Tag Archives: apple

On WatchOS 3.

Ars Technica discusses its impressions of WatchOS 3, and how it may finally make the Apple Watch live up to its promise:

WatchOS 3 has the benefit of a year or so of actual user data behind it, and it shows. Apple had ideas about how people might or should use the watch, and now it’s tweaking those ideas based on things that people are actually doing.

I like, but have been underwhelmed by, my watch. I’m hopeful this can fix a large portion of the issues. Remapping the side button is a big improvement; it’s basically worthless right now. It’s also frustrating that there are not more complications, and that complications that should be useful—like MLB AtBat—rarely work or update quickly enough.

Kindle Family Library on iPad and iPhone.

Quietly—at least I didn’t see much in the way of splash on it—Amazon introduced its equivalent to Apple’s iTunes Family Sharing, Kindle Family Library.KFL allows you to share content between linked Amazon devices. From what I could find on a few web searches, it seemed to be limited to Kindles—but there appears to be a workaround.

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My Home Screen.

As an avid fan of virtually any home screen blog post, for a long time—for no particular reason—I’ve not shared my own home screen. Today, at least as far as my iPhone goes, I’m going to remedy that. Without further comment:

 

homescreen

For one, I don’t understand anyone who leaves a blank row on their home screen—it’s a waste of precious real estate for (to me, at least) seemingly empty aesthetic reasons. I use up pretty much every bit of real estate possible. A little bit more about some of the apps:

  • OmniFocus: Indispensable on my phone; I use it constantly.
  • Music: I use both Play Music (Google) and Rdio for all my music listening. With the free sync of my iTunes library into Google, the only reason I use the Play Music service is for songs I already own that Rdio doesn’t have (e.g., The Beatles).
  • Dispatch: Recently switched to Dispatch from Mail for the OmniFocus integration. It has a few intuitive problems so far, but I mostly like it and am using it regularly.
  • Reminders: For everything too stupid and small that I don’t want to waste time processing it through OF.
  • Terminology: I look up words constantly during my reading, and this is the best dictionary app I’ve come across.
  • Flickr: After wanting a good photo sharing and backup solution for a long time, I have finally settled in Flickr, since I can easily upload my DSLR photos from iPhoto into the service, and it gives me 1TB of storage. The iPhone app is pretty solid, but inexplicably missing features, like favoriting photos. (Oh, and there’s no iPad app.)
  • Podcasts: I don’t really like it, but I use it. I’ll drop the 2 bucks on the newest version of Instacast sometime soon.
  • Dark Sky: The best weather app, period. Rain forecasts are scarily accurate.
  • Fantastical: The natural language calendar entry is what sold me on this one.
  • Running: friends tell me to switch to RunKeeper, but I’m stuck in the Nike + world for the moment. After the most recent updates, this app is finally stable and reliable.
  • Evernote and Drafts: What more can be said about these two apps? They keep all my research and writing ideas organized.

OmniFocus 2 Round-up.

After a lot of development time, OmniFocus 2 for Mac is finally out. I’ve been beta testing it for a while, and I have to say that it’s definitely an improvement over OF1, which I’ve been living with—and relying upon—for some time now. While I’ll leave the long reviews to the experts, I have to say that the 20 bucks for the non-pro OF2 is definitely worth everyone’s dollar (at least if you have a Mac).

The Omni Group has been launching a new series helping you figure out how to use OF—always one of the biggest challenges for any GTD newbie—and then there are the standard wisdom pieces, too.

If, like me, you’re an attorney, I wrote an article a ways back there about how to use GTD to your advantage. I think OF and GTD can be an essential tool for any young lawyer.

Alfred 2.

One of my favorite Mac apps, the fantastic universal-searcher Alfred, was just updated to version 2. It’s still free, with an optional (but worth it) Powerpack for about the equivalent of $20.

The newly-added workflows seems to have some potential, but until I figure them out it’s slightly annoying all the old extensions have disappeared. At least there appears to be a bunch of workflows already up at the Alfred forums.

Update: If you use Evernote for any productivity or GTD-related purposes, my friend Ryan has created a workflow for Alfred and Evernote that should be highly useful.

How to Calculate a Date with Siri.

Over at MacSparky, David Sparks posted about a useful feature of Siri—at least if you’re a lawyer and you constantly need to calculate what is X amount of days from Y. (Which I am and which I do.) In short, you just ask Siri “What is X days from Y?” and she’ll figure it out.

This just made Siri about twice as useful for me. The only device I have it on is my iPad—still stuck on my old iPhone 4—but I’m usually bringing that work, anyway. No more ticking off days on my paper calendar.

Just Like Starting Over (with a new Mac).

A new Mac brings new possibilities: a way to completely reconfigure how you use your computer. While desktop changes and software changes and all customizations can, of course, be done at any time, obtaining a brand new computer provides one with the best opportunity for starting fresh.

And when I obtained a new Retina MacBook Pro (13″, 8GB/256 SSD) a couple weeks ago, that’s exactly what I did.

Yes, the new rMBP is ridiculously thin for a non-MBA laptop. Forgive me the amateurish photo.

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