A day in the life of my daily iOS routine

Apple WatchThe first thing I do when I get up in the morning is to put on my Apple Watch. It’s a part of my daily iOS routine. I love my Apple Watch and I wear it all the time. I’ve been using it now for one year and one month approximately and I wouldn’t like to be without it. For the first nine months when I used it I used mostly for the health features. I always made sure that I completed each of the three rings for the activity. Getting my 30 minutes of exercise in per day and usually more. I would also have my 12 hours of enough time standing up during each hour every single day. Same thing with the calorie counter I had it set at a good level and it was going up each week. So I was continually doing more and more exercise during the months as they passed. During the last six months, I have dialled back on those numbers due to having some pain in my hip. In my daily iOS routine, I still like to keep those circles filled even so! I also used the exercise monitor to record my walks with the dog and my cycling activities. I’m looking forward to being able to crank out more kilometres and get more exercise both walking and also with my bicycle.

Controlling the Now Playing audio with the Apple Watch

The other main thing I use the watch for is to control the playback of sound from my iPhone. I listen to podcasts while I’m at work and I often need to reduce the volume or turn off completely when there are things to be done. It works with Overcast, my preferred podcatcher. If I have music playing it will control that too. Kind of sweet to use the Crown on the watch to adjust the volume. Whatever I have playing I have the control. It makes a big difference to my daily iOS routine being able to look after my audio listening activities.

Talking to my watch and my phone

They say talking to inanimate objects is the first sign of madness. Or is it talking to yourself – much the same thing really? I use Siri to create appointments and reminders. I can either do this with the watch or with the phone. When I use the phone I like to leave it in my top pocket and press the home button to start Siri. I dictate into it whatever it is I want Siri to do for me! She is my digital assistant. I think I prefer to do these sort of things on the iPhone because I get an audible feedback from the phone to tell me how it’s going. With the Apple Watch you just get a message on the watch face to say what has been done. I will remind myself of films I want to watch and I can send reminders to a specific list. I also have a shopping list which is shared with my wife. If only I could persuade her to use it, she still likes using pieces of paper clipped to the side of the fridge with a magnet. It wouldn’t be so bad if I could read her writing! With Reminders app, you have to put in the items one at a time. I’ve found it works better to use the app Drafts to make the list. Especially if you want to Siri dictate the items onto the list. Make sure it goes to the right list by having the list name with a hash in front on the first line. Use an action to send the text as separate items in the list. Drafts is a great app for your daily iOS routine of putting whatever text into the Apple computer system and service.

Starting the day – A daily iOS routine

After putting on the Apple Watch my next trick is to pick up the iPad. I like to carry the iPad Pro round the house with me wherever I go!. First thing in the morning I will check all of my emails. I get an email from the Guardian newspaper every day and I will see what is in the news headlines. I like to avoid the bad news and have a look at the articles about technology or things that are funny or interesting. I use the application called Spark in my daily iOS routine because it is the best way to deal with emails. I did try going back to the Apple Mail application. I just prefer using Spark although I was using Dispatch. The only time I would now use the Apple Mail application would be when I get a mail comes in and it has been MIME encrypted. If it is encrypted with PGP or GPG it doesn’t matter which app I use. Spark has a smart inbox and it’s easy to snooze an email to another time. I like to have inbox zero. I read them or archive them. No clutter in my email inbox. Learn how to use encryption on your emails.

Breakfast with Twitter and Facebook

twitterificAs I sit and eat my muesli and yoghurt I have a look at what’s going on in the social networks. For Twitter, I like Twitterific on all my devices. In the past I have used Tweetbot, but when the developer couldn’t be bothered to update to the iPad version for a long time I changed and I’m not going to change back. Twitterrific works very well indeed and gives me all of the capabilities I need from a Twitter client. I like to be able to muffle users from time to time. This means I can still follow them, but to not see everything they put onto the timeline. It can set to be for a longer period of time or just muffle for a day or two. The Twitter user could be at a conference and tweeting a lot over a couple of days and I don’t want to hear that specific conversation. The other possibility is that the Twitter user I’m following has gone on a rant and I just want to have a rest from it for a while.

In any case, I am entertained while having my breakfast with the daily iOS routine goings on from the social networks. I quite often follow the links one or two of the tweets to read the story behind them. It’s a bit like the old days really, when people used to have a newspaper when having breakfast in the morning.

What happens next in the life of a mobile computer user?

Dragon AnywhereNot every day is the same, some days I work in the afternoon and some days I work in the morning. Whatever is my daily iOS routine I have my free time before I go into work I will sit in front of my iMac and do some stuff. I know that after my two weeks of being a post-PC computer user I could do a lot more of what I do on my mobile Apple devices. If I’m going to be doing some writing, the best option for me is to use DragonDictate for dictation. It is so much faster and more accurate than using the dictation built into the Mac or Siri dictation on the iPad or iPhone. By the way, this article has been dictated into my iPhone and iPad using Siri dictate, so you can see it’s quite possible to do articles of over 1000 words quickly and fairly easily when you are mobile. When I’m using the iPad for the dictation I have to connect using the mobile hotspot to my iPhone. Unless I am connected by WiFi, that is. It works pretty well when I have access to a 4G mobile data. Even though Siri is not perfect for the dictation compared to using DragonDictate, often times it’s good enough. With this blog post, I have only dictated one paragraph using the dictation on my iMac. I’m thinking about giving Dragon Anywhere I try to see how that compares and whether it is worth the €15 per month. Up until now it hasn’t been available in the Spanish App Store, but I’ve managed to download it with my UK Apple ID account. It is supposed to come with one week’s trial but it looks like you have to opt for either a monthly or annual account in the app. I suppose you have to cancel within a week if you don’t want to continue. I’m not sure when it is when the money goes out of the iTunes connected bank account. I’ll let you know how I get on with that! I don’t really want to spend the money on it because I have spent out already for the desktop version of Dragon dictate. But I will give it a try just so I can write about it.

I found the way to get the one week trial is to go to the web site for Nuance and pay outside of the Apple in App purchases. Definitely have to add Dragon Anywhere to my daily iOS routine.

What else takes me away from using my mobile devices and back to my iMac?

I am an iPad artist yet at the same time, I also have some excellent applications to use on my iMac for working with photos. I particularly like the applications Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. Making art and art photography is part of my daily iOS routine. These are top quality professional applications for working with photos and they have facilities not available in even the best of the iOS apps. It is possible to do some amazing things with the art applications on the iPad and I particularly like using iColorama! It’s just that sometimes you have to have a full Mac application and a 27-inch screen to do the best job you can possibly do. There are even times when what I want to do is going to be best done on the iPad in one of my iPad artist application such as Procreate or Pixelmator for iPad. Sometimes it is better to have the more tactile experience of touching the actual screen and virtually touching the image you’re working with. With a pinch action on the screen you can quickly zoom in or out. Then there is the joy of using the Apple Pencil. There is nothing stopping us from doing some of the work on an image on the Mac and finishing off on the iPad or the other way round.

Writing Software for authors

UlyssesThe application I’m using for my writing is Ulysses. The best thing about this is that it is available on all of my devices. The synchronisation of the documents works a treat through iCloud. This particular set of words started off being dictated using Siri dictation on the iPhone. I changed to continue on the iPad and at the moment I’m back with the iPhone. There is a possibility I might finish off the editing of this article on the Mac. (I did that editing later that evening and finishing off next morning) There I’ll be able to use the excellent application, Hemingway. I use that for checking the grammar and structure of the writing. It kind of depends upon how its reads when I go through it after doing the first draft. It may well be I’ll be happy enough to do all the editing on the mobile device. Editing is a bit fiddly on the iPhone but possible. I can then use either Blogo or WordPress application on the iPhone or iPad to publish. I’m looking forward to the next version of Ulysses which will allow us to publish directly to WordPress from the app. Another option I sometimes use to go to the web page for the WordPress installation and do it that way. I have a plug-in for WordPress which helps me get the SEO for the blog set up correctly. If I want to use that I have to use the web page to access the plug in.

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Keeping a track of my life with Day One

I like to keep a track of my life in the daily iOS routine using the Day One journaling application. I do a Day One post every day directly into the application and I also have IFTTT, If This Then That automated posts going into the journal as well. This means that on many days I would have between three and six new posts going into my journal. I’m not too introverted with what I write in my journal. I like to comment upon what’s going on in the world as well as what’s going on in my own life. So this morning I was writing about looking forward to seeing my sister in August when she comes to visit. Later in the day I was writing about things to do with the European referendum in Britain. With me being an immigrant or expat in Spain it’s going to make some sort of difference to me if Britain does decide to leave the Economic Union. If England or Britain do decide to leave the European Union then it’s almost certain that I will decide on taking Spanish nationality. This is the country where I live after all. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty good as a place to live!

Daily iOS routine

Looking after the money

This isn’t something I have to do on a daily basis, but every now and again I need to have a look and see what’s happening with the bank. I have the application from my bank on my iPad and it works easier than using it on the desktop computer in the browser. I haven’t used it yet on the iPhone but I’ll have to give it a try soon. I was using MoneyWiz but I found it tedious to put the data in. If you can do it bit by bit, it’s great. If not then you will get fed up of using it.

Bitcoin chart

I have a couple of bitcoin applications on my phone. I could use one of them for a Wallet for some bitcoin but I don’t. I have all my bitcoin in one place and that’s on the desktop. It is useful however to use the Bitcoin ticker that I have to tell me the price of the bitcoin as it stands at the moment. It gives the price from a number of different bit coin trading websites.

Reading on the iPad

Once again the iPad being used as a consumption device. Apart from the reading I do on the social networks, it’s good to read books. Lately I have been reading a book a week and most times I use the Kindle application for this. I do sometimes also read stories in Wattpad and of course, I also have the Apple iBooks application. I do have some books in there ready waiting for me to read them. What often happens though is that I finish one book on the Kindle and I go to the library within the application and look for the next one to read. Next time, I must for myself to think “Hang on a minute go and have a look in iBooks for the next book”. I often end the daily iOS routine with my iPad in bed reading a book.

Creating audio on iOS

I have a grouping of audio applications on the iPad and most of them are for creating audio. My favourite for recording audio is Twistedwave. I will use this to record a piece of audio ongoing to send to Audio Boom or for a podcast. If it’s just a short piece and I don’t plan to do any editing then I might record audio into Audio Boom. If I feel like I know what I’m doing with recording audio then I have Boss Jock. With this I can add extra audio bumpers, stingers, and jingles. This does make editing the audio afterwards available or difficult because of the adding of sounds which will play behind the voice-over. So I have to feel I can really to do a performance in one take when I’m using this application. I have two multitrack audio editors available which I could use to put a podcast together with the extra sounds after the fact. I have Auria LE and the Multitrack DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). To use these I would have to learn how and spend quite a lot of time getting used to how they work. Both of these applications are quite complicated. I also have other application such as Just Press Record which goes in the other direction and are as simple as can be. So sometimes I record directly into the application or service I’m aiming for. Then other times I’ll record in an audio application so I can do some editing before I upload to the social network or audio network. Another audio-based social network I like to use is called Anchor. It works like a timelapse conversation. You can ask questions and you might get some answers and you can reply to those found go back and forth if you wish. It just doesn’t happen in real-time but it’s OK. I often create audio as part of my daily iOS routine.

AudioBoom

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At work with iOS

When I’m at work I use iOS constantly in my daily iOS routine. In this article, I describe how I use Launch Centre Pro and Editorial to record what I do at work. I like to use editorial it because it has the task integration which means I can quickly create lists with checkboxes. I’ve put a tick in the box when the job has been done. It’s also good to forward text into headlines which make it easier to read and get an overall picture of what’s been done during the day.

Other interests during the day

There are the basic things I do every day using my iOS devices. Then there are some things which happen just now and then. I’m always looking for interesting new applications to tryout and I often get drawn into spending time playing with something new. Quite often this will be applications to give a different type of effect in my art. Lately, I have been playing with the application called Dreamscope. This has some crazy filters which will turn a photo into a piece of art. The problem I have with it is that it doesn’t give any way to alter the effect or combine affects. You choose the filter and there’s not much more you can do with it. Some of the filters you don’t even get to see a preview before the filters applied. There isn’t the option to save the pictures to your camera roll directly, you have to have your fingers crossed and hope that it’s going to work out when you publish it. At least it is possible to publish it and keep it private. Then you need to go into the gallery view to save the image to your photo roll you want to. It also seems kind of weird that it doesn’t take the whole of the picture and it crops to a small size. It’s quite annoying that you don’t even get the chance to choose where the crop is going to happen either. Despite the problems with the application, I enjoy using it for the variety of effects available. The thing to do to get a better use of Dreamscope is to export pictures to your photo library. Then bring images into another artists applications to make a better use of the image given by Dreamscope.

Dreamscope

Matter is a fantastic app for adding 3D objects to your images. The surfaces of the objects reflect the images below it and you can even have the objects rotate in space. Easy to change the size and position the various objects in the image. Go completely multi media with it and add music to your videos too. Loads of fun using the Matter application. I post some of the videos I make with this app to Facebook.

Matter iOS art

iOS All Day Long

So as you can see I have an iOS device with me all day long, every single day. In days of old, the first thing I always did in the morning was to go to my computer to turn it on and have a look at the basic computer stuff. The way I work now is that it could be anything between one hour and two hours before I feel the need to sit down at a desk. There are many things I actually prefer to do with my iOS devices rather than using a big old computer. Sometimes I just prefer to sit on the sofa in a more relaxed position to do whatever is I want to do with a daily iOS routine.

Whatever some people say about the iPad for not being a device for creation, it isn’t true. iOS devices aren’t just a passive mobile computers for content consumption. Sure, there are some days when I will be creating a more than other days. That’s okay every day is different. Sometimes I could be making pictures with iColorama and working on photos as well as creating audio clips for podcasts or whatever. Other days all I get to do is consume stuff. Whatever happens, I have my iOS devices with me at all times and the whole Apple system including the iMac is my personal assistant. It all works together.

How does the future look for our daily iOS routine?

I’m looking forward to Siri being improved and becoming more intelligent and therefore more useful. When I need something to get done, the first thought will be to ask my iOS devices to do it for me or at least help me get it done. There is always talk of Siri benefiting from the artificial intelligence companies Apple are buying. Apple bought VocalIQ recently for something between 50 and 100 million. There have been others too. I’d like to see them get the company who recently told the world about Viv. Then I’d be wishing Apple would keep it going and have a commitment to continual improvement. Surely Apple realises that’s what needs to happen so they don’t get left behind by the advances by Amazon with the Echo and Google with the Home device. Our daily iOS routine will include conversations with our artificial intelligence in the form of an enhanced Siri.


 

 

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