I use Notes everyday so I’m really happy that Apple has brought paper options to Notes.
- Tap Settings app on home screen
- Tap Notes
- Tap Lines & Grids
In watchOS 4 we have a new Siri watch face. This is supposed to show you the most relevant information as you need it. In my testing it’s been a mixed bag so far but has potential.
To change it's sources:
- On your iPhone load the watch app
- Tap the Siri watch face
You’ll now see some options for sources to turn on and off.
This morning I received this email from Apple. I was surprised to say the least but after checking they have indeed given me double my storage leaving the monthly cost the same.
This is a great move, has yours been doubled?
Update: Seems it’s just for 1TB owners.
Amazing how much iOS is improved using the new iOS 11 dock.
Here's my last post on what I'd like to see coming out of WWDC on Monday. This time I want to talk about watchOS.
I've been an Apple Watch user since day one and come to rely on it daily. watchOS 3 was a massive change when it was introduced last year so I'm expecting a quiet one this year. Nevertheless here's what I'd like to see.
If Apple continues to push it's focus on health then sleep tracking is inevitable. Whether it'll be an app or simply built in I'm not sure but I'd like to see sleep tracking functionality added.
More watch face options
I don't think we are at the point where we get third party watch faces but I'd like to see new face options. The ability to create my own through a new GUI would be amazing.
Removal of app picker
I hardly ever launch apps but when I do I'm always mystified why Apple went with the blobs of app UI that it did. I don't know the answer but a rethink on how apps are launched could be good.
Reposition of theatre mode
I use theatre mode a lot, it's not just for going to the cinema. You can use it with sleep tracking apps so the screen doesn't wake and also to save battery when you are out and about. The problem is that to enable it the button is right next to the one that plays an alert on your iPhone. Not ideal...
What are you looking for in the next watch update?
We are only a week away from WWDC and iOS 11 so as is traditional I wanted to share my thoughts on what I'd like to see.
It's been rumoured for a long time but I'd really like to finally see a system wide dark mode. If we do in fact get OLED with iPhone 8 it would make sense. I'm thinking it will more likely come in 11.X though along with the new phone in September if it happens this year.
Reminders is long overdue for an update ala Notes in iOS 9. It can be so much more than a simple list app if Apple put a little more focus on it. I'm not expecting OmniFocus but with a little work on the UI it could be a lot easier on the eyes, especially on iPhone.
The carded view isn't quick to navigate if you have more than a few lists. I'd also like to see a consolidated view of the Calendar and Reminders so that you can see everything going on in your day.
Text based SIRI
SIRI is still a struggle to use for me but at the very least I'd like it to take a leaf out of Google assistants book and allow me to type to it.
I still feel self conscious about talking in public with my devices, especially with how hit and miss SIRI is. I normally try once then give up if it doesn't work straight away.
iPad improved multitasking
If you use an iPad then I don't need to tell you how bad the current app selector is in multitasking view. This has to be updated with iOS 11 or Apple may as well give up on iPad being a productivity device.
Drag and drop between windows is also something that has to come with iOS 11. This is basic computing and again if iPad is the future it needs to be there.
As someone with others using my iPad I really want user login. At the moment there isn't a convenient way to lock down your iPad when passing to others.
Enable downloads over 100MB
This bugs me when I have unlimited data. Please let me choose if I want to allow apps to download on cellular if it's over 100MB. You let me do it for Music so please trust I can manage my own data.
Shared iCloud storage
I pay for 1TB of iCloud storage that I use to backup my devices and iCloud photo library. With family sharing a thing it's annoying I can't share this data with my family. With Apple giving a paltry 5GB free most of us end up having to pay for extra space.
Why not improve the user experience with a shared iCloud space.
More landscape apps on iPhone Plus
I recently picked up a Plus sized iPhone and was immediately struck by how buggy switching to landscape is. Home screen stutters and multitasking view breaks often but it's the inconsistency of apps that gets me.
Several of the core apps including Music doesn't support this mode. I've raised this with Apple as a radar so hoping I'll at least get it acknowledged.
When apps work it's nice using them in landscape and I feel more productive but it just isn't consistent enough.
Revised home screen
I'm probably wishing for the impossible but 11 revisions in and we still have the same grid of icons. I'd like to see some customisation options. Give me information or widgets that I can glance at. I'd like a list of what I need to do that day always in my eye balls.
Using an Android phone as my work one I've come to really like the customisation it gives me. I have widgets of information right there on my home screen without doing anything.
Today view on iOS is a good start but it's not enough.
Enhanced Apple Pencil support
I use the Apple Pencil all the time for taking notes and creating mind maps. I often find myself using it for navigation also.
This got me thinking that with the Pencil supporting pressure why can't we get 3D Touch functionality brought to iPad via the Pencil?
This is my wish list, what's yours?
Since sharing my experience using Google Wifi I've noticed that there is a lot of confusion about what it actually is.
Here's what it means to me.
If you have an existing router supplied from your broadband supplier the Google Wifi hooks onto it adding coverage throughout your house.
Yes, it does more than this but at it's core this is it's purpose.
My setup is BT Homehub 4 router (supplied by my provider), connected straight to my connection coming into the house. The first Google Wifi is then connected to the BT Homehub via an Ethernet cable (the one that comes with the Google Wifi). This is located in our office.
I ordered a twin pack so our second Google Wifi is in our living room connected wirelessly to the one in the office.
You manage your network via a new Google Wifi App that is available on iOS and Android. It's well designed and allows you to see everything connected to your network, if anything has a priority (that you can set manually if you want to E.g. I prioritise my PS4 when I'm playing online) and shows various testing options including speed.
So, key points:
- You still need a router
- Coverage throughout our house is now everywhere at the same speed
- I haven't had to restart anything since owning it (used to restart my BT router at least 4 times a week)
- I've stopped experiencing random drop outs and lag
So, I'm a fan - if you are looking to extend or manage your own network yourself then I can't recommend Google Wifi highly enough.
I'll check back in as I spend more time with it.
With the release of Things 3 I decided to give it a try again. Things was the first productivity app that I got into on iPhone back in the 3G days so it kind of feels like coming home. It fits with the loose GTD methodology that I have adopted, sync works well and although pricey if you get it on all platforms I am happy supporting a good development team.
The first problem I ran into was how to create a repeating task.
I always watch the I/O keynote but this year I'll be watching a bit more closely to see its impact on iOS.
Rumours of assistant coming to iOS could be fulfilled and Google's approach to smart watches and VR are on my radar as I review what I use day to day.
If you've been following me for a while you'll know that I change to do apps every few weeks. What I've come to realise is that there is no perfect to do app for me.
Everyone is different in the subtleties of how they go about their day and there isn't one app out there that will cater for everything.
What I've realised is I need to use the best one that fits in with my moral compass. What I mean here is that it comes down to trust in the system and company. Many people (including me) feel their to do list is the most private bit of data they own.
To this end I have stopped trying to find an app that does everything but one that ticks off the most boxes for what I can trust.
- Sync: Has to be encrypted, fast and reliable
- Secure: Encrypted in flight and at rest
- I am not the product: Must be from Apple or a paid service/app
After playing with lots, including Reminders, OmniFocus, Todoist and more I've decided to use the built in Reminders app for managing my to do list.
I don't share many projects with others and being built in means I can use SIRI, my watch and widgets to keep on top of what I have to get done.
It's not the prettiest app in the world and has several UI glitches that Apple doesn't seem fixed on getting sorted but it does the job. On realising I was looking for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow I relaxed and used what I had.
My second choice was OmniFocus. I trust the guys over at the Omni Group, they have great encryption options and they charge for the app.
One closing remark is remember that workflow got purchased by Apple and seems to be slowly closing down. Relying on a third party service for something as crucial as your to do list (for me) is a risk I don't want to take right now.
What do you use?
I’ve been a playstation fan since I got my first one back in 1996 and have owned every one since. It’s latest version the PS4, with it’s amazing graphics and online services has quickly become one of my all time favourite consoles. When we needed to get a new TV last year I made the investment in a 4K HDR SONY and I inevitably purchased a PS4 PRO, I wanted to see what 4K HDR gaming was all about.
Having now owned it for a few months I wanted to write up some thoughts on whether it was a worthy purchase or if you should consider getting one.
In a nutshell if you have an existing PS4 I’d wait, there isn’t enough 4K HDR content to make it worthwhile yet. I have one game that is (InFamous: First Light) and although it does look stunning, it’s the only one that I can play. It’ll be better as time gets on with Gran Turismo coming down the pipeline but existing games just aren’t being updated enough to make playing any old games worth doing.
I’ve also been disappointed in the lack of Ultra HD Blu-ray in the PS4 Pro, with Sony citing the fact that most people download their movies these days. This is fine if you have a fast internet connection but for those of us without this it’s impossible to watch them.
Here’s my advice:
- If you are purchasing your first PS4, then get the Pro - it’s a little more expensive but more future proof
- If you already have a PS4 then don’t bother, wait until at least 2018 and it’s been in the market for a year before thinking about it. New games will be out and some of the existing catalog would have had updates by that time
Looks like Apple have taken the Microsoft route of renaming already established features with this one.
Whilst trying to mute a channel today I discovered 'mute channel is no longer an option'.
Apple have renamed this to 'dislike channel', which does the same thing as the previous 'mute channel' did.
- On the story tap on the share sheet icon
- Scroll across and tap Dislike Channel
- Tap dislike
As promised last month today Apple have launched a new app in the App Store called Clips.
The purpose of this app is to allow you to record video and take photos then add filters and text/graphics on top. Think of it like a bit of a local Snapchat. Once you have created your video you can then send via iMessage or one of many social links such as YouTube or Instagram.
It's a pretty minimal app and the experience (for me) is just as confusing as trying to use Snapchat. I'm planning on writing some how to's but this app really is targeted at a much younger demographic than me, I'm no millennial.
If you like the idea of Snapchat and filters then it's not a bad place to start when creating video for sharing. For me I'll stick with using Instagram stories.
I've been using a 2015 MacBook for a few months now and wanted to share my thoughts on what it's like to live with one day in day out.
I picked mine up refurbished direct from Apple with the following spec:
- 2015 model
- 8GB Ram
- 256GB SSD
I actually sold my 12.9" iPad Pro to help fund this purchase to help my freelance writing so it had to be able to do that job. It's not a heavy workload computationally but being able to use multiple windows and quickly switch between spaces was a must.
Here's what I do on it:
- Simple photo editing from my DSLR using Pixelmator
- Writing in Ulysses
- Video editing in iMovie, only once a month or so and nothing heavy
- Listen to music via iCloud Music Library
- All the socials...
I've split my thoughts up as follows:
There isn't a lot of key travel and the keys themselves sit pretty flat so I guarantee it won't be like any keyboard you've used before. When I first started I made a lot of mistakes and to this day I am still making the odd one here and there. It's taking me a while to adjust but I'm sticking with it. It's not as good as my previous MacBook Pro but Apple don't make these anymore so there's that.
If you want to stick using an Apple laptop then you have to embrace this new keyboard design.
I'm not going to lie it's a pain only having one USB-C port on your main portable machine. The saving grace on this model is that the battery lasts a long time, especially for me using it a couple of hours every night. The only dongle I've bought is the USB-C to USB-A so I can use all of my usual USB accessories.
Main gripe is that I really miss my SD Card Reader from my MacBook Pro. I use the USB dongle so that I can attach one.
Also take into account you can't charge and use a dongle at the same time unless it has power pass through.
It's like carrying around an iPad. I'll sacrifice convenience over portability. I often move around the house and like to switch positions when working and the MacBook has been the perfect machine to do this. I have the power of macOS in an iPad like form factor.
A retina display that is stunning. Great colours and detail, nothing negative to say here at all.
What I love
- Battery life, lasts me a few days with 3 hours use per day
What I don't love (hate is a strong word...)
- Keyboard takes some getting used to
- Lack of SD Card slot
Despite the less than ideal keyboard I actually really love my little MacBook. It's more than powerful enough, lightweight, fits in my camera bag and looks gorgeous.
That being said if Apple had put this display in the 11" MacBook Air then it would have been my perfect machine.
I would recommend that if you are thinking of buying one then don't sight unseen. Get yourself to a store and have a good type on that keyboard. Some people are going to love it and others really hate it. I'm not a huge fan of it but it gets the job done.
I've got an iMac as the main desktop at home so don't spend all my time on it, I'd recommend a dock or at least a Bluetooth keyboard if you plan to use it as your main machine.
So, I'm glad I've got one. I do miss my iPad, especially the pencil but for what I need the MacBook does a great job.
Over the past couple of months I've been using wifi calling on my iPhone with Three. I recently had a replacement iPhone and realised I'd not shared how to actually enable this.
- Tap Settings
- Scroll down and tap on Phone
- Tap Wi-Fi Calling
- Tap the toggle on Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone
- Tap Enable
You should now see Three WiFi Call in the status bar on your iPhone (top left).
Source: Daring Fireball
I was checking my Twitter feed at lunch yesterday and suddenly it exploded with news of a new Mac Pro. At first I thought it was a late April fools joke but on reading the above post from John Gruber I realised that it was indeed official.
Apple did something out of character (for the good) and gave us some insight into what their plans are to cater for the Pro market.
Now some (including me at various points yesterday) say that this is a sign of desperation and a little too late but the more I've digested it the more I realise that it took a lot for them to open up like this.
They have effectively said that the current Mac Pro form factor was a mistake. It was ambitious and I certainly wouldn't want them to stop trying things like this but they missed the mark with the lack of updates. They turned the Mac Pro into an appliance and didn't update.
Key points I took away
- Current Mac Pro is being updated spec wise but no price change, bad move. I would have kept the specs the same but discounted by £500
- Mac Mini feels like it's going to be discontinued
- Don't expect any revolutionary updates from Apple in 2017
- New "iMac Pro" coming later this year
- Laptops make up the majority of Mac sales
- Newly designed Mac Pro probably coming 2018 but a watch this space so a little worrying. I'd like to think Apple give some more detail at WWDC in June
- Apple aren't out of the display business and are planning to make their own display. Wonder how LG feels right about now...
Personally I love my 5K iMac so not in the market for a Mac Pro but looking forward to seeing what happens here.
My gut says that it's too late for some Pro users who already feel abandoned and Apple are back tracking.
Being optimistic though it's great to see Apple opening up and sharing some news about their plans to address this gap.
What do you think?
It's important to stay ahead on updates and today Apple have released iOS 10.3.1
- From the home screen tap SETTINGS
- Tap GENERAL
- Tap SOFTWARE UPDATE
It'll now download to your device and allow you to install it. It's worth plugging into power to make sure that you don't have any issues.