QOTD: would you use a pencil on your iPhone?

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Definitely nervous about trying the plus size, if I end up not liking it. Almost want to experiment, like get a cheap(?) 6plus from somewhere when the 8 comes out, and use it for a few weeks. But if the plus size offered pencil support, or this time I could say “oh the plus camera is REALLY worth it now” – maybe. Kirk

In terms of Pencil, I use it all the time with my iPad. I don’t take notes on paper, and I sometimes find reading a document and writing on it in pen easier than doing so via a computer and keyboard — and I turn to my iPad and Pencil.

In face, I use the Pencil so much that I ended up buying a second one on eBay, so that I have one on my desk and one in my bag for use when travelling.

Yes, I sound like a fanboy, but the Pencil is streets ahead of a normal stylus on an iPad (and I know, because I used those for years too). It really is just like writing on paper, and my handwriting is almost good enough for GoodNote’s writing-to-text conversion to work most of the time. (It’s recognition is not perfect, but it is definitely good.) Neil

So, if Apple released a pencil that worked naturally with an iPhone, would you use it? If, for example, your words could be translated to digital text and if the process was so good that it could be used in many different app.

Personally, I would see this as a big advantage, but suspect that the process of making something like this work acceptably on a phone would be very difficult.

What apps should we be using?

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I’d be interested in people’s daily/weekly/monthly used apps, but it’s a bit narcissistic for me to want to post my own, and I’m not sure if the results are all that interesting. Kirk

Well, I think something like this could be interesting because it is the perfect stage for us to learn if there are alternative apps out there that would be fun, interesting and helpful. It is all too easy to get stuck in a way of working and to only use a set number of apps that you have used for many years, but it’s also likely that for every app you use, there is a better one out there.

Just like music, you probably have a set number of artists that are your favourites. But, if you somehow had the ability to listen to all of the music in the world, it is likely that you would have a whole new group of favourite artists overnight.

So, I will quickly run through the third-party apps that make my days easier-

PocketMoney 2

Likely the most important app I use. I have had it installed on every iPhone I have owned and it helps to manage my finances in a very traditional, and highly visual, way. It has no downsides at all in my opinion.

Awesome Note

It doesn’t get the amount of use it used to, but for me it is still a highly flexible note taker that offers something a little more than what you get elsewhere. Having said that, Apple Notes kills it for quick note taking and for the extra security.

Todo

I use the original version as opposed to the Cloud version and it has now taken over from my calendar as my main organisational tool. Absolutely love it.

Tweetbot

Twitter is a mess on iOS, with Tweetbot it isn’t. If you use Twitter often, get this.

Pocket Casts

I have used this on my daily commute forever, and I have seen no other app that does a better job of organising podcasts and playing them than this one.

TomTom

It’s not easy to get the original app anymore, which is simply brilliant, because TomTom is promoting the GO Mobile app instead which is simply awful!

So, that’s it really. These are the apps I use the most. What are yours and why?

What is your watch face?

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A bit of a strange question and it’s possible that the majority of you do not wear a smart watch. However, if you do what does your look like and why did you choose it? Feel free to send yours with a screenshot to shaun (at) mailstm.co.uk and I will post it here.

Mine is the most basic setup I could live with. I just need the time, date, battery percentage and an indication of my activity. The second-hand had to be walnut because that’s a colour I love to see in real watches.

What’s exciting now in terms of hardware?

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I lusted after many of these, but I only just had a few. So what’s exciting now in terms of hardware? Personally I love what Samsung has done with the Edge. I have 7 more days to decide whether to stick with my new Lenovo Yoga Book or not, which more or less reminds me of my old netbook but it’s seriously light and thin with instant on and great battery life! (I have the Android Version.) So why is there so little innovation in terms of hardware these days? Or maybe there is and I’m just not seeing it? Or maybe it’s more internal rather than external? Or maybe the change has moved more towards accessories like smart watches etc. vboelema

A very good point. The industry has settled on slabs that are as much screen as possible with the occasional tweak coming in phones like the Samsung Edge.

The question is, and it’s a very hard one to answer, what can manufacturers possibly do to make their hardware unique and easier to use than a plain slab of screen? I am struggling to think of anything apart from a fold-out hardware keyboard, but those days seems to have gone already.

What do you want the next iPhone to look like?

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The rumours are already filling up the web, but none of us really knows what is to come and now MacRumors has shown us the above to offer a relief when it comes to battery life.

I think I would be happy if there was a version of the next iPhone that was only marginally larger than the iPhone SE, but with a screen that fills most of the front. And of course better battery life, the ability to charge it from 10 miles away (joking) and something new that I never considered. Something that makes me sit up and look closer than I did at the iPhone 7.

So, what do you want to see?