Monday, June 3, 2019

😂 MindBlower - un-official Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference symbol I’m giving away for free at the event

This year I’m at the WWDC conference in San Jose, California and I get to watch Apple Keynote live and witness the new software Apple is presenting. To commemorate this I’ve designed and The Podcast co-host Radek 3D-printed a symbol of this conference - a MindBlower (TM). Here’s how this idea came to be.

MindBlower - un-official Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference symbol

Conference swag should be about the event

Radek came up with this idea first when he was 3D printing “React” logo at the React conferences (our new Nozbe 4 is designed in React technology) and he saw how people liked the gadget and how they wanted to have it. As we both were preparing to travel for the WWDC conference he suggested I designed something similar for this conference. I loved the idea but initially I didn’t know what to do. Should that be just an Apple logo or something else?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

🏭 Stock market doesn’t make any sense to me as Microsoft is more valuable than Apple...

This has been an interesting year. Apple was the first company to break the 1 trillion dollar valuation at one point... but now as they’ve plateaued with iPhone unit sales and announced that they will no longer be publishing the quantity of headsets sold... their stock literally plummeted from above $220 to $169 today and the best part is that now Microsoft is worth more than Apple. Why? Well... I honestly don’t get it...

Stock market doesn’t make any sense to me as Microsoft is more valuable than Apple...

I’ll never understand the stock market...

Let’s start with a disclaimer: I own quite a few units of Apple stock and I use Apple devices daily, so I’m obviously emotionally involved here.

Here’t the proof: I just bought the new iPhone XS, the new iPad Pro 11” and the new Apple Watch series 4... so their products obviously don’t suck...

Yet there’s a question of growth... Apple, apparently is doomed as they’re not going to sell as many iPhones as they should be, right?

Microsoft more valuable than Apple? Are you kidding me?

When I heard about it (and this situation stands today as you can see from the screenshot above), I tweeted this:

… and with that we’ve decided to drop all iOS and Mac related projects at @Nozbe and focus entirely on the world’s dominant mobile platform: Windows Phone! …. oh wait… 🤔

Exactly! Microsoft is losing on so many fronts - it lost the mobile war (there is no Windows Phone anymore), they’re struggling with tablets (with Surface products) and they’re dependent on Intel - who’s struggling making processors these days. They’re just milking the cow thanks to Microsoft Office 365 platform... which I honestly don’t use anymore...

Whereas Apple’s iPhone is one of the two dominant mobile platforms, they’re kicking Intel’s ass with ARM-based A-series chips and soon they’ll be releasing Macs with these processors, they’ve got the dominant tablet with the iPad and the dominant fitness tracker with the Apple Watch... and their recurring services revenue is soaring.

Where’s the logic here? What gives?

Luckily Nozbe is not on a stock exchange and won’t be!

I really don’t get the stock market. I won’t be buying any more stock, I’ll just keep the Apple Stock I have and that’s it.

I don’t think I’d ever want to run a public company.

Even if Nozbe is 100 times more successful than now I’ll keep Nozbe private because answering to the investors who apparently are driven by some strange kind of sentiment doesn’t sound like lots of fun. And doesn’t bring value to the actual users!

Anyway. There’s no conclusion here. I’m just really confused about all this.

“You have to understand, that the financial markets are driven by sentiment”...

It’s like in this sketch about the financial crisis - which still holds up pretty well:

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

✔️ How HomePod turned me into a Siri enthusiast - I finally use voice to get stuff done!

Back in February when I was visiting the UK I bought the latest and greatest Apple speaker, called the “HomePod”. I bought it out of curiosity as I wanted to find out what these “intelligent speakers” are all about and as I’m all in the Apple’s ecosystem I decided not to invest in the Amazon’s or Google’s ones. What happened was that this speaker not only improved the way we spend our time in the kitchen, but also taught me a new way of using my iPhone! Here goes:

How HomePod turned me into a Siri enthusiast - I finally use voice to get stuff done!

HomePod changed the way I interact with my iPhone right now!

The HomePod is in our kitchen and because with it we also subscribed to Apple Music, we now ask it to play whatever we want. Recently I was into some classics, so I just asked it to “play the best hits by R.E.M.” or “best hits by Madonna” and boom, the speaker played them for me.

After months of just playing music, I use HomePod and Siri a lot more!

It took us time, but after a few months we started asking Siri through HomePod for more things - like setting up timers (and now finally we can set up more than one of those!), like asking about the weather, like asking about things (definitions, geography: “how many people live in Moscow?”. and much more..).

Recently as I was setting up home automation with Apple’s HomeKit, I’ve started creating scenes and now when my daughter wants to do her homework she sits down at the kitchen table and shouts to the HomePod: “Hey Siri, turn on Kitchen Table” and the light turns on!

Based on that... I started talking to my phone much more!

This is where I realized that I can start talking to my iPhone much more - and I even started recording more iOS12 Siri Shortcuts to enable that. I began asking Siri to open some of my apps, to perform some shortcuts for me, to call people I have in my address book... and it usually works!

Siri is not there yet... and she’s still pretty dumb... but she works!

Yes, Apple still has a long way to go, but I still remember when I got my iPhone 4S to be able to talk to Siri and was disappointed... and with every subsequent iPhone the disappointment turned into frustration... but now with HomePod I’ve re-learned to appreciate the voice commands and to try them so much more... and to enjoy them finally!

Give Siri a try yourself... and if you can get the HomePod, I totally recommend it :-)

Friday, March 10, 2017

💡 3 reasons why I'm enjoying my jet black iPhone 7 Plus so much?

I've been writing on this blog for a while about my iPhones and my special love for the "Plus size" iPhone but now that I've had the latest iPhone 7 Plus Jet Black, my love grew even stronger for this particular device and I'm enjoying it even more. Here's why:

Why I'm enjoying my jet black iPhone 7 Plus so much?

Plus size is almost perfect!

Yes, I still love the big screen - the more display real estate just helps me get more things done every day. Can't express it enough, it just works. When I look at the smaller size phones I'm like: "how can you use this tiny thing?" - and that's my point of view even though I'm a relatively short guy with relatively tiny hands.

It's "almost perfect" because I'd love the screen to be big but the phone to be a little smaller... and there are rumors about the upcoming 10-year anniversary iPhone that will be just perfect for me... let's see!

Jet Black finish is gorgeous!

The new Jet Black finish just rocks. I love it. It's the first iPhone since I don't know when that I'm not using a case for. I'm just using it "bare naked" all the time and I'm enjoying every moment I hold it in my hands. The Jet Black finish is not as slippery as the other ones so it just works great without the case.

Yes, it scratches a lot. I have lot of "micro-abrasions" on this thing but I don't care. It's still beautiful.

Double-camera action is amazing!

Usually there would be no difference between the standard iPhone and the Plus size apart from the size... but now with 7 series the Plus version has two cameras and it's amazing. Especially if you're taking pictures of kids, having the 2X optical zoom or the "portrait mode" help take amazing pictures of your loved ones. Now that I have three kids I appreciate it even more.

Question: Which iPhone or smartphone do you use and why? Have you tried the big Plus iPhone?

Sent from my iPhone 7 Plus

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

✔ Who is iPad Pro for? Me or you?

At the last keynote, Apple did not only show the new iPhones but also new iPads. It turns out that my Air 2 is still the best iPad in Apple's offer but only in its weight category. All because Apple introduced its big brother: iPad PRO. Let's explore today what is this new iPad all about, who it's for and if I'm getting one:

iPad Pro for whom

Note: The following article appeared first in the October'15 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

What is iPad Pro?

For a start, iPad Pro will be really big. The rumors have been confirmed. It will have an almost 13-inch display and will weigh the same as the first iPad. In comparison to my Air 2 it will be gigantic... Especially for those who, like me, already became used to the ideal 10-inch display and feather-light weight - I can hold my current iPad easily with one hand.

But now on to some bigger (pun intended) questions:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

★ iPad Pro. iPhone 6s Plus and other things I'm going to buy this year

Yesterday Apple had its keynote address and instead of doing two events like they did in previous years this time they squeezed everything new into one event and revealed new iPad, new iPhone and new Apple TV. Here's what I think about all this:

iPad Pro. iPhone 6s Plus and other things I'm going to buy this year

Apple TV - I have two at home now. I'm going to replace one of them with a new one and see how it performs. What I don't understand is the effort they put into the remote when they could've improved the iPhone app for that.

iPhone 6S Plus - first off it's a mouthful of a name. Second I don't know if it has more RAM than my current one. But if it does I'm getting it. The force touch thing and camera improvements are worth it. The fact they offer 16GB as a base model makes me sad. Makes this tweet so true.

iPad Pro - I'm definitely getting it with the pencil. As the co-author of #iPadOnly book I'm curious how it performs. I still don't get it why they insist on typing in horizontal view like on a laptop. Where my favorite way of typing on an iPad is in vertical view.

Question: what do you think about Apple's news?

Sent from my iPhone 6 Plus

Monday, July 6, 2015

✔ How beauty boosts productivity... or my very biased MacBook One review :-)

Last summer, in iMagazine where my column is published every month, we featured a series of articles entitled “My first Mac”. Many of our editors wrote about how they started their adventure with Apple and how they got their first Macs. I shared the story of my first Macbook Air which I also posted on my blog. I switched to the Mac because of various reasons and one of them was... beauty.

beautiful Mac

Note: The following article appeared first in the June'15 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

Jane Eyre - my beautiful laptop

In the memories I shared with you at the time, I wrote how beautiful the first Air was. I also mentioned how it differed from the ThinkPad IBM X60T I was using at that time. My PC was dark, plastic... In short, solid and decent like an 80’s Volvo. But it wasn’t beautiful. On the other hand, Macbook Air (first generation) was light, made of aluminum, thin... Simply beautiful. Here's how I felt in love with it:

Monday, June 22, 2015

★ My first iMac makes my Apple device lineup complete

After months of fighting it I finally gave in and bought a Retina iMac 5K. This purchase makes my lineup of Apple devices complete. In this short post I'd like to share a few thoughts on why I bought the iMac and what each of the Apple devices mean to me:

apple device lineup

  1. Apple Watch - it's a remote control for my iPhone. I love it so far and here's how I've set it up. It's a very natural extension of my smartphone.
  2. iPhone 6 Plus - my main computing device - I'm writing this blog post on it. I'm not iPhone-only apparently but I spend 40-50% time on my iPhone every day.
  3. iPad Air 2 - my main mobile machine. Thanks to switching mainly to iPad and writing the #iPadOnly book I've totally changed the way I use my personal computer. I use it 30-40% of my day.
  4. Macbook PRO - I thought it'd be the last PC I ever buy but eventually I replaced it today with my new iMac. My wife will be getting it so it stays in our household. This way we'll always have a laptop should we need one.
  5. iMac Retina 5k - my new PC. Thanks to the fact that everything I use is in the cloud I now can enjoy an enormous screen if I need one - and it's there in my home office. I'll be using it 20-30% of my day... And I already love looking at this gorgeous screen.

Thanks to the fact that I work mostly on iOS devices I now can easily incorporate my new iMac into my flow.

I guess I'm now a perfect Apple customer with their entire lineup in my household... Well, I'm really happy with my setup now:

productivity on Retina screens :-)

Question: did you get the latest iMac? How do you like it so far?

Sent from my iPhone 6 Plus

Monday, June 8, 2015

✔ iPad nano: iPhone's no longer a one-armed bandit but that's actually OK!

As we're about to watch a new Apple Event, I decided to post this article which I wrote a while back... updated with my experiences of now. It's not only about the iPhone 6 Plus which I love using but also about how Apple decides what's good for us.

In September 2014, Apple presented two iPhones. One of them was big and the other... even bigger. They used to believe that 3.5 inches is the only right screen size for the iPhone... later they changed their minds and decided that nothing will happen if they make it a little bit longer... I agree, nothing happened... but now they decided that the bigger the better. Unfortunately, increasing the size marks the end of an era in the iPhone's history.

Note: The following article appeared first in the November'14 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there. This is a supplement article to what I've already written on my love for iPhone 6 Plus.


iPhone can no longer be used with one hand

I tried. Though I may be short and small-handed, until now I didn't have any difficulties with holding my iPhone 5s in my right hand and operating it solely with my thumb. No problems whatsoever. But with iPhone 6 it's not that simple. It's thin and rounded... but for me - too wide. I tried once, twice, three times... but unfortunately I can't hold it securely with one hand. With iPhone 6 Plus it's completely out of the question. I can merely reach four icons with my thumb and nothing beyond that. It's a really giant beast. Things get easier if you have the iPhone in a cover... because it's the aluminium casing that's so slippery... Anyway...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

★ Dad, let's go to the "iPad store" please! (Or how our children embrace touch devices...)

Recently, I was on a week-long vacation in London. We spent a fantastic week in the Queen's capital, we visited museums, parks, walked a lot. On the last day, we went to the Westfield shopping mall and as always, I ended up in the store of my "favorite fruit company." And I was happily accompanied by my older daughter as they have a zone with iPads for kids to play there. Here's why an Apple Store is a dad's best friend:

kids in Apple Store

While kids enjoy the iPads...

Kids get the iPads and Apple gets it. That's why they have a dedicated place for kids with iPads loaded with latest games for them to play. My daughter loves discovering new games and she enjoys the iPad's touch interface immensely.

...parents get to shop

While my daughter is playing, I can safely browse the store, check out latest accessories and learn more about other Apple devices (like I don't know about already...) And keep talking myself out of finally getting that gorgeous iMac with Retina display... What a screen!

The future is “touchy-feely”

Watching my daughter I'm sure the future is mobile and it's all about touch. Just look at the new iWatch (and the trackpad of the new Macbook.) Kids get touch interfaces. They understand the playfullness... so we adults should better embrace the future on the iPads and iPhones. Just like our kids do.

Question: Do your kids "get" the iPads and iPhones as well? Do they try to "touch" the screen of your TV set?

sent from my iPhone 6 Plus

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

✔ The story of my first Mac - from Thinkpad to Macbook Air... back in 2008

In January 2008, Steve Jobs presented the thinnest laptop on Earth and called it Macbook Air. Wow. My jaw dropped. I knew it right then that it was going to be my first Mac. And so it was... Althought it wasn't as simple as it might seem. Here is the story of my first Mac and my love for Apple products.

Note: The following article appeared fist in the March issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

My first Mac

I have already been a huge fan of Apple at that time. Mainly theoretically, though. True: I got my first iPhone in September 2007... However my Nokia Communicator had a copy/paste option, GPS navigation and other bells and whistles, so I gave the iPhone to my wife. However, I had been observing carefully Apple's progress and I was excited about each new episode of "I'm a Mac" ads series. Ever since they switched to Intel processors I've started taking their computers into consideration more seriously. The first Macbook Pro made a great impression on me... but it was too heavy and way too big.

Friday, November 14, 2014

✔ How I deal with incoming stuff - my 5 Inboxes: Email, Nozbe, Desk, Evernote & Articles

As a "productivity guy" I've always been trying to write about what can be possibly optimized, enhanced or streamlined... Also in the field of Apple's Gadgets. My latest experiences, though, made me realize that I need to go back to the initial point and focus a little bit on basic time management rules and the role of the devices we use daily.

Note: The following article appeared fist in the March issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.


10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity Video Course

In 2013 I recorded a video course - a set of ten 5-minute-long clips where I share my knowledge with the audience. I try to show exactly "how things work for me" - which time management tricks prove effective in my case and which don't. You are more than welcome to watch the course online.

Step 1 - Inbox - Clear your head

In the Step 1 of my course I speak of the basic rules which I follow to manage all the incoming stuff. I show how I cope and sort everything out. In this post I would like to go a little deeper so I encourage you to watch the Step 1 of my video course first and then complete reading this article. I am going to share my top tips and tricks with you.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

✔ The power of iOS8 for better productivity - Productive! Show #80

Well, iOS8 launches today and our Nozbe 2.0 app with iOS8 goodies will launch pretty soon as well. In this video I'm discussing how iOS8 will improve our productivity thanks to unique iOS8 features like:

  • extensions (1Password extension in Safari)

  • notification center widgets (your Nozbe priority tasks at a glance!)

  • share sheets (add tasks to Nozbe from any app!)

And a lot more.

Check out the Nozbe 2.0 app when it's available on our web site:

And in the meantime, enjoy the iOS8 upgrade and make your iPhone and iPad more productive!

Check it out:


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Monday, May 26, 2014

✔ iPad Pro? No, we don't need a hybrid but better processes and apps (and more RAM)

Note: The following article appeared fist in the March issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

We're almost there with WWDC (Apple's World Wide Develoeprs Conference) where they'll probably announce iOS8. Along with that the rumors start showing up of a a mysterious iPad Pro to be introduced later this year. As the big iPad's name has been changed to iPad Air it is very much likely Apple will release third iPad - by analogy to the Mac series. There are several theories circulating in the media. As I am writing this text on the iPad and as I use it for work almost all the time, I would like to organize my thoughts on the topic and encourage you to discuss this with me. Let's see what we'll come up with.

iPad Pro? No, we don't need a hybrid but better processes and apps

iPad PRO Hybrid 12"?

One of the most popular theories in this debate is the idea to create a hybrid. This would be a combination of MacBook Air and iPad Air - a 12-inch, touch screen laptop with a keyboard. Something like Microsoft Surface Pro. Joining two separate worlds of Mac OSX and iOS together in order to obtain a harmonious whole. Would it make any sense at all? Or wouldn't it? Let's find out:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

✔ Why my Macbook Pro is the last PC I'll ever buy or need

Note: The following article appeared fist in the February issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

I got myself a great gift last Christmas - a brand new Macbook Pro 13" with Retina display. It replaced my Mac Mini as the main home & office PC now. I use it whenever something needs to be done on "a real computer". As it is turned on all the time, I can always connect my iPad to it with LogMeIn. This Macbook is perhaps the last computer I'll ever buy. Here's why:

Why my Macbook Pro is the last PC I'll ever buy or need

Yearly upgrade cycles of my iOS devices

I upgrade my iPad and iPhone every year. I don't upgrade my PCs so often though. My Mac Mini was 2.5 years old when I swapped it with the new MacBook. And I didn't do that because it was too slow or too old or anything like that (i5 processor, 8GB RAM, fusion hard drive etc.). I simply realized I needed a laptop as my home & office PC because sometimes I have to work in another room and I couldn't move my Mac Mini back and forth easily.