I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

Big Screens, Even Bigger Lessons & Learning to Make Tough Calls ›

This is a real­ly insight­ful look into the process behind mak­ing an iPad app from an estab­lished iPhone app. As a design­er I have some knowl­edge of design­ing for dif­fer­ent screen sizes, but the behav­iour of an app is very dif­fer­ent to the behav­iour of a web­site, albeit with some sim­i­lar­i­ties. Before I begin any future web design projects I’ll def­i­nite­ly be giv­ing this piece anoth­er read or two.

Airfoil 5.5: Now Playing on Chromecast! ›

One of my favourite Mac util­i­ties has just been updat­ed to add some excel­lent func­tion­al­i­ty. Air­foil now sup­ports Chrome­cast and it works very well.
I’ve nev­er under­stood why Air­Play from an iOS device only allows you to send audio to one speak­er at a time, Air­foil is the per­fect way to fix that. My Mac­Book Pro is nor­mal­ly on and so I Air­Play to Air­foils sis­ter app Air­foil Satel­lite and then using the iOS Satel­lite app send the audio to what ever speak­ers I want. Since I have a Chrome­cast in my lit­tle stu­dio I can now eas­i­ly send Apple Music to my speak­ers with­out faffing around with cables. I put it to good use this morn­ing stream­ing to both my stu­dio speak­ers and kitchen speak­ers while I moved between the two rooms.

App Store 2.0 ›

News broke last night of some changes to the App Store. Chief among them was the avail­abil­i­ty of sub­scrip­tion pric­ing to all types of apps. Many peo­ple seem to see it as a pos­i­tive for devel­op­ers, and I agree to some extent, but it all depends how those sub­scrip­tions will be used.
This quote from The Verge’s cov­er­age of the news is exact­ly what I’m con­cerned about.

Tsid­don says his com­pa­ny makes around $10 mil­lion a year from its pre­mi­um apps, which are sold for a one-time pur­chase fee of $3.99 or $4.99. Lightricks has sold 8 mil­lion app down­loads to date. Tsid­don hasn’t ful­ly com­mit­ted to a sub­scrip­tion mod­el yet, only say­ing that he’s “excit­ed to exper­i­ment with the busi­ness mod­el,” but based on back-of-the-enve­lope math he believes if his com­pa­ny saw 4 mil­lion down­loads while charg­ing a $4 month­ly sub­scrip­tion fee, he could make 10 times his cur­rent annu­al rev­enue.

If devel­op­ers start to shift to pric­ing like this, I and many oth­ers, will stop using their apps. I sim­ply can not afford, and even if I could I would not be able to jus­ti­fy, pay­ing $4 a month to use an app. Espe­cial­ly when it’s mul­ti­plied by the 12 inde­pen­dent apps on my iPhone home­screen. That’s not sus­tain­able.

My Homescreen: May 2015

With this week com­plete­ly focused on fin­ish­ing phase one of a client project, I com­plete­ly missed that it was the 1st of the month yes­ter­day. So now that the work­ing week is over and I’m sat back relax­ing it’s time to sort out this month’s edi­tion of my home­screens. I’ll tack­le both iPhone and iPad at the same time, since the changes to both are iden­ti­cal and for the same rea­son.

iPhone

iPhone May 2015

Dock

The Rest

iPad

iPad My 2015

Dock

The Rest

What’s New?

  • Omni­Fo­cus — Since the start of the year I’ve been using Things to man­age my tasks, in the last month I’ve end­ed up switch­ing back to Omni­Fo­cus. Part­ly because one of the por­jects I’m work­ing on has need­ed break­ing down fur­ther than Things can cope with, and part­ly because of Omni­Fo­cus Mail­Drop.
  • Out­look, Gmail, Inbox by Gmail and Mail­box — Recent­ly I’ve been hav­ing some issues with the provider of my email, lots of servers down and unre­li­able deliv­ery. As a self-employed per­son I need to be able to rely on my email nev­er fail­ing, and so my work email has now switched to Google Apps. I’m still decid­ing on my per­son­al email set­up.

One of the advan­tages of mov­ing to Google Apps for Work has allowed me to test out a few email apps I couldn’t use pre­vi­ous­ly, and also to com­bine my email with IFTTT so that it works hard­er for me. Part of that IFTTT inte­gra­tion has been to com­bine the Gmail chan­nel with the email chan­nel and my Omni­Fo­cus Mail­Drop address. I’m still refin­ing things and try­ing to decide which apps to use, but I hope to be able to explain fur­ther how I’m mak­ing my email work for me rather than hav­ing to work to keep on top of it.

NeuBible. A Bible app designed for you ›

This post is a bit of a rar­i­ty, it’s the first link post I’ve post­ed since the reboot of this blog and I think it’s a fit­ting one.
I’m a big fan of my bible being a paper one, it’s great to be cut off and focused from the world while I’m read­ing it. I do how­ev­er, like the util­i­ty of hav­ing the Bible on my phone and this new app called Neu­Bible looks absolute­ly stun­ning. It does­n’t yet include my pre­ferred trans­la­tion (ESV for those inter­est­ed) but I will be cer­tain­ly giv­ing it a try. If you’ve nev­er read the bible, this seems like a beau­ti­ful place to start.

Evernote 5 for iOS ›

I’m find­ing myself more and more drawn to the Ever­note world. This com­ing update looks like it could be real­ly nice to use and final­ly push me into using the app more reg­u­lar­ly. The only thing that’s not show is the home screen icon, hope­ful­ly they’ve improved that as well, the cur­rent one is ugly.

Things Cloud and Local Push

The cloud sync that is now final­ly in Cul­tured Code’s Things is fan­tas­tic. This lit­tle addi­tion has made it even more awe­some, best of all it works like the video shows it does.

That’s where Local Push comes in. Now, every time you make a change on one device, Things sends an encrypt­ed noti­fi­ca­tion of that change across your local net­work. All your oth­er devices on the same local net­work pick this up and request the changes from Things Cloud.
In oth­er words — you can have Things open on all your devices, make a change on one of them, and see that change applied on your oth­er devices almost imme­di­ate­ly.