29th July 2016
<div class="kg-card-markdown"><p>A few days ago, it was announce that Square Enix (the creator of Final Fantasy) was releasing a role-playing game for the Apple Watch. It was all because of <a href="http://www.jp.square-enix.com/cosmosrings/en/">the (rather ugly) website</a> that was made, to promote the upcoming app, Cosmos Rings.</p>

Here’s what the website says about the story:

A dark and timeless world.
The Goddess is gone and time has stopped.
Now it’s up to you to traverse the Rift an stand against those who would see it’s flow stilled forever. Regrettably, the path to saving the Goddess of Time is not an easy one.

And about the Apple Watch experience:

Retro pixel art and the Apple Watch’s cutting edge graphics come together to tell an unforgettable story.
The power of time is in your hands.
Simply use the Digital Crown to turn back the clock!
Certain conditions may also earn you special messages.

They also released a promotional video , which in my opinion doesn’t really show much about the game.

I think the graphics are very similar to the Final Fantasy games, which I didn’t really like either.

Anyway, you can buy Cosmos Rings from the App Store for £4.49/$5.99. I’ll be watching the game from a distance for a while, because that’s a lot of money for a game which I’m 90% sure isn’t for me.

29th July 2016

Since the first seven Harry Potter books, and the 8 films, we’ve all been dying to sink our teeth into something Potter. Thankfully there’s another film on the way, but there’s also this play – “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”.

The play will receive it’s world premiere in London’s West End on the 30th July, and the book, which is in fact a “Script Book” will be available digitally and physically in print the next day.

This release isn’t the final version, as the definitive version will be released later this year. However, this is the “Special Rehearsal Edition”, and will be whatever the play script it at the time of the play’s preview performances.

If you want to know more about the story, then here is a small description of what you can look forward to:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

I’ve already preordered my copy, as I just can’t miss out on it. You can do the same via the iBook Store, or if you want it for another platform, or even in print, then check out Pottermore for more details.

26th July 2016

Dieter Bohn writing for Circuit Breaker on The Verge:

Today I did two things I do nearly every day. 1) I bought something using a credit card, and 2) I complained about something on Twitter. But today, the complaint on Twitter was related to payments, and now my replies are blowing up. They’re blowing up because I said a very obvious thing: in the past couple of months, buying something with a credit card in America has become an absolutely awful experience.

This is really stupid. The UK has had chip and pin payments for years, and the US is supposed to be more advanced?

26th July 2016

Relay FM have launched another great show, where Jason Snell and David Sparks talk about how they became independent.

From the Relay FM blog:

Last year at WWDC, I had tea with Myke, Jason Snell and David Sparks.

At the time, I was on the fence about leaving my job to work on Relay FM full-time. It made sense on paper, but I was nervous about taking my fate into my own hands.

All three of them were already independent, and were very open about the challenges and rewards that working for yourself brings. (I think they’ll admit there was a little peer pressure going on to, but that’s beside the point.)

Today, Jason and David are launching a new fortnightly podcast named Free Agents. It’s all about work, and while they are both self-employed, the topics on Free Agents are applicable to all sorts of people. – Relay FM Extras

I’m a big fan of both what Jason and David do for their blogs, Six Colors, and MacSparky. So I’m really looking forward to hear everything they have to say about going independent, and any tips they have for the rest of us!

Anyway, the first episode is titled "The Temptation of Yes", where they discuss the problems when saying Yes too much, and also how to narrow your scope when it comes to work.

You can find more about Free Agents, and the first episode on Relay FM. There’s also links to follow them on Twitter, and also on your favourite podcast app.

19th July 2016

As you may already know, Scrivener, the great writing app for Mac/Windows, has now come to iOS!

I’ve heard about Scrivener a lot before, and it seems to be the most popular app for novelists. Well as you would presume, it’s pretty feature packed. And I didn’t really know where to start when trying to learn about it. Now it’s on iOS, it seems like that’s version I would use myself.

Fortunately for all potential Scrivener users, the developers, Literature & Latte, have released a 10 minute video which goes over all the features in the iOS app!

Scrivener for iOS – Feature Overview from Literature & Latte on Vimeo.

If you want to read a bit more about Scrivener, here are some articles I found:

Scrivener for iOS will be available on the 20th July in the morning (UK time). So you can either just search Scrivener on the App Store, or use this link which will direct you to the app once it’s live.

17th July 2016

I wrote a piece/rant about notifications and how I deal with emails over on Medium.

For a while now, I’ve been slowly turning off notifications on my devices, but today I made the decision to switch off my email notifications as well.

It all comes down to my growing need to focus.

It’s about a 7 minute read, so you may want to put it aside for when you have time. But I hope I can change your mind about how I (and maybe you in the future) deal with notifications.

Read the whole piece on Medium.

15th July 2016

I watch TED videos a lot, but I thought this one definitely had to be shared.

Forests don’t have to be far-flung nature reserves, isolated from human life. Instead, we can grow them right where we are — even in cities. Eco-entrepreneur and TED Fellow Shubhendu Sharma grows ultra-dense, biodiverse mini-forests of native species in urban areas by engineering soil, microbes and biomass to kickstart natural growth processes. Follow along as he describes how to grow a 100-year-old forest in just 10 years, and learn how you can get in on this tiny jungle party.

It’s just under 10 minutes, but I found it very fascinating, and it proves there are things we can do to kickstart nature.

14th July 2016

Michael Kennedy, writing for ScreenRant:

While the Pokémon franchise never really went away entirely, the amazingly successful launch of new augmented reality game Pokémon Go has returned the property to a level of pop-culture ubiquity it’s not seen in many years. With millions of people currently spending their free time trying to catch ’em all, Nintendo’s stock price has rocketed up 25%, and the company’s financial outlook now looks quite rosy. Naturally, Pokémon Go’s success has led Legendary Pictures to start working overtime on a deal with Nintendo to produce a live-action Pokémon movie. While a deal is still not finalized, reports are suggesting who might be in line to write the script, if and when contracts are signed.

Really. Pokémon and Live-Action?

I can’t imagine this being anything other than a terrible idea.

14th July 2016

That’s not a headline that many would expect, but Razer have indeed created a mechanical keyboard for the iPad Pro.

They’ve made this keyboard, and packed it into a case which also features a metal kickstand, and a protective outer case for the actual iPad.

The kickstand isn’t fixed to any specific angle, like most other cases/stands, and can be adjusted to any preferred position. That’s a pretty big improvement on the rest.

They also developed “ultra-low-profile” mechanical switches for the keys, which you can read more about. They say the force needed to recognise a key press is 70g, but I don’t really know what this means. I use a mechanical keyboard sometimes, but I don’t see any huge difference between them and my MacBook.

It also allows you to type in dark environments, as it features backlighting! Which once you’ve tried, you can’t not have.

The battery life is okay if you use the backlighting constantly, which will give you approximately 10 hours on a single charge. But if you turn off the backlighting, it will last approximately 600 hours. So I guess it isn’t that bad, just don’t use the backlight too much.

It’s available in the store already for a whopping £159.99, but it seems it’s currently being shipped from the US. So while you get free shipping, there will probably be a customs/tax charge with it.

Overall, I really like the design, and I much prefer typing on a mechanical keyboard to a glass screen. But not enough to spend that amount of money unfortunately.