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Showing posts from 2016

New Liberte yogurt flavours underwhelm

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I don't blog about food a lot, although maybe I should considering half of my Instagram feed seems to be food photos.

But this seems as good of a place as any given that I have been scouting my local grocery stores for Liberte's new gourmet/upscale yogurt flavours, the chocolate praline and the caramelized pineapple and pecans.

I love Liberte's yogurts - rich, decadent, flavourful. So I had high hopes for these.


The yogurts come in a package of two individual servings. Very sleek and gourmet looking.


Pull up the top and there's the chocolate - wait. Where's the chocolate? Guess it's at the bottom. Let's stir.

That's better. Yup, all the chocolate and pralines are on the bottom.

So how does it taste?

Fine. I guess. I mean, it seemed to be less flavourful than their normal line of flavoured yogurts. It didn't seem to be as decadent. The ridiculously few pralines are there entirely for texture, such as it is. I guess my bottom line on this one is I…

The iPhone 7 earbud adapter is backwards

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I confess when I bought my iPhone 7, I took the included earbud adapter and threw it into my electronics drawer without really looking at it. The bundled lightning earbuds - obviously - work with the iPhone 7's lightning port. So I had no reason to go exploring that little 3-inch adapter thingy.

Flying to the west coast a few weekends ago, I figured I should dig out the iPhone 7 earbud adapter because there would be a good chance I'd want to plug into the plane's audio-video system, which, of course, uses the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack.

To my rather large surprise, the adapter was exactly the opposite of what I thought it would be. I assumed that the adapter would let me take my iPhone 7 earbuds and give me a traditional 3.5 mm headphone jack connector at the end.

Instead, it's designed to take OLD earbuds with the 3.5 mm headphone connector and turn them into lightning earbuds for the iPhone 7.

Which strikes me as a far more arrogant stance on Apple's part th…

iPhone 7 - First impressions

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I somehow managed to score an iPhone 7 on launch day, which is classified as a near miracle in my books.

Some early first impressions:

This is the perfect size of an iPhone, IMO. The Plus size doesn't fit comfortably in one hand, and the 5S was just that little bit too small. The 6/6S/7 is basically exactly what I want in iPhone size.I have yet to try the lightning earbuds, so don't ask.I have a bigger desire to try the lightning earbuds in my iPad Mini 2 to see how they work in that gadget.Upgrading from a 5S, I've never been able to use the 3D Touch before yesterday. HEY, IT'S REALLY COOL!Battery life seems pretty impressive so far. I did resist the urge to buy the Apple battery case for this because I figured it wouldn't fit in my car bracket gizmo thingy.I have strongly mixed feelings on the new Home "Button" that's not really a button but some kind of haptic response mechanism that shakes whenever I press it but makes me feel like I'm bending…

Car camping in Yellowstone

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Back from our car camping adventure in Yellowstone and now that I have working Internet (at home, unlike the NO SERVICE throughout the American national park), I can post a bunch of photos from the trip. Yellowstone is an absolutely gorgeous park, and the various sulphur vents, geysers and other boiling over reminders that you're sitting on top of a KILLER SUPER VOLCANO add a fascinating layer of destructive beauty on top of the lush green landscape and jagged mountain ranges. As you can see from some of the photos below, the geology of the park changes quickly from one spot to the next. There's wildlife everywhere - we saw elk, antelope, bison, wolves, coyotes, tons of birds and other critters. But for all the warnings of bears ... we didn't see a single bear. I'm not mad, Yellowstone bears, just disappointed in you.
And, yes, we car camped, sleeping in the back of our Toyota Rav4. My wife sewed slip cover curtains for the windows to give us privacy and keep the bugs o…

Google Maps should tell me where to get gas

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In the midst of planning a long road trip, the thought occurred to me: Why can't Google Maps tell me where to get gas?

(And, yes, I'm aware that the answer is "at a gas station." Thanks.)

Our vehicle has a trip computer that tells us how many more kilometres we can go on our tank of gas. It's very handy. And Google Maps can tell me how many more kilometres it is until the next town. Of course, that's helpful, too.

Linking those together in advance of hitting the road would be great. I'm thinking Google's smart enough to figure out that if I input the kind of car I'm driving and the speed of the highway (and I'd bet that Google already knows highway speeds), it can calculate my approximate gas mileage and compare that against my Google Maps route and tell me the most ideal place(s) to fill up with gas along that route to ensure the smoothest possible ride to our final destination without running out of gas.

For instance, if I'm driving from…

Siri, remember where I parked my car

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If you have CarPlay or a Bluetooth car connection, iOS 10 is supposed to remember where you parked your car (if you're not at home).

If you have neither - and I have neither - you just have to say to Siri, "Remember where I parked my car." And she does.

Yup. I just found my favorite feature of iOS 10 (the public beta, in this case.)

No more wandering around football-field sized airport parking lots at 12:30 am after a 6-hour flight trying to remember where I parked my car. Sweet!


Twitter testing LIVE broadcast button

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Back in this post, I talked about the need for Twitter to better integrate its video apps, namely, Periscope and Vine. Specifically, I said, "Adding a BROADCAST button from the Compose New Tweet screen would let people bypass using Periscope completely, and keep them in the Twittersphere without having to download another app on their phone."


After yesterday's Twitter iOS update, I was suddenly presented with a LIVE button in my Twitter compose screen.

I suspect, given that I haven't seen a lot of tech blogs talking about this being widely enabled as a new feature, that it's one of those experimental things that Twitter rolls out sometimes to a select group of users (NOTE: iPhoneinCanada.ca confirms this is a test). (And, yes, I do have the "first look at new features" setting enabled in Twitter.)

And when I press the button, all it does is load the Periscope app on my phone and makes me use that. So it's basically just a linkage to Periscope.

But, …

I named the iPad Mini two years before Apple released it

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Apple can start sending me royalty cheques any time now.

Getting onboard with Gboard

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Third party iOS keyboards seem to be all the rage these days, and yesterday, Google introduced their offering in this field, Gboard.

How good is it? Well, I've deleted both SwiftKey and Microsoft's Wordflow from my iPhone.

It's terrific. It has the same "feel" as Swiftkey with the same swipe accuracy as Wordflow, and it lets you perform Google, emoticon, GIF and pretty much any other search you want straight from the keyboard without app switching. The content you search for can then be embedded into whatever it is you're typing into.

So while Twitter let me search for animated GIFs in Twitter, with Gboard, I can now search for GIFs in, say, iMessenger, and then copy and paste the GIF right into an iMessage, all from within the keyboard.

I recently reviewed Wordflowand quite liked it, but there were some issues relating to the spacing and placement of things that made me slow down my typing considerably.

Gboard doesn't have those issues.

The only downside is t…

A week with Wordflow

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I spent this past week using Wordflow, Microsoft's new iOS keyboard app. (I had to download it from the US store, which was another matter entirely, as it's not in the Canadian store.)

I've been using SwiftKey for a long while now and really like it, but considering Microsoft now owns Swiftkey and I figure eventually there's only going to be one main MS-owned keyboard app, I should give what I suspect will be the "winner" a test run.

Overall, I like it. I think Wordflow does a much better job of predicting my next word than SwiftKey does. Wordflow is also way better at the "swiping" style of typing than is Swiftkey. And while I think Wordflow's "corner keyboard" one-hand typing gimmick is just that - a gimmick - it's probably going to be a popular gimmick.

 The big downside? I type a lot slower on this keyboard than I do on SwiftKey. I am not sure why that is yet but I suspect I'm just not used to the layout of some of the k…

Rotating email apps

Three suggestions to improve Twitter

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Three things Twitter needs to do to improve its user experience:
Timeline syncing/bookmarking. I use Twitter on my iPhone, my iPad, the Windows 10 Twitter app and TweetDeck. Each time I open a new app, I have to figure out where I left off in the other one and scroll to find new tweets. Tweetbot has very successfully figured out how to sync timelines across its iOS apps - when I open up Tweetbot on my iPad, it automatically figures out where I left off on my iPhone and starts my stream from there. This shouldn't be so difficult for the actual Twitter app to do.
A consistent look, feel and usability across its apps. As noted by a well-read and learned blog recently, Twitter recently updated the look of its iOS app. The Favorite, Retweet and Reply buttons are on top of the tweet, next to the account icon. On the web, the Favorite, Retweet and Reply buttons are on the bottom. The Windows 10 app looks different still in terms of placement of images versus text. TweetDeck also has its o…

So what on earth happened to Twitter's feed today?

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Around noon today, I noticed that Twitter looked really, really different on my iPhone.

The normal favorite, retweet, reply buttons along the bottom were now on top next to the profile name, along with little square superscripts showing how many times the tweet had been favorited or retweeted.
I'm not one to go ballistic over new formats on social media apps, but this update was ... not good. And the whole thing seemed very squished. 
I searched "Twitter update" on Twitter and got hundreds of tweets, most of which contained four-letter words expressing people's displeasure with the new look. So at least I knew this wasn't just my account getting one of those random Twitter experiments.
And about three hours later, the new feed vanished and was replaced by the old feed.
Very weird.
And @twitter just reverted me back to old layout on 2 iOS devices. pic.twitter.com/pFDW0bgltU — Mike Jenkinson (@MikeJenkinson) January 13, 2016 JANUARY 15 EDIT: Last night, Twitter …

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