Some people hack their iPhones to steal apps or install custom themes. I don’t find either of those things appealing. I’m mostly into what are categorized as “tweaks” by the jailbreaking community. Tweaks usually take small annoyances with iOS and fix them, like DietBulletin, which constrains notifications to the size of the statusbar.
But there’s one tweak that has really changed the way I use my phone. Activator by Ryan Petrich lets you set custom actions that happen when you perform gestures or press the physical buttons on your iPhone in certain ways. I have 1Password set to open up when I hit the home button 3 times, for instance. But what’s really changed my game is setting up Drafts, one of my favorite App Store apps, to launch when I swipe up from the bottom of my phone. So now, no matter what I’m doing, I can flick up on my screen and type. This text can then be tweeted, parsed by Fantastical into a calendar entry, Googled, saved to Evernote, etc. It’s smart too — if I send to Gmail it uses the first line of text as the subject of a new email and adds the rest of the text as the body.
This has completely changed the way I capture thoughts and turn them into actionable items. It has removed a certain level of friction that I’ve always felt when getting data into apps, by allowing me to easily dump a thought somewhere useful before I figure out the final thing I want to do with it. I’ve always loved the journal app Day One, for example, but could never be bothered with the small hassle of opening it up and making regular entries. With Activator and Drafts, I have a thought, I swipe, I type, and then I decide, Do I want to tweet this? Is this something I should email someone about? Is it something I want to save as a personal Journal entry? Did just I write ‘Whip My Hair’ so that I could search it in Spotify and jam to some Willow Smith? Basically anything you can think of is available as a Drafts action.
I feel like my phone finally understands my brain.
Directing your first feature is a little bit like showing up to middle school in seventh grade for the field trip and jumping on the bus and saying, ‘So, I’m going to drive the bus.’ And everyone’s like, ‘What? But you don’t know how to drive the bus,’ and you’re like, ‘Yeah, I know. But I’ve been watching the bus driver, and I feel like I have the hang of it. And I’ve been watching other bus rides, and I have my favorite and I have my least favorite, and I feel like I’ve developed a bus driving aesthetic.’
Harlem Shake Recipe
Have you ever tried a new dish and thought, “Hey, this is pretty awful. I don’t even really get it. I mean, I get it, but it’s pretty lame. But wait…what if I make my own?! OMG THAT WOULD BE GREAT.” If so, then this is the recipe for you.
- iMovie or Windows Movie Maker
- A digital copy of Harlem Shake by Baauer
- Some sort of device that records video. Your webcam will do just fine.
- A procrastinated ambition to take an improv class because, you know, you say funny things sometimes. Maybe you’ll take the leap next summer, you just have to convince Steve to take the class with you.
- Approximately 4-70 other impressionable white people
- Your halloween costumes that weren’t funny in October. It was embarrassing when all the other couples at that party were also dressed as Psy and a guy with a horse head mask, but if you wear the same thing in a YouTube video four months later? It’ll be hilarious!
Directions: Stir together in a large mixing bowl until the ingredients curdle and taste stale. Serve old.
On The Verge 001: Matias Duarte, Lytro camera, Droid RAZR, Kindle Fire, HTC Titan Ridiculously proud to be a part of this production.
As part of Viddler’s new Learn More page, I conceptualized a redesign of the section and created a series of 7 new videos to describe the different advantages of Viddler’s business services. Above is one of the videos from that series. Check out viddler.com/learn-more to watch the rest and to see the fantastic page Andrew designed for it. Special thanks to Max Lipka and Ryan DeNardo for helping out with the video shoot.
In case I haven’t spammed you with this elsewhere by now, this is my latest video in the Viddler Spotlight series. These guys are real estate rockstars. If you’re a freelance video person in a small town, show this video to your favorite local business and convince them to hire you to step up their game online. I don’t know if these dudes have groupies, but they should.
Yesterday Ryan and I were invited to help URDB and Jimmy Fallon break/set some world records on a taping of Late Night. Fallon and all the people over there are extremely nice. Even the intimidating security guys seem like they’d be pretty nice about it if they had to bash my brain in with one of their walkie-talkies. Super nice people. Seriously. Next time you’re thinking of going to sleep, take a triple espresso shot and give Jimmy your attention instead.
And it goes without saying that the URDB guys are awesome, because they have yellow blazers and stopwatches. So give the video a watch. You’ll spot me in the middle of the back of the love seat (the back of my head is famous!), and busting out some killer dance moves on the office chair daisy chain.