The Firstest of World Problems

I have been an original Apple Watch user since my lovely wife bought me one for Christmas 2015. While the Apple Watch Series 0 was too slow and too reliant on the phone, it was very close to the Dick Tracy watch or a James Bond gadget. When the Apple Watch Series 3 was announced, my wife said she wanted it. For her the addition of LTE connectivity was the piece that the Apple Watch had been missing all along. She wanted to be able to leave the house for a walk and still be reached, but without the temptation of walking with her nose pointed at her phone. For me, the Apple Watch went from being almost the Dick Tracy watch to the Dick Tracy watch, plus many of the gadgets that James Bond used.

On episode 41 of Cortex, CGP Grey spoke about having a day watch and a night watch. Using the older Apple Watch in a permanent night time setup, and the newer watch in a daytime configuration. So, when I recently upgraded to a Apple Watch Series 3, I wanted to do a similar thing. The Apple Watch Series 0 would be the sleep tracker and a silent alarm, the Series 3 would be my every day watch.

I have been having the firstest of first world problems.

When Apple has announced more frequent activity challenges, I was stoked. I had already started my “multi-watch lifestyle” configuration when the Veteran’s Day challenge arrived. Eleven minutes of exercise on November 11, was an easy challenge. I completed many multiples of 11 minutes of exercise and my achievement had not appeared, I was concerned. My wife had her achievement, my Apple Watch friends had their’s, but by 9 o’clock I still didn’t have mine.

I took off my day watch and put on my night watch. I started an “Other” workout, for 12 minutes, after which my achievement appeared immediately. My initial thought was that because the nighttime Apple Watch Series 0 was the first watch paired with the phone that it had some sort of primacy. This primacy didn’t impact the daily challenge of closing the move, exercise and stand rings, but some how didn’t allow for activity challenges to be accounted for.

Today’s Thanksgiving Day activity challenge proved to be no different. I dutifully completed my 5 km walk with my wife, after which her achievement appeared immediately. My phone didn’t show my achievement recorded. My day Apple Watch Series 3 didn’t show my achievement recorded. The Series 0 primacy was still in effect, even after migrating to a new phone, with the Apple Watch Series 3 being the first paired Apple Watch. That’s was the last straw. With the prospect of having to walk another 5 km, I was done with the “multi watch lifestyle”. I unpaired the Series 0 Watch, and handed it over to my brother-in-law. While he was getting the Apple Watch paired to his phone, I checked my achievements.

I am wondering if CGP Grey is still living the multi watch lifestyle, and if so, do his activity challenges get counted?

I am wondering if CGP Grey is still living the multi watch lifestyle, and if so, do his activity challenges get counted?

There it was. The firstest of first world problems solved. 

The Shelf

In his article iOS 11: iPad Wishes and Concept Video Federico Viticci wrote about an hopeful addition to iOS 11 which he called the “Shelf”.

There are times when you want to save something without necessarily dropping it into an app or sharing it with the clipboard or extensions. For better or worse5, macOS users can drag anything they want to reference later on the desktop (or any other Finder window); iOS has no such area that serves as a holding place for bits of content without an immediate destination. I'd like iOS 11 to bring a Shelf feature to the iPad that would let users clip anything with drag & drop.

More succinctly:

Think of it as a transient dock for temporary clippings, or, even better, as a multi-slot clipboard that can hold a variety of items and be consistently available across apps.

Having worked exclusively on iOS 11 for a few weeks, I agree with the need for this feature. Federico made a very specific assertion in his wishes for the Shelf: “The Shelf would be local to each iPad”. This is fundamentally wrong for someone who moves back and forth between iOS devices through out the day. I use a 12.9 inch iPad, a 9.7 inch iPad and an iPhone for everything, but I move between them constantly. Some tasks are better suited for the smaller iPad, most tasks are suited for the large iPad, but the device that I use the most is my iPhone. I need to be able to move fluidly between these devices so having the Shelf’s content locked to a single device is a non-starter.

With the official release of iOS 11 this week, developers making Shelf inspired apps have had their work released and reviewed. Ryan Christoffel wrote a roundup of the first Shelf inspired apps noting how each works. Some have more ability to filter and search, while others have a design aesthetic that mimic Apple’s design language very closely. The four apps that were included in the roundup follow Federico’s suggestion. I have tried almost all of them and they all have their own merits, but all lack of sync.

Today, the developer of Copied, a clipboard manager for iOS and mac OS, released version 3, which incorporates many of the features of iOS 11, including drag and drop to move items into the app. Depending on the type of item, drag and drop out of the app is possible, although files are not supported. It is not perfect, but I believe that Copied’s ability to sync may make it the right Shelf for me.

Download Copied for iOS

The Loyal Engineers Steering NASA’s Voyager Probes Across the Universe

One of the greatest obstacles to planetary science has always been the human life span: Typically, for instance, a direct flight to Neptune would take about 30 years. But in the spring of 1965, Gary Flandro, a doctoral student at Caltech, noticed that all four outer planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — would align on the same side of the sun in the 1980s. If a spacecraft were launched in the mid- to late 1970s, it could use the gravity of the first body to slingshot to the second, and so on. Such a trajectory would add enough speed to shorten the total journey by almost two-thirds. What’s more, this orbital configuration would not appear again for 175 years. via Daring Fireball