iOS Today episode 681 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.

0:00:00 - Mikah Sargent
Coming up on iOS today. The holidays are here and they're happening, so it's time for Rosemary Orchard and I, micah Sargent, to walk you through some of the best holiday planning apps and services. Stay tuned Podcasts you love From people you trust. This is Tweet. This is iOS today, with Rosemary Orchard and Micah Sargent, episode 681, recorded Tuesday, november 28, 2023, holiday planning apps and services.

This episode of iOS today is brought to you by Milio. Milio Photos is a smart and powerful system that lets you easily organize, edit and manage years of important documents, photos and videos in an offline library hosted on any device. Check out their limited time holiday gift bundle for a 25% discount on Milio Photos Plus at miliocom. Slash Tweet 25. And buy Traceroute, the podcast for digital pioneers. Traceroute offers a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of our digital world. Get keyed into the conversation today. Listen and subscribe to the new season of Traceroute on Apple, spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Check out Traceroute now. Hello and welcome to iOS today, the show where we talk all things iOS, ipados, watchos, tvos, homepodos and look at all the OS's that Apple has on offer, because we talk about them to make sure that those really expensive, really cool devices you buy are working to the best of their ability, that you are getting the most use out of them as possible. That's what we aim to do here on iOS today. I am one of the hosts, micah Sargent.

0:01:55 - Rosemary Orchard
And I am Rosemary Orchard and very excited to be adding a little festive sprinkle to people's devices just in time for the start of December, when there's a whole bunch of seasonal stuff going on. Regardless of what hemisphere you're in, whether or not you're preparing a barbecue or chestnuts to roast by an open fire, there's going to be plenty of fun things that you may want to do this holiday season Absolutely yes, you bring up a good point right, because for us in the United States, we really start to lock into the holiday season around Thanksgiving.

0:02:30 - Mikah Sargent
But Thanksgiving is not celebrated in every part of the world and in some places it's celebrated a lot earlier, like in Canada, and so some people's holiday season starts sooner, some people starts later. But we can really count on that, last month of the year being the month where there are lots of holidays that get celebrated and what comes with holiday celebrations. But the troubling but still important part, which is planning right. We have to plan for the holiday season and we've got to make sure that everything is ready to rock and roll, that family know where they're supposed to be, that you are, if you're going to make food, who's making what and when and how. And even as we kind of get closer, it tends to be that these are gift exchange holidays, right, the time where we choose to brighten someone else's day by giving them a gift.

So it's great to kick off this episode with a great app to help you make a gift exchange system. Sometimes it's called Secret Santa, sometimes it's called I don't even know some names for it, but Secret Santa is probably one of the best known names where you and another person, or you and many other people, exchange gifts, but you do so in a way that you know the person that you're gifting for, but that person does not know who you are when you're giving the gift. So what is your way of doing this? Because I think you are quite a pro at this by this point, rosemary?

0:04:14 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah, this is my third year organizing my work Secret Santa. So the idea being that in within a group of people, if everybody buys a gift for everybody else, it gets very expensive very quickly and it becomes a huge obligation for folks and in some families that's just too much stuff and there's, you know, a whole bunch of wrapping paper and things running around and you end up buying people things they don't actually want because you had to buy them a gift and so on. And especially, you know, in a work environment, you don't want everybody feeling like they have to buy everybody else a gift and absolutely guaranteed, no matter how much you love your colleagues and love your team, like somebody will manage to accidentally forget somebody until the last minute. So what I do at work to get around this problem is I organize a Secret Santa and to do this I use a handy, dandy little app called Elfster. That's E L F? S? T? E? R and it is the Secret Santa app. So within Elfster you sign up and everybody who's participating signs up at least is the idea and then you can create a wish list and you can go shopping and you can also request a wish list from somebody and this can actually just be used to. You know, create and share wish lists of ideas of things with other people, and you can be as specific, like I want exactly this scarf here from this store that I've seen and this is exactly the color that I want, and you put a link to it. Or you can be more general with I like Sherlock Holmes books and mystery stories and things like that. So once folks have done that, or even before they do that, you can then start a gift exchange, and so you set a name for the exchange, you set when it's happening and what the sign of deadline is.

Now I signed into an alternative account here, so I don't accidentally give away a who I'm partnered with for my work Secret Santa because I don't want the surprise to be spoiled and be so. I don't share anyone's personal information, so I'm just going to create a fake Twitch exchange here, which I will be inviting Micah to any moment now and if I could spell the word exchange, I'd be so much better and I'm going to say this is happening tomorrow, so you better get your shopping shoes on, micah. There's got to be wheels attached to those and you say yes to whether or not you're participating as well. So if you're also joining in or if you're just organizing it, then you, you know, you've got the options there. So the sign of deadline was apparently, yes, today. Oh, actually, micah, tell you what? I'm going to give you a whole extra day.

So the sign of deadline is today and we will exchange gifts in person. Or you can say that you're doing it by mail, which means that people have to share their address as well when they're invited. And if you're doing it by mail, then you can have a virtual hangout, so you can have a virtual present opening session where everybody joins in with their cameras and open set presents. I'm just going to say in person for this, and then I can even specify a party, time and location, and then you can set a budget. And so I'm going to set this one. Don't worry, micah, I'm going to change it to 10, but I'm going to make it pound.

That's about $12.50 or something and yeah, and then it has any rules or notes for other guests and it suggests by default that people stay within the spending limit. Make sure you make a wish list to give some people good ideas, and that it's going to be a lot of fun, amazing. So we tap next and then we choose an image to represent this. I think we're going to do a fall one, so we're going to do these converse attached to a pair of jeans well, legs wearing jeans in some lovely fallen leaves, and perfect. And now I have the option to invite people, and then I can also, if I want, I can, add a little checkbox to say, yes, the people that I invite should also be able to invite other people. And then there's a couple of different ways of adding people to this. Now I can invite people from my contacts, which involves sharing my contacts with Elvester. I can add names and email addresses, or my preferred method is to share a sign up link, where I then copy the sign up link and then I can just pop into messages or email or whatever to send it, because that way it's coming from me, it's not coming from Elvester, so people know it's not spam, and so on, if they've never heard of the service before, they don't know what's going on. It's much nicer to get an email from somebody you actually know that explains things, and then I can say to use my current wishlist or a new wishlist and then get on with just sending invitations. And this really does make it nice and easy because there's a messaging system. So if, for example, micah and I were both participating along with some other folks at the studio and I wanted to get Micah a sweater, then if Micah hadn't helpfully put all of his clothing sizes into the Elvester wishlist, I could send Micah an anonymous message asking for clothing sizes and then I would be able to get a response and Micah wouldn't know that I've asked it. And after the event then of course you can choose to have everybody's gifters and giftees revealed or you can just keep it the secret and keep some magic happening.

But this is a really fun thing for any kind of gift exchange and so on that you might do with your friends or family at any time of year. It doesn't have to be for the holidays, but it makes it easy and it's free. They make money by changing the links in your wishlist to affiliate links. So if you have, like, an Amazon link, then they'll get a bit of cashback from Amazon when you buy stuff and of course, a lot of people will put Amazon links and so on in there, which makes it easy for them to make money. So that's how they're making the money there. But yeah, it's a very simple to use app. It does send a lot of email. That is a warning I will throw in. By default, it sends a lot of emails, so you might want to go in and change your profile settings so that it doesn't say here are 8,001 emails every day. But aside from that, I found it to be an excellent service.

0:09:55 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, I especially like the anonymous messaging thing. We, my family, had used a gift exchange app in the past or service in the past not even an app and it gave the ability in much the same way that we found helpful to poke basically other people and say, hey, I don't have any ideas about what you might want, so could you tell me a few things. And having that reminder get sent out was very helpful. So, yeah, I kind of like that follow up and that it keeps it anonymous the whole time, so you're still able to do that. Now that is one one app and service that will let you put together that randomized set of options. What I like to and it's one of the sort of steps in the app is that you can say you can specify that you yourself or other people, once they've been added, should not get another person. So, for example, say you are doing it among a group of friends and you and your partner are part of this group of friends. You could say when, after I have signed up and after my partner signed up, I can if I'm the one that's created that in Elfster I can say make sure that Micah doesn't get the partner and that the partner doesn't get Micah, and so that way, you know, you are getting randomized amongst the rest of your friends, and I think that that's great, that they thought of that as one of the things, because that could be the case. Maybe there's someone if it's a work thing and there are two people who just really don't get along, so you can make sure that those two people don't get each other, or maybe you let that happen because it could be an opportunity for a new friendship to bloom, or it could be an opportunity for someone to get someone a jar of mayonnaise, but in any case, that's speaking from personal experience. No, not at all. Let's. Let's move along, though, to talk about.

Throughout the year, you might hear from friends or family about some of the things that they need or want or are interested in, and it can be difficult remembering what those things are. And then the gift giving holiday comes around and you're going what was it again? Ah, I forgot to write that down. Well, what if you had a purpose built app to help you keep track of that stuff, so that you didn't have to that? I think that that's helpful in terms of when that happens. I've got a place that I know to go to get this idea written down and then I can always go back later to that place and I know that right there is where that idea is. So tell us about gift keeper.

0:12:50 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah. So gift keeper is a lovely little free app that you can download from the app store. I've managed to write Christmas in here twice I'm just going to leave that alone because I don't want to break everything that I've set up and I had to reset this app so that I can actually show it, because otherwise the friends and family that I'm giving things to might actually see what their presents are. And that is the great thing about gift keeper. You can add events throughout the year and you can choose various symbols. So the app is free to download. But changing things like the icons and symbols for events and so on does cost a one time in-app purchase of $1.99. It's a very affordable thing. So you can add various different dates here, like birthdays, anniversaries, valentine's Day. So I'm going to have Valentine's Day and then you can choose friends to participate in this event or not. And I'll just set that one to February and let's go to 14th and say that that repeats every year, and then I can add friends in here. So I can either import my contacts or I'm just going to create friends. So I'll just pop Danny in here as an example. So I can now go back to Valentine's Day and I can see that there are dog vests for Micah and that's on the Christmas list. But what I can also do is I can add a gift idea of I don't know something fun, because I don't want to give anything away, and just pop that into the list for Danny for specifically, and I'm going to select Valentine's Day there, and I can have a status on this gift. So this is currently in the idea phase.

I can also say that I purchased it and I can also specify that I've given it, which is great, and then if I put it to give on it, it even sets what year I gave it in. It's amazing. And there are also URLs, notes. There's a photo option where I can take photos or add a chosen photo selected for my photo library, and I can also put a price in there. So you know I have an idea of how much money I'm spending. So this is the events page, which has a list of events, including the ability to search and so on. And then there is the friends section where you can see friends. So under Micah, I currently have dog vests for Henry and Mitzi, because I'm thinking if I got them cute matching reindeer ones and maybe like some little collars with reindeer antlers on, because I'm not sure that your dogs would love headbands, but I'm thinking if there were like collars with antlers on.

That might work, yeah. And I can also see events that Micah might be participating in. I can also do something like Micah's birthday if I wanted to. I can also just note interests. So if, for example, I know that Micah likes hiking, then I can pop in hiking as an interest and this will just help me later when it comes back to, you know, coming up with ideas. As well as the title of the interest, you can also add details. So, for example, if somebody likes board games, then you could note down that they like wingspan and settlers of Ketan, but they're not a huge fan of carcasson or something.

And I just really love this as a way to make it easy for me to keep track of ideas, of presence for people and then also to just keep an idea of like, how much money am I spending? What is my status for this? You know, if Christmas is coming and I've got a bunch of people who are in the ideas section, you know, if I pop into this something fun and I say it's purchased, then I can now see it's purchased. But I can also see, oh God, there's still like seven ideas here that I need to go and actually do something about before the actual event comes. And I love that this isn't just Christmas oriented it works for any holiday. So if you celebrate Hanukkah and you're giving, you know, multiple gifts over the course of the event, then you can have all of the different days of Hanukkah in here, or nights of Hanukkah I believe it's actually nights, and, yeah, I just love that.

You know, whatever your friends and family and you choose to celebrate, you can accommodate all of that here in the GiftKeeper app, which is the gift idea manager, and it's free. We have $199 in-app purchase to unlock all the benefits and bonuses. Honestly, I just went and found the in-app purchase pretty much like after using the app for about two minutes, because I started inputting data and just went yep, this is the app for me. This is what I want. I was doing everything in my own custom beautiful little air table before and it was fabulous and it worked great, but I had to manage it and everything, and sometimes you just want an app that just makes your life easier and does all that management for you, and that's GIF Keeper in a nutshell.

0:17:28 - Mikah Sargent
A purpose-built app is just ugh. Sometimes it's exactly what you need and with these devices, where we have so much space to be able to use whatever happens to be that we want, right, it's so nice to go. Okay, I don't need to be as you know, I don't need to be as reserved. I can just go ahead and say, look, this app does this very specific thing, I want it for this specific thing and it's great, and so I'm getting it and I'm using it. I love the App Store. I love that we can have all of these different tools in this little toolbox that is our phone. It's so cool. Let us go ahead and take a quick break so I can tell you about another tool to have in your toolbox before we come back with loads more holiday planning apps and services. But before we do, let's talk about Milio, who are bringing you this episode of iOS today.

We have become huge fans of Milio Photos and right now, for a limited time, milio is offering a holiday gift bundle, which means it's the perfect time to get started. The holiday gift bundle includes one full year of Milio Photos, Plus you can use editing software, radiant photo and premium membership to the photographer community platform Viewbug, milio Photos recently dropped the year's biggest update, offering even more customization, accessibility options and control to how you handle your digital libraries. Milio Photos Plus offers even more by letting you connect all your devices and take full advantage of the new shared albums and spaces tools to share your media with customized control and privacy. I've told you before about my initial skepticism, but I think it's important to talk about because I think that it explains why Milio Photos rocks. When I first heard about Milio Photos, I thought look, I've already got an Apple iCloud photo library. I've already got Google Photos. I've got Amazon's photo service. Why do I need another place to store my photos? And then we spoke with the people at Milio and learned about Milio Photos and I said how have I not been using this this whole time? Because what you get with Milio Photos is the this is a commonly used phrase, but it's so true the one source of truth. You have your entire library of photos across all of these different services all in one place, and a lot of the stuff that's happening is on-device processing. So when it's recognizing faces, it's doing that on your device. When it's recognizing using these AI tagging tools, it's doing that on-device. I love the privacy implications of that alone, but the fact that my Instagram photos, that if, for some reason, instagram were to go away, doesn't matter. I've got all of my Instagram photos and I've posted to that service for years and years and years that my Apple photo library is there, that any photos that exist in Google Photos for some reason that aren't in my Apple Photos library, I've got those locally. I love that. It is the one place where I can count on all of my photos being. I think that's what sets it apart on its own.

What this new feature we've talked a little bit about before Spaces. It lets you sort and organize files into subject-specific views so you can have something like family or work or personal and private, and you can create custom spaces for whatever you want. This opens the door for more productive collaborations with your team or automatically sharing photos with family members. Signed into the account and with remote control. You have full control over what's visible and which tools are available on each device connected to your account, no matter who it is. This is perfect for work portfolios, managing project assets or even personal organization. You can even use MyLio Photos for free on one device, so get 25% off your first year of MyLio Photos Plus today, for a limited time. Check out the holiday gift bundle for even more great deals by going to our special URL that's MyLiocom slash Twit25 for your 25% discount. That's MyLiocom slash Twit25. So download MyLio Photos Plus for free right now at MyLiocom slash Twit25. Check it out. You're going to love it, and thank you to MyLio for sponsoring this week's episode of iOS Today.

All right back from the break, let's move along to talk about package tracking and the incredible, wonderful, so useful parcel. I use parcel all the time. It is an app that lets you track your products and gives you the ability to make sure that any number of packages that you're tracking across so many different services are available to you. Parcel became.

I used to use an app called Deliveries and for the longest time, deliveries was my go-to app for package tracking, but as time has gone on, a lot of different online services have switched there. It's called an API, but for folks who aren't familiar with that, it's basically kind of a way. It's like a telephone right One app or service. In this case, the app calls UPS or FedEx and says, hey, I need this information, and UPS or FedEx is able to pick up on the other side and say, okay, this is the information you need and send it, and then that person, that app, gets the information and is able to display it to you. So that API has over time, gotten kind of more locked down and that has made it hard for package tracking apps to be able to continue to display package tracking information. Parcel seems to have engineered methods by which it's able to continue to display that information and continues to be committed to making that stuff show up.

And so what has happened is I've moved over to Parcel entirely and I love how easy it is to use across different devices.

So I have it on my Mac, I have it on my iPhone, on the iPad and I get those notifications.

Basically, it just keeps you updated with where a package is in the warholte right.

So as soon as it shows up in one of these services and you get that tracking number, you can pop it in and from that point on you get to see, okay, it's been here, it got delivered here, it departed here, it was dropped off here, and then you can kind of mark those off as you go along.

And then one of my favorite features is a feature called the Amazon integration and essentially you use the app to log into your Amazon account and when you do, it will automatically pull from Amazon to display the orders that you've made on Amazon. So you get them right there in the package tracking app and you don't have to worry about going in and doing it yourself. You'll have to log in again from time to time to kind of re-up that connection, but totally worth it to me. Rosemary, I'm curious to hear how it works for you, especially because we've had folks from outside of the US mentioned in the past that delivery tracking apps that we've talked about before didn't work so great in other places. I believe Parcel does work quite well where you are.

0:25:10 - Rosemary Orchard
Yes, yeah yeah, parcel works really well for me and it still does all the things like the maps and things to tell me where Parcells are and have been. This one should be arriving tomorrow. I've just noticed it still says it's in Louisville, kentucky, but the UPS website did say it's actually in Bristol, just down the road from me, which is interesting. It's supposed to be arriving tomorrow, so let's see if tomorrow brings me an analog pocket or not. But one of the things I do love about Parcel as well as it being integrated with 8,000 different tracking websites, which it does a really great job of is it has a number of settings which I think folks should definitely check out.

So you get to the settings by tapping on settings in the top left and then there's options for things like push notifications.

But you can say whether or not you want to get notifications at night or if you only want to get important notifications, such as when a package is in the final stages of delivery or when there's a problem with it. And you can also turn on carrier color coding so different carriers will have different colors inside of the app. There is a calendar integration as well, so you can add this to your calendar so you can see in your calendar the days that Parcells are going to be arriving, which is really handy. And yeah, I just find it really handy, especially the clipboard detection I found, even if I copy the URL to track a package on a carrier's website, most of the time when I open the app it can detect that it's a URL for the carrier's website and extract the package ID out of that tracking URL and figure it out for me. It is amazing and I am thoroughly impressed with Parcel. The developer there has done a really great job.

0:26:51 - Mikah Sargent
I agree. You, of course, can get it for free. It has an in-app purchase to kind of get the more advanced features. Another app that kind of falls into this category I have also started to use pretty regularly because they have a really great privacy policy and it's surprising for a company so large to have a privacy policy as such. But this is Shopify's own package tracking service called Shop, and so Shop. It has a deep integration.

If you're buying from a site that uses Shopify as the checkout flow, so when you go to many a website and you're going through and you get to a page it might look kind of familiar to you as you make your purchase, chances are well I shouldn't say chances are, but there's a good chance that it is Shop. That is the thing that you're familiar with. If you use something like Shop Pay, which is basically just a method for saving your payment credentials, then that's where you'll be presented with the option to type in a code that gets texted to you. Basically, that whole checkout flow ties into the Shop app so that when you make purchases you are able to keep track of how the order is going, and what's great about this is you will often get information earlier on in the process than you would if you were using a third party service. So, for example, when I make a purchase from, there's a place in Chicago called the Spice House and it's where I get my spices, because they source spices and they're incredibly fresh and amazing, and I think I've actually made them an app cap before. On some show. I chose it as the pick of the week because it's great.

But the Spice House works with Shopify and so if I was using, if they use, fedex to send the package, I wouldn't get notified until they make the tracking label, pay for the tracking label, and then at most I would get a hey, your package is waiting to be picked up or delivered to the carrier, and then it would go With Shopify.

I know, from the moment the order is placed to the moment the order starts processing, to the moment the order is packaged, to the moment the order is finally then moved over to FedEx, at which point then the tracking kind of shifts over so they can do these deep integrations if the shop itself has taken advantage of the deep integrations that Shopify provides. So that's why sometimes it can be great to use shop over something like parcel, because you'll get even more information about what's going on. And there are also some deep integrations, if you need to do returns, where you're able to use the shop app to make that return and track the return the whole time and it all just kind of gets locked in. It's very clear where something is and I quite like that. That shop provides all of that information. Anything quick you'd like to say about shop, as we kind of keep chugging along here.

0:30:04 - Rosemary Orchard
No, nothing in particular. It honestly just works. You can sign into Amazon with it as well. And yeah, the only thing I found is I had a Gmail account for my personal domain and I don't have that Gmail account anymore and it still wants me to look back in and it gets very cranky that I can't do that, so maybe I should contact their support who I've heard a pretty great and get that sorted. But yeah, it's honestly it works very well and it's very simple to use, because you just sign in and a whole bunch of your purchases are already there and ready to track.

0:30:34 - Mikah Sargent
Absolutely, and then, yes, we would be remiss if we didn't point out that it's a very new feature and I have not seen too many services that make use of it.

But you can track orders and purchases in Apple Wallets when a site makes use of this system. So when you place an order from a participating merchant, then you will in many cases be able to automatically track those orders. Those are Apple Pay purchases that are made on devices with iOS 16, ipados 16, mac OS 13 or later, and then manually you can do that in apps with iOS 17, ipados 17 on the web with devices using iOS 17 or iPadOS 17 or Mac OS Sonoma. So sometimes, if it's basically 16 or newer, mac OS 13 or newer, and then for the manual option, you'll see a track with Apple Wallet button that you can press. That will then bring up that order in your device. So it is something that you're able to do. I will say that I have, like tried to find a purchase I could track with Apple Wallet. I have yet to come across one, so it's not something I've been able to try out yet, but allegedly it's possible.

0:32:03 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah, that little parcel button in the wallet just loves to taunt me, and every time I tap on it there's no orders. I have never, unfortunately, seen this button and I really hope that I will. But I feel like way too many people are integrated into Shopify and therefore the Shop App, so they're probably just not even bothering to add this feature. But if everybody files feedback with merchants, then maybe they'll add it if there's customer demand for it, and it would be really nice to be able to track this stuff.

0:32:29 - Mikah Sargent
Indeed, indeed. All right, moving right along. Let's talk about the end of the year tradition of sending and receiving cards, that kind of cap off the year, tell your friends and family how you're doing, what's going on, and also get delightful photos of you and your family, or you and whomever happens to be with you, or maybe just you. Hey, that's fine too, with what are traditionally called or at least most recently traditionally called Christmas cards, but have come to be called just holiday cards. And also I know some folks who send New Year cards, so they wait until the turn of the New Year and then talk about what happened in the year past. And you have an app, once again a purpose-built app for precisely that.

0:33:20 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah, so this app is called. Wait for it. You're never gonna guess the name, folks. It's called the Christmas card list. It's rocket science naming here, but you know what? It works really well to help you make a list of people to send Christmas cards to and to do that. Now you can create groups and contacts and so on. But I find that that can end up being a bit clunky. Doesn't work super well on iOS, unfortunately, which is shame. So it's kind of. It works a little bit better on iPadOS, a little bit better on MacOS, but then not everything always sinks around.

But the idea of the Christmas card list is you build a list of addresses and people you wanna send Christmas cards to, and you don't have to have all these people in your contacts. You can manually add an address and you can update it from a contact. You can put people onto specific lists. So if you have like multiple different kinds of holiday cards, then you can do those. Over here in the UK we don't really do what folks in the States do.

I've seen some of your holiday cards. They seem more like postcards in some ways, where there's like a photo on the back and a printed message sorry, a photo on the front and a printed message on the back with your address. Over here. They're like folded pieces of card with a pretty decoration on the front that come in an envelope and if your friends are horrible then they will put glitter in there. If they are nice people, they will not put glitter in there, or maybe confetti. Yeah, so you can have multiple lists and so I could say, for example, this one is apparently Christas. I'll call it Christmas instead. That's better. And then I can just add this contact to it and I can choose to hide that when printing. I can add the family name or the sorting name and I can specify sent and received, and received is really useful, because I don't know about you folks over there, but I know my parents for years were having issues where they'd send out loads of Christmas cards and they wouldn't necessarily get a huge number back. Now some of this was down to moving, so they spent like five years after moving house reminding people of their new address.

Very exciting, but also sometimes it's just worth keeping track of all the folks that you send cards to and the ones that you receive cards from, and if you haven't received cards from folks in a couple of years, then maybe you can figure out a better way to keep in touch with them. So it's nice to do that. My parents. Honestly, if I tried to get them to use this app, probably wouldn't. They just keep the cards that they received in the Christmas tree box. So when they take the Christmas tree down, they put all the cards they received in the box and then next year that is their list for sending cards.

But I love this app because it will let you print the labels as well. So once you've got your address set up I can't show that without revealing a whole bunch of personal information It'll let you print address labels to send out, which I know folks. Some of you have got beautiful penmanship and fabulous handwriting. Other people maybe like me if I'm using to find a pen and your handwriting looks like a drunk spider wandered across an ink pad and then had a party on an envelope. If you use labels on envelopes, then postal services have a much easier time reading those. So, yeah, I definitely like using the label feature of this. And, of course, it's nice to see who I've sent cards to and received cards from as well, and this app works on iPad and iPhone, of course.

0:36:30 - Mikah Sargent
Awesome. Yeah, well worth checking out if you have cards to be sending at the end of the year. Now we would again be remiss if we didn't mention the very classic, very fun ELF yourself, the app slash service that lets you superimpose your or another person's face over that of a dancing ELF and then send these delightful videos to friends and family everywhere. I just saw a family or being a friend whose family sent them an ELF yourself early on in the earlier than the holiday season, kind of kicked off, and they were delighted by it.

Elf yourself, of course, is available for free to be able to use some of the basic features. There are in-app purchases that give you even more options, and what I love about it is that it's very easy to use. You don't have to do too much in terms of getting it set up and, because it's so effective and silly, you don't have to have the perfect photograph to make it work. As you can see if you're watching the video, it's just you can have a kind of silly photo and it still is quite effective Up to five ELF faces in a video.

0:37:55 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah, so you can just pop your face in and you can pinch to zoom, you can rotate and so on as needed, and then you tap next you can choose more people, and then you just select let's Dance and you choose a style and it will go off and create a ridiculous video for you. So there we go.

That's that. I'm gonna turn that off because I don't have to. I don't want that music playing very lovely in my ear right now, but yeah, it's lots of fun. It's very silly. You don't actually have to send it to people. Honestly, I like to keep this one installed on my devices because it's very entertaining to snap a picture of somebody over a meal and then immediately just pop them into a video and show it to them and that's. You know that, yeah, yeah, and you know you're there dancing right along with them. So it's equally embarrassing for all of you and very entertaining, whether or not you celebrate Christmas.

0:38:52 - Mikah Sargent
Alrighty, then we can move along to talk about some cooking options. I will just briefly, as I always do, give a shout out to Paprika, with it's currently in version three. Leo and I have used this app for years as our means of collecting recipes. I'm not even gonna show it because, again, we've talked about it so much on the show. It's available for $2.99 to purchase and I find it to be a wonderful app that does a great job of parsing online recipes.

So when you go to one of those sites that has 95 pages of story leading up to the actual recipe, I don't have to do anything except hit that share sheet at the top, tap on Paprika and then it'll pop into Paprika. I can get the information and I'm good to go. I just used it during Thanksgiving for some recipes. And then I'm also a person who likes to have, who apparently likes to throw around microphone cords, but who likes to have the physical recipes from time to time, and I like Paprika's formatting for index cards or for full sheets of paper to be able to print out the recipe exactly as you want it. So that's a brief shout out for Paprika. You should give a shout out for the other app that both of us have used and still to this day is so cool some of the gestural stuff built into it.

0:40:18 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah, so the app that I love is similar to Paprika. It's called Crouton and, yes, both of these are foods that you'll find in many kitchens. But Crouton is a great app from a lovely little indie developer. It's got meal planning and so on built in, but it also has a hands free cooking option where you can use gestures to interact with your phone and it'll show you like a step from the recipe, one like it'll take over the whole you know screen of your device on an iPhone. A day rail take over the whole app page on an iPad, but then if, for example, you need to see the ingredients list, you can just open your mouth and you can wink or nod your head in various ways to get it to move to the next page. So you don't have to touch your devices while you're cooking, which I absolutely love about that. But I know a whole bunch of folks have recipes that they haven't digitized and they don't really care about putting all their recipes into apps and so on and having shopping lists bill automatically from things because you know they're good at doing that. But planning a whole meal and getting you know everything done so that you do all the things at the right time. That can still be when you've got multiple dishes on the go and maybe other people are also going to cook things, and so on. That can be a little bit challenging and you can sit there with a good old fashioned piece of paper and a pen and work it out. But there's also a great app which is only $1.99 to download, called the Easy Cooking Timer. And the Easy Cooking Timer.

I've only got the sample meal in here right now, but what you can do is you can add various things to your meal and so you can then see the steps. So you can see that I need to preheat the oven, for in this case it's just set it to 45 seconds and then cooking the chicken, roasting the chicken in 9 minutes and 15 seconds. That is one pre-cooked chicken that is already at room temperature. I would not recommend eating that. That sounds like a recipe for food poisoning, but you know, I can see that there are various different samples. So I can boil some water for two minutes and then I can boil the carrots for four minutes, some potatoes is six minutes and peas boil water and then boil them for three minutes and then, when I tap, start because I've got all these steps in here.

For each of these items, it's telling me what I need to do. So, on the chicken, I need to preheat the oven and there's another 15 seconds or so left to go on that. And then, after that's done, then it'll tell me that I need to cook the chicken. So at that point I pop the chicken in the oven and go, and I can also change it. So at the moment it's doing a countdown kind of you, where it's telling me how much time is left. I can also change it to see the specific time that things will happen at. So you know, the chicken has pre or the oven's been preheated, and now I can say, okay, that's done and let's continue on with the next one, and so on and so forth.

And I just think that this is a really, you know, simple way of having all of those steps of various things, when there's loads of things being cooked and you just need to keep track of all of it. And you know, this thing takes seven minutes to cook and this thing takes 12 minutes to cook, and if you swap them around while you're cooking, then it just gets really messy. If you do it by accident, you'll end up with something that should be properly cooked, being, you know, horrendously undercooked, and something else being really charred. So for $1.99, honestly, this is a great little app. It's very simple, it's very utilitarian, but honestly I see that as a great thing. It will give you, you know, all the information that you need to cook your meal properly and on time, and you know it might be a bit late for your folks in the US and Canada for Thanksgiving this year, but if you download it now, then you'll have it ready for next year.

0:44:03 - Mikah Sargent

All right, I think. With that, it is time to tell you about our next sponsor before we head into the news. I hope that you are ready, rocking and rolling, to get the rest of your holiday planning underway and, of course, as always, I invite you to share with us the apps and services you use around the holiday season, so that we can tell everyone who listens about that as well. Before we get into the news, though, let me tell you about the next sponsor of today's episode of IOS. Today, it's TraceRoute.

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All right, back from the break and it's time, folks. It's exciting. It's here. Apple has released the Apple Music Replay of 2023. If you are an Apple Music listener, you can check out your replay by going to replaymusicapplecom, which then is going to forward you to musicapplecom. Slash us, slash replay in my case, but of course, that US would probably be UK in Rosemary's case. In any case, replaymusicapplecom will take you there and so I have mine, and if I tap on, jump in. Then it will show me my Apple Music Replay.

The music. Oh, looks like I need to sign in to be able to access this. So once you sign in, then you will get your Apple Music Replay, because it'll connect to your Apple Music and show you to what you listened to most. So I can watch a highlight reel, but I can also scroll down to see that Beyonce took the top listen. It's great. She's just great to work out to. And then you'll notice that I've got a lot of classical music in here the London Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic. That's not because I do a lot of classical music listening, but because there's a lot of classical music playing in my home while I'm away from home.

0:47:34 - Rosemary Orchard
Yes, my dogs listen to classical music. Maybe you should turn off the tracking music playback on the home bus On that device.

0:47:41 - Mikah Sargent
That's a great idea. Listen, it gets in the way. I'm not surprised to see Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross as number five. That's because I listened to the social network soundtrack a lot. When I'm trying to get into a flow state it is really good to have in the background. And Cosmo Sheldrake also makes the list. That's another one that I expected to make the list as I've listened to Cosmo Sheldrake's most recent album just on repeat, so much.

But down here you can see the top songs. Tell it to my Heart by Taylor Dane takes number one. I needed to memorize that song for reasons, and so I'm not surprised to see that as the first song on here. Number five is no Ordinary by Labyrinth. I do quite like that song, so I'm not surprised to see that there as well. And then Envy also makes the list.

I'm filtering out the different classical, but there it is. The social network of course has that top listen with Alt J's an awesome wave to come in at number five. So you can see what your year in music looks like. But you can also watch a highlight reel. I'm not going to play that because then there'll be music and stuff to see what your music was. I will say that to this day is still not as in-depth as what Spotify offers. Spotify does this thing where they kind of give you a musical archetype and they really try to play to kind of the cultural aspect of music, which you don't see as much with Apple Music Replay. But, rosemary, you have yours, I think as well.

0:49:22 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah, I do, and I'm not in the US so I don't have videos and stuff. But I think that may also be down to the various songs in this playlist, because I've got a lot of Fleetwood Mac and Blondie and Queen and so on in here, because I'm all about the classics. Apparently who doesn't want some Belinda Carlisle in there in summer of 69. So, yeah, I don't have a playlist, sorry, a music video. I just have a playlist and I went to musicapplecom slash replay and then that opened on my phone but the other options weren't working for me.

So that might be worth working, looking into, and I can choose to add this to my library, which is interesting because this should already be stuff in my library, because I pretty much I'll listen to things in my library because I add it to my library and then listen. But yeah, definitely we're checking out. If you use Apple Music and if you don't use Apple Music, then you should check if the service that you use to listen to music has a feature like this. Or maybe, just if you are my dad and you just have music ripped from CDs, create a smart playlist of the things that were played within the last year and that weren't skipped within the last month or something, and have some fun doing that instead.

0:50:35 - Mikah Sargent
Hmm, alright, let's see what we have next. So, after Apple Music Replay, Apple has also announced the Year in Review for Books and the most popular podcasts of 2023. So with the Year in Review for Books, the site talks about the kind of top books of 2023 that made the list, and so you can go through and kind of see what books ended up being of most interest to folks, and so, yeah, if you are after some new titles to check out, then you can learn more there.

0:51:21 - Rosemary Orchard
The top nonfiction books includes yeah, there's personalized highlights as well of your books that you've read and audiobooks that you've listened to, with a total time spent reading longest book or audiobook and your most read author and genre, which is lovely if you're using that.

0:51:36 - Mikah Sargent
I can see. The top nonfiction books include Spare by Prince Harry I'm not surprised to see that and the Woman in Me by Brittany Spears, and then it's also got those audiobooks too, so you can see if that kind of overlaps. And then, as far as podcasts go, once again you can go to applecom slash newsroom to see the kind of full announcement on that. I'm more pulled out the list of shows. The top shows include Crime, junkie, dateline, nbc Up First and Stuff you Should Know, and then top new shows include the Retrievals, the Deck Investigates, murder and Magnolias and then Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I've never heard of any of these but I do like Julia Louis-Dreyfus, so maybe I'll have to check that one out. Oh, and look, there's iOS no, I'm just kidding. So yeah, you could check that out in Apple's newsroom to see those top shows and maybe you'll find one you'll want to listen to. All right, tell us Rosemary about.

So 9 to 5. Mac puts together a little article talking about Name Drop and apparently on Facebook people were suggesting that Name Drop was incredibly dangerous and even local police departments and local news outlets picked up this nonsense and made it seem. This just really grinds my gears. I hate it when this works. So what's going on? Why do people think that Name Drop is a privacy concern?

0:53:24 - Rosemary Orchard
So some people apparently only watched the WWDC keynote clip or the iOS 17 iPhone 15 release keynote, with a clip where two people grabbed two iPhones yes, I happen to have two iPhones here. They touched them together and, ta-da, contact information's exchanged. Wait for it, folks. That's not it. So it looks like that in the video. Apple did a really great job of making this seem really smooth and like there's absolutely nothing that you need to do. That is not true.

What happens is when you have two NFC-enabled iPhones and you tap the tops of the two of them together. Now, this is not going to work, because I've actually disabled it on this, because this is just a device that I have running around at home for testing. But when I have the two of them, I tap them together. Then it would pop up the option, using my contact card, to share my contact information. So, to start with, both phones have to be awake for this to work and secondly, you then have to tap on the contact information that pops up and say, yes, I want to share my contact information, and so does the other person. This cannot be initiated by a single person with one phone that is locked and basically inactive, so both people have to agree to share their information and then a little animation pops up and ta-da, it will then, at that point, share your contact information, but it doesn't just magically do it when you touch two phones together. This is not the privacy threat that people are reporting that it is. So, yeah, I don't quite understand why police departments, sheriff's departments, law enforcement people, people who should know better, are not just going hang on a second. Let me just check the support documentation here. Oh no, this is misinformation. Let's not spread misinformation because it means to guess what. We're not going to trust them when they have something important to say. Next time it's the boy who cried wolf all over again. Only this time it's apparently the sheriff's department, the sheriff who cried wolf.

Yeah, you can disable this feature, but honestly, I wouldn't disable this feature. Instead, I would take a moment to get in touch with your friends, your families, your loved ones and make sure that they're not randomly going around disabling things on their devices or enabling things and then wondering why stuff doesn't work quite right. See also my dad, who managed to enable Apple Music Library syncing again and then complained that his phone wouldn't sync music when he plugged it into his Mac the other day. Parents, gotta love them. Gotta love them, but they do keep me busy.

So, yeah, this is a lovely feature. It is not a privacy concern. It's not a security issue. As always, check to make sure that you're not spreading misinformation before you share things like this around, and also make a point of checking the big Apple news websites 9to5Mac, macrumors, imore. They're all good with this sort of thing and they will make a point of you know, at least attempting to search the Apple support website before just posting something about big privacy breaching feature has landed. So, yeah, I think we're safe with Name Drop and yeah, just remember Apple are working on keeping us safe. There's a reason why Airdrop for everyone only works for 10 minutes now.

0:56:42 - Mikah Sargent
All right. And then, lastly, there are some new IKEA sensors that are available. And, rosemary, how many of you purchased?

0:56:52 - Rosemary Orchard
So far I have purchased none, but that's mostly because I already have sensors for all of these kinds of things. So I know some of you love smart home stuff, some of you are smart home curious folks, and IKEA offer a great range of affordable smart home devices, which you just need to grab the IKEA Hub, which is the Dirijera. I'm not sure how hard that G is in it, but yeah, you can pick up the hub and then you can connect these sensors to it and it all works in HomeKit and I wanted to specifically mention this because I know a lot of folks who watch the show travel at this time of year to go see friends and family, and one of the things that IKEA has added is a water leakage sensor. So if you are in an area where it gets really, really cold, perhaps, and there's a risk of some pipes freezing and perhaps a water leak happening in your house, you can pick up one of these sensors for less than $10.

Granted, you'll need the IKEA Hub to go with it, but then you can also get motion sensors and things like that as well. You could even get some smart plugs for lights and put some lights in your house on a schedule so that it looks like people are home and then you can check in and make sure that there's no leaks, no doors and windows have opened, yeah, so, yeah, definitely worth looking into, but yeah, these shouldn't be out. These aren't out, I don't think just yet, but they should be coming out soon and if you are interested in this, you can always look at the Acara options as well. Those are also very affordable. The AQ-A-R-A is a car that are available on Amazon, but yeah, I just thought it was worth mentioning that IKEA are gonna be adding that as an option.

0:58:32 - Mikah Sargent
Awesome. All right, let us move right along. I can hear the music. It's time for Shortcuts Corner. ["shortcuts Corner"]. This is the part of the show where you write in with your shortcuts requests and Rosemary Orchard, our shortcuts expert, provides a response. This one comes in from. We'll go with Graham who writes hello, micah and Rosemary. I am partially cited and use the accessibility feature, zoom. I was wondering if it was possible to make a shortcut automation that will disable Zoom when it's connected to a charger in standby and enable Zoom when it's disconnected from a charger in standby. I listen to the show every week and find the show very informative and entertaining from Graham. Thank you so much for writing in, thank you for watching and, yeah, this is an interesting question. Can I turn off Zoom temporarily when I am charging and in standby and then have it turn back on when I am no longer charging and no longer in standby?

0:59:40 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah. So this is a great question and we can do some of this. So, unfortunately, we can't specifically detect that your phone is in standby, but we can detect when your phone starts charging, when your phone stops charging. So, graham, if you're willing to take, when my phone is on charge, I disable Zoom or Zoom gets disabled, and then, when I take my phone off charge Zoom gets enabled. We can do this, and I wanted to show this because there's a whole bunch of great accessibility features that you can turn on and off using the Shortcuts app, including things like having the flash on your camera flash when you get a notification. That I think is really lovely.

So, to start with, inside of Shortcuts, go to the Automation tab and then you tap on the plus to create a personal automation and then here we've got a whole bunch of options, but what we are looking for specifically is the one that says Charger, and then we'll use Just is Connected and we'll change this to Run immediately, because we don't wanna be asked whether or not we should be running this. It will kind of defeat the point. Now I'm gonna create a new blank automation here, but you could create a shortcut that does this instead and run that. But what I will do is I'll tap into the search bar at the bottom, then I'll select Apps and do a little bit of scrolling. Okay, it's a lot of scrolling. I have all of the apps and all of the ones with Shortcuts, actions. But when we find the Settings app in the Apps section, then we'll see that there are some settings here, like changing our background sound and stuff like that. But a lot of these are actually accessibility related, which I love. I love the fact that they're bringing accessibility front and center. So I can actually say that what we are gonna do is we are gonna use the Set Zoom option.

So if I tap on the little info bubble, then it explains what Zoom is, which is magnifying the whole screen, and I'm just gonna add this to my shortcut. Now, by default, it's turning this on. So what I need to do is I need to tap on the Off, because I'm saying that when my phone is connected to the charger, I wanna turn Zoom off and I'll tap Done, and then I just do the exact same thing. I create a personal automation. I say, when my phone is disconnected, this time, and I need to make sure I uncheck is connected and change that to run immediately. And then I'll create a new blank automation, and this time I'm gonna cheat folks. I'm gonna tap into that search bar and I'm just gonna type the word Zoom and then I can see Settings, zoom and it'll have Turn Zoom On. Now some folks with Eagle Eyes may have noticed, if they're watching the video, that the Turn word in Turn Zoom On is also blue. So just the same way as I can tap on and change it to Off, I can tap on Turn and change it to Toggle. Now, I'm not gonna recommend that you do this, because you may end up in a weird situation where you've turned Zoom off manually for some reason and then it ends up in a weird state where you then have to go in and manually change it. So by doing this, we'll just have it set Zoom on when my phone disconnects from the charger, and that's it. Very simple, very effective and, as long as you are going with, if my phone is on charge, it's in standby mode. This is gonna work great for you.

So the other options that I wanted to mention are just some really lovely features inside of the settings shortcut action. So, for example, you can have the magnifier. You can also set assistive touch or audio descriptions. You can also invert your phone screen. You can toggle on the LED flash, so when you get a notification whether or not this flash lights up. You can set live captions. You can balance the sound left and right for folks, you can change the sound that should be recognized, and all sorts of really great things.

And what I wanted to suggest for Graham is, if Graham is lucky enough to have an iPhone 15 Pro or an iPhone 15 Pro Max, then what you could do, graham, is actually you could create a shortcut which just has a turn Zoom action in and tap and hold on the on, and this is important. You're tapping and holding and then change it to ask each time. And then what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna say adjust Zoom at setting is the name of my shortcut action, and then if I could spell the word setting, this would be so much better, but I'm trying to talk and type at the same time. So I've just created a shortcut called adjust Zoom setting. That's all. But now inside of the settings app, you might be able to guess where I'm going, cause I mentioned iPhone 15 or 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max action button.

You can change this so that you can actually have your action button adjust your Zoom setting. So when you then press and hold on that button at the top of your phone, it pops up and it asks you do you want your Zoom on or off? And that's it, and then it will adjust the Zoom on your device for you. So my Zoom is now on, everything's a bit bigger. And if, then if I oops, that's not gonna work cause I've just changed it to be the magnifier Whoopsie, so I have to fix that. There we go, and now it's back and then I can say I want to turn the Zoom off on my device and ta-da.

So if you've got a 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max, maybe try using the action button option instead to toggle that feature using a shortcut. Or you can indeed just use the simple shortcuts with the one turn Zoom on and turn Zoom off actions, as I suggested. With automations Nice. I think folks should go and play with some of those automation options for accessibility, cause, honestly, you don't need to have accessibility requirements to benefit from them. Nearly every one of those 50 in secret hacks that you didn't know your iPhone could do it's accessibility settings and a bunch of folks in the accessibility are going. You're acting like. This is new. It's been there since like iOS 10. Duh.

1:05:36 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, every night I use the reduce white point setting on my phone. Every night that gets turned on. So, yeah, I love that you were able to come up with two different ways to do that. Moving along here to feedback and questions, we have one from Kenny. Kenny writes in hello again, rosemary and Micah.

I have an iPhone 14 Pro and I have noticed in the last year or so an increased amount of spam text. Is there a way to prevent these texts? I know that you can filter the messages on the iPhone, but with the upcoming elections, the amount of political texts have already seemed to have increased and I'd like to block them entirely, not filter and have to delete. Do you have any ideas? Enjoy all together on the podcasts. Keep up the great work giving us iOS information. Thanks, kenny. Thank you, kenny, for writing in.

So filtering is your main option. Yes, you can say when texts come in if they are from someone I don't know, if they're from an unknown sender, then go ahead and kick those to a special area that is broken away from my main texts. If you want to take things further, that is where I recommend using a call blocker, because with a call blocker, it gives you a huge list that is added to your phone of numbers to block, which you can then use as a way to put to say I also don't want texts from those numbers At any time. Any of the numbers that are texting you. You can also choose to block those specifically so you can tap into the number and say block this number and then it won't be able to text you. And yes, the problem is that the numbers change all the time. But outside of having your carrier do blocking from their end and using a call blocker for its contact blocking options, this stuff is annoying and frustrating and difficult to solve. I'm curious to hear if Rosemary has any other suggestions because, yeah, here in the United States the onus is kind of on the carrier and they've done a lot but not enough.

People still get a lot of messages and I also think that it's not a bad idea to, if it's truly an automated message, typing stop in all caps and sending it. I know it takes a second, but do that because that part is worth it. I've had a lot of them who actually honor that system. They actually do stop sending messages, so I've gotten a huge cut back in that by sending that stop, or it'll say sometimes reply no or reply stop to stop receiving, and that did work. So if it's from like a reputable sort of political system, or whatever it happens to be, they do honor those stop requests, because they can get in trouble if you were to be charged for each text message. They can get in trouble from costing you money by continuing to send them, and so they're required to stop. Go ahead, rosemary.

1:08:53 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah, I mean over here our text message system is a little bit different, so we don't get charged for incoming text messages. That's not something that we have any say over. We can't choose not to receive those incoming messages, so we can't be charged for it. So that is a little different here. But in general, I found that the best solution is honestly just using a call blocker, filtering unknown senders.

And, yeah, also, the other thing that I do here in the UK is I remind anybody who gives me a spam call that I'm protected with my rights under GDPR and if I want them to delete all of my data from their database, then they have to delete everything that they are legally able to delete. So they may have to keep some information. If I've purchased something from them or similar, they may have to keep that information, but they have to delete the fact that they think that they got permission to call me. So, yeah, honestly, just check to make sure that people are messaging you legally and, if they're not, reminding them of the fact that they may be breaking laws is always a useful tool for getting rid of those horrible spam messages, and I'll learn that telling them to stop Remind. If there isn't an opt-out system, then find a way to file an official complaint that says that, by the way, you're actively encouraging me to not use your service, not vote for this candidate, etc. By continuing to message me when I don't want that.

1:10:29 - Mikah Sargent
There you go. Alrighty folks, it's time for App Caps. This, of course, is the part of the show where we place caps to top our heads to honor our app and or gadget picks of the week. These are apps and or gadgets we are using now or have been using for some time that we think are great and therefore want to share with all of you so that you, too, will check them out. So we cap off the show by putting caps on our heads or some sort of item on or around our heads, and tell you about great apps and services and gadgets and whatnot. Rosemary Orchard, tell us about the cozy cap atop your head and tell us about your app or gadget pick of the week.

1:11:15 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah, well, the cozy cap atop my head was picked up because it was very cheap, but I want to steal the knitting pattern off of it because it's a really lovely gray knit. It's got a little bit of a brim in the front, but then the back is just like it's quite large, but it's sort of like pads down and it's got really gorgeous fleece lining and I just love this style. I think if I maybe knitted my own in some kind of varieted yarn that's kind of goes between turquoise and purples, that could look absolutely amazing. So I'm going to steal the knitting pattern off of this hat. So that's why I bought it. But yeah, so that's my hat. It's great, it's knit, it's very warm, so I will probably overheat during the second of the show, but that's okay, I will suffer for you folks, because I have a great little app. It's actually an iOS and MacOS Safari extension for you folks.

So this is browser note. Now, I don't know if you've ever heard this, micah. It happens to me quite often. I want to remember something on a specific website and I want to be reminded of that when I open the website so that I can see like oh, yeah, don't forget, you've got like a discount code on this website, or you've got a $25 voucher for this place, or next time you're ordering something from this store, you wanted to get this but they didn't have it in stock last time and you don't want to pay postage for just that thing. I'm doing shopping related ones because obviously you know we're talking about holiday preparation here, but this can also just be useful for you know other things as well, like keeping track of what shows you wanted to watch next on a streaming service without adding it to your up next and potentially getting a bunch of spoilers in there.

So to use this, you download the app called browser note it's $0.99 and you enable it in settings and then you go to manage extensions. So sorry, this is in Safari, in the address bar. There's a little sort of puzzle piece. When you tap on that, there is manage extensions and then you can actually enable browser note, which is somewhere in here. There it is, and once you've enabled it, it'll pop up and it'll ask you whether or not you want to allow it just for today or always and just on this website or every website. The answers to those questions are I always want this enabled and I want this enabled on every website, so it works on every website. And then, once you've done that, when you're on a website where you want to remember something, you can tap again on that puzzle piece and scroll up.

You probably have quite a few fewer Safari extensions than me, but then you just tap on browser note and this is really simple. So what I can do is I can enter my note, so I'm going to say Micah is awesome, exclamation mark. And then I have a couple of options so I can show this on every page on Twittertv, or I can allow this and I can allow this note to be snoozed. And so I am going to allow this note to be snoozed, but I'm not going to show on every page on Twittertv, because I'll show you why in a second. So I've added this note and now when I view this webpage, it will pop up and it will remind me as soon as I open the page.

Micah is awesome and I can tap view website and that's it. It's really simple. It pops it up over the page that you're looking at so that you see this thing immediately. It's not like floating in a corner, like one of those ads or chat things that you can't get rid of or something like that. It's just right there in front of you and you can be like, great, I've seen the thing, awesome, I'm going to move on and yeah, and so now, when I just reload the page, it'll be fine.

But if I close this tab and then I go to the iOS today page and I hit the go button, it will pop it up again for me, but I have disabled that, obviously. So, yeah, that's for how to know. It's really simple. I really love it. It works insanely well and I can update the note at any time. I can choose to delete the note. You only get one note per page or website, which is why you may not want to enable it for every page on a website. So if you want, like I don't know, the login page on a website to remind you to change your password or something, then you may not want that on every single page. But, yeah, it's really lovely and it's only 99 cents and, honestly, I've been after an app like this for so long and I've tried so many different things that just never worked out, and Browse Note is just nailing it for me.

1:15:25 - Mikah Sargent
That is a very cool, very cool app. The cap at top of my head is some sort of like. It looks like a hat that a train conductor would wear. It's got a green stripe in the middle, a tiny black brim, and then it's kind of a large black hat above it.

The more importantly, though, the app that I'm talking about today is called NuGi N-E-W-J-I, which is an app that lets you create emoji that then appear as stickers in iOS that you can use in any place. When you first get the app, you're given 30 tokens. It costs one token to make an emoji. If I tap on the 23 tokens, you can watch an ad to get one credit. You can pay $2 for 20 credits, so that's 10 cents each, and I'm not sure what which of the generative AIs this system is using, but it's definitely using a generative AI in the background to create these, but let's go with a.

It says make anything an emoji, so I'm going to say make a Chihuahua holding an iPhone emoji, and then I will tap Make it, and then you can see that it's looking up or it's trying to create a Chihuahua holding an iPhone, and, as it processes which, really, what it's doing is sending that off to the lab to be created, off to the generative AI to be created, and once it gets that information back, then it will display an emoji. Now, what they've done is they've created a custom prompt that includes the prompt that you create, so that what will appear is and it's about to come, aww, what looks like kind of an emoji icon. Right, it's not just because if I had typed that directly into dolly, a Chihuahua holding an iPhone, it would probably do one that looked more like a real Chihuahua as opposed to this kind of cartoon. So let's do another one. Let's do a shark playing guitar. So let's see what this does whenever we make it create a shark playing a guitar. So, once again, it's going to send that off to the generative AI system along with a prompt that says stuff like make this look like a sort of animated creation.

Wow, that is cool. I like that one a lot. So this one he plays with finesse.

I like that. It has a little bit of a background with it, and so these can now be used excuse me, used in your app, in messages or in other apps that support stickers, or you can just send them as messages themselves. So this is a PNG image that can be shared elsewhere, so I've got. At any time you can also tap reroll, which will create another version of the prompt that you just had, or you can create a new prompt. So very easy to use. This app is available on iOS, ipados and MacOS, so you can create your little emoji wherever you happen to be. But yeah, that's NUGi and again, it's free, with internet purchases for more credits to create more emoji as you go along. So lots of fun and, I think, very easy to use. That interface just is like hey, just type it in. If you want to make a pizza rat, you can make a pizza rat. If you want to make an emoji that looks like your grandma, then you can make an emoji that looks like your grandma. All right, folks. That brings us to the end of this episode of iOS Today. If you have questions, comments concerns, shortcuts, corner requests, feedback, et cetera, send that to iOSToday at twittv. We record the show live every Tuesday around about 9 am Pacific, which is 12 pm Eastern, so you can tune in live to watch us at twittv. Well, okay, when the show is live, you can go to twittvlive to get the link to YouTube where we're streaming the show live. If you'd like to watch us create the show, you should join Club Twit, which I'll talk about in a moment, where you can actually join a live stream to see things that are coming in sooner than you get if you watch the show live while you watch it on YouTube. I know a little confusing, but the best way honestly to get the show is by subscribing to the show or following the show, which you can do by going to twittvio. When you go to twittvio, you will see links to subscribe to audio or subscribe to video. There you'll be able to click on your podcast player of choice, so it could be Apple Podcasts, it could be Pocket Casts, it could be Overcasts. Wherever you happen to be, you can join the fun by subscribing to the show in audio or video formats and it will come to you as soon as it's packaged up nice and pretty by our editor, kevin, and available to you in your podcast app Again. That's at twittvio.

Now I mentioned Club Twit, twittvtv, club Twit $7 a month, $84 a year. You're going to get a lot of great stuff. You will first get every single twit show ad-free because you are, in effect, being the sponsor of the show. You are helping us create this content by supporting it. So for $7 a month or $84 a year, you get every single twit show ad-free. You also gain access to the twit plus bonus feed that has extra content you won't find anywhere else behind the scenes before the show, after the show, special Club Twit events get recorded and published there. So as soon as you join, you're going to have access to a back catalog of lots of great stuff 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. That is also where you can see more of the live creation of our shows by joining the Discord. The Discord livestream goes on sooner than the YouTube livestream, so you'll see more of the shows being made. So if that's always been something that you enjoy, that's the way to get that Home.

With all of that. As if that wasn't enough already, you also are going to get some Club Twit exclusive shows, including the Untitled Linux show, which is a show all about Linux. You also get Hands On Windows, which is a short format show from Paul Therot that covers Windows Tips and Tricks. Hands On Mac, which is a short format show from Micah Sargent that's me that covers Apple Tips and Tricks. And Home Theater Geeks from Scott Wilkinson a great show including interviews with Home Theater folks, reviews, questions answered, troubleshooting. I mean so much great stuff. Scott Wilkinson puts together a great show every week. And you will also gain access to AI Inside the show from Jason Howell. That covers all things AI Twittv, slash, club Twit. Sign up. It's the holiday season, get that geek in your life. A subscription to Club Twit, they will thank you. Rosemary Orchard, if folks want to follow you online and check out all the great work you're doing, where should they?

1:23:03 - Rosemary Orchard
go to do so. The best place to go is rosemaryorchardcom, which has links to all the places where I am on the internet and, of course, social media sites and books, podcasts, etc. And, of course, plenty of apps. Other than that, I'm usually hanging out in the Club Twit live chat during the show as well. What about you, micah?

1:23:22 - Mikah Sargent
You can find me at Micah Sargent on many a social media network, or head to chiwawacoffee that's C-H-I-H-U-A-H-U-Acoffee, where I've got links to the places I'm most active online. Folks, thank you so much for tuning in to this week's episode of iOS Today. We appreciate you, we think you're awesome and we are looking forward to seeing you again next week. But until then, it is time to say goodbye and we'll talk to you soon.

1:23:51 - Rosemary Orchard
Bye, folks. 

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