Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security

iPhone 5

Secret to a 3 minute better you

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment

Why continuous improvement is important

Companies have competitors, but so do employees. There are others that can do your job, the questions is who can do it better. Continuous development through education (formal and informal) is the only way to keep and and hopefully move ahead. Moving ahead means you gain unique differentiating qualities that hopefully will lead to promotions, better compensation and maybe lead to the job you've been dreaming of.

By improving who you are, you gain the ability to deliver better services to clients, your company, colleagues and friends. A true professional is always striving to become better so that they may serve their entourage better. It increases the value you deliver to others and it increases your value.

ipsa scientia potestas est - aka Knowledge is power
— Sir Francis Bacon

Continuous improvement is important both in your professional space and your personal one. You need to become better at what you do (your chosen profession) and who you are (your ability to handle different situations and make the best possible decisions). Sure in good times, better knowledge could lead to promotions but in bad times, it could be the difference that helps you keep you job. 

So continuous personal development improves knowledge, skills and ability. At the same time it strengthens confidence and many times this new calm, cool confident you results in you being more relaxed (even in though situations) which means it improves your well-being.

The bank can take your house or car but they cannot take away your knowledge. What you learn is yours to keep and will benefit you your entire life. An investment in yourself is the best investment you can make.

The 3 minute secret

The biggest complaint I hear from people is that they want to learn and improve but they just don't have the time

Time is one commodity we can't buy or make more of. So in the spirit of helping you improve without consuming large amounts of your personal time, I present to you the GetNugget.co app. It is a small and simple iPhone & Android app that distills the wisdom of thousands of well reviewed books into small easy to consume information snippets.

They have thousands of books grouped in these categories:

  • Biographies
  • Business
  • Business Strategy
  • Creativity
  • Health & Happiness
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Money
  • Our Journey
  • Personal Development
  • Sales
  • Science
  • Startups & Entrepreneurship

When you open the app the first time, you are asked to chose categories that interest you.

Then you are presented with books of interest.

When you chose a book, you get the nuggest for that book.

When you click on a nugget, you get the full screen view.

And all of this for free. So go download it now and become smarter.

Apple European USB chargers may be dangerous

technologyEdward KiledjianComment

Apple has announced a USB Adapter replacement program for Europe. This recall affects both in box and sold-separately USB adapters. Apple says they may "overheat" and "pose a safety risk". 

These adapters were sold or delivered with iPhones from 2009 until 2012.

Model A1300 - affected model

Model A1300 - affected model

Model A1400 - New unaffected model

Model A1400 - New unaffected model

You can access Apple's information page here (link)

WIFI 3G enhancing Absolute Linkase Pro for iPhone 5s Review

technologyEdward KiledjianComment

We are a society that prides itself on always being connected and there is nothing more frustrating that having weak WIFI or 3G that causes intermittent connectivity flickering. I experience this most often when using hotel WIFI. Sometimes my room is just at the edge of the reception range and I have to walk around trying to find the best spot to get a signal.

Absolute (link) developed its Linkase (for iPhone 5 and 5s) specifically to help you get a signal when you might otherwise not. It does this using an Electromagnetic Wave Guide to direct more of that signal goodness directly into your devices internal antenna. 

Anytime I do a review, the question I want to answer is: "Is the device worth the $39 asking price?" Read on to find out...

Let's get physical

The case itself is made from a hard solid feeling plastic. It has a slightly graining feeling which makes the (normally) slippery iPhone much easier to grip. It measures 126.4mm x 61.2mm x 10.8 mm, which means it is extremely thin and doesn't add bulk to your phone. It is smaller and more compact that the original Apple brand leather iPhone 5s case.

It has 2 EMV antennas:

  • Top one for WIFI boosting
  • Bottom one for 3G boosting (LTE versions available by region)

As you can see, there is a cutout for the camera and there is a cutout for the side control buttons and the bottom (speaker, microphone and lightning connector).

The EMW sensor is a special material that traps the WIFI or 3G signal and forces it towards you devices internal antenna (without requiting any plugs, cables or device modification). When the antennas are not in use (you can use 1 or both at any given time), they cleanly slide into the case and disappear. 

I used the case with a ZAGG InvisibleShield screen protector and it worked perfectly together.

All of the original iphone controls work very well and are easily accessible. The only difficulty is getting the hard shell on and off.

Unlike the "real" protective cases, this devices primary job is boosting your WIFI /3G signal and therefore it doesn't offer much protection if your phone is dropped. It will prevent scratches but don't expect real dependable drop protection. You give up drop protection in exchange for sleekness.

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Does the Linkase Pro work?

I tested the WIFI portion at home, at work and in a coffee shop. Each time I tested network performance using the IOS Speedtest.net app and performed at least 4 pairs of tests (1 pair = with case then without the case).  I ensured that for each pair, the phone didn't move and that the same Speedtest.net endpoint server was being used. I performed 4 pairs of tests to ensure the results where one-off issues.

I discovered that when I was in a good WIFI zone, the case actually seemed to slightly negatively impact WIFI performance. Standing about 10 feet from my Asus 801.11n router, I was downloading around 26.5Mbps without the case and 23.2-24.9 with the case. Surprisingly upload speeds seemed not affected.

But the case is built for low signal boosting so I walked far enough to where the WIFI signal was at 1 bar without the EMW antenna deployed. I then performed the tests again and the case didn't improve download or upload speeds. At this distance, the case had no performance impact on download/upload speeds.

For each test, I also loaded popular websites CNN, Kiledjian.com, Yahoo, Google (clearing cache between each test) and performance wasn't materially different (with or without the case).

My final test was WIFI boosting capabilities in a dead spot. I walked just to the point where my iPhone lost the wifi signal (walking a couple of feet back would bring the signal back). I deployed the WIFI EMV and then checked the network settings app to see if the iPhone could see the WIFI network beacon (with and without the case) and it couldn't. 

What about the 3G boosting capabilities?

I performed similar tests on the 3G boosting capabilities which was easy because I work in a building and area with bad cell reception. The 3G boosting capabilities were just as bad as the WIFI ones. 

For the purpose of comparison, I also tested signal boosting ability of my Wilson Electronics 3G/LTE Active powered booster and this one made a difference to reception quality and strength. Of course I expected the Wilson to perform better since it is powered and has active electronics.

Verdict

This was one of those products that I really really wanted to work. I loved its promise of signal boosting and could imagine dozens of different uses for me (especially when travelling). Unfortunately (in my tests), it didn't provide any benefit WIFI or 3G.

For the purpose of completeness of testing, I installed the case on a non-technical friends iphone 5s and asked him to give me his feedback. A couple of days later he said he didn't notice any change (positive or negative). His exact comment was "With the case, I have the exact same reception as without the case. Dead spots are dead and when I'm in the basement, I get the same abysmal wifi I have always had".

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Best iPhone 5/5s battery case

technologyEdward KiledjianComment
Mophie Juice pack Plus 2100 MmAh battery pack for iPhone 5

Mophie Juice pack Plus 2100 MmAh battery pack for iPhone 5

Everyone with a smartphone has experienced the pain of running our of power just when you need it most. Sure you can always carry around an external battery pack but always on batteries cases are the go to solution for many.

It seems everyone I talk to knows about the Mophie line of products but check out their Amazon rating (Juice Pack Air has a rating below 3) and you'll quickly realize that popular doesn't mean best. 

In fact the comments you read on Amazon are telling. Most complain about the device breaking within a couple of months. My own experience mirrored these comments. I had 2 Mophie juice pack airs that broken in under 3 months (1 broke during an overseas trip which cause many headaches).

What I looked for when choosing a battery pack case

I wanted a real brand that offered a verifiable MFI Apple certification (no cheap Chinese knock offs) 

An iPhone 5 has a 1440mAh battery and a 5s has a 1560mAh therefore I need a case that can fully charge my iphone at least once. You have to take into account the power loss due to design or power transfer as well (so my minimum mAh was 1700 and above).

Fast charging time for the battery and fastest charging time of my device.

The Winner is...

The best battery I have found is the Lenmar Meridien IPhone case.

Most cases offered battery capacities close to what they were advertising but Lenmar was the most accurate with its 2300mAh claim. It charged quickly itself and charged my iPhone (20%) within 15 minutes. 

It is a one of the most slim and svelte battery cases out there and the price is extremely competitive at about $US50 on Amazon (link).

That being said, the buttons are a little difficult to access.

The other issue I encountered was diminished cell phone reception (less bars). Every case that covers the entire phone suffers from this issue. In areas with strong reception, this wasn't an issue but my office is a shielded building and I get 1/2 bars at best without a case. With the Lenmar (and other full body cases), I sometimes experienced dropped calls or reception dropping to sub-1 bar performance. (I use Telus by the way).

Verdict

Overall this turned out to be a solid case with great performance and a few drawbacks. Having tested the Lenmar against the Mophie, uNu, Incipio and the Chinese knock-offs, I can say the Lenmar was the best. I was the slimmest and offered the best battery performance. 

If you want or need a battery case for your iPhone 5/5s, get this one.

Lenmar includes an extension cable so you can plug in your headphones.

Lenmar includes an extension cable so you can plug in your headphones.

Blackberry sues Ryan Seacrest's company

technologyEdward KiledjianComment
Image by bigpresh under creative commons license

Image by bigpresh under creative commons license

You may not know this but Ryan Seacrest is the founder of an iPhone accessory company called Typo. Typo designed and sells an add-on iPhone physical keyboard which Blackberry claims is a copy of its own proprietary design.

Here is a picture of the Typo keyboard installed on an iPhone 5s

Here is a picture of the Typo keyboard installed on an iPhone 5s

A report by CIO magazine says Blackberry has submitted a request to the US District Court in Northern California to block Typo from "making, using, offering to sell, or selling within the United States, or importing into the United States, the Typo Keyboard.”

Blackberry has said it will "vigorously" defend its unique keyboards intellectual property and of course Typo has said ”BlackBerry’s claims against [us] lack merit and we intend to defend the case vigorously.”

The first shipment of Typo keyboards is already sold out and new orders are expected to be delivered in March (each kit costs $99). If you own an iPhone 5s, be aware that you lose the fingerprint capabilities when this case is installed. You can order one directly from Typo keyboard if interested (link).