2020 Home Screen – iPhone 12 Pro

Here’s the yearly share of my iPhone home screen.

The big change this year was moving Facebook and Twitter in to the Social group, creating an extra step, which has helped limit my usage. I think it’s time for a new wallpaper.

Check out previous screenshots from 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2010.

iPhone 11 Pro Night Mode Photos at Cedar Point

Night mode on the iPhone 11 Pro is impressive. Here are some shots I took at Cedar Point on Saturday night. Other than cropping, I haven’t made any other adjustments to the images. The most impressive one for me is the second one (Millennium Force with the blue and purple lights) because I was walking when I took it.

Hidden Wireless Charging in my Desk

After getting a set of AirPods this year I thought it would be nice to have wireless charging at my desk. I like using the touch pad on my MacBook pro, so this mouse pad drawer doesn’t get used and I got the idea to embed a charger in it.


I bought a cheap $10 wireless charger.


It won’t charge very quick, but it doesn’t have to when I’m sitting there working most of the day. I figured it would be a fun project and the worst that could happen is I fail and I’m out $10. I opened up the case and there wasn’t much to it.


Then there was only one small screw to remove and the electronics were free.



I forgot to take any other pictures until I had put everything back together. After pulling up the top of the mouse pad, there was some foam underneath. I traced the electronics and USB cable to make a cut out in the foam. Then I used a chisel to carve out the particle board until there was a deep enough recess. I drilled a few holes for wires and the LED. I had cut the LED off of the circuit board so I could route it to the front of the drawer. I soldered on some wires to connect the LED back to the board, hot glued everything in place, and then used super glue to put the mouse pad top back on. Overall it was an ugly hack job. Over to the right is a picture of the holes and wiring underneath.

Check out this short video of the charging in action.

BTW, the mouse pad drawer has two identical halves, so if I ever decide to use a mouse again (it’s been at least 5 years since I had one), I’m good to go.

I Switched from AT&T Wireless to Spectrum Mobile

AT&T has been shit inside my house for the last six months or so. My phone makes weird noises to the people on the other end of a call and often cuts in and out unless I’m standing by my big kitchen window. So I’d been planning to switch to Verizon. Then a friend told me about Spectrum Mobile, which actually uses the Verizon network. They have two plans:

  • By the Gig: $14 per GB of data usage
  • Unlimited: $45 a month

The By the Gig plan sounded really cool and perfect for me because I usually use less than 1GB of data per month and rarely more than 2, unless I’m traveling. In the Spectrum account you can set notifications and it’s easy to switch between the two plans in the middle of a month, with no penalties. So if I was going to go over 3GB of usage, I’d just change to Unlimited for the month and then back after the billing cycle.

I’ve been paying about $73 a month for service through AT&T! That’s ridiculous for how little data I use and the handful of times I talk on the phone each month. If you don’t have a family plan, these cell phone companies basically rob you. $14-28 for most months with a maximum of $45 is much more reasonable.

The decision to switch was a win-win; better network and cheaper bill. I paid off the remaining 5 installments for my iPhone X and made the request for AT&T to unlock my phone. Then I ordered a free SIM card from Spectrum, paying a one-time activation fee of $10, plus $14 for the first month of service.

Screen Shot 2019-06-08 at 9.13.25 AM

Apparently the monthly charges even include the taxes and fees here in Michigan.

Screen Shot 2019-06-08 at 9.12.50 AM

I couldn’t believe how easy the entire process was. I never had to talk to anyone at AT&T to pay off or unlock my phone, which felt like a miracle. The Spectrum sign-up process was much better than any other time I’ve signed up for something with them (or the old Charter). After the SIM card arrived (in 3 days) I went through the activation (also a breeze) and I did have to call AT&T to cancel service with them.

Yesterday I called my mom for her birthday and I was able to have a conversation from my office, so it’s already much better than AT&T.

2018 Home Screen – iPhone X

Here’s the latest in what is now a yearly screenshot of my home screen.

I’d previously posted in 2017, 2016, and 2010. I decided not to upgrade to the iPhone XS this year, so I have the same phone. The biggest changes are I’m back to a single page and I’ve filled the last space with the Tesla app.

Skip iPhone X S?

I’ve been getting the new iPhone every year since 3 or 4 I think, even the S models. I think I’m going to skip this year though. My iPhone X still runs great and I wasn’t too impressed with the updates for this round.

Are you upgrading from an X? If so, what got you excited?

Accidental iPhone X Modes

Something I’ve noticed more and more with the iPhone X is I accidentally trigger some modes a lot more than I ever did with previous models. Here are 14 screenshots and pictures (actually a lot more since five of these are burst modes) I took today while leaving the gym.

Two other things I trigger all the time are the Apple Pay prompt and Emergency calling. Thankfully I haven’t called an emergency contact yet. Maybe it’s because I enabled Raise to Wake for use with Face ID, which was never enabled before.

Does anyone else have these issues?

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