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Calvin Saint John
Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

MacBook

With a sixth quasi-app to solve an annoying problem with MacBooks!

Introduction

Apple’s MacBook line has been through a challenging past few years. From 2015– early 2020, the once reliable machines were plagued with a host of issues (Failing keyboards, thermal throttling, etc.), leading many to wonder if Apple had lost its focus on the laptop market.

Despite speculation, the rumors quickly dispelled as Tim Cook took to the virtual stage last June 2020, to announce the company’s transition to its in-house Apple Silicon processors which we now know punch far above its weight.

This news has since led to a burst of interest around Apple’s laptops. …


Third-party repair stalls and accessory retailers. Photo by Author

Right to Repair

The convoluted story of Apple’s ludicrous repair policy

Background

Apple’s right to repair policy has long been the butt of ridicule and criticism — with good reason. No other company red tapes access to parts, schematics, and software as much as them. It’s easy to see why people find it so incredibly frustrating.

While this has always made sense to me in concept, I’ve never completely internalized the absurdity of it all…until now.

Being from the Philippines, a country with no official Apple Store, I’m used to bringing my phone to third-party repair shops (or rather, stalls) and having them do the repairs for me. Sure, my warranty gets…


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash, Edit by Author

MAC

Amazing apps for all use cases ~ tested on M1!

Overview

Macs aren’t cheap, but I appreciate the reliability that comes with macOS so I see it as an investment. Regardless, I’ve never been one to turn away from a bargain or even better, something free.

While a host of fantastic paid apps are available to download, plenty of free hidden gems also exist waiting to be found. The apps I’ve listed below are free to download (legally) and are industry-unspecific. They’re good for any and all workflows regardless of your use case so long as you use macOS.

Additionally, I have tested all the apps listed on my personal M1…


Photo Edit by Author

iPhone

Payments, Privacy, & Piracy — What happens to us?

We live in strange times. If you had told me just a year earlier that a 56-year-old district court judge would be saying the words “V-Bucks”, I probably would’ve laughed, yet here we are. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d have heard of Epic Games, makers of Fortnite, very publicly suing Apple.

As of writing, both companies have just concluded a strange but important three-week-long trial. If you’re not caught up, I encourage you to do so. The trial covered a wide range of topics involving anti-trust — and at some point BDSM. I’m not kidding.

In a…


Photo (Left) by Nastuh Abootalebi , Photo (Right) by Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash , Edit by Author

iMac

Who is this weird design for?

After over ten years, the iMac has finally been redesigned, and depending on who you are, you’re either thrilled or appalled. While you’re certainly entitled to your opinion, one thing is certain, this look is decidedly not Apple as we know it.

Let’s take some time to understand why the new iMac looks the way it does. In doing so, we can better decide if Apple hit a gold mine or dropped the ball redesigning this iconic computer.


Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Digital Privacy

It’s a lot easier than you think

In its annual Worldwide Developers Conference last June 2020, Apple announced the release of its latest software update for the iPhone — iOS 14. Despite the usual fanfare commonly associated with the yearly release, the company’s silicon valley neighbors aren’t too happy.

In a nutshell, Apple is doubling down on transparency — particularly in data collection. The company is enforcing new practices on the AppStore to help users better understand the data they share with developers.

One notable way this is done is through what Apple calls “nutrition labels” for privacy. These are essential, small cards that appear at the…


Photo by Nikolay Tarashchenko on Unsplash

Why isn’t anyone talking about this?

Full Disclosure

I have yet to receive my personal M1 Macbook Air. Given how back ordered they are, I’ve been waiting for a month and am scheduled to receive it in about a week or so.

As a self-admitted broke person, I’ve thoroughly researched my purchase decision and am confident in sharing with you the issues with the new M1 Macs so you can make an informed decision for yourself.

The new M1 chip is certainly one of the most exciting things to happen in the consumer electronics space in a long time. …


No affiliate links; just great products

Full Disclosure: I am not in any way connected to or compensated by the manufacturers or sellers of the listed products. I have bought all of the following products with my own money.

Growing up in a thrifty Asian household, saving money is second nature to me. I’m very careful with how I spend my money and am always on the lookout for a bargain.

The goal is to find things that you normally wouldn’t look for but can’t imagine living without after owning — without breaking the bank. …


Who signed off on these?

Apple is relentless in its pursuit of design and aesthetics. From the original iPod to the first unibody MacBook, this philosophy has led to the creation of some of the most forward-thinking and timeless designs we’ve come to know— many of which continue to influence our preferences today.

The company’s obsession with keeping tech “pretty” has met more than its fair share of criticism, especially when it’s done, at times, at the expense of performance and function. (The 2019 15" Core i9 Macbook Pro fiasco)

Now, how much tech manufacturers should concern themselves with aesthetics is debatable; what isn’t are…


Photo by Daniel Romero on Unsplash

The budget smartphone that doesn’t suck

In the past eight months, we’ve seen a sudden interest in what is now considered the mid-range price point in smartphones, though to be honest, it’s crazy to think we see 400 USD as mid-range just because phones are now over a thousand dollars.

Starting with the iPhone SE, following with the OnePlus Nord, and now the Google Pixel 4a.

As someone living in the Philippines, a third world country, I’ve seen far too many people carrying around poorly made, no name Chinese phones that boast good numbers on paper but have absolutely abysmal performance in real world use.

The…

Calvin Saint John

📌 Writer | Tech Enthusiast | Small Business Owner |👨🏻‍💻Access Medium’s full library and support me directly: http://tiny.cc/supportcalvin

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