WWDC 2016 Wishlist

Google I/O has come and gone, so now it’s time for Apple to have their annual developer conference.  I feel like most of the areas for innovation isn’t at the OS level anymore, it’s with services and apps as part of the OS. Unfortunately for Apple that isn’t really their strong suit. With that in […]

Continue reading →

Apple Watch, Revisited

chronometer-apps-07

A few months ago, I posted my initial review of the Apple Watch after using it for a few weeks. It’s been nearly 9 months since I’ve had the watch and I thought I’d give a follow up based on what I’ve learned after using it daily. The hardware While aesthetically I think the hardware […]

Continue reading →

On Forming Habits with Tech’s Help

I was recently listening to the Ezra Klein Show and the app Way of Life was mentioned during a conversation about habit building. I have a handful of things I’m always trying to get better at doing (or not doing), so I figured I’d give it a shot. In short, you pick some activities that […]

Continue reading →

Can Apple Music be fixed?

Apple Music is slowly being exposed as a bit of a shitshow under the covers. I’ve been fortunate not to have run into many of the issues folks are bringing up, but I definitely feel the pain of a poorly executed user experience, especially on the desktop. The bad news is that a lot of […]

Continue reading →

Cutting the cord

At the end of last year, my wife and I decided to cancel our U-verse service and move to Xfinity internet only. We had talked about this for a while but ultimately decided that the cost (and overall lack of interest in watching TV most of the time) meant that we were throwing a decent […]

Continue reading →

Sublime Text Power User

book-ipad-open

About a year ago I bought an eBook + video series from Wes Bos on leveling up in Sublime Text. I read about 20% of it and somehow forgot about it after the fact. Well, about a week ago I decided to finish up and it’s taken a text editor that I was actually on the fence about (I have lately been flirting with Atom for a while) and made me feel like I’m in complete control of the application.

In particular, the chapters on workflow, packages and quickly moving around the editor with the keyboard have made me much more efficient on the current project I’m involved with at work. If you’re a Sublime Text user and want to up your game significantly I highly recommend this book.

How to destory Programmer Productivity

George Stocker, on How to destroy Programmer Productivity:

Ultimately, each of us controls what makes us unproductive. I suck at peaceful confrontation. I either come of too strongly, or I sit there and let the other person walk all over me. I’m really not good at it at all. As such, I don’t have any good advice for handling the external forces that contribute to not being productive, but I do know this: Whatever I can control, I should control.

This is a constant struggle for any developer – not only the external forces in an office that cause tons of issues, but the personal preferences around how software is set up. Being a morning person, I try to get into the office early and that gets me a long way. But I’m still a mere mortal, so I have to do everything in my power to reduce other distractions.

Keeping my dock hidden on my Mac alone is such a huge boon to my productivity – having an office and the ability to blast music all day goes a long way as well. I’m also super careful about what apps are on my home screen – I keep all social media on the second screen – and which apps can actually send push notifications.

Switching to the iPhone

Joe Casabona writes about 2 months with an iPhone:

But as I use the iPhone more and see how well it actually works, it’s clear that Android is great for some things. But needs to mature in other aspects. And I think Google knows that too. The change in treatment of Android over the last few years has been noticeable. It’s like Google said, “GUYS. We need to fix this mess.”

 

Good take on the good and the bad of using an iPhone 6 after spending years on the Android side. Seems like most articles these days are Apple folks who are fed up and switching to Android, so it’s interesting to see the other side of the coin from time to time. While we all have our complaints about the Apple world, the integrated nature of Apple products can be a huge peace-of-mind boost if you buy in.

Heck, even I’m tempted to switch to Android sometimes – the new Moto X looks particularly outstanding. But when I really think about it, I feel like iOS is still the place for me. Who knows, I may still switch back to Android one day. But at this point, I feel like the perfect setup is Apple hardware backed with Google services.

This hamburger is made of mystery meat

hamburger-icon-time-com

James Archer writes about the Hamburger Menu:

As an industry, we had somehow gotten “confusing and difficult navigation” mixed up with “fun and engaging user interface,” and convinced ourselves that people would put up with frustratingly vague navigation because it was cool and animated. It took a long time for the industry to finally break that habit.

I feel like I fight this battle with every new design concept comes my way these days, and rarely is it done with user experience in mind. More often than not, it’s put in place to satisfy multiple stakeholders who all want their pet page/project front and center. Out of options, the designer chooses a hamburger navigation option to appease all involved. The user doesn’t win here.

Mr. Archer gives a lot of good examples of why this style of nav is rarely a good idea, as well as a few good solutions for simplifying when you’re on a mobile layout. Definitely worth a read.