So the other day Project Fi had the Pixel 3 for half off. I could no longer resist my urge to own all the phones, and I ordered a white 64GB in the small size. My personal phone is an iPhone XS, also the non-giant model. I plan to use the Pixel for my work phone and the iPhone for personal stuff in order to keep my data a little bit segregated and prevent my personal camera roll from filling up with pictures of cars I'm buying and selling.
Here's a quick and dirty comparison based on a couple days of use.
Physically the two phones are pretty similar, almost identical in overall size, the iPhone sports a slightly larger screen with significantly smaller bezels. The Pixel is noticeably lighter. On the software side, Android and iOS are on their way to convergence IMO. Not literally of course, but Android keeps getting more and more like iOS and iOS keeps getting more and more features that used to be Android exclusives. I have no problem using either operating system and the Pixel's new gesture based nav is super easy to get used to, coming from a gesture based iPhone, though I do keep opening the app drawer when I'm trying to go to the home screen.
Overall, I'm impressed with the Pixel and if I weren't already so locked into the Apple Ecosystem with my iMac and iPad Pro, it would be kinda tempting to switch, seeing how I could have bought both me and Daisy new Pixels for less than the price of one iPhone. Android still has it's jank though, I can't get Assistant to work when connected to an Android Auto headunit, and scrolling on websites is sometimes kinda laggy where it's perfectly smooth on an iPhone.
For less than 1/2 the cost of the iPhone, I could probably overlook that though.
The cameras are both good. I can take ten pictures with both and be about 50/50 on which picture I prefer the most. Here are some examples:
See what I mean? I'm not a huge pixel peeper, so to me it really depends on the shot as to what picture I end up liking better, I would say for certain they're both very good. There is one thing where the Pixel totally blows the iPhone out of the water, and that's it's Night Sight feature. You can take a photo in near zero light and still get something that's at least usable. The images are noisy, but still, what you would otherwise get, you wouldn't be able to see anything at all. Here's a regular photo from the iPhone and an identical photo taken at the same time with the Pixel 3 using Night Sight.
Like I said, it's pretty noise, but shit you can actually see things. The way the iPhone photo looks is the way the garage looked to my eyes, you basically couldn't see anything. That Night Sight stuff is magic.
Late last week, Jason Snell over at Six Colors reported that with the latest beta of iOS 12.2, the Logitech Crayon now works on the 2018 iPad Pro. The Crayon had previously only been compatible with the 2018 9.7 iPad. I was immediately interested. I like the idea of having a writing device for my iPad Pro, but I also have literally zero artistic ability. I felt like the $130 Apple Pencil was insane overkill. I just needed something to sign docs and do super basic storyboarding and stuff like that. I threw the beta on my iPad and checked Best Buy's website. Two in stock at my local store for the low low price of $69. So I stopped after work and picked one up.
I kept the packaging and receipt since this working was predicated on using a beta version of iOS, but that ended up being not necessary because Apple released the official 12.2 update on Monday, and the pencil continues to work.
I actually like this a lot. It's pretty much exactly what I need. I don't need the pressure sensitivity (or the extra cost) of the Apple Pencil, but having something to poke around on the screen and draw simple diagrams and sign contracts and stuff is a great addition to the iPad Pro. We're currently house hunting, so I have a feeling I'll be using this combined with the excellent Linea Sketch app to plan my garage, my kitchen, furniture, yard, etc.
Overall, the Crayon seems to be an excellent choice for the, uh, less artistically inclined among us. I'll add a video to this post when I get a chance.
The new USB C iPad Pro will be out tomorrow, so I decided i needed a good USB C charger. I realize that the iPad will come with one, but I like having a spare in my bag. I looked at quite a few and settled on this Anker unit. It’s USB C Power Delivery which is what most stuff uses. It should also fast charge my Nintendo Switch. The charger itself is a little bigger than the Apple 29W, but then again the Anker also has a USB A outlet that will put out 12W, which is about as fast as the old iPad charger and should be fine for an iPhone or Apple Watch. Overall, I feel like this covers my needs pretty well.
For the cable, I again went with Anker because I’ve always had good look with them. I’m using an Anker lightning cable in my car for CarPlay and it has held up really well despite the relatively rough environment. Specifically, I went with this 6ft model in red. I figure the red will be easy to spot and 6ft will give me some flexibility when I’m in a hotel with not great outlet locations.
I obviously haven’t tried it on the new iPad yet, and I won’t until tomorrow, but I did put my USB C to Lightning cable in it and it fast charged my iPad Pro 10.5, so it should be fine. I will report back tomorrow.
When pictures of the iPhone X first came out, I really didn’t understand why apple was “embracing the notch”, I thought it would look much cleaner to just have a black status bar across the top making the notch indistinguisable from the screen. Turns out I was wrong. Verizon just updated their app and it includes optimization for iPhone X. It looks like they went with the “Hide the Notch” method:
While it does look “cleaner” I guess, it also just looks kinda boring. Compare that to Waze’s “embrace the notch” app:
It doesn’t feel like the notch is in the way of the content, it just feels like you’re getting extra screen on the sides of the notch. It feels like a bonus more than it does a compromise.
I wanted to try out a built in wireless charger, but I didn’t particularly want to cut a hole in my desk or anything, so I started looking online at IKEA for a cheap little table to mess around with. To my surprise, they actually sell wireless charging units made to go into a surface. I ended up buying a RALLEN wireless charging pad and the cheapest table they had, which ended up being a LACK side table. I also picked up a FIXA hole saw kit, and already had a Milwaukee drill. Total cost including the saw set was about $28 after tax.
I threw the table together, it basically just amounts to screwing the legs in, and took it all out on my front porch because I didn’t want a living room full of saw dust.
The RALLEN charger allows you to mount it a few different ways. It comes with a trim ring but using it is optional. I opted to use it because this is a super cheap table and I thought there might be a little of bit of roughness around the hole. I would leave it out in good solid wood for a smaller overall footprint. If you’re using the trim ring, use the biggest hole saw in the kit. I believe mounting it without uses the next size down.
I went with what I felt was the most natural placement. The side with the hole will be close to the end of the couch, so if you drop your arm down you land about where the charging pad is. Cutting the hole was super easy, this table is made of thin particle board. Yes, that paper is the filler inside of it, lol.
From there, you separate the charger from the trim ring, drop the trim ring in, route the cord through it, then push the charging pad down into the trim ring. There’s pretty much no way to screw this up. Just push the thing down until it’s fully seated.
I have some pretty serious cable management to do over there, but now there’s a table by my couch that will charge both mine and Daisy’s phone just by setting it on the table. I might start looking at doing this to a nicer table soon, but for now, and for the money, I’m pretty damn happy with it.