Upgraded to iOS 11

I’ve upgraded my things to iOS 11, and so far I can only see positive news in this.

It’s really incredibly faster on an iPhone 5S, and the new graphical design on the iPad is actually useful, even if not absolutely necessary.

I do miss updates on a few apps like Facebook and YouTube to allow them to run in the new multitasking, Side by Side or SlideOver modes, but hopefully that will come at some later point.

All in all so far the upgrade is great. It almost make me forget how nice the old iOS design looked like, before all this flatness happened.

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New theme, Affinity

I’ve switched to the Affinity theme on my public blog, to see whether it’s usable and I should switch on the others. I’m actually quite fond of my current theme, Minnow, but I’d like to find a similar theme with a little more page width.

In that regard the Material theme is great but it has a problem in that it does not support automatic language detection. Maybe there’s some way to provide language files, I haven’t checked yet, but that’s definitely a large disqualifying minus in my eyes. And Material also has a minus in not supporting the Collapsing Archives plugin. Using the regular full archive widget provides a very long list for a blog with posts dating all back to 1998…

By the way, the default images in Affinity are amazing, I wish I could take pictures like the one of the forest. I do have a few I’m quite proud of but this one was really nice.

Besides that, I noticed that WordPress had auto-updated to the most recent version 4.7.2 on all my sites. And there are new versions of iOS 10.2.1 and more. In fact, updates are becoming so frequent that I don’t have the time to catch up with them all, so it’s lucky the stability has also improved so much that I can rely on auto-updates for most devices.

Upgrade to iOS 9.3.2

Morning routine: wake up, shower, get dressed, upgrade all devices to latest iOS 9.3.2, plus all apps needing updates at the same time.

Sometimes it feels like I upgrade more often than I’m actually using some of the apps. The line between “nice to have” and junk just floating around taking up space is fine and not well defined.

I find myself constantly using WordPress as second choice

Despite an intention and a private decision to use my blog(-s) more I still find myself constantly using WordPress as my second choice.

Meaning I take a picture, or I jot down some notes, and they still first go on Facebook, and only after some hours I get around to posting the same on WordPress (and with the added twist that I then exclude sharing the post through the Facebook integration, since everyone there has already seen the post directly).

And I know why this keeps happening. It is quite simply that WordPress still lacks necessary functionality I need to use it as my primary place for writing, such as

  • Uploading an image through the Facebook app is quick and simple, no settings can be changed so width, position and such is just whatever Facebook decides, while on my blog I like to keep things neat and in style, pictures should be centered, they should fill the width of the column, etc, and I also like to have a consistant naming of the photos, which is due to the fact that I’ve looped the number series over several times and don’t want to risk overwriting photos, or having duplicate names with strange appended numbers by some automagic feature.
    And this simply can’t be done through the WordPress IOS app.
  • Tags in WordPress are not converted to Twitter tags when publishing a post with the Twitter integration enabled. A detail, but still something that would have simplified the steps of publishing if automated when posting.

Writing is also a pain in the WordPress app,

  • First I need to have witty title, while on Facebook I’m able to just post some quick notes without having to consider a fitting headline for them. Maybe I could just go with “Untitled” or todays date, but still…
  • Second and more important is the issue that while I can browse categories and add a post to the proper place, there is no way to browse tags, these can only be written and comma-separated, and having several hundred tags I’m not going to go around guessing how I spelled this particular tag last time I used it.
  • And third, a bit back to images again, when having written a post and added an image, and being almost ready to publish, I want to set a featured image. And I really hate that since I always want to use the same featured image which I’ve just added to the post, I’m still forced re-upload the same image a second time. Not that the actual storage is the main issue here, but rather the bandwidth usage on the mobile phone but also the even bigger problem of later trying to navigate in a media library where every image exists at least two times.

Today WordPress works great through a webbrowser, on a large screen with a full size keyboard, but it doesn’t feel quite as easy to use through a mobile, for example on the bus, which is where I’d like to use it rather than having to power up the old slow PC in the evening.

I hope there will come a better WordPress app for IOS in some future, making it more user-friendly as I’d really like to be able to collect thoughts and photos in any of my WordPress sites and from there sharing to social media when and if I want to.

No IOS8 for me for now

Apple released IOS8 yesterday, but I think I will be sticking with IOS7 for the time being.

  • I see no startling revelations or must-have’s in functionality.
  • I see no change in design, even though it would have been too much to hope for that Apple would go back to the nice looking IOS6, at least one could have hoped they’d gotten tired of the “flat design” now. But apparently not yet.
  • I see reports on Ars Technica that the iPhone 5S is slower after the upgrade, marginally so with a few milliseconds but still slower and since I see no major functionality drivers motivating the performance drop I see no reason to suffer reduced speed. (Hopefully that’ll be resolved in a later update anyway.)

I believe that pretty much sums it up, and while Twitter is full of reports of people not having space enough to upgrade that seems to be quite easy to work around by using iTunes instead. More worrying than are the scattered mentionings of people loosing stuff, primarily photos, but that could just as easy be by some user mistake.

But what’s really new ? So far I’ve only seen these mentioned

  • Selfie timer on the camera. Not very urgent for me to have.
  • Changes in the photo album, not sure I’ve understood all references but as I have what I need this is also not very important for me.
  • An addition of “recently called” and recently deleted” which cannot be deleted. Seems unnecessary and nothing I really lack.
  • A new health-app which I have no use for.
  • Some changes to SMS’es which I can’t yet see any need for.
  • New smarter keyboard, this would be nice of course, even nicer would be a smarter Autocorrect feature.
  • Family sharing, ah well, if only the iPad had multiple logins with a profile for each user then that would have been great, but since it hasn’t I don’t see the point.
  • iCloud Drive, now that would be quite nice but since I haven’t had it before I can manage without it for a while yet. I guess.

Is that everything ? The commercials mentions hundreds of new improvements ? Beyond iCloud Drive I really only see smaller updates. For a whole new version 8 I would have expected more, or a graphic redesign. Not just features making this look more like a 7.x release ?

The long chain of linked accounts

So Tech-Ed Europe posted on Facebook about their new conference app. That seemed interesting and I of course had to try it out, and so downloaded the app for IOS (seems it is available on Surface as well, that would be one of the few I’ve found that I might use, but I won’t drag the Surface with me with only that one app, anyway enough about that…).

And login failed… ? And I had to read the manual… 🙂 And discovered that I needed an EventBoard account, which could be linked to my Channel9 account, which I believe I created just to be able to create the Tech-Ed schedule, and was linked to my MSDN account which was linked to my Windows Live account, which in turn is linked to my company account.

In theory all this works well, even though I now have 5 different accounts (or maybe MSDN is just a profile, so 4 then ?), with 4 (or 5 ?) different passwords, (and some people wonder why I think the absence of a working Metro-release of Password Safe is bothering me), and all of this just to be able to attend a conference, know the schedule for the sessions I plan to attend, and have those show up in the conference app. Not the smoothest way to go, but as the linking is quite seamless once in place it’s fair enough.

Except that it doesn’t work! Since the schedule only shows up in the PC webbrowser and does not show up in the app…