I finally finished watching Deep Space Nine tonight. It was easily my favorite Star Trek series yet. Just two more seasons of Voyager, four of Enterprise, and one movie and I will be done with the whole series.

So I Bought a HomePod

When Apple announced that the HomePod would be available to pre-order this week, I went back and forth between wanting to buy one, two, or none at all.

I have been interested in the idea of a smart speaker since the Amazon Echoes started taking off a couple of years ago, but I did not want to have to remember the differences between two different digital assistants. Since I use Siri everywhere else, I didn’t want to use Alexa around the house.

I think for these smart speakers to be really useful, they need to be spread our throughout your house so you can talk to them wherever you are in the house. This is why I considered buying more than one; but I could not justify it at $350.

Bradley Chambers nailed it on Twitter:

I’m not interested in a $350 HomePod. I am interested in a $149 HomePod mini.

I would love to have the full HomePod in my kitchen and in my office / workout room and have minis spread out in my living room, bedroom, and bathroom1.

I am hoping that Apple expands this category quickly, but I didn’t want to invest too much in it until I actually knew how useful it was going to be. So for now, I just ordered a single black one that will go in the office. If I end up really liking it, I will probably pick up a white one for the kitchen.

The thing that I am most looking forward to seeing is how well it handles taking input from more than one person.

From Guilherme Rambo (emphasis mine):

Everyone can continue a phone call on HomePod–Anyone can start a call on their iPhone and hand it off to HomePod for a hands-free conversation.


Everyone can ask Siri questions–Anyone in the home can use HomePod to get everyday information like weather, traffic, new, translations, general knowledge, and more. For example, just as “Hey Siri, what’s the weather like this week?”

And from Apple’s HomePod page:

Thanks to Siri, HomePod is great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home. Set timers. Convert measurements. Get translations. And get live news, sports, weather, and traffic. You can also create lists that anyone can add to.

This is the first time Apple has even acknowledged that more than one person can use a single iOS device2. While this is an okay start, I hope that they continue to improve this: the HomePod should be able to tell the difference between my wife and me and should be able to provide contextual answers based on who is talking to it.

I hope that the idea of more than one person using an iOS-based device spreads from here. It would be nice to have on the iPad, but I think it is essential on tvOS. Right now, every show that anyone in my family watches is consolidated in my Up Next queue in the TV app (which spreads to my iPhone and iPad too). I am using Apple’s vague acknowledgment of multiple users for the HomePod as a reason to hope that this situation will improve at WWDC 2018.

  1. For podcasts in the shower. 
  2. macOS has always supported multiple users, but iOS (and iOS variants like tvOS) never have. 

Start your days right with a consistent shutdown routine →

Chris Bowler on The Sweet Setup:

It may sound backwards, but the key to starting your days off right is to finish them well. When you take the time to clear your mind — and your inboxes — it makes it so much easier to start your day with clarity. You’ll be off and running and working on the things that matter most to you with far less effort and friction.

I talked about doing this a little in my post about my ideal morning routine. Since I have been off work the last couple of weeks, I have been a little lazy about getting things ready the night before. My mornings has suffered because of it1.

Luckily I can make up for it during the day now, but I need to get back in my normal routine before I go back to work and lost all of that time during the day.

  1. Well because of that and also because I have been getting up to help take care of a newborn in the middle of the night. 

I must be getting old.

I just opened my Mac to do some coding on Reposit and decided that I did not want to use any of the shiny new betas that came out yesterday.

Quality After Quantity →

Chris Bowler:

One big takeaway for me from 2017 was the idea that when building new habits, you have to start with quantity.

This idea perfectly encapsulates how I am trying to approach the projects I am working on – I want to just show up every day and make a ton of stuff without worrying too much about how good it is. If I consistently put the work in, the quantity will turn into quality.

The Sweet Setup on Things 3 →

Chris Bowler, writing for The Sweet Setup, picked Things 3 by Cultured Code (iPhone/Apple Watch | iPad | Mac) as the best GTD app. I have been using it since the beta and I couldn’t agree with their pick more. I would go as far as saying that is the best designed app that I use.

My only complaint is that they didn’t use version 3 (which was a paid upgrade) as an opportunity to combine the iPhone and iPad versions. But, while charging separate for the iPhone and the iPad seems a little off in 2018, I won’t complain too much about developers doing whatever they need to to stay afloat in the App Store. However, I would have probably preferred for them to go the same route as Ulysses and offer a subscription that enabled the app across all platforms.

If you want to learn more about how to squeeze as much power from Things as you can, Shawn Blanc is releasing a video course for Things on The Sweet Setup next month.

No Cutting Corners on the iPhone X →

This study of the curved corners of the iPhone X is great.

When I use the older iPhones, the thing that jumps out to me as being outdated or wrong is not the big bezels, it is the squared corners. I even get that feeling looking at my iPad Pro.

Brad Ellis really gets into what it is about those curved corners that makes the old square ones look so off.

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