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

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.

Neato Robot Vacuums Can Be Controlled With Siri Shortcuts

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

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.

Smartphones Could Help Death Photography Make a Comeback

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

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

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

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.