Gurman: New iPhone to Have Dual Camera but No Headphone Jack

Mark Gurman, Bloomberg:

The standout features will be a dual-camera system on the larger iPhone, a re-engineered home button that responds to pressure with a vibrating sensation rather than a true physical click and the removal of the devices’ headphone jack, said the people, who didn’t want to be identified discussing unannounced features. Apple declined to comment.

If Mark reports it, it’s as good as confirmed. I’m increasingly curious about what these new iPhones will be called. With a design so similar to the 6/6s family, I can’t see them earning a “7” moniker. 6SE is too long and weird, but possible. And will the larger 5.5-inch version be called Plus or Pro?

Either way, I can say for certain that I won’t be upgrading my iPhone this year. It’ll be tough, if the dual-camera setup delivers a huge improvement to low-light photos and zoom capabilities, and the addition of a second speaker would be a lovely improvement too. But I’m content to spend the next year with my iPhone 6s Plus, and keep my fingers crossed for an amazing 10th anniversary iPhone in 2017.

As for the headphone jack, I predict Lightning EarPods in the box, an inexpensive Lightning to 3.5mm adapter available separately, and premium wireless “AirPods” as an upsell – which I’ll definitely buy. Because I’m a sucker.

Funny Women Are So Purse

sopurse_16x9I haven’t posted about So Purse on here yet, so allow me to introduce my latest podcast project. My friend Michael and I adopted the phrase “so purse” to refer to things that were beyond awesome or cool. We decided to start a podcast by the same name, devoted to talking about life and the things we love.

We’ve released four episodes so far, with the latest being all about our favourite funny women. From actresses like Leslie Jones and Kristen Wiig, to stand-up comedians like Kathy Griffin and Amy Schumer. We love hilarious, kick-ass women. Give it a listen if you’re so inclined, and feel free to let me know on Twitter what you think of the show. I hope you love it.

Clockwork Synergy’s Pride band for Apple Watch


I immediately fell in love with the rainbow Watch band Apple gifted to their employees at San Francisco Pride this year. While Apple is unlikely to ever sell that band to the public, an accessory company called Clockwork Synergy have just launched their own Pride band for Apple Watch that looks very similar to Apple’s version. It’s gorgeous and I ordered one immediately. Can’t wait to wear this at next year’s Toronto Pride and on those days when I’m feeling a little extra gay. 😁

(via. 9to5Mac)

What’s a Computer?

Hey, look! Apple’s starting to tell the iPad Pro story, and doing a pretty good job to start. Figured this would be a fitting follow-up to my last link post. Hope to see this continue!

The iPad paradox

Michael Gartenberg, iMore:

I’m using my iPad Pro as my primary computer as well, and almost everyone I’ve shown it to has bought one. Yep, bought one … or tried to steal mine. Clearly, there are a lot of people who would buy an iPad.

So why aren’t the sales higher? I think iPad is suffering from the “TiVo paradox.”

A really sound theory from Michael Gartenberg. I think the challenge Apple has with the iPad is actually changing people’s perceptions of it. The original iPad and iPad 2 were huge hits for Apple, but they also solidified people’s understanding of the device. The narrative at the time was that the iPad was great for content consumption but not necessarily for creating or working. Today, despite the addition of a “Pro” suffix and some productivity-focused accessories, people don’t see the iPad any differently.

If Apple ever hopes to change that, they should start with a huge marketing push showing off the killer new software and hardware features of the iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard, and iOS 10. Word of mouth can only go so far, and has certainly helped convince me to try an iPad Pro as my primary computer, but it’s time they started teaching the world what a modern iPad can do that their old iPad 2 couldn’t.

Donald Trump’s nomination is the first time American politics has left me truly afraid

Ezra Klein, Vox:

Donald Trump is not a man who should be president. This is not an ideological judgment. This is not something I would say about Mitt Romney or Marco Rubio. This is not a disagreement over Donald Trump’s tax plan or his climate policies. This is about Trump’s character, his temperament, his impulsiveness, his basic decency.

I was scared of Donald Trump before. After reading Ezra’s breakdown of all the logical reasons why Donald Trump is not fit to be President, I’m terrified. This is an absolute must-read, though I know for many of the Americans supporting Trump even such a well-reasoned argument won’t sway their votes.

Comedian Leslie Jones quits Twitter after racist abuse

Jacob Bryant, Variety:

Leslie Jones has announced that she is leaving Twitter following the countless racist comments she has received, tweeting “I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart. All this cause I did a movie. You can hate the movie but the shit I got today…wrong.”

This is heartbreaking. Leslie is a hilarious actor and comedian, and from all accounts a wonderful person. Nobody deserves to be put through hell like this, and I hope Twitter can figure out a better way – or any way – to fight abuse on their platform. I hope Leslie knows how loved she is by so many people around the world! I can’t wait to see Ghostbusters, multiple times.

I’m scared and disturbed by the increase in hate speech and hate crime being committed these days. I like to think our society has advanced beyond such blatant, celebrated hatred and lately I’ve been reminded that isn’t the case. As wonderful as social media and technology have been in connecting the world, they also allow for more public proliferation of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Those of us on the right side of history need to speak up louder than ever.

Pokémon GO adds $7.5 billion to Nintendo market value in two days


Shares in Japan’s Nintendo Co Ltd soared again on Monday, bringing market-value gains to $7.5 billion in just two days as investors cheered the runaway success of Pokemon GO – its first long-awaited venture in mobile gaming.

Pokémon GO has become an absolute phenomenon in just under a week, and though Nintendo didn’t develop it themselves, I believe it will signal to the company that they have a future in smartphone games. Demand for Nintendo’s IP clearly remains strong – who doesn’t love Pokémon and Mario and Zelda? – but GO proves people want those games on the devices they already own and carry with them everyday. They don’t want to have to buy another pricey toy to play games on.

It’s sad to imagine a future without Nintendo hardware, but I’m starting to come around on the idea that that may be the best path forward for them. If I’m Sony, I start being extra friendly now.

Captain America: Civil War is my favourite Marvel movie yet

marvel_civilwarAfter two years of anticipation, I finally saw Captain America: Civil War a few weeks ago on opening night, Thursday, May 5th. I’m not ashamed to admit that my heart was racing with excitement that entire afternoon, and needless to say my first screening of Civil War definitely did not disappoint. Nor did the second. Or the third.

I’m about to spoil everything about Civil War, so if you still haven’t seen the movie, STOP READING now. Also what’s wrong with you? Go watch it! 😉

Prior to Civil War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was my favourite Marvel movie, despite the fact that Steve Rogers is far from my favourite Marvel movie character (those biceps though!), and Bucky Barnes is one of my least favourite. I loved Winter Soldier for its tight story and exciting action sequences, which I felt Civil War one-upped at every turn.

It also helps that the creative team behind The Winter Soldier – directors Joe and Anthony Russo, and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely – reunited for Civil War, and will do so again for the next two Avengers movies due in 2018 and 2019.

Despite being packed with Marvel heroes, Civil War feels cohesive and well balanced. Every character justifies their inclusion in the storyline, and they all receive fairly equal screen time. Some characters receive more prominent arcs than others, but it’s all seamlessly tied together by the overarching political turmoil of the Sokovia Accords, and the continuing drama of Cap and Bucky. Those two plotlines firmly establish Civil War as a Captain America story, with the added depth of an important Tony Stark-centric subplot.

While dramatic and, at times, extremely emotional, Civil War is simply a fun movie, one filled with a huge amount of pay-off for Marvel fans. The big airport fight unites the largest group of Marvel heroes we’ve seen on screen at one time, and it outshines both Avengers movies. It’s strange watching a group of good guys fight each other, yet I can’t watch that scene without a giant grin on my face; it’s just so cool, and ironically one of the funniest scenes in the whole movie. After years of setup, the pay-off of seeing all of these characters together is incredibly satisfying.

Speaking of things that are incredibly satisfying: Black Panther and Spider-Man completely stole the show for me. I’m one of those people that knew very little about Black Panther before his arrival in this movie, but I’m glad I know him now. T’Challa is a character unlike anyone else in the MCU; he’s regal, extremely confident and commanding, yet humble. As Black Panther he’s calculated, agile, and bad-ass. I’m excited to see more of T’Challa, and planning to read some Black Panther comics ahead of his solo movie in 2018.

marvel_civilwar_spidermanMarvel’s new Spider-Man is nothing short of perfection. Turns out I have a deep childhood love for Spidey that’s been reawakened by Civil War, and I’m so thrilled that Peter Parker is finally home in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland was a great casting choice; he’s nerdy enough to play young Peter, yet he can pull off looking like a hero next to Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. Holland’s delivery of Spider-Man’s trademark wit was spot-on, and that new suit is gorgeous in action (though I’m a little bummed the suit was 100% CGI, and hopeful that won’t be the case for Homecoming.)

I’ve probably gone on too long already, and I haven’t even scratched the surface! Zemo was a great choice as the villain. His motivations were clearly explained (although, really, was everyone in Sokovia when Ultron attacked?) and the super soldier fake-out was a twist that I honestly didn’t see coming but which saved the end of the film from going overboard. Scarlet Witch and Vision’s burgeoning romance is intriguing; I didn’t think the MCU would go there but now that they have I hope it’s leading to something big in future films.

Plus: Captain America DIDN’T DIE! Thank goodness. I’m not one of those fans who believes you can’t do Civil War properly without killing Cap. Technically The Death of Captain America was not part of the main Civil War storyline in the comics, and it would have made no sense to kill the MCU’s Steve Rogers (again) right before the huge culmination of Avengers: Infinity War. Plus, I’m sure Marvel didn’t want to risk angering the general audience of moviegoers who love Chris Evans as Captain America and have never read a comic book. Those people (and their wallets) are important to Disney.

Ending Civil War with The Avengers completely fractured sets up an interesting jumping off point for the soon-to-be-retitled Avengers: Infinity War Part 1. When Thanos finally arrives, I’ll bet Tony will be glad he still has Steve’s number.

I’ll leave you with my current ranking of every Marvel Cinematic Universe film, from best to worst:

  1. Captain America: Civil War
  2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  3. The Avengers
  4. Iron Man
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy
  6. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  7. Ant-Man
  8. Captain America: The First Avenger
  9. Iron Man 3
  10. Iron Man 2
  11. Thor
  12. Thor: The Dark World
  13. The Incredible Hulk

Google announces Allo messenger with AI-based Google Assistant

Dieter Bohn, The Verge:

Google thinks the secret weapon it has in the battle for your thumbs is… Google. More specifically, it’s the Google assistant, the new conversational interface you can use to get information from Google. You can set up a conversation with @google and ask it all sorts of questions. It’ll respond with the stuff you’ve come to expect from typing into a Google search box — but it’ll also engage in a bit of a conversation with you. It’ll suggest further searches, and give you ways to do things that Google can do — like book a table with OpenTable.

I don’t enjoy using Google Hangouts everyday, but I’m forced to because certain friends prefer it. You’d think that would leave me feeling less-than-optimistic about Allo, but I’m actually curious to try it. Allo has all the features of Hangouts (text messaging, stickers, emoji, etc.) plus a cute text size feature called WhisperShout (also a contender for worst brand name ever) and the power of Google’s new, smarter Assistant. Unfortunately Allo is also more limited than Hangouts: it’s Android and iOS only and tied directly to your phone number, so no messaging from your computer or on the web. An odd choice for Google the web company. It’s also unclear if the reliance on your phone number limits Allo to running on one device, or if there will be a tablet version, for example.

Of course everyone’s complaining that Google’s launching yet another messaging app, following Talk, Hangouts, and the Android-exclusive Messenger. Google claims that Hangouts will continue to be maintained and that Allo is its own thing, but I don’t see how that can be true for long. My biggest complaint, silly as it may seem, is that Google still haven’t picked a name that can be used as a verb. As in, “I’ll Facebook you.” “I’ll iMessage you.” “I’ll BBM you.” “I’ll Tweet you.” Even “I’ll WhatsApp you” kinda works. “I’ll Allo you” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, though it’s less stupid than “I’ll Hangouts you.”