iOS 11 was unveiled at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference earlier this month. With the next version of iOS out in the hands of developers, I was able to get my hands on it early before it is released to the public. These are my impressions. The device I am using, is a 64GB iPhone SE which features Apple’s A9 cpu, and 2 GB of ram, which is only 1 generation behind the A10 Fusion Quad Core cpu in the iPhone 7. The new lock screen. The lock screen in iOS 11 changes things up from the slightly confusing iOS 10 and brings back "Swipe to unlock." Slide to unlock returns in a rather unusual way. This seemingly is made to be universally useful across all screen sizes. In the past, slide to unlock across the screen became less and less practical as phones got taller and wider. Now, instead of sliding across your phone’s screen, you swipe up from the bottom edge, and it immediately takes you to the home screen. Notifications Your notification screen is now your lock screen. You can up on your lock screen to access older notifications. Again this seems to be a consideration made for taller devices. Instead of pulling down from the top of a rather tall device(think iPhone 7 plus), you now swipe up in the middle of your lock screen with much more ease. Control Center Control Center on iOS 11 can be customized to your preferences, and is all on a single page. With iOS 11, the control center has returned to a single page. No more swiping right for the music player! Everything is confined to a single page. Most of these options can be expanded by a long press, or 3D touch to get [...]
In the world of technology we like to focus on the super expensive devices, the ones that push the envelope in every direction. People love to "ooh" and "ahh" over every new feature, quirk or change that it brings to the table. In doing so, sometimes we can overlook the simpler things, the less expensive gadgets that a recent college graduate(me) can afford. I'm a sucker for finding affordable technology. I built my computer using parts from one if not two generations behind the latest iterations, and my current phone is the modest if unassuming iPhone SE. My wife was in the market for a new iPad for her work, and wanted an all-in-one solution to replace her aging laptop(with Windows Vista, ugh I'm dying). She takes notes, sends emails and records videos as a stage manager for multiple community theatre projects. So having something more portable than a laptop, with the ability to do more than her iPhone 6, all in a single device was the goal. The new iPad fills that role perfectly. Apple's new iPad for 2017 replaces the Air 2 which had not been updated since 2014. Photo by: Apple With iOS 10's multi-tasking features enabled only on newer devices, we examined the iPad lineup for 2017, and we settled on the iPad 9.7 which starts at $329. What does that price get you? An iPad with a 9.7 Retina Display that is brighter than the Air 2 it replaces, the newer Apple A9 processor, 2 GB of RAM for better multitasking, 32 GB of storage, and a battery that is 15% larger than the iPad Air 2, or Pro 9.7. We paid an extra $100 for the increased storage option at 128 GB, but you may not find it necessary. Essentially this is a combination of the iPad Air 1 [...]
The Galaxy S8 is looking to recapture the magic of the Galaxy S7, and regain customer confidence after the Note 7 Battery disaster. Photo by: Samsung Mobile With Samsung's Galaxy S8 launching before the month is out, I wanted to take a look to see what it was up against in the smartphone space. Rivals Apple and LG have their phones already to market, while others like HTC and Google quietly carve their niche in the flagship arena. Maybe you're waiting to see how the S8 behaves in public, or you're not interested in the latest Samsung offering and are looking to try something new. We're here to help. Pixel: A Phone by Google, Manufactured by HTC. Google Pixel features a refined design, accented with glass panels. Photo by: Michael Speer Photography The successor to the highly successful Nexus lineup still lives on in 2017 as a viable contender for your smartphone affections, as it is the only phone to receive Android Updates as quickly as they are announced. Featuring an extremely sturdy Glass and Aluminum Unibody design, the Pixel feels as premium as any other flagship device on the market today. Highlights include High Definition AMOLED Displays, one of the best(if not the best) camera system on a smartphone, and the unskinned version of Android that only a Google device can deliver. Pixel's cousin, the HTC U Ultra. The HTC U Ultra is a beautifully designed phone that fails to live up to its full potential. Photo by: GSMArena In many ways, this is the Google Pixel with a different shell. It features the same processor, a very similar camera the same general materials used in its construction. This phone uses the same quad core processor as the Pixel, but features a very [...]
Starting with the HTC Evo 3D as a gimmick, to today with the iPhone 7 Plus, companies have been trying to fit dual camera systems intotheir smartphones. Many have done so with varying degrees of success. In the case of the Evo 3D, it sold poorly compared to the iPhone 7 Plus which has been a commercial success. The HTC EVO 3D was one of the first smartphones to feature a dual camera system. Its success was marginal to negligible however. Photo by: GSMArena Today, we are surrounded by a plethora of devices that feature a dual camera setup. Here we will be breaking down the differences between three of the top tier dual camera wielding phones available. iPhone 7 Plus iPhone 7 Plus is one of the most accessible dual camera phones on the market today. Photo by: GSMArena The iPhone 7 Plus features an asymmetric Dual Camera system, with a regular 12MP camera, and a 12MP telephoto or long zoom lens. This allows you to zoom closer to your subject without the graininess of digital cropping. In addition, the iPhone 7 features a "portrait" mode, featuring a vividly blurred background, giving picture quality similar to a DSLR Camera. The camera app is pretty barebones compared to the others on this list, but the quality is undeniably on par with its android competitors. Huawei P10 A lesser known player in the US market, Huawei is making huge strides in their camera quality. With the P10, Huawei teamed up with Leica to tune the optics and to bring the best photo quality available on a smartphone today. Using two sensors that are identical in field of view and resolution, Huawei's solution aims to solve the problem of low light performance, and an overall lack of detail in pictures. With [...]
Tech Talk is a series highlighting a member of the Gophermods Family. We presented each of our technicians, managers and employees with a series of questions. These are their answers. Today our guest is Corey Hoeve, an Assistant Manager at Gophermods. 1. Where are you from? I’m from Albert Lea, MN. 2. What is your Job at Gophermods? Assistant Store manager at Gophermods Plymouth. Corey Hoeve is the Assistant Store Manager at Gophermods Plymouth. 3. What is your favorite phone to repair and why? The iPhone 6 is my favorite. They put it together really well and made it easy to disassemble and reassemble. Most repairs are pretty quick and easy, and for me the 6 is my favorite. 4. What is the biggest repair challenge you’ve faced? My biggest challenge has to be the HTC phones. HTCs phones are not very repair friendly at all. They have tons of cables and tape that has to be reassembled just right or things won't work correctly. 5. What motivated you to be a part of Gophermods? I wanted to continue working in the tech field but wanted to get away from computer repair. I started out working on computers and slowly transitioned into phone and tablets. Getting tired of computers I looked into Gophermods and got hired shortly after. 6. What is your favorite piece of technology that you own? My Computer is definitely the favorite piece of tech that I own. I built it myself and have spent many, many hours enjoying it. 7. What is your current phone? I have the LG G5. 8. What do you like about your phone? The screen is just the right size for me and it's very comfortable to hold. The battery is removable and the cameras are amazing. The fingerprint reader is [...]
Your phone is precious to you. Lets be real here, we love our phones. They are the portal to an outside world, our windows into our friend’s lives and the place where memories are saved. So why wouldn’t you protect your phone? Here some accessories we at Gophermods feel are essential in protecting your phone, and keeping your device safe. Tempered Glass Screen Protectors Cell Patriot Screen Protectors keep your screen looking great while providing serious protection. These are simply another layer of glass that goes on top of your phone. Similar to the screen protectors of before, they keep your screen from getting scratches. But now with the added strength of tempered shatter resistant glass, you can rest easy knowing your screen is protected from light drops or impacts. The concept behind it is similar to the protective glass used in the Armored Vehicles, where multiple layers of glass absorb sharp impacts from crashes or other objects. A similar methodology applies here. Gophermods carries a variety of Cell Patriot Glass Protectors in store for iPads, iPhones and many more! Protective Cases Speck's newest case, the Presidio offers slim stylish designs with great protection. We see cases that are absolutely ridiculous looking. But not all cases are created equal. Some cases are made to merely add style to your phone, while others are strictly utilitarian and are made to protect it at all costs. We like to take a more moderate approach with cases that find a happy medium between style and safety. Speck’s Candyshell and Presidio cases for iPhone and Galaxy devices are the meeting of these two needs. While providing a fantastic amount of protection, and being MIL-STD-810G certified means that these cases have been rigorously tested before being brought to market. [...]
Tech Talk is a series highlighting a member of the Gophermods Family. We presented each of our technicians, managers and employees with a series of questions. These are their answers. Today our guest is John McDonough, our very own MacGuyver. 1.Where are you from? Born and raised in Apple Valley, MN currently live in St. Paul, MN 2.What do you do at Gophermods? I'm the Inventory Manager and Hardware Development Lead at Gophermods. 3. What is your favorite phone to repair and why? The Galaxy S5 is one of my favorite phones to repair. Let me rephrase that, “My favorite screen to replace” Any other repair on this device is nerve wrecking. 4. What is the biggest repair challenge you’ve faced? Oddly enough, this is a easy one. The iPad mini is by far the biggest repair challenge I have ever faced. To this day, its still a problematic repair for the best of technician’s. (Siri not available connect to the internet!) There is a laundry list of issues I’ve seen and encountered with this repair. To this day I’m still learning new tricks to defeat this repair. 5. What motivated you to be a part of Gophermods? Prior to coming to work for Gophermods I started my own repair shop “GadgetGuru” offering the same services. Gophermods was the only other real competition in town at the time. Before Casey started his major expansion with the company he discussed the possibility of joining forces. The entrepreneur in me wanted nothing to do with his offer. However, I saw something unique in him and ultimately decided I wanted to be a part of the winning team. 6. What is your favorite piece of technology that you own? Without a doubt my iMac. It’s design alone is like a piece of art. More importantly, my [...]
Using your iPad's 12W wall adapter(Left) can charge your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus faster than the included 5W wall adapter(right). You own an iPhone 6 or a 6 Plus, or even an iPhone 7, and you can never seem to charge your phone fast enough. Well, there's a solution and you didn't even know it. On devices from the iPhone 6 line and forward, Apple enabled these phones to charge faster when plugged into a beefier wall adapter. The power brick included with your iPhone in the box, is the familiar 5 watt power connector. Included with any iPad is a 10 watt or a 12 watt power adapter. Macrumors.com confirmed the faster charging, and stated an iPhone 6 can charge from empty to 90 percent, in just under 2 hours. That is a great deal faster than your regular chargers. So if you're in a pinch, definitely be sure to use an iPad Charger to get your phone up and running faster. The great thing is, that this is not only limited to higher watt Apple chargers either. If you have a 10 watt or higher charger, an iPhone 6 or newer device will be able to take advantage of this. If you have an iPad Pro, and get the Macbook's USB C power supply, you can reduce charging times for it as well. Apple does warn that charging your device with higher powered chargers can damage your battery over extended periods of time, so it is recommended you stick with reputable chargers if you are going to use this method of charging phone.
Ahead of the reveal of LG's next flagship phone, we've already been given a glimpse of what to expect at Mobile World Congress. However there are alot of questions that remain to be answered. Based on reports from various sources, we've listed some of the main rumors regarding the LG G6. The LG G6 looks to make a splash at MWC later this month. Photo by: LG 1. New Display Size. The LG G6 will feature a 5.7 inch Quad HD Ultra Wide(2880x1440 resolution) display, with small bezels. With an emphasis on your content, there will be more to love and less to distract you from your content. 2. Modularity is gone. With the LG G5 failing to gain popularity, in part due to its novel design, the Korean Tech company has confirmed that the G6 will feature a premium glass and metal design akin to recent family members of the Galaxy S lineup. This means that removable batteries, add-on modules like the Camera Grip or the Bang and Oluffson DAC will not be available. 3. Water Resistance. Further confirming the end of removable batteries is the implementation of water resistance in some form of IP Certification. Wether it will be fully protected from submersion or just from splashes remains to be seen. 4. Dual Cameras are back and better than before. The cameras on the LG G5 were a bright spot on an otherwise lackluster device. Featuring optical image stabilization, a wide angle lens, and great low-light performance, the LG G6 looks to continue the great performance that LG's camera arrays have long produced. 5. The Headphone Jack is still here. Need I say more? You won't need to join the #donglelife just yet to listen to your music (and there was much rejoicing).
Tech Talk is a series highlighting a member of the Gophermods Family. We presented each of our technicians, managers and employees with a series of questions. These are their answers. Today our guest is Allen Hansen: globetrotter and technician extraordinaire. Allen Hansen is a Technician at Gophermods and is one of the multiple UM students Gophermods is proud to employ. 1. Where are you from? I currently live in Minneapolis; however, I was born and raised in central Michigan. 2. What do you do at Gophermods? I am a technician at Gophermods. Working at both the IDS and St. Anthony locations, I work firsthand with customers devices in order to resolve software and hardware issues they are experiencing. I specialize in diagnosing and repairing Android/Apple mobile devices, but have experience with tablets and laptops as well. In todays age, our devices connect us to the world and that requires the mentality that we are “working” for each and every customer that enters the store in order to reconnect them with society. 3. What is your favorite phone to repair and why? The iPhone 6 is my favorite device to repair. The device was designed in such a way that its disassembly is smooth. Almost every part is replaceable within the device, meaning that a majority of the components are not micro-soldered onto the motherboard itself. 4. What is the biggest repair challenge you’ve faced? The biggest repair challenge I have had was when I encountered an iPhone 6. The device originally came in for screen, back camera, and back camera glass replacement. With that being said, the device was in pretty rough shape upon arrival. Prior to the repair, all functions of the device worked great besides the back camera. This even included the screen, though badly cracked. After reassembly the [...]