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I’ve Taken My Watch Off

I’ll start by saying, I haven’t worn my Apple Watch in about two weeks. There was no big decision when I stopped wearing it, but I’ve noticed that over the past month or so, I would just be less bothered about wearing it. So much so, the tan line on my wrist has near-enough disappeared.

I know it was about two weeks because that’s when my heart rate data has ended on the Health app. But it occurred regularly before that, where I would wake up and instantly grab my phone and watch. But I would sit down with a coffee, put my phone and my watch both on the side, and never pay any attention to my watch until it was time to put it on charge again.

My original lack of interest with the watch started I think when I wasn’t going to work. Because that’s probably the only time that I felt I needed constant access to everything. Whether it’s the time, the weather, access to music that’s playing from a device just in my pocket, or all the notifications that I would instantly dismiss.

Now when I think about what I can actually gain from the Apple Watch, I’m not sure if I’m ever really going to wear it regularly again.

Here is a list of all the things I’ve ever done with an Apple Watch:

  • Get the time.
  • Pause/Play/Skip music/podcast.
  • Track a workout. (Not a real workout, just small walks)
  • Checked the weather. (Not that it matters to me that much, my outfit doesn’t change all year-round)
  • Tracked my sleep. (It didn’t take long for this to stop)
  • Played a game called Field Day for a while.
  • Triggered a few interactions with Pokémon GO.
  • Checked football scores.

And that’s about all I’ve ever done.

Now for what I use my watch for, just before I started to not wear it as often:

  • Get the time.

I’m starting to think I don’t need a smart watch anymore.

No music/podcasts are being controlled on the watch anymore, because I have AirPods that can do that. I don’t track workouts because they were never real workouts anyway. I don’t play Field Day or Pokémon GO anymore. And if I want to check anything like the weather, football scores, text messages, I just take my phone out of my pocket.

I’ve started to actually like not having my wrist being the interface between myself and the internet. And I’ve grown tired about being notified about things that I just don’t care about.

Maybe I’ll eventually put my watch back on charge and then I can see if there is any remaining use for it. But for now I’ll be keeping it off. Maybe I’ll even think about buying an analogue watch.

Categories
General

Pop-Culture Dystopia

Filip Hodas, a 3D illustrator, has created some fantastic pieces of art depicting various dystopian worlds featuring pop-culture icons.

A few of my favourites:

(All photo credit obviously goes to Filip Hodas)

There are 2 parts to this collection:

He also created another great collection titled “Cartoon Fossils“. But that’s not all, I highly recommend following him on Instagram for more of his work.

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General

Find the Right Git Command With Git Explorer

If you’ve ever wanted to do something in Git via the command line, but you’re just not quite sure what the command is. Or you roughly know what you want to do, but don’t know where to start, then Git Explorer is the perfect tool.

All you need to do is select from of them 19 options after “I want to”, and that can be something like “I want to compare two commits” or “I want to configure”. Then you get further options to refine the query, and it shows you the exact command you need.

For example, if you wanted to remove multiple branches that matched a certain pattern, then you just need to select these options:

I want to

  • delete/remove
  • multiple branches
  • by pattern

Then you get told the command:

git branch | grep <regex pattern> | xargs git branch -D

And also a helpful note to help you understand it:

e.g. git branch | grep “-” | xargs git branch -D will delete all branches that have ‘-‘ in their names or git branch | grep -v “master|staging” | xargs git branch -D will delete all branches except staging and master.

NB: Always put your regex pattern in quotes

I use Git via the command line myself, but there’s always the odd scenario where I can’t quite figure out the command or proper syntax, so this website will be perfect for me. It’s going straight into my bookmarks.

Check out Git Explorer.

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General

Text Case 2020.1

It’s time for Text Case to receive its first update for 2020. Only a relatively small one this time, but it brings with it two new formats, and some work under the hood that should go unnoticed.

The new formats are quite straight forward:

Straight Quotes. This does the opposite of the “Smart Quotes” format, and converts all curvy quotation marks to the simple straight versions.

Slug. A bit of a weird one if you’re not already aware of what a slug is, but essentially it’s the more human-readable part of a URL that identifies what the page is. For example, a blog post will have a slug usually based on the title of the article. So this format will strip out all non-alphanumeric characters, and separate each word with a hyphen.

This update also contains a few extra things that shouldn’t be noticed, for example the way the UI is managed, and rounding corners, etc. It looks the same, except it’s done in a much more reliable way.

There is another less-than-tiny update to the UI that you may notice, and that is the gradients at the top of each format in the list view. These are now slightly more prominent.

Links


I’m guessing you would have noticed the 2020.1 version number, this is something I’m adopting from now on with all of my apps. The format will simply be YEAR.INCREMENT, where this is the first update to Text Case in 2020.


The updates to Text Case have been quite small and more incremental updates recently, and that I think is down to the maturity of the app. There’s not that many text transformations that people do regularly enough to need it in an app such as Text Case, and there’s only a limited amount of ways you can interact with the app.

So until there’s an advancement in iOS/iPadOS/macOS I can take advantage of, I would expect the updates to continue being small tweaks, and the occasional new format.

In the mean time I should really be working out what app I’m going to be building next!

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General

Vote for Your Pokémon of the Year

It’s getting close to Pokémon Day on the 27th February, and Pokémon have teamed up with Google to let people vote for their favourite Pokémon.

Pokémon Vote

You just need to search “Pokémon Vote” on Google to get to the poll, and once you’re there you’ll be able to vote for your favourite Pokémon from each of the 8 regions (Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, Alola, and Galar). It includes all 890 Pokémon from there National Pokédex in Sword/Shield.

Here’s what I voted:

  • Kanto – Bulbasaur (Best Pokémon ever of course!)
  • Johto – Celebi
  • Hoenn – Torchic
  • Sinnoh – Luxray
  • Unova – Tepig
  • Kalos – Dedenne
  • Alola – Litten
  • Galar – Grookey

Find more details on the Pokémon blog.

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General

Decline – 25 Stickers To Help You Say No

I can’t say I’ve purchased many iMessage Sticker packs since they were added way back in iOS 10, but Timothy Buck let me know about Decline, a sticker pack made in partnership with his wife, Alyssa Guerrero, and it’s pretty great.

With it, comes 25 different ways to say ‘No’.

Decline Stickers

A simple ‘Nah’ or ‘Pass’ may sometimes suffice, but maybe you want to show your disgust with ‘Ugh no’, or the mysterious ‘I must decline for secret reasons’. Either way, they’re pretty funny!

They’re available to purchase on the App Store, and if you want to get physical, you can purchase physical stickers too.

Timothy also shared a video showing the lettering process, so you can see how the individual stickers are made.

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General

Saying Goodbye to a Few Apps

I’ve been talking about this for a few years, but refining my App Store offerings has always been a target of mine. And today I’m taking another bit of action on that.

Which means my list of 8 products on the respective App Stores will go from 8 down to 5, by retiring Pretty Regular Expressions for macOS and iOS, and Tap Gap:

  • Text Case iOS/iPadOS
  • Text Case macOS
  • Pixels Sticker Pack (iMessage Sticker Pack)
  • SOLID – Wallpaper Generator
  • Qwiki
  • Pretty Regular Expressions iOS
  • Pretty Regular Expressions macOS
  • Tap Gap – Fast Paced Accuracy Game

The reasons behind the three of them are slightly different but are essentially due to a lack of focus from myself, and a desire to not have any lingering apps anymore. Especially if I feel like they’re offering a substandard experience.

Pretty Regular Expressions is an app that is arguably still useful, but I haven’t used it myself in quite some time, and it’s fallen way behind its competitors on both platforms. And it’s just in a good state, it hasn’t really been adapted to the new devices over the years, and there’s tons of work needed to bring it back to a good level. There’s still a chance that I’ll revive this in the future, as I plan on working on a fresh app this year, but I can’t make any promises.

And for Tap Gap, this is a really simple game that I made while at university. It’s wasn’t ever a great game, and it was last updated December 2016, so I’m not even sure it works on the new devices. That was an easy decision.

There’s also question marks over my solid colour wallpaper app, SOLID, and my Wikipedia Menu Bar app for Mac, Qwiki. However, these still function correctly and attract new users.

That leaves me with arguably one active product, Text Case, since the macOS app is built with Catalyst, meaning it’s essentially one codebase. And three passive products with the sticker pack, Qwiki, and SOLID.

Categories
General

How To Expand Launchpad

Shihab Mehboob (@JPEGuin) shared a useful tip on Twitter, where you can expand the amount of rows and columns in Launchpad.

Turns out you can do this by altering the following values via Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.dock springboard-rows -int 8
defaults write com.apple.dock springboard-columns -int 8

For these changes to have effect, you’ll need to restart the Dock. You can do this via Activity Monitor or by typing killall Dock.

Here’s what mine looks like on my 16″ MBP:

Launchpad

So much better than the massive icons that come by default.

Categories
General

Text Case 2.5

There’s yet another update to Text Case, and it brings with it three new formats, theme syncing, and an action extension for the macOS version!

New Formats

New Formats

Smart Quotes – This changes any straight single of double quotation marks, into their curly equivalents, all based on your localisation.

Small Caps – ᴛᴜʀɴ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴛᴇxᴛ ɪɴᴛᴏ sᴏᴍᴇᴛʜɪɴɢ ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴛʜɪs!

Upside Down – Just another fun one, this attempts to flip the characters upside down.

These new formats are available on all versions of Text Case, iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

Automatic Theme Syncing

Theme Options

Text Case has support for themes, but previously you would have to manually switch between them. With this version, you can select “Automatic” to have the Text Case theme sync with the light/dark mode of your system. This works on both iOS, iPadOS, and macOS!

Format Text Action Extension for macOS

Convert Text Action

On the iOS/iPadOS version of Text Case, there’s an Action Extension that lets you select text anywhere, and then get direct access to the different formats in Text Case. This is now coming to the macOS version, with essentially the same behaviour.

Now you can select a portion of text anywhere in macOS, right-click, and under “Share”, there should be a “Convert Text” action. (If it doesn’t appear, you will have to go to System Preferences, Extensions, Actions, etc enable it.)

That will bring up the Text Case UI, and selecting a format will result in the formatted text being copied to your clipboard!

Links

Text Case on the App Store

Text Case on the Mac App Store

Text Case Website

Categories
General

Text Case for Mac

I’ve been slowly working on this for quite a few months now, but I think it’s finally time to release Text Case for Mac.

With it comes all 32 formats that are currently supported in the iOS app, and the same customisation options (except custom app icons).

To recap all of those:

  • Title Case (AP, APA, CMOS, MLA)
  • URL Encoded/Decoded
  • Uppercase
  • Lowercase
  • Capitalise
  • Capitalise Words
  • Sentence Case
  • Reversed
  • Strip HTML
  • Strip/Trim Whitespace
  • Markdown Blockquote
  • Markdown Code Block
  • Markdown Ordered/Unordered List
  • Markdown to HTML
  • Camel Case
  • Snake Case
  • Pascal Case
  • Kebab Case
  • Hashtags
  • Mocking Spongebob
  • Emoji
  • Base64 Encoded/Decoded
  • Rot13
  • Clap Case
  • Shuffled

In fact the macOS version is 2.4.4, and the iOS version is sitting at just 2.4.3. The only differences being some improvements to the Emoji format, where some localisations could cause the format to not work at all (it now defaults to English if it doesn’t support the language). And also some macOS specific changes, which are mainly to remove parts of the app that won’t work such as Siri Shortcuts support, and also fine tuning the macOS experience.

There are things that I’m already planning on adding the Mac version, such as an Extension so you can format text from outside the app, similar to how the Action Extension works in IOS, and also other automation support such as URL schemes. However, I feel that it’s much more beneficial for people to have Text Case for Mac now, rather than waiting even longer to get it into peoples hands. Because just like the iOS app, I really like to adapt the app to users feedback, and I already have a few extra formats (such as small caps) that I plan on adding soon. I also want to see what I can do with the Touch Bar!

Have a look at the Mac version:

Text Case for Mac

Text Case for Mac

Text Case for Mac

Find Text Case on the Mac App Store.