New device setup experience

2023-11-30 00:00

Every time I have to set up a new iPhone, iPad, or Mac there is this one thing I always miss. And that is a way for it to get the basic and just the basic information from one of my other devices that I have close by.

Things like my wifi password and iCloud username and password.

Might be possible on the iPhone setup. But I’d love for all of them to have an option to just get the bare minimum, so I don’t have to sit there and type long and complex phrases from one device to the next.

Can’t be that hard to send it over bluetooth or whatever if they are right next to each other.

Bye, Intel?

2023-11-28 00:00

My work laptop over the last three years have been the final version of the 16” intel MacBook Pro.

It have been great for what it is, but I also think that it in a lot of ways have been the Apple laptop I’ve had in recent time I’ve liked the least.

Just too big, too hot and felt old and slow not long after I got it.

It have been fine. But at the same time I’ve spent the last year waiting for when I could ask work to get me a new laptop.

A lot of this is probably related to that the M1 hardware started to get out there months after I got it, and that it was already over a year old at that time.

Hopefully the last time I ever have to use a large laptop.

Focus modes as tags

2023-11-22 00:00

The more I use Focus modes for things I start wishing they were more like tags. Because sometimes I’d like the screen layout from this modes, but the notification settings for work etc.

I could maintain multiple almost identical ones, but then I’d run out.

This also touches on something I’ve written about before that I wish Focus modes was two different things. One for the notification part and one for the more layout and design parts.

Shortcuts and folders

2023-11-20 00:00

It continues to drive me nuts that everything in Shortcuts is based on Folders and that shortcut names have to be unique.

I get what the names have to be unique since all the places where you pick a shortcut you are just shown a list of shortcuts with no ability to select folders or even see them.

How about fucking fixing that?

If you want to make a shortcut that pick a selection of shortcuts the only easy way is to use Folders, or if you want to have a widget that has more than one Shortcut, folders.

So, if you want to have it in multiple places you end up with a bunch of Running X from Y” named shortcuts.

It sucks. It is dumb. This is what tags are designed to solve.

Shortcuts developer experience

2023-11-15 00:00

Over the last couple of years, but in particular the last year, I have tried very hard to do more with shortcuts as is. Without doing my own apps or remote scripts or going into Scriptable and similar to do things.

There are a few things that still drive me nuts about the entire experience of doing it.

  1. We still have no real code re-use, and running a sub-shortcut sucks. For a number of reasons: you can’t pass real data to it in an easy way, it is A LOT of setup on each side to make it work, and you end up with a stupid amount of shortcuts that makes everything a mess.
  2. Because of 1 you have to duplicate blocks all the time, and this takes way too much time. And fuss to make it work. Plus that most of the time you have to re-do all the variable references, and if you’re not on macOS you can’t really select a bunch of things and duplicate it.
  3. It is still really bad at keeping track of what variables should be reset or kept when you move things around. Leading to you having to re-do a lot of variables a lot
  4. Why can’t it persist the place I was picking actions from for a while?
  5. Why isn’t it built into every type of block to give it a name?
  6. It should be a context action to add comments above or below a block.

Shortcuts actions

2023-11-13 00:00

A lot of apps have at this point gotten to where you can create things with add data using Shortcuts, some let you query it, but it is very limited how useful this is when you can’t delete or edit data using automation.

It is really weird and dumb. Is it a problem with the Shortcuts architecture or is it App developers (and Apple) not bothering?

MageSafe Ideal ring

2023-11-10 00:00

I remember a bunch of people used to have these on their phone way back in the day. Probably in the iPhone 7 and 8 days, before Popsocket became the main game in town.

If you don’t know, they’re kind of like a Popsocket, except it is like a ring you can flip out, twist around etc.

I recently bought one. Partly to test it out, and to have something to use as a sling if the attachment that came with the iPhone sling starts to fail me.

There are things I like more about this design, and there are things that I prefer with Popsockets. They are both the same kind of thing, with some minor differences.

I prefer Popsockets as a general don’t have to grab your phone kind of thingy, and their accessories like car mounts etc are amazing. But I really like the ideal ring for some uses. Like when I want something really compact or attaching it to a hook.

Will most likely continue to have both available, since there isn’t really any drawback in a MagSafe world.

Documenting Code

2023-11-06 00:00

The other day I was dealing with a lot of changes to something all TypeScript, Java and C# developers most likely are familiar with: documentation in comments wrapped in various xml and other formatting.

We all do this to provide helpful information to other developers (or ourself in 2 weeks), either because it finds their way to some documentation generated from it like a web page etc or in your IDE of choice.

It is really fucking dumb.

Then I had to write some Python code and was reminded that they have built in support for doc strings. Not perfect but an improvement. And then I started to think: we are so few languages like this?

I vaguely remembered Clojure had something like this. And started to look into that. Their solution is interesting, and powerful but I wish it was a bit more integrated into the language for more symbols like parameters etc.

All of this brought me back to this:

  • When you write some function, class etc you want to add some information to those who will use it
  • It would be nice if languages had built in support for documenting any symbol, where it took care of all the details the language already know like types etc.
  • Where you could make builds etc fail if not provided
  • No comments
  • No weird formatting etc

Action Button on the Apple Watch Ultra 2

2023-11-04 00:00

One of the new features that came with the first version of the Apple Watch Ultra was the action button.

Sadly, I don’t think it is that useful. I tried making it work with shortcuts for a while, but it is just too slow to be usable. I just ended up setting it up to open the Workouts app.

I’d love for it to be fast and trigger things on my iPhone.

Made with ❤️ in Bergen, Norway by Eivind Hjertnes