6 vs 6+

Why wouldn’t recommend it for one-handed use, it is way more possible to use it one handed than I had anticipated

I find myself using the touch ID much less frequently, because it’s awkward for my hand some to get so low to the button, while still holding the phone confidently

I need to test us on my other iPhone 6, but I noticed that I use the back in fourth swiped gestures for all of the apps Waymore than I ever had prior. It could be something that’s in iOS 8 for all phones, but with the size of this one leveraging the screen to navigate makes it much easier.

I wish that they had distributed the weight of the phone more towards the bottom than it currently is. I don’t know if it’s an even distribution, or if it’s actually distributed towards the top of the phone, but that is the one thing that makes it feel a little uneasy in the hands.

Overall with the new iPhone 6 and 6+, I think that there were two mistakes made. The first is they should not have rounded the edges of the phone between the front to back. There was a very familiar field with the four and five, that allowed you to get a good grip on the type machine ankles. That is not the case with this phone, and when coupled with the increased size, it lends itself to a very slippery and on easy feeling in hand. Especially when you factor in the increased size that people are not used.

The other mistake that I think they made is that both the six and 6+ I’ll probably 10 to 20% too large. Had they met the iPhone five and six somewhere in the middle and the six and 6+ somewhere in the middle I think that those would have been the perfect sized phones. Steve Jobs was right, and the fact that you need to be able to get your thumb all the way to each corner of the screen.

The battery life on the 6+ is markedly improved or better than the six, but I don’t get the full two days of battery life at some point. However it’s constantly on, so for the amount that I do use it it has incredible battery life.

Both of the cameras are great, but I haven’t yet seen the difference between the 6+6 to be honest. I also haven’t taken any nature photographs and Brightlight, but rather pictures around the house of my kids. The biggest difference that I’ve noticed video. Full 1080 P video looks incredible when played back on my HDTV.

Another thing I’ve come to find is that it simply doesn’t matter how big the phone is, it’s always going to eventually look the same to you. I pick up the five these days, and I have no idea how I ever used it. I picked up my sex after a few days of usage with the 6+, and it felt like a five.

This is my fourth day with the 6+, and every day I get more and more accustomed to it, but I’m not yet sure that I’m going to keep. The screen real estate truly is a big difference, and I’ve always said that the screen is when you really matters.  However, I am very aware of this phone at all times. It doesn’t blend into the background work just get lost in my pocket. It sticks out of my back pocket of my jeans it’s prominent in the front pocket of my jeans, but it’s not a burden. But I’m terrified of dropping. Also due to the sheer size of it, I don’t know if I could use this phone with the case on it would simply be too much.

I’m starting to think they should call this the iPad nano.

I also don’t use landscape mode as much as I thought I would. However I think that’s mostly because the Apple keyboard is such crap. They tried to cram 1000 options into that keyboard rather than make it simply more usable in landscape mode with slightly bigger keys.

Vibration is loud and worthless, like it is  not attached to the phones base and is just vibrating in a tin can. I’ve actually missed a lot of texts BC of this, and now my phantom text disease is on 11. This is especially bad since I don’t want to keep taking this phone out to risk dropping it on pocket exit. 

The biggest issue overall, is that the phone is weight distributed the wrong way. The tears owns tell you that this thing is 90% battery – which is great – but sadly the weight is towards the TOP of the phone instead of the bottom. This gives an already awkward grip even less control, as you feel like the top heavy nature will cause the phone to go end over end out of your hand. Worse – when you notice it – it get more and more apparent. 

I added a case from Apple. Silicone. Yes it makes the phone bulkier, but not as much as I thought get it would. It DOES make it much easier to grip – which severely cuts down on the awkward factor. 

Another Trip Around The Sun

It’s 4 years today since I got the call at work from my mother that my father passed away.  My memory sucks in general, but the events of that day are still as vivid as anything I’ve ever experienced.

During the surprisingly depressing task of getting my father’s truck from the dialysis clinic at which he died, I discovered what an amazing ‘time capsule’ a car is for a person’s final moments in their life.  What had they eaten or drank?  What list of errands did they have?  What CD were they listening to?

Given the sheer amount of time my dad spent in his truck, and the fact that we all associated him so closely with it, his ‘time capsule’ was even more central to who he was.  No matter what year it was, you would always find some combination of the following things:

  • muddy workboots
  • hard hat covered in stickers
  • giant map books
  • rubbermaid bins full of mining/construction parts
  • some form of a rats nest of ‘cutting edge’ electronics (radar detector, cell phone cords, GPS, CB, XM radio before it was built in, power inverter, etc)
  • glove compartment full of things like a wallet, a day planner, and a ‘pocket constitution and bill of rights’
  • his briefcase
  • blue listerine
  • a bar across the back with his hanging clothes on it
  • various CDs that had no rhyme or reason – Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Martina McBride, Fleetwood Mac, the Michael (movie) soundtrack…

After his cancer diagnosis, the song “Trip Around the Sun” by Jimmy Buffett really seemed to resonate with him for obvious reasons.  “License To Chill”  was the one CD that always seemed to be playing if you ever borrowed his truck, and picking it up from dialysis that day was no exception.

Today marks 4 long ‘trips around the sun’ since I lost the most important guiding figure in my life, and I miss him and his influence dearly.  While these past 4 years have without a doubt been the absolute hardest of my life – they have also provided many wonderful things which I am eternally grateful for.

I now listen to this CD every day when I commute.  It helps me to keep things in perspective and be grateful for everything that I have in my life – especially the many more trips around the sun that I get to enjoy with the wonderful gifts (my family) that he helped to provide.

Where ever you go, there you are…

My father, like myself, enjoyed a good joke – even if we were the only one realizing that it happened.  Sometimes just smiling and laughing to yourself is even more fun.

An example of this was how his high school senior yearbook quote was: ‘Where ever you go, there you are…’.  As a child growing up,  I’d flip thru that black and white book of high school kids from what seemed forever ago – crew cuts, horn-rimmed glasses, hippies – think that his quote was soooo deep.  I couldn’t wait to grow up and be so intellectual as him and see the world from that vantage point.

Some time later, I asked him about why he chose that and why it meant so much to him.  He just chuckled and said something to the effect of:  “I had to put something better than ‘F*ck you Mr. Jones.  Math class sucked.’ , and I had read that quote somewhere else recently and it sounded good.”

Seriously?

He did qualify it though, and said that now that he looks back it does have some decent truth to it, and he probably used it b/c he agreed with it subconsciously.

So, how is this relevant to anything?  Well, yesterday I got some rather upsetting news.  I won’t go into detail right now for a number of reasons, but the short version is that there is almost a 100% chance that my father died prematurely and preventably.

Talk about something punching you in the gut.  I was a pretty shell shocked yesterday when I found that out.

It’s really weird to think that someone could have had more time on earth, especially when they are taken suddenly.  You start going thru all of the events that happened since that day…starting WITH that day…and imagining him being a part of it.  What decisions would I have made different, and how would that impact my path?  Would I have moved to CA?  Would we have had another child sooner?

As much as I miss my father, and would give anything for just 1 more day with him, I have completed the long hard path of coming to terms with his death, and my life continuing.  I know that I’ll never get that ‘1 more day’,  just like the fact that I will never win the lottery, so what’s the point in playing?

Sometimes you just need to look around you and realize that ‘where ever you go, there you are’, as goofy as that may sound.

As hard as these past few years have been, I am stronger b/c of it.  I have an amazing life, family, friends, house, job, existence, etc, and I make sure to remind myself of that each day.  I know how lucky I am, and that I can’t (and shouldn’t) complain – short of a little lack of sleep, the kids being what you’d expect from a 6 and 8 year old, and the financial vein that insists on staying open and bleeding me dry.  :)

He gave me a great toolset to go through life with though, and now it’s up to me to use it, b/c ‘here I am’.

“See All This Appreciation, Son?!?”

Today is one of those days where I had an unexpected moment of *really* missing my dad.

Earlier in the week, we had a plumbing issue with the main drain (I got to watch them dig up the septic tank, yayyy!).  Troubleshooting house issues are always a fun learning experience, and I would always call my dad to ask him what was happening and how to handle it.

Today, we realized that we had a frozen, broken pipe which (luckily) had re-frozen into a pipecicle.  As I began tracing pipes back to the source, and hunting down the main water shut off, I was just struck with how sad I am to not have him around anymore.  I mean, I carry it around with me each day – we all do with those we’ve lost – but there are some random times where the reality of it all just punches you in the gut.  Today was one of those days.

My buddy Brian reminded me of a story when in ~2007, I was talking to my dad about how I NEEDED to buy a house and ‘get in the game’ b/c prices are just going up and up and up.  He told me that there was a lot to be said for renting, esp not dealing with repairs and major issues like a new roof.  I countered with “…yes, but when you rent, you don’t get the financial appreciation of the house…”.  We went back and forth, and agreed to disagree.

In a convenient twist of fate, a few hours later my mother comes into the living room to tell my dad that ‘there’s a leak in the kitchen cieling, probably from the bathroom upstairs’.  What are the odds, right?

About 10 minutes later, my dad (who was a big guy) is upstairs and has his feet against the wall – sawing into it for the 3rd time with a reciprocating saw – turns to me and screams over the saw: “SEE ALL THIS APPRECIATION, SON!?!?”.

Point taken…and one I keep with me all the time.

MSFT

I’d never think that I’d be the one to say it, but using MSFT’s new SkyDrive and Office Live products (Excel and Outlook), I’m starting to think that both Apple and Google might be losing leverage/ground to MSFT.

I’m actually considering switching away from Google Apps for this.

Windows 8 and WinPho still aren’t my OS of choice…but for the first time, it’s a viable alternative.

This is about to get fun, I think.

Unintended Benefits

It’s about 2-3 weeks now into my Facebook (well, almost all social media) detox, and honestly it feels like a little weight has been lifted.  I don’t mean this in an addictive sense, as much as the fact that there is less digital ‘noise’ competing for my attention each day.

Yes, there is a slight feeling of a missing out on things, but my interactions with people are more intentional and worthwhile.  My friends are still my friends.  I use email or text or IM to communicate (like the caveman that I am), and I’m more focused on the world around me.

One unintended benefit I’ve discovered is that I now notice how many times per day/week I hear the phrase: “Did you see what so-and-so posted on Facebook?  Can you beleive blahdy-blahdy-blah….?”.  Obviously, the answer is no, I haven’t.  Also, I realized that I kinda just don’t care.  Curating friend circles, comments, someone saying something that unintentionally upset someone from another circle.  NO THANKS.  Too much mental and emotional energy.  Plus, I am apparently getting real world updates on FB anyhow.  :)

One thing that I am sure missing is a good ‘content distribution & notification’ mechanism.  This is really where FB’s power is – in alerting people who CARE about pics of my kids or my random posts.  I’d love to see something that is more ‘etherial’ and social network agnostic.  I want to post content anywhere, and inform those that I am connected to (varying circles of people would be nice too), without having to give up the content itself to FB, Instagram, Twitter, or other network that will eventually just use it all for ad targeting.

That would be a game changer.  I might just have to make it myself.

The backlash is coming…just wait.

Why I’m Quitting Facebook (For Now, At Least)

A few weeks ago, I began to really notice just how frequently that I was absorbed by my iphone…even when there was nothing to ‘check’.   I quickly realized that it had become habitual, and that I would just be using my phone when there was simple downtime.  Rather than look around and enjoy the world around me, I was incapable of just relaxing.  There was this odd feeling that I was going to be ‘missing something’ if I wasn’t checking email, text, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Added to this was the fact that the content which I was consuming – and I use this term VERY loosely – was of little to no substance.  The closest thing that I can describe it as is ‘empty digital calories’.  It was something that was simply becoming a massive distraction and nothing else.

As I began to look around more and more, I noticed just how prevalent this behavior is.  Everywhere you look people are hunched over their phones and vapidly scrolling away.  This was even more disturbing when I would see people (myself included at times) ignoring their kids or just telling them to ‘..hold on a second…’ so that they could read some random post, tweet, or text.  My other favorite new social ‘trait’ is that when the phone notification sound occurs, its apparently ok to check it immediately – even while the person is still talking!

Again, I’m just as guilty as anyone in this category, and I’m sure that some of that information that people are consuming is important and relevant – maps, texts, checking the weather, whatever – but I’d also bet that much of it is just crap and killing time.  

Something important happened a few years back, when we switched from a technological ‘PULL’ society to a ‘PUSH’ society.  We used to have to go and GET information – from Google, email, the web.  That’s all changed now.  First it was Blackberry pushing email to phones, causing the damn thing to vibrate to let us know we were ‘important’.  Today, social media and smartphones have us operating in a “stream mentality” in which data is constantly flowing in AT US…push notifications popping up on our phones constantly…all competing for our attention.

The biggest offender for me, BY FAR, was Facebook.  This was a massive time suck for me, and it was the place that I’d end up going to out of sheer boredom.  

It’s not Facebook’s fault.  They make a great product that has changed the depth and availability of the way that people interact with each other, and I’ve been able to stay in touch with people at a level not seen before thru technology.  The problem is that it creates this weird re-wiring of my brain.  I’ve dismissed privacy in exchange for some little red notification icon that provides a drop of dopamine.  This is dangerous behavior because you begin to sacrifice good judgement for entertainment.  In a way, intentionally or not, this is what Facebook is designed to do, especially as the data mining and advertising models begin creep in. 

So I quit.  

I signed out on my laptop.  

I deleted the Facebook app from my iPhone and iPad.  

Honestly, the first few days were odd, but its been 3 weeks now and I’m happier than I ever thought I’d be.

Personally, over the past few weeks I’ve begun to feel less digitally ‘cluttered’ with one less thing to ‘check’ or have pushed to me.  I get information more on my timing and terms, and I’m surprisingly very happy.  I’d recommend trying it…esp if the thought of doing it gives you the chills…as you might have more of a problem that you realize.

While I do miss knowing about what my friends and family are doing, seeing, saying, etc – it’s not at the expense of the feeling that I ‘need’ to check in or I’ll miss something, or the fact that my life is now for sale to the highest bidder.

Yes, I understand the hypocrisy of the fact that this is the business which I work in, along with the fact that I have this sudden conviction to stop selling my personal marketing data in exchange for seeing cat posts.  However, maybe that’s why I understand just how dangerous this all is.  The returns simply aren’t there for me anymore in exchange for the content I’m getting out of Facebook.

So if anyone has the odd interest to read my random thoughts, it’s all still available here (www.davidzakur.com).  

As for my family and friends who care about our kid pics and entertaining moments raising children, I’ll always continue to post the all of our family adventures at www.zakurfamily.com.  It’ll just be on my terms.

Reverse Déjà Vu

There are times where I have some completely random memory from long ago pop into my head.  I mean, these memories are usually random and unimportant moments or interactions with people that make up our days, the type that usually just get dismissed from our consciousness as we progress through our days.  I’ve started saying ‘thank you’ to my brain when they crop up, as they are in some ways like seeing an old friend.  I’d even go as far to say that they have the vividness of déjà vu, just that you actually HAVE been there before.

Today’s memory was from when I was about 4-5 years old, and I was at my Nana’s house in Waltham.  It was dusk, and I was in her living room, and sitting on the chair that she’d sit in to watch TV.  My sister was there too, and my Nana was watching us for my mom and dad while they were away on a trip.  I think that we had some sort of a ‘treat’ – such as a cookie or something.  There was just a warm, welcoming feeling of safety and security.  That was my whole wide world, and I so enjoyed being there with her.

Maybe this is my self-conscious guilt stemming from living so far away and not giving my girls that daily interaction with their grandparents that they deserve.  Maybe it’s just random.  Either way…’Thank You!’.