Steve Jobs Introduces Apple Watch ⇢

How would Steve have introduced the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch? Jong-Moon Kim wrote a script of what Apple’s founder might have said. I have to admit that I find this fictional version more compelling and inspiring than what we heard from Tim Cook on Tuesday.

Jobs: What’s more natural than a glance? Look at your wrist right now. That’s right. (Audience chuckles) Look down and then look up. How long did that take? Half a second? It’s the most natural thing in the world. To look at your wrist. Who fumbles around in their pockets? People who are disorganized. People with time to spare. Me? I don’t have time for that. (Laughter) With this new product, you won’t have to. (Steve glances at his wrist) That’s it. No more fumbling. Just glance. That’s it. Are you getting this? Do you get it? (Cheering rises) Today, Apple reinvents the watch. We’re calling it: iWatch.

Mac Power Users #213 ⇢

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On Saturday I made an appearance on a live episode of Mac Power Users. Hosts David Sparks and Katie Floyd asked me about a few of my iOS workflows including how I use Drafts to record information from classroom walkthroughs and Evernote for reference and note-taking. We also covered iPads vs. Chromebooks and technology in education.

Up Close With Apple Watch ⇢

“Watch guy” Benjamin Clymer was at the Apple Watch unveiling yesterday and was even able to try one on. He discusses the watch’s physical design and also snapped some great photos of the device.

Apple got more details right on their watch than the vast majority of Swiss and Asian brands do with similarly priced watches, and those details add up to a really impressive piece of design. It offers so much more functionality than other digitals it’s almost embarrassing. But it’s not perfect, by any means.

Drafts 4 is Coming Soon

Drafts (iPhone, iPad) sits in my iPhone’s dock and is an app that I use daily for several workflows. Yesterday, the app’s developer posted a video that gives a sneak peek at some of the features of the upcoming Drafts 4. In addition to the updated look of the app, I see a lot of great new features including location data, version histories, multi-step actions, iOS 8 extensions, and a customizable keyboard row. I can’t wait to get started building new and better workflows with Drafts 4 when it’s released. Check out a demo of the new features in the video below:

White Privilege Explained with Biking ⇢

This is one of the best analogies for the concept of white privilege that I have ever read. Imagine this from the perspective of a student of color or an immigrant or the kid who is just learning English in a school filled with white students and teachers who already know the language.

I can imagine that for people of color life in a white-majority context feels a bit like being on a bicycle in midst of traffic. They have the right to be on the road, and laws on the books to make it equitable, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are on a bike in a world made for cars.

List of Common Misconceptions ⇢

This page from Wikipedia is fascinating:

This list corrects erroneous beliefs that are currently widely held about notable topics. Each misconception and the corresponding facts have been discussed in published literature.

(Via kottke.org)

Triage Email with Notification Center

As a school principal, I get a lot of email. My approach to dealing with the deluge has evolved since I first became a school leader three years ago. In year one, I spent too much time reading and checking email when I wasn’t working. In year two, I broke that habit and had a healthier relationship with my inbox. Year three – last year – saw even more change.

One of the things that has always kept me tied to my email is the red badge that shows up next to the mail icon on iOS to indicate that I have # unread emails. Once I spot that red badge, I almost always open my inbox to see who the message is from. Sure, it only takes a second, but those seconds add up. There have been far too many occasions where I unlock my iPhone to do something else but then end up in my inbox after seeing the red badge indicating that a new message has arrived.

Roughly six months ago I changed my email practice. The first step was to turn off the red badge in Settings > Notification Center > Mail (see screenshot below). This can be done on a per-account basis. In other words, I could leave the badge on for one of the three email accounts, but turn it off for the other two. I’ve chosen to turn it off for all three. Farewell, red number badge!
 

Notification Center Email
Secondly, I’ve started to use notification center to triage my email. Though I’ve turned the red badges off, I do allow new email to show up in the notification center which is accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen. This gives me a quick view of who has emailed me and what the subject line is. I can open notification center whenever I want but I don’t have a big red badge tempting me to do so. When I see the list of emails that I’ve received in notification center I can tap on a message to open it and read it or simply clear out all the email notifications if the messages can be dealt with at a later time. I usually end up doing the latter.

My practice of turning off the red badge for email has now transferred over to other applications as well which means that I only see the red badge on select apps when something is overdue or very important. As a result, the red badge now represents something that is actually important and worth looking at.

Systematic #109 ⇢

SystematicI was honored to be interviewed this week for episode #109 of the Systematic podcast. Host Brett Terpstra and I talked about education, history, trains, photography, New York City, iOS apps, and beer.

Saving Time with Google Calendar Notifications

I’ve written about the importance of having separate calendars for different areas of life and mentioned that I use three calendars: Work, Personal, and Family. Only I can edit the first two while the Family calendar is editable by both my wife and I.

Until recently, when scheduling something on the Family calendar, I would have to send an email to my wife to let her know that something had been scheduled. If I neglected to do this, she wouldn’t know about it until she happened to see it on the calendar (usually when trying to schedule something for a time when she thought one or both of us was free). While this hasn’t caused huge problems for us, I recently realized that a solution is built right into Google calendars (and iCloud calendar, too!).

Each calendar has it’s own settings for reminders and notifications which can be accessed by clicking the disclosure triangle next to the calendar’s name which is listed in the left column of the main Calendar page.


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I have no idea how long these options have existed but I’m glad that I found them. Using the settings screen, I can customize when and how I want to be notified of changes to the Family calendar. I can be notified when an event is added, changed, canceled, or when someone responds to an event. The two options for notifications are email and text message. I prefer email as it is not critical that I get these notifications instantly.


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Now, when an event is added I don’t have to type an email to my wife because she automatically receives an email notifying her that this has been added to the calendar. Since I’m all about efficiency, this automatic email notification is a welcome addition to our busy lives.

Relay FM ⇢

A new podcast network from Myke Hurley and Stephen Hackett:

Relay FM is an independent podcast network for people who are creative, curious and maybe even a little obsessive — just like its hosts…The shows you have known and loved for years are being rebooted as part of the new network. Everything we have done so far in our podcasting careers has led us here, and we’re pouring all of our love, knowledge and attention into this thing.