Breaking the Animal Crossing habit

When Animal Crossing came out I was obsessed and it was a nice escape from the world around me. What I’ve found in the last week though is I put my Switch in the drawer and stopped playing. I’d developed a habit of once I’d gone for my early walk I’d play animal crossing for an hour before starting my work day. It was becoming a grind for me and almost a habit, I’d actually stopped enjoying playing it. I’d mindlessly walk around my island picking fruit and flowers then selling them to make bells to pay off my mortgage!

I’d stopped playing and being creative but it turned into something that felt a chore.

I’m glad to see Nintendo are bringing in the option to go diving and I’ll probably dip (sorry) back in to check this out but for the most part I think I’m done.

Don’t get me wrong I very much enjoyed my time and it was a great distraction from the state of the world in 2020 but I won’t be hooked in every day grinding away.

Moshi iVisor for iPad Pro review

I’ve not been a fan of screen protectors but after seeing a few people with matte finishes on their iPads I wanted to jump in with my 11″.

I picked up the iVisor and I have to say after a week in I’m impressed.

As you can see it’s a matte finish and installed bubble free as promised. You can take kit off to wash under the tap but I’m not ready to try that out yet.

The quality looks high and once I started to use it I can see why it’s more expensive.

With us being in summer now and even though we aren’t out and about I’m using it outside in the garden and the finish helps to keep off reflections. It does have an impact on clarity but not too bad to want to take it off. I now personally prefer a matte finish on my iPad screen.

Using the pencil also feels better to me than using the naked screen. There is a little more friction and the texture feels good, not like paper but again better than the glass.

I didn’t have a concern about scratches but that’s obviously a nice side effect of switching to a protector.

At over £20 for one it is on the pricier side but I recommend spending a little more to get the Moshi.

iOS 14: widget first impressions

I don’t think I could go back to iOS 13 now after beta testing iOS 14, it’s made the iPhone home screen so much more alive and interactive. I’ve not gone overboard with my widgets but now settled on one large one that is ‘stacked’. This stacking means that I added the medium sized calendar, followed by reminders. I then dragged reminders on top and hey presto I have a stack I can scroll through. I then simply added weather, notes, music and battery.

They aren’t updating super reliably at the moment but I’m so impressed with the implementation.

As a side note this beta 1 seems really stable, much more than iOS 13. I think Apple have taken the negative feedback on board from last year.

Can’t wait to start seeing more of your setups.

WWDC: Putting Home Screens podcast on hold (for now)

After the WWDC 2020 keynote and working through all of the home screen changes I’ve decided to put the podcast on hold for a couple of months. There’s so many great changes to how we can customise the look of our devices now to make them our own I felt that talking about the iOS 13 way to do it wasn’t that interesting given most of us are excited about widgets and app libraries.

Even a day in my home screen is working completely different for me, I want to chat with guests about their iOS 14 setups.

Thanks for subscribing (if you are) and also for listening to the current episodes. I hope you agree that’s it’s better to focus on the future of how iOS 14 will change the look of our home screens.

I may do a few solo episodes talking about the changes, my experience and how to setup – sound interesting?

A minimalist watch

I’ve been going through a bit of a resurgence in my love of watches over the last six months or so and starting to think about how I can share one of my other passions on my blog. My first post is around finding that one watch that is both minimal and functional. After looking through my collection I settled on the Casio F-91w as my favourite minimal watch.

It’s got everything I need (date and stopwatch) and is light and small enough that I don’t even notice I’m wearing it.

The only thing I miss is being able to see the time at the same time as running the stopwatch.

At less than £20 this is the perfect watch to buy if you want to get away from a smart watch or just start wearing a watch again.

Lockne, an app to help you create a great lock screen and wallpaper

Lockne is a great little app that I can’t believe hasn’t already been done, it’s a really useful utility app that every iPhone user could do with. If you’re into changing up your wallpaper every 5 minutes (like me) then you need to check it out.

Developed by Jonathan Ruiz this is an app that lets you visualise what your home screen and wallpaper would look like in real time and then allows you to capture what you saw within the app.

The UI is simple and intuitive and for me the only place I would change it would be to move the settings icon somewhere else or make it smaller, other than it’s perfect for what the app is trying to achieve.

Once you are happy with how it’ll look then simply hit the circle to take a photo as you would within the camera app.

You can switch between lock screen and home screen by tapping on the far right icon, in this case above hitting the lock icon shows you what it might look like as a lock screen rather than the home screen as above. In my testing whilst writing up this overview I experienced no bugs and performance is really good. I’ll be using this app quite a lot going forward in my pursuit for that perfect wallpaper.

I think it’s great to see utilities like this still being made, one that feels like the creator wanted to use themselves so went out and did it. It’s important to support apps like this one and I gladly spent the £2.99 to support it.

Don’t use iCloud Keychain as a password manager

I should have learnt my lesson totally trusting my data to iCloud given my track record but the latest failing got me thinking about my password management habits. They are shocking to be honest, I’ve kept an Apple Note with some in (not written any down on paper) and relied on iCloud Keychain. As you can see above it lost almost all of them in the most recent iOS device restore.

I’ve been using it as a password manager when I should have used a dedicated app.

I’m open to suggestions as I start to review options to moving to a dedicated app.