I preordered the iPhone 12 mini

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Hopefully I did not make a mistake. Mistakes are expensive.

Coming from half a decade of the biggest iPhones, it will likely be hard to adjust. But as I look to rid myself of my addiction to using bunker rings for phones, a physically smaller phone is necessary.

And I really prefer the Blue more than Pacific “Teal” (Blue).

Now there is the issue of replacing my 8 Plus with the mini as my everyday phone. FaceID is a bitch in 2020 after all. Maybe it is time to train FaceID to recognize my masked appearance.

I don’t know if I should buy the iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 12 mini

IMG_1833At the Apple Store looking at the accessories for the iPhone 12.

Less than 24 hours from Preorder Day, I am facing a dilemma – should I buy the 12 mini or should I go ahead and go straight for a 12 Pro Max?

The Plus size iPhones

I have always been using the plus size phones, ever since the 6s Plus came out. They have been hard to control one handed, and thus I have always stuck bunker rings on the back of the iPhone cases to make them usable. Simply put, I cannot control any of the iPhones today without a bunker ring. That is also why I have not been utilising wireless charging for the iPhones since the 8 Plus, as the bunker rings were preventing the iPhones from getting a proper charge.

The Pro Max is really heavy

The plus size phones also used to be thinner and lighter during the 6 Plus to 8 Plus era, but beginning with the Xs Max, they have grown in both absolute size and weight. The 11 Pro Max is now so heavy that when I am using the phone in bed, it always feels like my hand/finger is going to break from holding the phone up above my face. According to Apple, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has the exact same weight as the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Finally the return of a mini iPhone

This year, due to the introduction of the iPhone 12 mini, I had made up my mind to try out the smaller phone at launch, with the idea that if I do not like it, I can always let go of the 12 mini some months later, and get a 12 Pro Max at a lower price from alternative resale channels then.

iPhone 12 Pro component shortages?

However, today’s news that Apple is having issues locating enough components for the iPhone 12 Pros (and likely the Pro Max, since they share similar components) now make me wonder if I have made the correct decision to preorder the 12 mini tomorrow. Maybe I should just go ahead and order the Pro Max first tomorrow and only switch to a 12 mini in a few months if I do not like it?

Upgrade later? Downgrade later?

I have always preferred to have the 512GB version of the Pro Max, but however, I can not afford Apple’s MSRP for that particular model. Preordering tomorrow will mean that I have to settle for the 256GB, and might regret my decision in a few months. Also, as the prices of the Pro models are a lot higher, their value also drop quite a bit more in the resale channels after some time, compared to the regular models. Downgrading from a 12 Pro Max to a 12 mini runs the chance that I will likely lose more money overall than if I upgrade from a 12 mini to a 12 Pro Max after a few months. And money is important in a year where I am jobless. Seriously I should not even be buying the iPhone 12, but this is the only time of the year when I am the happiest, and saving up to purchase the yearly iPhone is one of the main drivers keeping me sane from work (and for this year, from COVID-19). So I really want one.

But I still do not know what I want.

Apple AirPods Pro Service Program for Sound Issues (Recall)

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Are you having ANY of the following issues with either;

  1. Cracking or static sounds that increase in loud environments

  2. Active Noise Cancelling not working properly, such as a loss of bass or an increase in background sounds

for your AirPods Pro?

You are in luck. Apple announced a recall for such issues, for all AirPods manufactured before October 2020, so literally everyone who has bought a pair of AirPods Pro so far are likely covered.

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I went to Apple Orchard today to get my AirPods Pro exchanged, and as usual the process is smooth and fast. Check-in, sit at the table, genius comes and did an inspection of my AirPods Pro, and promptly exchanged them after a short chat.

Do you have any problems with your AirPods Pro? Get them exchanged today! Remember to book an appointment on Apple’s site or using the Apple Support app first as it is unlikely you will be able to get a same-day appointment if you try to do a walk-in.

If you are instead aiming to buy a full size set of headphones, rumors are that Apple might announce something known as the “AirPods Studio” during their November event.

Are you going to buy the iPhone 12 mini or iPhone 12 Pro Max? [Poll]

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Four more days to the preorder of the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max, likely the two most coveted phones of the iPhone 12 launch. Have you already purchased an iPhone 12/Pro? Or are you waiting to see how small the iPhone 12 mini is or the improvements of the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s cameras?

I will love to run a poll.

Screenshot! Opens new window to actual poll!Click on the screenshot above to open the poll page.

For the time being, with regards to the popularity of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro in Singapore, the 12 Pro is way more popular than the regular 12, according to street information. The 12 Pro is, after all, a lot more phone for just a little bit more money. The 12 Pro is out of stock everywhere, but you can still find the regular 12 in ample stock if you know where to look.

And right before the 12 mini and 12 Pro Max reach us on the 13th of November, Apple will hold its third event in three months, titled “One More Thing”, on the 10th of November (11th November Singapore Time). Apple is likely to announce their first Macs running on the new Apple Silicon.

Apple Watch Series 6 (PRODUCT)RED Aluminum and Blue Aluminum Unboxings

Thanks to a friend, I am able to do the PRODUCT(RED) unboxing. The blue watch I had purchased when the watch was first announced, but subsequently returned when the bundled band did not fit into the watch’s slots.

The PRODUCT(RED) Series 6

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The Blue Series 6

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The blue watch is very dark

I first unboxed it in a indoor environment with only artificial lighting available, and at first sight I did not like it. In most less than idea lighting, you will not be able to tell the Blue watch from the Space Grey watch. The shade of blue on the watch looks pretty nice if you are in strong, bright lighting, but for most other situations, the blue watch is going to look very understated. If that is what you are going for, the blue watch is worth considering. However, I went to the Apple Store to take a look at the PRODUCT(RED) watch when it was just out, and the blue just looked really dull next to the bright and shiny thing that is the PRODUCT(RED) watch, even in Apple Store lighting.

Band pairing is an art

Unlike the relatively safe colours out for the Apple Watch so far, the blue and PRODUCT(RED) watches will NOT look nice when paired with certain watch band colours. If you made a bad pairing, everyone is going to know that you have no taste. However, for those who are either band savvy or just plan to use the bundled band, you are going to be just fine.

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Nah.

Public Service Announcement regarding the geniune Apple Sport Bands this year

…and especially this season. I was first made aware of this issue when the bundled Deep Navy sport band did not fit into my blue Series 6, and I had to return the watch. After much discussions with fellow genuine ‘Apple Watch Band masketeers’ online, we discovered that the quality control of the sport bands are extremely lacking this year, especially for the bands announced with the Series 6 and SE. The two main complaints are either the band is too thin and can not lock into place when slot into the watch, or the band is too thick and cannot even fit into the slots in the first place. There are cases where only one or two (out of three) of the sport band parts in the box have this issue, so for now the advice is to buy directly from Apple where you get the choice of returning or a direct swap (within 14 days from purchase) if you find such issues. If you buy in store and try it on there and then, you can get an immediate swap if the bands do not fit.

Cannot afford a new Apple Watch this year? Dying to find out if your Apple Watch Series 2, 1 and 0 can pair with iOS 14 phones? Find out..

Apple announces November 2020 event, titled “One More Thing”

Screenshot 2020-11-03 at 3.54.45 AM

Apple just announced their November 2020 event, titled “One More Thing”, for November 10th (November 11th Singapore Time).

The event will be streamed live on November 10th, 2020, at 10am Pacific Time. That is November 11th, 2am in Singapore Time, one hour later than the usual event timing.

Apple has not used its “One More Thing” tagline for a very long time, so I am pretty excited for this. Apple Silicon Macs will likely be announced, and I can not wait to buy one.

Also, Jon Prosser is wrong again.

iOS apps have to stop going subscription

subapp

With Halide joining the likes of Fantastical, Twitterrific, Weather Line, among others, to go subscription, the number of good iOS apps on the platform still not on a subscription is dwindling fast.

Yes, maximizing profits is important for a company or any individual developers, and yes, there is a general idea that Apple users are financially well-off compared to Android users, but to capitalize on that, especially during a year when people are losing their jobs at an unprecedented rate, is just wrong.

Think of the bills you hate to pay the most. Utility bills, telco bills, are likely what you hate the most. The idea of pay once, use all the time, is so prevalent in the human psychology that paying every month or year for something you might or might not use, is absolutely in everyone’s minds, a wasteful process.

Like a gym membership?

Nobody likes to pay for a gym membership to only realize that one year later, you have wasted your money because you did not go to the gym. People are thus forced to go to the gym because they don’t want to let their membership money go to waste. What does that do for their experience at the gym? Probably not very well.

Same for apps on a subscription service. The very idea that you have to use an app because you already paid for the subscription, makes your experience of using the app less than ideal, or maybe even hateful. I do not understand why any app developer who love their creations will want to sour the experiences of their customers using their apps.

The apps we should support

For now though, there are at least a few shining examples of great apps which have not turned to the dark side, Tweetbot and Reeder for example.

Reeder had just released Reeder 5, with new features and support for iOS 14 widgets, as a brand new app costing 4.99USD.

However, if you have already purchased Reeder 4, or even 3, exactly because Reeder has chosen to make the new features a new release, people who do not want the new features or are financially unable to make the purchase are able to keep using their old versions. That very choice that the developer chose to give all users is exactly why we should support the developer. Same with Teeetbot.

Holding users hostage?

Developers who hold their users hostage by updating an app that you have previously paid full price for and now can no longer use without an subscription are just disgusting and despicable. How will they like if a new government in power suddenly tell them they have to start paying new monthly mortgage if they have paid for their homes in full?

Developers tell you that you can chose to stop using their app if you do not want to pay the new subscription fees, but will they move out of their homes that they already paid for if they don’t want to start paying more money for it?

Choices? Not really.

Some developers try to argue that they are not deceitful by offering a very expensive “lifetime” or “one time purchase” pricing, saying that you can pay that sum if you choose not to pay subscriptions. However, how can the customer know how long the “lifetime” of the app is? What if the developer comes out with a new version of the app in a year and wants another “one time purchase”? The very fact that these developers have chosen to go subscription make a large number of their current users suspicious of their future intentions, and they are more likely to seek alternatives than to pay what the developers want.

A way that these developers could have chosen to make things better for their users is if they chose to release the subscription as a new app, but none of these developers do that, for they know that the majority of their current users will stick with the old app and not even consider moving to subscriptions if the developers gave them a choice.

Developers and well-to-do people will tell you that the developers need to feed their families too. But if you think Apple choosing to remove the power bricks this year is a dick move, then choosing to go subscription in 2020 is almost criminal. That is why Android users like to call us suckers, because we put up with such behavior.

5G in Singapore with the iPhone 12 / Pro / mini / Max

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Now that you have decided which iPhone 12 you will purchase (or have already purchased one), the next thing that you are likely concerned about is the network service, for one of the headlining features of the iPhone 12 series is after all, 5G.

Sub-6GHz 5G in Singapore

All current iPhone 12 models that are not produced for the American market do not support mmWave, only sub–6GHz. In Singapore, the three main telcos, Singtel, M1 and Starhub (M1 and Starhub bidded as a joint entity) have won the two licenses available to build the nationwide 3.6GHz 5G network, and so it is likely that anyone looking for 5G services locally right now should expect that only the Big Three will offer it, for now at least.

If your main network is a MVNO (like mine is), please forget about 5G for the time being.

5G coverage, according to M1, Starhub and Singtel (accurate on 31st Oct 2020)

Here is M1’s coverage map.

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Here is Starhub’s coverage map.

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It covers the following locations;

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And finally, here is Singtel’s coverage map.

Screenshot 2020-10-31 at 8.25.35 PMAreas in grey will only be live by March 2021

How much does 5G cost in Singapore?

Both Starhub and Singtel appears to only allow you access to 5G if you sign up for one of their postpaid plans that include 5G specifically, with all the shackles of traditional mobile plans.

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M1 is the only telco locally that seem to allow you to purchase 5G as a “booster pack” to their SIM-only plans with pricing structures similar to those of the local MVNOs.

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Will you be going 5G? Or will you wait until the technology matures?

Which iPhone 12 to Buy? Top Features to Consider and Price Differences (in Singapore Dollars)

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Thanks to 2020 and the weird release schedules of the various iPhone 12 models this year, many potential buyers are likely still undecided on which iPhone 12 version to buy. With preorders for the two most interesting models (iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max) coming up in exactly one week’s time from the time of this posting, have you decided which iPhone 12 you want? Are you confused by the number of models this year and the difference in features between each model? Fret not, I have prepared a two-step solution to your first world problems.

1. Select the color of your iPhone 12 series

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All available colors of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini.

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All available colors of the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max (Pardon the lighting).

2. Select the storage capacity of your iPhone 12 series

I have prepared two sets of data, one for the 128GB models and one for the 256GB models (512GB models are $330 more). Look at the respective charts for the features of each model and their price differences. 64GB is not listed because it is frankly speaking, too little storage. As the file sizes of iOS and apps grow in the future, you will likely regret saving that little bit of money now. Besides, if your budget can only afford you the 64GB models, you do not need the following information in the first place.

All prices are in Singapore Dollars (SGD).

The 128GB Models

Model Top Features Body 128GB $(SGD)
iPhone 12 mini
(5.4-inch display)
Mini size
Pocketable
Cute
Glossy Back
Matte Sides
(aluminium)

$1219
iPhone 12
(6.1-inch display)
Standard Model
Same accessories
as 12 Pro
Glossy Back
Matte Sides
(aluminium)

$1369 (+$150)
iPhone 12 Pro
(6.1-inch display)
Premium Feel
LiDAR
ProRAW
Telephoto lens(2X)

Matte Back
Glossy Sides
(stainless steel)

$1649 (+$280)
iPhone 12 Pro Max
(6.7-inch display)
Premium Feel
LiDAR
ProRAW
Biggest screen
Longer Telephoto(2.5x)
Better Main Sensor
Matte Back
Glossy Sides
(stainless steel)
$1799 (+$150)

The 256GB Models

Model Top Features Body 256GB $(SGD)
iPhone 12 mini
(5.4-inch display)
Mini size
Pocketable
Cute
Glossy Back
Matte Sides
(aluminium)

$1389
iPhone 12
(6.1-inch display)
Standard Model
Same accessories
as 12 Pro
Glossy Back
Matte Sides
(aluminium)

$1539 (+$150)
iPhone 12 Pro
(6.1-inch display)
Premium Feel
LiDAR
ProRAW
Telephoto lens(2X)
512GB Option(+$330)

Matte Back
Glossy Sides
(stainless steel)

$1819 (+$280)
iPhone 12 Pro Max
(6.1-inch display)
Premium Feel
LiDAR
ProRAW
Biggest screen
Longer Telephoto(2.5x)
Better Main Sensor
512GB Option(+$330)
Matte Back
Glossy Sides
(stainless steel)
$1969 (+$150)

So, which iPhone 12 will you buy?

The ExFAT Podcast Episode 1: Reboot in 2020

The ExFAT podcast is back after four long years!!!

Join Dan (who has relocated to Osaka, Japan, since the last recording) and myself as we talk about the iPhone 12, HomePod mini, microphones, and bemoan the restrictions of a pandemic world.

Pardon the slight difficulties with our recording settings and equipment, as we are rusty after such a long time.

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 feature.




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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