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)_/¯
June didn't have a lot of new (music) releases that I eagerly awaited. Instead of seeing what Spotify thought I'd like, I spent the majority of the month in other's playlists. I mainly follow artists there but there are a few individuals with similar taste in music that I've added. That's where most of these jems.
The three that were not, were from previous iTunes purchases. I downloaded Leon Bridges' first EP, he released a new album and Beyond, the song in this playlist, reminded me more of his first singles.
I don't think I'd call myself a Lily Allen fan. I know there was one song a few years back that was very popular and even then I passed. From the playlists of those I follow, I previewed a few songs of her latest album and quite enjoyed the entire thing! Unexpected and surprised it somehow piqued my interest but glad it did.
The cover I chose for this months list is Girls Just Want To Have Fun. The original version is cute and fun but I liked the contrast of the chorus on this one. It's one of the Spotify Singles by Charlotte Lawrence, Nina Nesbitt & Sasha Sloan.
I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.
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.
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:
I call it !!Outlook!!
Filter setup: P:Inbox, @Waiting, Overdue, Today, Tomorrow
📥 Inbox (need to process)
🐌 Waiting (on someone else)
🌞 Today tasks
🕟 Tomorrow tasks
This week my "iLike" (pick of the week) was two new announced features coming to iPhones & Apple Watches later this year.
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...
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.
Another month, another playlist.
This playlist turned into comfort listens for me. Often replayed artists but with newer work. There are a few repeat offenders: Exes, Léon, & Noah Cyrus. They're present in a few of this year's playlists because they have such unique voices and styles.
The other songs on this list are just great suggestions from the Spotify algorithm. You can go into any playlist and scroll to the bottom of the page for recommending songs based on the playlist. It's a gold mine of your musical preferences!
The chosen cover for this month is Stand By Me, covered by Meiko. She's actually one of the first indie albums I purchased. Due to this, iTunes suggested her most recent work which included covers! This one was my favorite out of all of them.
I hope your ears enjoy.
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.
April has been the most difficult and stressful month (so far) for me. I felt on the receiving end of tennis ball machine by the end of the month. As I wrapped this playlist up, I noticed how that affected what I gravitated towards. They're all on the softer side and tend to stick to similar beats. Comfort artists, ones I often listen to almost make up the entire playlist. There are three new songs, by Exes, Jason Mraz, and my favorite; Wet! The rest are new to me but not recently released. Still great! I've relied on it as background music/noise a lot.
I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.
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.
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?
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.
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.
February, for the most part, was a little colder in the Sunshine State. Well, colder than the scorching heat we typically experience. I considered that when working on this playlist cover. In January, I worked on a lovey-dovey playlist (here). This monthly playlist turned out to have a couple of not feeling the love type of songs. Hence the cover; feeling it or not, we all go down the same.
Almost a year ago I wrote a note to look up this one song in an episode of Grey's Anatomy. That show plays the best, most heart-wrenching, songs. Well, I deleted the app I was using at the time and forgot. A couple of weeks ago, I re-downloaded it and well... Hello, Faith by Sleeping At Last.
The cover I chose for this love-filled month is It Must Have Been Love by Kaiak. A couple of others are artists whose music I've purchased, and iTunes curated this 'new music from your artists' list. Overall it's a mellow collection but great in the background as well.
Hope you all enjoy!
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.
Please be sure to check out the latest episode of the iOSDocked. Please visit the iOSDocked for all the show notes and the other information.
Listen to episode or subscribe to us in iTunes or Google Play.
This week my "iLike" (pick of the week) was the Ruky 6000mah Extended Battery Case for the iPhone X.
What if your iPhone could last up to 2 full days without a charge? What if you had the freedom to go about your day oblivious to the status of your battery? What if you didn’t need to spend any more money on additional power cables for your home, your office or your vehicle? It almost sounds futuristic, doesn’t it? Well that’s because the future has arrived. Now you can find the epitome of all iPhone accessories. An accessory that offers you both protection and power at a cost half the price of name brand extended battery case makers. For $39.99, the Ruky has completely changed how I think about battery cases. It has a minimal footprint event though it lends an additional 6000mah of power to your iPhone when it needs it.
Here is a positive and a negative outside of the battery conversation. The positive is that this case works with magnetic mounts. The negative? You will have to learn to live without wireless charging. But hey! You will only need to charge once every day or two anyway ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
If your are starving for freedom and your iPhone is hungry for power, this case is for you. Pick it up here at Amazon for just $39.99!
I love coffee. It starts every day off right. I get up in the morning. I brew a pot, and I get to work. I often sit at my desk for 3-4 hours every morning as a start to my day. I grab a cup of coffee, and I sip it….. and sip it…… and sip it……and then, suddenly I realize that my coffee has gone cold. So I dump it out and fill the cup once more.
The Ember makes that first cup of coffee extra special. It retains the optimum temperature that is perfect for me. At maximum temp, the coffee mug maintains a toasty 145°. Now my coffee is perfect to the last drop.
The Ember coffee mug comes equipped with a charger/coaster. Leave the mug here when not in use so the mug can be fully charged for your next cup. Now I do wish the charge held longer than what it does. I typically drink coffee over the course of a couple of hours. The Ember coffee mug seems to hold a charge for about 1 hour, and then it tends to lose its effectiveness. This device also comes equipped with an iOS app featuring temp controls and options for notifications, so you know exactly when your coffee is the perfect temperature. You can find the Ember coffee mug on their website or at your local Starbucks. The Ember coffee mug retails for $79.95.
Now how about that cup of Joe?
January was a really good month for music in the algorithm world. The Spotify bots knew exactly what my ears needed to hear.
If you read the Favorites 2017 entry, you know that an artist that I was shocked to fall in love with was Noah Cyrus. I listen to the radio often and I seldom hear any of the songs Spotify keeps recommending me (by her) yet they all end up on replay. I love them all! I feel a little weird because she's a teenager but this is my payback for making fun of those grown women in love with the Bieber kid and that English boy band that was popular for a while. Either way, another one of her songs made it to this playlist.
I keep the number at 10 and, this month, I had to eliminate three. That's when I realized I didn't have a cover. I like to keep it as authentic as I can. I like it to truly represent my current obsessions and listens. I didn't listen to any real covers BUT... I usually have background noise when I work. This takes on the form of some show I've seen 200 times, know verbatim and should probably stay away from (Hi, Friends + Buffy!). This month, I've spent more time on Hulu. They tend to play for hours before interrupting you to ask you if you've gotten a life yet. The re-runs I've been abusing on this platform are Full House ones. I've seen them all dozens upon dozens of times but there's that nostalgia. Based on this, I picked the theme song cover that Carly Rae Jepsen covers for the reboot, Fuller House.
I'm loving this playlist and I hope you all get something out of it.
One very cool feature from Spotify is their end of the year "Your Top Songs" playlist. A collection of your most played songs sounds simple but this was the first year I made the full switch to Spotify and it was much more precise than the previous years. Sorry, iTunes.
In my 2017 Top Songs (via Spotify) I found a lot of songs trekked over from the 2016 Top Songs. I'm surprised I'm able to put together a playlist every month with the undeniable proof that I listen to the same ten songs from 2016.
Said playlist was used in the makings of this one: Favorites 2017. I didn't just stick to most played because they're not necessarily my favorites.
I featured Exes twice because this duo was my favorite musical find of 2017. I love the melodies and their nostalgic stories.
One I did not expect to like so much was Noah Cyrus. Let's be honest. Celebrity siblings trying to break into the same field as their famous siblings are cringe-worthy, most times. The first single of hers I heard, I thought it was too much like her sister. A lot of singles and collaborations happened during the last half of 2017 and she found herself in the indie community and Spotify bots pushed her on me and ... I loved! I heard a little more individuality in her voice the more she collaborated with certain (indie/folksy) artists I enjoy.
I have noticed I include Imagine Dragons multiple times during the year. I really like their sound and music, very catchy and upbeat. I decided to include a mix they did including their song Thunder and Young Dumb and Broke. It blends beautifully.
I hope you all enjoy my favorites!
I share my year with Todoist before going in depth on my setup for 2018. I recommend this video to anyone looking to get organized this year. I provide some Todoist tips and tricks for beginners and advanced users alike.Read More
December is a month that made my Spotify suggestions all misses. I think it's due to the two playlists I kept playing were piano Christmas songs and one of their sleep ones. As one can imagine, the algorithm bots where trying to knock me out during work hours!
By playing a couple of previous months radio playlists (on Spotify) I was able to force the bots to generate something worth the monthly fee!
Ansel Elgort (the actor) came up a few times and right as I was starting to feel insulted by the bots, I got to one that I quite enjoyed. I wanted to hate it, but Baby Driver knows music, ok?
And a blast from the past is our cover this month. -Only Hope sang by Mandy Moore, covered by Alex G and Gustavo Guerrero.- I recognized this song from the A Walk to Remember soundtrack. Let's not judge our middle school choices, but that soundtrack is pretty good!
I hope you all enjoy.