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Image Credit: Felix Mooneeram via Unsplash

If there is something that I have loved doing all my life, it is going to a movie theater to take in a new movie. There is something very peaceful about sitting in a theater and experiencing a movie without any interruptions. Especially in this hyper-connected world, there is a poetic feeling of disconnecting for a couple of hours while eating some overpriced junk food from the concession stand.

The movie theater experience is a slice of Americana that has somehow lived through the advent of the digital age. But it seems that this remnant of American society may soon be something of the past. …

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Image Credit: Nick Nice via Unsplash

Consider this scenario. You are walking down a street with someone by your side. As you walk, this person is giving you tips and critiques on which way to go. This is all going well, and you appreciate this person’s guidance. That is until you realize something. Every time they tell you to do something and you try to do it, they say that you should have done the opposite. If this sounds like an exercise in futility and hypocrisy, that’s because it is. And in a nutshell, it is the reality of what the analysis of the Google Pixel line of phones has become. …

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Image Credit: Markus Winkler via Unsplash

Have you ever thought about something that a company should make but they never do? I’m sure back in the 90s, someone thought to themselves “Why does Porsche only make sports cars? I bet they could engineer an awesome sedan”. This fictional person would have been validated when the Porsche Cheyenne came to market. I find myself bearing this level of validation with the rumors that Apple is close to finally ditching Google and Microsoft and just saying screw it, let’s make our search engine. On the surface, this might seem like a silly idea. After all, Google and Bing do a great job of working with the iPhone and other Apple products. …

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Image Credit: Isabella and Louisa Fischer via Unsplash

Religion is a funny thing. It is so important to so many people, it defines the identity of many people and shapes their moral compass. But it is also a taboo element of conversation at the same time. If you have ever had a single friend going out on a date that asks for advice on what to say or what not to say, a general bit of advice is usually to not discuss politics or religion. …

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Image Credit: Alex Gagareen via Unsplash

When I was in high school I lived in Amman, Jordan. During this time I learned a lot about myself, my family, and my Palestinian culture. Some of my best friends during that period were my cousins. People that I used to only see once a year were now the people I was spending my weekends with. This was during the early 2000s, and like many teenage boys, we played video games. There was one game series that we all seemed to love and gravitate towards and that was the Need For Speed Underground series.

We loved these games for the fast racing gameplay and the plethora of vehicle customization options. Now, in Jordan, the legal driving age is 18 so we would spend time discussing how we would modify our cars when we got them just like in the game. We would run through countless scenarios in the type of paint job, rims, and spoilers we would put on our cars. There was a sense of breaking the mold, where we would be the generation to make car customization normal and we would love every moment of it. …

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Image Credit: James Yarema via Unsplash

Sometimes a product is released that makes you wonder why it even exists. It could be an off the wall flavoring in a drink or snack, or perhaps a service that seems to offer no utility to warrant its existence. The recently shuttered mobile video streaming service Quibi comes to mind in this regard. But there are times when a product comes out that will sell well, and you still question its reason for being released. This has been my reaction to one of Apple’s new phones: the iPhone 12 Pro.

Improvement and Stagnation

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Image Credit: Daniel Romero via Unsplash

Last year, when Apple released the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro there was a $300 price difference between the two models. At the time, I thought that there was a reasonable argument to be made for making that jump to the more expensive model. The screen of the 11 Pro was an OLED with a higher resolution as opposed to the lower resolution LCD panel found on the iPhone 11. Additionally, the Pro sported a higher quality stainless steel frame and third telephoto camera lens. But the real advantage of the Pro was the thing that we interact with most on a smartphone: the screen. …

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Hello everyone! My name is Omar Zahran and I was invited by Quy Ma to introduce myself to the community with a little bit of information about me. First off, I love the idea of this as there is so little in the way of biography information about authors here on Medium. Which is a shame because there are so many talented writers on here with so many unique stories, that something like this is needed. So here is a little bit about me so you can get to know the person behind the posts a little bit better!

Again my name is Omar and I am 33 years old and live in the Detroit, Michigan area. I have lived here for the last 15 years. I am originally from New York City (Queens to be specific) and also lived in Amman, Jordan to finish high school for a few years. I have also had the incredible privilege of being able to travel across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa when I was younger, which in my estimation has helped me in life perspective. I do have a deep fascination and appreciation for my home of New York and would love to move back to the city at some point in the future. …

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Image Credit: Apple

When creating things with practicality and simplicity in mind there is a fine line that must be managed between understated elegance and oversimplified arrogance. This is something that has always fascinated me in regards to the world of modern contemporary art. A quick trip to any museum’s contemporary section will inevitably result in a moment where an average art viewer might pause. A moment where there is a sparse painting that prompts the question, “wait, this is art?” It is this line that modern artists work within, leaving the viewer to have their own interpretation of the work.

In consumer electronics, Apple is a company that walks a similar line. The company is so committed to simplicity and usability that sometimes they are accused of oversimplification. A common critique of iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system, for years has been that the company assumes that its users don’t need features like an app drawer or an easily accessible file management system. There is a beauty to this simple approach as well, however. The ergonomic focus of the iPhone for instance is often an element of the hardware design that is underappreciated. This understated elegance makes the hardware that much more desirable to have and hold on to. A commitment to ergonomics came to mind when the Cupertino company announced its newest wireless charging standard called MagSafe. A realization that Apple makes accessories and hardware that are useful. …

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Image Credit: Apple

In many circles of my friend and family circle, I am considered the “phone guy”. Whenever anyone is looking into upgrading their phone, a lot of times they consult with me to make sure that they are making the right decision. As such, some people will ask what phone I use as a barometer for what is a good phone. Currently, the phone I use is the LG V60 ThinQ, which is a very powerful and versatile device (see Juan Carlos Bagnell’s excellent review of the device here). I love this phone and it is many things, but one thing it is not is compact. …

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Image Credit: Steve Johnson via Unsplash

If there is one constant that all tech enthusiasts can agree on it is that they hate things being taken away. When Android phones started to go away from removable batteries to compete with the iPhone on design, many enthusiasts were up in arms (so much so that articles like this are still a thing). I vividly recall Samsung and LG users complaining when the Galaxy S6 and G6 went to sealed batteries. The same goes for when every company except for LG removed the 3.5mm headphone jack from their flagship phones. As creatures of habit, a swift departure from what we are used to is hard to adjust to immediately. In the case of the headphone jack and removable battery, these were two standards in phones for decades that were suddenly gone. …

About

Omar Zahran

Tech enthusiast, writer, and lover of food

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