Apple iPhone 5S Space Gray Review

My Space Gray iPhone 5S arrived early this morning from Apple in China, and upon first opening the box, I was amazed to see how much longer, and lighter weight this 5S phone is compared to my 2.5 year old iPhone 4s.  Janna’s new iPhone will arrive tomorrow.  We’re both on the 4G Verizon network.

The first thing I noticed is that the Space Gray iPhone 5S would not turn on at all!  I was perplexed. Then I did the traditional “hard boot” by holding down the “on” button and the Home button at the same time until the phone turned on with the White Apple logo.  I picked Space Gray because it has a black face.  I prefer a neutral black on a smartphone.  A white face is just too aesthetically jarring.

The phone started and already had a 91% battery charge.  After setting up and restoring the phone, I was immediately prompted to download an 7.01 iOS 7 update.

As you can see in the screenshot below, I have a whole “extra row” for four more App icons in my Home screen!  That is a delightful and welcome change from the 4s.

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Adding Paid Licenses for Google Drive in Google Apps for Business

Ever since Google Drive was announced and I upgraded my space, I’ve been enjoying enhanced speed and performance.  I’ve also been waiting for Google to take Google Drive Licenses live in the Google Apps for Business domain control panel.  This afternoon, Google Drive licenses became available for purchase with a big, yellow, box notification in my Google Apps Dashboard!

First, you have to agree to the activation conditions and confirm with Google Apps you want to add Drive licenses to your account and that’s a confusing process where you have to click on buttons to continue — and it looks like you’re adding every single Drive license to your account — but you are not.  You are merely confirming to Google that you will pay for licenses IF you decide to assign them to your users.

Google sets up the system to bill you on the first of every month, but you won’t be billed for anything until you actually assign licenses after giving Google your billing information and credit card.  It takes about 10 minutes for Google to email you and verify your billing information and to assign you a whole new “Billing ID” number number for this licensure process.  I was having horrible flashbacks to Office 365!

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Consuming the Adobe Creative Cloud

I  have been using Adobe products for over 20 years.  For many years, I was on the yearly upgrade cycle and, even as a previous purchaser, the upgrade fees for the Adobe creative suites easily cost over $600-800 USD per year.  That was quite a hit for a young author and designer fresh out of graduate school, but if you wanted to play with the big boys, you needed big boy toys, and Adobe is, and has always been, the web and authoring standard.

Over the last few years, with the churn in the business from a purchase model to a renting model at Adobe, I’ve patiently waited on the sidelines with my hardbox copy of the Adobe CS4 still in everyday use — about three generations behind the leading curve — and CS4 has served me well.  The new Adobe “upgrades” have seemed incremental and confused, and I was happy to keep skating along with Photoshop and Dreamweaver CS4 until two things happened.

First, I purchased a new MacBook Air that had plenty of room to install a ton of new software and, second, Adobe announced the end of boxed editions and were going rogue and “online subscription only” from here on out using a monthly and yearly for-pay model.  Two days ago, I signed up for the new “Adobe Creative Cloud” and I am totally thrilled with the decision.

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The MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) and Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K Monitor UP2715K and Apple Watch Reviews!

The title of this article — “The MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) and Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K Monitor UP2715K and Apple Watch Reviews!” — is ridiculously long, and that was intentional because I believe all three of those things belong together in the same review. The MacBook Pro lives in the Dell 5K display and the Apple Watch sort of ties together the netherworld of the current Apple universe.

Continue reading → The MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) and Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K Monitor UP2715K and Apple Watch Reviews!

Why Does Gravatar Want My Google Apps Contacts?

After a successful return to WordPress.com from WordPress Multisite, I began rooting around the Settings and Tools and Appearance areas for my WordPress.com account to discover any new joys that were added during my inattention.

I found I could now add my “Google Profile” as a “verified” external service via Gravatar.  I clicked to continue to complete the verification process for my “Public Profile.”

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The Outlook.com Review

When Microsoft announced the redesign and re-branding of Hotmail and Live.com to Outlook.com, I raced over to the virtual land grab to get the usernames I wanted for the new Outlook.com domain.  If I’d understood the process better, I likely would have just converted my pre-existing Live.com email address to an Outlook.com email address — but that process was not clear on Day One, and so I gambled on being safer than sorrier and just started all-new accounts on Outlook.com.

What I didn’t expect in the transition from Live.com — and in comparison with my Google Apps life — is just how great Outlook.com would be in function and aesthetic!  Wowser!  I like the new icons and fast interface.  The overall look and feel are refreshing and new — I can’t wait for the Calendar to be updated to the new design.

The biggest surprise was firing up Outlook.com on my iPhone and finding how fast and easy it was to use.  Pages load really fast.  Google could learn a few things about beautiful iOS design from Microsoft.  You can almost read the mail screen with your eyes closed!  The fonts are big and beautiful.

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Suing for Google Apps for Education Access

I am a massive fan of Google Apps.  I wrote the first Google Apps Administrator book to market and, to this day, I still use Google Apps via Boles University to run my empire of polymathic projects.

Continue reading → Suing for Google Apps for Education Access