Categories
Apple Shopping

Official iPhone 12 Prices in Kuwait

The official iPhone 12 prices got published today and you can check them all out below:

iPhone 12 Mini
64GB – 256.900 KD
128GB – 274.900 KD
256GB – 310.900 KD

iPhone 12
64GB – 289.900 KD
128GB – 309.900 KD
256GB – 345.900 KD

iPhone 12 Pro
128GB – 359.900 KD
256GB – 395.900 KD
512GB – 469.900 KD

iPhone 12 Pro Max
128GB – 404.900 KD
256GB – 439.900 KD
512GB – 510.900 KD

How do the prices compare to US and UK iPhones? If we take the iPhone 12 Pro 256GB as an example then Kuwait is slightly more expensive than the US price but a lot cheaper than UK prices:

iPhone 12 Pro 256GB
Kuwait – 396 KD
United States – 377 KD (including US tax and shipping to Kuwait)
United Kingdom – 451 KD (including shipping to Kuwait)

Categories
Apple

New iPhone 12 Pre-Order Date Announced

The new iPhone 12 was released by Apple recently but there hasn’t been any announcement of a local launch date yet. I figured it might be related to logistics and production issues due to the pandemic so I checked with a contact of mine who told me that the telecoms, Apple Premium (Gait) and Apple Authorized Resellers (Digits, Xcite, etc.) hadn’t received their unit allocations yet.

But, looks like they finally did because yesterday some resellers started announcing a pre-order date. Starting this Friday, November 13th pre-orders for the new iPhone 12 will begin. Previously you’d have super long lines outside Apple resellers on launch day but with the pandemic right now that wouldn’t be the best idea which is why most likely the only way to get your hands on the new iPhone 12 on launch day would be by pre-ordering online. If it’s going to be anything like the iPhone X launch then there will also be a very limited number of units at launch.

Oddly, there still isn’t an official launch date for the devices, maybe that will be revealed on Friday as well. I’m personally going to be trying to get my hands on the iPhone 12 Pro to replace my 11 Pro. I always loved the way the iPhone 4 looked like and the new phones look basically the same.

Categories
Apple Apps

Apple Watch ECG Feature Now Works in Kuwait

If you have an Apple Watch Series 4 or newer, you can now finally use the ECG feature on your watch. I’m not sure why this feature was previously disabled for Apple users in Kuwait but over the weekend Apple released watchOS 7 that enabled the feature for a few countries and Kuwait was one of them.

Apple Watch‌ Series 4, 5, and 6 users can generate an ECG waveform in just 30 seconds by placing their finger on the Digital Crown. The idea is that you can take this information to your doctor, if the results are abnormal, and use it as a basis to discover if you have any larger issues at hand.

The irregular rhythm notification feature also intermittently checks heart rhythms in the background and sends a notification if an irregular heart rhythm is identified that could potentially be atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Atrial fibrillation is a health condition that often goes undiagnosed, so ECG app and heart rhythm alerts on Apple Watch will be highly useful for detecting early signs of disease. ECG readings also normally require a full ECG machine and a visit to the doctor, which is far less convenient than a reading taken with the Apple Watch. source

So if you have an Apple Watch download the latest update and try it out.

Categories
Apple Music Reviews

Review: Apple AirPods Pro

I’m a bit late to the party with this, but only because I’ve never been a fan of Apple earphones. I’ve never used the ones that came with the iPhone, and I have a major dislike for the way the regular AirPods look with their long stems. But recently I started riding my bicycle again and needed a new pair of wireless earphones.

For the past couple of years I was using a pair of Shure wireless earphones, I liked them because of the way they fit around my ears which meant it was impossible for them to fall out. But, I had two major issues with them. The first was that they were in-ear headphones which meant they isolated the sound around me which I didn’t want to do because I want to be able to hear cars or other riders around me while riding. The second issue is that both earphones were connected by a wire, and the wireless and battery module hung between both earphones on that wire. That’s a bit cumbersome with today’s technology and I hated how the battery module would bounce on my neck while riding my bike.

So after a bit of research, I decided I’d finally give in to Apple and get the AirPods Pro. The Pro versions are different from the regular AirPods in that they are in-ear headphones so they sit inside your ear and not the outside, they also have a shorter stem (you can see a comparison here). The main reason I went with Apple over other better sounding options like the Sony WF-1000XM3 and the Beats Powerbeats Pro is the size. I wanted something small and light and the AirPods Pro were the smallest of the three.

After owning the AirPods Pro for around a month now, I’m loving them. They have two features which make them really great, the first is something I’m wondering why no other in-ear headphone manufacturer has done. Usually with in-ear headphones when you stick them inside your ear you get a bit of pressure which after a long period of time gets uncomfortable. The AirPods Pro are designed in such a way that they release the pressure which has made them super comfortable when I ride. The second feature is the transparency mode. A lot of people purchase the AirPods Pro because of the active noise-canceling feature where the earphones cancel out the sound around you. That’s great when in a busy coffee shop or on a plane, but not so great when you’re out exercising on public roads. Apple thought of that and have included a transparency mode where the tiny mics outside the earphones transmit the sound around you into your ears. So you can still hear your music and also your surroundings.

When it comes to sound quality they’re not great, they’re actually pretty crap compared to all my other earphones and headphones I own but then again, I knew that would be the case before I even bought them. When riding my bicycle sound quality doesn’t really matter honestly. Battery life has also been great with me but I also am constantly charging them whenever I’m close to a charging cable. The biggest surprise for me really was how well they fit really in my ears and how they never fall out.

Really the only negative I have about these earphones is the price. The cheapest I found was 70KD which I’m fine to pay for excellent sounding earphones, but it felt wrong paying so much for these since they don’t really sound great. But I’ve justified the price by the convenience factor and how often I’m using them. So I’ve for example started using them when I take my Alfa out since that car doesn’t have a stereo. They work great while driving since with the transparency mode I can still hear the traffic around me.

So overall I do recommend these earphones even though they aren’t the best sounding. I never thought I’d like them but I do understand now why they’re so popular. If you’re looking for great sounding earphones there are much better alternatives out there, but as an overall convenience and comfort factor, I don’t think these can be beaten.

Categories
Apple Music

Apple Music Now Available in Kuwait

Apple Music is now officially available in Kuwait. Previously the only way to get Apple Music to work in Kuwait is to have a US based Apple account but now it works with Kuwait ones. I’m not a fan of Apple Muisc, I tried it previously and prefer Spotify instead, but I know a lot of people who like Apple Music more. If someone can let me know what the subscription cost is for Kuwait that would be great since I have a US-based account so can’t try it out myself. Source

Categories
Apple Reviews

Review: Apple’s New 16-inch MacBook Pro

When Apple announced the new 16-inch MacBook Pro I tried to resist buying it for as long as I could but eventually, I caved and placed an order for one towards the end of December. I had a 13-inch MacBook Pro from late 2016 and although I didn’t really have any issues with it, I did feel it had become redundant. I have a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and a new 13-inch MacBook Air for work, so having a 13-inch MacBook Pro as well didn’t make any sense. On short weekend trips I’ve gotten into the habit of just taking my iPad and for anything longer I’d rather take the slightly lighter MacBook Air. Since I was using my MacBook Pro mostly while sitting on my couch in front of the TV, I decided size wasn’t as important for a couch computer and went ahead and ordered the new 16-inch.

My first laptop ever was a 2001 12″ Apple iBook and since then the largest laptop I’ve ever owned or used had been a 13″. I always went for the smallest size possible since they were usually cheaper and also because they were more portable. So you can imagine the look on my face when I first put the 16″ MacBook Pro on my lap and opened it up. It was HUGE! I mean I had played with a display model at Xcite and Gait before ordering one, but in a large store on a large table it didn’t feel that much bigger than my 13″. On my laps, it was a completely different story and I honestly hated it right away and regretted buying it.

Now that I’ve been using the MacBook Pro for around a month, I have gotten a lot more comfortable with the size. I wouldn’t say I’m in love with it just yet, but at least it’s become a lot more bearable. There has been a lot of hype online about the new 16-inch MacBook Pro with a lot of reviewers calling it the best laptop Apple has ever made (sorry but the old-school 12″ PowerBook takes that spot), and although there are a lot of positives with the new design, I did face some issues.

First the good stuff and if you’ve read any review already you’ll know there are two things everyone has been talking about, the redesigned keyboard and the speakers. I never really had any problem with the previous keyboards, but I do know a lot of people hated it. The newly updated keyboard is better that’s for sure, there is more key travel so it feels softer to type on and its also quieter. I’m actually on my iMac right now typing this post and the keyboard feels similar to the one on the new MacBook Pro, that’s how good they’ve managed to make the new MacBook Pro keyboard feel. The second big change is the speakers, many people are calling it the best speakers you can get on a laptop, I don’t know about that but I can say that yes the sound on the 16-inch MacBook Pro sounds lightyears better than on my 13-inch. Side by side the difference is night and day but even if you don’t have another laptop to compare the sound next to, you’ll still clearly notice the difference. The sound is fuller and there is now bass which on the previous MacBook Pros didn’t exist. But this also brings me over to the negatives.

The speakers aren’t loud. I haven’t seen anyone mention this yet but the new speakers seem to be limited in volume to avoid distortion? I have this issue with Bang & Olufsen speakers, they tend to limit the volume below the maximum so to avoid any distortion that may occur. But then again maybe because the new MacBook Pro speakers sound larger than they actually are, I expect them to go louder? I don’t know but I noticed this volume issue because of how often I’ve tried raising it only to find out it’s already on maximum. The second issue I have with the new MacBook Pro is the heat. It’s winter right now so the temperature is nice and cool in my apartment but I’ve already noticed the laptop gets really warm on the underside. I would be just watching youtube videos and the laptop would get uncomfortably hot on my laps. I never had that issue with my other laptops and I’m worried in the summer it’s going to annoy me a lot. Finally the battery life. Before my 13″ MacBook Pro I had the older generation MacBook Air and I would easily get 8 to 10 hours of battery life. With the 13″ MacBook Pro that dropped down to around 4 hours and now with this 16″ I think I’m getting around 5-6. The problem is Apple says I should be getting 10+ and they used to be really accurate with their estimates but I can’t seem to ever get there.

Overall though this is a pretty well-rounded laptop. I got the entry model 16″ and it’s plenty fast for me and comes standard with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage. I’m not comfortable with the size just yet but that’s understandable since for the past 20 years I’ve only been using the smallest of laptops. One advantage to the large size is that it’s now making my 13″ MacBook Pro feel a lot smaller and lighter which has made me consider keeping it but I’m not going to. The keyboard touch bar is still there and if you hated it before you’re still gonna hate it but if like me you like the touch bar then you’re gonna like it even more now since they’ve made the ESC button an actual key and separated it from the touch bar. For those wondering why I ordered the MacBook online instead of getting it locally, it’s simply because I wanted a US keyboard without the Arabic letters and also because it would come out cheaper than buying it locally. If you’re thinking of upgrading your MacBook then you can’t go wrong with the 16”. If it’s too big for you then you might want to hold out a bit because rumors are Apple is gonna release a new 14” one to replace the current 13”.

Categories
Apple Reviews

The iPhone 11 Pro

Every year right after Apple announces a new iPhone, Digits get in touch with me asking me if I’d be interested in one. They always make sure I have a device on launch day so I could review it for the blog, and they always hook me up with a good discount on top of that. But, this was the first year I was a bit hesitant to say yes to them. I got the iPhone XS from them last year and it has been my favorite iPhone to date. The battery life was great, the camera was amazing and the OLED screen incredible. My phone was in great shape and I really didn’t have any issues with it so I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to plunk down money on a new one. But, since I take so many photos with the iPhone for the blog, the new ultra-wide lens and the new night mode would be really helpful, so I decided to get the iPhone 11 Pro in the new midnight green color.

When it came to choosing a color for the phone, any color would have been fine with me. I actually didn’t know what color my XS was until a friend asked me and I had to take it out of the silicon case to check. But since I wanted to feel like I got a new phone, I got the midnight green with the new matching silicon case. A lot of people online have mentioned how the green doesn’t really look green in real life, not sure what they’re on about but I can clearly tell its green. Its a grey green, not a bright or saturated green, but still green. I took the photo on top in front of my grey wall and you can clearly see how green the phone looks. I like it a lot and it sucks that I’m too clumsy or else I would have really enjoyed the color instead of having it hidden behind an iPhone case.

The changes in the new iPhone compared to the previous XS aren’t that noticeable and the only time you really can tell the difference is when you use the phone side by side with an older one. I found that out because whenever friends with iPhone XS’s ask me about the new 11 Pro, I downplay it a lot. I tell them there really isn’t much of a difference but then they take my phone and start playing with it and you hear sounds like “oooh” and “ahh” either because my phone launches apps a lot faster than theirs or because the new camera takes pictures that are noticeably better and because of the new ultra-wide lens.

After personally using the iPhone 11 Pro for a week now, here are the three things that really stick out for me compared to my XS:

Battery Life
Not sure how many extra hours my new iPhone battery lasts, but I used to leave the office before at around 3PM with my XS battery at around 40% full, now I leave the office with the battery at around 70% full. So a pretty noticeable improvement.

Ultra Wide Lens
Yes the three lenses do look a bit weird on the back of the phone but it also does help differentiate the new iPhone from the older ones. As soon as people see the three lenses they ask me if that’s the new iPhone 11 Pro and want to play around with it. The third lens on the new iPhone Pro is an ultra-wide lens and I’m generally a big fan of these kinds of lenses. I have a 12-24mm ultra-wide lens for my Sony A7 III camera and I tend to use it a lot so I love having a similar lens on my phone which is always with me, unlike my Sony cam. It’s going to make capturing interior shots a lot easier and I love shooting cars with ultra-wide lenses. Below is a photo of my apartment I took using the three different lenses for comparison.

Night Mode
This is a new feature that I’m really liking at the moment even though the effect is very subtle. The new iPhone 11 Pro has a feature called night mode that activates in low light situations. The camera then takes different exposures of your photo and combines them into one brighter and better lit photo. The result looks great but because this process all happens in the background, it doesn’t feel like the phone did anything special. It’s only when you compare the photo with the same image with night mode turned off do you notice the magic. This is why I said the effect is very subtle, not because the phone doesn’t do much but because the result looks natural and more real lifelike. Below is a perfect example of this, I took the shot at Peacock, the first with night mode off and the second with night mode on. In reality, the scene looked closer to the second shot (night mode on).

I do have one big issue with the new iPhone and that is the lack of 3D touch. Not a lot of people know this (which is why it’s a feature that got removed) but with the iPhone X and XS the phone recognizes hard presses on the screen. This was a pretty cool feature that allowed me to do various things quickly. If I was typing something and wanted to move the cursor to a previous word or area in the paragraph, I could just press hard on the keyboard area and then move the cursor that way. But now with 3D touch gone, I need to change my habits. Instead of hard pressing on the keyboard to move the cursor around, I have to now long press on the keyboard space key to move the cursor which is just more awkward and slower. Even something so simple as opening the camera from my lock screen requires me to relearn the button press timing right because I’m used to hard pressing the camera button and opening it up instantly. Instead, I now have to press the camera button for a short time to open the camera and after a week I still haven’t gotten the timing right.

But, the biggest question everyone wants to know the answer to is if it’s worth the upgrade?

If you have an iPhone XS
Probably not, not unless you really want the ultra-wide lens. If you travel a lot or post to instagram a lot then you’re gonna really appreciate the new opportunities the ultra-wide lens will give you. The night mode is a great feature but not nearly as fun or obvious like the new ultra-wide lens.

If you have an iPhone X
You probably should, the camera quality difference between X and XS was big, and the difference between X and 11 Pro is even bigger. Plus the new phone is a lot faster and because your X’s battery probably doesn’t hold as good as a charge now as it did 2 years ago, you’re gonna notice an even bigger jump in battery life.

If you have an iPhone 8 or older
Yes, for sure! The larger OLED screen is the biggest reason you should upgrade but the excellent camera and much faster processor are also really good reasons to upgrade.

Let me know if you have any questions below and thank you Digits for the hooking me up again!

Categories
Apple

iPhone 11 Pro: What do you want to know?

Over the weekend I passed by Digits and picked up an iPhone 11 Pro to replace my iPhone XS with. I’m going to be posting my opinion on it later this week but if there is anything specific you want to know or want me to try out, let me know in the comments so I can include it in my post.

Categories
Apple

iPhone 11 Official Kuwait Release Date

The new Apple iPhone 11 launched in the US a couple of days ago but the official launch date for Kuwait is currently set for the 27th of September unless there is a delay with shipping. Some of my favorite Apple Authorized Resellers where you’ll be able to purchase the new iPhone are Alpha Store, Digits, Gait and Xcite. All four are expected to sell the phones for the same price, but some might include additional freebies with the phone. Below are the expected prices of the new iPhone 11:

iPhone 11
64GB: KD250
128GB: KD268
256GB: KD303

iPhone11 Pro
64GB: KD358
256GB: KD411
512GB: KD483

iPhone11 Pro Max
64GB: KD393
256GB: KD446
512GB: KD519

Categories
Apple

iPhone Authorized Repairs vs UnAuthorized Repairs

Back in October I picked up an iPhone XS from Digits. My previous iPhone X had failed due to water damage and so wasn’t covered under warranty even though the iPhone X is meant to be water resistant. Anyway, last month I noticed the volume on my iPhone XS wasn’t that loud. Turned out the bottom speaker had stopped working. Since it was covered under warranty, I decided to take it back to Digits to get repaired. But Digits wanted to keep the phone for a few days and since I didn’t feel like wiping everything off my phone and handing it over to them, I decided I’d just live with the speaker issue or maybe take it to an unauthorized Apple repair shop and have them fix it for me while I wait. It would void the warranty, but it would also be a lot more convinient.

I called up my favorite iPhone repair shop to see if they stocked the iPhone XS lower speaker but they didn’t, which ended up turning out to be a good thing! Around a week after passing by Digits, my iPhone XS modem started to fail and I was getting a weird cellular update message. My phone stop connecting to my cellphone network and removing or reinserting my sim card wouldn’t make a difference. The modem would just stop working, I’d get an onscreen update error, then my cell coverage bars turn into a warning triangle. All I could do was wait for it to start working again.

So I backed up everything on my phone, wiped it clean and dropped it off at Digits for them to repair. Around 10 days later, I get a phone call from Digits telling me that they’ve replaced my phone with a brand new one under warranty, and to come by and pick it up.

If I had gone to my usual unauthorized repair shop to fix the speaker, my warranty would have been voided and my phone would not have been replaced for free when the modem failed. This whole experience has changed my view on iPhone repairs. I usually replace my cracked screens at unauthorized repair shops because they’re a lot cheaper and a lot quicker, but after this incident, I don’t think I’m going to do that anymore. Something to keep in mind next time you crack your phones screen.

Categories
Apple Apps

Kuwait Maps App

The Kuwait Maps app is a new mapping app that is integrated to Google Maps but has one big advantage over it, the app allows you to search for an address in the format we’re used to here in Kuwait:

Area, Block Number, Street Number/Name, House Number.

The way the app works is very simple and fast. When you first run it you choose which area you’re in, then what block number you’re looking for followed by what street and finally what house number. The app will then find the location for you and allow you to navigate to it using Google Maps.

Right now the app is only available for iOS but will be available for Android phones in the future. The app is free and if you want to try it out you can find the app download link on their website [Here]

Categories
Apple Geek Reviews

Review: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2018)

A month ago I posted my first impression of the new iPad Pro. I got the iPad from Xcite and since then I’ve also gotten the Apple Pencil as well as purchased the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for it, and an iPad sleeve from WaterField. My setup is basically complete and now that I’ve been using the 12.9″ iPad Pro for over a month I managed to answer the ever so important question, can this iPad replace a laptop? Yes, or in my case at least it has replaced one, and I’ll explain how.

Full disclosure, I have a long-standing relationship with Xcite who provided me with this iPad Pro. They’ve been very active with me and the blog over the years and they’ve lent or given me a number of items over the years to review, as well as hooking me up with discounts. I’m a huge Xcite fan.

As I mentioned in my first impression post, my current Mac setup at home is composed of a 27-inch iMac which I use mostly for my design work, a 13-inch MacBook Pro which I use as my day-to-day computer, and a 9.7-inch iPad Pro I use for random things like watching YouTube videos in bed or when I want to chill and browse the web at a coffee shop. What I didn’t mention in that post was that I also had a small 12″ MacBook which belonged to the company I work for. I hadn’t used a 12-inch Macbook before joining this company and I really fell in love with it. It’s extremely compact, its lightweight and battery life was incredible. Instead of lugging my 13-inch MacBook Pro around to coffee shops or when traveling, I’d always prefer to take the 12-inch MacBook. But now that I was leaving the company I decided I wanted to get my very own MacBook, and that was around the same time the new 12.9-inch iPad was launched.

I’ll be honest, I was barely using the iPad Pro before getting the Apple Pencil or keyboard for it. I used the iPad Pro to edit photos in Lightroom but that was about it. I found the iPad Pro too large to use while sitting on my couch and I hate typing on the screen. In bed, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro was also too huge to be practical, so I continued to use my smaller 9.7-inch iPad before going to sleep. But, once I got the Apple Pencil and keyboard, things changed drastically. The keyboard for me turned the iPad Pro into a proper laptop, it really made a dramatic difference and I suddenly found myself using the iPad Pro whenever I had the chance. Even at home, I found myself reaching out for the iPad Pro more than my MacBook Pro when wanting to browse the web while watching TV.

Apple Pencil
I’m not an illustrator, in fact, I can barely draw stick figures, but you don’t need to be an illustrator to make use of the Apple Pencil. I found the Apple Pencil really useful in the photo editor Lightroom, and when using the Photoshop-like-app Affinity Photo. In Lightroom the Pencil gave me more precise control when adjusting the settings sliders while also allowing me to draw my image masks more accurately. In Affinity Photo, the Apple Pencil allowed me to draw my object selections better as well as made erasing backdrops so much more easier. If you can illustrate, then you could take the iPad Pro to a completely different level. I know a bunch of very talented illustrators who dropped their Wacom tablets and shifted to using the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil as their primary illustration tool.

Apple Smart Keyboard Folio
As I mentioned earlier, I hate typing on the iPad screen and I never got the hang of it which is why I also had a keyboard for my smaller iPad. The keyboard on the new iPads though is a much better design. If you have the old keyboards then you know they’re not great to use on your laps because of the way they fold. The new keyboards don’t have that fold at the bottom, it’s one solid piece so it’s a lot more stable on your laps. Typing on this keyboard is great, I haven’t experienced any issues or even a drop in my typing speed either. The only thing I miss is the backlit keys, but that would probably add more weight to the keyboard and I wouldn’t want that since it’s already pretty hefty.

12-inch MacBook vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro
One thing I wanted to know was if the iPad Pro would be a better option for me over the small 12-inch MacBook. The biggest test would be if I could use the iPad to blog from. It sounds like a fairly simple thing especially since you could technically blog from any browser on any device, but that’s not what I mean. I’ve been blogging now for over 15 years and I’m used to blogging in a certain way. For one thing, I like my space, I can’t post from a small screen since it feels claustrophobic. I also need Photoshop because that’s what I use to resize photos so they fit on the blog as well as allowing me to control the compression strength of the jpg.

The most difficult blogging day for me is usually Thursdays because that’s when I post my “movies now playing list” as well as my events list. I say difficult because it involves a lot of jumping around on different pages, lots of researching, downloading of images, a lot of copying and pasting of information and lots of linking. If I could get my Thursday posts done on my iPad Pro, then it would pass the test. Spoiler: It passed.

Last Thursday I did all my posting on my iPad Pro and I was even able to complete my posts at a much faster pace than usual because of the way I can split the screen up and did two things at the same time side by side. My setup during my movies post, for example, had my blog open on the left side of the screen while the cinemas and IMDB websites were open on the right. I could then copy paste the info from the right screen to my left and basically work on my post without having to keep swapping tabs. Simply put, the iPad actually made my job a bit easier. Because the screen is also slightly larger than the 12-inch MacBook, I could also see and fit more information on the screen at once and it just felt a lot less cramped.


Dash Sleeve for the iPad Pro from WaterField

Conclusion
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the keyboard is now what I will take with me when I travel and it’s what I will be using to blog from when I’m posting from outside my house. I’m actually using the iPad right now for this post because I’m at a coffee shop and it just makes more sense to post from an iPad when I’m advocating how great it is to post from it.

Both the 12-inch MacBook and 12.9-inch iPad Pro are similarly priced once you add the keyboard and pencil to the iPad. And really, if I had gotten the MacBook instead I wouldn’t complain since I love it so much. But what the iPad Pro is offering is something a bit more. Because it’s a tablet and a fairly fast one, I found I prefered editing my photos in Lightroom a lot more enjoyable than on my MacBook’s. This iPad Pro is actually faster than the MacBook and my MacBook Pro. The Apple Pencil also an extra dimension which the MacBook’s, in general, can’t compete with.

So can the iPad Pro replace your computer? It really depends on your requirements but the simple answer would be yes it can. Right now the only thing I’d really like on the iPad is a full version of Adobe Photoshop but that’s supposedly coming out next year. Until then I’m using Affinity Photo which pretty much has 80% of the things I need from Photoshop. As long as you’re prepared to change your habits a bit, I don’t think moving to an iPad as your primary computer would be that difficult.

The new iPad Pro is now available in most places around Kuwait but I got mine from Xcite and you can find them on their online store [Here]

Categories
Apple First Impression

First Impression: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2018)

Earlier this week Xcite hooked me up with the brand new iPad Pro 12.9-inch that was recently released by Apple. I hadn’t really considered getting the 12.9-inch iPad Pro until I realized it would be a great way to edit my photos using Adobe Lightroom. I’ve had the iPad now for less than a week and still need to pick up the Apple pencil and keyboard, but I wanted to post my initial impression first until I get the rest of the stuff.

My current Mac setup at home is composed of a 27-inch iMac which I use mostly for my design work, a 13-inch MacBook Pro which I use as my daily computer, and a 9.7-inch iPad Pro I use for random things like watching YouTube videos in bed or when I want to chill and browse the web at a coffee shop. Most of the reviews online have been discussing if the new iPad Pro’s can replace your computer, I wasn’t looking to do that instead, I wanted it as a supplementary device to my current setup. My first impression so far? I’m loving it.

The thing that surprised me the most is the thickness and size of the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It’s thinner than my iPhone XS and even though I had read that in the reviews, I didn’t believe it until I put the iPad next to my phone. I compared the size of the iPad to various mac devices and you can see some of those comparisons below with more on my instagram acccount @mark248am. It’s clearly a much more manageable size compared to the older larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

So far I’ve mostly been using the iPad to edit the photos I took of the Ferrari Portofino I test drove a few days ago. I’ve been using Adobe Lightroom and the process has been super smooth. Because the new iPad Pro uses USB-C, I was able to connect my Sony A7 III camera to the iPad and copy all the photos easily and I’m loving the experience so far.

Really my only gripe with the new iPad so far is that it’s a fingerprint magnet (more than usual). Both my older 9.7-inch iPad Pro and my iPhone don’t capture as many fingerprints and it really shows on the screen both when turned on and off. I guess things will improve once I get the Apple Pencil but still, this is pretty annoying.

Once I get the pencil and keyboard I’ll post a more thorough review but for now, if you’re interested in picking up a new iPad Pro I think Xcite still have a few left [Link]

Categories
Apple Reviews

The Apple iPhone XS

Thursday night I passed by Digits in Marina Mall and picked up the new iPhone XS a few hours before the official launch. Digits always hook me up with a phone ahead of launch and even discount the phones for me because they know they’re going to get publicity from me. I like this arrangement because it means I don’t need to wait in line or worry about the phone getting sold out. This year I actually had another company approach me with a better deal on the new iPhone, but my history with Digits goes way way back.

I’m a very nostalgic person and I’ve got a lot of nostalgia with Digits. I’ve been a customer of theirs since before they were called Digits, since before they were called Mac&More, since way before the iPhone or iPod ever existed, back when their store was simply called Apple Computer. Back then they were located across from Salhia and had beautiful beige Power Macs on display which I sadly never got to own. But, since the very beginning, they’ve been hooking me up with stuff like when I got my Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh from them or when they let me take their Think Different banners after their Salhia store closed down. And then I got my 15 seconds of worldwide fame because of them when my pictures of their abandoned store made their way around the web. So yeah, I’m a big fan of Digits and very loyal. I think their service center is great and I just love dealing with them which is why I’m always promoting them.

This year I had two options of phones to choose from, the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max. I was pretty tempted to get the Max but I already thought the regular XS was too big and so I knew I’d struggle with the Max. Since I sold my water damaged iPhone X around 3 months back I’ve been using an iPhone 8. I loved how small it felt and how I could easily reach all four corners of the screen with my thumb, but I did miss the full screen and I majorly missed the ability to switch between apps by just swiping left or right at the bottom of the screen. Although I was tempted to get the Max because it was a new phone and would give me more to write about on the blog, I knew the regular XS was the one I really should get. Judging by the poll I held on my instagram story though, it looks like the majority of you would prefer the Max.

The XS and X are virtually the same phone. Even though Apple could spend an hour talking about the differences, in reality, there isn’t that much of a difference. The only thing you might notice being different is the camera, the new camera is an improvement over the previous one but unless you’re taking two photos with the two different phones in the same spot and then compare them side by side… you won’t really notice a difference. Battery life still isn’t that great, when I went from the X to the 8 I was kinda surprised at how much better the battery life on the 8 was, I could spend all day on the phone and the battery wouldn’t drop down past 50%. With the X and now the XS, I could be down to 50% by lunchtime.

But truthfully, I’d rather be on the X or XS over the 8 any day. The iPhone 8 and any non-fullscreen iPhone really do feel and look outdated compared to the new iPhones with the fullscreen. Although I loved the battery life on the 8, I don’t mind the sacrifice for a larger and better screen. So moving from an iPhone 8 (or 7, 6, 5 etc..) to an XS is a no-brainer, the question really is if you have an iPhone X now, is it worth moving to an XS? The answer is no, not at all.

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Apple Apps Food Pantry Tips

PantryBee: We have a PantryBee app! Why?

We launched our PantryBee iOS app yesterday and Mark asked me to write about why we made that decision for our business. As a small business with limited cash reserves, it’s always hard to make the decision to invest in a new platform, and it was a year of back and forth before we decided to finally go ahead.

Why did we do it? Well, it’s obvious to everyone that mobile usage is super high in Kuwait, and that a lot of purchases are done through mobile. We knew that, but we also wanted to verify against our own traffic. So after a year of data collection, we did find that most of our users were indeed purchasing PantryBee meal kits from their phone and that the majority of those were iPhone users. Armed with that info we decided to go for it. The biggest hurdle, of course, was cost. We didn’t have thousands of KD to throw on something that might not be useful, so we went about it as economically as we could with the goal of making our customers experience better.

The first step to creating an app is setting up an account with the Apple Developer Program. This honestly wasn’t that difficult of a process, there’s just a bit of waiting time in order to be verified as a legitimate business. The second step for us was finding an appropriate third party to assist with the App creation process. Seeing as we already had an existing e-commerce backend (Shopify), we searched for companies that had an app that would integrate with the Shopify platform. The whole process from A-Z took about 3 months to get to the current app we have out right now.

Though our site is already mobile friendly, our new app allows a more seamless navigation of our offerings, including app-specific promos, notifications and more. It has all the info and products available on our site, just better suited to a mobile experience. So head to the app store and tell us what you think! You can download our app from this [Link]

If you have any specific comments or want to know more about the process for your own business, feel free to email us at [email protected] and we’ll try and help as much as we can.

Post by Hind
CoFounder of PantryBee where home cooking is made easy.