You now can’t use Day One unless you sign in

I was excited to see some great updates from Day One but when I updated and launched I can no longer use the app unless I have an account.

I don’t know if this is a bug (I’m on iOS 14) or a feature but I haven’t been signed in. I don’t pay a subscription and only keep my data local.

I’ll go back to iOS 13 and test but this seems a bit aggressive.

Thoughts on using Things 3 again

I’ve been simplifying a lot lately and whilst I hate the lack of accessibility options it offers I’ve settled into a little bit of a rhythm now using Things 3 daily. My main reason for this was I wanted a system that offered

  • An integrated Calendar
  • A great user experience when using the now always attached to my iPad Magic Keyboard
  • The ability to set a due date but not be forced to enter a time
  • A great sync service

I started off with Reminders and I really enjoy the iOS 14 widget for the app but the lack of trackpad support makes it a little painful to use if you have gotten used to using the trackpad daily like I have now. Reminders would be a great solution if I didn’t use it on the iPad so much, I feel like I have a hand tied behind my back without being being to right click on inbox items and projects.

OmniFocus was out because I had to set a due time and the UI can get a little overwhelming for me when there is a lot on. I also echo Matt’s (see link below) view of feeling bad for having red flags reminding you that you have failed somehow in your day and why he likes Things for this.

Link: Why Matt uses Things 3

Todoist is a good app with good trackpad support but I can’t justify paying for the app monthly when I have already paid for Things and OmniFocus without a subscription service.

This left Things 3, an app I had paid for on iPad, iPhone and the Mac and I wasn’t using. My previous problems with the accessibility options i.e. they don’t support full system font size support was a bit of a game changer (I even left a review on the App Store to try to highlight this to the developers), and is still an issue but as I started to use it on the iPad primarily the iPhone font size didn’t really bother me, I don’t go a lot of places and the app on my iPhone hardly gets used. I still think that the Things 3 developers should embrace accessibility going forward for now it’s ok and I’ve made my peace with it.

I have enjoyed using it, in a simpler way. I can fire it up, see my day covering both the Calendar and Tasks in one place. I can easily move items between projects and can simply set a due date without worrying about a time. I like the break down of areas, projects and the upcoming view is a great way to see what you have to do.

Accessibility aside my only real other gripe is around how many clicks it takes to create a repeating task. I’d like the option to be able to mark the task as repeating at creation rather than having to take another step once you have created it.

So, for now I’m with Things and look forward to seeing what they do for iOS 14 (if the developers are reading I’m open for beta testing…).

How I manage my RSS subscriptions manually across devices using NetNewsWire

Since making the decision to engage less in social media I’ve become a big fan of RSS again and have my reader of choice NetNewsWire installed across all of my iOS devices.

I started curating my feed on my iPhone only. Once I was happy I then used the export option to save to my iCloud.

On my iPad I then use this export to sync my feed. When I add new feeds I export and reimport again. The only issue with this is that when you reimport you’ll need to remove all of your subscriptions first or you’ll have duplicates.

I know this isn’t perfect but is free and saves a sign up to an RSS management app.

Apps using your clipboard in iOS 14

Another day, another warning for apps that use your clipboard. I trust Apollo but wonder why they are taking my clipboard at all. I think there’s info here that needs to be shared by the development community as to why they are using our clipboard. For me it’s a lack of understanding so I’m not targeting any developers, just want to know why in general for any app that shows this message.

Anyone else on the beta finding they are suddenly aware of their data being shared between apps?

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.

Supporting third party developers

With this Hey and Apple argument still on going it made me rethink a few things and take a step back and review the way I think about apps. I’ve always tried to do my best to support developers but more recently I realise I’ve been trying to use Apple’s own apps a little too much. Seeing the power and frankly bullying from Apple around their App Store guidance it got me really reviewing what core apps I’m using and that I should be using as many third party (and cross platform) apps that I can.

This is to both support other businesses and to reduce my reliance on iOS. I’m not switching to Android but putting all my eggs in one basket isn’t sensible if my view changes and I have to say that it might should Apple continue down this defensive path.

So, I’m going to do my best to share more app releases and reviews from third party developers going forward. If you have an app idea or want me to offer advice or reviews then please reach out to me on Twitter or on the contact form on my blog.

Apple Watch Series 5 and third party apps

Since using the series 5 somethings happened I wasn’t expecting – a much better experience with third party apps.

I’d tried to use third party apps on and off in the past but sync or performance always turned me off. Using the series 5 has me excited to use them on my wrist again as they perform really well. As you can see above my watch face (Meridian) is pretty simple and I’m using

  • Activity
  • Date
  • Things
  • Streaks

As I build a new system for myself I’m trying to keep a few apps core to the way I manage my goals and tasks.

I’m only at the beginning and I’ll be posting how I’m using them all soon once I’ve created a framework and it’s settled down.

DayCount ruins it’s own app

Here’s a not so nice app story for me, appreciate I’m in the minority that uses this app but it’s had a change to move your data away from being local to on their server.

The beauty of this app was it’s simplicity in allowing you to see how long since something or to record streaks.

I’m not keen on moving my data so I’m deleting the app.

It’s a sad day for an app I’ve used for so long but there are alternatives so I’d recommend you start looking for one if you want to keep your data local.

There is a skip button but as you can see above it’s non functional.

Moving back to Reeder for my RSS feeds

After moving back to my iOS 12 iPad Mini I needed to make a choice with one of my favourite apps. I’ve been using NetNewsWire for reading my RSS and loving it but it doesn’t work on iOS 12. I needed to switch back to Reeder 4. Once I started using I remembered two areas it beats NetNewsWire for me.

  • Navigation: when reading all of your feeds you can simply swipe up and down to move between stories
  • You can turn off the unread article counts

These two features are keeping me using Reeder on my iPhone now both devices are back in sync on the same app.