Apple iPhone 7

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Sep 22, 2016 in Apple, iPhone


Ok, first of all, I’m weak, I know I am. I currently have the iPhone 6S, and after watching the Apple conference earlier this month, I didn’t see enough in the new phone to even peak my interest, never mind make me want to upgrade. Combine that with the fact that I moved to the ‘S’ cycle last year, with the intention of getting a new ‘S’ model every 2 years, the odds on me upgrading this year were slim to none. Apple then announced they were bringing the Apple Upgrade Program to the UK, and you’ve guessed it, just in time for the iPhone 7 launch, and all of a sudden, I got the Apple twitch.

If you’re not familiar with the upgrade program, put simply, you pay a monthly interest free payment to apple to essentially rent the phone from them, and after your eleventh payment, you can hand it back and take the next model, and start the cycle again. The monthly payment includes the phone itself, and apple care, spreading the payments over 20 months. If you decided not to upgrade, you can simply pay the full term, and own the phone. This for me ticked many boxes. As somebody who wraps their iPhone in cotton wool every year, to ensure it’s mark free, so I’m able to get a good price when I put it on eBay after each upgrade, now becomes a thing of the past. According to the guy I spoke to this morning, the phone simply has to be in ‘good working order’ when you hand it in. So assuming you don’t play football with it, you should be able to exchange the phone ever year without issue. Add the fact that iPhones really do retain their value, I’m looking at getting somewhere in the region of £500 for my old phone, making this an offer I couldn’t really refuse.

Ok, so the phone itself. Upgrading from a 6S, I’ve not really noticed that much difference. Yes, it’s a little quicker (due to the improved A10 processor), the camera takes better photos (due to all the new camera tech), it’s now got stereo speakers like the iPad Pro, the home button has haptic feedback, and it’s now waterproof…yay? I guess the main change that has annoyed ‘the internet’ is that fact that it’s lost the headphone jack. For me, as an audiophile, I welcome this decision. Yes, I’m going to have to go out and buy some decent digital headphones for my phone, but as somebody who owns more pairs of headphones/earphones than I care to admit, I’m looking forward to doing the research and finding a pair that match my hearing preference. For people not willing to move on, Apple do provide a DAC adapter so you can continue to use your analogue headphones. As for the form factor, the phone looks exactly like my 6S, and it’s only when I attempted to use my old case, I found that the camera had moved a little.

I guess if I do have one slight niggle, even though I backed and restored my phone via my Mac, I then had to wipe and restore my Apple Watch to re-sync it. Although not a biggy (and I didn’t lose any data), it still took a good hour to restore the Watch. Surely this could have just moved the host to the new phone as part of the backup/restore process?

To be honest, if it wasn’t for the upgrade program, I’d have stuck with the 6S, as there’s not change to warrant an upgrade, however, I’ve now started on a yearly upgrade cycle, and this makes me happy!

Apple iPhone 7

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Apple iPhone 6s

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Sep 26, 2015 in Apple, iPhone, Tech


It’s been three years now since I’ve had a phone upgrade, and my poor old iPhone 5 is starting to struggle a bit with some of the features of iOS9, additionally there are an ever growing number of apps that no longer support the iPhone 5, so it was time to upgrade.

Why didn’t you get the iPhone 6 I hear you ask?, Well, I decided last year to break my biyearly iPhone buying cycle and wait for the S model instead, for a number of reasons. It allows app developers to catch up with the new screen resolution, and case and screen protector manufacturers to have a years worth of cases and protectors out. Previously, I’ve had to buy some cheap case and protector, hope it fits ok, and then replace it with a better one later. I’m still mentally scared from dropping my iPhone 5 on the first day, without a case or screen protector, as I was waiting for them to arrive it the post.

So three years on, and there’s a reasonable amount that has changed. Obviously the screen resolution gives you more real estate, the phone size and button placements also (the on/off button on the side it taking a little getting used to). The camera is a vast improvement over the 5, sporting a 12 megapixel camera, that not only now gives me the option of 4K video, but also slow motion and the auto HDR functionality. In addition, I now get to play with the true tone flash, which if I remember correctly has 2 different coloured flashes and uses the best mixture based on the current lighting. I’ve yet to take any pictures of peoples faces, but will report back when I have. I now have the option of the Live Photo which feels a little bit of a gimmick if I’m honest. This is the option to automatically record a couple of seconds of video either side of a photo being taken to help you remember that moment. However realistically, the few seconds before and after are usually people looking in the wrong direction, or somebody walking across the shot.

I now have the option of using the finger print reader that was introduced in the iPhone 5s, which seems a really simple way of unlocking your phone, and making purchases. It seems I can now even make purchases on the Amazon app with my thumb print…(dangerous for drunken purchases!)

Due to the addition of the NFC chip,  I am now able to use Apple Pay, allowing me to play for things with my phone. To be honest, there are very few shops that I use that support contactless payment, so not sure how much use it’s going to get, however it’s a fun feature to have.

With the dedicated motion chip, I can now use the phone as a pedometer feeding straight into the Apple health app, however as I currently use my Fitbit flex, I can’t really see me using this function too much.

I guess the most interesting feature of this phone is the 3D touch. Using a pressure sensitive screen you are able to lightly press to get a peek at an item, say a picture, an email attachment, a url, and then a slightly harder press to pop into the item itself. In addition, doing the same on an app can bring up a short cut menu. This is taking a little getting used to, as it’s sometime hard to gauge the light press. I have however noticed that this only work on a few apps other than Apples own. For example, lightly pressing on the Twitter app, will give the the option of Search, New Tweet, New Message. As my apps seem to be updating on a daily basis, I’m it won’t be long before the majority of the apps support this feature.

Finally, and probably the most noticeable change for me is the battery life. My poor iPhone 5 was getting to the point of having to be charged at least twice a day (due to streaming music, podcasts and video), however this is getting me through the day and still having at least 40% charge under the same load.

All in all, very happy with the purchase, and plan to continue with the S model cycle, I’m yet to go out and play with the camera, as I’ve been suffering with manflu since I got the phone, however will update the post later with some images and 4K video.

As always, pics below.

iPhone 6siPhone 6s
iPhone 6siPhone 6s


Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Dec 25, 2014 in Apple, iPad, iPhone

Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i

I really do love my Apple devices, however as a gamer I do feel they have been lacking behind other companies for controller support. Back when iOS7 was released, Apple added the MFi controller API, allowing games developers to have games controlled from an external device instead of the touchscreen, I seem to remember there were two specs, one was quite a simplistic controller, and the second was more like we’ve become accustomed to with home consoles.

It’s been over a year since iOS7 was released and we’re only now starting to see decent bluetooth controllers filtering through. As I’ve used a lot of Mad Catz products in the past, I decided that if I was going to drop on a bluetooth iOS controller, it would be one by them….and again, Santa must have heard me, as guess what was waiting for me under the tree on Christmas morning…yup the Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i controller.

The device itself feels a lot like the ever familiar Xbox 360 controller, in weight size and button configuration. The controller is powered by a couple of triple A batteries (provided), simply switch on, sync to your device via bluetooth, install the Mad Catz software it suggests you download (it’s not essential, however will give you an up to date list of the supported games), and you’re good to go. If you’re using this with your phone, there is a handy little holder that will allow you to attach it to the controller.

I’ve so far tried a number games including Real Racing 3, Asphalt 8, and Lego Star Wars and the initial thoughts are good. The control is lag free and responsive and so much better that using the on-screen controls. I guess my only criticism is that the thumbsticks don’t feel quite as smooth as current gen console controllers, however it still works very well.

I hope that now there are a bunch of decent bluetooth MFi controller on the market, my Apple TV dream may actually come true, until then I can still connect my iPad to the TV with the HDMI adapter and pretend.

Unboxing pics below.

Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller

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