a few more iPhone XR notes

I’ve had my new iPhone XR for a few weeks now, so I thought I’d post some follow-up notes on it. My last post on it was on New Year’s Day.

First, while it has been generally reliable, it did crash once. And it required a “force restart” to get it back up, via the procedure described here: volume up, volume down, then hold the side button. It came back up with no data loss, and it’s been fine since, but I hope that doesn’t happen regularly.


On the headphone jack front, I’ve settled on using the Belkin Rockstar adapter in the car, using the $9 headphone jack adapter with my old Sony earbuds at work, and using the Lightning Earpods at home. The whole headphone jack thing got me thinking about headphones vs earbuds vs earphones and stuff like that.

I came to realize that the Sony MDR-J10 earbuds that I’ve been using at work for so long are almost perfect. I bought them many years ago, in a Staples Express in Penn Station NY, for maybe $20. They’re not made anymore, but it seems that they were popular enough that a used pair goes for $50-$100 now. They’re regular earbuds that don’t go all the way into the ear, and they have clips that fit behind the ear to hold them in place. So they’re comfortable and they don’t fall out.

Sony makes a similar pair now, the MDR-AS210/B, but it’s not quite the same design as the MDR-J10. I also haven’t found anyone that makes a similar design that includes a Lightning connector instead of a regular headphone plug.

I’ve been using the Apple “EarPods” at home, for listening to podcasts and audiobooks, and they’re not horrible. They’re not nearly as good a fit as the Sony MDR-J10’s though. (Specifically, the left ear is a good fit, but the right ear isn’t. I guess my ears aren’t both quite the same size.) I’m thinking about buying a pair of the newer Sony MDR-AS210/B earbuds for use at home, with the $9 headphone jack adapter.

I’m also curious about these Urbanears earbuds that I saw in the MoMA gift shop recently. The design is interesting and might be a good fit. (Or not. If I buy them, I should make sure they’re returnable.)

I’m still trying to avoid Bluetooth headphones and/or in-ear designs. I may eventually give up and try Bluetooth, but I’m resisting. I don’t want to add yet one more device with a battery that needs to be charged to my already-impressive list of devices with batteries in them. And the in-ear ones just don’t seem like they’d work well for me.


I’ve bought two cases for the phone, one a sleeve, and the other a silicone case. I ordered the sleeve first, but it only showed up yesterday, since it was shipped ground from Germany. (I didn’t notice that when I ordered it.) I initially tried using the phone with no case at all, but I found that the back was a little too slippery, hence the silicone case. That case does a good job of making it harder for the phone to slip out of my hands or fall off a table.

I’ve noticed that the screen on this phone seems to pick up a lot of dust (or lint or whatever) when I have it in my pocket, hence the sleeve. I like the idea of a sleeve, for a couple of reasons. First, for the screen protection. The second reason is a little subtle, but I like having the phone in the sleeve when I’m not using it; it makes it a little harder for me to pick it up and start fiddling with it when I should be doing something else. It adds just enough friction that it’s a little easier to ignore the phone.

Of course, the sleeve is too tight for the phone to fit when the silicone case is on it, so I’m going to have to work that out. I’ll probably go back and forth between the two for awhile.

I was amused to see that Apple is now selling a battery case for the XR and XS. The XR’s battery life is good enough that I shouldn’t need an external battery any time soon. Apple’s battery case is ridiculously expensive, at $129. But that’s Apple. There are third-party battery cases that only cost $35.

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