Poor Apple Watch by Casey Liss

Casey Liss:

Thinking of the Apple Watch as a standalone device that replaces the functionality of your phone is a fool’s errand. The Apple Watch improves your visibility into what is happening in your phone, like a satellite giving you a bird’s eye view of the earth. Neither will give you great detail about what is happening, but either can give you a lot of general information very quickly.

The Watch does its best work when it is showing notifications, allowing hyper-terse replies to messages, or showing you little snippets of data by way of complications. It does not do well as a standalone platform for applications.

I agree with Casey. These days, liking your Apple Watch doesn’t seem to be the popular thing, but I love mine.

I think the key to his post, and those of us who enjoy our watches is this: we love the things it does well, and are ok with the ones it doesn’t. Apple Watch was advertised with certain features (like apps and glances) that have turned out to be mostly useless. But the notifications, complications, and tracking of my activity are game changers.

Like Casey, if you like your watch, great, if you don’t, that’s ok too.

Ideas for Building a Family Friendly Culture | Wildbit Blog

Natalie Nagele explains what happens when you don’t give employees workplace flexibility. Ya know, ‘cause life happens:

In places without this flexibility, you’re actually doing yourself more damage. If a call from the nurse is greeted with “Shit, who’s going to pick them up”, you’ve caused stress and anxiety. This will absolutely make that person lose focus on the task at hand. They’re not going to be present mentally, so why ask them to stay?

Unless you’re saving lives, nothing is urgent at work. Everything can wait. But a sick kid needs hugs and someone to help them blow their nose.

Wildbit is hands down one of the best companies to work at. This is how you build a culture. This is how you attract and retain talented people.

TextExpander 6 and TextExpander.com by Michael Tsai

Michael Tsai:

The new service makes it really easy to share snippets with other people, and it sounds like there are big plans for more team/collaborative features in future versions. This is really cool, but I have no personal interest in using those features. It seems like the product is being refocused for a different audience.

For me, the new service is actually a regression because it’s less private. I trust the folks at Smile, but as a matter of policy I don’t like to give apps network access without good reason. Before, TextExpander could run without network access, it would sync via Dropbox, and I could see all the data in the Dropbox folder. Now, you need to log into an account just to launch the app, and the app itself uploads all of your snippets to a server, which is not encrypted, even if you don’t want to sync with any other devices. Smile says that no keystroke data is uploaded, however. Furthermore, the app isn’t sandboxed (because Apple does not offer the right entitlement), so in addition to having access to everything I type it can also access every file on the Mac.

Not much to add here, Michael rounds up plenty of meaningful commentary. I’m all for sustainable app pricing, but the people at Smile have lost me on this one. I sincerely hope that their new model works.1

Found via Daring Fireball.

  1. Or! They could bring back Dropbox sync so I may return to my beloved TextExpander. 

Some Changes Here at Macminicolo | Macminicolo Blog

Brian Stucki:

Now, I could just announce this with no explanation and be done with it. I could also write one of those generic acquisition posts focused on sunsets and brands and blah. Instead, I’ll be forthright and real like I’ve always tried to be with customers.

You don’t see many acquisition posts that talk about the thought process and reasons in an honest way. It’s refreshing.

I’ve never used Macminicolo, but I’m very happy for Brian. Seems he’ll finally get some time off, and offer customers services he couldn’t provide as a one-man company.

The Upside to Technology? It’s Personal | The New York Times

Nick Bilton in his last column for The New York Times:

As a longtime tech columnist, I’ve seen the dark side of technology. I’ve written about the privacy minefields of Facebook and other social networks. I’ve looked at the hate and bullying that people inflict on Twitter. I’ve seen how the front-facing camera on our smartphones can turn us into narcissists.

All these downsides have made me wonder whether these technological advances are worth it. Maybe we’re better off without smartphones, social media, cloud computing and apps du jour like Snapchat that we seemingly can’t live without today.

Boy, Nick makes some great points. It’s easy to look at technology, and feel sad that it’s been more harm than help. But the rest of his article talks about the true purpose of technology: connection.

Nick continues:

In a sense, that’s what technology has always done. That’s true with planes, trains and automobiles. And that’s true with smartphones, social networks and search engines. They, and other technologies, connect us to people who are not with us, geographically or physically, and make us feel a little less alone in this big confusing world.

The technology that enables horrible things, also enables us to connect to other human beings in a beautiful way.

Watch 10 Seasons of ‘the Joy of Painting’ on Youtube

Mental Floss:

First produced by local public television broadcasters WNVC in Falls Church, Virginia in 1983, The Joy of Painting turned Ross, an unassuming art instructor, into an international celebrity and pop culture icon. The series ran for a whopping 403 episodes over 31 seasons (though Ross could film an entire 13-episode season in just over two days, freeing himself up to spend the rest of the year teaching).

I love Bob Ross. I’m a big fan of ASMR content, and Bob is definitely one of my go-tos. I’ll usually watch it at night before going to sleep, it’s just so relaxing. If you’re a fan, you can now watch 10 full seasons of paintings, where “we don’t make mistakes, we have happy, little accidents.”

Found via The Loop.

Dave Goes Back to Mac for 20 Minutes by Dave Rupert

Uncle Dave:

When I opened up my Macbook I hadn’t charged it in weeks or months, but instantly the screen came on and there was still 54% battery. I couldn’t help but contrast this to my Surface which takes an embarassing 30+ seconds to awake from sleep and seems to only have a half day hour battery life even shutdown.

Dave writes about his continuing saga on Windows—it’s been pretty bumpy. The story turns out to be a great source of lessons applicable to building the web too.