2018 was a year of personal growth and challenges, and part of that journey was giving up social media — at least for the most part. The band-aid stings as its ripped off, but I quickly realised it was only making my mind more cluttered and prone to distraction. I still have several of the apps installed for work but those are now buried in folders on the second page.
The other big change was moving from an iPhone 7s to an iPhone XS — the extra screen real estate feels like a waste, more pixels in exchange for a phone that’s harder to use with one hand. This change has also meant that since I use few apps (at least I try to), they are now are a few centimetres further away from the bottom of the phone, and thus a few centimetres further away from my thumb.
With that said, the camera is significantly improved, and I especially enjoy having the telephoto lens — it’s useful for everything from creating creamier bokeh to scanning documents without shadows since the phone can be further away from the paper being scanned and out of the way of the light source.
The battery life is now so good on this phone that I rarely ever get below 40% charge in a normal day and I’ve subsequently turned the percentage indicator for the battery off.
As far as the apps on the phone go, they’ve remained largely the same however I’ve moved many of them around — the new screen size was quick to show me which I used often and was inconvenienced by, and which I could relegate to the tundra of the upper-left-hand corner. Turns out the apps I need quicker access to weren’t often the apps I thought (e.g. podcasts, I listen maybe once a day and thanks to the lock screen controls I don’t need access to the app as often).
The only new addition this year not in a folder is the camera app Halide. It’s an incredible camera replacement for the stock app, especially for shooting depth shots since it bases it’s calculations not on a ‘face’ as Apple’s in-built camera does, but on the full depth map which is great for smaller objects like wine glass stems or straws, and does a better job at reducing the ‘smoothing’ Apple’s algorithms produce — it’s a little pricey, but highly recommended if your iPhone has a telephoto lens.
It’s replaced the official camera app on the homescreen since that’s available from the lockscreen and pull-down menu — it’s still the camera app I use most often, but Halide is there for when I want to get creative.
Since buying two office units and starting to rent them out, I’ve had to manage a workplace properly for the first time which has bought it’s own challenges. It’s meant the purchase of security cameras, integrated alarm systems, smart locks and more, which all have their own apps — apps I need easy access to frequently.
It’s also seen the introduction of stock-management app Sortly, Xioami’s Mi security cam app (meant for home use, but works perfectly for my purposes), HP’s printer manager to get new people set up with the printers and reorder ink, the building’s alarm app to monitor who unlocks and (doesn’t) lock up, as well as a saved webpage for the awful Virgin Media Business router.
I’ll likely write another post about the new offices in the coming months, but I’m also posting Instagram Stories from my private account (@ltgbangs) about the renovation and built-out should you want to check out how it’s going.
The full list of apps (starting from the top left):
- Spark – Third party email client. Sucks.
- Misc Folder
- Fabric – automatic journal, imports your photos, social, GPS data, etc to keep an in-depth diary
- Gyroscope – similar to Fabric, but for many other aspects of life, e.g. Mood, sleep, exercise, etc.
- Mi Fit – connects to my scales, fitness band, and other health accessories
- Day One – Journal, I try to write at least one sentence in it every day
- 5 Minute Journal – Gratitude journal, digital version of the book, can dramatically improve my mood
- Letterboxd – movie review site/app with a wonderfully funny and intelligent community
- 1Password – The best password manage I’ve used, elegant and simple
- Philips Hue – all of my home lights are Hue aside from the bathroom, I’m in the process of replacing all wall switches with remotes
- Twitch – I’m friends with several streamers, use this to watch on the go
- News – Only use this seedy app to give me alerts of big news events
- Overcast – My favourite podcast app
- Google Calendar – Still haven’t found a good enough replacement for this.
- YNAB – invaluable budgeting app that I run all short-term financial decisions through, and create mid-term goals in
- Oak – meditation app by Kevin Rose
- Halide – better than the stock iPhone camera app for
- MyFitnessPal – To track calories in and calories out
- Strong – workout tracker, constantly updated and gets even better every month
- Office Folder
- Sortly – inventory tracker, used for the office and at home
- Virgin Media Router – webview, I hate the Virgin router and the admin panel
- YI Home – IP cameras around the office
- HP Smart
And in the dock:
- Bear – like Evernote but fast and minimal
- Omnifocus 3 – I run my life through Omnifocus, very in-depth to-do ecosystem