iPhonedo tests the Belkin Car Vent Mount PRO with MagSafe

iPhonedo tests the Apple-approved Belkin Car Vent Mount PRO with MagSafe on LA’s bumpy roads. From the video it seems like the initial worries about MagSafe’s magnets being too weak to hold the phone to the mount during a bumpy car ride are overblown. The level of bumpiness on LA roads seem to equal that of Johor, and if it can survive Johor roads, it definitely can survive Singapore roads.

The Belkin Car Vent Mount PRO with MagSafe costs 59 Singapore dollars and you can buy it from the Apple Online Store.

On Black Friday and the MagSafe Duo

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The Apple product year has largely ended. It is quite unlikely for Apple to make any new product announcements from now until the start of 2021, so the next few weeks are likely to be light on Apple news. You will probably see worsening Covid-19 situations, news of lockdowns, and even mass hysteria episodes, instead of hearing about the AirPods Studio or the Apple Silicon iMac.

This week though, is Black Friday Week. On a certain e-commerce giant’s site in another country, the latest Apple Watches (both Series 6 and SE) are now available for 20% off MSRP. I am not going to get into the how-to of freight forwarding, DuckDuckGo is your friend for that. Seriously, if you are going to focus on only one thing this whole week, focus on getting the best deals from Black Friday. This is a once in a year thing, and everyone needs new toys to cheer up a bit from all the 2020 things.

Remember the MagSafe Duo? People make jokes about how it will end up like AirPower and never show up. But it is a extremely simple device. It is no different from making a dual-pad Qi charger or a Qi charger with an integrated Apple Watch charger. Reviews have already went up on YouTube since one or two weeks ago. Is it worth the price? Nah, probably not. You really have to want the “convenience” of the travel friendly folding design to justify paying 199 Singapore dollars for the thing. It is nothing more than a foldable rubber pad with the MagSafe and Apple Watch chargers nicely integrated. Yes you save on using separate chargers for two cables, but that issue is easily solved with any multi port chargers on the market. Sure, it looks nice. But I can spend that $199 on a leather case and a MagSafe wallet for my iPhone 12 and still have change left over. It is like the official Apple Watch dock. It is a simple accessory that is well made and nice, and the only question is if you like it enough to pay what Apple wants for it. I tend to answer no to that question. But you do you.

By the way, are there any fanatic genuine Apple Watch band collectors in Singapore? Do reach out.

Apple Silicon M1 MacBook Air (Late 2020) Unboxing

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I borrowed an M1-powered MacBook Air from my relative for this unboxing.

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If you have been paying attention to the recent MacBook Airs, this unboxing is going to look exactly the same as the ones that came before.

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The keyboard has the only obvious physical change with these few key changes.

Battery life

I have not taken out the power adapter from the box yet, but have already installed the 11.0.1 update. It took more than 20 mins, and I noticed the battery percentage did not change even after the update has been completed. After playing with the MacBook Air for more than an hour in total, the battery percentage only dropped like 2-3%. Take note that I did not push the MacBook Air hard, nor did I do any benchmarks since those are all over the internet already, but this thing is fast and snappy! And the battery life is incredible.

The state of iOS apps on Apple Silicon macOS

It appears more than just a few developers have chosen to block their iOS apps from appearing from the Mac App Store, either because they already have a macOS version and obviously they want to make money from those, or they are just bent on not giving macOS users access to their apps. Possible reasons could be because their apps are “not ready for macOS yet”, or maybe because they will lose out on a lot more tracking info if users chose to use their apps instead of their websites. Whatever it is, none of the third party apps that I use on a daily basis are available on macOS, and that sucks. Maybe Apple was wrong to give the developers that choice in the first place. Developers who are lazy and want more money but do not want to do the extra work.

However, from recent reports it seems that you may actually be able to install iOS apps not available on the Mac App Store by executing their .ipa files directly. Worth a try I guess.

Conclusion

These are definitely the best Macs to have came out of Apple in probably the last two decades. Going Intel in 2006 might have allowed a lot more people to be exposed to Macs, but it also took away the uniqueness Macs have over the rest of the computing industry, with their RISC processors. With the M1 Macs Apple has regained its uniqueness and advantage over the rest of the traditional computing industry, and do not expect them to slow down anytime soon. Very soon the pathetic PC whiners are just going to claim that their old AF x86 platform architecture is superior because they say so, just like stupid Android people who still think they have the most powerful phones just because some manufacturers have to use massive cooling solutions for their shitty designs. Well idiots will be idiots and there are so many idiots in the PC industry that it is not even funny.

Should you buy an M1 Mac now?

The usual answer applies – buy only if you need a computer now. If not there will always be faster Macs in the future. If you have been waiting, especially for a MacBook Air, I think this is a good time to purchase it. The MacBook Pro, maybe not, since there are rumors that a 14-inch one is coming next year.

MagSafe on the iPhone 12/mini/Pro/Max

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MagSafe, if it is not already painfully obvious, is not a new technology. It is based on Apple’s implementation/fork of the Qi wireless standard, and as such, has all of the cons that come along with Qi.

Is there a reason for you to specifically seek out MagSafe charging as opposed to just using a standard Qi charger?

Heat

One big issue with Qi charging has always been heat, the faster the charging the greater the heat produced during the charging process, the faster your phone battery’s lifespan will deplete. Android manufacturers have no qualms about implementing the fastest charging standards, both wired and wireless, for generally they expect you to hold on to an Android phone for 3 years at the most, for Android updates are only generally available for phones up to three years (most phones only support two years’ worth of updates). If your phone battery dies during those two to three years, all the better for them, as you will be forced to buy another phone.

Apple’s Qi implementation

Apple has always implemented Qi at a limited capacity compared to what the spec is capable of, at first 5W, then 7.5W when used with Apple spec-ed Qi chargers. Last year’s 11 Pro implemented 10W charging, but that was a one-off, as you cannot get 10W standard Qi charging from this year’s 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max.

MagSafe = Qi?

With MagSafe, Apple has chosen to implement Qi charging in a specific and strict way to mitigate the cons of Qi charging. The coils are smaller than what you will find on most Qi chargers (probably to limit heat creation), and the magnets in the MagSafe system are intended to keep the coils as close as possible to the perfect charging spot to optimise charging efficiency. Apple claims that the smarts in the MagSafe charging puck paired with the PD3.0 9V 2.22A charging profile will be able to quickly adapt to temperature changes and quickly adjust the power output to the phone efficiently to manage heat.

MagSafe charging warms the iPhone 12 mini

From my own testing over the weekend, there is no doubt that the iPhone 12 mini is warm when charging over MagSafe compared to charging over my trusty Apple 12W charger (stone cold). However, it does seem to produce even more heat when charging with my 7.5W Qi charger.

Is MagSafe bad?

So is MagSafe bad for your iPhone 12? It is likely a better solution than standard Qi charging, and likely eats away at the lifespan of your iPhone battery at the same rate as if you are using a USB-C fast charger to fast charge your iPhone all the time.

The Ecosystem

MagSafe, however, is more than the charging puck and the magnets in the iPhone 12 body. Apple intends for it to be an ecosystem of accessories that can attach themselves to your iPhone to provide additional functions, even if you have an (Apple branded) iPhone case on. Right now all Apple is producing are their iPhone 12 case lineup and the MagSafe wallet. Belkin has a car mount available, but there are no reviews of that accessory yet.

Conclusion

Should you go MagSafe?

Sure, why not? If you are already buying an iPhone 12/mini/Pro/Max it makes no sense not to try out the new feature for $59. I do hope better accessories are in the pipeline.

The iPhone 12 mini review

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Took me a few days off from writing here but spent all that time using my new mini and putting it through its paces.

First thing first, it does have the lock screen bug widely reported, but the issue does not exist anywhere outside the lock screen app, so I am assuming it is unlikely to be a actual hardware issue. If you are worried it is better to hold off from buying the mini until Apple issues an update.

Now for the unboxing photos.

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The box is so small and thin this time round, (no) thanks to the removal of the power adapter and the EarPods, but well they had to cut cost somewhere to justify the increased prices for the 5G chips Qualcomm was shoving down their throats for losing the lawsuit. In case you haven’t noticed, other phone manufacturers slap high price tags on the version of their phones that have 5G support, thanks to greedy Qualcomm, who take a much bigger cut per chip the more expensive the phone is.

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Nevertheless, the tiny box, with the tiny phone, is so attractive.

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OMG so cute.

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Only paperwork and the cable in the box.

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This is how the mini looks now, after the screen protector treatment and a esr clear case.

I shall divide the review into a few parts.

One hand usage

This is fantastic. It feels almost exactly like how you will use an iPhone 5s before, where phones are still of the size you can handle them without the assistance of a ring or pop socket at the back of the case. Tapping targets one handed requires no stretching of the muscles between your thumb and your first finger and that reduces the risk of RSI in the long term. I can hold it with two fingers anywhere and not worry about the phone falling out of my hand because it is either too big, too heavy or both. If you wear skinny jeans with the phone in your front pocket the phone feel like it is not there at all. Squatting down in your jeans will no longer entice a small worry in you that the phone will either bend or even break from the increase in vertical pressure. So lovely.

The display

Is the display too small? From many years of plus and Max sized phones I thought it might be an issue going back, so I was pleasantly surprised that it took zero effort on my part. Just like driving and swimming, even if you have not been engaging in the activities in a while, your brain remembers how to do them. And the brain definitely remembers how smaller iPhones used to feel and how you used to control and manipulate them without any problems. On screen elements also happen to be the exact same physical size as the iPhone 5s and earlier iPhones (and the current iPad mini), so unless you used to have a problem with screen elements from those past iPhones you probably will not have a problem with the 12 mini either.

Is the keyboard too small?

I am typing this article on the mini at a speed probably even slightly faster than I am on my 11 Pro Max, so what do you think? The keyboard is now the perfect size for both one hand typing and two hand typing, instead of just either. It seemed that Apple had gotten the size of the on screen keyboard right the very first time, when they shipped the very first iPhone. Every other size iOS keyboard was some sort of a compromise.

MagSafe charging

It is wireless charging after all, and tends to heat up the phone slightly. But definitely not as much as using my standard Qi chargers with the 12 mini. I do not know why that is. Having the 12 mini snap to the magnetic charging puck every time I put it down to charge on MagSafe is Just. So. Satisfying.

Battery life

This is likely the one issue that you may face if you are a power user (like myself) and have problems even with the 11 Pro Max battery life (I had). The bigger your battery is the longer your phone’s battery life. The 12 mini, with its smaller battery capacity is not going to have better battery life than the 12 Pro or the 12 Pro Max. So far, I am finding that it has roughly the same battery life as my iPhone X, and actually last longer than an iPhone SE2 (which has a smaller battery). It is average, I guess. But I always have a portable battery with me anyways, even when I was bringing the 11 Pro Max out of the house. If you do not have access to portable power and must get a phone that can last you the whole day, then do not pick the 12 mini. Buy the 12 Pro Max instead. Will I trade all the benefits of the 12 mini for just the battery of the 12 Pro Max? I most certainly will not. You probably shouldn’t, either.

Conclusion

If you always wanted a smaller iPhone than the recent sized iPhones, get the iPhone 12 mini. You will not be disappointed. Also it is worth repeating that I think that the blue and the black iPhone 12 minis are the ones to get this year, despite my usage dislike of darker colors. The other choices are just really boring.

Apple Silicon Macs are Not Available to Buy in Singapore Just Yet

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This is not the first time IMDA has cause a delay in the purchasing of Macs in Singapore. Every time there is a significant change in the Mac’s innards or when something surprise drops (like the AirPods Pro), they are never available to order at the same time as the other countries. And this is definitely not Apple’s fault.

Now I have no idea of the process it takes to certify wireless devices locally, but I cannot imagine that the process is much longer in Singapore than in other bigger, more advanced countries. And I hate to wait.

If you know someone working in IMDA, or if you yourself are from IMDA, and are involved in the process, can you let me know? DM me on Twitter, email, or anything. I will read your email, delete it and pretend that I have no recollection of your existence or identity.

Also, I will love to hear from anyone interested in purchasing one of the three Macs Apple updated with Apple Silicon earlier today. Is the MacBook Air the must buy? Or will a Mac Mini as a supplementary desktop to test out Apple Silicon make more sense to you? I personally will not advise anyone to go for the 13 inch MacBook Pro since rumors are that an updated display (14 inch) is on the horizon. M1 (not the shitty telco) is so exciting.

Edit: The MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro are now available to order at 10am, 12th November. For some reason the Mac mini is still not available yet.

5 hours to the “One More Thing” Event

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This is finally it.

T minus 5 hours before what is likely the last Apple event of 2020, and will likely be the most significant one for at least the next decade, Apple’s November 2020 event, titled “One More Thing”, the exact words that Steve Jobs use repeatedly to introduce the new, shiny, and most promising Apple products in his legendary keynotes.

We know that the introduction of the first Apple Silicon Macs will be highlight of the event. That Macs will now get new architecture for the first time in fifteen years has to get many people excited, enough for Cult of Mac to write a shit piece just to capitalize on the heightened interest.

The original switch to Intel

When Apple first announced the switch to Intel processors back in 2005, rumors of the switch had already been making the rounds for months, but it still came as a big surprise when Steve Jobs announced it at WWDC that year.

Apple had to make the jump then. IBM, who was making the PowerPC G5 chips for Apple, sucked big time in developing CPUs with both the clock speeds needed for Macs to keep up with the competition, as well as with the thermal requirements to put them in what will eventually become the best selling Macs, the iMac and the portable Mac laptops. Intel was the best in the industry then, and their roadmap offered a solution for Apple, so they took it and switched everyone to Intel. That the architecture change resulting in an initial boost of people buying Macs because they can run Windows on them was just a decent bonus.

Intel today = IBM of yesteryear

The Intel today is the IBM of yesteryear. Intel suck. Delays, fabrication issues and the lack of processing gains are just some of the massive problems facing Intel and the whole x86 computing industry today. The best in the industry today is Apple, and their chips are years ahead of everyone else’s. So Apple have to make the jump again, this time to Apple’s own processors.

No more Boot Camp?

With this jump Macs will likely lose the ability to run Windows via the Boot Camp utility, but it is likely not important in today’s world. Unlike a decade ago, mankind have adapted to the usage of multiple operating systems across various platforms, and the people who originally bought Macs all those years ago to run Windows on them have all now switched to using macOS, likely exclusively. People will buy Apple Silicon Macs for what they are, Macs. That the architecture change this time bringing about the ability to run apps from the best computing platform in the world, iOS, is too, just a decent bonus.

MacBook Air? MacBook Pro?

Apple has traditionally made the early release of their most popular Macs during an architectural change a priority, and in 2006 the 15-inch MacBook Pro was the first Intel Mac released to the world. Today’s Apple sell a lot more 13-inch MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs than their 16-inchers, so it is not surprising that the rumor mill believes the two 13-inchers will be the first Apple Silicon Macs (let us ignore the Mac Mini dev kit) announced tonight. Their affordability will likely ensure big sales numbers as well.

I cannot imagine anything other than great success for the Apple Silicon Macs.

The ExFAT Podcast Episode 2: November Sales and One More mini Thing

Ryu and Dan comes back once again to talk about the multiple sales events going on in November, including the massive Apple Watch sales ongoing at Amazon. Then it shifted to Anker chargers, iPhone accessories and Ryu’s iPhone 12 mini preorder. Both give their predictions and wants for Apple’s November 2020 event, titled “One More Thing”.

If you are a new listener, the ExFAT podcast is available to listen and subscribe on the following platforms;

P.S. Changed the embedded player to Apple Podcasts the day Apple announced the embedded player feature.

iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max Unboxing Videos

Today the embargo for the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max has finally been lifted, and all the big shot Youtube channels have released their unboxing videos. Having preordered the iPhone 12 mini, I am excited to see the first impression videos of the mini, and it sure does not disappoint.

The Verge, who are usually pretty anti-Apple, says that the 12 Pro Max has the best smartphone camera.

And of course iJustine and Rene Ritchie with their really well-done unboxings.

Then of course we have the guys who really know cameras, Jonathan Morrison(@toldtoday) and Peter McKinnon.

Apple introduces iPhone 12 Studio

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Seriously?

This is created in the style of the Apple Watch Studio, where you can “build” your perfect Apple Watch case and band combination, and then purchase it straight from Apple.

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What is different here is that while the Apple Watch Studio is necessary if you do not want the default case and band combos Apple provides on its Watch page, every option in the iPhone 12 Studio, with the exception of the iPhone 12 itself, is an add-on or an optional purchase. You need to choose an Apple Watch band to go along with your Watch purchase, as they are sold as a bundle. But you do not have to buy Apple’s first party cases, and definitely not Apple’s MagSafe wallet, which is widely ridiculed since its introduction.

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Is the iPhone 12 Studio necessary? Definitely not. But rather than purchasing your chosen combination of iPhone 12+case+MagSafe Wallet outright, the options to export your ideal combination to someone else may be the hint they need from you to get you your early Christmas present.

Try it out on your iPhone now.




About MacRyu.com

MacRyu is the Mac Blog by Singaporeans and for Singaporeans. It was started in April 2007 as a side project of the then President of the Official Mac User Group of NUS, Ryu, and grew to become possibly one of the most popular Apple-related sites based in Singapore. MacRyu hopes to provide you with more Mac-related info, thoughts and stuff, from the Singaporean perspective.

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