Itsycal

I found this list of 25 free macOS apps every Mac user should have, which I found on my twitter feed, interesting.

I already use some apps like Wunderlist, Slack and VLC mentioned in that list. But one app that I felt I could use is Itsycal. It shows the calendar from the menu bar; something I wish the default time date / time app on Mac showed. Itsycal also connected to the calendar app on the Mac and synched all the events. I am no longer using the default time app on the menu bar. Now my calendar is just Ctrl + I away.

Try Itsycal!

1000 days of Elevate

Today is my 1000 th day playing Elevate.

Elevate Session Highlights           Elevate Milestones

I broke the streak once in June 2016, not because I slacked but because I was stuck on the dated iPhone 4 running on dated iOS 7 on which the Elevate app was slow and crashed repeatedly. I was also traveling and didn’t have reliable internet. I couldn’t let all this break my 610 day streak at that point. So once I am on the reliable phone and internet, I completed a handful of games retrospectively to fix the streak. And of course, playing Elevate is a fun way to improve vocabulary and math skills little bit everyday.

Here are the earlier milestones.

WiFi and VPN

I usually don’t offer free advice. But I will make an exception this time for the greater good.

Don’t connect your phone and computer to public WiFi networks without VPN.

Install VPN software in your computer and phone and turn that on every time you are about to hook on to public WiFi.

But how? Ask Google. There are many free VPN services for Windows and Mac; iPhone and Android.

Using any VPN software is magnitude better than using none to protect your privacy and security. You don’t need to be a celebrity to get snooped or hacked.

 

Waiting for the next iPhone

I’m excited about the upcoming iPhone. That’s because I am going to buy it. 

It’s been six years since I looked forward this much for an iPhone. Luckily, I didn’t have to buy a phone all these years. I bought my first iPhone in the October of 2010. Saying I was excited to lay my hands on it is needless. It’s the fourth version of the iconic phone sporting few firsts like retina display and 1 GHz processor. I started typing this post in the same phone, and published it later from the iPad. 

I used the iPhone 4 until the April of 2013. Then I gave it to my wife who used it until she got a brand new iPhone SE this April for her birthday. Meanwhile, for the three years, I used the iPhone 5 I was given by my previous employer to fulfil my job responsibilities. I was pretty happy with iPhone 5. It’s sleek, light, fast and has a decent camera. This is why I never bothered to check the later versions of the phone. I returned the iPhone 5 when I quit my job at the end of May.

June is a bad time to buy an iPhone. The new iPhone is only four months away from June. I felt it’s worth waiting until September before blowing up at least a grand on a new phone. So I popped the SIM card into my unused iPhone 4.

In 2016, the iPhone 4 felt terrible. It’s sluggish despite keeping very few apps. It’s stuck with iOS 7.1.2. Most apps require iOS 8 and either wouldn’t install or install the previous versions. Camera is slow and blurry that I lost interest in clicking photos. I was frustrated at one point that I went to a store to buy an iPhone SE. But that store ran out of the stock. It turned out to be a good thing.

On the bright side, using a six year old phone improved my patience levels. Few crucial apps I need like WordPress, Wunderlist, Simplenote, iMessage, Whatsapp and Elevate worked fine. It’s hotspot feature came in handy during my recent India trip when I needed a temporary internet connection. Anyday, I’d rather use a dated iPhone than an Android. So thank you, iPhone4. You have been amazing overall. 

It’s only few weeks before the new iPhone 7 and its variants see the light of the day. I can’t wait to buy it. I am not a fan of gigantic screens on a phone. So I will stick to a smaller screen. I imagine it will be lighter, faster and better than earlier iPhones.

I like to keep things for long. However, I hear talks about Apple saving the best for 2017, for the tenth anniversary version of the iPhone. If these talks turns out to be true, I will trade in iPhone 7 for its next version. Otherwise, I will be happy to live with the iPhone 7 for the next seven years.