Tag Archives: apple

APPLE WATCH ANTICIPATION

I am insanely excited to receive my new Apple Watch Sport. Head over to anez.me to find out what the Watch can do for you, and how to get it!

3 IPHONE APPS YOU NEED RIGHT NOW

I’ve been meaning to do a recommendation list for my top iPhone apps since I picked up my 6 Plus last year, but somehow I am only getting to it now! Rather than try to be original in listing obscure apps that people might not have heard of before I’d prefer to highlight the apps I absolutely can’t live without, the ones which I use multiple times on a daily basis. There’s a good chance you’ve heard of or installed these already, but just in case they’ve passed you by, here are three apps you really should consider adding to your iPhone if they’re not there already:

iphone

1. iCab Mobile
If I could only ever add one app to my phone, forever, it would be this one. Here’s why: using the internet on your phone feels a lot like going back to 2005 when the internet was slower and ads were everywhere… Until you install this baby. With built-in ad filters and the option to add custom filters like you can when using a computer, iCab brings the glorious, ad-free browsing to your phone.

It has a host of other great features, too, like customisable shortcuts, a great absolute full-screen mode, a really minimal interface, and the ability to create an account so you can synch content and preferences across devices (you can also run it on your iPad and computer, if you like). If you are a heavy web user on your phone, you will not regret the €2 you might spend on this app.

2. GMaps
Full disclosure: I don’t like Google. I don’t like their policies, their practices, or their ubiquity. I vastly prefer Apple, who are generally more careful with your data and your experience, as you are their customer, and not their product. Despite all of this, Google Maps is just infinitely better than Apple Maps. They have the experience and the data to make a superb mapping product, and that is exactly what they serve up for the low, low price of €0.

Google Maps is accurate, current, and has almost everything you’ll want to find on it. You can even save maps in advance for offline use now, which is possibly the best thing ever. So long as you turn off Google’s creepy and invasive tracking features, which isn’t at all hard to do, this is an app worth having.

3. GMail
As above, I have a lot of problems with GMail. As above, this does not prevent me from using their products when they outclass all other offerings in the field. GMail is one such product. Granted, it’s a little more cumbersome to use it as your primary app for push notification email since they turned that feature off for new devices, but there is a pretty doable workaround for that one.

I have a ton of GMail accounts from before Google’s policies became what they are, so changing to something else would be a pain in the backside. If you’re in the same boat, I do recommend this app when coupled with the workaround above. It’s an improvement over the built-in option that comes with the phone, so it’s worth your time.

The three apps above are the ones I really couldn’t live without, but there are a few others which should get an honourable mention. My Fitness Pal is a great weight/calorie tracker– their database is so exhaustive that most things are already available for selection to add to your daily food diary. Peak is a great Brain Training-style game that’s oodles of fun and annoyingly addictive. I’m also pretty fond of the Astraware Sudoku app, which saves me having to lug the paper version about.

I personally can’t be bothered with additional productivity tools; I find the build-in calendar and notes function handles more or less everything I need in terms of reminders and lists, and I’m not big into too many games (distracting) or social networking apps (data compromising), so these are the ones that get most of my time and attention… And my recommendation, as well.

What apps can you not live without? Are you an iPhone lover like me? Do you have any tech privacy tips you’d like to share? Drop me a line and let me know!

-A-

BIRTHDAY BONANZA!

Happy Birthday to me! I am now unsettlingly old (although let’s be real: that happened before yesterday), so here’s a cavalcade of beautiful things I can slap on  myself to distract from my impending decrepitude, okay?

birthday-haul

Birthday goodies! Clockwise from left:
Thin-knit Poloneck Shirts (Pamela Scott)
Macbook Air (Apple)
Handbag (Prada, via Brown Thomas)
Clarisonic (House of Fraser)
Urban Decay Naked On The Run (House of Fraser)
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish in Fair (Brown Thomas)
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Portobello Girl (Brown Thomas)
Urban Decay Vice 3 (House of Fraser)
Creme de la Mer Moisturising Gel (Brown Thomas)
Labyrinth Blu-Ray (Amazon UK)
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (L’Occitane)
L’Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream (L’Occitane)
Shu Uemura 4-Pan Palette (Brown Thomas)
Charlotte Tilbury Palette in Rock Chick (Brown Thomas)
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Red Vixen (Brown Thomas)
Charlotte Tilbury Palette in Uptown Girl (Brown Thomas)
Shu Uemura Palette Refills in #495, #472, #595, and #311 (Brown Thomas)

Best. Presents. Ever. I also got a few bob from generous aunts and uncles, a pen, a little makeup bag, and of course my trip to Atlanta this summer. I’m not even going to play at humble bragging: I have the best family ever, and my mother is a fucking superstar who wants only to make me happy and is delighted to let me pick my own presents to be squirreled away for wrapping and presentation on the day of my birthday.

We had a lovely quiet day at home; Mum came over and put my presents under the tree with the Christmas things I’ve wrapped up but haven’t given to people:

presents

Then we made (well– she made; I stirred the gravy and explained how to use the clock on the cooker) dinner, which was delicious but has left me genuinely terrified to even put a toe on my bathroom scale:

birthday-dinner

This was what passed as a “proper portion” when I was growing up. It’s no wonder I’ve bones like Wolverine! I ate every pick of it, and I am not ashamed. (Afraid of the scale, but not ashamed. There’s a big difference there!)

Then it was time to open pressies! I’m so happy with what I got; I love everything, and all of it is perfect and exactly what I wanted. I confess that I did break into the computer early, but that was largely so I could have it set up by my birthday, and didn’t spend the entire day fiddling with settings and generally being a techy pain in the backside. Here’s a close-up of a few selected items:

clarisonic

I’ve been wanting one of these for ages, and I’m excited to try it. I have god-awful skin (which I’m considering going to the doctor about in the New Year), so I’ll do anything that might make it better. Here’s hoping! I’ll keep you guys posted about how I get along with it.

skincare

There is nothing like L’Occitane handcream for dry skin. Honestly, nothing. I’ve tried E45 in the past and it works pretty well, but I’ve found that nothing does as good a job at keeping my feet pretty as this stuff. However, since they actually do make a separate foot cream, I figured I should give that a go and leave the hand cream for my actual hands? The Creme is a product I used to use, but stopped, though I started again recently and I find that my skin appreciates it as a night cream only. I’m looking forward to breaking into all three of these.

shu

Right, I’ll be honest: this one was kind of an impulse buy. I don’t have a lot of green shadows– which is a shame, because I love them. While waiting around for my mother and her sister to come back from wherever they’d disappeared to, I dabbed on some of the gold shadow on my eyelid over my own makeup, mostly to pass the time.

I only realized later how insanely gorgeous it is, and then went back to get some. The assistant at the counter was busy making up someone else, so I ended up prodding at various other colours while I waited… And then noticed that you could get little 4-pan palettes. I couldn’t pass up the chance to put together a palette of perfect, gorgeous greens to add to my birthday stash!

On the top is #311 White Gold and #595 Dark Green. On the bottom, confusingly, both colours are called Medium Olive. They’re not at all the same, though! The one on the left is #495, and is far darker and more matte than #472 on the right, which is really more of a gold-green. Review and swatches of these babies coming soon! I’m so excited to try them out– and to add to my collection…

tilbury

So remember I was wondering why I hadn’t got any Charlotte Tilbury Face in a Box sets yet? I realized why when I went into the shop: I have way too many duplicate products for any of the box sets to be practical for me. In any box, there are a good few products I either wouldn’t use or already have dupes for, so I ended up picking and choosing the bits that filled gaps in my personal collection.

I picked up the eye palettes from the Rock Chick and Uptown Girl looks, the lip glosses from the Ingenue and the Bombshell ones (the Vintage Vamp one I thought I’d love was far too dark in person– let that be a lesson!), and as the face powder from none of the looks. I’m still contemplating blusher and highlighter, but we’ll see how I get on with these.

urban-decay

It’s December, so time to strap yourself in for limited edition UD palette sets! I don’t have any of the previous Vice palettes, so I am super excited to try this one out. The Naked on the Run set is less of a new invention for me, but the colours are really pretty and I’m looking forward to trying out the gloss and the mascara without having to shell out for them separately. I’m less excited about the bronzer (it’s quite orange for me), but the blusher also looks good, and I think this will be handy to carry around for holidays and things!

After that, we just sat around and watched Labyrinth. It’s my favourite movie ever, and watching it has become something of a birthday tradition going back to when I was five or so. I actually got the Blu-Ray version for this year, and the quality was stellar. Simply gorgeous to watch, and if you haven’t ever seen that movie, do yourself a favour and find a copy, pronto!

I had a really lovely birthday, and I’ll be doing dedicated posts for individual items or sets as I work my way through them, so look out for those in the coming days and weeks.

Birthday season is officially over; let the countdown to Christmas begin! :p

What exciting birthday presents have you gotten this year? Do you feel like birthdays are an unwelcome reminder of the inevitable march of time, or do you embrace them with pride at having added another year to your tally? Is there any of the above items you’d especially like me to discuss in detail? Drop me a line and let me know!

-A-

IPHONES + GMAIL: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

Following up on my previous review of the iPhone 6+, I have noticed one additional thing that seems to be bothering people… But there is a way around it.

If you use Gmail, and you have an iPhone, and you like getting notifications when you get email, you might discover something very irritating when you upgrade your phone: you can’t get Gmail notifications through the phone’s built-in mail app anymore.

The reason for this is that Google, in their infinite wisdom, have killed off Push support for Exchange email. If you have an older device with it already set up, it should still work, but if you get a new device, you’re out of luck.

The advice is to install the Gmail app, but while that will let you get your Push notifications, it doesn’t tie-in with the phone’s centralised system for sharing activities. If you take a photo, you can’t just hit the share icon and mail it to someone via the GMail app, which is a bit of a pain.

The solution? You have to do both. It’s not the tidiest work around, but if you install and set up the Gmail app for your account, you’ll get your push notifications as they happen. If you also set up the same account under the Mail procedure in the Apple settings menu (as a Gmail account, with both Push and Fetch New Data disabled), you’ll be able send emails the way you always have.

iphone-mail

Pretty handy, huh? Now you don’t have to choose between notifications and sending email attachments easily, which sure as hell made my life a lot easier.

Do you have any tech tips you’d like to share? Is there a faster way of doing this I’m overlooking? Do you have any questions or comments? Drop me a line and let me know!

-A-

PRODUCT EXPERIENCE: IPHONE 6+

It probably makes me sound like a complete sad case to say that, while on my unplanned blogging hiatus, one of the most exciting things to happen to me was the purchase of a new phone, but I don’t care. It’s the truth. I upgraded from an iPhone 4S to the iPhone 6+, and it is a thing of wonder and beauty that I’m giving strong consideration to marrying.

iphone6

Here’s a brief overview of my thoughts on its various attributes:

Pricing: ◆◆◇◇◇
Operating System: ◆◆◆◆◆
Size: ◆◆◆◆
Build Quality: ◆◆◆◆◆

Screen: ◆◆◆◆
Speed: ◆◆◆◆
Keyboard: ◆◆◆◆
Battery Life: ◆◆◆◆
Camera: ◆◆◆◆
Fingerprint Reader: ◆◆◆◆
Chance Of Never Encountering Bugs: ◆◆◆◇◇
Apps: ◆◆◆◇◇
Speakers: ◆◆◆◆◆
Call quality: ◆◆◆◆

That works out at an average of 4⅓/5, but for me that’s not representative of my experience with the device, as I would weight some things (like screen and speed) more highly than others (like pricing and being 100% bug-free).

Overall, for me, I would give the iPhone 6+ 4¾ / 5. It’s not perfect, but it’s as close as I’ve found so far.

I would would definitely recommend it to anyone, but in case anyone would like a more complicated breakdown of my thoughts on the topic, I’m putting them under a cut.

Continue reading

EARPHONES: MY CONNECTION TO SOUND

Like many people in this modern era, I live in an apartment. Like many people in this modern era, I expect to be able to listen to my music whenever I want and at whatever volume I choose. How to reconcile these two things? Earphones. (I’m a good neighbour!) There are two types of earphones I swear by: Apple Earbuds, and JayBird Freedom wireless earphones.

ears1

Continue reading