Waiting for the next iPhone

I’m excited about the upcoming iPhone. That’s because I am going to buy it. 

It’s been six years since I looked forward this much for an iPhone. Luckily, I didn’t have to buy a phone all these years. I bought my first iPhone in the October of 2010. Saying I was excited to lay my hands on it is needless. It’s the fourth version of the iconic phone sporting few firsts like retina display and 1 GHz processor. I started typing this post in the same phone, and published it later from the iPad. 

I used the iPhone 4 until the April of 2013. Then I gave it to my wife who used it until she got a brand new iPhone SE this April for her birthday. Meanwhile, for the three years, I used the iPhone 5 I was given by my previous employer to fulfil my job responsibilities. I was pretty happy with iPhone 5. It’s sleek, light, fast and has a decent camera. This is why I never bothered to check the later versions of the phone. I returned the iPhone 5 when I quit my job at the end of May.

June is a bad time to buy an iPhone. The new iPhone is only four months away from June. I felt it’s worth waiting until September before blowing up at least a grand on a new phone. So I popped the SIM card into my unused iPhone 4.

In 2016, the iPhone 4 felt terrible. It’s sluggish despite keeping very few apps. It’s stuck with iOS 7.1.2. Most apps require iOS 8 and either wouldn’t install or install the previous versions. Camera is slow and blurry that I lost interest in clicking photos. I was frustrated at one point that I went to a store to buy an iPhone SE. But that store ran out of the stock. It turned out to be a good thing.

On the bright side, using a six year old phone improved my patience levels. Few crucial apps I need like WordPress, Wunderlist, Simplenote, iMessage, Whatsapp and Elevate worked fine. It’s hotspot feature came in handy during my recent India trip when I needed a temporary internet connection. Anyday, I’d rather use a dated iPhone than an Android. So thank you, iPhone4. You have been amazing overall. 

It’s only few weeks before the new iPhone 7 and its variants see the light of the day. I can’t wait to buy it. I am not a fan of gigantic screens on a phone. So I will stick to a smaller screen. I imagine it will be lighter, faster and better than earlier iPhones.

I like to keep things for long. However, I hear talks about Apple saving the best for 2017, for the tenth anniversary version of the iPhone. If these talks turns out to be true, I will trade in iPhone 7 for its next version. Otherwise, I will be happy to live with the iPhone 7 for the next seven years.

Personal Hotspot on Idea Cellular 3G

Hooray! I just made the Personal Hotspot on my old iPhone 4 working by following the instructions in this Apple Community thread. Now I have internet in this place I am going to spend the next two weeks.

I am on Idea Cellular 3G and their customer care isn’t helpful in helping me setup Personal Hotspot. They made me go back and forth between their dongle and 3G support phone numbers. Each of the reps told me to contact the other. I clearly did not do a good job of explaining what a Personal Hotspot is.

Fed up, I googled for idea cellular personal hotspot  in the phone and the first result is the aforementioned Apple Community thread. Except that in my iPhone 4 running iOS 7.1.2, I had to go to Settings > Mobile > Mobile Data Network. I then entered internet in the APN field under Mobile Data and Personal Hotspot sections. Username and Password fields can remain blank.

Thanks udaymanoj!

 

Tim Cook’s letter to customers

One of my Facebook friends posted the link to this interesting Tim Cook’s letter to Apple’s customers.

I am shocked by these two paragraphs:

…now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.

Despite the NSA news stories, I found it hard to believe any high profile technology company having backdoors in their software. Or governments forcing technology companies to introduce backdoors. I thought all that is blown out of proportion and dramatic.

Now I believe governments can do this and have actually done this.

Hide media in tweets

Twitter embeds are cool, just like everything else on WordPress.com. You just paste the link to a tweet and the editor auto-magically embeds the twitter card.

While this is great, WordPress.com does a bit more that I don’t like: it also includes the images in the tweet. I don’t like it because the image increases the size of the twitter card.

When I published my previous post, I wanted to just post the tweet without media.

What I wanted is this:

What I got by default is this:

I wanted a way to hide images in the tweets. But I wasn’t sure if that is possible. So I scouted the Twitter Embeds support guide and found hide_media=’true’ option which hides the media item from the linked site.This is exactly what I am after. Besides its description, this option also hides the media in the tweet like an embedded image.

Here is the shortcode that got me what I wanted:

[tweet https://twitter.com/WPDiscover/status/697842590951931904 hide_media='true']

This isn’t as slick as just pasting the link to the tweet, but with a bit of editing, I get a clean result.