The TEKSide Blog

TEKTOK Podcast - EP056 - It’s All Just More of the Same - Sweet TEK Pick - TwelveSouth Everything

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the TEKTOK Podcast. Please visit the TEKTOK website for all the show notes and other information.

Listen to the episode or visit us in iTunes or Google Play.

This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was all the BookBook accessories available from TwelveSouth.

So just one month ago, I was praising all the Apple leather accessories available for their products. But now I’ve changed my tune just a bit. I stumbled across some images on the TwelveSouth website and was immediately sold.

I’m in this phase of my life where I’m resenting the fact that I need technology to be effective in my personal and professional lives. And while my reasoning may sound strange, I ask you the reader, to be patient with me and let me explain.

I purchased all the black leather accessories for all my Apple devices several weeks ago. They are fine quality products. They are also expensive. But more that all that, they are a constant reminder of my addiction to all things technology and more importantly, the Apple brand. I have a real problem. TwelveSouth offers a unique lineup of products that disguises the new and shiny and wraps everything up in a pre-worn, distressed and casual package that separates the tech from the future world it belongs to and brings it back to an age where analog tools cluttered our desks and the pen & pad were our go to devices. It's the look of the TwelveSouth products that allows me to separate myself from the technology in an emotional way.

I’m hopeful this came across well and that you feel the vibe that I’m trying to share.

My laptop, my tablet, my phone and even my cables have new homes. And when all together, the tech becomes invisible, out of sight and out of mind.

What about you? Are you ready to give your tech a new look? Look no further than TwelveSouth. They are sure to have something that will make you feel nostalgic (and smart).


iOSDocked - EP033 - $6 and a Trip to Target - iLike Habitify

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This week my "iLike" (pick of the week) was Habitify

Habitify, available on iOS, macOS, watch OS and soon to be on Android, is an app to assist you in building good habits and routines and easily track progress with helpful statistical views along the way. While I use another app for habit building (a post for later), I do like to use Habitify to help me solidify my daily routines. It is a complete solution as it has clients available to me on all the Apple platforms I use. This is important to me because I switch devices as I move from task to task. Progress is synced in real time as I check off tasks running through each routine with fluidity. Habitify is developed by and tailored for those who are serious about not only being productive but also consistent in how they approach their work and self-development. I highly recommend downloading the free version for yourself and seeing if this is a utility that you could implement into your life. 

TEKTOK Podcast - EP055 - Leather Fetish - Sweet TEK Pick - All the Apple Leather

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the TEKTOK Podcast. Please visit the TEKTOK website for all the show notes and other information.

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This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was all the leather accessories that protect my Apple devices 

Whether it's the quality, the style or the simplicity, I love Apple's leather accessories. It all started with the iPad Pro Sleeve. It fits my iPad Pro with a smart keyboard beautifully. I love that there is even a pocket for my Apple Pencil as well. Then I took a look at the leather folio case Apple offers for the iPhone X. Once again, I came away extremely pleased. I have tried Folio cases in the past but never fell in love with anything. I'm not sure how Apple did it, but they managed to give me more room for "wallet stuff" without the bulk you get from cheaper knock-offs you can find other places. Finally, there is the pricey $179 leather sleeve for my MacBook Pro. I'm not a fan of the prices, but I can live with it if it the quality stands up like I think it will, and it can be a case for another Macbook or two moving forward. 

So my devices are draped in Apple Leather. What are your thoughts on Apple's premium leather accessories? Tempted? No so much? Let us know!

TEKTOK Podcast - EP054 - Trials & Tribulations - Sweet & Sour TEK Pick - Screen Time

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This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was not so sweet. As a matter of fact, the verdict is still out on this one as the feature is now in beta and has not been working reliably.

Screen Time for iOS 12 was announced at Apple's WWDC event back in June, and it is Apple's attempt at giving the user control to help cope with their lack of self-control. 

In public beta 2 of iOS 12.0, Screen Time quit working all together immediately crashing upon launch. Beta 2 fixed that issue but with the fix came more problems. Now it appears that if an app shuts down due to the "Downtime" set, the button the user is to push to request for more time does not work. This is the beta life. You can't complain, but we do anyway. 

I am a fan of the idea behind Screen Time. Becoming more aware of how my time on my iPhone gets spent, opens my eyes to time invested vs. time wasted. Downtime, a tentpole feature of Screen Time has really pushed me to get to bed on time. I have used 3rd party apps to simulate these features up until now but full integration natively from Apple (once it works as advertised), will just be awesome. 

There is more to Screen Time, such as having the ability to set time limits by app category, access to more powerful parental controls and a less distracting view of your lock screen first thing in the morning. 

I'm curious, what are your thoughts on Screen Time? Will you be making use of these new tools or ignoring their existence?

iOSDocked - EP131 - The Beta Bitch is Back - iLike the HomePad?

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This week my "iLike" (pick of the week) was what I called my HomePads.

I have a pair of them to accompany my two HomePods. What are they? Simple little HomePod coasters that have been crocheted for me by my wonderful wife. She has been honing her craft and meanwhile, I happened to be reading an article about #RingGate. Click the link here for more on that story. Anyway, I use the HomePads to protect the wood finish of the tables in my office. They also add warmth to the cold and neutral grey HomePods. Interested in having some made? I can ask if she has the time. Who knows? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

TEKTOK Podcast - EP053 - Favorite Things - Sweet TEK Pick - Apple Leather Folio Case for iPhone X

Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the TEKTOK Podcast. Please visit the TEKTOK website for all the show notes and other information.

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This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was the Apple Leather Folio case for the iPhone X

So for the past few months, I have been quite happy with the battery case I have been using on my iPhone X. But the lighting port connection became faulty, and I decided to go in a different route with protection this round. I have been on a personal quest to eliminate screen time from my life. My thinking was that perhaps a folio style case would help with that. I was also on the lookout for a new wallet as my old one has sadly bit the dust. So I figured, why not try a case that will address both my needs. Enter the Apple Folio case for the iPhone X. I've been using it for the last few weeks and have been quite pleased with it as a wallet and as a screen time deterrent. The quality of this leather case rivals that of some of the best leather cases I have ever used. I have moved the iPhone from my front pocket to my back pocket as it sits more comfortably due to the increased bulk added by the added functionality a wallet case provides, but the convenience of combining the phone protection and a decent wallet has made the transition smooth. What are your thoughts on the folio style cases? If cost is a primary concern, Apple's take on it will set you back $100. If the price is not a significant factor, I think this will suit you fine. Please feel free to comment below and let me know what you ultimately decide on for your needs. 

3 Handy Todoist Tips Every User Should Know About

If you follow TEKSide or me on Twitter, you will notice that over the weekend, I posted three handy tips for Todoist users that I find incredibly useful and productive. For those that missed out on those, don't fret. Here they are: 

1. Here is a handy @todoist tip for iPhone users! Create a task out of a voicemail! #TEKSideTodoistTips https://workflow.is/workflows/217225935cc345769226b34a68504751

2. Here is another handy @todoist tip for iPhone users! Link a task to another app with URL schemes #TEKSideTodoistTips

3. Here is another handy @todoist tip! It’s the Ultimate Todoist Start Page! #TEKSideTodoistTips

I call it !!Outlook!!

Filter setup: P:Inbox, @Waiting, Overdue, Today, Tomorrow

📥 Inbox (need to process)
🐌 Waiting (on someone else)
🚩 Overdue!
🌞 Today tasks
🕟 Tomorrow tasks

iOSDocked - EP130 - WWDC Recap - iLike Shortcuts & Walkie Talkie

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This week my "iLike" (pick of the week) was two new announced features coming to iPhones & Apple Watches later this year. 

First up:

Screenshot 2018-06-09 07.44.38.png

Shortcuts: A Siri activated Automator for iOS

This is extremely exciting for me as a heavy user of Drafts, Workflow & Launch Center Pro, this will take my smartphone productivity to all new levels. I have amassed a massive amount of actions with these 3 aforementioned apps, and I am hopeful that these can quickly be morphed into Siri Shortcuts with minimal effort. We shall see...

Next up:

Screenshot 2018-06-09 07.43.39.png

Walkie Talkie: A new but old method of communication on watchOS

This direct two-way conversation method between two Apple Watch users is just perfect. I can see myself watching an Apple Keynote and in real time sharing my thoughts with one of my iOSDocked co-stars on the other end. This kind of service makes perfect sense for the most popular wrist-wearing technology in the World. Not only is this practical, but it can also be a lot of fun. 

TEKTOK Podcast - EP052 - The Highs, The Lows & The Questionable - Sweet TEK Pick - JUUK Monza Onyx Apple Watch Band

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This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was the Monza Onyx Apple Watch Band from JUUK.

 I’m quickly becoming an Apple Watch band collector. It wasn’t my intention but some of these 3rd party bands are really special and somewhat affordable.  In this case, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on my new Monza Onyx Apple Watch Band from JUUK. 

It’s a strikingly gorgeous highly quality leather band in black with red accents. With an adjustable clasp, it’s sure to fit comfortably. Another plus? The red matches the red tip of the Apple Watch crown. I’ve been wearing it a lot since it arrived a few weeks back and even my wife has taken notice of it’s design and gave it it’s due praise. JUUK is really going all out on these bands. If the Monza Onyx is not your thing, something will be. Be sure to visit JUUK and explore their offerings. 

TEKTOK Podcast - EP051 - Apple Experiences & Twitter Woes - Sweet TEK Pick - Calzy 3

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This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was Calzy 3.

Calzy is a phenomenally robust and beautifully designed calculator app for iOS. It has all the basics, but it also has some other tricks up its sleeve; history tape, tax calculations, and an intuitive gesture-based interface to name a few. Calzy takes advantage of all the latest developer APIs. It's universal, with fully featured apps on the iPhone, iPad and the Apple Watch. The iPhone and iPad are also equipped with widgets and iMessage apps. And for you iPhone X users out there, the true black theme is slick! Oh, and speaking of themes, Calzy has that too. Pick the color theme you want and the home screen icon that best compliments your home screen. 

If you need a simple calculator app, Calzy is a great pick. But it can also be an app for users requiring a little more out of their application. If you want a calculator that is attractive as hell, this is it too. 

Get Calzy 3 in the App Store today for just $1.99.

iOSDocked - EP127 - Apple Lovin' Them Some Education - iLike iWork with Apple Pencil Support

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This week my "iLike" (pick of the week) was the latest update to Apple's iWork productivity suite. 

I have used the iWork suite of apps since Day 1. I am someone who enjoys using productivity tools. There is something magical about taking a boring spreadsheet and giving it life by using one of the default themes, accompanying the numbers with eye-popping charts and turning it into a work of art that brings the critical information in your data to life. Now Apple has added Apple Pencil support. This is awesome. I can see mobile productivity taken to new levels with this added functionality. 

What about you? Do you rely on iWork? Does this extra functionality persuade you? Keep in mind that the iWork suite is free to use so if you haven't given iWork a chance, what better time then now? 

Pages, Numbers and Keynote on iOS and Mac are free and come preloaded onto most devices. Today’s updates are available to download on the App Store and Mac App Store.
— Apple

TEKTOK Podcast - EP050 - A Future of Complicated First World Problems - Sweet TEK Pick - Drafts 5

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This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was the not yet released Drafts 5 by Agile Tortoise

I wish I could share more about this app, but it's still not ready for public release. I will say that if you are a fan of Drafts 4, you are in for a treat. Rather than go on and on about my passion for this application which permanently resides in my dock, by the way, let me point you to an interview I conducted with the developer a couple of weeks back. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Greg. I think you will too. 

iOSDocked - EP126 - Who Wants Cookies? - iLike Lookmark

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This week my "iLike" (pick of the week) was Lookmark for Safari & iOS. 

 

Lookmark is a nifty little bookmarking tool for keeping track of everything media related that you are interested in. All products contained in any of the iTunes media libraries whether it be apps, music, tv shows, movies or even podcasts can all be saved directly from the product link from wherever you come across the product URL.

Other benefits include being able to bookmark an item from your Mac directly from a Safari webpage. The next time you are on your iPhone, open the Lookmark app, and you will notice that all your items are seamlessly synced across.

How about an item you are interested in that maybe doesn't fall in line with your budget? No problem! Have Lookmark monitor price changes for you. 


The app is streamlined. All products are organized by category which makes it easy to find what you have saved.  

I just find this app to be handy. Thanks to the helpful little share extension and smart notifications, the app is there when I need it and out of the way when I don't. 

The app is free, but to take advantage of all the features which includes the price monitoring, a modest subscription service is required. Be sure to check out Lookmark. It's a great took and a convenient way to save all the best new apps and other media content that you don't want to forget.

TEKTOK Podcast - EP049 - Carrier Bad, Product Meh, Apps Good - Sweet TEK Pick - HomePod

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This week my "Sweet TEK" (pick of the week) was the newly released HomePod by Apple.

I am not a stranger to smart speakers, and I wouldn’t go as far as saying Apple’s HomePod is one. What I would say is that the HomePod is perfect for those Apple customers already heavily invested in their ecosystem of products and pay for a subscription to Apple Music. There are tons of reviews out there already, and I’m not about to write 10,000 words about this product. What I will say is I’m listening to a lot more of my music since my purchase of the HomePod than ever before. It’s been a while since I have been able to listen to my favorite tracks at the high measure of quality that this device provides. Add to the fact, that essential Siri integration is built in, and I am just pleased. I don’t think it’s overpriced. It’s a premium product for those that value Apple quality and love their music and aren’t overly annoyed by Siri’s limitations. Get the HomePod here. It retails for $349.