‘Miary’ is a Minimalist Diary App That Syncs to iCloud

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Miary is a new app on the App Store and it’s a beautiful, minimalist diary. It’s fully accessible, supporting features like VoiceOver, Dynamic Type, and Reduce Motion. It provides over 100 color themes, Dark Mode, and over 50 fonts. You can listen to soothing nature sounds while you journal, with mood and activity tracking for a variety of activities. You can add unlimited photos and videos to your journal entries, and add location tags to entries, too. A feature that caught my eye is that Miary syncs to iCloud. Many journal apps I’ve seen want to keep users in their own cloud, but with Miary you can trust that your journal is kept in iCloud. It has a simple privacy policy saying that no data is stored on Miary’s servers, and data is not shared with third parties. The app is free, with optional subscriptions starting at US$0.99/month for premium features.

‘Miary’ is a Minimalist Diary App That Syncs to iCloud

Neato Robot Vacuums Can Be Controlled With Siri Shortcuts

· Andrew Orr · Link

Shortcuts icon

Neato Robotics announced today that it added support for Siri Shortcuts within its app. This means you can start controlling your robot vacuum with your voice.

By connecting your Neato to Siri Shortcuts, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, you can simply start cleaning just by using your voice.

I’d love to get a robot vacuum some day. In the meantime, if you have one of these products, try controlling it with a shortcut on your HomePod, Apple Watch, or iOS device.

Working From Home Isn’t For Everyone, But it’s Not Overrated

· Andrew Orr · Link

Confused computer user

Writing for ˆThe New York Times, Kevin Roose says that working from home is overrated. Is it really though? I took umbrage at the sensational headline until I came to this part (emphasis mine):

But I’ve been researching the pros and cons of remote work for my upcoming book about human survival in the age of artificial intelligence and automation. And I’ve now come to a very different conclusion: Most people should work in an office, or near other people, and avoid solitary work-from-home arrangements whenever possible.

In other words, this article is an ad for his book. Moving on. To be fair, if you tend to fall on the extroverted end of the spectrum, maybe remote work isn’t best for your mental health. But calling it “overrated” just because you don’t care for it is simplistic.

How to Figure Out The Correct Length of Time for Hand Washing

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

The Mac Observer’s Kelly Guimont just shared a cool website with me and it’s called Wash Your Lyrics. You type in the name of any song title and song artist and it generates a graphic that shows you the proper method for washing your hands along with the time it takes to synchronize with the first 20 or so seconds of the song. We’ve typed in a bunch of different songs and so far Another Brick in the Wall (Pt. 2) by Pink Floyd is the best one.

How to Figure Out The Correct Length of Time for Hand Washing

Smartphones Could Help Death Photography Make a Comeback

· Andrew Orr · Link

The New York Times has a piece today about death photography, and how it’s returning with the help of our ubiquitous smartphone camera.

“But we are returning to the older ways,” she went on, “a movement backward that some say began in the ’70s, with the back-to-nature movement and midwifery and natural births. The natural death movement is part of that. And these photos are unsurprising, too, because we carry our smartphones all the time, and it’s almost like if there isn’t a photo it didn’t happen. Now everyone is a photographer.”

You Can Buy Diamond-Encrusted AirPods for $20,000

· Andrew Orr · Link

Do you have a spare US$20,000 lying around that you don’t know what to do with? Buy these AirPods decked out in diamonds with a marble stand.

Ian DeLucca’s Object No. 1 AirPods are part of his “New Materialism” series, focused on spotlighting the intersection of art and commerce. Twenty-five pairs of the earphones are being made with diamonds that are said to be VVS1-quality, and naturally mined rather than manufactured. Each white gold pair gets inscribed with its creation date and an edition number.

I just want stealth-black AirPods, thanks.

Visualizing Men's Pockets Versus Women's Pockets

· Andrew Orr · Link

This isn’t super tech-related, but this website gives a nice visualization of how men’s pockets are bigger than women’s pockets. There’s also a section that lets you find jeans that can fit smartphones like the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel.

Only 40 percent of women’s front pockets can completely fit one of the three leading smartphone brands. Less than half of women’s front pockets can fit a wallet specifically designed to fit in front pockets. And you can’t even cram an average woman’s hand beyond the knuckles into the majority of women’s front pockets.

Uber Comfort Adds Leg Room, Quiet Drivers

· Andrew Orr · Link

A new Uber Comfort tier lets you ask your drive for silence, and uses cars that have more leg room, climate control, and more.

The move allows Uber to charge more for slightly better vehicles and higher-rated drivers that used to be lumped in with its budget UberX tier. This also lets Uber compensate drivers better if they’re willing to forgo the small talk or crank the air conditioning. “Uber Comfort should result in fares for drivers that are at least 20% higher than UberX (not including surge or promotions) for a trip with the same time and distance” an Uber spokesperson tells me.

Gen Z: "If you don't have an iPhone it's kind of frowned upon."

· Andrew Orr · Link

The iPhone is the most popular device with Gen Z, the generation coming after millennials. Specifically, teens these days use iPhones so that no one is left out of iMessage group chats. Business Insider also found that iPhone ownership has created a “culture of multitasking” which I agree with, but I don’t think it’s limited to iPhones.

Some experts blame the rise of smartphones — and especially the iPhone — for fueling a pervasive culture of multitasking. Teens who spoke with Business Insider said they recognized that multitasking was not efficient. “It doesn’t really work out that well,” Jimenez said, acknowledging that she does it anyway. Experts say that trying to process two or more things at once may not even really be possible.

New Mogul App Empowers Women to Reach Their Goals

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

The Mogul app was created to empower you to take control of your day. It’s time to focus on making each day matter and take action, small or large, everyday to get closer to your goals. At the heart of Mogul are two rituals to help you own your day. One in the morning and one in the evening. We believe the key to success lies in daily reflection and proactive planning to turn each day into an investment in yourself. So in the evening, check in and reflect on your day. Then, plan out your next day. The next morning, start your day on the right foot with an overview of the previous day that gets you in a positive mindset. See what your day looks like at a glance so that you can be ready to own the day. One of the great features of Mogul is that it integrates with your calendars, so you never have to exit the app to check any other commitments- everything can live in one place. Your goals also live alongside your day-to-day and your to do’s, so you can see what your working on is impactful and leading to success. A success that you care about. App Store: Free

New Mogul App Empowers Women to Reach Their Goals

Philip Lee Creates the Classicbot Mac Plush

· Andrew Orr · Link

Designer Philip Lee has created the Classicbot Mac plush, giving you a squishy Mac you can hug.

Priced at $72, the Classicbot Giant Plush is rather expensive, but like Lee’s smaller figurines, it’s been designed with quite a lot of detail. There’s a disk insert at the front along with a Classicbot logo in place of an Apple logo, and at the back, embroidered details represent the fan, ports, plus, and more.

A perfect product for Apple collectors.

Which Push Notifications Should You Allow?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apps demand our attention by sending us push notifications, but some are more important than others. David Nield has some suggestions.

One of the problems with turning your phone off, or putting it in airplane mode to avoid distractions, is that people won’t be able to reach you in an emergency. If you want to make sure certain contacts (like your kids) can always get through, you’ve got two options using the native features on your Android or iOS phone.

News+ Efficiency is Aesthetically Pleasing

· Andrew Orr · Link

In Wired’s latest magazine, Clive Thompson writes that for some programmers, efficiency isn’t just a way to make a job easier. It’s aesthetically pleasing.

Many of today’s programmers have their efficiency aha moment in their teenage years, when they discover that life is full of blindingly dull repetitive tasks and that computers are really good at doing them.

I’m not a programmer, but I’m a big fan of efficiency and optimizing my life. I don’t go as far as the “optimized self” movement, but I like to automate whenever possible. The less time you spend doing repetitive tasks, the more you can spend enjoying life.

This is part of Andrew’s News+ series, where he shares a magazine every Friday to help people discover good content in Apple News+.

Another Family Finds Hidden Airbnb Camera

· Andrew Orr · News

A New Zealand family staying at a home in Cork, Ireland, found they were being recorded with a hidden Airbnb camera.