Linked List Entries

The Linked List is a frequently updated list of notable links and commentary. You can subscribe to the Linked List with its dedicated RSS feed or you can follow along on the main feed, which includes both Linked List entries and feature articles from the site.

Muscle Memory ➝

A great piece by Joe Cieplinski on the frustrating transition to iOS 11’s Flick Keyboard. I’ve had iOS 11 on my iPad since the public beta went live a few weeks ago and I’m still having trouble with the new keyboard. The biggest pain points for me have been hyphens, asterisks, and square brackets. Basically, if it’s commonly used while writing in Markdown, I’m probably having a hard time remember where it has been moved to.

Apple Unveils Smart Home Experiences in Its Retail Stores ➝

Megan Rose Dickey, reporting for TechCrunch:

Now, when you go into Apple’s new retail stores, you’ll be able to use the Home app from either an Apple Watch, iPhone or iPad to control devices like the Philips Hue light bulb, the Hunter ceiling fan and many others. If you tap to lower the shades in the living room, for example, you’ll see the shades lower in the house shown on the screen.

It’s disappointing that the devices aren’t controlling any actual HomeKit products, but building a mock living room inside each Apple Store might not be a practical solution.

The iPhone Is the Camera I’ve Used to Capture My Life ➝

Matt Birchler, regarding Austin Mann’s 10 Years of iPhone:

People have not always photographed their lives like we do today. I take pictures of everything and I don’t do it because I think every moment of life is worth framing on a wall, but because every little moment might be worth remembering down the line. And I don’t worry about taking too many pictures because storage is (essentially) unlimited, and it costs me nothing to over-document my life. This was not possible to any previous generation, and we are quick to forget this fact.

The iPhone is the most important consumer product of our generation.

The Right Mac Laptop to Buy for a Student ➝

I couldn’t agree more with Jason Snell’s recommendations. The 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro are the two best notebooks available. Buy the MacBook if you care more about portability and the MacBook Pro if you care more about performance. If price sensitivity has you considering the MacBook Air, do your best to avoid it, the low-resolution display is just offensive at this point.

Introducing Backup and Sync for Google Photos and Google Drive ➝

My wife and I utilize Google’s free, “high quality” backup feature in Google Photos. It’s been rock solid for us and I highly recommend it. If anything ever happened to our devices, we’d still have copies of all our photos. But, of course, it doesn’t save full resolution copies. For that, we use Plex’s camera roll upload capabilities to backup our our photos to an external hard drive attached to our Mac Mini.

This setup gives us a “high quality” offsite backup and a full resolution local copy. But our devices are stuck uploading the photos twice, which isn’t exactly ideal. What I’d like to do is turn off automatic backups in Google Photos on our iOS devices and rely on Plex to backup our photos to the Mac. From there, Google’s new Backup and Sync app would see the changes in our Photos folder and backup to Google Photos.

I tried this setup with Google’s previous desktop uploader, but it didn’t work well. Sometimes it would fail to upload photos or wait too long between refreshes and we’d be stuck waiting for them to appear in Google Photos on iOS. Hopefully, this new app solves those problems.

Amazon’s Next Echo Will Be More Like Apple’s HomePod ➝

Devindra Hardawar, reporting for Engadget:

Amazon is working on a new Echo that will improve on the first speaker in practically every way, a source tells Engadget. And, not surprisingly, it’s aiming to take some of the hype away from Apple’s HomePod.

The new Echo will be both shorter and slimmer than the original, almost as if it were three or four Echo Dots stacked on top of each other, our source claims. Amazon is also softening its design with rounded edges and a cloth-like covering, rather than the current Echo’s plastic shell and flat ends. And yes, it should sound better, too. The company is packing in several tweeters this time around, instead of just relying on one large tweeter and a woofer (for low end).

Perhaps this is the Amazon Echo that Ming-Chi Kuo claimed the HomePod was aiming to compete with. Instead of the Echo Show, which I assumed he was referring to.

Every Default macOS Wallpaper ➝

If, like me, you’ve spent the past couple of days reorganizing your iPad’s home screen around all of the changes in iOS 11, you might find this wallpaper pack useful. I don’t think I’ll decide on a wallpaper until I come up with a better layout for my app icons, but I expect I’ll use one of these.

Inadvertent Activation of Emergency SOS on Apple Watch ➝

When Emergency SOS was first announced, I was a little concerned that it was too easy to trigger. Luckily, I haven’t activated it accidentally yet, but Chris Hannah has done so on more than one occasion.