Thursday, May 28, 2015

✔ How to manage notifications and not go crazy?

There's a chance that some of you are already wearing your Apple Watches while reading this. I still don't have mine (arriving today!)... but anyway, there's a lot of skepticism regarding our new wrist computer. On the one hand, it's a nice-looking gadget but on the other, the software seems slow, there are problems with battery life and, most of all, with notifications which constantly buzz and disturb the user.

Note: The following article appeared first in the May'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.


Notifications are not just Apple Watch's problem!

I've been using iPad as my main computer for quite a long time, and the iPhone even longer... and I really like to observe how other people use their mobile devices. There are many different ways but the most important thing is to keep a cool head.

Almost every app on our devices asks for permission to send "push" notifications.

Usually we enable them because we're not fully aware how often (or rarely) we'll be receiving them. Later, we're often surprised that our phone is vibrating all the time, while another app is screaming and trying to get our attention by popping up a new notification.

It's, however, up to us whether we take control and set notifications properly or not. Everything depends on whether we allow apps to fight for our attention or decide what can and what's not supposed to disturb us. But how to approach it? Below, I'll try to present my way of dealing with notifications:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

✔ Apple Watch - a productivity review

As I was one of the lucky ones to get a preview unit of the Apple Watch... No I wasn't. I wish I was. Why not me, Apple? I really wish I had early access just like Nilay Patel or Joshua Topolsky or John Gruber... but I didn't. What I did do was study these reviews, all other pieces of information I could find on MacRumors, the Apple Watch Guided Tours and everything else I could find on the Internet... and I decided to write my review of the Apple Watch with an angle on productivity, based on experiences of the few lucky ones who did get to play with this new "magical" device from Apple... and from a point of view of a person who really, desperately wants one... and will try to get it on April 24th. Let's look at the Apple Watch from the productivity point of view and answer a question that's on everyone's mind right now - will the Apple Watch make you more productive? Or will you just become an Apple show-off? Or both?

Apple Watch - a productivity review

When Apple introduced the iPad, Steve Jobs famously said that for the device between a smartphone and a laptop to make sense, it had to be significantly better than both of these at some key tasks... and it was. It's a great content consumption device... and a great productivity device. I should know, I've been using the iPad as my main computer for the last 3 years and I'm in fact writing this review on my iPad Air 2.

Now, when Apple unveiled the Apple Watch, it didn't say why this device had to exist at all. They said all about it "being the most personal device ever", but no arguments as to what it should be great at. And from the early reviews we can learn that the Apple Watch is:

...a beautifully-crafted but quite sluggish mini-smartphone slapped to your wrist that does lots of things, but none of them particularly well.

It's a very harsh assessment of this new device so as a productivity guy who badly wants one, let's revisit all the criticisms the early reviews have raised:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

✔ The polarizing Macbook, tempting  Watch and... one more thing.

Yesterday was a big day, the "Apple Watch" day... Apple finally explained a little more the new "wearable iDevice" concept so that I think I know what and why I'm going to buy. Today, I would like to discuss with you the Apple Watch and the new Macbook and something more, here goes:

Apple Watch and Macbook

The main problem of my day job is that I need to have all the newest gadgets every year... You see, I need to "sacrifice" for all of you in order to make sure we deliver the best app possible to operate on your device. And so, I had to buy the iPhone 6 plus, I change my iPhone and iPad every year, and yes - I will absolutely need to buy the  Watch... Yeah, life is tough on me in this regard... oh wait... no it's not. I love my job and I love "having to" upgrade my devices so often :-P

And even though I'm #iPadOnly these days, I love Macs. The very first Macbook Air became my first Mac ever and I loved it. So when Apple unveiled the new Macbook yesterday I fell in love with it... and enjoyed the moment where everyone started complaining about the lack of ports on this device... this happens every time Apple makes a device that good. Here's why: