Sunday, June 24, 2018


When I was using the iPhone 6s I used Air Transfer to move files from the phone to my PC.

That worked as well as anything can with an iOS device.

When I moved to the Essential I resumed using Bluetooth to move files from the phone to the PC. But Bluetooth isn't as fast as Wi-Fi.

I liked the way that Air Transfer set up a web server on the phone that you browsed to from your PC. I searched the Google Play Store for something similar.

I ended up with Sweech. The free version works fine.

It works similar to Air Transfer but transfers in BOTH directions.

When you browse to the Sweech web server you can drag and drop files from your PC onto the web page and Sweech will transfer the files to the phone.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Essential Portrait Mode

The Essential PH-1 has gotten a lot of bad press about its camera. Most of it was well deserved, especially early on.

But Essential has been working hard to improve the experience. They updated the camera app 11 times in the first 5 months.

It will take new hardware in the (not going to happen) PH-2 to resolve completely but the current software has smoothed out the rough edges.

The release at the end of November 2017 added a portrait mode.

I noticed the setting recently and have played with it.

I took these photos without playing with any of the adjustments.

Click on either photo to see higher resolution versions.

It worked just as well on an actual portrait photo.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Again, Again, and Again

When I last blogged about my Essential Phone experience I didn't really tell the whole story.

I bought a Sprint version of the Essential on Swappa for $250. I worked some magic and got it carrier unlocked. It worked fine for about 24 hours and then the cellular radio died.

I worked with Essential and they replaced the Sprint version with an refurbished unlocked version. That one worked fine but...

I put it back on Swappa and it sold for $350. Unbelievably I made $100 on my experiment.


Amazon put them on sale for $399.99. Amazon has an exclusive color of Halo Gray. It has a dark gray ceramic back and polished titanium frame.

So I bought my 3rd Essential Phone.

And I found a spring-clip belt holster by Encased.

I like the look of carbon fiber and the back of an Essential Phone is as slick as ... So I added a carbon fiber skin on the back.

I found a set of various length USB A to USB C cables.

I came across an Android app similar to the iOS app Air Transfer with the unusual name of Sweech. In a later post I'll describe how I use it.

Battery life has been excellent. My battery remaining at 10:00 PM has been 68%. A similar period on the iPhone 6s was 51%, Obviously the iPhone had a smaller, older battery though.

The vibration is still just so so.

My Bluetooth headphones still occasionally (but rarely) seem to switch from ear to ear. I found a reddit post that speculated that this is due to the Wi-Fi radio connecting to a new access point. There seems to be some merit to that as mine exhibits this switching in the same place on my morning walk, perhaps where there is a strong access point.

The Essential Phone's camera has gotten some really bad press but my experience shows that this is mostly resolved. Again a later post will discuss this.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

iOS 11 Keeps on Giving

Apple introduced iOS 11 along with iPhones 8 and X back on September 26, 2017. On October 8, 2017 I posted that iOS 11 had already been updated twice.

I couldn't have imagined that that rate would have been sustained.

iOS 11.4 was released on May 29, 2018, the 15th variant of iOS 11.

  1. 11.0
  2. 11.0.1
  3. 11.0.2
  4. 11.0.3
  5. 11.1
  6. 11.1.1
  7. 11.1.2
  8. 11.2
  9. 11.2.1
  10. 11.2.2
  11. 11.2.5
  12. 11.2.6
  13. 11.3
  14. 11.3.1
  15. 11.4

This is an average of a new version every 2 1/2 weeks.

And you thought Windows 10 was updating too often.