Earlier this year I finally fell down the rabbit hole that is Instagram Stories, and now I spend way too much time on Instagram. This week, the app started rolling out a new feature to combat Insta-addiction, a “Your Activity” tracker that shows you how much time you spend in the app, and lets you set limits to help reduce the number of hours you pour into scrolling you feed each day.
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Windows: I wouldn’t be surprised if you have have folders upon folders of photographs that you swear you’ll get to sorting “someday”. For me, that day was this weekend. For whatever reason, I felt like spending a few hours trying to tackle my lifetime of photographic history that I’ve dumped into a big “To Sort” folder on my network-attached storage device.
Because why not, Apple has tweaked App Store product pages and made it impossible for you to see an app’s in-app purchases prior to buying it. Why does this matter? Because if you throw down $5 for an app, you’re probably expecting it to have all the features you read about in the app’s description.
You might be less interested in making that initial purchase—even a free download — if you find that you have to pay more to unlock the functionality you wanted in the first place.
I’m not going to ask why you need a keylogger. Just know that installing one on someone else’s system is a great way to get yourself dumped, fired, or prosecuted, depending on your situation. It’s also a great way to really put someone in a world of hurt, should the little utility you’ve downloaded capture keystrokes for you and send them to another source without you or your target’s knowledge.
I’m a big fan of making lists. I have a list of things I need to get done the month, another list is broken out into things I need to do this week, and yet another list of things that need to be completed in a day. For me and how I work, they’re great for keeping me organised, and I get a lot of satisfaction in crossing yet another item off my list.
iOS: If you’re the kind of person who uses a little creativity when organising the apps on your iPhone or iPad — by icon colour, for example — it might be time to take your device’s look to the next level. Sure, you can name your folders something descriptive and/or witty, like “yellow” instead of the category of the apps found within it, but here’s a trick you can use to ditch folder names entirely.
I’m not big into the crazier Apple Watch faces — the ones that try to fill your watch’s face with the time, data points, and other icons you tap to access this or that.
But even though I’m a purist, I’ve installed the third-party complication Better Day ($2.99) and switched to a slightly more data-heavy face, because this third-party complication gives you a much better calendar experience for your Apple Watch than Apple’s.
Android/iOS: I have a reasonable but not overwhelming amount of media: Mostly books, followed by video games, followed by some collectable vinyls and CDs that I keep around. I also have friends who have rooms full of stuff: Stacks of books and floor-to-ceiling bookcases that are nearly bursting from overuse.
All of us could benefit from checking out Libib, a free service you can use to scan and catalogue your books, movies, music and video games.
Windows: While you might be wedded to your desktop wallpaper — be it a picture of your family, your favourite Internet pet, or something else amazing — there's no reason you can't have a little variety each day. All those Apple fans might get macOS Mojave's dynamic wallpaper, but you can do even better in Windows, thanks to a fun little utility called Chameleon.
iOS: Christian Selig has created Apollo, a Reddit app for iOS that’s so elegant Apple might have imagined it themselves. The design is beautiful, and the usability is top notch (and much better than Reddit’s official app). It even features a Dark Mode for all your nighttime meme-posting and GIF-watching.
Android/iOS: In April, Google brought a new confidential mode to Gmail’s desktop version, allowing you to send emails that automatically expire. The idea being that if you use Gmail to send confidential information (which let’s face it, isn’t the safest idea), then using the confidential mode will make that decision a little bit safer.
iOS: One of the best parts of any science-fiction game or movie are those ominous tones that suggest a conversation or discovery is about to head south — a quintessential part of the soundtrack that adds a lot of atmosphere (and tension) to an experience. And now, thanks to an open-source iOS app, you can make your own imposing synthesiser sounds and teach yourself the basics of music production.
Battery issues are one of the more headache-inducing problems you’ll deal with as an iPhone owner. Whether it’s Apple’s alleged planned obsolescence or just the simple physics of your iPhone’s battery — it won’t last forever — there will come a time when you can’t make it through the day on a single charge. But consider this: It might be an app’s fault instead.