July 10, 2017

Link: Why I Had to Switch to iPhone SE ☍

Om Malik:

Over past few months, I have been experiencing increasing pain in my left wrist and thumb. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night in extreme pain. I thought it was a broken bone or something like that. I mean it was painful and it forced me to visit my doctor[.] According to my doctor is because of overusing my left thumb on the phone. She pointed out it is only a matter of time before this turns into a full-blown case of carpal tunnel syndrome and I will need surgery to fix it. So I have a brace on my left hand and a smaller phone will allow me to do a lot less than the big phone and hopefully I will heal sooner.

July 8, 2017

Link: Virgin Mobile USA Goes iPhone-Only ☍

Sarah Perez for TechCrunch:

In attempt to woo customers away from competitors, Virgin Mobile USA today announced a deal that will see it transitioning to become an iPhone-only carrier. The company is also partnering with Apple to activate Virgin’s services in Apple’s stores. To kick off this change, Virgin introduced a limited time promotion that will see it giving away a year’s worth of unlimited talk, text and data for only a dollar.

This news had been sitting in my Safari Reading List for awhile, but I finally got around to commenting. There are a few caveats to this plan, but overall, it looks like a pretty solid deal, as long as Sprint service is good in your area and you can live with some of the odd shortcomings that still occur (no VoLTE, no simultaneous data and voice, etc.). Beyond that, I think it’s a bold move for a brand that has always seemed redundant (Sprint’s budget prepaid services is Boost Mobile and competes with MetroPCS and Cricket Wireless).

Because of this refocus, this service can offer something different and the company as a whole can focus on the iPhone. This could make customer service better since there is one platform to support (and presumably one way of provisioning/activating devices). The service will have to still be priced competitively after the promotion, but I think quite a few people will appreciate a carrier that does the iPhone and does it well. Selling the service at Apple Stores is a very smart move and it basically gives Apple their own carrier without the overhead of actually running it.

I’ve said that Sprint’s got issues, but things like this might be a good step in the right direction. Then again, there is the looming threat that someone will buy Sprint and things could be completely different in a year from now when most people are done with their $1 promotion.

Link: I Got Hacked an All I Got Was This New SIM Card ☍

Justin Williams:

I like to think I take an above average amount of steps to secure myself online: I use a password manager, unique passwords as complex as the site will allow, and turn on 2-factor authentication when possible. A true security expert will likely find some sort of flaw in my setup, but I’ll argue that I am doing more than 95% of the planet.

So how did I, someone who is reasonably secure, have his cell phone disabled, his PayPal account compromised, and a few hundred dollars withdrawn from his bank account?

From what it sounds like, an AT&T representative screwed up royally to allow this to happen. Mix in PayPal being terrible (yours truly dealt with PayPal fraud last summer and it was a headache) and it kind of makes you want to remove as many extra services and processes as possible. With things like Google Authenticator, Authy, and others, SMS two-factor needs to go away soon.

June 29, 2017

Link: Suppose You Were in a Jumanji for Ten Years ☍

John Voorhees thoroughly reviews the original iPhone for MacStories:

I don’t know of any product that’s had a bigger impact on so many people’s lives. Whether at work or play, the iPhone created opportunities big and small that were not possible before its launch. With a groundbreaking touch interface and intuitive design, the iPhone democratized technology and empowered people on a far greater scale than the desktop PC has managed by connecting people across the globe in a new and powerful way.

I really wanted to do something for the iPhone’s tenth anniversary, but knew that there’d be many, many better more detailed accounts out there. I was correct in my assumption, but this is way more creative than I could have imagined, especially taken with the lens that Voorhees knows what it’s like to use a modern iPhone.

(A nod to Kyle Seth Gray and Saturday Night Live for the title’s inspiration.)

Link: iPhone Review Redux: 10 Years Later, So Slow, So Small ☍

Joanna Stern takes a look at the original iPhone again for The Wall Street Journal. The article itself is a behind a paywall, but the video isn’t. Seeing how limited the original iPhone is in contrast with things people do every day on newer devices really puts into perspective how long ten years in tech can be.