iOS Today 609 Transcript
Mikah Sargent (00:00:00):
Coming up on iOS today, Rosemary orchard and I go surfing, surfing safari. That's right. It's time to look at extensions for Safari that you can use across all your different devices. Stay tuned.
Rosemary Orchard (00:00:18):
Podcasts you love . From people you Trust. This is TWiT.
Mikah Sargent (00:00:26):
This is iOS today. Episode 609 recorded Tuesday, July 5th, 2022. Surfing the web with safari extensions. This episode of iOS today is brought to you by policy genius. If someone relies on your financial support, whether it's a child, a parent, or even a business partner, you need life insurance, head to policy genius.com/ios to get your free life insurance quotes and see how much you could save. And by hover, whether you're a developer photographer or small business, hover has something for you to expand your projects and get the visibility you want. Go to hover.com/twitto get 10% off your first purchase of any domain extension for the entire first year.
Welcome back to iOS Today. The show where we cover all things iOS, home pod OS, watch OS, iPad OS. I may have said that one already look, there are lots of different operating systems that Apple offers, and we cover all of them here on iOS Today. I am one of your hosts, Mikah Sargent,
Rosemary Orchard (00:01:35):
And I am Rosemary Orchard. Hi Mikah.
Mikah Sargent (00:01:38):
Hello, Rosemary. How are you today?
Rosemary Orchard (00:01:41):
Oh, I am excited because I love safari extensions. There's some new ones out. There's some cool ones out. And I know we've talked about them before, but there's just so many new things and I love the pet. I've got the same things on all my devices, Mac, iPad, and iPhone. So it's, it's just great.
Mikah Sargent (00:01:58):
Yeah. I love the updates that Apple made to safari extensions over time, uh, that make them possible to be installed across different devices. It used to be a little bit more difficult. Uh, a developer would've to make an app that kind of had this little, this little addition to it, like a, like a backpack that it was that the app was wearing, and that backpack was able to be, uh, dug out of by safari on, on your iPhone, on your iPad. And Apple was like, you know what? We can improve upon things. We can make it so that all of these different extensions work across the different devices, particularly given Apple's, uh, own Silicon, uh, and the way that that kind of helps them be able to blink things. But, you know, it does work on Intel, uh, devices as well. And with that comes a whole kind of new swath of extensions that can improve upon your safari experience.
Mikah Sargent (00:02:51):
And it was fun. Yeah. Back on episode 570 and a little bit in 5 88, uh, we covered, uh, the extensions kind of as they were kicking off in this new, uh, way of making them more available. Uh, but now things have settled down and, uh, developers are coming out with new extensions all the time. Uh, and you know, we've had a chance to kick the tires on a few of them. So we thought we would kind of revisit that and talk about some new ones or ones, uh, that have stuck around in our safari extensions, uh, as, as a way to kind of improve upon our browsing experience. So Rosemary, tell us about, uh, one of the ones that you want to talk about today. I gotta say it has a really cool name.
Rosemary Orchard (00:03:38):
It really does. So one of the apps I would love to talk about is momentum. And honestly, this is an app that I saw in use as a Chrome extension at university and then afar Fox extension. And, you know, it's been around on the internet for a while. And so momentum's purpose is to give you a new safari tab. That's just Zen. So when you go to set it up and I've installed it on a, my secondary iPad device, which is, um, of course set up earning iOS 15, not 16. So micron the lovely Fox in the studio, don't kill me. Um, then you know, you, you've got this and you can sign in with your email. Um, so yeah, if you want to, or, or not, um, I will put my email address in there. This is a, a public email address that's on my website.
Rosemary Orchard (00:04:20):
So I don't need to worry about, uh, people, uh, reading that. Um, and then I can just, um, oh, if I just possibly remove the spaces at the end, there are no spaces now. Thank you, momentum. Um, and then it would like me to choose a password, but now theoretically, um, if I've done everything right, then when I set it up, then I should be able to, um, have momentum enabled and then it should be opening, um, nude tabs automatically. Now I believe I may have messed this up slightly earlier because, um, I was given an option when I turned our momentum for the first time. And you control the safari extensions by with this little sort of puzzle piece in your address bar in the iPad, it's on the top, uh, top, right? And then the iPhone is on the bottom left. Um, but when I went to set, um, everything up, it asked me and it popped up and said, Hey, do you want this?
Rosemary Orchard (00:05:11):
But I can just manage my extensions. So I'll just turn momentum off, always a good tip if something's not working right. Turn it off and turn it back on again. And so I'll go manage extensions and turn this on. There we go. I need to say set as new tab page, and now there we go. Now it's working perfectly. So this just means that every time I go to a new tab, you know, I've got this lovely sort of Zen view, the images change. Once you've logged in and signed up, you can add quotes and other data like the weather and similar, it's just so lovely. Um, it also has options to integrate with things like a task list and stuff like that. So if you want to be reminded of those all important things that you're supposed to be doing, when you open a new tab, then you can do so that maybe instead of going and finding out what the, uh, Pokemon Boulder source's history is, you actually go and do the task. Um, that said, you know, um, if you're watching iOS today, your job is to chill up, relax, and let us do the work for you. So why not install momentum?
Mikah Sargent (00:06:06):
This is a really interesting idea. So what we have is this option to kind of forego the built in, uh, tab management window management that safari provides. And instead, uh, put that in the hands of the third party while you also get that fun, little inspirational quote, uh, to, to kick things off. I, I like the idea, I kind of like the idea of a third party managing this because of the problems I've had in the past with the syncing of, um, of my tabs and windows between different devices. It works most of the time, but sometimes it's outdated. Uh, sometimes it gives me trouble in trying to, uh, access that between the different, uh, but if I'm on my Mac and I go to my iPhone and I click on iCloud tabs, it's like, um, I haven't used that tab in, in two years.
Mikah Sargent (00:07:02):
Why is it still there? Uh, so this is kind of nice as a way to sort of go past that. And then as you know, I'm going through, they've got, uh, these different productivity, uh, options to help you like with a to-do list, if you, this is kind of a nice way to kick things off. If you use your browser as kind of your main operating system, if you don't have a whole lot of apps on your Mac in particular, uh, but if you do a lot of in browser work, be it on the iPad, on the Mac, uh, this is a great way to have all of that available to you in a nice looking, uh, place.
Rosemary Orchard (00:07:40):
Yeah. And the other, uh, advantage of course of momentum is that it goes across all your devices and it does this via, um, an outside sync. It's not using iCloud sync to do that, which some people might consider a disadvantage, but it means that you can also have this installed on a work machine as well, and then have that same information show up everywhere so that you've got, you know, that love and feeling and all of your reminders, which can be very, very useful if you have to, uh, live with a windows machine at work, um, or you choose to use a windows or a Linnux machine as well. Um, so yeah, I'm glad that there's options out there that truly span the platforms.
Mikah Sargent (00:08:16):
Indeed. Also it's telling me to stay magical, which is quite, quite lovely. So, I mean,
Rosemary Orchard (00:08:21):
I will, you are magical in that purple.
Mikah Sargent (00:08:23):
Oh, oh, I, I wore this for you. I wore this for you.
Rosemary Orchard (00:08:26):
I mean, I I'm, I'm wearing green for you. So I feel like we've really kind of accidentally teamed up today on, on doing that. So there we go.
Mikah Sargent (00:08:33):
<laugh> best co-hosts. Um, alright, let's move on to the next one. Uh, this one, I think is something we'll be familiar, uh, to, to many folks, but it is one that I am glad has an extension it's called start page dot a I, and it is for the folks who love browser tabs.
Rosemary Orchard (00:08:56):
Oh, yes. Yeah. I don't know about you Mikah, but, um, yeah, I have a lot of open tabs in safari and I'll just pop over from my iPad and I'll, I'll show people, um, a little trick. Um, so this is the standard start page in safari. I've just disabled momentum. Um, but if you tap and hold on the, um, four tab icons on the iPad, or it's the two overlay, um, squares on an iPhone, then you'll see the number of tabs that you have in safari right now. Now the only problem with that is that doesn't include any tabs in tab groups and on iOS, on iPad OS that does not include extra safari windows. So, um, if you have, for example, safari open in another window and I open three or four tabs over here, then when I do this tap and hold here, it's still closing.
Rosemary Orchard (00:09:44):
Like it'll still only show me the number of tabs in that window. And honestly, keeping on top of your tabs is kind of tricky, but start page is here to save the day. So I'll tap on my puzzle piece and manage my extensions. She can see momentum is turned off. Um, and I will just turn on start page. And again, this is a new tab on, so I need to say yes, set as a new tab. Um, and then if I tap done, then I should be able to, when I open a new page half start page, take over, now it needs to get some additional permissions from me at the top here, it's saying start page AI, additional permissions requested. And if I tap review, then, um, it needs me into granted access to, um, basically every single webpage. Um, and that's because it's gonna read all of the webpages and it needs access to that all of the time to be able to show me those tabs, but what I'm really loving about start page Mikah.
Rosemary Orchard (00:10:35):
And this is just genius as far as I'm concerned. Okay. If I tap and hold on these four squares up here, um, it's telling you I have seven tabs open, but if I look, two of them are the blank start page from safari, and one of them is start page. Um, and so they're not really tapped. They don't actually have information in. And so start page has cleverly filtered that out and it's just showing me four tabs, which are the ones that have actually got content in. And I really appreciate that feature. Um, there's also the option to search and sort it, and you can sort by newest or oldest and there's a button for closing them all. Um, I'm sure some of you will be panicking at the thought of closing or your tabs. If you're, if you are panicking, check out tab groups, it's a really great iOS feature, but I really like the fact that it's all there and, uh, it's got a, a light and a dark mode as well, I should have mentioned, but it's just a good way to get an overview. And especially if you've got a bunch of tabs and you're like, oh God, I know it's open in one of my tabs. Like, which tab is it? Like if I can just find this keyword, ah, start, page's got your back.
Mikah Sargent (00:11:34):
Nice. Yes. Start page is a fantastic, um, I, I, I, I know a lot of people who use that one, uh, as, as their way of, of kind of surfing the web, um, one that I'll briefly mention for some reason, I was thinking that that was the, that that was what it was called. But now that I think about it, it is definitely not called that, um, is an app called or an extension called keyword search. And let me quickly get the link for that one. Um, keyword search is basically a, uh, so, so it was my, my, uh, co-host on I, or on, uh, clockwise, Dan Mor who introduced me to this one. And I remember being kind of angry, uh <laugh> that I did not know that this, I was just like, I've, I've lost so much time not knowing about keyword search.
Mikah Sargent (00:12:29):
And that is because what keyword search does is it gives you the ability to use your, um, your, the tab and the browser to be able to do searches in different, uh, search engines. So let me explain what I mean, when I say that, uh, it comes with some basic ones where you create, uh, a, a keyword. So for example, let's say you search Amazon, uh, pretty regularly, and normally you would go either, either you would type in the top bar, um, I don't know, uh, fun party hats, Amazon, and then it would show you some Amazon links via your Google search or whatever search, uh, engine you use, or you would go as I do or did, uh, to amazon.com and then type in fun party hats. And of course, those would be for app cap slists today. What keyword search does is it lets you create a special keyword.
Mikah Sargent (00:13:27):
So it could be Amazon if you wanted it to be, mine is semicolon a and what you do is in that top bar, you type in semicolon, a you hit the space bar and then you type in your key search term and it will actually take you then to Amazon pop in the search that you're doing and let you find it on that page. Now, the way that it works is you basically teach keyword search how the site uses URLs to query search results. So I have one set up for the AP style book, uh, Apples support documentation, which is very helpful for iOS today. I type in semicolon a, uh, support. So semicolon a and then the word support together. And then I type in the term that I want. And it goes to Apple support index uses that URL, uh, that it uses as part of its, uh, own querying and then can find it there's one for the, uh, way back machine, the archive.org machine, um, down detector duck do go eBay, GitHub, Google, Google images.
Mikah Sargent (00:14:30):
There are lots of ones that are built in by default, but you can add them. I think the Apple support was one that I added and, uh, I've even got one for twit. And it's super easy to add, um, your, uh, to, to create new ones because essentially you do a search, you look at the URL and then wherever your search term was dropped in, you put three at signs at, at, at, and you can then specify how the, uh, search engine does multi word terms. Do they do a little, uh, hyphen between the terms, do they do a plus sign? Do they do, um, an HTML and coded, uh, character and that it has built in support for all of that. So it's just gonna save you a lot of time, whenever you are doing regular searches. Another example would be like the app store, if you were trying to find stuff in the app store.
Mikah Sargent (00:15:21):
So this one saves me so much time, uh, every week. And I don't know if I mentioned it, but it is available, uh, for free, uh, which is just, I think, ridiculous that, um, it's offered for free. It should cost, it should cost money <laugh> because it's just so, so smart. Um, and simple to set up and goodness gracious. Is it a great little, uh, utility to use? So that, that, uh, I think is so nice how, um, it can improve your browsing on any device and lets you access search engines, uh, of, of different sites that you might not be able to access otherwise. So that is search, uh, or excuse me, keyword search on the app store. That's
Rosemary Orchard (00:16:10):
Really good to know about Mikah. I did not know that app and I'm gonna have to use it. I use Alfred on my Mac for that sort of thing all the time, but of course I don't have a solution on iOS. So keyword search is gonna save my bacon.
Mikah Sargent (00:16:22):
Yay. I'm happy to hear that. I'm happy to hear that. Although in the same way, I'm sad that you didn't already know about it because I want everybody, I just wish I could have already put this into people's minds so that they knew about it and could save, save, have saved some time already. Um, let me take a quick break though, before we come back with more awesome safari extensions to improve your browsing. Uh, I wanna take a break to tell you about policy genius, who are bringing you this episode of iOS today in an unpredictable economy. Life insurance can offer peace of mind that anyone who relies on you financially, a child, a parent, or even a business partner will have a financial cushion if something happens to you. So here's the thing about life insurance. Um, life insurance can be the difference between, uh, unfortunately, um, things are very expensive everywhere.
Mikah Sargent (00:17:17):
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Mikah Sargent (00:18:24):
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Mikah Sargent (00:19:26):
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Rosemary Orchard (00:20:50):
Yeah. Yeah. So the next two extensions really micro I'm being sneaky. Um, it's called the fizzy water bundle as a side note, if you, if you buy them as a pair, which I just love. So it's, it's a pair of apps, one called vinegar and one called baking soda. And the idea behind vinegar and baking soda is they take all of those video players that are out there on the internet and they make them into lovely native iOS or Mac OS players. So you don't have to deal with the fact that this player, if I hit the space key will pause or play. But then if I use the ARA keys to scroll up and down, it's actually gonna start playing again. No, we don't want that. Um, and so I'll just show everyone how it works. Um, and there happens to be a really great example, um, right here on the Twitter website, because of course, all of our shows are available as video and audio.
Rosemary Orchard (00:21:38):
And so we have the video embedded into the download or into the episode page for every episode. So there's this great shot of micro from last week looking slightly suspicious, which I love <laugh>, but there's a couple of quirks with the, the player that's here. And I should point out this is nothing to do with twit specifically, if any, any company who uses this same solution will have the same problem. And, uh, it did it where I did this just now. So I dunno if I'll do again. There we go. So if I try and use that pinch to zoom, gesture it, like it's, it's not like it's not working. I have to tap on the, the button to make it full screen and, and things like that. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, and only when I've tapped on the button to make it full screen, do I get picture and picture and things like that, and we don't want that.
Rosemary Orchard (00:22:17):
So if I go to my extensions in safari, which is the little puzzle piece you could see by the way it's filled in, that means that there's an extension active on this page. Um, which for me is one password and secret agent, which will get to in a moment. Um, but I'll just manage my extensions. Um, and I'll turn on vinegar. I'll turn on baking soda. They, they both, um, sort of do the same thing and I just refreshed the page. Okay. And now when I refresh the page, um, I, oh, I think I might have moved to the wrong page. No, I'm on the right page. Um, then I can see this looks a little bit different. Um, it's got the caption over the top. Um, and when I tap on the start playing it almost, it looks the same briefly. Um, I'll just pause that cause otherwise it's Mikah is very, very loud in my ears, but this is the native iOS player.
Rosemary Orchard (00:23:02):
So if I do that same pinch to zoom gesture that that's just taken Mikah full screen. Um, but yes, so you, you get all of the goodies, um, from, um, being able to, you know, play this, um, and control it. Um, and you know, it, it takes over every player. So they all work the same way, whatever keyboard shortcuts you might be used to whatever, um, airplane devices that you want. It will accept those and it will respond to those. You've got the three dots in the bottom, right? To control your feedback speed. You've got, um, the fast forwarding forwards and backwards by 15 seconds. Um, and there's the standard mute button. Um, it also lets you jump straight to picture and picture including on iPhone, um, which is not something that a lot of places support on the iPhone because they think it's too small.
Rosemary Orchard (00:23:47):
What could she possibly want to do picture and picture with? And it's like, well, actually, no, the instructions are in the video and they're only in the video. So I need to picture and picture the video while I open the app and follow the instructions. Thank you very much. <laugh> um, so yes, so it's a very useful view of extensions. They're one dos 99 each. Um, and unfortunately I can't see the price for the two of them cuz I've already purchased it, but I believe it was, uh, slightly cheaper to purchase the, the bundle, um, together. I think it was, uh, 2 49 instead of, um, you know, um, $4 or something, or it was 3 99. It, it was a little bit cheaper, but they're very, very cheap apps and they're very good. Um, they, they do exactly what it says on the tin in that they just help clean up safari, you know, vinegar and baking soda, make water, uh, with a little bit of fizz. So get some fizzy water in your safari and clean up that video.
Mikah Sargent (00:24:37):
I lo so I knew about vinegar for cleaning up YouTube, but baking soda was new to me now I've got both of them, uh, installed and I am very, very, very happy, uh, to have both of these available to me so that I can keep all of the webs videos, um, that same way, because yes, there are always like little things that I want to be able to do with the, the video that I'm used to. And I can't, because they've got some custom player or some things set up that makes it impossible to be able to just do I love just everything's the same. I know how it works. I can use it all the same way. That is how I want it to, uh, to work. So this there's the fizzy water bundle. Uh, can we zoom in, is that say 2 99 for us in the United States? Uh, yeah, the app bundle is 2 99. If you buy them separately in the us, it's 3 98. So you do save some money there. Although I had already purchased, um, the one and the, the cool thing is that Apple will dynamically adjust the bundles if you want to. But this developer, I think, you know, however much each of those was was individually. I think that the, I don't mind
Rosemary Orchard (00:25:54):
Mikah Sargent (00:25:55):
Rosemary Orchard (00:25:56):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's uh, always great when, uh, developers just make a great tool that makes our lives easier. Isn't it?
Mikah Sargent (00:26:02):
Absolutely. Ugh. Thank you. Uh, there, those are great little extensions. All right. And then let's round things out with, uh, two final extensions, um, worth covering. I will, um, mention one during my app cap. Uh, but that will be saved for then. So there's a little a preview of one, but yeah. Tell us about the, the final two you have in your list.
Rosemary Orchard (00:26:28):
Well, the final two I've got are all about getting stuff off our screen that we don't want. And I'm sure a bunch of you have been to websites before and been faced with something like this, um, or we're still, you start reading and then you scroll, scroll like just a little bit and it comes up with these cookie notices and oh my God, is that annoying? Well, super agent for safari is designed to help solve that because it's a super agent. It's got a Cape, even though the incredible says, don't, don't go with capes. It's dangerous. <laugh> um, you know, this one's okay, this one's safe. There, there are no jet engines that we need to worry about. So in the super agent app, you can log in or sign up and sync, um, your super agent preferences between devices, um, or you can just configure your settings for your device.
Rosemary Orchard (00:27:10):
So you can preemptively say, Hey, um, I would like to reject advertising cookies. I will accept functional cookies because they are actually useful. And I am also going to accept performance cookies because that helps websites monitor the functionality of their webpages. And you know, when webpages are really, really slow, well, the developers can only fix that if they find out that it's slow. And if you say no to performance cookies, then they probably aren't gonna find that out. Um, so as a web developer for myself, I will, I'll let them do that. So that's my cookie preferences. That's all set up now. Um, and then when I go back to safari and I reload this page, I've already enabled super agent. It's gonna take a moment. I've disabled, a blocking across my network at home. Oh, it should have done that. I might just need to disable it.
Rosemary Orchard (00:27:55):
And reenable it. Um, a moment sometimes safari on iOS can be a little bit quirky when I am, uh, trying to demo something. Um, interesting. Uh, either way it worked when I did this before. Yeah. I was gonna say, and obviously my reset to get it back to, uh, the starting point, uh, did, did, uh, did something to, uh, make it not work now. Um, but it works on all of my other devices. I assure you. So it will just get rid of those cookie banners and things like that. It's a free app to download, um, and the account and syncing is free as well. If you want to use that, that there's no obligation to, you can just configure this on different devices. And again, it's Mac OS iOS and iPad OS it's on all the IOS's. Well, okay. It's not on home pod OS. It's not on TVs <laugh> but, um, good luck browsing with safari on any of those. Um, it's also available for Firefox and Chrome as well as Microsoft edge and even opera, uh, or will be available in opera. It's not available on opera just yet, but, uh, you're using opera if
Mikah Sargent (00:28:53):
You're using you should be alright. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I was gonna say, I have seen that app work miracle or that extension work miracles in the past. I, I know it works, so yeah, there was just a quirk there. Um, yeah. Yeah. And also some sites will do everything in their power. They can to like learn the latest, um, ways that folks are circumventing things that they don't wanna see and, uh, figure out ways around those. So I wouldn't be surprised if that future owned, uh, property, uh, ior.com has figured out a way to circumvent some of those things. Cause I've seen the site do that in the past.
Rosemary Orchard (00:29:30):
All right. All
Mikah Sargent (00:29:30):
Right. Tell us about the last one.
Rosemary Orchard (00:29:33):
Yeah, well, again, this is going back to apps or websites thinking that they know better about what we want than we do. Um, and I'm sure you've seen something like this before. And when I say something like this, I'm referring to a banner in safari saying a name of app by app developer X number of stars, get on the app store or buy on the app store with a view button and a close button and I can close it, but it's probably gonna come back the next time I come to the page because of, oh yeah, those darn cookie preferences. Um, so instead, what we can do is we can install a great little app called unsmart defier and this is an extension for safari and its entire purpose in life is to get rid of those links. So I'll just refresh the page and that Banner's gone and that's it.
Rosemary Orchard (00:30:21):
I'm not gonna see these again. I don't have to deal with this again. This is extremely useful for services who are like, Hey, we've got an app. Do you wanna go use the app? And guess what? Their app sucks. They're missing most of the features or it doesn't actually exist on this platform. Instagram. Thanks. Um, so, you know, I, I have to, you know, use the website or I want to use the website because I don't want to install the app cuz it'll take 45 minutes to download or whatever it is. So on SmartFi is free on the app store. It's a little, um, tiny extension and it does exactly what it says on the tin. It removes those smart links. Um, there is a tiny bonus in it in that if you tap on the, um, unsmart fire extension, um, in that puzzle piece. Um, and so I've, I've done it now, so it'll show me, but just do it again. So I'll tap the puzzle piece, tap unsmart fire. It'll tell me how many smart banners is removed. Now. Obviously I frequently wiped this iPad and I've set it up again for today's episode. So it's only removed that one, um, for today, but it removes a lot of them for me. And I'm really pleased that this app exists.
Mikah Sargent (00:31:25):
Nice. All right, folks, uh, with that it is time to move into the news segment. We've got some stories to cover here. Uh, so let us talk first about an interesting story that, um, that, that came out first that, uh, in iOS 16, the next version of iOS Apple was going to stop using iPads as what are called home hubs. And so it starts with an explanation in home kit, you are able to like, I'm, I'm gonna give a basic kind of intro here. So home kit is Apple's sort of method to connect to and control different devices, smart home devices in your home. So those lights that are behind me for example, are all tied to Apple's home kit. What that allows me to do is open up an app on my iPhone or my Mac or any of the devices that I have, uh, an app called home and tap to turn on and off or change the color of, or change the brightness of all sorts of kind of, uh, fun things that I can do to control those different, um, those different products that I have.
Mikah Sargent (00:32:35):
It also lets me talk to Siri to have Siri, uh, control those different, uh, products. And so home kit is kind of the, the network that weaves all of those things together and allows you to send out those communications. It's also how developers who are making apps can also communicate with those different, uh, products that you have in your home. And what Apple realized was that what people wanted was not only the ability to, while they're at home, use their phones, to be able to turn on and off the lights, but while they're outside of their home, be able to turn on and off the lights or open the garage door or check in on their home via other cameras. And, uh, typically the way that this would happen with other well, not even typically the, the way that this happens with other devices is for example, Phillips hue, you have a bridge that's connected to your router and then that bridge is connected to, uh, Phillips Hughes servers.
Mikah Sargent (00:33:39):
And so you can log in on your, uh, in an app and have that connection take place where you want the lights to turn off. So you send basically a message to Phillips Hughes servers. They send a message to your bridge, that's on your router. And then it can tell the stuff in your home to turn on and off Apple wanted a way for, uh, somewhat of a more direct connection. And so they looked to iPads and Apple TVs at first as the way to be able to connect to your home network while you're outside of the home. So your iPads that you left at home, those stationary iPads were there and your Apple TVs were there always plugged in in that case to be able to communicate with the stuff in your home, it also gave the ability, gave you the ability to schedule, uh, different things to happen.
Mikah Sargent (00:34:32):
Those are called automations. So automation's based on location and time and, uh, who's home. And who's not all of those were because of your home hubs, these devices that you had at home that connected to home kit and allowed you to be able to access those on the network. Then Apple came out with the home pod and said, Hey, look, the home pod is also able to be used as a home hub. And then the home pod mini came out and it was able to be used as a home hub. Well, what was interesting is that in my long history of covering home kit, a lot of people weren't aware of the ability to use an iPad that stays at home as a home hub. And over time, it kind of got kicked to the background. I would notice at WWDC S past the time when it was announced that Apple didn't so much talk about the iPad as a home hub, it was all about the, um, the home pod mini, the home pod and the Apple TV.
Mikah Sargent (00:35:34):
And so I was kind of curious about why that happened and not too long ago. Uh, the support documentation also removed references to the iPad as the home hub. And this is, uh, a choice that Apple is making to allow you to continue to use an iPad as a home hub, but in doing so you will be stuck in the past. And what that means is Apple has, has updated its, uh, framework, the home kit framework to run a lot faster, run a lot smoother, be a lot better. And it's only doing that with the home pod, the home pod mini and the Apple TV right now, it is not going to update that with the iPad. So if you have iPads that you are currently using as a home hub, when iOS 16 comes out sometime this fall and all of the different, uh, versions roll out, you're probably going to want to turn off your iPads as home hubs, because if you don't, you will not get the new framework, the new methodology, the faster connections, particularly for homes that have a lot of devices.
Mikah Sargent (00:36:40):
So I, as a current user of the betas of these different, uh, softwares have gone ahead and turned off all of my iPads as, uh, home hubs. So that it's just my home pod mini my home pod and my Apple TVs that I have, uh, that are going to, uh, work as, as my sort of home kit connection, because I wanna be able to use the new architecture. So kind of an involved story, but I think, um, you know, folks should be aware of that if all you have at home is an iPad, then keep using it. But, um, if you have other ones then use those instead.
Rosemary Orchard (00:37:16):
Yeah. Yeah. I should mention that you explicitly had to go and turn on in the settings, the ability to use the iPad as a home hub. It's not that any iPad that you own that just stays at home is gonna be used as a home hub. You had to very explicitly go and turn it on. Um, and frequently, if you have had problems with home care, um, and say, for example, automations didn't trigger or things were just really, really slow and things like that. There's usually two root causes. Um, one of them is your network. Um, in that if things can't talk to each other, then there's gonna be a problem. And it's surprising how bad a lot of people's home networks are. Um, and they have no idea. Um, and the other one is your home kit hub, your home kit hub, by the way, very separate to something like a hug hub, um, which the Hugh hub is what gets the hu lights into, um, uh, home kit.
Rosemary Orchard (00:38:08):
But the, um, Apple home hub is then what shares it with everything else and makes all those automations work, whether you're using the hue stuff, the AARA stuff, the nano leaf, whatever it is that, you know, kind of bridges that gap, um, to tie everything together. Um, but your home hub could be very old, such as, um, you know, the fourth generation iPad, which was supported or, um, it could just, um, be struggling to connect the network. So I'm quite glad to honest that, uh, Apple aren't completely dropping it, but if anybody is listening and either they have an iPad as a home hub and it is their home hub, or if they've got lots of home hubs and they've enabled their iPads as well go, if you're, if you're in that scenario, disable your iPads, please, your home kits experience will significantly improve in that, in that situation.
Rosemary Orchard (00:38:55):
Um, but if you know, people who are, um, using their iPad as a home hub, um, then, and they don't have anything else, then maybe put, um, on a group, Christmas shopping list, the, uh, idea of getting them a home hub mini or something, because that will allow them to get the newer better stuff in the future. And one of the reasons I should note for, um, this, um, going away this feature originally was just gonna disappear entirely. Um, and it, it won't now is because home iPads, can't support thread, the new, uh, Bluetooth technology, which massively improves the performance of save. For example, Mike, cuz we most switch, which now it's on thread. He loves when it was just Bluetooth. He hated <laugh> hated the iPad. Doesn't have a thread radio, it's got Bluetooth, but Bluetooth isn't quite thread. Um, you know, so, um, it, it can't, it can't do things like that and it just doesn't make sense. Um, especially cuz quite frankly, the number of people that forget to click their iPad in and then wonder why things don't work it's fairly high, fairly high. I think so. Uh, yeah, it's uh, it's good to see that it's not going away entirely, but I'm also gonna suggest that if you're using an iPad as your primary home hub, keep an eye out for a sale on those home hub minis.
Mikah Sargent (00:40:04):
Absolutely. All right. Um, now, uh, there's, there's a, there's a new story. Nine to five Mac talking about, um, Apple looking to, uh, spotlight, some different developers maybe than usually get, uh, get spotlighted <laugh> uh, some smaller European developers that, uh, Apple, excuse me, that Apple wants to, to cover. So tell us about, uh, this new founder's campaign.
Rosemary Orchard (00:40:37):
Yeah. So, um, Apple have, um, essentially launched a new campaign to support European, uh, developers in the app store store called founders. Um, and the entire focus is on, uh, spotlighting, smaller developers and their apps through the editorials, um, which appear in the app store. So I'm sure you have all, um, you know, opened the app store at least a couple of times over the last few years and noticed that new, uh, today tab, um, right at the front, which then, uh, spotlight various different things when it eventually loads on my iPad. Um, mm-hmm <affirmative> and has, um, you know, like they, they feature certain apps and so on, but then as you scroll down, you know, they've got behind the app where they're talking to, um, the developer of this app and more things like that, you know? Um, and this is really nice, but it's been very heavily us centric.
Rosemary Orchard (00:41:27):
Um, and to, I'm not blaming the Apple editorial team editorial to E I've heard from many folks, that team is much smaller than you would think. So it, you can't possibly blame them for talking to the people who are online during their working hours. Um, you know, they're predominantly based in the us, but um, Apple's, um, you know, media, um, relations is actually divided up by continent. So if you're in the UK, then you'll have different people inviting you to Apple keynotes as you compare to those folks who are in the us. So I'm glad that they are utilizing that to spotlight these developers. I know many developers who are just one person and they make great apps and they're based here in Europe and I'm really glad that there is gonna be a much higher chance that they're gonna get spotlighted on the app store. So this, as far as I'm concerned is great. It's always nice to be able to say, Hey, this person made a really cool thing. I'm gonna buy their $1 99 app instead of I'll take that free app from this huge conglomerate that's gonna like try and mine all my data and sell it to make money. So yeah, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, it's, uh, it's nice that we, uh, we get that, of course Don forget, Europe's got great privacy laws, so you don't need to worry about your data.
Mikah Sargent (00:42:38):
Uh, then there's an interesting, uh, story from I originally from, uh, Mac grooms that, uh, I more picked up and <laugh> it, it is one of those perplexing, uh, stories where you go, I wonder what they were thinking. Um, Apple of course recently started selling some, uh, chargers, some new types of, uh, of, of USBC chargers in its store. Um, that cost, uh, there's one that costs $59 and it, uh, charges two devices at the same time. It's a 35 wat charger and you can plug two devices into it and it kind of smartly charges, both of them. And <laugh> now Apple has in the, in the same store for 59 95. So 95 cents more, a charger that offers double the power that the, uh, one from Apple provides. So Bekins, um, new charger actually doubles, uh, the, the output that you can get from Apple's own and only costs 95 cents more Rosemary, tell me, uh, your thoughts on this. Why, why would someone then go for the Apple one over the BCAN one that has more power? Ah,
Rosemary Orchard (00:44:02):
Well, that is a very good question. And the, the only thing that I can think of which I did research before, and I'm, I'm not quite remembering now is, um, the, if the Apple charger is smaller. So the Apple charger is very clearly intended for say, um, an iPad and an iPhone, um, maybe not the 12.9 inch, but you know, certainly all the others or your iPhone and your Apple watch as your, um, as your portable charger to like take with you. Um, perhaps even used to say max, a two oh fun fact, by the way, if I search for dual charger on the Apple store, um, and I'm searching on the us Apple store to be very clear, um, the results that I get are, um, two Mo chargers, um, a Sati charger, which plugs into like an iPad or a Mac for, uh, your Apple watch, um, a base links Mo modular system.
Rosemary Orchard (00:44:48):
Cool. And the Belkin one, the Apple one doesn't come up at all. This is ridiculous. Um, they really need to, um, uh, uh, improve their, uh, SEO internally on their website. Mm-hmm <affirmative> but they're, yeah, it's, it doesn't make sense to me at all that they would do this. I mean, I guess some people might not trust Belkin, but Belkin have been around for donkey's years. Yeah. So, yeah, I can't, I can't personally think of a reason why I would buy, um, the, the Apple one. I'm also not sure I can think of a reason why I would buy the Belkin one because anchor and some other companies makes great nano chargers, which are tiny. Um, and they've got multiple ports on, I've got a 65 wat charger from anchor. Unfortunately it's not here at my desk. Otherwise I'd show it to people. It's the size of like the original iPad brick, like that's the size of it.
Rosemary Orchard (00:45:38):
And it's the 65 wa charger. Um, it's only got one port on it, but yeah, it's, um, it, it's a great charger. So if you're, if you're looking for chargers by all means, pick one up in the Apple store, if your relatives are worried that they're gonna burn the house down. Sure. You know, tell them that whatever they buy in the app store is gonna be safe. But you know, if you're looking for yourself, certainly pop on Amazon, take, take a look at anchor you green, et cetera. I can't think of a good reason to explicitly get the very rarely on sale Apple stuff directly from Apple
Mikah Sargent (00:46:07):
Agreed wholeheartedly. The only thing I can think of and this, uh, I remember Renee Richie talking about this is that Apple's charger, uh, dual charger is very smart. And so when you plug in, uh, different devices, depending on what kind of device it is and how much draw it has, it will intelligently deliver power to them, um, in a way that some of the, some of the third party chargers don't, but there are a lot of third party chargers that also offer that smart charger. Yeah. So, yeah, it's it's
Rosemary Orchard (00:46:41):
Honestly, yeah. Yeah. The one thing I wanna say is if you've got a charger and it doesn't support properly charging your device, if it's USBC charger, it doesn't actually support correctly delivering the right amount of power to your device. That means that it's not within USBC specifications. Um, and you should return that thing ASAP, cuz it quite possibly will set your house on fire because the whole point of the USBC specification is that it power negotiation is built into it. The brick is supposed to ask the cable to ask the device, what do you need? And then provide that appropriately if they don't do that, then they're not within spec.
Mikah Sargent (00:47:13):
There you go. Um, and then let's round things out here, uh, with some prime day deals, uh, yeah. Including some, uh refurbs of Sonos what's going on there.
Rosemary Orchard (00:47:26):
Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, the verge reported on this and we're a little bit late cuz it was, um, a 4th of July official sale, but um, as prime day is coming up, you're gonna find sales going on all over the shop, whatever the shop is. Um, and Sonos have put their refurb stuff on sale. And I have to say having previously purchased refurb items from Sonos, uh, they are just like Apple ones. They come like new, um, only the, the boxes plain. Um, and they're great. Um, they, I, I really like my Sonos Rome and it works really well with airplay and it's a great travel speaker for my iPhone too. Um, so yeah, take a look and see what deals you can get at the moment. We're in a good time of year, right? Between, uh, 4th of July and prime day coming up. So a lot of places are doing sales and you might be able to get, you know, say a new sound bar for your television, with airplay support or home pub mini, something like that on sale from either, you know, Sonos or Apple or, um, Amazon of course with prime day, uh, yourself.
Rosemary Orchard (00:48:23):
And, uh, the other thing is don't forget, uh, it's back to school time with the Apple store pretty much now or soon. So if you've got a student and they need a new device or they're looking at upgrading their laptop, then maybe make a deal with them to get some airports cheaper
Mikah Sargent (00:48:38):
Yes. Or an iPad because there are also some iPad deals coming up. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, where you can save money at, on Amazon for iPads. Um, Apple and Amazon, uh, came to terms a while back and Amazon does sell, uh, iPads on its site again. And, uh, there are some deals for getting couple of, couple of bucks off of the asking price, um, between like 20 and $50 off, depending on which iPad pro or excuse me, which iPad you're you're after. So yeah, some deals can be had there if you're looking to purchase, uh, an iPad
Rosemary Orchard (00:49:19):
Mikah Sargent (00:49:21):
All right. Let us take a quick break. Before we come back with shortcuts corner, I wanna tell you about goodness gracious. One of my favorite sites and one of my favorite sponsors, it's hover who are bringing you this episode of iOS today. It's time to make plans and let hover help you achieve them. If you're a blogger or creating a portfolio, you're building an online store or you just wanna make a more memorable redirect to your LinkedIn page, or if you're like me and you're a podcaster and like to buy domains while you're doing podcasts, uh, to little inside jokes that made during the show. Well, however has the best domain names and email addresses just for you. In fact, just the other day, I, uh, was on a podcast, uh, with a friend of mine, uh, who is a, uh, a game master or a dungeon master, depending on, uh, you know, what, what game you're playing.
Mikah Sargent (00:50:11):
And I play, uh, Dungeons and dragons online, uh, with him and others, uh, for the incomparable total party kill podcast. And, um, he is a fantastic DM. And, uh, we were doing a fun little bit where he had some little mini figures from the Dungeons and dragons campaigns that he was opening. And, uh, he has a coffee page it's, uh, that, that site where you can, you know, sort of tip people, give people a few bucks. And the whole idea is like you're buying them a coffee. Um, and the coffee URL was kind of long and complicated. And so I wanted to simplify it. And so we're on the podcast, we're talking, we're chatting, you know, videos going and everything. And he goes to give his little URL and I was like, or you can go to give Tony money.fun. <laugh> give Tony money.fun. And he's like, wait, what, what are you talking about?
Mikah Sargent (00:51:10):
What, and basically during that conversation, I had gone onto hover. I had typed in give Tony money.fun, and that URL was available. That domain was available and I was able to make the purchase using Apple pay, um, very quickly, very easily and have that domain along with the dozens of other domains that I own. Um, and that's because hover makes it so simple to do. And it's also a no brainer because of how they care about your privacy. They're just there for domain and email. It's not a site that's trying to make money off of you in a bunch of different ways. Email, by the way at your domain name is key. If you want to, if you're out there and you're trying to connect with customers, or you're trying to build trust for your brand, you don't wanna say I'm, uh, uh, eat your firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mikah Sargent (00:51:57):
No, you want to have first name, last name at your own website, or in my case, email@example.com, they have domain based emails for all your needs, small or large. They're super easy to set up. Uh, you can add as many mailboxes to your domain as you need. And when your domain renews, while your mailboxes will automatically do that as well, uh, prices are unbeatable. They're most popular mailboxes, a no brainer solution. See, uh, for business owners you can get access from anywhere. So you can use the email app that you already use. That's what I do. Or if you want to, you can use their online webmail to be able to get to your email. I just, I can't say enough about hover, but like one of the things, again that I love is is that they do offer, uh, Apple pay for me. That's a big thing because it makes it very simple for me to, when I do wanna buy a domain.
Mikah Sargent (00:52:44):
Sometimes it's not a jokey domain, it's a domain that I want. Uh, another example, my, uh, niece was born, um, uh, two years ago. And at that point I bought her, um, first and middle name.com. So that later on, if she wants to use that for something she's able to do so, um, and it was a very simple purchase to make. And I, you know, keep that domain going and hover makes it so simple to, uh, renew domains. If you want them to, if there are domains that you don't need anymore, don't want anymore, you can get rid of those very easily. And so it's all just like it's front and front of mind, super simple, right there, super easy to, uh, make changes. And they also have deals all the time. Um, which is awesome. And also, uh, <laugh> kind of troublesome because I will just go in and say, oh yeah, I could use this tonight.
Mikah Sargent (00:53:36):
Oh, I'd love to have this one. Um, it's, it's great. They also have pro level tools. So you get powerful domain and email management. That means that, you know, you're not just whether you're a web pro, you're just getting started. Like all of that. Stuff's gonna be available to you. You're not sort of cutting back, uh, by, by going with hover. In fact, you have so much control over what you wanna do with your domains. It's private and secure that who is privacy protection is included that way, your, uh, your full address and, and all the stuff that you have to give as part of the process is not out there for the world, uh, to get to, and they're not upselling you on that, which is really nice. And with hover connect, you can buy a domain and then very easily get it set up with the, the cider service that you want to use with it.
Mikah Sargent (00:54:17):
So if you just want, uh, kind of your Tumblr blog to have a custom domain, it's very easy to do that. Or you're setting up a portfolio you're about me page, for example, um, then hover connect, lets you fill out those steps, make those, uh, make those changes very simply and quickly, as opposed to having to like bounce back and forth between the sites, figure everything out, they lay it all out there for you. And uh, again, you are a customer, not a source of data. So that way you get, uh, both domains that are, have that who is privacy protection included, but also tracker free, reliable email. It's trusted by hundreds of thousands of customers, myself included who use their domain names and emails all the time to turn their ideas into reality. So again, whether you're a developer, you're a photographer or you're a small business, uh, or a podcaster, hover has something for you to expand your projects and get the visibility you want.
Mikah Sargent (00:55:12):
I think everybody should have a domain. I honestly do. Everyone should make a domain purchase at some point in their life. It's just, it feels nice. It feels good. It's like I have that and I can do something with it. And uh, there are a few domains that I have that I have not done something with yet, but get yourself a domain, hover.com/twi to get 10% off your first purchase of any domain extension for the entire first year. That's hover.com/twi for 10% off your domain extension for a full year. And of course we thank hover for their support. All right, back to the show. And it's five, four shortcuts quarter.
Mikah Sargent (00:56:00):
This is the part of the show where you write in with your shortcuts requests and rose Mary orchard. The shortcuts expert provides a response. Uh, the first bit of shortcuts corner comes from, and I'm going to pronounce this probably incorrectly, but uh, super Tim, uh, and super Tim writes in hi, Mikah and Rosemary adore your show. I am a new viewer or listener of your show and it is exactly what I needed. Being a new member in the Apple ecosystem. Welcome super Tim. I am, uh, happy to have you here. Every episode I eagerly wait for the shortcuts corner and app pick segments. All I am a software professional at work and have been having fun with shortcuts lately. I have observed a few things and wanted to have your view on these. Maybe I am not aware of stuff and hoping you can help. So super Tim has provided a couple of, uh, questions and we will start with the first one. Uh, there is no way to delete a personal automation. I can only disable them. I have a few just lying there. They're disabled, but they're cluttering. My view is this true? Rosemary, can you not delete personal automations once you've created them?
Rosemary Orchard (00:57:08):
Well, uh, it's almost true. Uh, superintendent is right. There is no delete button. And as they've currently found, um, you can, if you tap on an automation, toggle off enable this automation. Um, but there's another feature that I think is so undiscoverable, but it's, it's there in a lot of apps. Um, and um, if you just swipe on a personal automation, then you can delete it. Um, then it comes up as a delete button. It's the same as swipe and mail people find it by accident rather than finding it on purpose, but it absolutely is, um, something that you can do and, you know, you can just swipe and then delete and then it will disappear. It will take a moment to disappear after you've had that delete button, but good news, you can get rid of those pesky automations that you don't want anymore. So don't worry about that.
Mikah Sargent (00:57:57):
Love that, love that. Glad I thought that's what you could do. <laugh> and so I'm glad to hear that. I was correct. I was like, I'm pretty sure I've deleted. Yes. Good. Yeah. Uh, the, the next one from super Tim, I have a few recurring events in my reminder app, which I check every day and wanted to run some shortcut every day at noon with automation based on whether it was checked today or not. But when I get the reminder details from shortcuts, it only gives me the first checked date and not the latest checked date. And then super Tim put in a shruggy emoticon and, uh, is letting us know that the way that, uh, they put in that shruggy emoticon is by using the text replacement, uh, feature of iOS. So super Tim, I am, this makes me so happy to know that you're getting so much from this show. Uh, but Roseberry, what are your thoughts on, um, these, these reminder suggestions? Is there a way to see if, uh, they've been checked?
Rosemary Orchard (00:58:53):
Yeah. So this is a little bit tricky because, uh, first of all, it's a bit tricky for me to test because I have something that's automatically eating all of my reminders every 15 minutes. So the one that I set up about 15 minutes ago, it just disappeared on me. Um, and I really need to fix that after the show. Um, but there is, um, a couple of things to be aware of with reminders, specifically repeating reminders. So first of all, if you're not sure folks, obviously super Tim is, but you can create a repeating reminder by turning on the date and or time, and then the repeat field appears. And so I'll, I'll just set this to daily. Um, and then if I tap this and, um, set it completed, I'll just move out and set it done a few more times then, you know, that, that that's it it's, it's gone.
Rosemary Orchard (00:59:36):
And if I, or it's done and then I can turn on show completed and you'll see that I've got a couple of other reminders in here, but I don't have my example repeating reminder. It's not appeared multiple times, which is of a bit of a shame because that was my first thought that why don't we just get the last one that was completed? And that's not something you can do, but I think there is something that we can do, uh, which may solve this problem. I'm gonna hope that it does. And I'm gonna hope that superintendent doesn't usually edit their reminders, um, while they're, um, uh, or between, uh, things while they're not, you know, doing it. Um, and so there is a feature in, um, or there is a, a property on every reminder, which is the last modified date. Um, and if we look at the last modified date, I believe that will show, um, when it was last modified.
Rosemary Orchard (01:00:31):
Um, and so I'll just leave it at the moment I've been speaking for just over a minute. So this should show me the last time that this was completed and I'll just get the completion date. Um, and it's even not showing me that, um, as something eaten my reminder again, it has not. Um, and I'll maybe just get rid of that because it is not, ah, sorry, this is what happens when your iPads at a very slightly awkward angle and you're, uh, holding your arm. Mid-air, there's a reason why Steve jobs didn't want, uh, people to have touchscreen max. I'm still not sure if he was right, but right now that, that, that arm pain that I can feel that I usually get about halfway through my ballet class, where, uh, um, I've been doing the arm movements all the time is certainly, uh, appearing.
Rosemary Orchard (01:01:13):
So, um, let's just run this to get everything from reminders. Um, and then I will get the completion date. Um, cool. And I'll just throw in, um, this is quite useful for debugging if I'm not quite sure what the thing is that I, I, I need, then I can just add a, a choose from list, um, and tell you what I will sort by, um, last modified date. Um, and then I'll just limit that to say five, because that should, um, have those first and I will have the newest, uh, modified ones first. And that should help me just find the one that I need. Um, and I've just realized, ah, well, there we go. Now it is showing me all of these, which is what I wanted earlier, and it wasn't going to do that earlier. <laugh> so, um, I, so I can see that this, this has shown up several times now, which is exactly what I wanted, um, so that I could get the last completed one, um, for, um, for you.
Rosemary Orchard (01:02:08):
So if we do look specifically then, um, uh, for those completed reminders, then you should be able to get that completion date from it. The problem is, is if you're looking for, um, the incomplete reminders, then, um, you, you may struggle, but the last modified date is a property. Gosh, something's gone very, very wrong, uh, on my iOS device here. Um, if it's, uh, suddenly adding about six of those, um, but if you get the last modified date that should, unless you make a different change, be the last date that you've completed it, um, when I did this earlier, so I'll just, uh, remove, uh, that action there and see if I can get rid of some of, oh no, <laugh>, everything's, uh, got a bit stuck there. Um, but if you check the last modified date that should have everything that you need for that one, super Tim. So give that a go. Um, it's sounds a bit weird using an alternative property to the completed date. You think the completed date would be what you want, but no, it's, uh, last modified because it was last changed when you check it off, because that's when it said the next due date.
Mikah Sargent (01:03:11):
All right. Uh, then we have, uh, one more is the well sort of, is there an app that can let me show the latest runs of shortcuts or automations? It's like, I want to run shortcuts without asking, but I also want to know what ran and if there were any failures. Yes. So basically a way to view a log of my shortcuts actions. I think this is a really good one because it can be helpful in troubleshooting.
Rosemary Orchard (01:03:38):
Yes, yes, it can. Um, and it's something where you're probably gonna want to be a little bit judicious about how precisely you set this up and run it, but there is a great app on iOS called logo for shortcuts and logo for shortcuts. Um, I'll open it on my, on my iPad and you'll see, or I'll try and open it on my iPad if I press the right button, um, then you'll see it, it doesn't have anything in it right now. And in fact, it's a very sparse looking app, but its whole point or its whole aim is to attempt to be a, uh, console log of whatever you've done if you use the log action shortcut. So, um, as you'll see there, if you're watching the, the video version, then there are a number of different, um, entries that you can or actions that you can take.
Rosemary Orchard (01:04:26):
So there you can use specifically, uh, logging a message, um, which will, um, allow you to, you know, log a me message you can turn on and off starting and stopping logging. Um, and um, you can, uh, clear the logs as well, which is quite useful and you can also even, um, delete, uh, specific tags. So one of the things that I would do, especially if you've got a complicated shortcut that's, um, taking a while and you want to just output logs in lots and lots of places so that you can see whether or not things are working is, um, when you, when you log a message tag it, um, and then, um, you can remove everything else whenever you go to log so that you have that, uh, so that you don't have all of the output. You've just got the last output. Right.
Rosemary Orchard (01:05:12):
Um, so, um, for example, if I, uh, log and you can also set, uh, what kind of log is it an error full log, an error log success or warning. I should know if your shortcut crashes, before it gets to the log or action, it's not going to log, um, that's not something that you can, um, do it, can't try and catch, um, or anything like that. Um, if, if a shortcut fails, um, in some way that you have not anticipated, then it will just crash. Um, and nothing further will happen until the next time you or the system tries to run it. So for that purpose, what I would do then is I would log, um, an info message, um, at the start of every shortcut, which is something like, I dunno, starting, um, shortcut, um, and then whatever the name of your shortcut is, um, over here.
Rosemary Orchard (01:05:58):
So I'll just pop that in. Um, and here's when, where you could add the tag and then you can just, um, say maybe, um, again, you could, uh, create one with shortcut name or something else. Um, and if, because it's gonna pop up and, um, ask you for this, if you don't have any tags set up yet, you'll, you'll probably want to pop back, um, over to logger, make sure. And then there's the, uh, the, the tag option where you can then manage your tags and you can add new tags and set colors on them and things like that. Um, so that you can have startup tags or maybe a tag per shortcut or kind of shortcut whatever it is. Um, and you can also pause information into here. Um, so I can add more messages. I can add as many bits of information as I like, and then I can just, you know, add something so I could add my shortcut input to this, for example. And then, um, I can say, you know, they should log an error message if it's empty, um, because that will then help with debugging things. So your logger messages will need to come before the bit that's gonna break for debug, um, or could break. And then at the end to let you know whether or not it's done it, but it's a great app that's available on iOS and does everything you need. I hope
Mikah Sargent (01:07:12):
Awesome that I, I have to download that one. Didn't know that it was there. All right. Um, next we have our feedback segment, the part of the show where we answer, uh, uh, feedback. So this first part is, um, from super Tim as well. Last one, uh, it says the smart list in iOS or in Mac only has and logic when it comes to tags, not or logic, I cannot create a smart list in notes or in the reminders app, selecting multiple tags. Again, these are observations that super Tim has made, uh, in trying to create different things. Um, and this is an observation of kind of a limitation. Um, yeah. Any thoughts on this one? Rosemary?
Rosemary Orchard (01:08:00):
Uh, my personal thought is this is the perfect use case for, um, shortcuts of course. Um, because you can use that fine reminders, um, action, and you can have multiple fine reminders actions, so you can nest them after each other because reminders has the same kind of limitation inside of it. So I'll just pop into this and it works with fine calendar events where, but it, it works with the fine notes or, uh, reminders. Where did reminders go? There? It is fine reminders right at the top, so I can find all reminders. Um, and I can add a filter and say, for example, um, where, um, I don't know, um, the, uh, it's, uh, not completed, um, and it's due today. If I, if I set that up then duh, um, deadline hopefully is today, duh, duh, duh. There it is. Perfect. And then if I say, and I wanted to be in any of these lists, then what I need to do, um, after this action is I'll need to add another find, um, reminders action.
Rosemary Orchard (01:08:58):
And you'll see that this one right here at the top does say, find all reminders. Um, but if I then add another fine reminders, action, it's taking the output, um, from the previous action, because this is all, uh, find all reminders where all of these are true. And then I can add a filter, um, and I'll add a second filter and then I can tap that all and change that to any. Um, and so then I can say where the list is reminders or the list is groceries, for example. Um, and then that will allow me to stack that bit of information and then you could put it together with something like widget pack to make a pretty widget for your home screen, if you like, or just save that information somewhere useful.
Mikah Sargent (01:09:38):
Nice. All right. And then we'll move into feedback and questions before we run things out with app caps. Uh, Doug writes in good afternoon, love your show. I am visually impaired. Many of the stoplights in town have audible feedback, but not all today while visiting my wife in the hospital, I decided to go for a cup of coffee, which meant I had to cross a busy street at a stoplight. I was surprised to find no audible feedback. This got me thinking that there must be an iPhone app that would tell me what color this top light is. I've looked and looked, but I don't see anything do either of, you know, of such an app or method to accomplish this. Thank you, Doug. Doug. I am so glad you wrote in, um, the one I will talk about to kick things off is one that I have used before, and that I suggest everyone who is cited and everyone who, uh, has lower no vision download.
Mikah Sargent (01:10:28):
And it is called be my eyes it's available for free for everyone who wants to download it. And it is a, uh, video app that video chat app. And I actually just got a notification a couple of days ago for someone who wanted some assistance, um, essentially, uh, cited users can sign up for it and become volunteers who say, Hey, a person with lower, no vision can reach out to me when they want to and, uh, ask me for assistance. And so what happens is they, you and many other people who are volunteers will get a notification all at once. And the first person to answer is the person who helps out the person who needs it and it connects over video. Uh, and you have a video call where the person can ask you a question or ask you questions, uh, and be able to give, uh, in my case, you know, someone was asking about the color of a shirt and if it went with some pants, for example.
Mikah Sargent (01:11:22):
And so I was able to, uh, provide feedback on that in the past. Um, I was asked to just read some text on these different, um, containers and help the person out with that. So, uh, be my eyes is the one that I'm most familiar with and would help in this situation. The one thing of course is that it is a video call. So you would need to have signal in that area in order to be able to do this and, and be able to reach out to somebody. But I just love this app. Uh, it's available on Android and it's not available in the Google play store and on the app store. Um, and I think if you are cited and if you have, uh, downtime during the day, get this app and volunteer to help, uh, people out it's, it's, it's a cool feeling, uh, to get to do that. And it also is just, uh, wonderful that, um, these kinds of services available and Rosemary, you found some other, uh, options as well.
Rosemary Orchard (01:12:14):
I did indeed. Um, and I've played with these a little bit on my iPhone. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to install them on my iPad, but there are a couple of free apps on the app store, um, which may be useful to you. Uh, Doug, uh, that I would also recommend, um, perhaps, uh, uh, letting the town planners or whoever it is in charge in that area know that there is no audible feedback and that that's quite dangerous. Um, because I personally feel that all stop lights should have audible feedback. Um, but, um, the first, uh, one is right here, blind assistant, um, which, um, says that it's for the blind and visually impaired, and it's a virtual accessibility assistant that's designed to help you orient yourself in a new or a casual environment. Um, and so there are two modes, there's outdoor mode and there's indoor mode, outdoor mode gets your physical location, gets nearby points of interest, um, or it can help you get nearby points of interest by pointing your phone around.
Rosemary Orchard (01:13:08):
It can list right here, enabled locations near you, which will, um, hopefully have sensors and so on installed to help you, uh, find things more easily. Um, and, um, it's also got, and this is the part that I feel is probably going to be most useful for you, uh, a lens which uses object recognition tools to help you with your daily needs. And I would personally count stop lights as part of your daily needs, because, you know, you should be able to see these things. There's also an indoor mode, um, where, um, there's a call feature again, the lens feature there's, um, web things, and then, um, other similar items. And it does have a direction and navigation feature too, um, which is quite cool where it should be ill to use sound effects, or it uses sound effects to, um, help, you know, what direction you're walking towards and whether or not you're on or off course, which of course, depending on your level of, um, vision, you, you may or may not need.
Rosemary Orchard (01:14:01):
Um, but for anybody else who's looking for something, then that might be a good option. Um, the next one is called I, and as in like the, an eyeball I, and then the letter C and you, the word you, um, together. Um, so I'm really sorry about the terrible name of that for the app store, but we'll have links to all of these in the show notes. Um, and this one is, um, again, an, an app that uses your camera to help you recognize things. Um, it's got face detection recognition, which ties into the photo gallery, which is quite cool. Um, and it also, um, has, uh, very explicitly, um, a repeat button so that you can easily have something be repeated back to you. Um, and what I thought is quite cool, um, is it has clothing, accessory, and makeup detection, which allows you to detect everything from ties and hats to jewelry and lipstick, which I could imagine might be useful.
Rosemary Orchard (01:14:51):
Um, if you are getting set up in a new location, such as the hotel, and you want to be able to make sure that you're putting all the right things in all the right places, um, or similar, this one doesn't explicitly have support for stop lights. Um, but I did take a walk earlier today down to some traffic lights and it seemed to, to work for me there. Um, so I'll cross my fingers that it does that for you. Um, but the final one is called my eyes, computer vision for the blind. And that again is all about recognizing things in the environment, through your camera and telling you what it sees. Um, so hopefully, um, one of these apps will help you and also hopefully somebody actually goes and fixes that stoplight so that you have that audible feedback. That quite frankly, it's, it's good for everybody, not just those people who, who don't have the ability to see that stoplight, everybody should just have the ability to get that feedback.
Speaker 4 (01:15:43):
Hi, I'm Leo, Leporte the host of Mac break weekly. Every Tuesday. I get together with Andy and ACO, Alex Lindsay, and Renee Richie to talk Apple we're enthusiast, but we're not fan boys. We get deep into the weeds talking about how products work, which products you should buy and which you should stay away from. Also, what's next for Apple, join me this Tuesday and every Tuesday, won't you for one of the longest running Apple podcasts, Mac break firstname.lastname@example.org and wherever you get your podcasts.
Mikah Sargent (01:16:12):
All right. Uh, and with that, we come to our app caps. This is the part of the show where we wear caps a top hour heads to honor our app picks of the week. These are the apps or gadgets actually, uh, that we enjoy that we want to share with all of you and in order to enjoy and share those with all of you. We put caps at top our head and, uh, do a little dance <laugh> um, so, uh, let's kick things off, uh, Rosemary orchard. Tell us about the CAPA top of your head, and then tell us about your pick of the week.
Rosemary Orchard (01:16:54):
Well, the, uh, CAPA top of my head, not so much a cab, more of a headband, but it's got ears and a unicorn horn because, uh, it's a unicorn horn head band. Basically. It's got some little flowers on it and everything it's lovely, silver horn with silver ears, little pink fell inside them, and they are slightly glitery, but they're not the kind of glitter that shed. So I've not had to put hairspray on these, which is good. But, uh, I saw this the other day and a friend of mine who was a professional unicorn. That's literally her job. She's a professional unicorn is having a hard time. And, uh, it, I saw it and it immediately reminded me of her. So I had to had to buy it to honor her. Um, so I'm wearing unicorn horn today, but my app cap is one that is perhaps very niche, but, you know, our app caps are always something that's just useful or interesting for us.
Rosemary Orchard (01:17:40):
Um, and it is called sight sucker. And the point of sight sucker is basically if you have times where you may have poor internet connection or no internet connection, it will download entire websites to your iPhone or your iPad. There is a separate Mac version, um, that's available as well, um, that can do the same thing. And so that you have that there, which can be really, really useful if, for example, you know, that you're gonna be going, um, on a plane. Um, and you want to like play with this cool new app, but they don't have an in-app manual. Um, and so you have to download it like you have to go onto the website and read it on the website. Well, just download the website and take it with you. And then, you know, you can do whatever it is you like. Um, so I'll just show folks, it doesn't look super exciting.
Rosemary Orchard (01:18:23):
Um, when you, when you first open it, in fact, it's very simple, but I appreciate its simplicity. So to download a website, you can pop something in and I'll just pop in, um, a website that I know works really well for this, because this is exactly what I use it for to start with, which is the, um, drafts app, um, scripting site. So I'll just pop in their URL. Um, oops, and tap the, uh, uh, in my case, it's dot code UK. But if I then, uh, tap and hold, it changes.com. Um, and then I tap down and then, uh, it goes ahead and it's downloading things now, depending on the size of the website and, um, everything, it may take a while, but as those of you who are watching, you'll see, it's already done, it's downloaded all 66 pages of that website instantly.
Rosemary Orchard (01:19:10):
Um, and, um, it will not include them, um, in the iCloud backup by default, that would just take up, um, a large amount space, but I can see in my downloads under site sucker that scripting, um, dot get drafts.com has its own little folder. Um, and then if I open it, then I can see the website and I can browse around and I can go to various different things on the website and it all works. And so I have that information wherever I want to be or wherever I am. Um, and one thing that I thought was pretty cool is that if you switch into dark mode, um, and you're on a website that supports dark mode, I'm now not remembering whether or not that website supports dark mode, but, um, certainly it will change the in-app browser. And so if the website does support, it does that, but it does support light and dark mode.
Rosemary Orchard (01:19:57):
It also has a great thumbnail view, which can be quite useful if the app has got a use or the website has got a useful icon. Now there are a huge number of preferences that you can set up and enable. Um, so you can go through based on like checking every link in URL, whether or not it should be limited to just the URLs on the host that you download, or we also download SubD domains. Um, so for example, if I downloaded get drafts.com and I allow SubD domains, they can get scripting dot, get drafts.com for me, um, which is really cool. Um, it has all kinds of preferences and everything. I won't go into detail on that, the best thing to do, honestly, if you're looking for this is to check out the manual and, uh, have a play and just see. But honestly, this app is such a great saver.
Rosemary Orchard (01:20:44):
If you know that you're gonna have a poor internet connection or no internet connection for a while, or you just want an offline copy of something, um, then you know, why not take advantage with, uh, site sucker, the app icon and the app don't look that, that beautiful, nor just his website, but you know what he's put all of his development skills into the functionality. And I love how great this is. It works really, really, really well. And, uh, yeah, I, it I'm just really pleased with it. So yeah. Thank you to, uh, Rick, the developer of that it's 4 99 on the app store to download 4 99 separately for the, uh, Macko S application. Um, but they are great, um, work. So I will give them 10 out of 10. Michael, what's your app cap today?
Mikah Sargent (01:21:26):
Uh, it's called sight sucker. It's available for four. <laugh> just kidding. It's such a cool app. I, I want it. Um, so the cap at top of my head is my mustard cap. It looks like a bottle of mustard that you would squeeze onto things. And folks, I really need to do use that, um, that keyword search <laugh>, uh, thing that I talked about earlier to do an Amazon search for some new hats, cuz I'm, I'm all out of them.
Rosemary Orchard (01:21:51):
I should have worn my hot dog hat again, Mikah. Then we could have just been the team, you know, like we managed it with the purple and the green coordination. I, I should've known that it would've been the mustard, but the hot dog and that would've been
Mikah Sargent (01:22:01):
That's all right. That's all right. I, you know, I honestly, I thought about reaching out to you and I was like, no, I'm not gonna do that. She's probably got a great, uh, cap. So the, the one that I wanna talk about, I can't show it personally because, um, I don't have a child account on my account, but I have heard good things about this. And I have also recommended it to some family, friends who have used very invasive means of, uh, parental control stuff on iPhones and iPads in the past, uh, because those were the tools that were available. Not because they wanted to be invasive, but because they were the tools that were available, there's a new, uh, app slash service. That's out called grace, grace, hyphen app.com. And this service uses Apple's actual screen time API, which is a set of tools that developers can use to do.
Mikah Sargent (01:22:53):
Um, all sorts of things where, uh, screen time is involved, including, you know, limiting, uh, someone's access to certain types of, uh, of, of apps, limiting access to certain websites, um, blocking and app purchases, maybe after a period of time, uh, adding device schedules, all sorts of stuff that screen time can do. Um, Apple made it possible for third party developers to leverage that technology. And what's odd is that not many developers have, in fact, tech crunch says that, um, grace is the first app to actually make use of the screen time APIs, but it works like those other parental apps that are out there, those apps that are, uh, meant to help you, um, keep, uh, uh, hold and handle on your child or whomever else you might be taking care of, uh, keep a holder handle on their usage without having to do, uh, mobile device management, which is where you have to install these special profiles and settings in order for people to be able to, um, to, uh, control the device.
Mikah Sargent (01:24:01):
And at that level, it is concerning because that you don't know about where that data might be sold, uh, where that who's seeing that data, what they're doing with it, it can get kind of, uh, gross <laugh>, uh, in fact, and so grace is trying to do that without sacrificing privacy. And, uh, it is really cool how easy it works, because, uh, as long as you have a family set up in your, um, in your, your iCloud account, then you can use this with again, a child's account. So it has, uh, daily time limits. Um, it has flexible scheduling that you can set. So, you know, if you've got different days that require different, uh, schedules, um, locking a device or pausing a device temporarily, even with just a quick tap, then that, uh, you know, iPad could be locked. Um, it blocks a bunch of sites automatically with built in web filters, but then you can also set up any specific filters for websites, for apps, uh, certain categories also app time limits.
Mikah Sargent (01:25:00):
So again, it's a lot of the stuff that's available inside of screen time, but it's made simpler, um, for folks to be able to use and does have some other stuff as well. Um, you can go as far as to block app installations, um, and just set up all sorts of nitty gritty little details for exactly how you want a, uh, a, you know, your child's device to be used. Um, it's only $20 a year, uh, for grace. So I think a very good price. Um, and again, the fact that it is privacy minded and uses Apple's own API means you're going to get a great system and you're not gonna have to do that complicated thing of figuring out how to install MDM profiles and figure all of that stuff out. Um, so if you are in the market for a, uh, parental control app, that is privacy focused and that uses Apple's built in tools, um, and, and lets you kind of easily iterate on them, then check out grace again, 1999 a year for grace.
Mikah Sargent (01:26:08):
All right, folks with that, we have reached the end of this episode of iOS today. If you have thoughts, feedback, questions, concerns, shortcut corner requests, et cetera. You can send those to iOS today. twit.tv iOS email@example.com. Uh, we record the show live every Tuesday at 12:00 PM. Eastern 9:00 AM Pacific. So you can tune in, uh, TV slash live to check us out while we're recording the show. We think the best way to get at though is by going to TWI TV slash iOS. When you go there, you will see links to subscribe, uh, to audio or video. You just click subscribe to audio, click subscribe to video, surprise, surprise, and you'll find different services, uh, that you can use to, to get the show. So pockets, uh, Spotify, YouTube, Google podcasts, Apple podcasts, all the places. Uh, we try to be in all of those places as well.
Mikah Sargent (01:26:57):
Um, if you would like to get all of our shows ad free, yes, the complete ad free experience while we've got away for you to do that. You head to TWiT that TV slash club TWiT for seven bucks a month, you get every single twit show with no ads. So that's, uh, sort of custom feeds for all those shows that don't have ads and you get access to the club TWI, uh, or excuse me, the twit plus bonus feed that has extra content. You won't find anywhere else. Uh, super awesome. There's lots of stuff behind the scenes bef before the show, after the show and, uh, special events in the members only, excuse me, discord server. Uh, so that is a place where you can go to chat with your fellow club, twit members. Also those of us here, uh, at twit are there. Rosemary is very active in the club, TWI, uh, discord again, twit do TV slash club, TWiT seven bucks a month.
Mikah Sargent (01:27:47):
And we also have an annual plan. So if you just kinda wanna get that out of the way, uh, right away, it's very easy to do. Um, the annual subscription is $84 a year, excuse me. And what's, uh, pretty awesome about that is, uh, we've, we've taken a look at the other clubs that are out there with, with memorable. Their annual plans can be pretty pricey. Uh, hours goes in at $84 for a whole year of all of your favorite TWiTshows, maybe something you haven't even heard before now would be the time to check those out. Rosemary orchard, to folks, wanna follow you online and check out all the great work you're doing, where should they go to do so?
Rosemary Orchard (01:28:26):
Well, the best place is Rosemary orchard.com, which has links to all the things I do around the internet. And of course you can find me on Twitter at Rosemary Richard or in the club, uh, Twitter chat room. I am in the IRC while we're recording, but it can be a bit tricky to keep an eye on that. And I definitely don't catch up afterwards. I don't have that set up. Uh, Mikah, where can people find you?
Mikah Sargent (01:28:44):
You can find me online at Mikah Sergeant on many, a social media network, or you can add chiwawa.coffee. That's C I Hua hoa.coffee, where I've got links to the places I'm most active online. Uh, check me out later this week on there's chihuahua.coffee. Uh, check me out later this week on tech news weekly, I will be hosting the show so low again this week. Um, as well as on Saturdays for the tech guy with Leo, Leporte the radio show heard around the world where we take your tech questions and answer them for you. Uh, lots of fun, uh, hanging out with Leo on Saturdays for the tech guy and, um, pretty, so he would be taking not flight, but taking, uh, setting sale because I can't think of what it would be for taking, taking, uh, paddle. Anyway, he's going on a cruise folks. Some of you're gonna be on that cruise, uh, in a couple of weeks.
Mikah Sargent (01:29:38):
That's, uh, the 16th is the start of his time being gone and going to the cruise place. So, um, I will be hosting the tech guy on my own, which will be a really interesting experience. So anyway, uh, check that out. Uh, when, when we get to that in the meantime, uh, it is time to say goodbye. I hope that, uh, you got all you needed in terms of, uh, using and finding safari extensions to make the most of your browsing experience. Tell us about your favorite safari extensions iOS firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. And thank you, Rosemary orchard. Uh, we will be back or I wait, will we, or will I be back next week? I forget which week you're gonna,
Rosemary Orchard (01:30:23):
We'll be back next week. And then, uh, the week afterwards it will be you with a special surprise guest for all of the listeners.
Mikah Sargent (01:30:30):
Yes. All right. Thank you, Rosemary and goodbye listeners. Thank you for tuning in
Speaker 5 (01:30:35):
Hi Berlin. Hey, I'm rod Pyle, editor of ad Astra magazine, and each week I'm joined by Tark. Mallek the editor in chief email@example.com in our new this week weekend space podcast, every Friday Tark. And I take a deep dive into the stories that define the new space age what's NA up to when will Americans, once again set foot on the moon. And how about those samples from the perseverance Rover? When are those coming home? What the heck is Elon must have done now, in addition to all the latest and greatest and space exploration will take an occasional look at bits of space flight history that you probably never heard of and all with an eye towards having a good time along the way. Check us out on your favorite podcaster.