Apple reported record Q1 2018 earnings

Photo credit: SixColors.com

In case you missed it, Apple made a shit ton of money again during the holiday quarter–88.3B in revenue!  Yes, it’s true–somehow they managed to hang in there just long enough to stack a new pile of money in the basement at Apple Park.  It’s always remarkable to me how these quarterly earnings calls are perceived by the mainstream media.  Any one of the Apple’s business categories alone would be considered a huge success by itself.  However, the media often applies different rules when considering success and failures at Apple.  Such is the game when you are the most successful company in the world I suppose.  Anyway, our friend Jason Snell over at SixColors.com always does a fantastic job breaking down what all this means in layman’s terms.  He’s done all the heavy lifting and has provided numerous beautiful graphs and charts to explain it all.  It’s definitely worth your time if you’re at all interested in the inner workings at Apple and what all these numbers really mean.

If you have an hour to kill and would like to listen to the Apple Financial Results for Q1 2018 point your bowser here.

 

How to watch the Super Bowl for free on your iPhone, iPad, Mac & Apple TV

The big day is finally here–Super Bowl Sunday!

With the most watched sporting event of the year upon us, now is a great time to finalize your viewing options as the Eagles prepare to take on the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.  It’s important to acknowledge that while most Americans will be huddled around a big screen tv turned to NBC, not everyone watching has a big screen available for the game.  Furthermore, there are people viewing the game in a variety of different time zones around the world with some of them catching a glimpse here and there while they’re working or on a break.  With all those scenarios in mind, we’ve assembled a list of some of the easiest options to watch in your home as well as on your mobile device(s).

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Apple Park nears completion in latest drone video footage

Apple Park, the new Apple campus first announced by Steve Jobs in 2006 is nearing completion after 4 years of construction.  Beginning sometime this April, the new state of the art headquarters is expected to begin welcoming its 12,000 permanent employees in a staggered move-in that will continue into the summer.  There have been many efforts to document the journey since construction began over the years via drone footage.  The video production has gotten quite sophisticated and more polished with each video.  Duncan Sinfield has been the gold standard for the monthly coverage, and I look forward to viewing his videos when they become available each month.  From the latest video the focus on finishing construction on campus appears to be limited to the landscaping outside the main building ring, as there doesn’t appear to be any heavy equipment present anywhere.  You can view any of Duncan’s previous coverage here.

There’s still time to earn your Ring in the New Year Challenge badge

Looking for a little incentive to kickoff a healthier you for 2018?  Well, if you have an Apple Watch, you’re in luck.  Apple is offering a new achievement badge, and you still have plenty of time to earn yours before the end of the month.  To secure the Ring in the New Year Badge close all three of your Activity Rings seven days in a row any time in January.  This one was definitely harder than the two previous badges I’ve earned since acquiring my Apple Watch in October.  I regularly close all three of my Activity Rings, but rarely do I accomplish this more than 4 or 5 days in a week, much less 7 days in a row.  To be honest, though, this was just what I needed to get me refocused after a holiday season that had me fighting through holiday party after another and giving in to too many indulgences along the way.

Who doesn’t love adding to their Activity achievement board?  I must admit, after buying my Apple Watch I hadn’t spent as much time exploring all of the potential achievements as I really should have.  However, after earning the Ring in the New Year Challenge badge I’m now striving to add more badges by pushing myself and setting goals that I never had previously considered.  Isn’t this the real benefit in monitoring your activity levels–to move more, and be more active?  Once you become aware of your habits and pitfalls you can push yourself to be a healthier, happier person.

Good luck in acquiring your Ring in the New Year Challenge Badge!

MacBook Pro Review: Revisiting the update to Apple’s most polarizing Laptop release in years

The current version of the MacBook Pro received a processor speed bump and improvements to its GPUs last June–only eight months after it’s release in October of 2016.  The updated 2016 model was a highly anticipated announcement after a longer than usual upgrade cycle.  Positioned for the “Pro” Apple market, it’s still one of the most popular desktop computers on the market today.  However, its release has forged polarizing reactions to some of the new key features.  With the addition of the Touch Bar and the second generation butterfly keyboard mechanism, even some of its bigger supporters have been vocal in their concerns.  With all that in mind, lets look back at our initial review of the MacBook Pro and what we thought of the most anticipated MacBook release in years.

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iPhone Wallpaper Collections

Wallpaper Credit: @ARX2014  via @Jim_Gresham

Welcome to our new iPhone Wallpaper Collections weekly post.  Moving forward I will save the best wallpapers that I’ve come across during the week and share them with you all here.  Unless otherwise stated, none of these wallpapers are of my creation, nor do I take credit in any way for their designs or origins.  I will always share direct links to where I come across each wallpaper and give credit to the designer and/or website I find them on.  In addition, if you have any wallpapers you’d like to share with us so that we could pass them on–that would be great, too, as long as we can provide proper credit.

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Twelve South Black Friday Deals for all the Apple fans on your Christmas list!

If your Christmas shopping list contains anyone who loves Apple products, you absolutely need to make it over to Twelve South today before midnight to catch their Black Friday Deals.  Almost everything in the store is on sale right now and discounted to make your shopping choices that much easier.  The folks over at Twelve South are great people who make excellent products backed with the best customer service in the business.  Since they specialize in Apple only accessories, you know they have a keen eye for design and attention to detail.  They’ve always been my first stop when looking for new cases, stands and charging options for all my Apple devices.

Here is a sample of my favorite items that are on sale today only…

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Thanksgiving Day 5k Challenge

Just as they did last Thanksgiving, Apple has created a special achievement that you can unlock on your Apple Watch today only.  Appropriately named the Thanksgiving Day Challenge, you can earn this award by completely a walk, run or wheelchair workout of at least 5k (3.1 miles).  To unlock the special badge on your Apple Watch you need to record your distance with the workout app on the Apple Watch, or by using any other app that adds workouts to the Health app.

Although I appreciate this extra little incentive to get out there and move on a day where Americans typically over indulge and then fall in and out of a coma all day, it sure would be nice if they also recognized other workouts besides walking and running.  Case in point–I went for a 20+ mile bike ride this morning, and I still need to walk or run an additional 3.1 miles to collect the badge.  You still have time, as you can collect the achievement for a workout completed anytime before the end of the day.  Time to go grab mine!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fast charging on the iPhone X–which option is the most cost effective?

One of the notable features available on the iPhone X as well as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus is the addition of fast charging capabilities.  Not to be confused with wireless charging–fast charging allows you to safely charge your device at a much quicker rate.  For the average consumer the question then becomes–what does that really mean, and how much extra will it typically cost to take advantage of this added capability?  While it’s great that Apple has added fast-charging to the iPhone line-up, in typical Apple fashion, it’s gonna cost you if you stay away from third party options and go strictly Apple.  But just how much will it cost, and what are your options you ask?   Read more

Privacy settings be damned; Google continues to collect the location of Android phones even when location services are disabled

 

Time after time I’m reminded of one of the cornerstone reasons for owning and using an iPhone–privacy.  Apple has demonstrated that above all, they respect my privacy.  My data is encrypted and stored locally on my device accessible only by me and those I choose to share it with.  Unfortunately, Google cannot same the same, as it was reported today that they continue to track the location of all Android based phones _even_ when location services are disabled.

Quartz Media had the exclusive story here

Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers—even when location services are disabled—and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals’ locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy.

Not good if you are led to believe you have an expectation of privacy.