The Best iPhone X Cases

In my years of carrying a smartphone I have tried countless different brands and types of cases to protect them from day to day bumps. In a perfect would I would just not use one at all to be truthful. Nothing feels better than just a great designed device in your hand. Since the world we live in is full of hazards here are my favorite cases for the Apple iPhone X.

Notice: Links to products are affiliate links to Amazon. I do earn a percentage of the sale if you make a purchase, which I thank you for the support.

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The History of the Infinty Stones

Arris Quinones of Variant Comics on YouTube gives a great break down of the history surrounding the Infinity Stones. The Avengers: Infinity War is almost upon us. So now would be a great time to catch up with all of the history on how we got here.

How excited are you to see the largest movie in the MCU to date?

Apple is ready to make you see (Red) tomorrow

Following the trend from last year, Apple has released an iPhone into their Product (Red) line up in support of AIDS research. The purchases from Apple on this product line returns back to support testing, counseling and treatment for tens of millions of people living with AIDS.

The internal components of this iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are the same as the other color offerings with the same price-points. These simply feature a new coat of red on the outside. Apple has not reinvented anything from before so do not get your hopes up on new features. I believe Apple did listen to consumers from the iPhone 7 versions by changing the front panel from white to black.

Time for some content from Apple, MKBHD and Rene Ritchie of iMore to give more visuals and reviews of the new color.

Review: Super Mario Run – Quality, Repetitive Fun

Released mid-December Super Mario Run is the first Nintendo official release on iOS. Following the classic Mario story line the Princess must be rescued across several levels chasing Bowser along the way. Included is the Toad Rally where you run face to face with other players on who can collect the most coins and impress the Toads with different jumps. The coins you collecte can be used to design your own Mushroom Kingdom. Impressing the Toads cause them to join you unlocking more items to play around the castle. Super Mario run is featured for free as a trial then fully unlocked for $9.99.

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Five Things I Recommend for New Drone Pilots

1) Read the instruction manual. Watch the DJI videos based on your particular model

The saying goes “knowledge is power”. This is very true with your new drone. I know you are pumped to rip it out of the new box, put it on the table to install the props then run outside and take to the skies above. 


Slow down first to learn. It will allow you to be more prepared for when you do take flight. “Boring Brian!” you’re saying. I know right?! I am right. Though the alternative is an expensive crash then being butt hurt the rest of the day as you stare at your broken drone till parts come in. This will also prevent you from getting in financial trouble if you wreck into someone’s property.

Also refer to the FAA website regarding unmaned aircrafts for rules and registration if required. YouTube will also be an amazing resource for information. 

2) Remember how to play Resident Evil

Remember in Resident Evil how moving forward was not done by simply moving the sticks in that direction. The same goes for flying a drone. These are normally called Tank Controls. Forward to the drone is always the direction the front is facing. Not forward in relationship to where you are to it. 

I recommend launching the Flight Simulator in the DJI Go app. Now the app does have limitations when you “fly” it far away. It will become a speck on the screen quickly when practicing motions. I would move the drone where I can see it in the Sim then see how it reacts with different inputs. Another exercise I would complete was pick a spot on the map then fly there and back. 

3) Download UAV Forecast

UAV Forecast gives you insights on the weather and conditions outside for your flight. It also gives a recommendation if it is a good time or not to go. You can also check the future forecast for when it will be the time to fly later in the day, if it is not right now. 

Most helpful to me are the current wind conditions. It will use your phones GPS for locations or type in the address you are traveling to. 

4) Extend the controller sticks outward

When I have been flying my DJI Phantom it has been helpful to extend the controller sticks longer. With longer controller sticks it causes smaller movements to the drone to be made which results in smoother flight. Reduced jerking makes flight easier when you have started out. 

To adjust the controller sticks upward, simply turn them to the left similar to a nut. The underside will stay in place. When the top of the stick is further and comfortable tighten the bottom underside piece in place to keep them locked. 

5) Remain calm! 

The first time I flew I attempted to test the Return to Home feature. Due to my inexperience I cannot explain as to why but the drone took straight off into a tree. Luckily, I remained calm to cancel the Return to Home avoiding the tree. Deep breathes then thinking about your next move will reduce crashing your drone into the ground. 

Also I would avoid return to home unless it has disconnected from the controller, then cancel Return to Home yourself when it has joined back with the remote. Insure your Return to Home is set high enough to avoid all obstacles around you to avoid a wreck. 

Want to see me almost crash? Here’s the video!

I hope these help you get started with your new drone! I have been flying since the beginning of December so I am no expert. Though these items have helped me start out. 

Five Ways to Improve Customer Service Today

If your business deals with the outside world there will always be an element of customer service. If you are not directly involved with customer facing business and involved in a unsavory situation if you applied one of these ideas, I bet the situation would have been improved.
1 – Positivity breeds positivity

If the culture in your organization is a negative one this will impact everything you touch. When the entire staff is in a funk with a poor attitude your customers will feel this immediately in how they are dealt with. Some employees may hide it better than others which is great, and their presentation would be only improved if things were looking up. The negative remainder will only pull you further down. Address the issues the team is dealing with directly by objectively listening them to best assess the negativity. Understanding the environment will help you get a handle on everything. A positive environment will carry over just the same as a negative one does for your customer’s impression.

2 – Look at all the information BEFORE presenting a solution

Ask great questions to fully understand the situation. Get in the habit of asking those questions open-ended to get direct answers with detail rather than the simple “Yes/No” variety. Open-ended questions will allow for you to ask a follow up question if you need to dig deeper. Just because a situation that has arose before with a similar appearance you have now does not mean it is the same solution. Jumping in with both feet to a solution that does not correct anything will only waste more time resulting in declining the customer’s perception. Also you will begin to lose the opinion of being an expert in your field. Now doubts are raised for when you head down the avenue to correct the issue at with the correct solution. Double trouble.

3 – Tell what you CAN do for them. Not what you CANNOT do.

Not every customer interaction will have a positive outcome. This is not a perfect world. Though to improve the strike of disappointment it is simple. Give the customer options on what you can do for their situation. Not just negative aspects of their already bad situation. Also integrate number one on this list to soften the blow. It may not be the perfect solution they desire though if there are options it will be making progress. If the customer has just had a negative experience no need to bring it down even further with no. Customers are more likely to spread the word of what you did do for them in the situation rather than instead of telling others what you did not.

4 – You are the face of the organization. Behave as such.

When customers are upset they may take their frustrations out on you since you are right there. That’s fine. They are most likely good people just at the moment misdirected. They see you as the one causing the problem indirectly. They aren’t mad at you personally just the badge on your chest.

Do not step to levels of arguing back with them in their displeased attitude. It will not make progress for either yourself or the customer. (See 1 and 3) You are the face of the organization they seek to make improvements on their situations. Behave in a manner you would wish to be greeted with if roles were reversed.

5 – Change begins from the top down

If you are in the leadership position in the organization it is on your shoulders to dictate how the customer experience is maintained. If you permit a poor version to be conducted then do not become surprised when word comes back of it being that way. There is no exception for the experience to not be superb. You promote what you permit is the saying to sum this up. If the experience is not where you want it to be then begin the plan to get it where it needs to be. Set goals and celebrate those milestones when they are met.

Improved customer experience will increase the performance of any business. Treated well customers will become loyal to your brand looking for more.

Let me know in the comments what you think of the list. What would you add to this list?

Where Do Clients Often Become Dissatisfied with a Product?

Not understanding it. Why does your product have a request to be returned? They have no idea where to begin with using it so they do not find the value in keeping it.

In the world of client issues with the your product a majority can be aided with a simple fix: education.

Being the expert in your field of product or service gives you the advantage over others. The client came to see you for a particular reason. Give them that justification in seeing you by showing them they are correct in that assumption. Discover what your client expects from a product based on their needs then make the recommendation to give them the desired outcome. If your client has a predetermined idea for what you can provide discover why they feel that way and either reinforce their choice or steer them in the correct direction for what will meet their needs. Explain the why of each situation reinforce the outcome you are presenting to them based on their needs from you the expert.

Educate your client. I imagine area you work there is an understanding of it that is possessed beyond an outsider. Leverage this to your advantage simply by explaining inner workings, that is permitted, to them. Why your organization does the things it does. How the science behind a product works. What does it affect in their daily lives to be a benefit to them. Sit down with them on a personal level to discuss their concerns they have to work through them. Answer the questions that they have with confidence.

As time passes the product you worked together on before has now has most likely taken on a new meaning in their life. Give the client resources that will benefit them when they advance to a future stage then they are right now. Do not be afraid to allow the customer to reach out to you again for questions. If possible direct them on how they can get questions answered easily in online channels from the comfort of their own homes.

A satisfied client will become a loyal client for the future. Ensuring they will become loyal is to educate them at the beginning with giving them a security net of education to better understand what you have given them.

Seven Things I want from iPhone 7

This was written on September 6th after the even I have notated actual changes with italic.

Oh man, this place is dusty. It has been several months since I have posted on here. Yet, here I have returned.

Tomorrow is September 7th, 2016 which means it is time for Apple’s See you on the 7th event. Of course, this will be the event where Tim Cook and team reveal the next generation of iPhone. I figured the night before would be a great time to put my two cents in on what I hope the event will show us.

Here we go:

1. Improved front camera 1080p 60fps – With the new apparent camera improvements there is no reason why the front facing camera cannnot be bumped up to 1080p resolution from the current 720p. Vloggers would go nuts for the bumps making the iPhone an ultimate video device.

*Bingo* Apple has improved the iPhone 7 to include a 7MP front facing camera that records at 1080p though no mention as of yet of the frames per second.

2. Apple Pencil support – The Apple Pencil would be an amazing addition to combat Samsungs explosive release on the Note 7 with the ability to create even more while on the go. Perfect for notes or pocket sketches. RIP Moleskine

Not a new feature. Strike one!

3. Water proof – It would drastically help creatives with the ability to create content in any condition, this includes rain. No special cases that reduce audio quality. Nothing causing the screen to be less responsive with layers of plastic on the top.

Apple rated the iPhone 7 as IP67 under IEC standards 60529 which means in English Ingress Protection for 6 rating of solids protections (highest dust resistance) and 8 for water between 15cm and 1 meter depth.

4. 128gb middle storage – Apple releasing devices with 16GB of storage should be dead. Even with a few basic apps 16GB becomes full to quickly. It is a poor user experience when devices cost as much as they do currently. Now the 128GB being the middle ground is perfection. Yes it is to much for most users but that is perfect. Now storage space is no longer a concern when it is time to record a family function they don’t want to forget.

Revealed as 32Gb, 128GB and 256GB

5. Flat black – I see the rumors of a new colors coming with a flat black and piano black killing Space Grey. Gloss black looks amazing though I know I would be constantly cleaning it with my shirt to remove smudges. Flat black is perfect in my book.

Features new color of Jet Black (Gloss) and new black which is flat black I wanted released. Space Grey is dead.

6. Better battery life – I have no complaints with the battery life in my current iPhone 6s Plus. That being said it would be great to make it on the days where I have used my device more to come back with a bit more left in the tank.

iPhone 7 is improved two hours and iPhone 7 + is one hour. I’ll take this as a win.

7. Improved camera with depth of field control – I tweeted earlier last week if Apple adds this feature bokeh will then rule the land.  Adding the ability to control depth of field will allow Apple to challenge the large appeal of using a DSLR camera, bokeh. Bokeh is the blurry background effect being a central focus point in a photo. Instagram better brace for the flood.

This is the new feature for the iPhone 7+ dual camera with depth of field and 2x optical zoom then 10x digital zoom. Also RAW photos are now an option for those wanting untouched images.

What do I think of the removal of the headphone jack as rumored by many? Meh. Does not bother me at all currently. I use Bluetooth for listening to music or podcasts. In the car I use the dock connector for charging and music currently as it is. My headphone jack is rarely used anymore. If it is the last thing standing in the way from a thinner iPhone then it can go. I am sure there will be a solution for those wish to still regularly use their 3.5mm hole.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. I really want to hear your opinion.

I am super impressed with the new offerings Apple has revealed today. (Of course!) Now comes the nerves part of waiting for a new phone to get in my hands!

Review: Venture Kid for iOS

Venture Kid for iOS released on January 13th, and I am already blown away. As a younger lad, and even to this day, I have always been a fan of the Mega Man franchise. The 2D play forming style with run and gun shooting was more entertaining to me than the stomping on enemies of a certain Italian Plumber. As time has gone on, simple platforming has become a lost art of game play in favor of more sophisticated games. Time also has caused me to not be as active in the game playing universe. I was also passed up with the countless systems that have been released. Now any games I play are casual ones on my cell phone.

Enter Venture Kid. (I would have a booming echo if it was easily applied to the text you are reading.) I appreciate the work that FDG Mobile Games has put into this release for iOS. With the most respect I do not mean to have the game overshadowed by Mega Man comparisons, but the number of resemblances are striking. Your hero plays through different levels defeating enemies as the game progresses then getting upgraded weapons when you defeat the end stage boss. There are power ups along the way to raise health, refill weapon ammo, and collect currency to purchase extra boosts. Each level has a theme with the first three being: forest, city and desert. Pretty similar styles of games? Without a doubt.

Though here is what has me excited for Venture Kid. The game controls are smooth. Easy to play without having to contort your fingers to tap on screen buttons. Other similar games, even the ported to portable Mega Man series, do not play anywhere as easily as Adventure Kid does on a touch screen. In the screen shot above you will see how simple they are, right and left controls for movement, B to shoot, and A to jump. I recommend other game developers take a look at how this game operates for how to manage their controls. With the input being very responsive it means you don’t have to think ahead to how you will clear a section of the level. I am very impressed with Venture Kid’s take on action platforming on a touch screen.

Venture Kid is $1.99 right now in the Apple AppStore. There are in app purchases available though optional to experience enjoyable. I hope that this game just grows with time with more levels to play.

Venture Kid in the AppStore

Review: Logitech Create for iPad Pro 12.9″

Unfortunately in this world we live in accidents happen far to often. So reluctantly, I must carry all of my devices in a case. This is no exception for my iPad Pro I was recently gifted from my amazing wife this holiday season. My mission before it arrived was clear: Find a case to protect my new Apple baby.

As an Apple fan, I prefer to keep my iPhones and iPads in their respective protection that their home company offers. I was disappointed to discover Apple did not offer the iPad Pro in a leather Smart Case I have used in the past.  I was presented with a silicone back cover in either black or white with a Smart Cover or Smart Keyboard to protect the screen when closed. I have used the Smart Cover before with my original iPad Mini just to find the back Slate color significantly scratched after time. The silicone back case did not peek my interest unfortunately due to it being the similar version for my iPhone 6 Plus with tearing forming quickly around the Lightening port and always fighting with dust sticking to the outside. I thought the new Keyboard case was intriguing yet daily I did not have a need for it. So my mission had to look else where for a solution.

Google searches came up with the usual sleeves and tough cases which do not fit my style. Continuing my mission for protection I ran across the Logitech Create Keyboard which was featured on a number of sites due to its Smart Connector usage.

Enter the Logitech Create for the iPad Pro.

This is the same frame of the Create case Logitech offers just without the Smart Connector keyboard installed. It features an AnyAngle Stand that is a hinge to keep the iPad Pro in the angle you intend without it slipping and falling down. The angled hinge is great for watching videos and lowers down to an angle for typing with the on screen keyboard. The front cover of the case activates the auto on/off features of the iPad when closed saving battery life. Materials it has been made of are important for durability with the Create being covered in a woven premium fabric to ward off any liquids that may be spilled on it while exposed in the world. Naturally, bumps are prevented by the surrounding case covering the edges. All usable aspects of the iPad Pro are still functional with access to charging, headphones, speakers, and volume keys built into the Create. You have four color options for the Create: Classic Red on Gold, Classic Blue on Silver, Iris on Black and what I selected Black on Black. The retail price for this protection is $79.99 currently from Logitech.
With using the Logitech Create I have enjoyed the case. It protects my iPad while it is carried in my backpack from scratches to the it’s body and glass.  The hinge built into the back is a great feature to keep it where I want it to be angled depending on my task at the moment. I was afraid at first of the limits the hinge would have at lower angles though after a small prayer I pushed it down to where it would be usable for typing. My worries were casted aside as it went lower without any issue. The Create case is made with high quality materials that feel great in my hand with the body lines all matching up around the device. I have yet to spill anything on my iPad, and hope I never do, but the materials feel comparable to fabrics I have felt that will any deflect liquid away. The build quality is completely established from Logitech in the the Create.
I am very impressed with using it with the exception of a few minor items. Typing for a long period of time at the reclined angle causes for the iPad to bounce, so long documents may become tedious. I did discover that patience is key for getting my iPad installed. It was difficult for myself to align both sides to correctly fit in. The case installation is not a outstanding issue though as it has not left the case since it arrived. In regards to fit the volume buttons can take practice to hit exactly through the side of the Create. This is due to the case having two nubs where it meets the actual buttons that seem to miss their mark occasionally and require another press to adjust the volume.
Would I recommend the Logitech Create to protect your new iPad Pro? Yes I would. It does a great job of keeping your iPad Pro out of harm’s way. It is priced fairly with regards to Apple’s offerings of compatible protection as a complete unit. The Create offers function for what the iPad Pro is designed to do with light typing use and stands tall for easy content viewing.

The Logitech Create is available now for your iPad Pro directly here for $79.99.