iOS Today 659, Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

Mikah Sargent (00:00:00):
Coming up on iOS today, Rosemary Orchard is still gone, but don't worry because yes, Christopher Lawley is back again to talk this time about the Apple Design Award winners. It's a great episode with lots of apps to check out. Stay tuned for iOS today,

Speaker 2 (00:00:23):
Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is Tweet.

Mikah Sargent (00:00:33):
This is iOS today, episode 659 with Mikah Sargent and Christopher Lawley. Recorded Tuesday, June 20th, 2023, apple Design Award winners. This episode of iOS Today is brought to you by Fast Mail, reclaim your privacy, boost productivity, and make email yours with fast mail. Try it now free for 30 slash twit. And by Grammarly go, you'll be amazed at what you can do with Grammarly. Go go to to download and learn more about Grammarly. Go. Welcome back to iOS today, the show where we talk all things iOS, dvo, os, HomePod, os watchOS, iPad os, and all of the OSS Apple has on offer. There are so many these days because there are so many great devices that you and I have that run these operating systems. And on this show, we try to help you make the most of everything you've got. I am one of your hosts today, Micah Sergeant, and I am joined across the internet today by Christopher Lawley. Welcome back to the show. Chris.

Christopher Lawley (00:01:45):
Thank you for having me. You almost just can't get rid of me but you, I guess you'll get rid of me next week. But thank you for having me back. I'm excited to talk about apps today. I love apps.

Mikah Sargent (00:01:55):
Woo, woo woo. Yes, I am excited to talk about apps with you as well. Super pumped to have you here again always a pleasure to get you on the show and to get to chat with you about what's going on in the world of iOS and iPad os first and foremost, and all the rest of them too. I really encourage folks, if you did not get a chance to check out the past two weeks of iOS today, episodes do give those a look because it gives you your first insight into what you can expect in the next versions of Apple's, various operating systems. We covered what they announced at W W D C and the what we'll continue to, to sort of build on that coverage as the public betas release. Were being told sometime in July at that point then we can kind of really dive in deep, show you all of the different features and kind of play with everything.

But mm-hmm. <Affirmative> today it's time to talk about the Apple Design Awards. So every year, the Worldwide Developers Conference, apple has an event called the Apple Design Awards. And at the Apple Design Awards apple recognizes different apps different developers for their their apps, their creations. And they do it based on first of all, they, they split it into two categories, app and game. So they award, they, they provide these awards in different categories, but they're split into those two. So you'll, whenever, as we kind of go through this you'll see that we have one for an app and one for a game. And each year they have kind of these, these different themes, these different categories this year. And as we go into each one, we'll talk about what specifically Apple is, is talking about means whenever we get to it.

But it's inclusivity, delight, and fun. That's one category, delight and fun interaction, social impact, visuals and graphics and innovation. So there were 36 finalists, 12 chosen apps. We're just going to talk about the 12 chosen apps this time in years past. We've also covered the finalists, but there are just so many that we cannot get through all of them. But I am really excited to talk about these because it's kind of in some ways the pinnacle of, of, of development on the platform. And perhaps in some cases not, we're gonna hear from Christopher Lolly about one that kind of gave him an eyebrow raise. But this is the chance for Apple to kind of say, Hey, look to these apps as inspiration, right? For creating a beautiful app or a well-designed app that makes use of Apple's various tools. And then it's kind of the challenge. Each year we just announced a bunch of new features for these platforms. What can you create in this next year that will receive an Apple Design award at that following stage? So, pretty cool and exciting to kind of dig into this. And it's all starts with inclusivity. But before we get to that, I just wanted to check in Chris to see if there's anything you wanna say about the adas in general before we we dive in.

Christopher Lawley (00:05:29):
Yeah, this is this is a really cool thing that Apple does every year. I don't know if a lot of people are aware of this, but the winners actually get a trophy, and it's this cube aluminum trophy with, you know, apple Design Award winner on it, and they engrave their name and all that stuff on it. And then the winners, I don't know if I'm a, I'm just gonna say I don't, I, I think it's a known thing, but they get like a whole bunch of Apple gear and stuff, like part of their prize, like Mac and iPhones and whatever the latest and greatest stuff is. So it's, it's a really cool thing, especially like when it's like developers, like any developers and stuff winning, like that's, that's always really fun to see apple just kind of recognizing like, hey, these are some apps they are following. Like they, they're well-designed apps, well-built apps, and like, these are the examples you should be following kind of thing. And, and I really like that.

Mikah Sargent (00:06:21):
Yeah, that's good to get that sort of understanding. It reminds me what I learned about the great British bakeoff and how there's not prize money what for the winners of G B B O, and it has to do, I talked to Rosemary Orchard about this and a lot of sh like game shows and things of that nature in the UK have different rules than we have in the US but then also have kind of different social rules. And so yeah, that plate that they get at the end if they win win G B B O is kind of the, their thing, but it also leads to book deals often, and they get kind of that that's really where, where the, the sort of financial part of it comes in. But yeah, I was surprised to learn that that was the case.

Anyway let's get into this starting with inclusivity, and here's what Apple says about inclusivity. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> winners in this category provide a great experience for all by supporting people from a diversity of backgrounds, abilities, and languages. So these apps are mindful in their inclusivity, right? So we've got an app and a game, and the app this year is an app called Universe Website Builder. And I'm going to once again read the text from Apple before we actually show what this looks like. I've used Universe in the past to play around with same oh, good, good. So the, yeah. We'll both be able to talk about it then. So here's what, what Apple says By reducing complexity and removing barriers to entry, universe makes website building possible for everyone. The app empowers people to create their perfect online storefront, artist, home community group page, or personal web presence, all while implementing features like dynamic type and voiceover to make universe accessible to as many as possible.

So in this case, this app has been recognized for being able to, or rather for, for providing an experience that allows kind of anybody to go in and create a a website. So here I have the basic version of Universe. It's available for free within up purchases to kind of add to the experience, and you can create a website. So I at some point created Micah ds, cuz it's my first name, middle initial, last And this page I could then go in and create or this, this site. I could go in and create pages for it. So I've got a homepage here, and I could edit this homepage and up pops this kind of this, this sort of basic page that I can change the text on. So it's very easy to do. So I could change this to Mic a Sergeant iOS today, for example.

And then each of these squares ha have the ability to have something added to it. I could grant it access to my photo library and then be able to add photos from my photo library. I could change the style of an image filter if I were to add an image there. I could have each image linked to a specific page. And this gets super in depth. I mean, let me go ahead and tap on the plus button down here, and you can see everything that I can add. I can add text to the page, a photo. If I wanted to sell something, add a PayPal link, a button, a download, a video, a group that you can add. Then multiple things to a gallery, which of course is also like a photo, but multiple photos a loop, a link, a contact page, a subscribe, a map, a YouTube page or YouTube link your SoundCloud, your Vimeo.

Let's, let's add a Jif to the page from, from Giphy. So wait, here is, did you just say Jif? Oh, no, we can't do this. I'm a GIF person. No, I'm a GIF person. Because the man who invented gifs in the first place says it's pronounced Jiff, and I respect that. Then he would've, that he should have felt it. J i f. Anyways, moving on, boy. Sorry, boy. Sorry we moving on. But you'll notice that I said Giphy because the creators of Giphy said we pronounce it Giphy. So it's AIF from Giphy anyway, so <laugh>, let's say I want to add this strange image to my site, this animated image. And then I could change the style of this image. I could add, you know, some padding make it link up. And it is kind of ridiculous how responsive and easy it is to design a page.

I mean, most of this, I'm just tapping around and moving things around. I can easily, you know, edit at a row above or below this, I've got the ability to change how many rows a page has. I can change the theme of this page. So maybe I didn't like this. So I could go to something else instead and, and switch to that if I wanted to. Let me discard those changes. And then at any time I publish the, this site and it's ready to go, people could go to it and actually gain access to this site. It's very simple to use, but it also can get very complex. And I think that's what makes this particularly awesome, is that you start by kind of building a, a boring <laugh> easy to set up page, but then you realize, oh, I can add subpages.

I can then start to sell things if I want to. You can also upgrade your subscription to look, it's $25 per year, and that's going to get you a custom domain for your site, which is a really good price. Or $72 per year. That's how you can kind of set up a shop or something like that. And then I also love that at any time you can choose Explore Universe and see some of the other websites that are out there, so that have been created using Universe. So here's one. And this is it says Creation trip and check out like the typefaces that are being used the fun sort of layering of the images here. All of this is all of these sites have been created in Universe. And so here's a, a what appears to be a restaurant of some sort 15 kitchen bar. And so it's got, you know, the phone number, it's got these different links and it's got this fun sort of background. So it almost hearkens back to a time of MySpace which is kind of fun, <laugh>, but yeah. Tell me about your experience with Universe. Do you have an active site that you use with this, or did you like me just kind of play around with it?

Christopher Lawley (00:13:04):
I was just playing around with it. I saw it a couple of years ago. I was, I, I think this was when I was working on my pro apps for the iPad video. Cause I got frustrated cuz everyone was telling me there was no such thing as pro apps on the iPad. And I was like, I'll hold my Dr. Pepper <laugh>.

Mikah Sargent (00:13:20):

Christopher Lawley (00:13:21):
So I played around with it. I thought it was really impressive. It's, it takes on that, that I, I really hate it, but I'm gonna say it anyways. It takes on that no code whole thing push that's happening right now. You'll never hear Apple say that phrase. But basically the idea is you can build a whole website with, ever without having to write any html or having to worry about certs or any of that stuff. They'll take care of all the really heavy technical stuff on their backend, and you just need to design the thing by dragging and dropping elements. And I, I think that's really cool. A and the whole reason why it won the award was it's for its implementation of dynamic type and voiceover for accessibility reasons, which is really nice to have because that stuff isn't always the easiest to implement on your own from scratch, especially if you've never built a website before.

So that's, that's really cool that, that, you know, that that's built into it from the foundation so that when you publish a website, you can scale the type dynamically. You can have voiceover for low vision users or blind users. So that, that's really cool. I just, I, I as a whole, I, I love the idea of people being able to build their websites without having to sit there and learn how to code. Especially now as we see platforms like Twitter and Reddit erupt and just kind of like mm-hmm. <Affirmative> end up destroying their own community. I, I would not be surprised if we end up going back to an age where everyone has their own blog which I am all for

Mikah Sargent (00:14:55):
<Laugh>. Absolutely. the next title in inclusivity goes to a award Rather Goes to Stitch. Very excited about this. I've talked about Stitch a lot in the past, have played through Stitch entirely. I'll read again. With Cross-generational appeal Stitch, an Apple arcade title brings the calming meditative art of embroidery to its users as the game progresses. Designs increase in difficulty while background music lus players into a state of tranquility with support from multiple languages and custom accessibility options for those with colorblindness, low vision and motion sensitivities, everyone can join in on the fun. I love this game. So it's a very simple game to kind of rock. You are essentially creating little kind of stitched creations mm-hmm <affirmative>. That's why they talk about it being you know, cross generational appeal. So with it, you are playing through these little puzzles.

This is an Apple arcade title, so you will need to have an Apple Arcade subscription to play it. But here, for example, you are trying to fill in the squares based on the numbers that you're given. So here I know that I need to have five squares that are this color, and right now I've got it such that I cannot actually make this five. So I might need to change this so that I could get five of those, like, so, and six of these and, oh, but I can't do that because those three need to go probably there. So this is probably, whoops. So you can kind of, as I'm, as I'm playing this, you start to see how this can be wink rather puzzling. So this three I know needs to go this way no matter what, because it, it has, there's not enough to go down to make three, and there's not enough to go up to make three.

So I know for sure that needs to go that way. Which doesn't leave me many options for this six other than to do this. That three goes there. And then I need to figure out a way to get these two colored in. So I'm guessing that that's gonna go there. Like, so this will probably be the five there. This is probably the two. That's the two, this is four. And I'm gonna explain why there's a question mark down there in a moment. So when you play through the first time, you will not get a question mark. But once you, like me, has have obsessively played it so that you've completed every single hoop that's available, then you can do what's called prestige, which anyone who games is probably familiar with the term. It essentially means start over, but now play kind of either with more things unlocked or in, in such a way that you kind of are challenging yourself even more.

So once I beat the whole game by completing every hoop that was available, the way to play it through again is with this little system where one of the numbers is completely blank to you and you just have to try to figure out how many spaces it needs to take up. So that's why that question mark is there. But the first time you play through, you will not see that question mark. So it's a lot easier to play. I have found this game so delightful, so enjoyable, and so sort of, it scratches the part of my brain that I needed to scratch. So I was really excited to see it get an award. And then even more excited to hear that it received an award for inclusivity. I knew about the Color blindness features because they're very clear and prominent within the app, but I didn't know about the rest of it because I don't regularly use tools like voiceover to navigate an app.

So I'm happy to hear that it is that as well. Next category is delight and fun. And this category says winners in this category provide memorable, engaging, and satisfying experiences that are enhanced by Apple Technologies. So once again, important to note that these categories are making use of apples built-in tools to improve upon the experience in some way. And that is where that recognition comes. That's why this is at ww d c. It is honoring developers who are making use of the development tools that Apple provides to improve upon the app. That's why this sort of awards show or whatever, this awards event is separate from the awards that we see kind of at the end of the year, where it's kind of the best apps and games. Those may not be using a lot of Apple's official tools but they are the most popular games or the most popular apps that are being used, whereas these are being recognized specifically because they do that. So up first is Duo lingo. More than a decade after it's launched, duo Lingo continues to expand its comprehensive approach to learning languages through a redesigned experience. In the introduction of new courses for endangered indigenous and fictional languages, users come for the expanding catalog of dialogues and stay for the delightful characters and fun gamified experience, including quests, challenges and leaderboards to keep learners engaged. Have you used Duolingo? I feel like everyone has at some point.

Christopher Lawley (00:20:31):
I tried it out, but I don't really have like it's a huge time. Like, like to learn another language is a huge amount of time that you would have to set aside to, to do that. And I don't really have a need to learn another language. I like the, so I'm like, I just don't have the time for it. But I have tried the app. Yeah, it is a very good app for like, for what you are setting out to do, learn another language. It is very good for that kind of thing. I wish I would've had it back in high school when I had to take Spanish. Yes, my Spanish teacher wasn't the greatest

Mikah Sargent (00:21:08):
Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, but the tasks were very hard.

Christopher Lawley (00:21:11):
Yeah. So I, I kind of wish I would've had it then for that kind of thing. But yeah, no, it's, it's a very, it's a very interesting app and I know some people that have used it to actually learn other languages that they use every day and it's worked for them.

Mikah Sargent (00:21:27):
Yeah, I I won't go into detail about it because a lot of people have used it, so there's no reason to kind of dig in. But I have in the past started and stopped learning German using it a number of times. But it was interesting, it was really exciting this morning when I downloaded it to the iPad that I'm using to show things cause I have it on my iPhone and have for some time, but downloaded on the iPad, logged in. And it popped me immediately into review and I was able to answer the, you know, the review that I was doing. So I was really excited to see that that stuck. I'm still early on, it was, you know, nine and Bitta and milk and cafe. So we were just talking about coffee milk.

Yes. No please. Thank you. That kind of thing. So not difficult stuff, but it was still there in my head. So I know that they the tools that they use, the, the methods that they use for teaching are backed by sort of our understanding of learning a language. The next one in this category, again for delight and fun, is a game called After Place. Yeah, after place. And this is what it says, a, a vintage pixel adventure with a contemporary twist after place is an unforgettable indie role playing game with a modern edge balancing nostalgia, dry humor and exploration. It's lovingly crafted for mobile and controlled by swipes and taps instead of virtual buttons. The game's clever onboarding grounds players in the world. And its intuitive. One-Handed control system makes it easy and fun to discover after places, quirky surprises and, excuse me, hidden rewards. So let me show you after place on the iPhone. So when you gave, well, while you're

Christopher Lawley (00:23:15):
Pulling it up I was just gonna say, as you're pulling it up, I, this reminds me heavily of like classic Zelda games and like Earthbound and stuff like that. So like, if you like those old school, like top down eight bit style games, this is totally right up your alley.

Mikah Sargent (00:23:33):
So this is after places that says tap to begin. And here we go. Hey, I'm tired of yelling into the void already. This better be haunting your nightmares. It's really boring here without you also, I think everyone's going to die probab. Yeah, that's true. Probably should have led with that. Find me when you get here. I mean, eventually everyone's gonna die. Promise. Okay, so there was the, the kind of kickoff, it just had some text on screen and now I'm seeing a green woo. I'm seeing a green field with not really much going on other than a little person with pink hair looking around and oh, is that a health bar? Touch and drag anywhere to move. So as I'm putting my finger down on the screen, nothing happens. What you have to do is actually drag that finger so you can go up, down, left and right.

And I'm gonna guess that it's probably a good idea to go to that path and the top right. But I want to double check to make sure there's not anything hidden here that I could possibly pick up. So I'm just going a little bit behind. Yeah. This is giving Pokemon vibes. So now I'm looking around, oh, there's a little squirrel running across. Oh. And there I just found a little area I could go into and there's a strawberry. Oh, or an acorn. I'm gonna be that. That might be an acorn. You got the acorn charm. You feel the power of squirrels protecting you? I do. I always feel the power of squirrels protecting me. And now I'm walking around and I'm gonna go back to the main area here and just double check. Cause I'm a person who doesn't like to miss anything.

And there is a great little soundtrack going on in the background. Dude, it's very Zelda. Yeah, it does. Yep. It is. Absolutely. There's a crow up there. I wonder if it's a nice crow or a mean crow. I guess it could be. Rainbow crows are never nice <laugh>. This is true. I'm able to tap on it. Hey, don't attack me. It says, oh, I didn't realize this. Nevermind. I was doing my bad. There you go. You got it. Ugh. Oh, now it's not working. Oh, there we go. Okay. Overkill. But I appreciate the energy. So I'm swiping and getting the bushes and now it's teasing me for teaching children how to stamp them. It's, oh man, no one's gonna like me after this because I'm going through and I'm chopping at all of the bushes. And, and now you know what, I'm gonna finish chopping the bushes here just in case you never know.

And we'll go over and do this one. Alright. And then we can move along. I'm gonna get to this next part and then we can move on to the next one. So I imagine, yes. Oh, there's a blob. I'm gonna guess that blob or that slimes probably something I would have to face off against. I gotta tell you, I'm already, I'm already surprised and delighted by this game. Created by Evan Kiis or ki k i c e is the developer. So this is one of those instances where it was what you were talking about. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, it is an individual developer, which is really exciting. So let me get out this game so it doesn't distract me because I will keep playing if I don't <laugh>. That is, that was when I was master place

Christopher Lawley (00:27:06):
When I was prepping for this episode. Any of the games I downloaded. And I did not download all of 'em and we'll get to wide a little later on, but I immediately had to delete them because I was just like this is gonna take up all my day and I can't have that <laugh>.

Mikah Sargent (00:27:23):
So, so far we've had apps that were free within app purchases for different things. The website builder, of course, was required an in-app purchase to use the extra features, have your custom domain Stitch was an Apple Arcade game, so you needed an Apple Arcade subscription to play it. Duolingo also free with in-app purchases that give you kind of more tools, more options for learning a language. This is the first one that just costs money upfront, but then you don't have to worry about it for the rest of the time. It's $6 and 99 cents in the App store for this game. All right. Our next category is interaction. And it says, winners in this category deliver intuitive interfaces and effortless controls that are perfectly tailored to their platform. So wherever the app is kind of designed to be used, it does a good job of being used on that platform. And the app for this category is Flighty. Apple says Flighty provides users with detailed flight maps, airport navigation and delay forecasting, all through a beautifully designed app experience with key information where it's needed most. And intuitive interface and comprehensive live maps. Flighty makes navigating travel seamless. The app thoughtfully integrates Apple technology, including series shortcuts, apple Maps, live activities, and more to keep travelers covered at every part of the journey. I heard you make some sounds about flighty. Have you used Flighty? Do you like Flighty? Tell us about Flighty.

Christopher Lawley (00:28:50):
I I have used Flighty. I used Flighty a long time ago because I haven't flown since before March of 2020. You know, something happened around then and I haven't flown or needed to fly since then. But before that, flighty is like the best flight tracking app. Like, if you were somebody that flies a lot, like I told my brother, he flies literally multiple times a week for his job. Like, download, flighty, it, it, it shows you everything. It's more, oops, it's more up to date than like most airline apps are. It's, I don't know how the developer does it. It's beautifully designed, incredibly intuitive. I use it whenever I, like, I do need to pick up my brother from the airport and I can get ETA on like when, when his flight's coming in and all that stuff. Cuz let me tell you something, Fresno Airport does not let you stop in the, in the pickup zone. Like, you literally are like, you gotta keep the car moving as they're throwing luggage in. Cuz whew, that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I mean, <laugh>. But yeah, no, it's, it's in a, it's in a gorgeous app. When I saw it one, I was very excited for him because it, it's definitely well-deserved. Anyone that flies a lot will tell you download Flighty. Totally worth it.

Mikah Sargent (00:30:09):
Yeah, that the Travel Guru for many a podcast, Johnny Jet is, has talked about flighty for a long time. I've used flighty in the past. Not for myself cause I haven't flown in a long time, but anytime. We had some friends visiting from Utah recently, and I got their flight numbers and used flighty and I was able to text them and tell them about a gate change or a flight delay before Yep. They were able to even know about it, which I think is always kind of funny. But is what makes flighty so magnificent. Flighty can get pricey, but if you only use it kind of when you need it, then it's not too expensive to use. And so it ends up being that, you know, you kind of enable it when you are in the flight portion of your year and or if you are a, you know, every single year kind of person, then obviously you need it at all times.

But it is available to, to download for free. It has in-app purchases and you can get so much even just with the free version, but you also get kind of your first flight using the app that you track with. The app gets to be premium by default. So it'll show you all of those features. And yeah, I have heard from a number of people who have said, I learned from flighty before. I learned from, you know, the airline itself or from the announcement over the intercom while I was in the airport about whatever changed, whatever was updated. So flighty is awesome. The live activities are really cool. I was able to use that as well whenever we had friends coming. And so I could see in the live activities you know, arrival, time changing, that's and when they were taxiing and everything, which was really neat.

The next one in this category is the game. It's called Rail Bound. And here's what Apple says. Interacting with rail bound delights with its simplicity, including an onboarding experience that noticeably leaves out words, points and navigating through menus. Undoing and reworking mistakes is a breeze through the game's. Clever designs with pristine animation and colorful visuals. Rail bound is a polished puzzler that's easy to pick up and difficult to put down. And I have to tell you what Apple says there at the top about it kind of foregoing the need for words and all of that. It kind of caught me off guard because when you launch the app, you immediately taken into the game. So let me show you here. This is the first screen you see when you download the app and launch it. And so it just shows a finger swiping across the screen.

So I'm going to do what it's telling me to do. So I've added some rails and now it's saying press next to have that cart link up with the rest of the train. Now it's showing me, okay, you know, you're, you're facing a puzzle here. Let's see what you can do to get the train cart to go around. So I'm just swiping my finger along the tracks and trying to connect that train track or rather that train cart with the rest of the train. Now some things are kind of interesting here. I've got a piece that could swerve off to the right or go forward. So it's kind of a switching piece and I have different options here. I obviously want the train to, or the train cart two eventually link up with the, the front of the train. So I move the piece such that the train track goes the right way and it doesn't loop back on itself.

And now I've made it through stage one three. Now the hand is gone. The hand that was telling me what I was supposed to do next is gone. And I have to figure this out for myself. So I've got some options here. I am going to change. Okay, so it looks like I can't do that. Let's have it go to the right. Hmm. so if I have it go to the right, oh, I wonder if I can sort of have it do it in pieces. Nope. That would appear not. So let's restart and let's see if I do that. Oh, yeah, yeah. That'll just go forward. That should work. Yeah. Okay. So I just had one piece that I needed to change because there were two options there, kind of depending on where the train cart was coming from. So once again we are just arranging pieces and obviously these first levels are going to be very simple as it's kind of teaching you how to play the game with them getting more difficult. Now I've got a new setting here so before it was placing tracks, now it's picking up tracks. So I've picked up the tracks and I can drop them along and get my train carts to connect. Very simple in its design once again. But also I could see myself playing this game for quite a while. <Laugh>. Yeah. As I'm going, it's bely designed as going on here. Yeah, isn't it? It's very pretty. It's,

Christopher Lawley (00:35:14):
It, it, it kind of reminds me of like those old like hand drawn cartoons

Mikah Sargent (00:35:21):
Almost. Yes, yes. It's, you know what I mean? Yeah. Like Loony Tunes or something. Yeah, yeah, yeah,

Christopher Lawley (00:35:24):
Yeah. Like, like pre-computer animated, like hand drawn cartoons is kind of what it reminds me of.

Mikah Sargent (00:35:31):
Ooh. And now I've got two carts. I've got to get connected to the main train. Rail Bound is available for 4 99 in the app store. And that's it. You've, you, once you pay the price, you've paid the price and you are good to go. So really easy, really fun, and definitely a game. I'm going to continue to play after this. Folks, that brings us to the end of the first section of these apps. There's loads more to talk about, but I do wanna take a quick break so I can tell you about our first sponsor of the show today. It's Fast Mail who are bringing you this episode of iOS Today. It's important that you make email work for you, not the other way around. And fast mail's gonna help you do that. It'll help you customize your workflow with colors, custom swipes, night mode and more, cuz Fast Mail now has quick settings.

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So don't get left behind by those substandard email providers, especially like the ones you get from your I S P Ugh, terrible Old School. No good Fast mail, it's new school baby. Reclaim your privacy and boost productivity with fast mail. Try it now free for 30 days at That's Thank you so much to FastMail for sponsoring this week's episode of iOS Today. Alright, we are back from the break and that means it is time to move to our next bit of the Apple Design Award winners. As I mentioned, there are six categories we covered, inclusivity, delight, and fun and interaction. Those are the first three categories. It is now time to talk about social impact. Here's what Apple says about social impact winners in this category. Improve lives in a meaningful way and shine a light on crucial issues. So I'm not surprised to see the first one in this category.

It's been around for a long time and I know many people have heard of it. It's Headspace. Here's what Apple says, bringing mindfulness to the masses. Headspaces thoughtful designs are tangible across its minimalist user interface, charming video content, and signature illustrations. Users can pick from a number of diverse voices to guide them through the app's expansive catalog of content that suited for a range of needs from lengthy guided sessions to a five minute clarity break. The app's Apple Watch integration also brings a moment of mindfulness to one's wrist at any time. Headspace is, again, it's been around for a long time. In fact, they've been a sponsor on the network in the past, if I remember correctly. It has kind of all sorts of content that is all about mindfulness. It's about making some space in your head, get a head space.

So a mindful activity like taking five deep breaths. Now as you can see, many of these features are tied behind the account subscription. So you may not have access to some of the stuff depending on whether you do have a subscription or not. And I'm curious if there's anything in here I could do that does not require that. So there's a, a, a category for managing stress that has a specific, let's see set of, of stuff. And so here you can kind of see a video play out and I'm just gonna play a little bit of it here. Well it doesn't have any audio, which is fine cause I don't necessarily want to, but it, this is, you know, the introduction from the individual who's doing this training and then it goes through and it talks about how you do it.

And then it has a whole breathing session as the first session. So this app is, you know, one of I think many apps that exist on the platform that help you to work on mindfulness. It is available, let's see, for free within app purchases. So you are able to download it for free, but a lot of it is tied behind a subscription. It's $70 a year after a 14 day free trial, or $13 per month after a seven day free trial. So you can get a week if you choose the monthly plan. And of course you're saving a lot of money by switching to the yearly plan. It's $156 if you do it by month, whereas it's $70 if you do it per year. Yeah. Anything you wanna say about Headspace?

Christopher Lawley (00:43:14):
How do I sound how do I make this?

Mikah Sargent (00:43:16):
Oh, is this the one I am not

Christopher Lawley (00:43:18):
No, no, no, no, no, no, no. That's still coming up. But the, the, I am not a meditation person tried

Mikah Sargent (00:43:26):
It. Oh, that, yeah, that's

Christopher Lawley (00:43:27):
Fair. I've tried it. It's not for me. That's, that's, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna leave it there. Cuz I don't wanna get anyone in trouble. <Laugh>.

Mikah Sargent (00:43:37):
<Laugh>. Yeah. So that is

Christopher Lawley (00:43:39):
Not for me.

Mikah Sargent (00:43:40):
There you go. And that's fine. That's totally fine. That's Headspace, the app for Social impact. The Game for Social impact is called Ling. It says in this side, scroller Game Ling casts players as a fox fighting to navigate a land charred by environmental disaster. And human impact players are given the opportunity to build an immediate sense of empathy and connection to the lead character. The game's simple controls ensure that the story remains the focus of the gameplay rather than the interactions. So again, this is called ending. And it is a side scroller game that is available for 9 99 on the app store. If you would like to play it, and let's see here if we've got it's a

Christopher Lawley (00:44:29):
Gorgeous game. And, and one thing I will say is it supports a controller which

Mikah Sargent (00:44:35):
Oh, that's nice.

Christopher Lawley (00:44:35):
Helps. I think it, I think it's, I I played it a little bit this morning and then I switched over and got a controller after I played it a little bit with the touch deals and I liked it with the controller a lot better.

Mikah Sargent (00:44:49):
Yeah, cuz as I'm looking, so you have if you're playing it with the touch in the bottom corner, bottom left hand corner, there's a little place where you touch. And if you move to the left slowly, it'll move your out ow your character to the left. Slowly, if you move to the right slowly it'll move your character to the right. Slowly. If you move it all the way over, then you can move kind of quicker. Yeah. And then there are some interactions. So jumping, for example, which you tap on the right side to jump. There's an option to kind of hide yourself so you're sort of down and sneak, sneaking and then oh, the ability to call out as well. So here we go, we're running along. Oh, okay. That fire's in the foreground. That's good cuz I moved backwards and the fire burned me, which was not fun. <Laugh> fire's

Christopher Lawley (00:45:38):

Mikah Sargent (00:45:38):
Turns out. Oh, oh my. Ooh, there's a deer in the background there. A buck even. And so you get fires it turns out. Yes. so there we go. We're going underneath the tree continuing to move along and as I'm moving along I can kind of see some, oh my goodness. Oh, and then if you tap over and over again, you can kind of dig under a log as I just did there. And so it's slowly starting to teach me what I need to do to continue to play this game, what controls are necessary to play it. And again, when I might need to sneak around as opposed to be able to just run straight through. I would imagine that as I continue to play, I'm gonna see some other creatures that I would want to call out to there. I can see that we're at a natural park in a preserve or, and this is like a, a nature preserve as well. Oh my goodness. So now there's fire too. That's kind of scary. Oh no, what do I do?

Oh no, I don't know what I'm supposed to do here cuz I think you're supposed to dig not move faster. Well that doesn't seem to be working. Alright. I wonder if I, what if I try to call? Nope. Can I crouch? Nope. I don't know. Maybe I was supposed to move faster or something. <Laugh>. but this is, I don't agree. This is a good, good cue to, to stop here. So I was, I'm wondering if maybe I can sort of run along, oh, I needed to go backward. That's what it was. Oh, so in that case, yeah, there was another way to go. So now I'm moving to the left of the screen instead of the right. And there's even the ability I can climb. Oh my goodness. Look at this fox climb. That's impressive. And lemme go ahead and go back to the main menu.

And so that is ending again, available for 9 99 in the app store. And it looks like it'll be a pretty fun game. Not necessarily my style of game but I do understand, you know, it's social impact category. The next segment, it's visuals and graphics winners in this category feature stunning imagery, skillfully drawn interfaces and high quality animations that lend to a distinctive and cohesive theme. The app winner is called Any Distance. Any Distance is a design Forward workout tracker delivering shareable and dynamic graphics to its users. The app takes full advantage of live activities, which we talked about. That's where on a screen with a dynamic island you will see little, a little area up at the top where it will give you some more information about what's going on. So when there's a timer running on a screen with a dynamic island, then you'll see the timer slowly start to run out.

And when I'm listening to an audio book in Audible which is the sponsor of the network I will see kind of little information, the, the book title kind of up there in the top. So any distance makes use of those live activities. And also Apple Watch integrations to collect and present fitness data, which can include not only traditional workouts like running and cycling, but also wheelchair exercise stroller runs and walks and recumbent bike rides, enticing in app collectible, metals and an encouraging, excuse me. And encouraging social community to the fun and keep people motivated. I'm not usually a big fan of apps that have of activity apps that have social components. Yeah. Because I end up feeling guilty <laugh>. Yep. Which I realize is the point.

Christopher Lawley (00:49:20):
<Laugh>, I don't need to know all my friends are healthier than me and and are more active than, than me. Yeah, exactly. I mean, I already know that I don't need it rubbed in my face every day. <Laugh>

Mikah Sargent (00:49:29):
Yes. So I tend to not use those features if they are available, but I know for some people that does work very well and I'm happy for you. But I do wanna show you kind of the, the game or the game, the app itself. So here I could go ahead and log a run, an outdoor ride or a walk. So plus other activities. So we've got commute ride, e-bike ride, indoor ride, outdoor ride, recumbent ride a cold plunge, a cool down mindfulness or preparation and recovery a dog run a stroller, run a trail, run a treadmill, run cross country skiing. So there's snow. There's also if you're playing a sport and then training like boxing and hits and Pilates, walking, like a walk at your desk or perhaps a dog walk. So let's say it's a 30 minute walk that I wanna do or a specific distance that I wanna go, or maybe there's a certain number of that I want to burn or maybe I just want to go and then I can choose start activity and then that we will oh good.

It's not even displaying on screen. That's wonderful. So Apple has improved upon this because right now I have my location popping up on screen to ask me if I wanna share my location. And in the past we've had to then have that blurred out for the show, but now it's not showing my location on the screen, which is wonderful. So good for Apple for taking that away. And then you can kind of see the information here as I'm like moving along. And of course now we will have to blur that out, unfortunately. So <laugh>, even though Apple didn't show the location, then my location ended up being shown with the dog walk itself. But as you're moving around, that's the idea. Then it's going to track your location. And then at the end, if we can cut back to the the app store page it shows a screen where it's got like the, the person's journey that they took.

There you go. So you can take a photo of yourself on your journey and then it shows the trail that you went on or the, the, the, the path that you went on. So that white line in front of the person on screen there is representative of the path that the person took. So it's kind of a fun way to just, I guess, brag about your activity. If you'd like very well designed though, I I do give it credit for that. And it's called any Distance available in the App Store for free with in app purchase for the extra features there. Now this next one is for the Mac. And, and this is the

Christopher Lawley (00:52:15):
One that caused me to raise my eyebrows.

Mikah Sargent (00:52:17):
So tell me about your eyebrow raise first and then I'll read what what they have to say about it.

Christopher Lawley (00:52:22):
So before I rudely interrupted Micah, I'm sorry, but next No, that's fine. The next one is Resident Evil Village now. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, this is a two year old game that Apple announced. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> was coming to the Mac at ww d c last year at 2022. And it was already an old game then. And now I, I'm like, okay, so this, they're, you're giving like your design award, literally your visual and graphics award to a two year old game. And there was really some beautiful games that have come out in the last year on the iPhone, on the iPad, and even on the Mac. But I also kind of see this is like their political move too. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> like, like if I'm putting on my succession hat, my succession West Wing hat, this is their political move because what they're trying to do with this move is say, Hey, third party game developers that are making AAA titles, bring your games over here.

They run great because I just recently reviewed the new Mac studio and I put this game on the Mac studio, cranked up all of the graphic settings, c cranked it up as high as I possibly could and was consistently getting 60 frames per second game gameplay. So it runs great and it looks gorgeous. I I was just like, really? That you're giving a two year old game this when like, there are a ton of indie developers out there making really awesome stuff. So that was my eyebrow raise, that was my like I get it. Apple with you is political. I'm with, but come on.

Mikah Sargent (00:53:51):
Yeah, no, I totally understand. I, I'll read. So Apple says, this horror adventure game delivers masterful visual d detail powered by Apple Silicon Pro promotion medal three and extended dynamic range from resident evil village's, creepy castle to its decrepit factories. The graphics are among the most realistic and atmospheric delivered on Mac. I will say that that part is true. We're not used to seeing games at this level of detail mm-hmm <affirmative> on the Mac itself because there aren't many games of this caliber being made for the Mac. No, that said, there are sort of lower caliber, still high quality games that are being made for the Mac that have beautiful graphics perhaps not at the sort of quote unquote realism level that this game has. Yeah. But yeah, you're still right about it being as old as it is. It is kind of wild that they made this an Apple Design award winner. Although as you point out, there are reasons and upon reasons for why that's the case. And it is available for 39 99 in the app store. What was that?

Christopher Lawley (00:55:00):
Every year there's always kind of like one political winner, like, hey, this is the one we're giving it to, to kinda like push people in this direction and this, this is definitely the political winner this year. So, yeah,

Mikah Sargent (00:55:13):
Absolutely. And then the last category where we've made it folks is innovation. This is always my favorite category, although this year I was same was not, not super pumped about what and making its way here cause it doesn't really apply to me. That's why. So I just felt left out and obviously then I'm going to be selfish and not be as into it. <Laugh>, it says, I'm gonna

Christopher Lawley (00:55:35):
Guess the one, oh, I was just gonna say, I'm, I'm gonna guess the one, the app that you wanted to win was also the app that I wanted to win, but we can talk about that after we go over these two if you want. But I, I have a feeling I know which app you wanted to win.

Mikah Sargent (00:55:48):
Absolutely. So it says, winners in this category provide a state-of-the-art experience through novel use of Apple technologies that set them apart in their genre. So the understanding here is that these apps and games are making use of Apple technologies, but it's a way that the, the people who make this stuff at Apple go, oh, oh, that's clever. Oh, oh, that's a neat way to use that. And so these kind of stand out as, as still using Apple's tools, but maybe in a way that Apple was caught off guard in a good way. The first winner the app, it's called Swing Vision, AI Tennis app. It says, with the combined powers of arti with without powers, combined with the combined powers of artificial intelligence and neural engine swing vision serves as a tennis coach that can help with every aspect of one's game.

Swing vision's, advanced video tracking capabilities help to brilliantly evaluate form, highlight strengths, and suggest areas of improvement. Data is drawn not just from the camera, but through its Apple Watch integration as well. So on top of looking at your swing on the camera, if you use the Apple Watch app, then it will also use that as part of the process for being able to show you how well your swing goes. Now swing Vision sells a special phone mount that you can buy. You get a prompt for it in the app, and when you use that, then it kind of helps with making sure that you're getting your full swing. But let's take a look. Someone posted Ryan Fisher here posted their swing, so I'm gonna hit play on this and we'll see it was recorded at 60 frames per second at 10 80 p with the swing mount.

And so we can actually watch back as they do their hit. And what happens here is, excuse me, you can see in the top right hand corner, well, you can't see because it's it's showing the video on a different, let me see if I can't. So here is a view within the app, and you can see this person is just hitting tennis balls. They're gonna hit 60 in total, and each time they hit it, it shows the estimated miles per hour. So 62 miles per hour 77 miles per hour. And it talks about the kind of serve that's being done as well. A slice serve, a flat serve a kick serve. And then it also is being able to show the person where the tennis ball hit. So it is actually showing a, in the top right hand corner, a view of the tennis court with where the tennis ball hit.

That's wild. You can, isn't that wild? You can change the speed as you're kind of watching this back to see them do it a lot quicker and filter out based on which kind of serves they are. So if I only wanna see how this specific person does a slice serve, for example, which I don't know what any of this means then I could do that and kind of, I don't know, get inspiration on how to improve my shot. And then it has, and we'll switch back to the other view. It has all of this information for this person about their shots per hour, how many shots were in streaks under five shots. I mean, all sorts of information. I can imagine folks who are into tennis crave this kind of data and wow, the max ball speed that this person was able to hit was 126 miles per hour.

That seems very fast. And here's someone who had a suboptimal setup and was able to record some information, but it also shows you know, when they are getting the best setup possible. So, 60 frames per second at 10 80 p using the mount from Swing Vision. So yeah, if you're big into tennis and you want to make sure you're, you are doing the proper, you know swing, you may wanna check out the Swing Vision AI tennis app available in the app store free to download within app purchases. And also you can purchase the mount. And then I'm gonna quickly mention the game, and then we'll talk about the one that we wanted to win in this category. Marvel Snap is the game winner. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> so I'll read the, the text here. Marvel Snap features fantastic animations and delightful haptics that perfectly channel the personalities of each multiverse character.

This collectible card game is redefining the genre through its brisk gameplay and innovative snap mechanic that instantly doubles the stakes and introduces whole new layers of strategy to the game. Full disclosure, I've never played this game. I'll never play this game, most likely <laugh>. So I don't know much about it. I do know that it's available in the app store for free within app purchases. Not surprised that it has an app purchases. These sort of heavily branded games I tend to kind of stay away from, because they end up having a lot of free to play mechanics that I'm not a fan of. But congratulations to second dinner, the developer of Marvel Snap on getting the innovation award for the haptic design and some of the kind of built-in game mechanics for this. Anything you wanna say about Marvel Snap or about Swing Vision before we talk about the other one?

Christopher Lawley (01:01:24):
I don't really have anything about Swing Vision, but Marvel Snap. I, I've heard our, our mutual friend Mike Hurley talk about it multiple times, and oh, every time he talks about it, he, he's really into it. Every time he talks about it, I go, wow, this sounds like the perfect game for me, which is exactly why I won't download it <laugh>, because I know it will suck up all of my time. I'm not even too worried about the in-app purchase things, because it really does sound like the in-app purchase stuff is just like cosmetic based stuff. It doesn't actually affect your, your gameplay, which is fine. I I'm fine with cosmetic stuff, like, especially since it's a free game, whatever. But it, it's supposedly, it's a very quick, fast paced game. Like the, the actual games, the rounds of games themselves don't last very long. And it's a, it's very strategy heavy, which is right up my alley, but that is not something I need on my phone right now. Micah <laugh>.

Mikah Sargent (01:02:27):
Yes. Stay

Christopher Lawley (01:02:27):
Away. Do not want that on my phone. Yeah, yeah,

Mikah Sargent (01:02:31):
Yeah. Totally.

Christopher Lawley (01:02:32):
So that was one of the ones I did not download and try out today.

Mikah Sargent (01:02:37):
Totally, totally get it. I, I think last year or the year before, there was another kind of huge title that I, I said, oh, people know enough about this. And it, it did have a lot of freedom to play mechanics, and so I did not have any interest. But it's good to hear that this one doesn't have the kind where it's like, pay to win essentially. The one that didn't get the win for best app for innovation that you and I may have wanted to win is camo by re Incubate Limited. So Camo oh

Christopher Lawley (01:03:12):
Is no

Mikah Sargent (01:03:12):
That. Wait, that'ss Not You one you were

Christopher Lawley (01:03:14):
Talking about. I thought you Rise.

Mikah Sargent (01:03:15):
Really? I thought

Christopher Lawley (01:03:17):
You were gonna say Rise. Yes.

Mikah Sargent (01:03:19):
This is fun. You can talk about Rise. I'll talk about I love,

Christopher Lawley (01:03:22):
Don't get me wrong, they Yeah, yeah. Camos great. Like, don't get me wrong, cam, I just thought you were gonna pick Rise, but No, no, that I'm using camera right now, but go ahead. Go ahead, go ahead. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Mikah Sargent (01:03:32):
So I am also using ca anytime you see me, podcasting from home listeners from my home studio. It is because of camo. Camo is a fantastic application for the Mac, but also for Windows that works with not just your iPhone, but also with an Android device to give you access to the built-in cameras on those phones. They did it before Apple brought Continuity camera to the, to the whole system. They figured this out you know, I think during the early days of the pandemic perhaps even before that. And I remember talking to ages ago, Matthew Castelli on our show Smart Tech Today, and he had talked about camo. And at that time I said, I, I thought it was a cool idea, but what I said on the show was, I'm a little concerned because I don't know what they're doing behind the scenes to make this possible.

It makes me a little worried that they could be, you know, digging into parts of the system that maybe I wouldn't wanna give them access to, yada, yada, yada. And shortly after that, I got an email I think it was an email, it was other, an email or direct message from the CEO of re incubate Aiden Fitzpatrick. And he said, Hey, you know, I saw smart Tech today. I wanted to let you know, that's absolutely not what we do. We make use of tools that are available and that folks, you know, just aren't really making use of, but we do it in a novel way, you know, it's unique, it's this, that and the other. And I ended up downloading the app that day after sort of, what is it? I sort of I can't think the term, but basically mea culpa.

And I used the app that day. It was fantastic at the time. It's continued to get improvements later, came out on Windows and added Android features, and now it is my means of interacting. I had the opportunity to get to chat with Aiden during ww d c week which was a great and delightful conversation about camo and obviously to congratulate him and his team for making it as a finalist. But I was sad to see camo not win simply because, again, I feel like the recognition is deserved, therefore giving us the ability to use our iPhones as webcams. Before Apple added that feature via continuity camera camo had done it first, and they did such a great job with it that no other system out there was doing that I, I wanted them to get that recognition.

But to be a finalist is still a lot of recognition. And I've heard that there are more great things coming to camo as well in the future. So everybody should continue to remain and stay posted to that. And one of the things that I have to give the team a shout out for especially, is that they really are truly driven by the idea that each platform deserves its own attention. So if you're making an app for Windows, you have people who know how to code for Windows. If you're making an app for Mac os, you have people who know how to code for Mac Os, same for iOS, same for Android. They really are driven by making sure that the app and the system runs well on each platform using the tools that are available on those systems and platforms. So yeah, huge shout out to Camo. That's my sort of honorary winner. And now I'd like to hear about your honorary winner.

Christopher Lawley (01:07:18):
Yeah. well, camo, I, I love camo. I use camo like I'm using it right now. I use it all the time. I use it over continuity camera. I just find it to be a bit more stable. And I love the settings and stuff that you can tweak in camo, really great Rise is the other one that was nominated that didn't win. And, and I, when the, the nomination list came out, I actually thought Rise was the shoe-in for this category. So it is an energy and sleep tracker and the way, so full disclosure, I've tried using it, I've tried working with it. I cannot sleep with my Apple Watch on. I cannot go to sleep with it on. I don't know why, but I have heard from so many people that love this app and I've played around with it. It is a gorgeous, gorgeous app.

It's absolutely beautiful. So basically what it does is it measures your sleep and, you know, way more about sleep than I do, Micah. So feel free to jump in and just tell me I'm wrong. But the thing that I found really interesting is it measures like how you sleep and it measures your energy levels for the day. So it'll tell you kind of like when you're at your peak, when you're kind of having a slump, maybe when you want to go take a nap, you know, so on and so on. And I just, I, I thought it was a, a brilliant app, especially for the innovation category. Now that being said, after seeing what the tennis app does, the fact that it's tracking the ball, that's pretty cool. But it does feel very limited. This, this one feels a bit more broad. But yeah, it, it, I think they're all, they all deserve to win.

Mikah Sargent (01:08:52):
They all deserve to win. I agree. If only that's how it worked then, you know? Yep, it has. Yeah. So we, we gave out our honorary awards which is perhaps the thing we'll have to do going forward, that

Christopher Lawley (01:09:07):
If I can give out an honorary honorary award, please that Apple would, apple would absolutely never give an ADA award to it, but it's final cut for the iPad. I'm just <laugh> I'm still taking that victory lap, still, still taking a victory lap on that one. But yeah, I'm

Mikah Sargent (01:09:22):
Glad that it's not doing that. If that's would look, that would look, could you imagine

Christopher Lawley (01:09:27):
If Apple just gave themselves the, the award we win this year, <laugh>,

Mikah Sargent (01:09:31):
It's like Jim being tricked into giving Pam the award. Oh yeah. Award for best employee and getting like, money out of it or whatever. That was terrible. Best salesperson award. Oh, alright, folks, that brings us to the end of the Apple Design Award winners. Congratulations to all the winners, all of the finalists. You all made fantastic apps and games good work. And thank you for making what you make and bringing it to the App store. We'd love to hear from you listeners out there who have used these apps or plan on using these apps. And tell us about your thoughts after playing these games, which games really pulled you in which apps stuck around on your phone after a period of time or your iPads? I'd love to know more about that. Let us take a quick break before we come back with feedback and questions, and of course, our app caps.

This episode of Iowas today, it's brought to you by Grammarly. Go look, today, we're working and communicating more quickly than we ever have before. And honestly, sometimes you can end up feeling a little stuck. Whether you're struggling to write a thank you note or maybe struggling to create a business plan, why not give yourself a helping hand with Grammarly? Go grammarly's new communication assistance powered by generative ai. With it, you can compose intelligently, like typing a prompt into Grammarly, go to generate high quality writing so you can spend less time on that wordsmithing. You can personalize your voice by customizing your preferred style of communication. You just click set voice or use a tone indicator at the top of the Grammarly Go window to personalize your tone and determine how you want to sound. For formality, you choose casual, neutral, or formal. And then for tone, you can choose personable, confident, empathetic, engaging, witty, or direct Grammarly.

Go understands your unique context, preferred voice and goals to generate high quality writing. Quickly with just a few clicks, you can ideate, compose, rewrite, and reply thoughtfully, rewrite for tone, clarity, and length. So Grammarly Go will help you fine tune your writing to reflect your personal style, but still be effective in any situation. You can select the text that you want to rewrite and activate Grammarly. Go rewrite your paragraph to sound more exciting, make it sound more professional, or make it sound more inspirational. Grammarly Go can be helpful for me. I have a tendency to over-explain everything. I want to make sure that exactly what I'm trying to say is exactly what another person understands. And so by the time I'm done writing a lot of the time, I might have three paragraphs or one paragraph will do. So Grammarly Go can hop in and say, okay, you're repeating the same ideas in three different places.

Here, let's rewrite this as one paragraph that has everything you need inside of it. Micah, calm down. It's fine. You will be amazed at what you can do with Grammarly. Go go to to download and learn more about Grammarly Go. That's G R A M M A R L Thank you, Grammarly, go for sponsoring this week's episode. And with that, we are back from the break because we had so many ample design award winners to talk about. We are gonna skip the news section this week and head straight into feedback and questions. The first bit of feedback comes in from Lori. Lori wrote in, thanks. With your help on my problem with needing templates for my work schedule, I've been happy with Fantastical. So this was an earlier question where Lori was wanting to create special templates that kind of made the work schedule easy to set up in the calendar.

Now, a follow-up question from Lori. I have some shared calendars with my husband and he doesn't use fantastical. When I'm on my iMac, each calendar looks fine. However, I end up getting double listings on my Apple Watch and my iPhone. I know it is a matter of turning on and off various settings, but I have such a mess now. It is very confusing. I have iCloud and gmail and email listed under my calendar settings on my iPhone. Is there a way to weed out the duplicates without deleting everything, I'm even getting duplicates of the holidays? I also don't want to turn off my husband's subscriptions to my fantastical entries. My mind seems to shut down when looking at all of this. Lori, I completely understand very common issue. I have that too, where I'll go in and I'm going, I don't actually do what it's supposed to be.

Dewey gee, to make this work. There are multiple things that are probably happening all at once. For one, you probably have subscribed to or turned on holidays in multiple calendar accounts. So each calendar account be that iCloud Gmail or Mac tend to have some sort of holiday option that you can use whenever you're setting it up. And so because of that, you are ending up seeing multiple options that pop up as part of that. So what's great about Fantastical is that you have the ability to select calendars that you want and de-select calendars that you don't want. I've included a link and it'll be in the show notes that walks you through calendar sets and how to specifically set them up as you want to. But let me show you here on the iPad. So let me see now, I'll show you to you on the iPhone actually.

So on my iPhone, I have the option to pop in and change the specific calendars that I have for each event. So here in the settings app, which are the settings portion of the app, which in fantastically you can activate by going into the top left corner and tapping on the icon there. And then at the very bottom is settings. You choose calendars and lists. And here you have different calendars that are tied to specific sets. So the main calendar set is going to be the one that you see most of the time, and it's probably that you have holidays selected several times. So here I have in my iCloud account, I've got a bunch of different kinds of calendars. I've got main podcasts and family, which is a shared calendar, but I also have a calendar for tripsy which is an app that manages trips for bills for exercise, which you'll see is conveniently not selected because Exercise, ah, <laugh> as well as several others.

And then here, for example, are my calendars for twit. So I've got my twit email, which is sort of my main calendar there, but also contacts, which will include holidays. You can deselect any of these as you are going as you, as you're looking through here and say, no, I don't need to see that. No, I don't want to have that. And so what's probably happening again, Lori, is that you have multiple, you have like holidays selected for your account, and then you've also got holidays selected for your iCloud account. And with both of those, that's what's making it pop up. So simply deselect those extra ones so that it's just holidays in one spot. And then you should be good to go. Outside of that, make sure that the settings for your Apple Watch for the Fantastical app are set to mirror what your iPhone shows.

So what I'm gonna do is launch the the app for, well, no, I guess it isn't there. It'll probably be in the settings on the actual apple Watch app. You'll have the ability to say, I want you to mirror my iPhone in terms of what's being shown. So those calendar sets will stay the same between the two. So yes, check out the link that I included in the show notes and reach back out, Lori, if you continue to have issues and we can kind of dig in deeper for that. The next question comes from Steve and Chris. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this. What, what suggestions you would give to Steve. So Steve says, I have a problem. I hope you can help me out with. Hey, Steve. I hope so too. I am still using an iPod Classic 30 gigabytes as my main music player in my car. Funny. I know.

Christopher Lawley (01:17:42):

Mikah Sargent (01:17:43):
Yeah, I think cool. However, that's awesome. I got a right. However, I got a new car and the car will not recognize the iPod because it's too old. I would like to ditch the iPod and put the music from my iTunes library onto an SD card. The new car has an SD card slot that would allow me to play music from there. Is there an easy way to accomplish this or should I try something else like getting a newer iPhone or something and just using it as an iPod? Thank you for any input you can give. So Chris, I'm gonna have you take the part where you talk about some other options for what Steve can do. I will briefly mention that I've included a link to two guides that will help you depending on if you have a PC or if you have a Mac, export the music that's in your iTunes library that is non-Apple Music music and put it onto an external hard driver, in this case onto an SD card. So if the music that's in your library, your iTunes library is music that you've purchased, and so it is the actual music file that's stored there, you can use these two guides. The one for the PC or the one for, well, the one for Windows or the one that's for Mac os to be able to move that music to the SD card and then use the SD card. But what should Steve do if Steve wants to go with a different device? What do you recommend?

Christopher Lawley (01:19:05):
Oh man. That it look, I mean, the first thing is like you were saying, it depends on do you own the music? Do you have the actual files or is it Apple Music or, I, I guess it wouldn't be Spotify, he says iTunes of this case. But the music app that's, that's the first big thing. If you're somebody that uses the music app, the best thing you could do is just put it on your phone and find some kind of Bluetooth accessory pairing, whether your car has Bluetooth built into it. If it doesn't, there are a ton of third party options. If you just have like a U S B port that you would normally plug a device into or an OX cable that you would plug a device into, there's a ton of options out there to, to basically get your car to adapt to Bluetooth.

The other thing that you could do is if, if you, if you own all the music and you know, you can do, you own all the music, you have all the files some cars have USB built into them. It, it sounded like Steve, he has an SD card slot. This, that's actually what my dad has in his truck is he has he got a really big SD card. Actually, no, I I take that back. He switched over to an external hard drive, an s SD hard drive and he's, wow, just put hundreds of gigs on there and it's just plugged into his into his car and it just, he can select it from there. Actually, I take that back. I've actually since got him the CarPlay adapter, so he's using CarPlay now. But he was using that at one point.

Christopher Lawley (01:20:41):
Nice. Gosh, I keep forgetting what he's do, what he's doing in his car now. I will say for those that are out there that have wired only card play I'm going to stall for just a second or maybe Micah can talk and we can come back to

Mikah Sargent (01:20:57):
Me wire. Well if you have you look this up.

Christopher Lawley (01:21:00):
Yeah, yeah, go for it. Cuz I have something out there for the people that just have wired CarPlay that works really well.

Mikah Sargent (01:21:06):
Nice. So the only other suggestion that I had is you may look around target, Walmart Best Buy maybe eBay even you could just get the last model of iPod Touch and use that just in the car on its own as an option if, if it's Apple Music. So if you have a subscription to Apple Music, you have to, you're not able to export that music and play it without some sort of authorization that's made with an Apple id. So you need to have a device that has an Apple id and if you're wanting, cuz it sounds like what Steve wants here is to always have something in the vehicle that is playing music in theory locally. So that you're not having to use cellular data and all of that kind of stuff. And so if that's the case, you know, you, you like this idea of just the music is there, it's downloaded.

You may consider trying to find an iPod touch. The problem is now that Apple no longer sells the iPod touch eventually that too will get old enough that you won't be able to do that. So I can understand the desire to use the SD card given that the music will all be locally available and you don't have to worry about using cellular data. So yeah. Start, you know, you might consider just getting a small SD card if you don't have one that's available just to run this test to make sure that it works. Because again, if this is Apple Music music, it's not going to let you play it without having an Apple ID authorization as part of that. So that music's not gonna be available there. But if it's music again that you purchased that is truly yours, then you will be able to use that SD card. What did you link to in the Yes,

Christopher Lawley (01:23:00):
So, so I put a link in our document, but there is a device called the Carlin Kit 3.0. It's a wireless CarPlay adapter. So this is for the people out there that have Wired CarPlay but with like wireless CarPlay. And what this does is it plugs into the U S B port that you normally plug your phone into to get Wired CarPlay and this basically converts it to Wireless CarPlay. Now these have been around for a while. There's a lot of these, there's some of these that are a lot cheaper than this one. There are some that are a lot more expensive. I just got a car month and a half ago with Wired CarPlay and I ordered a bunch of these and tested 'em all out. I've been meaning to make a video, I just haven't had a chance to do it.

This is the one that has worked the best. Oh, nice. It's $69 right now. There's a $15 off coupon if you order it through Amazon, at least Amazon US right now. It works extremely well. It takes about 20 to 30 seconds to pair up, but I haven't had any lag, any issues with it, that other wireless CarPlay adapters that I tried wor didn't work well with. What I love about this option as opposed to using Wired CarPlay is when I get in my car, I don't take anything outta my pocket. My phone stays in my pocket, my key stay, everything stays in my pocket cuz it's all wireless now. It's really nice. No need to plug anything in, which is great if you're just going down the road cause you don't want to have to plug your phone in.

If you're going down the road and charge it up and stuff like that shuts off, it disconnects properly. If you do have a U S B port that it stays hot, meaning it always stays on you might have an issue with this, that your phone stays paired and keeps playing music even after I, you turn your music off. So you just need to play around with that. Easiest way to check is take a cable, plug it into that U USB port, plug your phone in when your car is off, does it charge your phone? If it does, then this thing will always stay on mine. Turns off when I turn my car off. But yeah, I love this thing. It's, it's great. I was on, I think I was on MAC Break weekly right before we were talking about car stuff on there. And I was on there with Micah and I said I was, I'm only buying a car with wireless CarPlay and I ended up not buying it. Yep. But this thing solved my issue.

Mikah Sargent (01:25:20):
Nice. That's awesome. All right, with that it's time to head to App Caps

Speaker 2 (01:25:45):

Mikah Sargent (01:25:47):
This of course is the part of the show where we put caps atop hour heads to honor our app or Gadget picks of the week. These are the apps and gadgets we're using now or have used at some time that we think are awesome and want to share with all of you Christopher Lolly. First tell us about the cap, the top of your head and then tell us about your app or Gadget Pick of the week.

Christopher Lawley (01:26:09):
Well, I have to apologize because I've actually ran out of fun hats for the show. So I need to order something for whenever I come back or whatever. Cuz I just am wearing a Ford baseball cap. They gave it to me when I bought my, my new car, my Mustang. So yeah, not really that exciting. Nothing. It was the only hat that I had that I haven't worn on the show yet. So, sorry, I don't have anything super fun for you this time, but I do have a good app for you so hopefully I can make up for it with, with the app. So the app I wanna talk about is called Any Box. This is an app for saving anything for later. You can save files, you can save photos, but the thing that I use it for is saving links.

I use it as a Read It later Bookmarking app. So articles that I want to read, apps I want to check out. Just stuff that I find along the web. Especially keyboard stuff. You can't quite see my frame right now. But just on the other side of my camera I have a wall of keyboards. I'm not even joking. There's a wall of keyboards. So I buy a lot of different keyboard parts and build stuff. So I take all of those links and stuff that I find and store them in here. And it does a really good job with it. It has excellent shortcut support. So I built a shortcut that auto tags things. It it's really great has good organization in it. And one of my favorite features about it is it doesn't try and force its own reading view on you.

You can just set it up to where you, when you click on a link, it opens in Safari or whatever web browser you're using. And, and that's it. I, I'm, I don't know why but reading, read it later, apps and stuff like that that try and force you to go into their specific reader view. Just, I don't like those. I just gimme the original webpage and if I need to turn on reader mode, I'll turn on reader mode in Safari. But yeah, that's, that's 80 Box. Yeah, it's it, it's, it could get a little pricey. There's a monthly, yearly and lifetime subscription cost to it. I believe I just paid for the lifetime one. Because it's an app I really like. It's in the doc of my iPad. I use it every day. Really nice.

Mikah Sargent (01:28:13):
Nice. Yeah, I'll have to check that out cause I'm always looking for those options for one that sticks I've used keep it as a, yeah, save everything kind of option. But I have not used any box, so I'll have to give that a go and see if that works for me. Cuz right now I am, I continue to do what I have always done, which is I just have a text message thread with myself and I send myself things there works.

Christopher Lawley (01:28:36):
It works. There are so many people that, that I know that do that and it works for 'em. That to me it just, I, I like, I need search and I need, like, I just, I need an app for that. Yeah. And any box works really well for that for me.

Mikah Sargent (01:28:49):
Awesome. I am wearing a CAPA top of my head that makes me look like I'm coming from Flavor Town <laugh>. That's awesome.

Christopher Lawley (01:28:57):
It's a great hat,

Mikah Sargent (01:28:59):
Isn't it? So a red visor with the nice sort of blonde tipped brown hair top of my head. And the app that I'm talking about today is an app called Invitation Maker by Hobnob, or known just by short as hobnob. You can try the, well you can download it and use it for free, but you can also get the premium version for 20 bucks a year with a seven day free trial. But what it lets you do is create and track events. And this is like the most full featured RS v P event management system I've seen that I've ever used. It's really kind of a magnificent. So let me start by creating an event and then I'm gonna show you, this is sort of like those cooking shows where you, you, you go through some of the steps and then you go and voila it's done and you pull it out from under the counter.

So <laugh> first, we'll, we'll create a new event by tapping in the bottom right hand corner and you can choose two different options, an RSVP event that will let you invite guests and then just an announcement that just is kind of a, a beautifully designed poster or something like that. So I'm going to do s v P event. So I want to know if people can come to this. So let's call the event I don't know, Easter Egg Hunt, which is of course overt now. I can pick, I can pick a specific date or time. So let's go back to April. I don't if you remember which day Easter was. Is it the last Sunday of the month? I don't remember. The third Sunday of the month. So, whoops, let me choose. Is that just

Christopher Lawley (01:30:40):
Gonna have something to do with like how, I don't even, nevermind

Mikah Sargent (01:30:43):
It's the moon. Yeah, it's like after the first or something. Yeah, I, I remember it now. It was on my mom's birthday, so I do remember it was on the, the 16th. So and then of course you can pick a specific end time. So let's say the Easter egg hunt, this is a really long one. It lasts from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM I can choose a location. So let's say it's at the TWIT Studios and there is the TWIT Eastside Studios, and then there's this thing at the bottom. This is optional hobnob space. Now, in this app, there's actually the ability to create something called a space that lets you invite your friends and you can all, it's almost like Slack built into this app, which is just wild and bonkers to me that it's there, but it is there if you wanted to.

So you can add that space. If you've created a space, I'm not gonna do that because this is not for that. I can then select the design. So you can create your own flyer or you can use one that already exists. You can search. So I'm going to do look, there's, there's summer, there's Hobnob Curated, there's a co Oh, it, it crashed because that was a lot for it to think about. So let me, oh no, good. I've got the draft. So it saved the draft here. So let's go back and edit this. And so we'll move to the next one. Lemme just choose a design that already exists for the sake of not doing that search, I am running a beta on this phone, so that's probably why it crashed. I don't want to make it seem like the app is just buggy or anything like that.

So we'll choose. Let's go back up and choose this one that has the confetti. You can then, if you wanted to add your own images, but I'm just gonna keep it there. You can set a name. So in this case, I would put my name. And what I love too is that if it's a virtual event, I could put the Zoom link here if I wanted to. I can also, if you link your Zoom account, it will create new Zoom links for you. So those will go there. The people would get that and be able to add to it. And then I'm gonna put, remember to wear your rain shoe, rain boots and then check this out at the bottom. Collect money from guests. So here you can actually turn this into a ticketed event if you want to, which I think is magnificent that that's built in.

Up at the top, I've already got an option to create a link. I can choose the settings and look at all of these settings. So you can create a custom invite message that goes along with it. Show the guest list to everybody. Set the max capacity request a guest count, so how many people form from each person who's RSVPing. And then you can also separate that out to how many kids are you bringing. You can set an RSVP cutoff. So hey, once it's April 14th, no more people can join. You can create a chat. So once people start to join, then you can all chat with each other. And then it has these things for reminders. So two days after the invite is sent and the day before the event date, you will be reminded about it. And then an hour before the event, it has links to the directions for the maps locations.

And you can set this up so that it reminds the people who are RSVP'd as well. And then a registry reminder if people sign up for the registry. And then after the event, it can also ask people, Hey if you took photos at the event, please post them so that we can have those. So let me choose save and preview draft. And so this is the Easter egg hunt and you can then add some other things to, but I'm gonna show you one that's already done where I, whoops, not the Easter egg hunt that I created called iOS Today Party. And you can see I've got another person joining. This is mic Attest. Oh, I know Mic attest. I can send a message within the app if I want to, but I can also, I set up a potluck.

So this is gives the ability to, for people to say, yes, I would like to bring something to this potluck. It's a potluck, so you better, and then you can choose what you're bringing. Oh it looks like Mic Attest is going to bring the brisket. How many people are gonna bring slaw? So say I wanted, you know, two things of slaw. I also put ketchup on there, and then you can add to this after a while. So it keeps people from accidentally bringing the same thing. It also gets that out of messages, which can kind of get clogged up after a while. Very easy to add to your calendar, get directions to the event. Here's the chat. So I could say, Hey, oh hey, I forgot to bring Mustard. Can someone do that? And that will go out to everybody else who's part of this.

They are able to download the app and use it as part of the you know, to, to get all of the features. But even if you just sign up using your email, there's a page that is a, you know, a unique link for this specific invitation that has a lot of this information there. I love that you can then get the guest list and save that locally. You can print a flyer if you want to. So you can, you know, also hand this out as a as a, a poster or a a card and it has a little QR code that the person can scan that takes them to the event page for this so that they're able to see everything that's there. And then of course if I wanted to, I could add photos to the event and also view this as if I were the guest, what it looks like for me going to the this page.

And so it's got the potluck on there, it's got who's going, oh, I can quickly check the chat and see. Now you can see that if you want to join the chat, you have to download the app. So that's one feature that's tied specifically to the app. But everything else here is able to be accessed just via the web. So I am really excited about this as a potential. You know, there are all those old school like Evite and all, they're a bunch out there. But I really like this hobnob app because it just seems it's got everything that I would think I would want when it comes to setting up a get together of some sort. So I was very impressed by it. I think it's pretty neat. And again, available in the app store free to download with in-app purchase.

The premium subscription gets you some of these extra features like sending, excuse me, email notifications to people as opposed to just push notifications and all sorts of other cool stuff. That is hobnob. And this is our episode of iOS Today. Folks out there hope you either learned about some new apps or went Oh yeah, I love those apps and they deserve to be the winner of the Apple Design Award in either case. Again, we'd love to hear from you iOS today at twit tv feedback questions, comments shortcuts, corner requests, just straight up feedback and questions. All of that can go there. And you know, I look forward to checking that each week to see what folks are asking for help with. If you would like to tune in to watch the show live as we record it, you can do that every Tuesday at about 12:00 PM Eastern 9:00 AM Pacific.

You just go to twit tv slash live. There. You'll find various places that you can watch the show live, including Twitch, YouTube live, et cetera. But the best way to get the show and the way that helps us the most is by subscribing at twit tv slash iOS. If you're subscribed, ask your family members to subscribe to. They all wanna know about how to use their devices. They should check out the show TWIT TV slash iOS where you can subscribe to audio or video formats. You will see a big old button. Subscribe to audio, subscribe to video. You choose the version that works best for you. You choose your platform of choice. Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, YouTube. We try to be in all the places and we would love to have you as a subscriber or follower depending on which platform you're using.

If you would like to get every single twit show with no ads and also support the network, well there's a great way to do that. It's called Club Twit at twit tv slash club twit. Starting at $7 a month or $84 a year, you out there can join the club. When you do, you get every single twit show with no ads. It's just the content. It's a great experience where you can just watch and listen to our shows wholly and fully. You also get the twit plus bonus fee. There's extra stuff you won't find anywhere else behind the scenes before the show, after the show. Special Club Twit events and access to the members only Discord server. A fun place to go to chat with your fellow club TWIT members and also those of us here at twit. It is always on and popping in the discord and I know Christopher Lolly just recently joined The Discord as well.

So we're happy to have him there. Again, starting at $7 a month, $84 a year along with that great stuff. We even have more for you. We've got the Untitled Linux Show, which is a show all about Linux. We've got hands on windows from Paul Throt. It's a short format show that covers windows, tips and tricks. We've got hands on Mac from yours true, where I cover all sorts of Apple tips and tricks. This week we'll be talking about Stage Manager on Mac Os. Looking forward to that. I know a lot of people have written in looking forward to that. So that'll be a great conversation. And you also will get the home Theater Geeks program, which recently relaunched in the club. So all of those are Club Twit exclusive shows, all available, $7 a month, $84 a year. Consider joining the club TWIT TV slash club twit. Christopher Lolly, it's been a pleasure to have you the past two weeks. I know Rosemary Orel will be back next week, but folks are gonna want to continue to check in with what you're doing. Where should they go to do that?

Christopher Lawley (01:40:42):
Yeah, you can find my stuff on YouTube. You can just search for Christopher Lolly, l a w l e y or you can go to the untitled site and links to all of my stuff, including my YouTube channel and Mastodon and Instagram and all that stuff. Are there. I have some really interesting stuff coming up, including some os preview stuff when the public betas for all the new os stuff drops I'm very excited about. Wow.

Mikah Sargent (01:41:11):
Yes, I'm looking to very excited

Christopher Lawley (01:41:12):
To talk about

Mikah Sargent (01:41:12):
That. I can't wait to to watch your videos. Thank you. Can find you, me at, yeah, at Mica Sergeant on many a social media network. Or you can add to, that's c h i h Hua h, where I've got links to the places I'm most active online. It's a more purpose-built site now where it really is just those links to the podcasts and social media sites and stuff. So head to that, c h i h, oaa Coffee. Thank you all for tuning in and Rosemary and I will be back next week for another episode of iOS Today. Goodbye.

Christopher Lawley (01:41:53):

Christopher Lawley (01:41:55):

Rod Pyle (01:41:58):
Hey, I'm Rod Pyle, editor-in-Chief VAT Aster magazine. And each week I joined with my co-host to bring you this week in space, the latest and greatest news from the Final Frontier. We talked to NASA chiefs, space scientists, engineers, educators and artists, and sometimes we just shoot the breeze over what's hot and what's not in space books and tv. And we do it all for you, our fellow true believers. So whether you're an armchair adventurer or waiting for your turn to grab a slot in Elon's Mars Rocket, join us on this weekend's space and be part of the greatest adventure of all time.

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