01 January 2021

(Un)Lucky Number 7: Putting It All On Green

I couldn't find a good way to transition to this from my earlier part about finding out one of my cables went bad, so I decided to make it a separate entry. 

A handful of my coworkers had mentioned recently "going green" as in trading their apples for androids. I can certainly understand the frustrations people have with their iPhones, be it the dreaded "Apple tax" or the toy-like interface. Seriously, when I had to send in my Xperia Z Ultra to get fixed, and I got a 5C to use in the potentially 6-8 week meanwhile, I laughed when I first swiped through the menu. For starters, the screen was absurdly small compared to my Sony Phablet, which was as much a digital sketchbook as it was a phone. Then there was the notable lack of widgets. Apple has finally fixed this, though I almost hesitate to call it a fix as they weren't anywhere near as useful as they could have been on my Android. Maybe I simply didn't have the kind of workflow that benefitted from some of them, but nonetheless the "icons-only" screen that rolled out in front of me felt like a step down and backwards. On the whole, the sole saving grace of the 5C was the camera. I could certainly take photos and shoot video with my Android, but somehow it always felt more than a little bit unpolished, like it was an afterthought in the design. This was especially annoying because this was a Sony product. I'd used Sony camcorders back in high school and college, to say nothing of all the other Sony products I'd owned like various TV's or my minidisc or certainly all of my Playstation stuff. 

In fact, when the Z came back from getting its battery fixed, I kept the 5C around to use as a camera, though mostly for around the house whenever the cats did something cute or I wanted to shoot a video for my YouTube channel. A few months of that arrangement later, and I inadvertently warmed up to the idea of the iPhone being a permanent fixture. I was about to go on a trip to see family, and I didn't want to bother with bringing two cables/chargers, so I "temporarily" activated the 5C again and left the Xperia at home. As the saying goes, I went Mac and never looked back. Given my favorite feature about the Ultra was its screen, it only made sense to phase it out. I'd migrated all of my drawing workflows to my iPad, so a phone with a big screen was rather unnecessary. The 5C was so lightweight in the same bag as the iPad compared to the Z I moved it to my pocket because it was possible I'd forget to pack it in the morning. 

The 5C eventually got traded in for the SE, and that's still one of my favorite iPhones. That got traded for the 7 I currently have now, and that's been an unremarkable upgrade despite my initial hype when the was first announced. Of course, it's been a few years since then, and I'm far more impressed with the newest version of the SE, as I previously wrote about.

Here's my perspective, apart from them being easily by far the best cameras I've ever owned (that don't have interchangeable lenses or true optical zooms), what I like best about my iPhones is how they play nice with my iPad. They also play nice with my Mac miniAirdrop alone has been a legitimate lifesaver. Forget those Apple stickers you get with every purchase, where's my Airdrop sticker? 

(Un)Lucky Number 7

 I woke up this morning to find my iPhone 7 had not actually charged in the night like it was supposed to. Thinking the cable and become dislodged from the outlet, I checked both ends and found everything was where it should be. Upon unplugging the lightning connector from my phone and plugging it back in, I got greeted with the dreaded "accessory may not be supported" message, that lightning bolt icon flashing over the battery ever so fleetingly. Restarting the phone did nothing for it. I thought maybe I'd tripped over the cable at some point in the night and finally caused some internal fault in its braided beauty. That didn't seem to be the problem, however as I plugged in my iPad and didn't even get the "not charging" message I used to get when I plugged it into anything less than 2 amps. To further add to the confusion, I took the iPhone into my office where my iPad's charger is and plugged it in. Charged like it should. 

Here's the results of my ensuing mix-and-match experiment. There's probably a better way to organize these data, but I can't think of one right now, especially since there turned out to be a time factor involved (that is, what would once work suddenly wouldn't). 

Not noted here is the turnover. One of my favorite features about the lightning connector is being reversible. However, when I plugged Cable 1 into the iPhone charger, it first showed as working with the iPad. Then, I turned it around and that got me the "not supported" message. Turning it back around to the "working" side now suddenly didn't work at all, "not supported" message and all. So, I guess it's just an intermittent cable that finally bit it. 

For further background, both Cable 1 and Cable 2 are third party. Cable 2 is a shorter cable that was provided by my cell carrier. Cable 1 came in a 3-pack from Amazon. Both are also braided, which isn't always a mark of higher quality, but certainly helps on the durability front, which often leads to cables failing.