their ‘happy ever after’. Wake up girls, you are not riding off in to the sunset with the guy that takes a selfie in the gym mirrors with his top off. That guy will always like himself just that little bit more than he likes you.

I could reel off my disastrous encounters thanks to Tinder but have chosen to protect the not-so-innocent. Plus, I don’t want to tempt fate. You see, for all my cynicism I am still hopeful that one day I’ll swipe right and meet a normal, well-adjusted guy that doesn’t want to show me the inside of his pants on Whatsapp after three messages.

So would I recommend Tinder? Well in the absence of an alternative then I suppose I would – as long as you don’t take it too seriously. Remember; online you can be whoever you want to be. Just take it all with a pinch of salt and swipe away. Who knows, you may have better luck than me.

SiS


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Official Kuwait International Airport App

Posted by Mark

airportapp

The Kuwait International Airport released their official iPhone App earlier today. I have no idea why they bothered since it’s not a real application, it’s just a browser that loads up the actual web page. Check out the photo above, can you tell which is the app and which is the actual website? There is absolutely no benefit to the app over their mobile website, you don’t get flight notifications or any sort of added value features. So save yourself the trouble and just bookmark the actual airport website, it’s literally the EXACT same thing. I wonder how much the developers charged them for this… [Link]

Update: According to Frankom, the app cost KD17,850 to develop! [Link]

Update2: Turns out you actually do get flight notifications. So thats the only difference over the website as far as I can tell.


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Ministry of Interior iPhone App

Posted by Mark

moiapp

The MOI released an iPhone App recently allowing you to perform a bunch of tasks like checking on your traffic violations and E-Payments. Sadly the app is not that great since it isn’t really offering anything new compared to other non-official apps that have been out longer and most of us already have installed on our phones.

My main issues with the app is the speed of some of the sections and the fact that it won’t memorize your details. To be able to check on your traffic violations for example you need to set up an account with them. That’s great since it means you don’t have to type in your Civil ID every single time you want to check on something but you still have to type in your password which is annoying. Then for some reason the E-Payments section requires you to type in your Civil ID number instead of allowing you to log in with your username and password like the other sections. It’s a mess.

On the other hand the app is free and it’s the official app. For those of you who prefer not to share your Civil ID with non-official apps this is for you. [Link]


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Tribal Rivals

Posted by Mark

tribal

Tribal Rivals is a new game by Lumba, a partly Kuwaiti owned studio based out of San Francisco. I posted about their previous game called Desert Tycoon back in 2012 and their new game is less of a sim and more of a Command and Conquer style combat strategy game.

destroyed

Tribal Rivals is set in early 20th century Arabia and is an epic story of revenge, leadership, and perseverance. The aim of the game is to lead your village, train your troops, start or join a tribe and wage battles against enemies and other players.

Like Desert Tycoon the illustrations are gorgeous and the game is free to download for both the iPhone and iPad. Get it [Here]


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Adobe Creative Cloud Now Available in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

adobeicons

Last year Adobe stopped selling their software the traditional way and instead moved everything to their Creative Cloud where for a monthly fee you could rent their apps. Some people hated it others like me loved it because it meant instead of paying a large sum up front for their apps you could now pay a much smaller fee every month. So back in February of this year I tried to sign up to the Creative Cloud but because I was based in Kuwait, the only option I had was to go through one of the regional dealers and turns out because I was in Kuwait I couldn’t pay monthly and instead I was quoted KD175 a year. Obviously that pissed me off but there is good news.

adobeprices

Last week Adobe updated their Creative Cloud apps and also started offering the service in more countries including Kuwait. I signed up to their Creative Cloud a couple of days ago where for KD14 a month I have access to all their apps including their desktop and mobile ones. If you’re a student or teacher its just KD5.6 a month.

applanguage

For designers who are interested, ME (Arabic support) versions of the apps are available. Once you install the Adobe Creative Cloud app on your computer go to the preferences and choose English with Arabic support as the app language and then download and install the apps. Check this help page for more info on this [Link]

adobeipad

If you’re into photography, Adobe have a special price on Photoshop and Lightroom, they’re giving both along with the Lightroom mobile app for just KD2.8 a month. So there really is no longer a need to pirate their apps. You’re also allowed to install the apps on two of your computers so I have them installed on my desktop and laptop which is perfect for me.

If you’re interested in signing up to the Creative Cloud follow this [Link]


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Deera App – Does it work?

Posted by Mark

deera

Back in April I posted about Deera, an iPhone app which allows you to report issues with public services. The way it worked was fairly simple, you snapped a photo of the problem, specify what the issue was along with the location and then submit it. But does it work? Yes it does!

Last night I decided to use the app to report a garbage issue I spotted on my way home and just a few moments ago I got tagged on Instagram with the issue sorted. That’s a turnaround of under 12 hours. By flipping through the reported incidents in the app and then checking the Deera app Instagram account you’ll see that the majority if not all the incidents are getting fixed right away.

I have to say I am pretty surprised and impressed. Not just at the app but at the fact that the people behind the app are able to coordinate and get action from the different municipalities so quickly. Theres actually a huge pile of leftover construction material right in front of my building that has been there for months which I can’t wait to report now. If there was an award for best local app of the year this would have to be it.

If you want try this app you can download it for free from the Apple Store either by searching for Deera or by clicking [Here]


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Two of my favorite local apps have gone evil

Posted by Mark

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There two iPhone apps I’ve recommended on the blog previously that have now become unusable, the E-Gate App and the KAFI airport app. Not sure what got into the developers mind (both apps were produced by the same company) but I can no longer use the apps, not unless I spam a friend that is.

Just out of the blue both apps locked up and now refuse to work unless I tweet, facebook, sms, email or whatsapp a friend with a message telling them to download the app. WTF? Obviously I refused and have since deleted both apps from my phone. I’m not going to be forced by a local company to send adverts to my friends just so I could use their apps especially E-Gate which isn’t a free app.

If you want to check your traffic violations do it for free [Here]
If you want to check flight arrivals and departures download the Q8 Airport app [Here]


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