• > The Internet Is Unstable

    Parker, The Internet Is Unstable, on February 14, 2017:

    Why is it, therefore, that we have built the World Wide Web for a stable & fast Internet connection, rather than the much more common unstable & slow Internet connection?

    Too often I see apps fail miserable when on a flaky connection, or worse not work at all with no connection. This is unacceptable. Parker promises to design for the reality not the Silicon Valley dream.

  • > Should iOS 10.3’s App Store Rating Prompts Be Notifications Instead of Alerts?

    John Gruber, Should iOS 10.3’s App Store Rating Prompts Be Notifications Instead of Alerts?, on 2-02-2017:

    There’s no question that the current design in the 10.3 betas (the modal alert) is more intrusive. But developers get to decide when it appears.

    No matter how well developers think through the issue, they will never be able to even approach 100% accuracy on the best time to ask for a review. Even in apps I love, it’s almost never a good time at the moment for me to fill out a review as I’m doing something, but I do want to be able to come back later, like when I’m going through notifications and have some downtime, and be able to review it. To me the issue is simple: it is least intrusive and most efficacious for the user to have review prompts be notifications and not modal dialog boxes.

  • > Calling Bullshit

    Chris Coyier, Calling Bullshit, on 1-23-2017:

    Sounds like if there should be one required course in college, this should be it.

    It’s called “critical thinking” and should be an integral part of every college course, but most philosophy departments do have a stand alone class. At my alma mater it’s “PHIL 210 Critical Thinking.”

  • Sending Scheduled Text Messages with Workflow

    Being accessible at all times of day to everyone is a ridiculous way to live, but unfortunately it seems that we have just enough access to modern technology to make it possible, but not enough comfort with it to program quiet times. Although Do Not Disturb has been available on iOS since version 6, many people don’t take the time to enable it. Not wanting to be rude by texting at 5am or 11pm when an idea comes to me, I will often either forget to send the message later at a more appropriate time or frequently stress over the fact I need to send a message but it is still not an appropriate time. This is the exact problem that systems like GTD try to avoid.

    I created a couple workflows in Workflow that solves this problem. The first Workflow creates a reminder in Omnifocus for the time I want to send the message, with an URL containing the message and recipient. When the URL is tapped it triggers the second workflow that creates the message already addressed with the recipients name.

    Download the workflow to create the reminder.

    Download the workflow to send the message.

  • Translating Emoji with Workflow

    Being old1, I often have no idea what the emojis mean that my children, wife, and younger friends send me. A simple Workflow workflow2 translates these for me. It’s simple because Workflow already has an action that translates the emojis. This workflow just takes the clipboard text, strips any non-emoji text3, and displays the text translation of anything remaining. Having the workflow in the widget screen means translation is always 1-2 swipes and a tap away.

    1. Older than 26. 

    2. I wish they’d named these differently. TextExpander has snippets and Keyboard Maestro has macros. 

    3. To save time rather than carefully selecting only the emoji.