iPhones Are Getting Expensive

I just ordered a new iPhone.  I’ve been using the same iPhone 6 Plus for 4 years now and am tired of it not fitting in my jeans pocket when riding a motorcycle.  If I didn’t want a smaller phone, I probably wouldn’t have upgraded.  More on that later…

I ordered a silver iPhone Xs and a green leather case for it.  I think it looks pretty sharp.  With the camera bump on the back, I think that the case is required equipment.  The total cost was over $1200, but Apple is giving my $100 for my old phone.

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Although it is a lot of money, I feel really good about the purchase, especially after watching the September Keynote address.  In it Apple stated the making phones last longer is a specific business strategy for them.  Horace Dediu has a great right up on it, Lasts Longer.

Essentially, without the carrier subsidies, people aren’t upgrading their phones as much.  I used to update mine every 2 years.  Back then it wasn’t like they were going to make your monthly bill smaller after paying for 2 years, so everyone always got a new phone.  That was awesome for the companies selling you phones.

Now that the subsidies are gone, that incentive to upgrade every two years is gone.  My wife and I held on to our phones for 4 years and she still doesn’t want to upgrade hers.  So what are these companies to do?  I think Apple’s approach is to be known as the company that makes phones that last the longest and charge more for that. What they are willing to do is sell you a phone that lasts 2-3 times as long for 1.5-2 times the price.

I think they are really serious about this.  I’ve been running the test version of iOS 12, the version that comes out this month and it is impressive.  It made my old iPhone 6 Plus run faster than the day I bought it.  That is great, considering that most operating system releases try to take advantage of the new phone hardware to add new features.  That makes the older phones run slower.  Not this time.  It sped up and it sped up a lot.  And iOS 12 supports some really old phones.  It supports the iPhone 5s that came out 5 years ago.

My advice is this.  If you are in the market for a new phone then take into consideration that you will hold on to that phone for 3-5 years now.  Does your phone get regular software updates?  Will it be getting software updates after 2 years?  And if you have an iPhone that is feeling slow and think it is time to upgrade, wait a minute.  The new iOS 12 is coming out soon and your old phone might feel brand new again.

Xcode 10

Apple has a winner with Xcode 10.  With macOS Majave it gained Dark Mode which many of you have seen in other IDE’s and pro level tools.  Not only does it make it look futuristic and cool, it is actually reduces eye strain by reducing how much brightness is pushed at you.

Beyond that, I’m having trouble putting my finger on what is so much better about Xcode 10.  It feels like I am fighting it less often.  Maybe it is because I have gotten more experience with it over the years, but I think something is different.  It’s like the searches are more accurate and navigation takes you where you expect it too.  Autocomplete seems to work better too.  It is certainly more stable than Xcode 9, even while still in beta.

I’m not quite sure I would say that Apple has caught up to Jet Brains or Microsoft for IDE’s, but I think they are closing the gap.

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