Summer 2018 Regular Departments 4
Online at iPhoneLife.com
Life + Tech
65 Golfing Apps 11 apps that will help you improve your game once and for all.
52 Diversity in Coding Why girls and minorities are the future of computer science.
10 Around the Office 12 Photo Contest Winners 14 Hey, Sarah 16 Tech Mishaps 80 iView: Open Letter to Apple
56 Gardening Apps & Gear You don’t need a green thumb thanks to these iOS-connected tools.
68 Camping Essentials The best gear to take on your next summer adventure.
Top Tips 60 Lost or Stolen iPhone Here’s everything you need to do to make sure your information is safe.
71 Wellness Tech 19 HomePod Review
What we learned from a month with Apple’s smart speaker.
4 accessories to keep your fitness on track this year. 74
Smart Home Living All the accessories you need to start controlling your lights, temperature, and more!
77 Best of CES 2018 Our award winners for most innovative iOS products from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. 22 iOS 12 Wish List We’ll tell you what we want (what we really, really want).
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62 Apple Music vs. Spotify Use our flowchart to figure out which streaming service is right for you.
iUser 51 Grant Schreiber
CAMPING GEAR PAGE
All the best apps, gear, and tips to help you make 2018 your most productive year yet! 29 iPhone Lifeâ€™s Productivity Issue 30 Productivity Hacks 34 Our Favorite Apps 36 Great Gadgets for Getting More Done App Tutorials 40 Slack
42 Day One Journal 44 Trello
46 Lastpass 47 You Need a Budget 48 Spark 50 IFTTT
SMART HOME LIVING PAGE
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Editor's Message A Feel-Good Approach to Productivity
hen sitting down to write this editor’s message, I got to wondering: What have I learned about productivity that I didn’t know last year? Naturally, our team at iPhone Life has tested out and reviewed new apps (pg. 34) and gear (pg. 36) that are powerful tools for any professional endeavor. And we’ve also talked to professionals across a variety of fields to discover the strategies that are making them more productive than ever (pg. 30) and that you can easily incorporate into your own routine. Yet the biggest lessons in productivity I’ve learned have been of a more philosophical kind.
This past year, I’ve begun to think differently about a foundational activity for many productive people—goal setting. I’m questioning the “work first, play if there’s time” approach to life that’s embedded in our culture but that may be shifting. As Michelle Obama pointed out in a recent interview with TIME, she schedules what she calls “her life” (including workouts, date nights, and vacations) before she fills her work calendar. “We have to start setting the priority of allowing people to put their lives before their work,” she said. Author Danielle LaPorte shares a related idea in her recent book The Desire Map. LaPorte points out that when you strive for a goal, you’re usually “seeking the feeling you think you’ll get once you get there.” Her solution is to flip the goal-setting process on its head and craft your goals around the feelings you’d like to experience more of in your life.
“I’ve begun to think differently about a foundational activity for many productive people— goal setting.”
For me, this has meant experiencing happy moments in my life as an end in themselves (I’ve started journaling about them using Day One, which you can learn to use with managing editor Rheanne Taylor’s helpful guide on pg. 42). In my professional life, it has meant taking on more responsibilities in areas I gravitate toward and that therefore don’t feel like work, and refusing to do the tasks that I don’t enjoy (Just kidding! That’s not how this works). The point is, we can all find small or maybe even big ways to optimize for enjoyment in our lives. And here’s the beauty of it: regardless of whether your approach to productivity is similar to mine, your iPhone or iPad will make an incredible tool to get you where you want to go. Turn to our special section (pg. 29) to find new ideas and tips that will help you get to that feeling of accomplishment. The special section of this issue is dedicated to productivity, but let’s not forget that it’s also our summer issue too! To celebrate warmer days, our feature web writer Conner Carey has found the best camping gear for you to take on your next outdoor adventure (pg. 68). We’ve also included a selection of top golfer-approved apps to improve your game (pg. 65), gardening gadgets to help you achieve your most bountiful harvest yet (pg. 56), and wellness-related accessories that will keep you moving all summer (pg. 71). The issue wouldn’t be complete without looking ahead at what Apple has in store for us. On June 4th, Apple will hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, where each year CEO Tim Cook debuts all the new software features coming to our iPhones and iPads. In preparation for WWDC, we’ve compiled a list of the features we’re expecting and the ones we’re hoping to see with iOS 12 (pg. 22). And for any of you considering buying Apple’s new smart speaker, our CEO David Averbach has written a hands-on review exploring whether the HomePod deserves a spot in your living room (pg. 19). Cheers to campfires under starry skies, sneaking out of work for an early tee time, and a year of setting goals that you love going after.
Donna Cleveland Editor in Chief iPhone Life magazine, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @schillcleveland 4
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STAF F PICKS ME M B E R S OF T HE IP HONE L IFE TEAM S H A R E THE IR GO-TO GE A R & GADGETS
Outdoor Tech Wall Charger ($29.95) Want to take your phone from 0 to 50 percent charge in 30 minutes? I do! That’s why I use this USB-C charger to take advantage of my iPhone X’s fast charging capabilities. This little cutie is more portable than Nomad’s hub (below), so I like to toss it in my bag if I’m heading out on a weekend trip. It includes a standard USB port too, so I can charge a second device at the same time. Make sure to pick up an MFi-certified USB-C to Lightning cord to use with it.
Name: Donna Cleveland Title: Editor in Chief Years at iPhone Life: 5 Apple Products Owned: iPhone X, Apple Watch, AirPods, and MacBook Pro. Office Quirk: What can I say, I have a thing for arrows. Whether I’m working on an article or a video project, it doesn’t matter—I add arrows. Apparently, I’m so predictable that on my birthday, the iPhone Life party planning committee made sure to cover a card and an entire cake in my favorite symbol. They know me well.
Sennheiser Handmic Digital ($259.95) I love podcasting, both at iPhone Life and in my spare time. I have found this handmic to be an awesome tool for gathering person-on-the-street interviews and other spontaneous recordings. It connects to your iPhone’s Lightning port and records audio either through the Camera app (if you want to capture video too) or through the companion Apogee app (which is what I use). I find wired mics to be more reliable than wireless lavalier mics, as long as you remember to talk close to the mic in order to avoid muffled audio. When you’re done, just share your recording to Dropbox or another cloud service, and you’re good to go!
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IK Multimedia iKlip Grip Pro Multifunction Camera Stand ($59.95) This year my husband and I threw a New Year’s party and set up a photo booth so that friends could snap pictures between glasses of champagne. This mini tripod was just what we needed, with an adjustable height for tabletop use and a grip that accommodates any iPhone model. The included Bluetooth remote shutter allowed partygoers to take group shots while posing. Tip: put a drop-proof case on your phone just in case!
Nomad USB Hub – Wireless ($79.95) Wireless chargers are all the rage these days, but it’s a rare one that can charge your phone and four other devices simultaneously, while also cleaning up the cords on your desk. After placing my iPhone X on top, I can connect my Apple Watch, laptop, Bluetooth speaker, and AirPods below the wireless charging surface. It even includes a port for USB-C, so you can take advantage of fast charging too.
ONLINE AT IPHONELIFE.COM PUBLISHER AND CEO
David Averbach • email@example.com David Averbach (pages 19, 62) CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER
Who Needs Apple’s AirPods? bit.ly/2HPgzct In this article, we review a set of wireless earbuds that are giving Apple’s AirPods a run for their money: Jabra’s Elite 65t ($169.99). These buds are equally suited to listening to music and making voice calls. Whether you use an Apple or Android device, you’ll appreciate the 65t’s voice command capabilities for Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, and audio customization options via the free companion Jabra Sound+ app.
Raphael Burnes • firstname.lastname@example.org
Todd Bernhard (page 77) Kenneth Boshell (pages 44, 46, 47, 50)
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Noah Siemsen • email@example.com EDITOR IN CHIEF Donna Schill Cleveland • firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR EDITOR AND FOUNDER
Raphael Burnes (pages 34, 36) Conner Carey (pages 34, 36, 48, 62, 68, 77) Donna Cleveland (pages 4, 6, 22, 30, 34, 36, 40, 52, 77)
Hal Goldstein • email@example.com
Sam Costello (page 60)
SENIOR WEB EDITOR Sarah Kingsbury • firstname.lastname@example.org
Tamlin Day (page 16)
Briana Dicks (page 71) Hal Goldstein (page 80)
Rheanne Taylor • email@example.com Leanne Hays (pages 34, 36) ART DIRECTOR Jaime Thatcher • firstname.lastname@example.org FEATURE WEB WRITER
Jim Karpen (page 65) Sarah Kingsbury (pages 14, 34, 36, 77)
Conner Carey • email@example.com
Jacqui Lane (page 56)
FEATURE WEB WRITER
Mikaila Maidment (pages 6, 14, 80)
Identifying Different iPad Models & Generations bit.ly/2G00xM0 It can be confusing trying to figure out which iPad model you have. Whether you’re looking for iPad accessories, preparing to sell your iPad online, or needing to replace a cracked screen or aging battery, you might be stuck on one question: “What iPad do I have?” In this article, we’ll help you figure out whether you have an iPad Pro, an iPad Mini, an iPad Air, or any other generation of iPad.
Leanne Hays • firstname.lastname@example.org
Noah Siemsen (page 36)
CUSTOMER SERVICE & AD TRAFFICKING SPECIALIST
Rheanne Taylor (pages 34, 36, 42)
Manage Your iCloud Photos: A Guide to Downloading & Uploading bit.ly/2DH4yTN Mentioning iCloud is the quickest way to confuse people. But once you’ve set up Apple’s cloud storage solution on your device, you can seamlessly use it to upload and sync photos, access your photos on PC or Mac, and easily download photos to your iPhone or iPad. Here, we cover everything you need to know about photos and iCloud, starting with the basics.
Curtis Circulation Company, 760 River Rd., New Milford, NJ 07646 USA 201-634-7400
Chris Vasques (pages 41, 74)
Tamlin Day • email@example.com
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NEWSSTAND COORDINATOR National Publisher Services 267-252-4093 iPhone Life (ISSN 1949-2018) is published quarterly, four times a year, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter by Mango Life Media at 402 North B St. #108, Fairfield, IA 52556, USA. Periodicals postage paid at Fairfield, Iowa, and at additional mailing offices. Subscription rates payable in U.S. dollars, checks drawn on a U.S. bank, or by credit card—one year: $15.97, two years: $24.97. Postage: United States free; Canada and Mexico add $7 per year; outside North America, add $18 per year. Please allow ten to twelve weeks for receipt of first issue. Executive, Editorial, Circulation, Advertising, Marketing Offices: 402 North B St. #108, Fairfield, IA 52556. Telephone: 641-472-6330, Fax: 641-472-1879. © Copyright 2018 , Mango Life Media LLC, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission. Reasonable efforts are made to provide accurate and useful information, but the reader must make his or her own investigations and decisions; the Publisher and Editorial Staff cannot assume any responsibility or liability for the use of information contained herein. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Cynthia Klaas, Client Relationship Manager, Hallmark Data Systems 7300 Linder Skokie, IL 60077. Cover images courtesy of Apple Inc.
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AROUND THE OFFICE What the iPhone Life Staff Is Loving This Summer!
Donna Cleveland, Editor in Chief During a recent extended stay in Southern California, I used Bumble’s BFF feature (free) to meet likeminded ladies in the area. I now have a new friend who I like so much that I plan on keeping in touch with her even though I’m back in Iowa now.
Sarah Kingsbury, Senior Web Editor The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-inOne Printer ($349.99) can print, copy, and scan documents and photos directly to and from an iPhone. It’s perfect for staying productive over the summer, whether I’m working remotely or creating a photo album to document my family’s vacation adventures.
Leanne Hayes, Feature Web Writer My daughters love books, and A Mighty Girl’s website helps me find new titles with reading lists broken down by age and interest. All the books have girls and women as the main characters. All in all, this is one of my favorite summer resources to keep my girls occupied in a positive, healthy, educational way.
Conner Carey, Feature Web Writer The photo editing app 1967 (free) has lots of vintage-inspired filters I’m really digging right now. The app is swipebased, which means you’ll want to study the tutorial at the beginning. But once you get it down, it’s really easy to swipe through all the filters and find the perfect one to create that nostalgic summertime feel.
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iPhone Life Sponsors
iPhone photography Photo Contest 1st Place Reader's Choice and 1st Place winners will receive the following prize:
By Dr Naveen Aggarwal @naveendr2006
By Liz Traynor @ferguscat1
By Cherie Hefner @cheriehefner13
contest winners Reader's Choice Enter the iPhone Life Photo Contest To enter the next contest, upload your shot(s) to your personal Instagram account and include the hashtag #iphonelifephotocontest in your photo’s caption. If you are selected as a winner, we’ll contact you via your Direct Messages within the Instagram app. Our editors will choose the top three entries; the post with the most likes will win Reader’s Choice. Our Reader’s Choice and 1stplace winner will receive the Ztylus Revolver 6-in-1 Lens ($85 value). We will also feature our winners and finalists in the upcoming issue of iPhone Life magazine By Mariusz Soszynski @patronr
Photo Contest Finalists
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How can I view more than the current month on my Apple Watch? Sincerely, Outdated
Dear Outdated, You are far from the only person who wants to be able to see upcoming months on their Apple Watch. However, while the Today view in the Apple Watch Calendar app will show you appointments for the next week, even if a new month starts during that week, the Month view will only show the current month—even if it’s the last day of that month. Apple needs to add this feature, stat! The only thing I can recommend at this point is requesting this feature from Apple: Apple.com/Feedback/Watch.html.
Need iPad and iPhone help? Sign up for iPhone Life Insider and Sarah will help you with all your iPhone troubleshooting and iOS-related issues. To learn more go to iPhoneLife.com/Insider.
How do I change the default voicemail greeting on my iPhone 8 Plus? Sincerely, Leave a Message
Dear Leave a Message,
How do I alphabetize my Notes app? Right now it’s chronological. Sincerely, ABC
You can record a new voicemail message to replace the default one by going to the Phone app and then navigating to the Voicemail tab. Tap Greeting > Custom > Record, and then begin recording your new greeting. Tap Stop when you are finished and Play to listen to your recording. If you don’t like the message, you can repeat the steps to record a new message. When you have recorded a voicemail greeting you like, just tap Save.
Dear ABC, You can alphabetize your Notes app in Settings. Simply go to Settings > Notes and then under Viewing you will see the option Sort Notes By. Tap on that and select Title. Your notes should now be listed in alphabetical order.
Sarah Kingsbury is the senior web editor of iPhoneLife.com. She goes almost nowhere without her iPhone and is a contributor to the site’s Tip of the Day column. She has over a decade of experience writing and editing for online and print publications.
Tech Mishaps Embrassing Fails in the Digital Age I Phubbed My Prtnr at the Wrst Possible Mment
Illustration by Tamlin Day, conartistrydesigns.com
My partner had been out of town for work and I’d been missing him like crazy all week. When he got back, I threw myself into his arms the minute he walked through the door. Things progressed quickly. And then, right in the middle of our reunion, I felt my wrist buzz. Without even thinking about it, I looked at my Apple Watch to see the message. He was like, “Seriously!?” We had a good laugh about it after, but I still didn’t say a word when I noticed him send a tweet while we were out for dinner that night. -Hooked on Tech, I Mean You
I Got Flagged fr Inapprpriate Cntent at Wrk I was working for a Fortune 500 company and someone from high school sent me a magazine cover shot of one of our classmates lying naked on a bed of roses. To open it, I had to save it to my desktop. I got a chuckle out of it and promptly forgot all about it. Months later, our tech team upgraded all our computers. When I got back to my desk, there was a highlighted copy of the acceptable use policy on my chair. The section highlighted was about inappropriate content and there was a handwritten comment saying that they had to delete an inappropriate file from my computer. At first, I was so confused about what they could possibly mean, and then with horror I remembered the magazine cover. It was pretty hard to look the head of IT in the eye for like a month. -Joke’s on Me
I Botched My Ubr Applicatin A couple of years ago I decided to apply for a job at Uber to pick up some extra cash. When I was filling out the application, I had to scroll through a year’s worth of pictures on my phone to find my ID picture. I was scrolling so long I forgot what I was actually looking for, so naturally when I came across a random pic on my phone of two young children pointing guns at the camera, I thought it was hilarious and tapped on it. It immediately started uploading to the Uber site. There was nothing I could do, it was on its way to the recruiter. I never heard from the recruiter again after that. -Where’s Uber’s Sense of Humor?
I Emailed Wrk Abut My Vacatin… A Millin Times In anticipation of an upcoming trip, I decided to set up an outof-office reply. I still don’t know what I did, but every single email already in my inbox received the vacation message. Even emails from four years ago that I’d never deleted! And because I’m automatically CC’d on some emails to our more general inboxes, like sales and customer support, those ones turned into an infinite auto-reply loop that filled up the email inbox of everyone who receives those emails, including our CEO! I only found out about it because he messaged me on Slack to say my vacation reply was “very aggressive.” - Did You Hear? I’m on Vacation
Caught Stalking my Byriend Online
day I forgot and straight-up googled him, something I haven’t done since before agreeing to meet him for our first date. I confess that I read a couple of his old blog posts and professional profiles. One of the top results was his CV. I couldn’t resist snooping and clicked on the link. Well, it turns out the page hosting his CV sends an alert with the location of the searcher any time someone looks at his information. We live in different towns and I’m the only one he knows in my location. Fortunately, he thought it was hilarious. -Just Casually Scrutinizing Your Résumé
My Sneaky Teen Is a Futre CIA Agent When I had my iPhone 5s, I didn’t bother setting up the fingerprint recognition and stuck to using a passcode. When my daughter asked to use the camera on my new iPhone X, she said she needed the code to unlock it. I told her it was the same as on my last phone. “Well I don’t know what that is,” she said. “Yes you do, I saw you using my phone several times!” I replied with a laugh. “Oh, well I programmed my fingerprint into the phone after you set your phone down once so I could unlock and use it whenever I wanted.” !!!!!! I couldn’t even get angry; I was so amazed at her ingenuity. -Too Impressed to Be Mad
Autocorrect Planned a Naked Coffee Date fr Me A couple of years ago, I was working in a temporary office while our new space was being renovated. The lady who sat across from me in the temp spot brought in her coffee maker to keep on the desk so we could have all-day access to coffee. When the new space was ready and we all started moving our stuff, I saw that her coffee maker was still in her empty cubicle. I texted her offering to bring it to the new area. What I tried to type was, “Do you want your coffee maker downstairs?” What autocorrect fixed and sent for me was, “Do you want coffee naked downstairs?” -Don’t Report Me to HR
Have a hilarious tale to share about a texting mix-up or other tech-related fail? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories. We’ll feature the funniest stories (anonymously, of course!) in the next issue of iPhone Life magazine.
I don’t have a Twitter account, but I still enjoy scrolling through my boyfriend’s Twitter page once in a while, since it’s the only social media platform he uses regularly. (He knows I do this.) I usually google his name followed by the word Twitter, but one
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Test Driving HomePod IS APPLE’S SMART SPEAKER READY FOR PRIMETIME (AND YOUR LIVING ROOM)? BY DAVID AVERBACH
pple rarely invents products. Instead it typically waits for other companies to enter an industry, learns from their mistakes, and then releases a finished product that is superior to anything else on the market. When Apple released the Apple I computer in 1976, for example, the company was far from being the first personal computer firm established, and yet the Apple I was the most polished product of its kind at the time. When Steve Jobs created the original Macintosh computer, he took the idea for the mouse and graphical user interface from Xerox. The iPod and iPhone are also great examples: AT&T released the first portable media player five years before the iPod came out, and the iPhone was released more than a decade after the first smartphone came out in the mid ‘90s. So, when Apple released the HomePod almost three years after Amazon released the Echo and almost one year after Google released the Google Home, it felt like a familiar formula. The problem this time around, however, is that while the smart speaker market is still relatively new, Amazon has already proven to be a formidable competitor. Amazon’s Alexa platform now has over 25,000 third-party voice apps (called
Skills). Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, claims that Amazon has already sold over 20 million Alexa devices. The Google Home can also perform a ton of tricks that the HomePod currently cannot, such as controlling your TV (through Chromecast integration) and recognizing multiple voices. The question is whether Apple has done enough to differentiate the HomePod from the competition. After spending a month with the HomePod, here are my main takeaways.
AUDIO QUALITY Apple has decided to position the HomePod as a speaker first and a smart device second. As a result, the HomePod is in a different tier than the Echo and Google Home when it comes to sound quality (as well as price). Personally, I like that Apple has chosen to focus on sound quality. One of the main reasons I hadn’t purchased an Echo up until now, despite hearing good things, was that I didn’t want to listen to my music on a terrible speaker. I did at one point purchase an Echo Dot, but it proved to be a hassle to connect to my existing speakers. iPhone L if e
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“THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE THE HOMEPOD HAS OVER THE COMPETITION IS APPLE’S ABILITY TO TIGHTLY INTEGRATE THE SMART SPEAKER WITH THE REST OF ITS ECOSYSTEM.” The HomePod has an impressive bass and a rich sound that comfortably fills a room without causing distortion. During setup, it automatically analyzes the space it’s in and customizes its audio to take advantage of the acoustics in the room. Before the HomePod came out, many websites claimed that the audio was comparable to a high-end audio system worth thousands of dollars. I have found the sound quality of the HomePod to be good but not great. It certainly is not comparable to a high-end audio system. While the speaker’s bass is very impressive for such a small speaker, the mid-range is a little muddled and the high notes are underemphasized, which leaves guitar and vocals sounding a little muddy. Overall, it had comparable sound quality to other mid-level speakers such as the Libratone Zipp and Sonos One, both of which retail for around $200 and have Amazon Alexa built in.
5 OF MY FAVORITE HOMEPOD COMMANDS Weather: It’s surprisingly convenient to have Siri read
1. the weather to me as I get ready in the morning.
Smart Home Management: I have two space heaters plugged into smart plugs. I’m consistently yelling at my HomePod to “Turn on the bathroom heater.”
Audio Management: It’s really nice to be able to
3. tell Siri to rewind thirty seconds, adjust the volume, or let me know what song I’m listening to (which works even when I’m streaming Spotify). The News: The HomePod can play you a news
4. snippet from several publishers, including NPR, The Washington Post, and Fox News.
5. HomePod in my room, so I don’t use this func-
Unit Conversion, Timers, and Alarms: I keep my
tionality as much as if it were in my kitchen, but I will occasionally have my HomePod convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, tell me the time in a different country, or set a timer or alarm.
The HomePod uses Apple’s AirPlay system to stream audio to your phone over Wi-Fi. AirPlay has higher quality audio compression than Bluetooth and you don’t have to pair the speaker with your phone like you do with Bluetooth. When testing AirPlay with other speakers in the past, I’ve experienced frequent connectivity issues that caused the audio to cut out periodically. The HomePod, however, has been very consistent. A big downside is that, unlike with Bluetooth, AirPlay will not work unless you’re connected to Wi-Fi.
USING HEY SIRI
I often struggle when using Siri on my iPhone. Half the time my phone doesn’t wake up when I say, “Hey, Siri.” And when it does, it frequently mishears my request. Because of this, I was a little concerned about how the HomePod would perform. I’ve been pleasantly surprised though by how well the speaker handles commands. The microphones are designed to pick up your commands even while the speaker is in use. I’ve found that Siri works pretty reliably, and there are far fewer misunderstandings than when I use it on my iPhone. The only problem I occasionally encounter is that I have so many Apple devices in my room that when I summon Siri, the wrong device is sometimes activated. Apple has said that multiple devices in a room communicate with each other when you make a command in order to figure out which one should be activated. For the most part Apple defaults to the HomePod, but every once in a while, my iPhone will answer instead. Another downside of the HomePod is that it doesn’t support third-party apps yet and has a limited number of commands it responds to. Most of its commands are for Apple Music, which is, of course, only helpful if you are an Apple Music subscriber. I am a Spotify subscriber, so all of the Apple Music functionality is of very little use to me.
APPLE’S ECOSYSTEM The biggest advantage the HomePod has over the competition is Apple’s ability to tightly integrate the smart speaker with the rest of its ecosystem. This advantage is made apparent right out of the box. To set up the HomePod, you simply plug it in and hold your iPhone nearby. A prompt will pop up on your iPhone walking you through a simple setup process. Apple also has the ability to support phone calls and text messages, something that Alexa does not support for iPhones. The integration is particularly helpful for Apple Music subscribers, who have a myriad of voice commands available to them. Surprisingly, Apple did not take advantage of the integration as much as it could have. Many of Apple’s built-in apps are not yet supported by the HomePod. The most glaring omission to me is the Calendar app. I schedule appointments via Siri on my phone all the time and would’ve loved to be able to use the HomePod for that. I also would have enjoyed having the HomePod read me my schedule for the day. While it does support the Podcasts app, I didn’t find it to work very well.
“IF YOU’RE INVESTED IN APPLE’S PRODUCT LINE, I BELIEVE THAT THE HOMEPOD’S INTEGRATION WITH THE REST OF THE ECOSYSTEM PRESENTS A HUGE ADVANTAGE OVER THE COMPETITION.” Currently, you can only sync the HomePod with one Apple ID at a time. Because a speaker is typically a device used by an entire household, this creates a host of problems. First of all, you can only access one person’s Apple Music profile, which contains the playlists and musical preferences the HomePod uses. Also, because the HomePod does not distinguish between voices, anyone walking by the speaker can effectively read your text messages or send a message to anyone in your contact book on your behalf. You can turn off access to Messages, but then you are turning off one of the few features that Apple has that the other smart speakers do not.
hurry to buy a new speaker, then I would recommend waiting to see what improvements Apple makes in the next year. If you aren’t committed to Apple’s products, then you probably want to buy a more device-agnostic smart speaker, such as the Amazon Echo so that you can take advantage of the more robust feature set. Personally, despite not being an Apple Music subscriber, and despite the speaker’s somewhat limited functionality, I am enjoying owning the HomePod. I remain convinced that in the future, voice will be one of the most common ways that we interact with our devices. These are still early days, and smart speakers are probably still best suited for early adopters, but even in its current iteration, the HomePod is a very useful addition to Apple’s lineup. David Averbach is the CEO and Publisher of iPhone Life magazine. David has an obsession with all things Apple. He grew up on Macs and now has a MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and an Apple Watch. David enjoys traveling and Ultimate Frisbee. He has been to over 20 countries. To contact David, email him at David@iphonelife.com.
SHOULD YOU BUY THE HOMEPOD? Answering this question is particularly complicated because the HomePod is still so new. It feels a little like evaluating a painting before the paint has even dried. Over time Apple will build out its functionality, add multi-voice recognition, and support third-party apps. The question then becomes: should we evaluate the HomePod based on how it currently ships or on the potential it holds? If you’re invested in Apple’s product line, I believe that the HomePod‘s integration with the rest of the ecosystem presents a huge advantage over the competition. However, its current feature set is not making the most of these advantages. Despite the audio balance being a little off, the HomePod’s hardware is pretty solid. Thus, most of the improvements Apple will make will likely be on the software side and will be available to existing owners. If you own an iPhone (or other Apple device) and are interested in getting a smart speaker, I’d recommend the HomePod over the Amazon Echo, despite the Echo having so many skills. In my opinion, the advantage to having a smart speaker that is integrated into Apple’s ecosystem trumps the ability to access Alexa’s 25,000 skills. Apple will likely add an App Store for the HomePod, but Amazon can never integrate with the ecosystem in the same ways. This is especially true if you are an Apple Music subscriber. If you own Apple products but aren’t interested in being an early adopter and aren’t in a
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12 FEATURES WE’RE CROSSING OUR FINGERS FOR BY DONNA CLEVELAND hat iOS improvements is Apple preparing for us behind closed doors? This is the question on our minds in the months leading up to the Worldwide Developers Conference, where each June Apple demoes the most exciting new software features coming to our iPhones and iPads in the fall. Last year with iOS 11, Apple delivered productivity enhancements for the iPad, translation skills for Siri, and the ability to turn Live photos into GIFs. This year, according to the latest rumors, we’ll be getting—drum roll—devices that work better. Are you excited yet? Don’t worry, along with the muchneeded yet uninspiring performance improvements Apple is rumored to be focusing on, we’re confident the tech giant will also have some showstopping features waiting for us in the wings.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW What is iOS 12? This year’s free software update for your iPhone and iPad. When can I get it? You’ll be able to upgrade to iOS 12 beginning September 2018 (If you’d like to test it early, you will likely be able to enroll in a public beta program in late June).
Fewer Bugs Please! While we’ve come to expect some instability with fledgling software updates, iOS 11 has been particularly notorious for its bugs. Upon release, the Messages app wouldn’t stop crashing and included an autocorrect glitch that swapped out the letter “I” with the letter “A” followed by a box. With iOS 12, Apple is expected to focus on delivering rock-solid performance.
iCloud Photo Sharing That Works During a company trip to Mexico last year, I used Facebook’s Moments app to instantaneously share travel photos with coworkers after experiencing lag time and delays with iCloud Photo Library. With iOS 12, I hope Apple can reproduce the experience that Facebook has created with the Moments app to make photo sharing painless and finding friends intuitive. Support for Multiple User Accounts When Apple’s new MacBook Pro line came out with support for multiple user accounts and Touch ID login capabilities, we were certain the iPad and maybe even the iPhone would be next. We were wrong and are still mad about it! If Apple wants to promote the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement, the ability to log in as different users is a must. Improved Lighting Effects At iPhone Life, our managing editor Rheanne Taylor has been enjoying using the native Camera app’s Lighting Effects while in Portrait mode. But as she’s pointed out, they can look harsh. With the next update, we’d like it if Apple could improve the effects so the results look more natural. Location-Based Do Not Disturb Settings Do Not Disturb can be a lifesaver when you’re in a meeting and don’t want to bother others with your personal notifications. And while you can put Do Not Disturb on a schedule based on time of day, we’d like to see Apple expand its customization settings to include locations. That way, when you’re at places like work, your child’s school, or church, you won’t be interrupted by embarrassing text notifications or calls where they’re unwanted. Dynamic Keyboard for iPad Typing on the iPad’s on-screen keyboard requires so much effort that I simply don’t use my tablet for writing unless it’s connected to a third-party keyboard. There’s evidence that Apple may be coming out with a solution that would track the placement of your fingers so you don’t have to look down as you type. After acquiring keyboard app maker Typesoft Technologies in 2014, Apple has since filed a patent on “finger hover detection for improved typing” in 2016. If Apple could pull off incorporating this feature successfully into iOS for iPads, our touchscreen typing experience could be forever changed. Make Low Power Mode Work with Hey Siri Whenever our feature web writer Conner Carey’s battery is low, she stretches its lifespan by flipping on Low Power Mode. The only problem is, she also likes to use her virtual assistant hands free and Hey Siri is one of the features Apple disables with Low Power Mode in order to conserve energy. With iOS 12, we hope Apple makes Hey Siri more energy efficient so we can use Apple’s AI while enjoying the benefits of Low Power Mode.
Add Crowdsourcing to Apple Maps Apple Maps gets better every year, but it has still sent me down a few dead-end roads only to announce that I’ve reached my destination. I’d feel a lot more understanding if Apple made it easier to send feedback when it gets locations or streets wrong in order to improve its mapping for next time. Customizable Photo Management With Apple’s photo management system, when you take photos on your phone, they instantly appear on all your other devices logged into your iCloud account. However, when you go to delete photos from your iPhone to free up space, your only option is to delete the pictures from iCloud as well. With iOS 12, I hope Apple gives us the option to manage photos on a device-by-device basis, so we can store all our photos to iCloud, but only keep a selection of our choosing on each iOS device. Clear All Apps in the App Switcher When you enter the App Switcher and see all your recently used apps on standby, you can close out each app individually or even a few at a time when you swipe up. However, there’s no way to close them all out at once. For those times when your phone is acting up, we hope Apple adds one button that lets you close out all your apps so you can start fresh. Share & Lock Entire Folders in Notes In recent years, Apple has added the ability to share individual notes with contacts and has also added the ability to lock notes so you can keep sensitive information private. It’s easy to forget these features exist, because they feel half-baked. If Apple added the ability to lock and share entire folders instead of just individual notes, I’d be a lot more likely to take advantage of the app’s sharing and locking capabilities. Ability to Identify Robocalls Unwanted marketing calls have become so common in recent years that I pretty much avoid all calls from unknown numbers. I’ve missed some important calls this way though! It would be nice if Apple could alert us to robocalls so we’d know not to pick up when one of them dials your number. What features are you hoping for? Email email@example.com to let us know. Donna Schill Cleveland is the Editor in Chief of iPhone Life magazine. After a short stint as a newspaper reporter, she became web editor at iPhone Life, where she continues to pair her penchant for storytelling with her love of Apple products. Donna holds a master’s degree from the University of Iowa School of Journalism & Mass Communication.
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Get the iPhone X Guide with iPhone Life Insider ($9.99/month or $59.94/year, iPhoneLife.com/Insider) Despite its gorgeous display and awesome features, the iPhone X presents an inevitable learning curve when upgrading. But the transition doesn’t have to be a pain in your butt! Our in-depth video guide will walk you through your beautiful iPhone X and make learning everything you need to know easy and fun. The iPhone X Guide is part of iPhone Life’s Insider membership. Whether you’re an iPhone newbie or an iOS enthusiast, iPhone Life Insider can take you to the next level of iPhone and iPad expertise! When you sign up, you’ll receive instant access to the iPhone X Guide, as well as all of the other epic features we offer. What are those features, you ask? What’s included with an iPhone Life Insider subscription: • One-minute video tips sent to your inbox every day, including a Saturday app feature. • Full access to every in-depth guide and collection, past and present. • Access to every issue of iPhone Life magazine, which you can access from any device. • Have an iOS problem? Send our editors a direct email and they will help you find a solution! Go to iPhoneLife.com/Insider to start on your path to becoming an iPhone expert today!
LifeProof NUUD for iPad Pro ($89.99–$169.99, LifeProof.com) You protect your iPhone with a case, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your iPad? LifeProof has the toughest cases for all of your devices, including the prestigious iPad Pro. With the NUUD case from LifeProof, your iPad Pro will be waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and snowproof. The NUUD case is available for all sizes too, so whether you have a 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, or 12.9-inch iPad Pro, LifeProof has you covered. With the LifeProof NUUD case, your iPad is submersible up to 6.6 feet for a full hour; it’s also shockproof up to four feet and keeps all dirt and snow out. A common favorite feature is the protected screen—the edges of the NUUD protrude and shield the screen without requiring a plastic cover. That means you have full touchscreen responsiveness and direct display access. Don’t risk your thousand-dollar device; the LifeProof NUUD is an investment in its lifetime. If you let your kids use your iPad, if you take it on the road, or even if you just sit in bed and watch shows with it, the NUUD case will ensure it’s safe for years to come. Live and play worry free with the NUUD case for the iPad Pro.
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Informant 5 (Free, PocketInformant.com) You need an app that can do it all—a one-stop place for reviewing everything on your to-do list and in your schedule. Informant 5 is that app. Whether you’re managing a work project with many parts or planning a dinner date, Informant 5 is the app to keep it all organized. Informant 5 has a 30day calendar view that’s actually helpful. You can create events, todos, projects, and tasks to help you keep track of everything from bills to pay to your best friend’s birthday. The 7-day view in Informant 5 is the favorite at iPhone Life, as it lays out everything beautifully with color-coding for an easy glance at the week ahead. Other features include weather and email integration, a TravelAssist setting that automatically manages any time zone confusion, and a Dark Mode that makes your schedule easier to see in lowlight situations. And we still haven’t mentioned it all. Informant 5 is free to try; so why are you still reading this? Get it in the App Store now.
Tablift ($39.95, Tablift.com) The vast majority of iPad stands aren’t made for lounging, which means you end up holding your tablet at awkward angles when you should be stretched out in maximum relaxation mode. Not true of the incredible Tablift stand, which is designed for use on any uneven surface, including your bed, couch, or lounge chair by the pool.
When it comes to iPad productivity gear, there are more options than you could ever sort through. But they’re all designed for someone sitting at a desk. Yet there are highly productive people that aren’t able to get out of bed to work; for them, Tablift is not just for comfort but for quality of life. Tablift is designed to clip onto any iPad model. The four legs are flexible, allowing you to shift and shape Tablift however it works best for you. Tablift has three built-in angles, but those flexible legs also allow you to adjust your iPad to whatever angle you find most comfortable. As the hands-free iPad stand you’ve always dreamed of, Tablift will turn your iPad experience into one of ultimate comfort.
Gobudi Casebudi ($8.95, Casebudi.com) Never risk damaging your Apple Watch during transport again. Casebudi by Gobudi is designed specifically to protect any watch during unpredictable travel. Casebudi’s sleek form minimizes bulk while providing a shell solid enough for your daily life and adventures alike.
Casebudi’s shell is constructed of tough ballistic nylon and sports a top-quality Japanese zipper. Each case is individually inspected and tested, zippers and all, and is packaged in the United States for shipment. The included carabiner allows you to easily hook Casebudi onto a backpack or briefcase. Plus, each Casebudi includes a one-year warranty as well. Casebudi is a winning solution to keep your Apple Watch safe. I got a chance to test out the Casebudi and was impressed with its sturdiness, strength, and sleek design. If you travel with your Apple Watch, whether on the daily commute or during long trips, Casebudi is the accessory you need to ensure it stays in perfect working condition.
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alara by BRINK case ($39.99–$49.99, BRINKcase.com) The alara case is designed to protect you and your phone. If you’re concerned about cellphone radiation, you’ll find no better case than alara. Did you know that your head and body can absorb up to 50 percent of the radiation from your cellphone during normal use? By redirecting radiation away from you, this patented technology reduces your exposure by up to 67 percent while maintaining your phone’s signal. In fact, it’s the only case on the market that reduces your exposure while retaining signal. Just snap on the case and it works automatically.
The alara case exceeds US military standards and is drop-proof up to 6 feet, providing maximum protection in multiple ways. The case design also provides access to all of your iPhone’s ports and functions, so it’s protective without being obstructive. The minimalist design of alara is perfect for everyday life. Your purchase comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee, but you won’t need it as the alara undergoes rigorous lab testing to ensure it’s working optimally for you. It’s available for the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X; get yours today.
Matias Backlit Wireless Keyboard, Winter Snow Edition ($139, Matias.ca) Apple may consider its keyboard magic, but it clearly hasn’t seen Matias’ Wireless Backlit Keyboard—now available in a crisp Winter Snow color. This Backlit Wireless Keyboard includes a full-sized numeric pad, two separate batteries for powering the keyboard and backlight, plus the ability to pair with four different devices and easily switch between them. This is wireless done right at a fantastic price.
One of the biggest selling points of the Matias Wireless Backlit Keyboard is the brilliance of including two separate batteries. It is designed to last a full year on a single charge, which is why it has a huge 1600mAh battery and a second (1400mAh) for the backlight. Apple’s “magic” keyboard only lasts a month! A common favorite feature of the keyboard is the ability to pair the keyboard with four different devices. And there’s a button right on the keyboard for quickly switching devices. Get the best keyboard at a great price; get the Matias Backlit Wireless Keyboard in Winter Snow today.
Jamf Now (First 3 devices free, then $2/device/ month, Jamf.com) Your company’s devices are invaluable. But you’re probably spending too much time or money configuring and maintaining those devices. Trade in the hassle and get Jamf Now. Jamf Now is a cloud-based mobile device management system that allows you to configure settings, add email accounts, download apps, and set up security measures for all of the devices in the company.
There are three main pillars to Jamf Now. The first is the ability to remotely configure all of your iPads, iPhones, and Macs at work. This includes setting up Wi-Fi, changing settings, and setting up email accounts. The second pillar is the ability to manage these devices. You can even deploy company-wide apps, such as Slack for team communication, and know that everyone has the ability to access the apps. Lastly and most importantly, Jamf Now makes protecting your devices easy. You can remotely enforce passcodes, encryption, and even lock or wipe devices remotely. Try Jamf Now today; it’s free for up to three devices!
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FullContact ($9.99/Month, FullContact.com/Apps) Ditch Apple’s subpar Contacts app and get FullContact instead. Not only does FullContact seamlessly manage all your contacts from various sources, but it looks for updates to information, merges duplicates, and even allows you to scan business cards so you can quickly, easily, and accurately add new connections. Tip of the Day Newsletter (Free, iPhoneLife.com/DailyTips) Master your iPhone in one minute a day. Sign up to receive free, bite-sized how-tos, tips, and tricks delivered straight to your inbox. Our Tip of the Day newsletter is the best way to keep up to date on all the latest and greatest features your iPhone is capable of. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced user, our tips will make your iPhone experience more efficient and enjoyable. Over 90,000 people reap the benefits of our daily tips. And with an ever-expanding archive of over 1,000 iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV tips, there’s guaranteed to be nuggets of useful information in each email. Learn better from watching videos? Become an iPhone Life Insider to upgrade to daily video tips (plus a whole lot of other incredible goodies). With our tips, learn how to repost a photo to Instagram, set up Apple Pay on your iPhone, expertly navigate the Mail app, customize your Apple Watch face, master the latest features of new operating systems, and so much more. Visit iPhoneLife.com now, and select Daily Tips to sign up for free.
If you’ve ever been to a tradeshow or networking event, you’ve likely collected business cards that are all too easily lost. Not with FullContact! Use the app to scan each card and easily keep track of all that useful information. Plus, two real people at FullContact will review the scan to make sure everything is completely accurate. Whether for business or personal use, being able to contact the right people without any problems is hugely important. We all need a contacts app that not only does its job well but improves our overall experience. FullContact does that and more. Download FullContact today.
Scosche MagicMount™ Charge ($69.99–$79.99, Scosche.com) Wireless charging has come to the iPhone, but Apple has yet to release its own wireless charging pad. No worries; the MagicMount Charge Wireless Charging Magnetic Mount has you covered. Perfect for your kitchen counter, desk, or side table, this mount magnetically holds your iPhone, making it easy to tap the screen and use your iPhone while it’s charging. Since Apple decided to use the Qi industry standard in wireless charging, you don’t have to worry about compatibility. The MagicMount Charge is Qi certified for a safe, reliable wireless charge that’s been tested and proven. The mount easily attaches to a counter or car window with its StickGrip™ suction base that has a strong hold while remaining portable. The MagicMount Charge works with your new iPhone 8/8 Plus or iPhone X or any other Qi-enabled device. Scosche is the leading mount brand in the United States; get the best for your new device. Check out Scosche’s full collection of wireless charging solutions at Scosche.com.
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TOP TIPS, APPS & GEAR TO STREAMLINE YOUR DAY AND BOOST YOUR EFFICIENCY or the busy person, the word productivity can feel like code for “pressure to get more done.” When offered the latest productivity tip, you might think, “Great, I’ll add that to my to-do list.” Don’t worry, we know you’ve got a lot on your plate and don’t want this issue to feel like another chore. Instead, we’d like it to offer an escape from the daily grind and a chance to reengage with what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning. That’s why we’ve opened this special section with productivity hacks from professionals (pg. 30) who urge you to keep your most important and inspiring goals in the forefront of your mind. And once you’re feeling excited to tackle the projects that lie ahead of you, we’ll offer you tools that will help you get where you want to go. We’ll share our favorite apps (pg. 34) and gear (pg. 36) that will help you kick off your next endeavor smoothly and efficiently, and we’ll offer app tutorials for some of the most powerful productivity apps available. So, turn the page to dig in to new ideas, big-picture thinking, and practical app and accessory advice that will help you fill 2018 with your biggest accomplishments yet.
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PROFESSIONALS SHARE TIPS FOR BECOMING MORE INSPIRED & EFFICIENT IN 2018 BY DONNA CLEVELAND
n my professional life, I’ve been amazed at how much making a few small tweaks to my habits has improved my output and daily experience at work. This revelation has left me wondering—what other productivity hacks are people practicing that I could be taking advantage of, if only I knew about them? So, on all of our behalf, I asked 11 professionals across many ﬁelds to share the strategies that are making their life more inspired and efﬁcient in 2018.
fccBÞUB~fqXuPnqfNwKuX~Xu¡WBK_ Just start: It’s easy to feel daunted by new projects. I ﬁnd that taking the simple step of opening a document, titling it, and writing a few bullet points makes the project feel tangible and ready to dig in to.
Batch process everything: Do you repeat tasks that involve the same or similar steps? You can usually save time by grouping these tasks together and tackling each step for all before moving on to the next step (e.g., write your articles for the week, fact check all of them, then add images at the end).
Listen to music without lyrics: I used to listen to pop or hip hop at work, but stopped after catching myself singing along instead of actually doing my job. Recently, I discovered that listening to music without lyrics gets me in the zone without distracting me (Try Spotify’s Deep Focus or Productive Morning playlists).
Embrace the chaos: Author and professor Brené Brown is the ﬁrst person who introduced me to the idea that when things feel messy, good stuff is usually happening. For me, this applies to big-picture planning meetings and complex writing projects. When I feel overwhelmed and like I can’t see an end in sight, that’s often when I’ve done my best work.
Know your next step: Before I leave work for the day, I write down my exact next step for a project so I can jump right back in the next morning without losing momentum.
PRODUCTIVITY them before you pick up your phone! If you look at your phone first thing in the morning, you start your day in a reactive state. If you accomplish goals every morning before looking at your phone, you’ll start your day in control with little victories that will spill into the rest of your day.”
“Take Many Short Breaks.”
Ari Banayan Co-Founder of Habit Nest “There are a few strategies my team uses to hit inbox zero. First, unsubscribe from unwanted emails or roll up a few newsletters into one email using the free tool Unroll.Me. Secondly, become strict about when you respond. My co-founder loves using Inbox Pause to gain control over when emails appear. Finally, snooze emails. I sometimes snooze messages for 1-2 months just for the sanity of only seeing the most time-sensitive to-dos in my inbox.”
“Accomplish 3–5 Goals Each Day… Before You Look at Your Phone!” Casey Moran Founder at True Path “If you can win your morning, you’ll win your day. Pick 3–5 goals in the morning—they don’t have to be hard (e.g., shower, make coffee, meditate), but, the key is to do
all your tasks, rocks are your critical tasks, pebbles are important but nonessential, and sand is basically filler. I plan my rocks and pebbles ahead of time; they require time and are the biggest tasks I have to do. For me, sand is smaller annoyances like notifications and interruptions. If you focus on them, you’ll never have time for the big tasks. Remember that you can only fill one jar per week!”
Hamna Amjad Community Manager at Ridester.com
“Keep the Big Picture in View.” Katie Trauth Taylor CEO of Untold Content “Productivity is less about squeezing out one more activity to feel as though we’re accomplished, and more about steady progress toward long-term goals. As CEO of a woman-owned startup, I see productivity as a measure of strategic vision. The more clearly my team sees our goals and long-term strategy, the more productive we can be. As content creators, we embed our big visions into our daily routines using a Trello (free) list called our Week at a Glance. On this list, we have a smaller checklist that features our annual strategic imperatives— those big picture goals we must accomplish by the year’s end. Each imperative is broken down into specific monthly goals. Because this big-picture planning is right on our Week at a Glance, we look at it almost every day during our 15-minute morning huddles.”
“You must be wondering how taking breaks can make you more productive. Trust me, it works! Ideally, you should take 15-minute breaks every 90–120 minutes to refresh your mind so that you can work wholeheartedly and more efficiently. It will help you focus more and keep you motivated. So, put your mobile (or anything else that distracts you) away for those 90 minutes and stay away from social media to pay full attention to your work.”
“Make Time for Rocks, not Sand.” Olivier Plante CEO of Fleksy “I keep the time-management analogy about pebbles, rocks, and sand in a jar present in everything I do. The jar is your total time available for
“Find Your North Star.” Scott Amyx Author and Managing Partner at Amyx Ventures “Busyness is not the same as productivity. True productivity moves the needle toward something greater. When you have clarity on what your passion or goal in life is, then you have a guiding North star. This is bigger than a New Year’s resolution; it has to span the time horizon of your life. For some, this can take years to figure out. Even if you have a vague idea of what you want your legacy to be, such as wanting to help spur innovation on a global scale, that’s enough to begin to deconstruct that lifetime goal into multi-year goals. Now, when you are productive, you are intrinsically motivated because you know explicitly how your action today ties into the bigger picture over your lifespan. Only when
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PRODUCTIVITY we do the things most uncomfortable do we begin to stretch ourselves, grow, and extend our influence and power. Had you not taken those risks, you may never have met that person or been introduced to that opportunity that would ultimately change the trajectory of your life to move you closer to realizing your life’s mission statement.”
gencies, texts, calls, and emails. I’ve learned it can all wait. Prioritizing and taking care of what I need to do first is essential. That is a lesson that took me a while to learn.”
“Turn Off Slack for an Hour.”
inclination to move from our work computer or work phone to our personal phone when we take a break. This attachment to technology makes it difficult to differentiate between work and relaxation time. Instead of trading out one screen for one another, consider using a break to detach from technology to go on a walk, read, or meditate. You will feel more refreshed when you return to your workspace electronics.”
Neil Andrew Marketing Manager at PPC Protect
“Segment Your Day.” Emily Wright Director of Operations & Marketing at ONNO T-Shirt Company “I have a very unstructured job/office setting where I have a lot of autonomy. I also have ADHD, which is sort of a bad combination! My secret to staying productive is to chunk my day into different types of tasks using smartphone alarms. The first two hours of my day are for administrative tasks. When my alarm goes off, I take a short break, and then switch gears to calling clients. I start my day with easy tasks and end it with my favorite creative-outlet tasks. Right before lunch is when I handle the tasks I hate, and I think of eating lunch as a reward for getting through them!”
“As the marketing manager of a tech startup, I’m often bombarded with emails and Slack messages throughout the day. Not only can this be incredibly distracting, but it can also be very stressful. To help me get through the day, I turn off all my Slack notifications and close down my emails for one hour a day. This allows me to focus on the task at hand without people asking me if I’ve seen the office fidget spinner anywhere.”
Amy M. Gardner Certified Professional Coach with Apochromatik “It sounds counterintuitive, but I’ve found that when I invest time in exercising, I’m much more productive and efficient and have more energy. I am also less likely to waste time during the day if I know I need to be finished at work in time to get to the gym or need to get to bed early so I can be up early.”
“Turn Off Your Phone.” Alexis Davis Founder and CEO of H.K. Productions Inc. “I turn my phone off for a designated amount of time for tasks that require intense focus. It’s easy to get pulled in to other people’s emer-
“Take a Break from Screens.” Jake Tully Head of Marketing at TruckDrivingJobs.com “In today’s work environment, we have a natural
“Frontload Your Day.” Marina Pilipenko Marketing Manager at actiTIME “I begin my day with the most significant and time-consuming task. This way I have the large part of an assignment done by lunchtime. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and inspires me for the rest of the day. I know my biological rhythm and that I have a productivity decline around 5 p.m. I plan my day so that I do the most routine tasks at this time. I don’t like to leave the office when a task is half done. Then I have to spend some time the next day getting back into the process. I try to leave the assignment at least to some milestone.”
Or Favrite Apps TOP PICKS FROM THE IPHONE LIFE TEAM
Trello (Free) Millions of people use this project management app, and for good reason. Here’s how Trello works: You create boards for new projects, and within those boards you create lists, which you can then fill with cards that represent tasks or ideas. A popular way to use Trello is to create lists for each stage of a project, such as Incomplete, In Progress, and Done. That way, you can easily see where you are at a glance. In a nutshell, Trello gives you the freedom to structure your workflow in whatever way makes sense to you. Unlike the rigid structure of most to-do apps, Trello can hold huge amounts of formatted text, checklists, and comment chains within cards. This level of detail within a simple framework makes Trello an invaluable tool. As you use Trello, you naturally create a log of past projects, which you can revisit when training a new team member. Delving into a project history and reading through comments is a great way for a new employee to learn the thinking behind a project and how it developed over time.
Ulysses ($4.99/month) For all of your writing needs, Ulysses delivers. The app syncs your writing across all of your devices, so you have access to your content when and where you need it. It is designed to be distraction free, and the text is markup based, which means you can create content that’s fully formatted and ready to export for e-books, blogs, PDFs, and HTML. For those of you working on developing a consistent writing habit, set a word count goal in Ulysses and get in the flow. The app is free to download but requires a monthly or yearly subscription, which includes access to the app on all your devices. Notes (Free) Notes makes a great tool for keeping a daily work-life journal. Our CTO Raphael Burnes prefers its simplicity and low barrier to entry so much that he uses it over all other habit tracking apps he’s tried. That’s saying a lot, considering the many great notetaking apps out there! To stay organized, Raph creates a new note each day and uses checklists for the tasks that he wants to remember. Notes makes a great scratchpad for things that come up during the day like shopping lists, quotes, or reflections from books or articles. Just remember to periodically sort through your notes so you remember to follow up on some of those brilliant ideas you’ve had! 34
TextGrabber 6 ($4.99) While you can now scan documents in the Notes app, you still can’t edit or search the resulting PDFs. With TextGrabber 6, you can just point your camera at handwritten or typed text and the app will instantaneously create a document for you that is searchable, editable, and shareable. TextGrabber 6 recognizes 60 languages, and when you make an in-app purchase it can translate the text into 100 different languages. This is a great app for students, travelers, and researchers. TeamViewer (Free) This remote access app is probably one of the most powerful free apps out there. With TeamViewer, you can manage your desktop computer or another smartphone right from your iPhone. All you have to do is install TeamViewer on both your computer and iPhone and you’ll be able to control your computer remotely—simply by entering in a master password! You can transfer files between devices and even print documents, no problem. This is a great tool to expand your phone capabilities when working on the go, and is also a great way to help a coworker or friend who’s experiencing technical difficulties.
PRODUCTIVITY Over (Free) If you’re looking for a way to create marketing materials on your iPhone or iPad, Over is a great way to go. The app is easy to use and allows you to create professional-looking graphics so you can promote that event you’re hosting or product you’re launching. Once in the app, you can peruse the gallery of templates until you find a look you like. You’ll be able to use a graphic from Over or upload a photo from your gallery, and from there you can play with fonts, handwritten text, and icons to your heart’s content until you have a finished product you’re proud to share. Appear.In (Free) Video conferencing is a crucial feature for many businesses. If everyone on your team has bought into a service like Skype or Slack, then you’re all set. But what about those times when you’re talking to people outside your core team? Appear.in is a great solution because it doesn’t require any registration or setup whatsoever. Just create a room and begin inviting people to it via email, Slack, or your platform of choice. All the recipient has to do is follow the link to join the call. You can share your screen and add up to four people to the call for free. To add up to 12 people, you’ll have to pay $9.99/month for a Pro account. Eventail (Free) The Today View on your iPhone and iPad is a place where you can view information from different app widgets at a glance. But the widget we have been wanting is a simple calendar view of the week ahead instead of the day-ahead one Apple provides. There’s something soothing about knowing your upcoming schedule without opening the Calendar app. Eventail lets you create a calendar widget using the Apple Calendar app you know and love. It simply asks for permission to access your existing calendars, then uses that information to populate the widget. The free version of Eventail allows you to display up to five days ahead on your calendar. With Eventail Pro ($1.99), you can also have Reminders appear in the widget. With this widget installed, you can keep your schedule in perspective and figure out where you can fit in a meeting or some chill time. JotTheDate (Free) This freehand calendar is a great option for iPad Pro users with an Apple Pencil. JotTheDate has the Magic Marker look of the calendars of yore you used to pin to your cubicle wall, allowing you to fill it with the personality of your busy, messy life. This app syncs with Apple’s Calendar app, so you can see events from all your calendars alongside your handwritten scribbles and doodles. The app supports pressure sensitivity so you have control over the shading of your drawing. You can also switch between day, week, month, and year view as well as list view to control how much information you see.
Achieve a Healthy Wrk-Life Balance We believe that a healthy work-life balance is at the core of longterm productivity. That’s why at iPhone Life we’ve invested in things like a four-day workweek, afternoon walks, and a massive beanbag chair to lounge on during breaks. We’ve also found the following apps to help us stay happy, healthy, and on point. Give them a try! Fit Men Cook (Free) For a lot of people, getting started with healthy eating is the hardest part. This app paves the way with meal plans, shopping lists, and loads of information on food brands and meal prep. Fit Men Cook has nearly 400 recipes that cover categories including Low Carb, Meal Prep, Vegan, Budget, Post-Workout, High Protein, and Snacks & Sweets. You can view and save recipes for free, or you can pay $0.99/month to create a weekly meal plan so you can easily shop for and prep everything you need. Tell the app your goals or calorie limit and it will create a plan for you. Before you know it, you’ll be a meal-prep and healthy-eating master. SleepGenius ($4.99) We’re firm believers that nothing can boost your productivity more than a good night’s rest. According to Centers for Disease Control, one in three of us are getting fewer than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night. SleepGenius combines soothing sleep music, a gentle alarm, a relaxation program for anxiety at any time, and even a power nap feature to help you get the rest you deserve. The resulting program is so effective that NASA uses it to encourage relaxation and healthful sleep for a group of people that you can imagine have high rates of anxiety and insomnia—astronauts! Spotify (Free) This might not be the typical app that comes to mind when considering productivity apps, but we regularly turn to Spotify to help us stay focused during work tasks. The app features a collection of music specifically for helping users concentrate, with playlists like Peaceful Piano, Instrumental Study, Productive Morning, and more! Headspace ($12.99/month) If you’re looking to incorporate the benefits of meditation into your daily life, you’ll find Headspace to be a great tool. You can try out some guided practices for free, and if you like it, you can access a large collection of programs for $12.99/month. With Headspace, you can meditate whether you’re folding laundry, running, or sitting in bed, with a variety of programs for different activities. We recommend taking short meditation (or nap) breaks to help stay alert and peaceful throughout your day.
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INSPIRATION FOR YOUR ULTIMATE WORKSPACE BY THE IPHONE LIFE TEAM
CANON PIXMA G4200 WIRELESS AIRPRINTER ($299.99) Every business or home office needs a good printer with scanning and faxing capabilities too. And now that you can scan, sign, and create PDFs easily on your iPhone, it only makes sense to buy an AirPrint-compatible printer like the Canon all-in-one PIXMA G4200. It not only lets you print from your desktop but also allows you to send documents directly from your iPhone. In our office, setting up the G4200 was easy—AirPrint worked on our first attempt even without using Canon’s app, and the print quality was very good. A feature that sets Canon apart is its MegaTank, a bulk ink feature that’s excellent at reducing costs and management of ink cartridges.
FITBIT ALTA HR ($149.95) For productivity, balance is key. When your physical, mental, and emotional health are on track, your productivity levels soar. That’s why the Fitbit Alta HR is such a great productivity tool. Between the fitness tracker itself and the full-featured app that goes with it, you can make sure you’re on track with hydration, movement, and more. Our feature web writer Conner Carey loves her Alta. An underrated feature, she says, is the stand reminders, which serve as a cue to get up, stretch, and check in with yourself. Taking those small breaks in the midst of busy activity can help you to work better for longer.
1MORE QUAD DRIVER IN-EAR HEADPHONES ($199.99) If you participate in video or conference calls for work, investing in a high-quality pair of headphones with a mic is crucial to maintaining your professionalism. We first listened to these beauties from 1More in a busy hall at the Consumer Electronics Show and were immediately wowed by such crisp, full sound coming from an in-ear headphone. 1More’s products reduce echoing and room noise, and come with a volume and track control panel so it’s easy to adjust on the fly. They also are great for listening to music and tuning out distractions.
MOLESKINE CLASSIC NOTEBOOK ($24.95) While we use plenty of iPhone apps for journaling (see pg. 42 for a tutorial on Day One), some of us also like to keep a physical journal like this one from Moleskine. Our CTO Raphael Burnes explained it well when he said, “It feels more concrete to create something on physical paper, which increases clarity and peace of mind.” However, he also enjoys journaling on his phone so he can search, edit, and organize his words. The great news is you don’t have to commit to one medium! You can use both. Try using a Moleskine next time you feel like journaling and see how it feels.
AUTONOMOUS SMART DESK 3 ($549) We’ve all heard the phrase, “sitting is the new smoking.” Unfortunately, if you’ve got a desk job, then you likely sit for hours on end and there’s no real chance of changing that anytime soon. What’s the next best thing? A standing desk that will take you from sitting to standing with the click of a button. At iPhone Life, we’ve all been jealous of Conner’s standing desk from Autonomous, and now they’ve come out with an even cooler version with the Smart Desk 3. Aside from lifting and lowering like the previous model, this smart desk pairs with your phone and uses AI to learn your habits and help you do things like stay hydrated, catch an Uber, order lunch, or listen to your favorite Spotify playlist. Get ready to feel less sluggish while you work and more empowered by the ability to adapt your work environment to your needs. While it doesn’t have storage and it takes some work to put together, we think it’s well worth it.
LOGITECH SLIM COMBO KEYBOARD FOR IPAD PRO ($129.99–$149.99) If you’re using an iPad Pro at work, you already know that a good stand and attachable keyboard are crucial for productivity. With a backlit keyboard and Smart Connectors for easily attaching your iPad Pro, this case is our absolute favorite. Logitech did a great job of thinking of just about everything you’d need, including five different ways to use the case from landscape to portrait orientation. There’s even a dedicated row of shortcuts at the top to make your iPad Pro feel even more like a laptop replacement. The Slim Combo comes in two pieces, including a case with a kickstand for propping your tablet for video calls and media viewing, and a Smart Connector folio keyboard cover that you never need to pair or charge. We recommend Logitech over Apple’s keyboard cover, as it’s sturdier and holds up better over time.
STM BANKS LAPTOP BACKPACK ($129.95) The Murphy’s Law of backpacks and purses dictates that whatever you need most falls to the bottom of your bag and hides. At last there’s an exception to this rule with STM’s commuter backpack. Our feature web writer Leanne Hayes had been looking for a bag that could not only accommodate her glasses, laptop, notebook, pens, snacks, water bottle, and wallet, but also keep it all contained, organized, and safe. That’s a tall order, and STM delivered. It includes a designated section for every item and, most importantly, protects your laptop with a suspended pouch to cushion it from jolts and jostles. Leanne has found walking and biking with this pack to be satisfying as well, as it’s not so large as to unbalance you, and there’s a good amount of airflow due to the breathable panel on the back of the bag.
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AUDIOQUEST’S NIGHHAWK OVER-EAR HEADPHONES ($620–$699.95) If you’re doing extensive audio work like our managing editor Rheanne Taylor does, you may want to invest in a high-quality pair of over-ear headphones. Since many models can begin to hurt your ears after an hour or so of use, finding a nice set of headphones that you can wear all day is vital. Enter AudioQuest’s Nighhawk headphones, which not only sound incredible, but include an adjustable strap and suspension design that makes them super comfortable. Rheanne wears the NightHawks while editing video tips and is so happy with them.
POPSOCKET ($10) Most of us use our phones for work as well as play, which presents certain challenges. All that typing and carrying can be hard on your hands, and holding your device at different angles or while carrying other items can be a real pain. Don’t be fooled by the PopSocket’s fun designs—this is no lightweight novelty item. The PopSocket enables you to hold your device comfortably without cramping and acts as a convenient desktop stand so you can rest your phone on its side and keep the display clearly visible. The adhesive is strong and reusable, and doesn’t damage your phone.
BLUE MICROPHONES RASPBERRY ($199.99) This retro-looking microphone is anything but old school. With USB and Lightning cable compatibility, you can use the Raspberry to conduct interviews on the go with your iPhone or iPad or in the studio connected to your laptop or desktop computer. We use mics from Blue to record the iPhone Life Podcast, and contributors use Raspberry mics at tradeshows and events to conduct interviews. We’ve found Blue to offer great value for the price and to make professional-level recording accessible to the average person.
FRTMA MAGNETIC SLEEVE FOR APPLE PENCIL ($12.99) Whether you’re keeping track of your client’s ad spending, brainstorming new projects, or taking notes in class, the Apple Pencil makes an amazing productivity tool for iPad Pro users. With this silicone sleeve by FRTMA, your coveted accessory finally has the magnetic grip Apple should have built into it! Once you’ve installed the silicone sleeve on your Pencil, itl will be more comfortable to hold and will stick to the front side of your iPad Pro without rolling away. We recommend sticking it to the right side, that way it won’t interfere with the Smart Cover.
5 WAYS TO RULE THE CUBICLES AS THE LORD OF SLACK BY DONNA CLEVELAND
Stay Organized with Channels Referring to Slack as a work chat platform feels like an injustice. It’s so much more than that! One feature that sets Slack apart is its Channels feature, which helps you avoid tedious email chains and extra meetings. Channels allow you to communicate with your team by department or project, instead of by direct message only. To set up a channel on your iPhone, tap the plus icon in the upper right corner of the channel list. Tap Create and enter in a name and purpose for your channel. If you make your channel public, anyone in the company can join; if you set it to private, you can invite people by tapping the name of the channel, then Members, then Invite. Get Answers with a Poll Have you ended up on the party planning committee against your will? Slack makes it easier to serve your time. Trying to decide what kind of pizza to get for the next office luncheon? Save a lot of unnecessary debate by creating a quick poll in Slack. It’s shockingly easy and is sure to impress your coworkers. Just type /poll, followed by a question and multiple-choice answers separated with quotes. To respond to the poll on your iOS device, just tap the number that corresponds to your answer of choice.
For Comic Relief, Send a GIF Slack isn’t all business—it’s a virtual watercooler where you can bond with coworkers and build office culture. While we like to do things like set goofy profile pics and play pranks using Slackbot, one of the easiest ways to have fun with Slack is to send GIFs. To send GIFs, first install Giphy in the Slack App Directory on Slack’s website. Once that’s done, you can open a channel or direct message and type /giphy followed by a descriptive word. Let Giphy take it from there! If all the GIFs in a channel are getting distracting, just type /collapse in the channel in question, and the images will be hidden from view. React to a Message Some Slack messages don’t require a response. Yet you don’t want to leave it hanging there lonely, do you? You can give the message some love with minimal effort by reacting to it. At our office, we use this feature to acknowledge we’ve seen messages like “Bringing my dog in after lunch,” or “Heading out for a haircut, be back in an hour,” usually with a thumbs up or a heart. To do this on your iPhone or iPad, press and hold the message, tap Add Reaction, then choose the emoji you’d like to pin to the message.
Stay Sane with Do Not Disturb With Slack on your phone, it’s easy for work to follow you home at the end of the day. Don’t let Slack get in the way of your couch time—set up a Do Not Disturb schedule. To do this, tap the menu option in the upper right corner of a message thread and go to Settings > Do Not Disturb. From there, you can set a schedule to match your work hours, so notifications will be snoozed at night until work begins the next day. And finally, if you’re OOO during work hours for lunch or an appointment, just type /DND in any channel or message thread to manually begin or end a Do Not Disturb session.
DISCOVER NEW WAYS TO ORGANIZE YOUR IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS BY CHRIS VASQUES
Encrypt Text People tend to use Evernote for everything. So, naturally, security is a top concern. One Evernote feature worth highlighting is the ability to encrypt text. You can only set up encryption on the desktop app, but once it’s encrypted, a passcode will be required to view the note in iOS. To set this up, open the desktop app and select the text you want to encrypt, go to Edit in the menu, and then select Encrypt Selected Text. Evernote will ask you to set and confirm a password. For added security, you can set up Two-Factor Authentication under Account Settings. This password protects your Evernote login by sending you a text with a code to enter. Use Templates The ability to create and use templates is a feature often overlooked, but widely used. Templates are notes designed for repeated use for things like meeting agendas, forms, and checklists. To get started, create a new notebook in Evernote titled Templates. Create a note in the Templates notebook with information you want to reuse. Now open your templated note and tap the three dots in the upper right. Select Duplicate Note, rename it to suit your needs, and then use the Share icon to move the new note to a different notebook. The original will have remained intact.
Email Content to Evernote Inevitably, some emails in your inbox are worth saving. By forwarding them to Evernote, you can turn them from inbox fodder to smart action items. First, to find the right email address to forward items to, open Evernote and go to Account > Settings > Evernote Email Address. Save this to your contact list as “My Evernote Email” or something that works for you. You can use the subject line to inject some smarts into where it shows up. To add the email to a specific notebook, insert @[notebook name]; to set a reminder, insert !Reminder; and to add a tag, insert #tag. If you don’t specify, Evernote will add the email to your default notebook. NOTE: Free accounts are limited to five emails. Save Web Pages Do you keep lots of tabs open in your browser? Evernote’s Web Clipper feature can help. Using this tool, you can either clip the entire web page to Evernote, save it as a bookmark, or slim it down to text-only for minimalist consumption. You can even set a reminder to look at it later. To get the Web Clipper working on your iPhone or iPad, just use the Share icon in your mobile browser. Next, select the Evernote app and choose which notebook to store your content in, which tags to use, and what to call the note. Back Up Your Files When it comes to backing up files, triple redundancy is the golden rule for me. Evernote files exist in the Evernote cloud server, and they are also stored on your computer if you have the desktop app. But, mistakes happen! Beyond making a Time-Machine backup of your Mac (which is always a good idea), you can back up Evernote manually. To back up Evernote, open the desktop app, go to File > Export All Notes, and save the Evernote XML file in the suggested “.enex” format on your hard drive. You can upload the file to iCloud Files, Dropbox, or just drop it onto a thumb drive. If disaster does strike, you can import your notes back into Evernote by going to File > Import Notes and locating the .enex file you saved before.
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TIPS FOR RECORDING YOUR THOUGHTS & IDEAS BY RHEANNE TAYLOR
Create Multiple Journals I use my journal for a variety of purposes: to create lists, record my thoughts, work on creative projects, jot down quotes from friends, and more. You can see how that journaling mix doesn’t necessarily flow together. So when I learned that I could create multiple journals within Day One, I was excited. I now have six different journals, each of which serve their own purpose. To add a journal, simply tap Journal in the top left corner of the app and select New Journal. You’ll be asked to name the journal, as well as choose a color. Now whenever you want to create a new entry, just select Journal, navigate to your desired one, and tap the plus icon.
Start Writing If you’ve used Day One for a while, then you already know how to create an entry: tap the plus icon at the top and start writing! However, even regular Day One users might not realize all the other things they can do once they begin an entry. For instance, you can change the day of an entry by tapping the date at the top. This is a great feature if you’re writing about a trip you took in the past (or the future, if you are a cool time traveler). Above your keyboard, there’s also a bar with options to add images, create checklists, and make other stylistic changes. My favorite feature is the ability to dictate journal entries by tapping the microphone icon.
Share Your Favorite Entries Although the idea of sharing journal entries might be hard to imagine for some (like me), the option is there for those who enjoy doing so. There are a few different ways to do this. The easiest way to access these options is to swipe left on individual Day One entries in the list view. You’ll see options to share them via Mail, Message, Facebook, and more. From this list of options, you can also create a PDF version of your journal entry and choose how you want to share it. You can also share your entries in book form by selecting the Settings icon from the main page, tapping Book Printing, and then Create a Book.
Tag Your Entries It took me a while to get in the habit of tagging my journal entries, but now I see just how valuable it is for revisiting past thoughts. I love writing about the relationships in my life, so I often tag certain peoples’ names or even locations. Now when I want to look up entries about my nephew, I just navigate to the Tags tab at the top of the app, select Tags, and then search my nephew’s name. This is one of my favorite features now, as I know these memories with him will be invaluable once he’s older. I love that I can easily look back on the experiences we’ve shared together or the funny things he’s said.
Password Protect Your Journals I’ve kept countless physical journals over the years, and I never felt 100 percent safe divulging my thoughts because there was always that fear that someone would snoop through them. The great thing about Day One is that my journals remain on my phone, so I can write about whatever I want. But if you occasionally share your phone or if it’s not passcode protected, then you may want to set up a password. To do this, go to Settings > Passcode & Touch ID (or Settings > Passcode & Face ID on the iPhone X) and toggle on Passcode. You can also toggle on Touch ID or Face ID for immediate access.
TACKLE ALL YOUR TEAM’S TASKS & PROJECTS IN ONE PLACE BY KENNETH BOSHELL
Create Checklists I think checklists are the greatest thing in the world. They help me stay on top of so many tasks. Trello makes it easy to stay on top of my lists at each stage of completion. I do this by keeping a To-Do, Doing, and Done list so I can track my progress at a glance. To create a checklist in Trello, first create a new board (which represents a new project) by tapping the plus sign on the app’s main screen and filling out the info. Create a list by tapping Add List and then typing a title. Next, create a new card by tapping Add Card and filling it out, then tapping Checklist and filling out your checklist. You can move your checklist card to a different board by tapping the three-circle icon in the upper right corner and tapping Move Card. Customize Your Board Trello’s standard blue background can make things confusing when you’re quickly moving in and out of boards. You can make your life a bit easier by setting a unique background color or image for each board. I can visually confirm that I’m in the right board by checking the background image, so I remember which is which. You change your background image by going to the board, then selecting the three dots at the top right. Tap the gear icon, then tap Background. From there, you can set a new color or photograph as your background.
Collaborate on Projects Cards are designed to be buckets that can hold lots of data. You can link to websites, attach files, or talk to team members about a task or idea included on the card. You can leave comments by tapping Comment under the Activity section. There, you can leave a link, jot down thoughts about the subject for your team to see, or attach a document or file. To attach a document, simply press the paperclip to the right of the comment box and choose what you want to attach. Most files will attach directly to the card, but some formats, like a Dropbox attachment, will instead link back to the source. Use Power-Ups! Trello gives you optional apps to connect to at will with a feature called Power-Up that’s basically magic. Free users get access to Calendar and Voting Power-Ups (two of the most useful ones available), while paying users get access to Power-Ups for Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive, to name a few. To access this feature, go to a board, and tap the three dots at the top right. Tap Power-Ups and choose whichever one you wish to use. The calendar Power-Up will help keep track of due dates for you in an easy-to-view manner. This will help you stay on top of your ever-growing to-do list. Manage Your Notifications Want to stay notified of any changes to the status of project you’re working on? You can Subscribe to a board or card in Settings and you’ll be notified of any changes or progress made to the specific item in question. With cards, you’ll be notified of changes in due dates, archiving changes, and added comments. Subscribing to a board means you’ll be notified of all of the above, but for all cards and for newly created cards. At any time, you’ll get notified if you’re mentioned in a checklist item or a comment, if one of your boards is closed, if someone adds you or makes you an admin of a board or team, or if you’re added to a card.
TOP TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR PASSWORDS BY KENNETH BOSHELL
Get Started If you use one password for all your stuff, or if you have them all written down somewhere, you’re not being very safe. A person can gain access to all your accounts if they figure out your one and only password, and you can easily lose a written list. LastPass makes it easy by securely managing your passwords in one place. You can enter in your own passwords, or let the app generate secure ones for you. Once you’ve entered your accounts, the next time you log in to a website, all you have to do is open LastPass and copy and paste the password into the website or app. It’s dirt simple and ultra-secure. If you upgrade to premium (you can get a free trial by referring a friend), you’ll get upgraded storage and easy cross-device password vault sharing. Safely Store Important Documents LastPass isn’t just for passwords. Remember, you can also securely store copies of your driver’s license, credit cards, insurance documents, passports, and so on. You can access this lesser-known yet valuable feature by logging in to the app, then tapping Notes on the top access bar. Once there, click the plus sign to the top right and select which one you want to store. After that, just fill out the information and you’re done! You can also add a picture by tapping on the paperclip along the top of the entry.
Create Better Passwords Did I mention that LastPass can generate passwords for you? To do this, create an entry or go to an existing entry you want to change. Tap Generate New Password. Once there, you can customize your password generation to your liking. You can change the length of the password or tap on Options for the ability to exclude symbols (I don’t recommend this as some websites require symbols in passwords), change the amount of numeric characters you want each password to include, avoid ambiguous passwords, and even make your password pronounceable. Press the refresh symbol to the right of the password until you find a password that you like. Enable Two-Factor Authentication Are you concerned that your fingerprint sensor or facial recognition are not secure enough to keep your LastPass account safe? If so, you can set up LastPass with two-factor authentication to increase your security by requiring you to verify your identity on a second device before accessing your vault. You can use the companion LastPass Authenticator (free) app to prevent other people from trying to log in, or you can download Authy (free), another great two-factor authentication app. Allow Emergency Access How will those left behind manage your accounts in case something terrible befalls you? You don’t have to give someone else your master password and risk your security. Instead, activate Emergency Access on LastPass and have peace of mind knowing that loved ones can finish the work you left behind. Like that one last Instagram post of your funeral that’s totally lit. To do this, open LastPass and click on Security > Emergency Access. Click the plus sign at the top left corner and fill out your emergency contact’s email, then select the amount of time LastPass should wait for your response before their request is granted. The emergency contact will receive instructions on what to do from there.
MANAGE YOUR FINANCES & FINALLY START SAVING MONEY BY KENNETH BOSHELL Create Your Account You Need a Budget (YNAB) is one of the best budgeting apps I’ve ever used. It forced me to take a hard look at my spending and get hands on with it. The app is based on simple principles put into an effective and efficient format to help you get and stay out of debt. After you sign up for a subscription, you’ll be taken to your budgeting page. Tap Accounts from the bottom menu and you can link directly to your bank account through a secure process. Don’t want to do that? It’s okay. You can make a manual budget instead. Track Your Net Worth Click on Reports and you’ll be taken to a screen showing your net worth. It’ll look blank—but don’t panic, that’s normal! After some time, you’ll get a matured overview of your net worth, tracked by month, which will help you to make additional course corrections as needed. You’ll also see an Age of Money chart to help you understand how long you let your dollars sit before you give them a job (which is the whole point of a budget). This will help you determine how best to make your money work for you. So relax, and don’t stress. If you ever wonder what to do, the help files and support community are broad and deep.
Adjust Your Budget Limit as Needed The whole point of YNAB is to get down and dirty with your budget. Make changes, adjust as needed, and tweak your budget to your heart’s content. Just tap on a field and type your projected expenses for each budget category. You can even add custom categories if you want. Then, when you make a transaction, file it under the right category and watch as the app automatically subtracts the amount from your projected budget. Once you hit your limit, you either stop spending in that area or you can transfer money from another category to account for the overage with no stress involved. Here’s a beginner’s tip: always type in the decimal amount, even if they’re zeroes, that way the app registers the correct amount. Record Your Transactions Make sure that you always, always, always record your transactions. If you connected your budget to your bank account, then you get to skip this step, since YNAB will automatically import your income and expenses into the app. Then you just have to sort everything into the right categories. Pictured here, you can see me recording a credit card expense. You can select an individual account, determine which payee the money comes from, and even color code your transactions, depending on your needs at the time or your organizational habits. Pay Down Your Credit Card Speaking of credit cards, with YNAB you can set up a credit card account and keep track of your debt that way. This is a great feature that a lot of people new to YNAB don’t know about. To add a card, just go to the Accounts tab and change the account type to Credit Card. Input the amount you owe, and YNAB will take you to another screen that gives you goals to help you pay down your debt. Now your transactions will directly apply to this account, making it really easy to stick to your plan since you’ll see it every time you open the app.
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CREATE THE STREAMLINED INBOX OF YOUR DREAMS BY CONNER CAREY Quickly Check Hundreds of Emails Email can easily and quickly get out of hand. Before you know it, you’ve got hundreds (if not thousands!) of unread emails and more piling up as the day goes on. Spark made me love my inbox again, offering a way to quickly check hundreds of emails and never miss an important message with its Smart Inbox. Your Smart Inbox shows you all your unread emails organized by category when you open the app. To pin or delete an email, simply swipe left on the preview. Swipe right to either mark it as read or move it to archives. Better yet, if a category has lots of emails you need to go through quickly, look for the check mark in the upper right corner. Tap it, and all the emails (usually three) shown will be marked as read and removed from the list of unread emails. This makes it easy to go through hundreds of emails in minutes by repeatedly tapping that checkmark until you’ve cleared your inbox of messages you’re not interested in reading. Turn On Notifications for Important Emails Only Smart Notifications allow you to “mute strangers and automated emails” so that you’re only notified when someone in your contacts emails you. To turn on Smart Notifications, tap the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner to open the main menu. At the bottom, select Settings, then Mail Accounts, and tap the inbox of your choice. Under Notification Preferences, select Smart.
Understand Your Inbox Categories What makes Spark so efficient is how it shows you your most important emails first and other categories below, descending in order of importance. To do this, Spark breaks up your emails into three main categories: Personal, Notifications, and Newsletters. Personal: These emails are meant to be from people you personally know, although anyone who is sending an email directly to your email address will show up here. This category appears at the top by default. Notifications: These emails are alerts sent directly to you from companies. If you sign up for a newsletter, you’ll get a notification email to confirm your subscription. If you order something on Amazon, you’ll get a notice when the item ships. Those are the kinds of emails you’ll find in the Notifications inbox. Newsletter: This category is for everything else that we may or may not want to check. Newsletters are great, but it’s easy to sign up for too many and suddenly have them take over your inbox. This is the category I have the most emails in, and keeping them all together makes the rest of my inbox instantly more organized. Add an Additional Email Account You likely enabled access to all your mail accounts when you first downloaded and opened Spark. In case you want to add a new account, open Spark and tap the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner. At the bottom, select Settings > Mail Accounts > Add Account. Select the service (Google, Yahoo, iCloud, etc.) or Other. Enter your login information for that email account, tap Log in, and grant Spark permissions to your account information. Spark will then show you the new account’s details; make any changes you’d like. Tap Done.
SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE BY ALLOWING YOUR APPS & DEVICES TO WORK TOGETHER BY KENNETH BOSHELL
Browse Applets IFTTT (If This Then That) is one of the most powerful and useful apps you can use on your iOS device. It provides a way for your apps and devices to work together via IFTTT’s Applets, which bring apps together and allow them to trigger certain actions. You can easily browse pre-made Applets by tapping the Discover tab along the bottom. You’ll see Applets made for a variety of purposes (want your Instagram posts to automatically be saved as a journal entry? There’s an Applet for that!). If you click Search on the bottom of the screen, you can also look for specific Applets by keyword. When you find one that you like, select it and then tap Turn On. Create Your Own Applets What if the Applet you want doesn’t exist? That’s okay. You can make your own! Maybe you want to upload a photo to Instagram and have it automatically upload to a specific Facebook folder too. To do this, go to My Applets, then click the plus icon at the top right. Now press “+this,” and search for Instagram. Click “Any new photo by you with specific hashtag,” fill out the hashtag, and click next. Press the blue “+that” and search for Facebook. Select Facebook, and then select “Upload a photo from URL.” All the specifics will already be filled out for you, and you can change the album name at the bottom. Click next, then click Finish.
Turn Off & Delete Applets Want to turn an Applet off temporarily? That’s easy. Just tap on My Applets at the bottom of the screen, then select the Applet you would like to turn off. Toggle it off. For instance, this Applet would upload any new photo I took from my iPhone and back it up to my Google Drive. To turn the Applet back on, I would simply toggle it on. You can permanently delete an Applet by going to My Applets, selecting the one you want to delete, and then tapping the Settings icon in the upper right. Now scroll down and select Delete. If you want to change or adjust the Applet, you can do that from this screen as well. Change All Your Social Media Profile Pictures When you update your profile picture on Facebook, would you like to easily change it across your social media accounts all in one step? With IFTTT, you can! To do this, simply create a new Applet by navigating to My Applets and tapping the plus icon. Tap “+this” and select Facebook. Choose Your Profile Changes, then select Profile Picture from the dropdown box. Tap next. Now tap “+then,” search for Twitter, and tap Update Profile Picture.
Save Songs to Spotify or Selfies to Day One With the help of Applets, you can automatically add songs you like on YouTube to your Spotify account or add selfies you take to your Day One journal app. You do this by navigating to My Applets and tapping the plus icon. To add music, select YouTube when you tap “+this,” then choose New Liked Video. After tapping Next and “+then,” select Spotify and then Add to Spotify. Fill out the details and finish off as before. To automatically upload selfies to Day One, instead select iOS Photos when you tap “+this,” and choose New Photo with the Front Camera. Then select Day One after tapping “+that.” Click Create Journal Entry and fill out the details.
GRANT SCHREIBER Location: Cape Town, South Africa / Portland, Oregon Age: 50 Bio: Grant is the founding editor of Real Leaders (Real-Leaders.com), the world’s first sustainable business and leadership magazine that promotes better business for a better planet. He’s also a best-selling author and designer.
Skype: I interview celebrities and business leaders around the world, and seeing each other makes a big difference to the quality of the discussion. CityMaps2Go Pro Offline Map: This amazing app has helped me find my way around new cities and countries. I preload my meetings and events on the map and use offline GPS to walk, drive, or run to my next appointment. Uber: Uber is perfect for getting from the airport to your hotel in a foreign country, and it’s a much better option than renting a car and trying to find your own way around. Uber drivers sometimes have great stories and give you an instant sense of the local culture. Voice Memos: When I conduct Skype interviews or come across someone intriguing on the go, I record them using the built-in Voice Memos app to focus on the discussion and get the transcription done later. Eye contact is important in an interview; you don’t want to scribble on a notepad for 30 minutes. Google Analytics: Our website is a key part of our magazine strategy and I like to use Google Analytics to keep an eye on who’s reading what, in which country, and which stories are most popular. I’ve watched the entire Northeastern US light up on our opioid addiction story—stats can tell a story too. Google Translate: With the help of this app, I once had a whole conversation with an Italian nun in a monastery in Rome—despite not knowing Italian! Also, this app is good for translating road and subway signs. PromptSmart Pro: Shuffling papers during a speech is so ‘90s. I use this voice-activated teleprompter app to automatically scroll through my speech while addressing an audience. It pauses when you stop speaking and starts again when you talk. It’s brilliant for creating a natural-sounding presentation without any finger-scrolling distractions.
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CRACK THE CODE
CLOSING THE DIVERSITY GAP BY TEACHING GIRLS & STUDENTS OF COLOR COMPUTER SCIENCE
BY DONNA CLEVELAND Alless/shutterstock
f you’re looking for a career with good job security and a great salary, you need look no further than computer science. We live in an app-based world, after all, where there’s an exponentially growing need for software that meets the needs of our modern-day life. Since 1990, jobs in computer science have grown by 338 percent according to a recent Pew Research Center report, making them the fastest-growing occupations in the United States. These are high-paying jobs too, with a current median salary of more than $82,000 (which is almost double the national median income), according to the US Labor Department. However, while the field of computer science is brimming with opportunity, women and minorities fill a disproportionately small number of these positions. According to the Pew report, only 7 percent of computer jobs are filled by African Americans and 7 percent by Hispanic workers, while these populations comprise 12 percent and 17 percent of the US labor force, respectively. The report found that while women in the states have come close to closing the overall labor force gap (now filling 47 percent of jobs), their percentage in computer-related jobs has actually dropped from 32 to 25 percent in the past three decades. The study observes an interesting correlation: since personal computers came out and the public perception set in that they’re primarily the domain of white male gamers, the percentage of women in computer fields has steadily dropped. Big tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook have been in the national spotlight in recent years for their unequal employment of women and minorities, and many of them have launched programs to increase diversity in their workforces in response. Even while the public criticizes these programs for not doing enough (Google employs women in just 20 percent of its tech positions and Apple in just 23 percent), there has simultaneously been a backlash, culminating in a leaked internal memo written by ex-Google engineer James Damore last July claiming that diversity programs at Google resulted in reverse discrimination and that women were inherently less biologically suited to tech jobs.
“COMPUTER SCIENCE IS THE MOST-VALUED SUBJECT IN ALL EDUCATION, AND WE BELIEVE STUDENTS SHOULD HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO STUDY IT.” Amid the din of public debate, the nonprofit Code.org has been addressing the diversity gap where it begins—at school. Twin brothers Hadi and Ali Partovi launched Code.org in 2013 after immigrating from Iran. Formerly a developer for Microsoft before becoming CEO of Code.org, Hadi said he experienced
Students complete coding exercises using Code.org’s curriculums. Less than half of America’s schools offer computer science courses, but Code.org’s CEO Hadi Partovi is bent on changing that. “We’re addressing the problem by making sure every school teaches computer science,” he said. Image source: Code.org first-hand how computer science could change the trajectory of a person’s life. Now he spends his time trying to bring computer science courses to every public school. Code.org has developed curriculums, online courses, and outreach programs that focus on including girls and students of color from kindergarten through high school. Their success has been outstanding: they’ve reached 500 million students with their Hour of Code events, they’ve prepped 72,000 new computer science teachers, and helped 40 states change policies to support bringing computer science into classrooms. In a conversation with iPhone Life, Hadi Partovi responds to the diversity backlash and makes the case for why computer science needs women and minorities more than ever. Encouraging girls and underrepresented minorities to learn computer science is a central part of your mission. Why is that important? This is important not only because computer science leads to the best paying careers, but because in the 21st century, a
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basic high school background in computer science will be increasingly foundational to every career. Yet girls and students of color are still systematically left behind in this critical field. We’re addressing the problem by making sure every school teaches computer science and by providing a curriculum and teacher prep program that ensures the class is offered in a way that addresses equity and diversity at the core.
“WITH FEW TO NO ROLE MODELS, GIRLS AND UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES MAKE THE ASSUMPTION THAT COMPUTER SCIENCE IS NOT FOR THEM.”
schools and prepare teachers to teach our courses, with a specific focus on equity and diversity. To address stereotypes and biases, Code.org organizes widespread marketing and awareness campaigns, such as the global Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week that encourage diverse participation and feature diverse role models. Our professional learning programs feature sessions that help educators understand the importance of diversity and address ways to avoid unintentional biases in interacting and recruiting students. The results speak for themselves: 25 percent of all students in the United States now have accounts on the Code.org platform. Close to 12 million of them are girls. Our students are almost half female, almost half underrepresented minorities. Our diversity numbers and scale are unprecedented because of the incredible work of almost a million teachers who offer our courses as part of the K–12 school system.
What are some of the causes you see as contributing to the gender gap and underrepresentation of people of color in computer programming? Our focus is on the diversity gap in K–12 education. There are three factors that contribute to the problem in our school systems: 1) Equal Access: Most schools don’t even offer computer science courses. This is particularly true in underprivileged urban and rural schools. If the course isn’t even offered, the students never get the opportunity to study it. Consider this: black students are more interested in studying computer science, but they are less likely to attend a school that offers it. Computer science is the most-valued subject in all education, and we believe students should have equal access to study it. 2) Biases and Stereotypes: Where computer science is offered, it’s most often an elective. And with no concerted efforts to recruit diversity, preconceived stereotypes are perpetuated through self-selection, or even through school efforts that reflect the unconscious biases of society. With few to no role models, girls and underrepresented minorities make the assumption that computer science is not for them. 3) Math-Focused Curriculum: Traditionally computer science has been taught as a math course, and that only attracts one type of student. By broadening the focus to include creativity, app-making, and social impact, we also broaden the participation by students who previously didn’t consider this an interesting course. How are you working to close the diversity gap? Code.org works to get computer science taught in K–12 schools. When we began our work, only about 10 percent of schools offered computer science classes, and now it’s close to 50 percent. Code.org creates the world’s most popular computer science curriculum for K–12 schools, and we enlist
Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi (pictured above) and his brother Ali launched their education nonprofit in 2013. After immigrating from Iran and becoming a developer for Microsoft before founding Code.org, Hadi has experienced first-hand how computer science can change the trajectory of a person’s life. Now he spends his time trying to bring computer science courses to every K–12 school. Image source: Code.org In James Damore’s memo, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” Damore makes the argument that women are less inherently interested or even capable in tech. What is your response to this? Debating this, or even asking this question, is offensive to women. A 2016 study from the University of Toronto shows that genes make no difference in the ability to learn computer science. There is no evidence that biological factors hold women back from learning to code. UCLA research shows that the way computer science is taught in schools disadvantages women. The problems we witness over and over again are accessibility and social stereotyping. Code.org’s own research shows that just a single Hour of Code activity can boost girls’ attitude and confidence toward coding, by simply trying our courses, which are designed to break traditional stereotypes.
Common sense would suggest that having programmers from different backgrounds would lead to a diversity of ideas. Do you have any examples from your organization that support this notion? Code.org’s own team is mostly female, our leadership team is gender balanced, and even our tech team boasts better gender diversity than the industry average. We believe this has played a large role in the diversity results our courses show in America’s classrooms. We also pilot our courses and our ideas with a nationwide network of about 400 teaching experts that also bring a diversity of opinions. I’ve seen tech companies make embarrassing product design decisions because the design team didn’t have diversity in mind, and we’ve never had that problem at Code.org.
“CODE.ORG DOESN’T TRY TO INCREASE DIVERSITY IN COMPUTER SCIENCE BY FAKING WHAT IT’S ABOUT, OR BY DUMBING IT DOWN, OR BY COLORING IT PINK.”
At Code.org, we strive to create a workplace that makes employees feel included regardless of gender, race, age, or politics. This isn’t just about policies like paid family leave or unconscious bias training for employees, but it’s also about considering inclusivity as a core goal of the organization that employees genuinely take to heart. What hiring practices do you use to promote diversity? Considering there are fewer women and minorities entering the computer science workforce, do you find balancing your diversity efforts with a more merit-based approach to be a conflict of interest? Diversity is a core value at Code.org, and we strive for a diverse workforce to the extent that we can. We don’t consider it a matter of balancing diversity with a more merit-based approach—that implies that we compromise one for the other. It’s a matter of making the best effort to staff a team that is diverse and has merit. The most important tactics we use are to proactively recruit diverse candidates and to screen resumes without knowing the race or gender of applicants to prevent unconscious bias. As one example, when we were hiring software engineers from university, we hid their names when screening the resumes, and afterwards when we looked at the names we picked, our best candidates were women. Donna Schill Cleveland is the Editor in Chief of iPhone Life magazine. After a short stint as a newspaper reporter, she became web editor at iPhone Life, where she continues to pair her penchant for storytelling with her love of Apple products. Donna holds a master’s degree from the University of Iowa School of Journalism & Mass Communication.
In a Reddit thread last August, James Damore criticized organizations including Girls Who Code and Code.org for encouraging a “women are victims” narrative. He also accused you of making coding look more “people oriented than it really is” in order to attract more women. What is your response to these criticisms? Code.org doesn’t try to increase diversity in computer science by faking what it’s about, or by dumbing it down, or by coloring it pink, so to speak. We achieve diversity by broadening access, by teaching computer science as early as kindergarten before stereotypes kick in, and by expanding it from being a math course to include app-making and creativity. Our students pass the high school A.P. computer science exam in larger numbers than any other group, and with strong diversity. Our results speak for themselves. Do you believe it’s possible that the gender gap is not evidence of discrimination or unequal opportunity? Why or why not? It could be wrong to assume that unequal outcomes are only a result of unequal opportunity. But when the majority of schools don’t even offer the opportunity to study computer science, and this access is particularly limited in underprivileged urban and rural neighborhoods, the data easily shows that inequality of opportunity is the problem. How can we create tech workplaces that are more welcoming to all employees?
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Take the Guesswork out of Gardening Apps and Gear for your Best Harvest Yet by Jacqui Lane
ew things in life are as satisfying as enjoying a meal fresh from your own garden. (There’s nothing like the taste of a cherry tomato still warm from the sun!) Yet any seasoned gardener will tell you that it can be a frustrating process to actually get to that point. All too often, the work we put into it isn’t reflected at harvest time. I grew up on a farm, where I watched my grandparents (and my parents) grow gorgeous vegetable gardens that we enjoyed throughout the year. My own gardening has been limited to indoor or backyard endeavors that haven’t been quite as successful. But it doesn’t stop me from trying again every spring. Fortunately for people like me, it’s 2018, and we have more tools at our disposal than our ancestors did. These apps and smart tools take the guesswork out of gardening.
to use based on your weather. Because every plant is unique in its water needs, the Blossom app allows you to divide your garden into up to seven zones, based on what you have planted. Each zone gets its own watering scheduled based on need and local weather patterns.
Tools for Your Garden You can’t control the weather, but knowing what to expect and understanding your local weather patterns makes it easier to plan for things like temperature fluctuations, humidity, and wind conditions. The AcuRite Weather Environment System ($239.97–$319.98) provides comprehensive data about your own hyperlocal climate in both an easy-to-use app and a device with a large color display. The app alerts you to changing weather conditions such as rainfall, potential flooding, sudden temperature drops, and high wind, so you can bring indoor plants in for protection when necessary. You have the option to attach a sensor to monitor soil temperature, an important factor when planting certain vegetables.
Gro Water Sensor from Scotts Miracle Gro ($39.99) Creating a great watering schedule is important, but knowing when to actually water is half the battle. That’s where the Gro Water Sensor from Scotts Miracle Gro ($39.99)—a company that knows a thing or two about gardening—comes into play; place these sensors in your garden and know exactly how moist or dry your soil is. In the app, you can check your moisture level against their database to make sure your garden is getting exactly what it needs to thrive.
Blossom Smart Watering Controller ($149) Water is one of the most essential requirements for a healthy garden, but getting it right can be tricky. Too much and you drown your plants; too little and they’ll shrivel up and die. To complicate things even further, in some areas water conservation isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s mandatory and you can get fined for using too much. Enter the Blossom Smart Watering Controller ($149); this nifty gadget attaches to existing sprinkler systems and determines how much water
Edyn Garden Sensor ($99.97) For even more control, the Edyn Garden Sensor ($99.97) measures not only moisture, but light, humidity, temperature,
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and soil nutrients as well. The connected app takes all of this information and cross-checks it with plant databases, soil science, and your local weather to give you guidance customized to your specific needs. You can even view historical data like how much sunlight you’ve had in the past or how cold recent winters have been to determine how to best care for your garden. Not sure what to plant? Check the app to see what varieties thrive in the conditions of your garden and the most optimal places to plant them. It’ll even tell you when to harvest and notify you of plants that need individual attention.
Care for Indoor Plants Of course, you don’t need a yard to bring a little green into your life. With ēdn’s (not to be confused with Edyn) soil-free WallGarden ($499, shipping date TBA), you can grow herbs, vegetables, and flowers in just a few feet of wall space. The innovative design is mess-free—no dirt, water, or fertilizer is needed to grow up to 14 different plants at a time. Your WallGarden automatically dispenses the right amount of water for your plants and adjusts its LED lighting to provide the right amount of light, making it easier than ever to grow a garden. The ēdn app connects to your garden using Wi-Fi and makes it easy to monitor the humidity, temperature, and light schedule to provide optimal growing conditions. The WallGarden’s reservoir holds two week’s worth of water, and will send you a text message when it’s running low. If space is at a premium, ēdn also offers a tabletop version called the SmallGarden 2 ($199), with all the ease and benefits of the WallGarden in a more compact package.
Parrot Pot ($54.99)
Indoor gardeners can also upgrade their potted plants with the Parrot Pot ($54.99), a connected flower pot that tracks the condition of your plant to make sure it’s getting what it needs to flourish. The pot’s four built-in sensors track moisture level, sunlight, temperature, and fertilizer levels in real time and offer customized recommendations and notifications based on the actual condition of your plant. Not sure what you want to plant? Just put the empty pot in the spot where you plan to keep it for 24 hours and let it measure the amount of sunlight and average temperature to get recommendations for what plants might do well there. Note: The Parrot Pot is currently discontinued on Parrot’s official site, but you can still purchase it on Amazon while supplies last.
Plan Your Plot with Apps
edn SmallGarden ($199)
To paraphrase The Little Mermaid, there are gadgets and gizmos aplenty, but you don’t need to spend a lot to have a lush garden. If you prefer to tend your plants the old-fashioned way, the App Store has a great selection of apps to help you plan and manage your planting, many of them free. The free Garden Compass app makes plant identification a snap, literally—just take a photo of an unknown plant, upload it to the app, and instantly get detailed information about it from garden and horticulture experts. Their database also identifies common pests and plant diseases and offers information about how to combat them.
Planning is just as important as planting; some plants coexist peacefully, while others will fight for resources if planted too closely. Perennial Match ($4.99) helps you choose compatible plants to create a beautiful garden of perennials that work well together. The app allows you to narrow your search by sun and water requirements, hardiness, colors, and height. View the attributes of each plant individually and in combination with others to see how they’ll work for your unique conditions. And, of course, there’s the granddaddy of all gardening bibles—The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Founded in 1792, the same yearly almanac that your grandparents and maybe even greatgrandparents used to help plan their yearly planting is now available in app form. The Old Farmer’s Almanac Planner ($7.99) app allows you to lay out your garden with vegetables, herbs, and fruit, as well as see growing information, get planting reminders, and learn how to rotate crops for a successful growing season. If you’re new to growing your own food, check out From Seed to Spoon (free). This app guides you through the entire process of selecting, planting, tending, and harvesting more than 40 different herbs and vegetables. The app helps you select companion plants that grow well together and also includes information about common garden pests and how to deal with them organically.
Don’t Lose Sight of the Garden for the Plant Gardening, whether flowers or vegetables, has amazing benefits for the mind and body. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you choose to go high tech or old school with your plants; the important thing is that you enjoy it! Jacqui Lane fell in love with technology the first time she laid eyes on a blinking DOS cursor and has been exploring and writing about it professionally for more than 12 years. An iPhone addict from its earliest days, she’s rarely seen without her phone in hand. Her writing has appeared on USAToday.com, Salon, The Nest, and other outlets.
1) LOCK YOUR IPHONE & POSSIBLY DELETE DATA
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR IPHONE IS
The first thing you need to do is protect your personal information. If you have a passcode set on your iPhone, you’re pretty safe. But if you don’t and you set up Find My iPhone before losing your phone, log in to Find My iPhone on a friend’s phone or on your computer via iCloud.com to lock your phone and add a passcode. That will at least prevent the thief from using your phone. If you can’t get the iPhone back or it has extremely sensitive information on it, you may want to choose Erase iPhone to delete the phone’s data. Deleting data won’t prevent the thief from using your iPhone, but at least they won’t have access to your personal data after that. If your iPhone was issued to you by your employer, your IT department may be able to remotely delete the data, too. Contact them to learn about your options.
2) REMOVE DEBIT & CREDIT CARDS FROM APPLE PAY
BY SAM COSTELLO
This article was originally published on Lifewire.com.
as your iPhone been stolen? When you discover that your iPhone has gone missing, you may feel anger, worry, and surprise. Don’t dwell on those feelings, though— you need to take action. What you do right away when your iPhone is stolen is very important. It could make the difference in protecting your data or getting your phone back. Following these 11 steps can help you recover it or, at the very least, minimize the damage a stolen phone can result in. Good luck. 60
If you use Apple’s wireless payment service, you should remove any credit cards or debit cards you’ve added to the phone for use with Apple Pay (they’re easy to add back later). Apple Pay is very secure, but it’s nice to have the peace of mind that your credit card isn’t virtually sitting in a thief’s pocket. Sign in to iCloud.com > Settings > My Devices, select your phone, and click Remove All under Apple Pay.
3) TRACK YOUR PHONE WITH FIND MY IPHONE
issued the phone to you. It’s a good idea to brush up on them.
7) CALL YOUR CARRIER Whether this should be the seventh step in the process or should come earlier depends on your circumstances. Some phone carrier may be more inclined to take action when you’ve got a police report, while others may act right away without one. Calling your carrier to report the theft and have the account tied to the phone suspended or canceled helps ensure that you don’t pay for charges incurred by the thief. Before you cancel your service, try tracking your phone using Find My iPhone. Once service is turned off, Find My iPhone will only work when connected to Wi-Fi.
8) CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS
You already locked your phone in Step 1 using Find My iPhone, but you can also use this free service to track your phone’s location using the device’s built-in GPS. The only catch? You need to have set up Find My iPhone before your phone was stolen.
4) DON’T TRY TO RECOVER IT YOURSELF; GET HELP FROM THE POLICE If you’ve been able to locate your iPhone using Find My iPhone, do not try to recover it yourself. Going to the house of the person who stole your phone is a definite recipe for trouble. Instead, contact the local police department (or, if you’ve already filed a report, the one you reported the theft to) and let them know that you’ve got information about the location of your stolen phone. While the police may not always help, the more information you have, the more likely police are to recover the phone for you.
5) FILE A POLICE REPORT If you can’t recover the phone right away, file a report with the police in the city/neighborhood where the phone was stolen. This may or may not lead to the recovery of your phone (in fact, the police may tell you there’s very little they can do either because of the value of the phone or the number of thefts), but having documentation should help when dealing with cellphone and insurance companies. Even if the police tell you they can’t help at first, if you can get data about the location of your phone, having the report may be necessary for getting the police to help you recover it.
6) NOTIFY YOUR EMPLOYER If your iPhone was given to you through work, notify your employer of the theft immediately. You may even want to do this before you file the police report, since your corporate IT department may be able to prevent the thief from accessing critical business information. Your employer may have given you guidelines about what to do in case of theft when they
Changing your email account passwords will prevent the thief from reading or sending mail from your phone. Beyond that, changing online banking, iTunes, and other important account passwords will help prevent identity theft or financial theft.
9) CALL YOUR PHONE INSURANCE COMPANY, IF YOU HAVE ONE If you have a phone insurance policy from your carrier or an insurance company that covers theft, be sure to call the company. Having a police report is a big help here. If you can recover the phone with the help of the police that’s ideal, but reporting the situation to the insurance company will get the ball rolling in the meantime and help you get money to replace your phone if you can’t recover it.
10) NOTIFY PEOPLE If your phone’s gone and you weren’t able to track it via GPS and/or lock it, you’re probably not going to get it back. In that case, you should notify the people in your address book and email accounts of the theft. They probably won’t be getting calls or emails from the thief, but in case the thief has a bad sense of humor or more seriously bad intentions, you’ll want people to know that it’s not you sending troublemaking messages.
11) PROTECT YOURSELF IN THE FUTURE Whether you get your iPhone back or have to replace it with a new one, you may want to change your habits and behaviors to prevent future thefts. Setting a secure passcode, enabling Touch ID or Face ID, and enabling Find My iPhone are all great places to start. Sam Costello has been writing about technology since 2000. He has published articles with CNN.com, PC World, InfoWorld, and Computerworld, among others. He has written about PDAs, monitors, and printers for Samsung's consumer websites, and about apps, streaming media, and eBooks for the Que Publishing website.
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“ I’VE DISCOVERED SO MANY NEW BANDS AND NEW MUSIC IN GENRES THAT I LIKE BECAUSE OF SPOTIFY’S DISCOVERABILITY FEATURES.”
“SPOTIFY CAN’T COMPETE WITH THE FACT THAT APPLE MAKES APPLE MUSIC, SO IT HAS INTEGRATIONS THAT SPOTIFY JUST DOESN’T HAVE.”
SPOTIFY VS. APPLE MUSIC BATTLE OF THE MUSIC STREAMING SERVICES hether you use Apple Music or Spotify, you can stream millions of songs on demand to your iPhone. However, not all music streaming services are created equal. Here, iPhone Life CEO and publisher David Averbach and feature writer Conner Carey go to battle to determine which service offers the best set of features and user experience.
CHOOSING A SERVICE
David: Spotify does a great job with discoverability. Both platforms have an insane amount of music. So much so that when you log in, you don’t really know what to do. For a long time, Spotify has had a feature called Discover Weekly. It analyzes all of your music as well as people who listen to similar music and uses really advanced machine learning to come up with 30 recommendations for you each week. Spotify also has something called Release Radar that sends you a playlist every Friday of new music from your favorite artists. And you don’t have to tell Spotify who your favorite artists are. It just knows from your listening habits. Apple has come out with something similar, but it consistently hasn’t been reviewed as well.
Conner: I worked at iPhone Life when Apple Music debuted, so I originally got it to write tips, but— David: I see. So you had to get it. Interesting. Conner: But as it’s improved, I fell in love. David: I started using Spotify years before Apple Music came out. One of the core advantages of Spotify is that it has so many years of development experience over Apple. Apple’s catching up; but in my opinion, Spotify has stayed consistently ahead as far as features go. 62
Conner: I really like Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio. I like being able to store music in iCloud or on my device. In terms of music discovery, I love the weekly playlist I get based on what I regularly listen to (Spotify has its own version of this). Apple Music is right on. I download at least 75 percent of the songs.
WHICH STREAMING SERVICE IS RIGHT FOR YOU? HOW IMPORTANT IS BEING PART OF APPLE’S ECOSYSTEM TO YOU?
IT’S NOT A MAJOR DECIDING FACTOR FOR ME.
I NEED LOTS OF HELP DISCOVERING GOOD MUSIC.
I WANT TONS OF PLAYLISTS! ALL THE PLAYLISTS!
YES, BUT IT’S NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. NOT SO MUCH; I KNOW WHAT I LIKE AND HOW TO FIND IT.
YES: IT’S A HUGE DECIDING FACTOR FOR ME.
I LIKE PLAYLISTS, BUT I DON’T NEED A HUGE LIBRARY 0F THEM.
YES, YES. GIVE ME ALL THE PLAYLISTS.
MORE THAN BEING PART OF APPLE’S ECOSYSTEM?
WILL YOU NEED MUSIC LIBRARY SPACE FOR MORE THAN 10,000 SONGS?
WILL YOU NEED MUSIC LIBRARY SPACE FOR MORE THAN 10,000 SONGS?
PROBABLY NOT. YES! HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT EXCLUSIVE CONTENT?
SIGN ME UP!
MEH, I’D RATHER BE ABLE TO COLLABORATE ON PLAYLISTS
SEEMS UNLIKELY. UH, YES. WHO DO YOU TAKE ME FOR? NO, BUT I’D LIKE TO SAVE $20 A YEAR.
TIP! USE SONGSHIFT TO MIGRATE YOUR PLAYLISTS If you’ve been swayed by this debate, you can use the SongShift app to migrate your playlists between music streaming services. You can migrate 50 songs at a time using the free version or pay to transfer a large library of music.
Conner: A big draw of Apple Music is that it’s part of Apple’s ecosystem. That means you can use it seamlessly with Siri, the Apple Watch Series 3 with Cellular, the HomePod, or a CarPlay system like the one I have in my car. No headaches there. I like that. Also, I already had a bunch of iTunes music, so it was really easy to transfer when I joined Apple Music.
Conner: As far as monthly, student, or family subscriptions, Apple Music and Spotify cost exactly the same. But Apple Music has a hidden annual plan. If you go into your subscriptions on your iPhone, you can select the Apple Music annual plan for $99 and save $20 a year. David: It’s true.
David: I love how in general Spotify has a huge variety of playlists. Spotify makes them, but it’s really the users that make a huge number of playlists that they make public. Also, Spotify’s social features are better. You can see really quickly what your friends are listening to and collaborate on playlists, which you can’t do with Apple Music. Spotify’s also cross-platform so it’s very easy for anyone to use.
LIBRARY SIZE Conner: Apple Music has 10 million more songs than Spotify. Spotify also has a song collection limit of 10,000 songs compared to 100,000 on Apple Music. This could be a problem if you’re a die-hard music fan. I’m at 5,000 right now. If I used Spotify, I think it would be an issue for me in a couple more years. David: I don’t find Spotify’s 30 million songs to be limiting to me. Conner: You mean that’s not lacking? You need those other millions!
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT Conner: There is a lot of exclusive content on Apple Music that you don’t get on Spotify. David: Apple specializes in doing exclusives, and I do think that matters. For instance, when Taylor Swift releases a new album, Apple will have a period of exclusivity oftentimes. While I don’t think it’s good for listeners as it fragments the audience, it’s an advantage if you’re an Apple Music subscriber.
FINAL ARGUMENTS David: Just to get a little sappy for a moment, Spotify really has changed my life. I love discovering new music, and I’ve discovered so many new bands and new music in genres that I like because of Spotify’s discoverability features. I love making playlists. I have hours and hours of playlists that I’ll listen to throughout the day. Conner: And really good ones. I have to admit. David: So if discoverability is what you care about, then Spotify is better. Conner: I’ve discovered a lot of new music with Apple Music. I think it’s just not as readily available. Spotify puts that front and center. But Spotify can’t compete with the fact that Apple makes Apple Music, so it has integrations that Spotify just doesn’t have. David: If your priority is discovering music, then go with Spotify. If your priority is integrations, go with Apple Music. Conner: I might bring you to my side yet.
Improve Your Game 11 Best Golf Apps Every iPhone & Apple Watch Owner Needs by Jim Karpen
f you’re an avid golfer, your iPhone and Apple Watch can be a great boon to your game. Here, I’ll cover the best scorekeeping, swing tracking, and rangefinder apps, as well as the best GPS apps for calculating distances. While all of these titles will work on your iPhone, a few rangefinder and swing analyzer apps also support the GPS-enabled Apple Watch Series 1 and 2 and the cellular-enabled Apple Watch Series 3, so you can glance at your wrist to determine the distance to the green.
Best Swing T racking Apps The iPhone and iPad are well suited to recording and analyzing your swing, especially if you have a device that’s capable of recording at a high enough frame rate for slow motion.
Golf Coach ($5.99) If you want a systematic program for improving your game, Golf Coach offers a set of 38 coaching videos from Dr. Noel Rousseau, a PGA professional who’s an expert in effectively teaching complex movements. The lessons offer all the major swing and short game principles. In addition, the app lets you compare your swing with that of a model. You can use the overlay tools and variable-speed playback feature to analyze your swing. Golf Channel Academy (Free, in-app purchases) This app gives you access to the Golf Channel’s comprehensive library of over 2,000 videos from top golf instructors such as Michael Breed, Marin Hall, and Dana Rader. You can watch a selection of lessons for free or pay $29.99 per premium lesson. The app also includes swing capture and analysis features. Plus, you can use the app to find a Golf Channel Academy coach or location near you. iPhone L if e
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Hudl Technique Golf (Free, in-app purchases) Hudl Technique Golf focuses on evaluating and improving your swing by allowing you to record it in slow motion and then analyze it frame by frame. You can also compare your swing to that of the pros. Other features include drills from coaches and swing feedback from the Hudl Technique community. The app lets you see side-by-side comparisons of videos of your swing and annotate and record voiceovers to go with them. You can share videos with others as well as import video from the Photos app. Coach’s Eye ($4.99, in-app purchases) For iPhone and Apple Watch Coach’s Eye claims to be the world’s leading video platform for reviewing athlete technique. Features include slow motion, zoom, importing video, comparing videos side by side, drawing on videos, adding audio commentary and annotations, and sharing videos. Zepp Golf (Free, in-app purchases) For iPhone and Apple Watch This app by Zepp works great on its own or alongside the $150 Zepp Golf 2 sensor. The app offers the personalized Smart Coach training system with training plans from LPGA Pro Michelle Wie. The free portion of the app includes the training system, a swing library, and video swing capture. You can attach the Zepp sensor to your golf glove to measure important aspects of your game such as club speed, club plane, tempo, and backswing length. You can also combine the sensor’s measurements with the Smart Coach training system, such that the Zepp app evaluates areas where you can improve and offers training programs tailored to your swing.
Best Rangeﬁnder &
partners’ scores and view graphs of your performance in driving, greens, short game, putting, and overall scoring. Shot tracking lets you also see how far you hit your last shot. Golfshot: Golf GPS + Scorecard (Free, in-app purchases) For iPhone and Apple Watch The free version of Golfshot includes distances to the center of the green and a scorecard. You can zoom in on the satellite images to get a detailed view of each course. The app offers the latest golf news and statistics such as fairways hit, greens in regulation, and putts per hole. The $29.99 paid version of the app called Golfshot Plus offers interactive, real-time distances to all targets and hazards, as well as real-time GPS distances, scoring, and tracking on your Apple Watch. Other features include 3D flyover previews of each hole and personalized club recommendations based on your statistics. GolfLogix GPS + Putt Breaks (Free, in-app purchases) For iPhone and Apple Watch While the free version of this app is ad supported, it comes with tons of features, including GPS distances on over 30,000 courses worldwide, a yardage book with color 3D images of the course, and a scorecard for up to four players, as well as stat tracking and handicap support. Your stats sync to the GolfLogix website so that you can track your progress. The many other features include an extensive archive of Golf Digest lessons and videos. The Champion upgrade gives you the distances to the front, back, and center of the green, as well as distances to hazards and layups. Plus, it offers video flyovers of every hole and club tracking that shows the location and distance of every club you hit. The Club Distance Grid shows where each of your clubs should land from where you’re standing. The app for Apple Watch shows distances and scorecards.
Best Handicap Apps
Golf GPS (Free, in-app purchases) For iPhone and Apple Watch This GPS rangefinder works on every course in the world. You can find the distance to the center of the green and to any obstacles. Satellite photos are available, which you can use to calculate distances from you to that point. A digital scorecard is also available that automatically advances from hole to hole. You can store your rounds for free online, use graphs and stats to track improvement in your game, and play handicap-adjusted games and matches. In-app purchases give you access to real-time wind speed, elevation, and “plays like” distance, as well as the ability to track the clubs you use. Apple Watch functionality includes distances, scorekeeping, and tracking shots.
The Rules of Golf (Free, in-app purchases) This rulebook comes directly from the United States Golf Association. It states the official rules updated for the year ahead, and includes a search function so you can find every rule, definition, and decision.
Hole19 Golf GPS & Scoring App (Free) For iPhone and Apple Watch The beauty of the Hole19 app is that it is completely free and gives you distances on over 40,000 courses. You can track you and your
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Golf Handicap Tracker & Scores (Free, in-app purchases) You can use this app to assess your handicap score (though it doesn’t provide an official USGA handicap index for tournaments). You can calculate your handicap based on US, Canadian, and Australian rules. Jim Karpen, Ph.D, is on faculty at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA. He has been writing about the revolutionary consequences of computer technology since 1994. His Ph.D dissertation anticipated the Internet revolution. His site, jimkarpen.com, contains selected regular columns written for The Iowa Source. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HIT THE TRAILS Must-Have Tech for Your Outdoor Summer Adventures by Conner Carey
hether you’re camping in a tent, an RV, or a van, there are certain things almost anyone will find helpful while spending time in the great outdoors. As a child, my family and I camped in Northern California for a whitewater rafting trip. Funnily enough, I can’t tell you much about my life during that period of time. But I vividly remember that week— hiking up huge boulders, roasting corn in foil over a flame, putting on a wetsuit for the first time, filling a notebook with nature poetry, appreciating an eight-minute hot shower immensely. Camping is a beautiful rollercoaster. Here’s my favorite tech-geek products to make your next camping adventure just as memorable.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Speaker ($79.99– $99.99) A good speaker is important for, well, any occasion. But for camping, I prefer something waterproof and small that also has really great sound. Which is why I’m hugely impressed with Ultimate Ears’ Wonderboom speaker. The Wonderboom is dustproof and has a waterproof rating of IP67, which means you can submerge it in more than 3 feet of water for up to a half hour. It delivers 360-degree sound and keeps playing even when you walk up to 100 feet away with your phone, thanks to its rock-solid Bluetooth connection. I tested this out myself, and it’s no joke. The speaker offers ten hours of battery life. Size-wise, it’s about the same height as a coffee mug and about an inch or two wider around. But my favorite part is that the sound stays crystal clear even when I max out the volume, which gets damn loud. AquaVault 100% Waterproof Floating Case ($19.95) There are lots of waterproof iPhone cases on the market, but do they float? If you’re at the lake, the ocean, or any other body of water, dropping your phone is all it takes for it to be gone. No one wants that. That’s why I wanted to try out the AquaVault 100% Waterproof Floating Case. This case is more like a pouch, except you still have full access to your screen and camera. It’s waterproof up to 33 feet—yeah, 33 feet! Plus, it’s universal, so it will fit any phone smaller than 5.7 inches diagonally. I had no problem fitting my iPhone X into the pouch, even with an Otterbox Defender case and a Popsocket attached to the back. But how did it float, you might ask? Fantastically; even when I dropped it from a few feet above the water, it rose right to the top.
goTenna Mesh (Starting at $179) The Mesh is a device for off-grid communication. It allows you to send messages and GPS locations to other Mesh users without a cellular or Wi-Fi connection. So, if you’re camping in a remote area without cellphone reception, you can use your goTenna Mesh to send texts and find each other. From one device to another, you’ll get up to four miles in open environments (plains, desert, beach, etc.) and up to half a mile in dense areas such as mountains and cities. However, the network grows stronger as more people use the devices since they work together to, essentially, ping the signal from one device to another until it reaches you. The battery lasts about 24 hours when in use; and it will hold a charge for a year. For the purposes of camping or international travel where you may not have cell service, this is a great device to have. You can go off in separate directions with no signal and still be able to communicate if needed. Outdoor Tech Kodiak Plus 2.0 Portable Charger ($79.95) I remember being in the middle of nowhere, outside of Taos, New Mexico, in a small earthship (which is a type of passive solar powered house) while traveling with a friend. The morning sunrise was the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, but every device we owned was completely out of power so we needed to get our butts to a cafe so we could work remotely. We would have been able to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings for a few more hours if we’d had the Kodiak Plus 2.0. This 10,000 mAh powerbank is impressively lightweight for the amount of power it holds. And it’s ready to go camping with you—it’s shock-proof and has an iPX7 waterproof rating. It has a builtin flashlight so it can double as a lantern, and it has two USB ports so you can charge multiple devices. This is a must-have item for anyone going on extended camping trips.
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Anker PowerPort Solar Lite Charger ($49.99) In my experience, solar panels that charge your devices are hit or miss when it comes to functionality. Yet it only took a few minutes of research to learn that the people of the internet highly recommend options from Anker. Now that I’ve tried it myself, I can see why. Like all solar panels, the PowerPort Solar Lite works best in direct sunlight at a nice temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve tried a couple other small solar panels for personal tech and this is by far my favorite for two different reasons. Firstly, it’s very portable. The PowerPort Solar Lite has a trifold design, so it folds in on itself and closes using Velcro, which makes it feel like a long thin book under your arm. Second, it works on a practical timeline. In direct sun with plenty of warmth, I can get about ten percent charge in twenty minutes on my iPhone X; at that rate, it would only take a couple of hours to fully charge my phone with just the sun.
Bontend Flexible Tripod ($18.50–$35) If you’re taking your iPhone on a camping trip, you’re probably going to be taking photos and videos too. But have you ever used a flexible tripod? I had not, and doing so was immediately a game changer for me. The Bontend Flexible Tripod is a universal tripod; it includes an adapter for both action cameras (such as GoPro) and smartphones. Plus, it has a mount screw for holding any other traditional camera that’s less than five pounds. It has three legs, each with multiple joints that allow it to bend and be positioned at nearly any angle on any flat surface or uneven terrain. It’s lightweight and compact, so it’s perfect for throwing in your backpack. I will be using this on many, many trips to come.
Hidrate Spark 2.0 Water Bottle ($54.95) Hydration is incredibly important, even more so on hikes and during physical activity. Which is why Hidrate Spark 2.0 is the perfect companion on camping trips to make sure you continue to have a fun and safe time. If you’ve set your hydration goal to the recommended daily amount, that target will adjust based on the temperature, humidity, and elevation of your current location. You can also integrate the app with your fitness tracker; so if you’ve taken a lot of steps, your goal will also rise. The bottle holds 24 ounces, which is a good amount. I hate bottles that are cute and fancy but hold less liquid than my coffee mug. On your next camping trip, consider the Hidrate Spark 2.0 for staying hydrated so you can enjoy your time in nature.
BioLite CampStove 2 ($129.95) BioLite’s mission is and has always been to bring a sustainably fueled, non-toxic stove to developing countries where a lack of electricity means expensive kerosene lamps and openfire cooking cause four million deaths each year. When you buy the CampStove 2 for your adventures, you’re helping this company bring off-grid energy everywhere. Powered by the twigs and sticks you’ll find at any campground, the smokeless flame can boil a liter of water in under five minutes. The generated heat is also turned into electricity, allowing you to charge your iPhone from the built-in 2600 mAh battery. You can purchase the compatible Kettle Pot and Portable Grill or simply use the cookware you already have. Conner Carey is a feature web writer at iPhone Life and a contributing writer for Love U magazine. Her work has been published on Art Parasites Berlin and Chronically. She holds a bachelor's in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and resides in Fairfield, Iowa. You can find her personal blog at connerleecarey.com or follow her on Twitter @connerleecarey.
Wellness Tech to Get You Moving 4 Accessories to Help You Make 2018 Your Healthiest Year Yet by Briana Dicks id you ring in the new year like 45 percent of the American population with health and fitness-related goals (source: Statista)? I’ve definitely been there. I’ve made plenty of lofty weight loss and fitness plans that I’ve mostly forgotten by February, and by the time March rolls around, I’ve memorized the taco truck’s weekly route. This year I didn’t set rigorous 2018 goals. Instead, I live by mottos like “Survival of the fittest” or maybe “Who needs sleep anyway?” Having small children is a beautiful experience where you never sleep through the night or get to eat all of your sandwich again. Even though I didn’t set any big resolutions this year, I am continuing my ongoing commitment to focusing on my overall health and wellbeing. It isn’t easy to lead a balanced lifestyle, especially when you’re spending a lot of time holding the refrigerator door open looking for answers. But I’ve found that sometimes it’s the little things in life that make the biggest impact on our health. Here, I’ll share some ways we can all use technology to our advantage in order to lead a healthier, more balanced lifestyle amid whatever chaos life throws at us.
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Garmin Vivosmart 3 ($139.99) As a marathoner, I can’t express how irritating it has been to run with my phone shoved in a sleeve or pocket. It’s 2018; I shouldn’t have to deal with this! Garmin to the rescue. I know activity trackers aren’t necessarily a new technology, but I, along with so many others, have been too cheap to bite the bullet and splurge on one. When I finally did, it was so refreshing. The Vivosmart 3 is thin and sleek with a nice waterproof band. My favorite part of the tracker is the diversity of activities it supports. It’s great to be able to go completely phone free and still track your fitness as you go from swimming laps to running to weight lifting. It also counts your steps, tracks your sleep, and keeps tabs on your stress levels throughout the day. The app syncs with the free MyFitnessPal app so you can see in real time how many calories you’ve burned each day versus how many you’ve consumed. The Vivosmart 3 honestly offers more features than I could ever use and will keep even the healthiest among us busy for a long time with its easy-to-use app.
Jabra Elite Sport Earbuds ($219.99) This pair of earbuds is my secret weapon! I love these little guys probably more than I should admit. It took me more time to open the box than it did to start listening to music. They are incredibly user friendly, which is a humongous perk for me. Speaking of perks, the free Jabra Sport Life app has a “Find my headphones” feature that helps you track down misplaced earbuds using Bluetooth, which is a lifesaver. Not only do the Elite Sports offer great sound, but they are also waterproof and extremely comfortable. They’re perfect for any distance runner, with a heart rate analyzer that updates you in real time during your workout and a battery that can last up to 13.5 hours. While I prefer using the earbud’s noise cancelling setting when I’m indoors, I opt for the HearThrough option during outdoor training. I wore them running under ear warmers last winter, and I could hear cars passing by while still hearing my music clearly and without interruption. The best feature is the Workout section in the app. You can use the app’s pre-planned workouts to cross train or run with a coach in your ear motivating you to keep going. These earbuds are seriously all you need for a total body workout. They are worth every penny! 72
Vivo Barefoot Stealth II ($150) The Vivo Barefoot shoes aren’t smart shoes in that they don’t have an app that syncs to your phone, but nevertheless the technology behind them makes them a smart buy. The whole idea behind Vivo Barefoot shoes is that human feet are biomechanical masterpieces all on their own and that modern shoes impede their natural functions. So, Vivo created an ultra-sleek, extremely durable, thin-soled shoe. They have no heel or support built in so that your foot can receive maximum sensory feedback. I was skeptical when I first tried them on, but I found that they are completely different from any other shoe I have ever worn. I’m still working on my own transition back to strong healthy feet. I haven’t attempted to run in them yet, even though you can. Right now, I am trying to slowly rediscover my own natural skill of healthy movements with good sensory feedback from my feet to brain. With no padding or heel support, I would only suggest these shoes to someone who is not only comfortable barefoot but who prefers it. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Electric Toothbrush 9300 ($159.99–$229.99) I brush my teeth most nights in a sleep-deprived blur. This electric toothbrush by Philips not only gives me a justleft-the-dentist clean feeling, but it’s removed all guesswork from the process and taught me how to have excellent oral health—something I didn’t know I was so ignorant about before owning this toothbrush. The app shows you in real time if you’ve missed spots while brushing and areas that need the most focus based on your own personalized mouth map. It has a pressure sensor that lights up when you brush too hard, which is a really excellent reminder and one of my favorite features. There are four different cleaning modes and three different intensity settings all depending on what you need for your own personalized dental plan. It also comes with three different premium brush heads, one for cleaning and plaque removal, one for gum care, and one for whitening and stain removal. I’ve never had specialized brush heads, but they make a huge difference, cleaning up to 10 times better than generic brush heads. It charges wirelessly in a glass cup and comes with a premium travel case. For anyone who wants a more thorough oral hygiene routine, this smart toothbrush is definitely for you. Briana Dicks is the proud mother of two fiery little girls. She is an advocate for happiness, reading, healthy living, and truth-telling.
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SMART LIVING How I Transformed My Loft Apartment with These 4 Accessories by Chris Vasques
y smart home adventures began when I installed HomeKit-compatible lights in my loft apartment (a major change from the two separate remotes I previously used to control my lights). I now control the lights on both levels from my iPhone. And I’ll never use the remotes again. Setting up smart home devices is simple, yet still a significant achievement worthy of techie points. While most devices—such as light switches, bulbs, motion sensors, thermostats, and door locks—will have their own app, you can also control them from Apple’s Home app. Even basic home automation can add to the security and convenience of your home, and now Apple has put this great power in the hands of its users, and it feels like a leap into the future. Here, I’ll share how I set up four smart home accessories and what I learned along the way. Summer 2018
PureGear PureSwitch Wireless Smart Plug ($49.95) If smart home tech intimidates you, I recommend starting with just one HomeKit device: a smart plug like the PureSwitch. With the flexibility of a smart plug, you can turn any household appliance you plug into it into a smart device you can control remotely with your iPhone or iPad. To set the PureSwitch up, plug it into the wall, and then pair it with your iPhone or iPad by scanning the HomeKit code on the package using your iOS device (the PureSwitch won’t work with Android phones). The instructions say to hold your device close to the PureSwitch, but I found it connected whether or not it was nearby. The PureSwitch has a manual ON/OFF switch on the bottom, though it is a bit difficult to find, and also includes a USB port right on the outlet, which is nice. You can control the plug through either the PureSwitch app or Apple’s Home app (use the Home app to have the switch show up in third-party HomeKit device apps). Both PureGear’s app and Apple’s app allow for the creation of Scenes, which allow you to trigger certain settings on multiple devices with one tap, such as a nighttime scene that turns off the lights and lowers the thermostat.
Phillips Hue White Ambiance Starter Kit E26 ($149.99) The Phillips Hue Kit is a set of four bulbs and a bridge that allows you to turn on and off the lights or dim the brightness right from your iPhone or iPad. But where these bulbs really dazzle is in their ambiance control. Their range of cool to warm tones is enough to really make a difference in the feel of a space. They list the color temperature range as being 2,200–6,500 kelvin, which allows you to adjust them from a cool white to a warm amber glow. Setting up the bridge and the bulbs was easy. I plugged the bridge into my router, and in about a minute it recognized all the bulbs in my lamps. You can rename the bulbs and assign them to different areas in your home. Next, I set up Scenes. Good Morning, Arrive Home, Good Night, and Leave Home were all a blast to set up. For example, I set the morning Scene to 100 percent brightness with a cool white. You can set any Scene with a timer as well; I set this to come on at 7:45 a.m. Both settings worked flawlessly. For the Arrive Home setting, I was able to set my location in the Home app and link it to the Scene. Walking up to my door and seeing the lights turn on was extremely satisfying. I set my Arrive Home scene to 70 percent brightness and used the warm side of the spectrum for a nice yellow glow. Between timers and location triggers, I was able to set up five Scenes that I use every day now. You can also tie the bulbs to a motion sensor, and trigger Scenes based on motion. Another feature that works really well is the ability for a guest to control lights, which is nice if you have friends over regularly.
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Elgato Eve Motion Wireless Motion Sensor ($49.95) The Eve Motion is a motion sensor that allows for the triggering of HomeKit devices and Scenes if it senses movement. The Eve Motion also has a timer setting, so if no motion is detected for a certain amount of time, it can turn off lights and devices. To make things a little more sophisticated, you can link the Eve Motion to the Eve Degree to detect for motion only if certain environmental conditions are met. Is there a situation where motion in an area turns on a heater if the temperature is below a certain degree? Most certainly. I used the Eve Motion to automate my lighting based on motion. To get the most out of the Eve Motion (e.g., triggering Scenes, adjusting the timing, and adjusting the sensitivity) I had to access it through the Eve app. The Eve app also keeps a record of all motion detected by the Eve Motion. However, connecting it to the Home app was useful in that it allowed me to activate notifications. Any time the Eve Motion detected motion, it would send a notification to my iPhone. This would be a great feature for monitoring the security of the home. Of course, you can shut off this feature if you get tired of receiving notifications.
Elgato Eve Degree Connected Weather Station ($59–$69) The Eve Degree is all about improving home comfort. You can use Siri to ask for the temperature and humidity measurement, and control your devices connected to Eve Energy (the company’s switch and power meter) with just your voice. The Eve Degree is small and features a digital readout screen, detailed aluminum trim, and a range of detection for temperature and humidity. Setting up the device with the Home app was easy too. At first the mode was stuck in Celsius, but after I downloaded the Eve app I was able to change it to Fahrenheit. Another absolutely stellar aspect of the Eve app is its tracking abilities, which includes a tracking history of temperature and humidity for the Eve Degree. The coolest features of this device are its potential for automating atmospheric devices in the home such as fans, humidifiers, or heating and cooling units. I was not able to test out this functionality, but I have seen what people have done with this. This rising trend in DIY automation is a solid vote of proof that devices like the Eve Degree are ahead of the curve.
Start Your Smart Home Journey When I first considered how smart devices would change my life at home, I had futuristic visions of a totally customized set of systems. With HomeKit’s Scenes, I was able to get pretty close to my dream of full automation for my apartment’s lighting. I am very satisfied with the improvements HomeKit and these smart devices have made to my home’s ambiance. As the already massive list of HomeKit devices continues to grow, customization options for your home are limited only to your imagination.
Chris Vasques has worked for tech companies such as Avid and Gazelle, where his long history of gadget and technology fascination became a professional passion. He is currently studying Sustainable Community Development with a focus on Media Marketing, and enjoys writing, playing music, productivity hacks, and entrepreneurism.
The Most Forward-Thinking iOS Gadgets from the Consumer Electronics Show
very year, we make our pilgrimage to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to find the coolest new tech for your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Braving the crowds of more than 180,000 attendees, we found for you the most forward-thinking, creative, and useful iOS-related gear coming to market this year.
Please note that while a couple of the award winners are also iPhone Life sponsors, the editorial award selection process was independent of our advertising department.
Coros Omni Smart Cycling Helmet ($199) In spite of the obvious dangers, many cyclists enjoy listening to music and taking or making calls while riding their bikes. With the Omni Smart Cycling Helmet, Coros has cleverly minimized the dangers. The helmet delivers audio via bone conduction, allowing cyclists to enjoy music while staying aware of their surroundings. A remote mounted on the handlebars allows riders to take calls and use other functions without pulling out their phones or taking their hands off the handlebars. Rear lights improve visibility to drivers. Riders can also track their rides via Omniâ€™s companion app.
Omron HeartGuide Blood Pressure Smart Watch (TBD) Omron, a trusted brand in blood pressure monitors, is awaiting FDA approval for its latest endeavor: a smartwatch that will check your blood pressure throughout the day so you can get an accurate picture of your health. The color-coded readings let you see whether or not youâ€™re at a healthy level at a glance, and the watch also lets you check notifications, monitor your daily activity, and even track your sleep quality. The free Omron Connect app will allow you to compile all of the information and even share it with your doctor. iPhone L if e
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Polaroid Pop Instant Digital Camera ($199.99) This camera is Wi-Fi enabled and spits out prints like an old-fashioned Polaroid but also connects to an app on your iPhone so you can keep digital copies of your snapshots. While it’s easy to love the instant gratification of physical prints, it’s hard to keep track of them or share them with friends and family. Now, you can just connect the Pop to your Wi-Fi network, open the Polaroid app on your iPhone, and all the pictures will be there. A 20-megapixel sensor and 1080p video recorder mean you get high-resolution photos and videos with the retro charm of a real Polaroid.
Libratone Zipp & Zipp Mini with Amazon Alexa Integration (Free) Are you eager to get on the smart speaker bandwagon and make Amazon’s personal assistant Alexa part of your life? Well, good news! If you already have a Libratone Zipp or Zipp Mini speaker, there’s no need to go out and purchase a new speaker with Alexa capabilities. Late last year, Libratone released a firmware update that made its Zipp speakers compatible with the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot speakers. And now, Libratone has released a free firmware update for existing Zipp speakers that turns the speakers you already own into speakers with Alexa skills.
Jabra Elite 65t True Wireless Earbud Line ($169.99– $189.99) With Jabra’s new line of true wireless earbuds, users can choose the features they want, all while enjoying the excellent audio quality, comfort, secure fit, and consistently reliable Bluetooth connection Jabra is known for. The Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t come with Siri capabilities, a 15-hour battery life, four microphones that provide ambient noise reduction, and the ability to customize music playback with the Jabra +Sound app.
Catalyst Waterproof Case for AirPods ($29.99) This soft silicone case is a musthave for any AirPods owner, fitting snuggly over your AirPods’ charging case while still providing access to all its features. The top easily folds over to give you access to your wireless earbuds without having to remove the case, and the bottom has a notch that provides access to the charging port. The case is waterproof up to 3.3 feet and dropproof up to four feet. It also includes a carabiner so you can securely clip your AirPods to your belt, purse, or backpack.
Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Stands & Pads (Prices TBD) Belkin’s lineup of wireless charging stands and pads are perfect for families with both Apple and Android devices. The Boost Up Dual Wireless Charging Pad can even charge an iPhone and an Android phone simultaneously at the proper wattage for each. And the Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand lets you charge your phone while using it in a vertical position. Additionally, Belkin has expanded its color offerings beyond the utilitarian black and white to include pink and blue.
LifeProof Aquaphonics Speaker Line ($99.99– $299.99) We couldn’t choose just one, so we decided to give a nod to the full line of LifeProof Aquaphonics speakers. Available in three different sizes, the entire line is waterproof, drop-proof, dirt-proof, and snowproof. The AQ9 pictured here is the most compact version at $99.99. With its built-in carabiner, it’s the perfect speaker to clip on your backpack before hitting the trails. It’s lightweight and features an impressive 16-hour battery life. The entire line is able to Bluetooth pair with up to eight devices, has a mic for taking calls, is submersible up to 1 meter for thirty minutes, can survive drops from 1.2 meters, and is sealed from the elements in order to withstand any adventure.
Libratone Track+ Wireless In-Ear ($199) We tested a lot of great earbuds on the CES showroom floor, and these were our feature web writer Conner Carey’s favorite pair by far. Not only did the Track+ earbuds sound amazing, they also had adjustable noise cancellation that automatically adapted to your environment. The band that connects the earbuds was the softest and most bendable cord you could possibly ask for, while still housing an impressive eight-hour battery. Plus, the earbuds automatically go to sleep when you set them down, so no battery life is wasted. The Track+ Wireless In-Ears are sweatproof and splashproof (IPX4) too. Ember Ceramic Mug ($79.95) Ember’s 10-ounce ceramic mug is an innovative product for coffee and tea lovers that keeps any hot liquid at the ideal temperature for you. Through Ember’s iPhone app, you can set your drink to your preferred temperature and wait for the app to let you know once it’s warmed up for you. You can save your favorite presets in the app, so it’s easy to get to the setting for your morning coffee or evening chamomile tea. Remo+ DoorCam ($199) Have you been eyeing a smart security system for a while, but don’t want to bother with a time-intensive setup? Or are you a renter and don’t have permission to tamper with existing hardware? The Remo+ DoorCam is a smart camera that solves a lot of these problems. To install, just hang the camera over the top of your front door. You won’t need to get a drill out or pay a professional to do it for you! And if you’re renting, you’ll be able to easily take the DoorCam with you when it’s time to move on to a new apartment. The DoorCam comes with a motion detector and HD camera so you’re alerted if anyone approaches your home and you can chat with whoever’s at your door in real time. We hope this is the first of many renter-friendly smart home products to come!
iDevices Instinct Smart Switch (Prices TBD) Smart switches are nothing new, including those controllable by Amazon’s Alexa, but the Instinct from iDevices goes further. The Instinct has Alexa built in, so you can access the voice assistant in any room where the wall switch is installed. This is a great way to make your whole house smarter without requiring an Echo device taking up table space and power outlets.
Quantum Storey Company Whether you think augmented reality or virtual reality is the future, Quantum Storey Company has a fun and educational offering. The company offers original children’s books that help teach a lesson using both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). The pages come to life using AR and you can use the VR goggles sold in special packaging (or bring your own) and interact with the characters from the story. These books are reasonably priced and more stories are on the way. WT2 Earphone Translator from Timekettle ($199) If you’ve read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you will remember the Babel Fish, a tiny creature that sits in your ear and translates other languages in real time. That is basically what the WT2 from Timekettle does with help from your iPhone. Two people who speak different languages can each wear a WT2 earbud and the phone translates to and from each party’s native language. It translates almost instantly and is quite handy for travelers. It could also be used for hearing impaired users as a way to caption a speaker as their words are also shown on the phone. Other Award Winners Include: Speck Presidio Mount Case, Scosche MagicMount Wireless Charging Line, Zagg InvisibleShield Glass+ Luxe 360 ($69.99), Fuse Chicken Shield Lightning cable ($35), Powercast Remote Wireless Charging.
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Open Letter to Apple: Remember Us?
Illustration by Mikaila Maidment, mikailamaidment.com
hanks to a relentless focus on user experience, Apple leapt ahead of its competition immediately after introducing the iPhone more than a decade ago. Over the years, that focus has waned and morphed into so-so customer service, accessories that don’t last, and non-intuitive iPhone software.
So-So Customer Service Take my screen replacement experience, for instance. I love the look and feel of the iPhone so much that I don’t use cases or screen protectors. Not surprisingly, last month, I dropped my iPhone 7 Plus onto concrete and broke the screen. Apple repairs its devices at Apple stores and through the mail. It aggressively discourages the use of unauthorized third-party repair services. The broken screen repair charge at an Apple store costs $169 for Plus iPhone models, up $20 from last year. Unfortunately, I live nowhere near an Apple store or authorized center. My options are to drive three hours to the nearest Apple store, pay for shipping, and be without an iPhone for a week, or send Apple $349 for express replacement and be overnighted another iPhone (Apple used to include this express service as part of warranty work and repair, but now charges AppleCare users $99 for the privilege). Since Apple makes its stores hubs for knowledge, sales, and repair, I don’t understand why Apple doesn’t open more stores to support its customers. Accessories That Don’t Last Another disappointing experience with Apple concerns expensive Apple accessories that don’t stand up to normal usage. The cheapest Apple USB Lightning cable costs $19. As of this writing, thousands of people have reviewed the cable on Apple’s website and have given it a two-star rating on average. Apple has been aware of the problem for years. Several of my cables have stopped working, after the ends ripped and left wires exposed. Further, my iPhone and iPad now report “Accessory not supported” when I try to use third-party cables that worked just fine before the iOS 11 upgrade. 80
Also disappointing—after 18 months of using the 9.7-inch iPad Pro Smart Keyboard, the connection became unreliable with the dreaded “Accessory not supported” message appearing on my screen. A Google search revealed that others had similar problems. 9to5mac.com published an internal Apple service policy memo dated May 5, 2017, extending the Smart Keyboard warranty to three years. I happily called Apple support. I tried twice. Each time Apple gave me the run around and didn’t seem interested in verifying the memo. I was told I could send it in for repair but would be better off ordering another $149 keyboard. Confusing iPhone Software Finally, each major upgrade to iOS brings more features but also more frustration. iOS 11 brought an unpleasant surprise for longtime App Store customers. If developers don’t upgrade older apps, many of them no longer work. I miss the ability to use my older paid games and productivity apps. Also, 3D Touch introduces other usability problems. There are no cues to remember to use 3D Touch or to know the shortcuts it offers. Worse, after all this time, I still get confused about how to access it. To see the 3D options, I must remember to hold the icon and press hard. Maddeningly, I must remember to press and hold app icons less hard in order to delete apps. As a long-standing Apple enthusiast, I have no plans to give up on Apple anytime soon. Yet I hope the company remembers its history of excellence and returns to the focus on user experience that captured my heart in the first place. Hal, along with his wife Rita, founded iPhone Life’s original publishing company, Thaddeus Computing, in 1985. You can reach him at email@example.com. Check out Hal’s new book at meditatingentrepreneur.com.