Tag Archives: Apple

iOS Version History: A Visual Timeline

It’s been five months since I said, “Hello iPhone 5, Goodbye Old Mindset” and I couldn’t be happier with my smartphone. Although AAPL is getting a nice haircut right now, I thought it would be nice to look back at iOS history. A lot has changed since its debut in 2007.

Do you have an Apple device? If you do, what part of the timeline did you enter and how can Apple improve today?

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Meet My New Virtual Assistant, Siri!

A few months ago I said Hello iPhone 5, Goodbye Old Mindset. No regrets and ever since then, I have been looking for ways to fully utilize my investment. I’ve been banking online, checking on my blog, connecting with social media, and anything I could think of.  I recently discovered my latest productivity trick. I’m now using Siri to assist with creating content.  

At eight months old, Baby Buck is quite needy and time-consuming. Lately I barely have enough time to write, comment, and reply to the best readers around. Please forgive me. Sometimes I am so sleep deprived, I can barely keep my eyes open at my laptop.  I remember a friend of mine sent me an eloquent email using Siri awhile back. I thought, “Why can’t I use Siri to compose eloquent blog posts for me?” Putting my money where my mouth is, I used Siri to help compose this post. Here is my process.

1. Open up Notes
2. Click on the microphone icon to activate Siri
3. Start speaking your thoughts
4. Use punctuation marks by saying them (comma, period, question mark)
5. Tap done periodically to get your thoughts down
6. Email yourself the rough draft
7. Review and proofread
8. Publish

Final Thoughts

Using dictation software is never perfect but it’s great to put my thoughts somewhere so all I need to do is proofread and massage the sentence structures a little.   With this new trick, I’m becoming even more efficient. I now use some of my commute time to speak my thoughts for the next article. Some of my walks to lunch are now more fruitful because rather than looking at the sky and whistling, I am speaking additional thoughts for my next riveting post. Now if I could only get Siri to help with commenting, replying, and submitting to blog carnivals. Haha!

Do you use Siri, or Android’s equivalent, as a dictation device? Do you have any productivity tips you’d like to share?

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Hello iPhone 5, Goodbye Old Mindset

After dealing with a data plan overage scare, I finally got my hands on my new iPhone 5. As you can tell, I’m not a fanboy as I waited for a month. Better late than ever as my old 3GS was just not cutting it anymore. What did I think? For a second I thought of videotaping the box opening, but that’s a bit too much. Here’s the tale of the tape!

What A Box

I’ve proclaimed this to friends before, but Apple boxes are pieces of art. Incredible design and it’s breath taking just opening them up. If the boxes are this great, no wonder what’s inside the box adds up to the most valuable company in the world.


I thought voice activated commands was a waste of time, but I quickly ate those words. I tested Siri and directions to my closest shopping center. I recall a friend sent me an email using Siri while he was driving. I hate to say it, but that email was the most concise and easy to understand email he has ever sent me!

Need For Speed

Like I mentioned before, my 3GS was grinding to a halt. It would take a couple of seconds to open up applications or my camera. There were times my app would crash as well. As for my camera, priceless pictures were lost because of the slight delay.

Camera Quality

I quickly snapped up pictures and video of Baby Buck. The quality improvement over the 3GS was mind-blowing. HD quality? Get out of here! Now I also don’t have to worry about missing a shot.

Size Matters, Sharper Screen

You immediately notice the difference of the bigger screen and how thin and light it feels in your hand. The unbelievable Retina Display is a feast for your eyes as every icon is crystal clear.

Final Thoughts

The biggest feature improvement isn’t even on the phone itself. I have finally embraced a new mindset. In the past, squeezing nickels and dimes for savings provided great joy. However, unknown to me at the time, I was sacrificing time and efficiency. To be honest, the value of the money I was saving trumped any time or energy saved.

I was quite status quo, saving via the Latte Factor, and merrily making the best of what was given to me. This mindset kept me out of financial trouble and for that I am thankful. But I never really pushed my envelope or thought outside of the box. A friend of mine reminded me working smarter is better than working harder. So true as I finally understand the meaning of “Time Is Money”. Don’t mind me as I have to get back to my new iPhone to pay my bills, check my social media, and take more priceless pictures of Baby Buck.

You may or may not have an iPhone, but more importantly is your current mindset better than the one before? If not, what can you do to “upgrade” it?

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Microsoft Store, Surface Debut; Credit For Trying Or Too Little Too Late

Did you catch the new iPad, iMac, and MacBook Pro? Poor Microsoft… The other day I dropped into a Microsoft Store. It looked and felt like an Apple Store with one huge exception. There were almost no customers! The workers were bored and talking amongst themselves. I browsed through their new tablets and couldn’t finger swipe anything. I use an iPad and iPhone so don’t mind me.

A nearby worker jumped in to assist and ran through a quick demo. It’s basically your Windows PC in tablet form. He was quite nimble with his Microsoft tablet and took the opportunity to remind me about the Surface debut this Friday, October 26, 2012. It’s a special day because it will be Microsoft’s first completely manufactured tablet combining hardware and software.

Final Thoughts

Was this poor guy on a sinking ship? Microsoft has been playing catch up to Apple for years. Is this too little too late? Should they be criticized for copying the Apple Store concept and cashing in on the tablet craze? Or should they be commended for fighting the good fight and not giving up? Only time will tell, right?

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iPhone 5 Upgrade Comparison

iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S

Although I work in IT, I was never into my tech gadgets. Strange, I know. I’m the least techy IT guy I know. However, the iPhone 5 helped me figure out why. We all know about cutting edge and bleeding edge. I finally realized, I am frugal edge where the joy of using things for free or at a discount trumps everything else.

Work Perk

Throughout my career, the company I worked for covered my cell phone and monthly bill. While bleeding and cutting edgers salivated over the latest and greatest, I was happy as a clam with my “free” company sponsored cell phone or BlackBerry. My last company-sponsored phone is my current iPhone 3GS from two years ago.

Things Happen For A Reason?

My current job doesn’t cover employee cell phones so I’m literally left to my own devices. Even before the iPhone 5, I noticed my 3GS was grinding to a halt at times. Unshackled from my frugal past and because my current phone was becoming unusable, I looked to upgrade into an iPhone 4, 4S, or 5.

Tale Of The Tape

While breaking down the pros and cons fro all iPhones, nothing can beat Apple’s own breakdown found at iPhone 5 – Compare specifications between iPhone models.

My main variables were price, camera, and design.


With a two-year contract, an iPhone 5 will run you at least $199. It’s amazing that people shelled out $500 for the first iPhone back in 2007. Just like cars, the older models get a price reduction. The 4S drops to $99 and the 4 is free. However, you are still on the hook for fees and taxes.


The 4 has a 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording while the 4S and 5 have a 8 megapixel camera and 1080p HD video recording. For comparison, my 3GS has a 3.2 megapixel camera.


While my 3GS has rounded edges, the 4 and 4S has a sleeker, modern block design. Jump to the 5 and you can feel a significant change in weight, thickness, and screen size. To be exact, 18% thinner, 20% lighter, and a 4 inch screen instead of a 3.5 inch one.

Final Thoughts

The old, ultra frugal Buck would have immediately jumped into a 4. It’s basically free, not bleeding or cutting edge, and right up the frugal edge alley. However, since I’ve been taking tons of pictures and videos of Baby Buck, getting a 4S or 5 is a no brainer. Scratch 4 off the list. The thinner and lighter case with a faster processor, does it equal to $100 (the price difference between a 4S and 5)? Probably, but the most critical intangible factor is a new mindset.

I want to turn a new leaf. Being frugal helps the bottom line, but if paying an extra $100 increases my productivity and saves times then isn’t it worth it? In this case, I decided to put my frugal side on hold and take a walk on the bleeding edge. “Siri, Where can Buck upgrade to an iPhone 5?” Finally, what will be priceless is the daily reminder to be excellent, innovative, and inspiring to my personal relationships, my career, and my blog ala Apple. Think Different, right?

What do you think about the iPhone 5?

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iPhone: Buyer’s Remorse?

I got my iPhone yesterday. I’ve heard great things. Apple is on fire. (Speaking of Apple gadgets and the company in general, check out Money Cone’s eye opening article, Your Returns Had You Bought Apple Shares Instead Of Apple Products.) Everyone on the planet is buying iEverything. So why am I so anxious about cutting over? If you can’t beat them join them, right? I took a step back and found some legitimate reasons for my apprehension.

One Armed Bandit

I remembered in the early 2000′s, BlackBerry’s were hideous. Short and stubby and looked like a person’s palm. Their current offerings, Curves, Bolds, Storms, and Torches are sleeker and can be easily manipulated with one hand. I have an iPod touch and clumsily use two hands. I worry about the slowdown in my production.

Lone Wolf

My team constantly keeps in touch using BlackBerry Messenger. I hear an app is coming soon, but until then I need to find a workaround to stay in touch with the team. That’s another demerit for work productivity.

Out Of Sync

Since my BlackBerry is connected to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, I get real time emails piped to my device, lucky me. I believe the iPhone needs to occassionally poll my mail server meaning my emails won’t be real time. Will I die if my emails are fifteen minutes delayed, probably not. I’m just adding one more item to the list.

Apps Galore

We’ve all heard it. “There’s an app for it!” After all my moaning about productivity, there supposedly is a ton of apps that can make me even more productive than now. There’s a workaround for the BlackBerry Messenger (WhatsApp) so things are not as bleak as I made them to be.

Final Thoughts

After being a dedicated BlackBerry user for years, I’m just having a hard time letting go. Change is supposed to be a good thing and I will do my best to adjust. It is just hard to let go of such a trusted and reliable sidekick. But if I had to choose a replacement, I can’t do better than one of Steve Job’s greatest inventions.

What are your thoughts about your mobile device? Am I freaking out for nothing? Any advice on dealing with smartphone swap anxiety?