iPhone X Case Review Roundup 5: Pad & Quill, Spigen, OtterBox, LifeProof, Totallee and Sena

The fifth review of my iPhone X Roundup series focuses on Pad & Quill, Spigen, OtterBox, LifeProof, Totallee, and Sena. If you’ve missed my previous posts, I’m taking a close look at iPhone X cases from a range of manufacturers. We don’t often feature case reviews on MacRumors, but with the launch of the iPhone X and its new design, we felt it was worth exploring some of the available case options.

My previous reviews are below:

For all of these reviews, I’m looking at the general usability of iPhone X cases. Extreme drop tests and in-depth testing aren’t covered because those factors are less important than how a case works on an average day, and it’s often fairly easy to tell from design how protective a case is going to be.

Factors like bulk, button accessibility, general protection, grip, thickness, and appearance are what I focused on. All of the cases in this review roundup work with wireless chargers unless otherwise mentioned.

OtterBox

OtterBox used to be known primarily for its super bulky, ultra protective cases, but these days, OtterBox makes a lot of other cases that are still just as protective but add less bulk than the traditional Defender series.

Priced at $44.95, the Symmetry series offers OtterBox’s slimmest cases. When I say slim, though, I mean in comparison to other OtterBox cases, not “slim” cases in general. The Symmetry is still a very thick case with a hard shell back and a rubber interior that wraps around all sides of the iPhone X.



Symmetry cases are not unattractive, but they’re much thicker than I prefer for my iPhone. There is a thick lip that comes up over the display, and while a lip this thick protects the screen, it makes it undeniably more irritating to swipe up from the bottom of the display if you’re a person who swipes from the very bottom. The mute switch is difficult to get to because of the thickness of the case, and it may not work with some docks. On the plus side, the volume and power buttons are easy to press. This is definitely a case that feels like it’s going to offer a lot of protection from drops.



The Pursuit, priced at $69.95, is thicker and more protective than the Symmetry. It has a hard plastic body with a thick rubber that wraps around the side of the case. It snaps apart into two pieces so you can get your iPhone X inside, and snapping it back together can take a few minutes of attempting to align it.

Continue reading “iPhone X Case Review Roundup 5: Pad & Quill, Spigen, OtterBox, LifeProof, Totallee and Sena”

Spotify App Updated With Support for iPhone X Displays

Spotify updated its iOS app today with support for iPhone X, exactly two weeks since Apple’s latest smartphone launched. The update removes the letterboxing of Spotify’s interface on the iPhone X’s 5.8-inch OLED display, which should come as welcome news to heavy users of the app, allowing them to see more of track lists and search results on the screen, and more artwork when browsing albums and playlists.

“Stranger Things Mode” before (left) and after Spotify iPhone X update


The music streaming service is unusually late to the game on this front, with many top App Store apps already having updated their interfaces for the iPhone’s 1,125 × 2,436 resolution display, which results in roughly 20 percent additional vertical space for content compared to the 4.7-inch displays of the iPhone 6, 7, and 8.



Apple was naturally quick to publish human interface guidelines for developers coding iPhone X apps. The documentation explains the changes that need to be made to ensure apps make the most of the additional space. At the same time, the guidance warns developers away from encroaching on certain areas of the screen, including the rounded corners, sensor housing, and indicator for accessing the Home screen.

Spotify is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Tag: Spotify
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Apple Working With Intel on 5G Hardware for Future iPhones

Apple is “leaning heavily” towards choosing Intel’s 5G modems for its future iPhones, according to Fast Company. Apple engineers are said to be already working with Intel on upcoming 5G technology.

Apple’s discussions with Qualcomm about 5G modems, meanwhile, have been described as “limited.”



Citing a source with knowledge of Apple’s plans, Fast Company says that while Qualcomm 5G modems will offer more specialized carrier features, many of those features will not be adopted by carriers, leading Apple to believe Intel’s hardware will be sufficient for future devices.

The end game, multiple sources have said, is to build the Intel modem onto an integrated system-on-a-chip (SoC) that would also contain the CPU, GPU, and other iPhone components. The SoC would be co-designed by Intel and Apple and would be fabricated at an Intel facility.

Intel reportedly has “multiple thousands” of people working on 5G technology in an effort to catch up with Qualcomm and win the contract from Apple.

Intel this morning said that it had made “substantial advances” in its wireless product roadmap to accelerate the adoption of 5G. According to Intel, an end-to-end 5G call based on early 5G silicon has been completed successfully, which Intel says is a “key milestone in its development.”

Intel expects its first 5G chips to roll out in 2019, ahead of the wide rollout of 5G networks. T-Mobile just today said that it is planning to roll out its fifth-generation network across the United States by 2020, and most of the carriers in the United States are already experimenting with limited trials.

5G is expected to deliver speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than the average 4G connection, at a gigabit per second or higher, along with lower latency and other benefits.

Rumors that Apple is considering Intel’s 5G technology are in line with previous reports that have suggested Apple is considering eliminating Qualcomm chips from its 2018 iPhones and iPads.

Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle since the beginning of the year, which has continued to escalate over the months. Apple believes Qualcomm charges unfair royalties for “technologies they have nothing to do with,” while Qualcomm claims its technology is “at the heart of every iPhone.”

Apple and Apple suppliers have ceased paying royalties to Qualcomm amid the dispute, while Qualcomm has filed several patent infringement lawsuits against Apple and has asked for import/export bans in the United States and China.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Tags: Intel, Qualcomm, 5G
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Jony Ive Says Holding Onto Features When There’s a ‘Better Way’ is ‘Path That Leads to Failure’

After naming the iPhone X as one of the 25 Best Inventions of the Year, TIME sat down for an interview about the smartphone with Apple’s design chief Jony Ive and hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio.



Riccio believes the iPhone X paves the way for the next 10 years of smartphones, given its radical redesign with a nearly edge to edge display, no home button, and advanced cameras for facial recognition and augmented reality.

“There were these extraordinarily complex problems that needed to be solved,” said Ive. “Paying attention to what’s happened historically actually helps give you some faith that you are going to find a solution.”

That history includes, in part, Apple removing the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 last year, parting ways with the built-in disc drive on the MacBook Pro after 2012, and ditching the floppy drive on the iMac G3 in 1998.

“I actually think the path of holding onto features that have been effective, the path of holding onto those whatever the cost, is a path that leads to failure,” said Ive. “And in the short term, it’s the path that feels less risky and it’s the path that feels more secure.”

Ive acknowledged that it’s not always easy for Apple to move past a feature or technology when it believes there’s a “better way,” and it’s easy to see his point given the controversy that each change has generated.

Apple was criticized by a fair number of customers for removing the headphone jack on the iPhone last year, for example, and even competitors like Google and Samsung used it as an opportunity to poke fun at Apple.

After time, however, many customers usually learn to adapt. Google even removed the headphone jack on the Pixel 2 this year.

iPhone X is the most expensive iPhone ever, with a starting price of $999 in the United States, which Ive said is the “financial consequence” of “integrating the sheer amount of processing power into such a small device.”

“Our goal is always to provide what we think is the best product possible, not always the lowest cost,” added Riccio.

Despite being expensive, the iPhone X appears to be off to a successful start given sales estimates, and Apple’s forecast for an all-time revenue record this quarter. Orders placed today are still backlogged by 2-3 weeks.

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Jony Ive Says Holding Onto Features When There’s a ‘Better Way’ is ‘Path That Leads to Failure’

After naming the iPhone X as one of the 25 Best Inventions of the Year, TIME sat down for an interview about the smartphone with Apple’s design chief Jony Ive and hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio.



Riccio believes the iPhone X paves the way for the next 10 years of smartphones, given its radical redesign with a nearly edge to edge display, no home button, and advanced cameras for facial recognition and augmented reality.

“There were these extraordinarily complex problems that needed to be solved,” said Ive. “Paying attention to what’s happened historically actually helps give you some faith that you are going to find a solution.”

That history includes, in part, Apple removing the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 last year, parting ways with the built-in disc drive on the MacBook Pro after 2012, and ditching the floppy drive on the iMac G3 in 1998.

“I actually think the path of holding onto features that have been effective, the path of holding onto those whatever the cost, is a path that leads to failure,” said Ive. “And in the short term, it’s the path that feels less risky and it’s the path that feels more secure.”

Ive acknowledged that it’s not always easy for Apple to move past a feature or technology when it believes there’s a “better way,” and it’s easy to see his point given the controversy that each change has generated.

Apple was criticized by a fair number of customers for removing the headphone jack on the iPhone last year, for example, and even competitors like Google and Samsung used it as an opportunity to poke fun at Apple.

After time, however, many customers usually learn to adapt. Google even removed the headphone jack on the Pixel 2 this year.

iPhone X is the most expensive iPhone ever, with a starting price of $999 in the United States, which Ive said is the “financial consequence” of “integrating the sheer amount of processing power into such a small device.”

“Our goal is always to provide what we think is the best product possible, not always the lowest cost,” added Riccio.

Despite being expensive, the iPhone X appears to be off to a successful start given sales estimates, and Apple’s forecast for an all-time revenue record this quarter. Orders placed today are still backlogged by 2-3 weeks.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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iPhone X Named One of the ’25 Best Inventions of 2017′ by TIME

Apple’s new flagship iPhone X is one of the best inventions of 2017, according to a new list of the top 25 inventions of the year published this morning by TIME magazine.

The smartphone, which launched on November 3, features some of the most radical design changes Apple has introduced in an iPhone since the first iteration of the device launched in 2007. It does away with the Home button, includes an entirely new user interface that embraces new gestures, brings impressive new camera technology, and introduces next-generation biometric authentication in the form of Face ID.



Apple Design Chief Jony Ive says Apple was “looking to the future” with the decision to remove the Home button, and that holding onto features, even those that have been effective, “is a path that leads to failure.” As for cost, Ive says packing those features and impressive processing power into the iPhone X has “financial consequence.”

Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, says the iPhone X is “something we really wanted to do since day one.”

Based on estimates for demand, the iPhone X is a hit with consumers. It’s received largely positive reviews, and despite some bugs and hiccups with a small number of issues, its launch has been a success.

The iPhone X is just one of 25 products that were named the best inventions of the year. Other items that were highlighted by TIME include the Jibo robot, Halo Top low calorie ice cream, the heated Ember mug that keeps coffee warm, a multi-directional elevator, 3D printed Adidas shoes, the Tesla Model 3, the DJI Spark, the Nintendo Switch, and fidget spinners.

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Vimeo Announces Support for HDR Video Playback on iPhone X, 2017 iPad Pro, and Apple TV 4K

Vimeo today announced that support for high dynamic range (HDR) videos has officially arrived across the company’s entire suite of apps for the iPhone X, 2017 iPad Pro models, and Apple TV 4K. Vimeo said this means it’s “the only video-hosting platform available in HDR” on Apple’s platforms right now. This might be a reference to YouTube, which has been notably absent from including 4K video on its Apple TV app due to each company supporting different HDR codecs.

For Vimeo, the company said that it’s enabling HDR with 10-bit graphics and a BT.2020 wide color gamut by leveraging the next-generation High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard to keep file sizes at manageable levels. This will allow video makers and editors who shoot in HDR the ability to upload to Vimeo “in the highest color accuracy possible.”

We now support 10-bit video, which means the image quality is strikingly clear and cleaner than ever before. The precision and nuance of 10-bit allows us to upgrade from 16 million colors to 1 billion colors.

With BT.2020 (or Rec.2020) support and wider color gamuts (WCG), your image will now represent over 75% of the color that the human eye can see. That’s a big change: most modern color gamuts in videos are limited to a 35% color range. But with BT.2020, we can truly depict your deepest reds, brightest greens, and darkest blacks like never before.

The new support also unlocks resolutions in up to 8K, according to Vimeo, which viewers can watch on devices that support output of these resolution levels (4K, 5K, 6K, and 8K), or download them for file sharing later. Because Vimeo is also a video marketplace where creators can sell videos, the company noted that 8K Ultra HD support isn’t just about streaming video (since 8K displays are still nascent in the market), but also for selling, distributing, and submitting videos to festivals “in the best quality possible.”

Viewers will be able to know when a video is available in HDR with an included “HDR” badge on the video page and player, which Vimeo automatically detects and displays. Like all HDR and high-resolution content, viewers will need a screen that supports HDR 10 and HEVC, so anyone with an iPhone X, a model of the latest iPad Pro from 2017, and Apple TV 4K will be able to watch this content on their devices.

La La La from Rus Khasanov on Vimeo.



Vimeo content in HDR will also include a separate standard definition version of the video, for users who don’t have access to HDR-capable devices. Any device will be able to download HDR HEVC files so they can share and transfer the videos to other platforms, as well.

For more information on Vimeo’s HDR support, check out the company’s blog post here. Vimeo is available for free on the iOS App Store [Direct Link] and tvOS App Store.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, Apple TV, iPhone X
Tags: Vimeo, HDR

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iPhone X Shipping Estimates Improve to 2 to 3 Weeks in United States and Canada

Shipping estimates for the iPhone X have improved to 2 to 3 weeks in the United States and Canada, up from the previous 3 to 4 week shipping estimates that have been available since early November.

The new 2 to 3 week shipping estimates for North America follow improved shipping estimates in countries across Europe and Asia Pacific.



iPhone X models ordered today in the United States and Canada will now arrive well ahead of the holidays, in early December, making them available for holiday gifts.

Along with improving shipping estimates for devices purchased now from the online Apple Store, Apple has also been sending out iPhone X pre-orders more quickly than expected. Many MacRumors readers who had late November or December shipping estimates after ordering have already received their devices or are expecting them soon.

Apple retail stores are also receiving regular shipments and customers who check stock on Apple.com early in the morning and use stock-tracking tools like iStockNow have been able to make purchases with no wait time.

The iPhone X was in short supply at launch and pre-orders for the device sold out within just a few minutes, but Apple has been working hard to ramp up supply to get orders out to all customers over the holidays.

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