I Switched from Android to iOS

I had been an Android user for four years. Here’s my summary of the difference between the three Android devices I’ve used and the iPhone 5s I began using recently:

The iPhone works way better.

I was worried I would miss the heavy integration between Android and Google for things like Gmail, Google Voice, Calendar, etc., but really the only gap I’ve found is with Google Calendar, and it’s a minor gap of no concern to most users. Nonetheless, why doesn’t Google offer a Calendar iOS app?

The Gmail iOS app isn’t as sexy and sophisticated as the Android version, as you’d expect, but that’s off set by the overall responsiveness and fluidity delivered through the app by iOS.

Two iOS features to highlight:

The fingerprint scan (Touch ID) is cool, and as you’d expect, works flawlessly. And for the security conscious, my research shows Apple engineered the process exactly as they should have. The fingerprint is encrypted through hash at the A7 chip as a mathematical representation of your fingerprint (not you’re actual fingerprint) and never leaves the device. The encryption key is available only to Touch ID, and the portion of the chip used for Touch ID is separate from the rest of the A7 processor and the rest of iOS; your fingerprint data is never accessed by iOS or other apps, never stored on Apple servers, and never backed up to iCloud or anywhere else. Only Touch ID uses it, and it cannot be used to match against other fingerprint databases. (Sorry for this paragraph; I geek out on security stuff).

Voice dictation works much better than on any of the Android devices I’ve used. It’s more responsive and more accurate. I’m already using Siri a lot.

I am perfectly happy with my new iPhone 5s and expect I’ll be an iOS user for a long time to come.

If you’re interested, check out my post from 2011 on Apple’s Accessibility feature and how iOS is so easy to use for people with visual impairment (includes a link to a YouTube video with Stevie Wonder!).

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Pocket Squares – February Package from Put This On

A few pictures from the February shipment of Put This On pocket squares. Two more fine squares for the collection.

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Starbucks, Land’s End, and Nordstrom

Starbucks, Land's End, and Nordstrom

Three of my favorite kinds of e-mails: Starbucks Rewards, Land’s End sale, shipment notification from Nordstrom.

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The J. Peterman Company

This gallery contains 5 photos.

My first article of clothing from The J. Peterman Company. Wait, you didn’t know The J. Peterman Company was more than a reference in the hit T.V. series Seinfeld? Yeah, it is. Here are pictures of my new vintage long … Continue reading

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Cool Land’s End Survey

Cool Land's End Survey

Check out this cool survey Land’s End put together. Great questions!

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My First Pocket Square from the Put This On Gentlemen’s Association

In October I became a member of The Gentlemen’s Association, a service offered by the men’s style blog Put This On. As a member, I receive a hand-made, high quality pocket square on an every-other-month basis. Today I received my first shipment and recorded what I received and how I received it in the following photographs.

If you or someone you know is interested in the “adornment of the jacket pocket,” visit the Gentleman’s Association to learn more, and be sure to check out the Put This On blog.

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In-room Ironing for Guests: A Guide for Hotels

Normally, I enjoy ironing. Only minimal attention is required, enough to avoid burning one’s self or the garment, making it an activity favorable for deep thought. Yet I dread ironing in hotel rooms.

It’s as if hotels sought out a consultant to advise on how to set up the most frustrating experience possible for achieving a wrinkle-free garment fresh out of luggage.

Perhaps the consultant’s advice went something like this…

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First, prepare the room during construction of the hotel. Ensure the building’s electrical plans call for all in-room electrical outlets to be placed only in areas of the room where positioning an ironing board nearby would be difficult at best. The goal here is for guests to have to perform one or more the following acts in order to plug in the iron:

  • Maneuvering under a desk to reach the outlet
  • Shifting the bed frame 1 to 2 inches away from the wall
  • Moving nightstands or other furniture
  • Unplugging lamps, the television, or alarm clock

With electrical outlets located in inconvenient locations, ironing board selection may begin.

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The ironing board selection process continues with the selection of the ironing board pad. IMAG0161The Lumpy Ironing Board Pad Depot caters to hotels and has a wide selection of lumpy ironing board pads sure to provide the opposite of a flat ironing surface. All pads in inventory are already at least ten years old and often including staining. Their slogan says it all: “If you’ve stayed in a hotel and had to iron a garment, you’ve seen our product!”

Iron selection is the final step in setting up in-room ironing.

IMAG0150No need to spend much money on irons; off brands will do fine. Either a brand one would never think would make irons, or a brand that appears to be intended for use in a foreign country. Be sure the irons you select offer a “Drip-While-Hot” feature. The Drip While Hot feature should allow small droplets of water to drip onto the garment during ironing. This is not to be confused with the steam feature of the iron. Steam from the iron should have the pressure of a fire hose, or be non-existent. To further frustrate your guests, select an iron with a self-winding cord keeper that doesn’t function properly.IMAG0201

That’s it! You’ve properly prepared your guests for a frustrating in-room ironing experience.

One final tip:

Your hotel housekeeping staff should receive special training to practice folding, rolling, and tucking the iron’s cord into the wall-mounted iron keeper. Your guests will get a good laugh when they realize they are unable to replicate the tidy fold.

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Just Replace the Toilet Paper Roll. All the way!

Found commonly in the restrooms at my home is this:  a new, full roll of toilet paper sitting atop a spent toilet paper cardboard roll still in the holder. I’ve not caught the roll-replacer adverse in the act; I’m convinced there are multiple offenders in the household.

I guess I can understand. After all, a lot of effort was made to actually reach for and take hold of the new roll, so why would you want to spend the additional 7.8 seconds removing the cardboard roll and replacing it with a new roll? That’s 7.8 seconds! Seven point eight seconds you’ll never get back.

How do you know it takes just 7.8 seconds, you ask? Oh, well, I’ve recorded this short video to demonstrate (yes, it’s set to music – Easily Replaced, by The Vandas).

 

Just replace the toilet paper roll. All…the..way!

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Lacing Dress Shoes Properly

I get excited in an eye-rolling sort of way when I discover means for putting a finer touch on how to dress with style and sophistication. Today I discovered a method for lacing dress shoes that gives an classier look worthy of dressier footwear. It’s known as the European Method, and I discovered it thanks to one of my favorite men’s style blogs, Put This On, which directed me to one of my other favorite men’s style blogs, A Suitable Wardrobe and this video.

A little practice was needed to get it right, but the result is worth it. Here’s a picture of my Florsheim Imperials with the new European Method shown on the left, and the old criss-cross method on the right.

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(Oh, and you are using cedar shoe trees for your shoes, right?)

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Words I’ve Been Dying To Use

Bucolic
[byoo- kol -ik]
adjective
Of or suggesting an idyllic rural life.

The likelihood of me using this word during the course of typical, day to day conversation is low. So this post is satisfying my itch to notify the world I know the word.

Allow me to use it in a sentence.

“On the drive to the family farm, I spent a lot of time pondering a bucolic existence.”

Petrichor
[PET-ri-kuhr]
Noun
In short, the smell of rain.

You know the smell in the air shortly before and lingering after a rainfall? Well apparently vegetation release certain oils which are absorbed into the ground and other surfaces when rainfall occurs after a dry period. (So the smell in the air is plant sweat?)

I love this word. I love the sound of it, but I also love how one word can explain so much.

Mental Floss first brought this word/meaning/phenomenon to my attention in this article: 10 Things You Didn’t Know
Had Names, www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/85591

And Michael, on his Vsauce channel over on YouTube, also dedicates time to petrichor in a recent video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k85eD_tQZo&t=5m04s


This post was drafted, edited, and posted using the WordPress for Android app, and typed using Swype.

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