Watchscreen: Jonathan Norman of TheAppleFancast

Each week, I ask someone to share their watchscreen, examining how they’re using Apple Watch, what apps are useful, and tips or tricks they have. This week, I’ve asked Jonathan Norman (Twitter) to share his screen. Jonathan uses a variety of HomeKit & HealthKit-enabled devices with his Apple Watch and he also writes at TheAppleFancast, a site that examines Apple from the perspective of different fans (and the site that hosted my thoughts on Apple Watch a few weeks ago).

So, Jonathan, show us your watchscreen! Continue reading

The Irreducible Reality of Form

In the second to fourth centuries, the philosophy of Gnosticism became popular. Though it had many variants, a key tenet was that matter was a lesser emanation of a kind of divine spirit. Human spirits were thus spiritual and good, but human bodies and matter were physical and evil, a limitation that had to be escaped in order to achieve true gnosis or enlightenment.

Why on earth do I start an article about technology–and this is an article about technology–with an ancient philosophy?1 Because good design of technology has to be based on an anti-gnostic notion that humans, fundamentally and irreducibly, are physical creatures and use physical products in a physical world. Those physical products, just as fundamentally and irreducibly, have a specific physical form that can be well or poorly suited to a human’s physical body or to the physical world.2 These forms both limit and enable functionality that is unique to that form. This interplay between a form’s function, it’s suitability to the human body and it’s appropriateness for the physical world is what design considers–and it is the interaction of these elements that has led to the success and failure of many technological products.3

Continue reading

Automating Instagram Posts into DayOne

After MacSparky featured my home screen, I was contacted by several folks who were interested in my Instagram and DayOne workflows. I love DayOne and use it constantly to chronicle my life (read why I recommend it so much). I found, however, that if something was important enough I posted it to Instagram, I would also want to post it to DayOne. Doing that each time takes a lot of repetitive steps, so I looked at methods of automating the task on the Mac. These methods, unfortunately, are rather complex, so I set out to do it myself on iOS. There are three ways below that can help you do this.The best solution by far is the third, but depending on what apps you own or want to buy, you may choose to do it differently. Continue reading