Do you put your phone in a case?

I love my iPhone. I love the feeling you get when you unbox a new iPhone and I love the feeling of cold metal and glass slab in your hands. The beauty of a naked iPhone is like no device ever. (I think that’s why we pay a premium?)

After all those great feelings, how could you make it uglier by putting a case on it?

What’s the second thing you do when you get a new phone? For most people, they put their shiny, thin new device in a bulky plastic/rubber case that has very little design appeal. If you’re feeling generous to Apple you can pick up a ‘premium’ leather case. It’s made by Apple so you get a well made product but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s a bulky leather case.

I used to be a brave soul. I refused to put my phone in a case. I’d scoff at the thought of covering up such a pretty device. Then I met the iPhone 6 Plus..

Side Note: I was embarrassingly devastated when I broke the screen. I felt like I accidentally killed my best friend. Luckily, I immediately made an Apple Store appointment and got it swapped out, I didn’t have Apple Care so I had to buy the replacement which was in the $300 range. After that experience I always get Apple Care now…

I never broke a screen until that design came around. As it turns out, Apple really likes rounded corners now and all iPhones since the iPhone 6 days are relatively the same shape.

The new iPad Pro gives me hope for a case-less future. The iPad Pro has that awesome square design that in a phone size would be a joy to hold without a case.

What about you? Are you one of the brave few that go case-less? If you do, give me some tips and encouragement to join you again 🙂 Until then I guess this leather case will do…

Samsung Galaxy Fold Thoughts

Samsung held an event yesterday showcasing their latest in the Galaxy line. While they leaned heavily into the 10 years of Galaxy ‘innovations’ they used this event to announce the new Galaxy Fold. (Side note: they announced the Fold first thing which I think was a mistake, the build up in these types of events are a lot of fun for fans and enthusiasts alike.)

Price: $1980 (depending on carrier and country per Samsung) This seems like an acceptable price to me. This is a new type of phone and the first foldable phone that looks useable day to day.

The look: I think that hardware is the best of all the folding phones I’ve seen. That’s not saying too much.

The front screen leaves a lot to be desired. You’re obviously going to use this in tablet mode as much as possible. When you do need to use the front screen, you’re going to be looking at a tiny window of content in comparison to the amount of physical phone you’re holding. This is fine if you just need to quickly check a site or message but I don’t see it being useful for using Waze or something when you’re driving.

At the end of the day I really like what Samsung is bringing to the phone table. They’re taking chances and challenging everyone to re-think what a slab of glass in your pocket will look like. I wish Apple would take some of these chances to challenge what people think of iOS devices. I hope for less playing it safe and more trying things out and hopefully Samsung can encourage Apple to get uncomfortable in their hardware.

I’m in the iOS ecosystem and locked in pretty hard, I do like that Samsung is providing a competitor to each of Apple’s product category and pushing the boundaries on what we think of of phones. Let’s just hope Android software quickly adopts what Samsung is trying and Samsung will provide acceptable cadence of software updates to keep everyone secure and enable new features.

Never forget this important gem:

The Fold is set to ship April 26th and I look forward to seeing hands on reviews and I hope to check one out myself.

Netflix cancels ‘Jessica Jones’ and ‘The Punisher’

Netflix’s partnership with Marvel is coming to an end.
— Read on

This was only a matter of time. I’m kind of surprised at the internet being surprised at this. With Disney launching Disney+ sometime late this year, you better believe they want everything under one streaming roof as a differentiator.

What are you going to do, not subscribe?

If You Fast You Need Zero

I’ve been intermittent fasting pretty much since the beginning of the year. While I’ve seen some amazing benefits, I’m not a doctor or a medical pro by any stretch. So while I’ll discuss some of my experiences your results may vary and make sure you talk to a medical pro before trying any new diet.

I need a few things to be successful in a ‘diet’ type of situation. First I need to be able to track things and if possible there needs to be a gamified aspect of it. While Zero is a great app to track your fasts it leaves a little to be desired in the gamification aspect but hey, its been working out for me so far but I’d love to see badges or other integrations.

Zero main screen

Zero is a great application to track where I’m at during my fast and how much time I have left in my ‘feeding window’. It will also let you customize the type of fast you’d like to complete. I personally started with the 16:8 method but quickly got used to that timeframe and began stretching it out with a longer fasting window and a shorter feeding window. It sounds scary at first but with anything new, your body will get used to your behavior. As you can see in the screenshot, you can edit the time your fast began/ended as well as some cool little features. My favorite feature is seeing how many other people are currently fasting, it speaks to the gamification aspect of my brain.

Zero History tab

History tab has to be my favorite. From here you can see a ton of great and inspiring information. (at day 16 I got sick and had to break fast 😩) This app does talk to Apple Health so you’ll be able to import your weight to keep an eye on it trending down. This helps me tremendously when I’m contemplating eating a late night snack. This might be a good time to bring up my diet. I don’t eat whatever I want when I break fast/eat in my feeding window. I stick to a pretty strict ketogenic diet. Again, this works great for me but you may see different results so talk to a doctor or research and decide on your own.

Overall Zero is a perfect example of a great, simple app that encourages you to stick to a schedule and see results as you go. If you’re already fasting and would like to track more give Zero a try. If you’re curious to learn more about fasting, there’s a ‘Learn’ tab that will share some information on the different fasting types –I found this super useful.

Planning on trying this app out or already doing so? Let me know your thoughts! I also love getting any new and fresh keto friendly recipes.

Zero Learning Screen

My Security Best Practices

Security is all about the amount of risk you want to take on. We all have a line that we don’t cross in our physical and digital lives. In a world where there seems to be a new social media scandal weekly with your personal information, I thought I’d lay out some of the services and security first focused things I do to protect my data and “digital life”.

Password Manager (LastPass): I only know one password. While this password is long and confusing, it allows me to focus my mental energy on that password. The rest of my passwords will be anywhere from 20 to 45 characters. Side Note: If you offer a login form for customers, please increase the allowed character limit. You’d be surprised how many services I run into that limits to 16 characters for the password field.

Why do you need a password manager? Well for starters it forces you to have multiple passwords. Most people only use one password for their online accounts, from banking to social media accounts.

Imagine this scenario — You use the same password for everything and a random account you created years ago for some service gets breached. I’m a bad guy that comes across this information. I now know your email and password for this old abandoned service and now I’m going to try this email + password combo EVERYWHERE. If it works once it’s all worth it. Especially if I get into your email account. I can then reset all services tied to that email and lock you out. This is called credential stuffing and automated attacks are happening as we speak trying to exploit this.

While on the subject of credentials, make sure you utilize this site aggregates credentials from all known breaches and will let you know if your email was involved and who leaked it.

When iOS 12 came out there was an amazing feature added to completely remove the friction of filling in passwords. See the below video created by LastPass.

Feel free to sign up for LastPass here. Full disclosure, if you use my link I get a free month (so do you)

2Factor Auth (LastPass Authenticator) If a service offers a 2nd factor to authenticate, definitely enable it. If your password becomes compromised, you’d need to approve the login attempt via accepting the push or declining.

I can explain how this works but once again LastPass has a great video demonstrating this. I could make my own video on this but I’m not willing to accept the risk in sharing my LastPass UI. <- See what I mean about risk acceptance?

VPN: There are a bunch of reasons you’d want to use a VPN. I use a VPN when I’m on any untrusted network aka everywhere not my house. This allows peace of mind knowing that anyone on the same network as me will be unable to see any of the traffic (due to encryption). I’m a huge privacy advocate so I’ll know that my IP, VPN IP, my location, sites I visit and any communications I conduct while on the network is private. You’ll also want to make sure your VPN provider holds little to no logs (again on risk acceptance, this is up to you)

Social Networking: This is a tough one, everyone has different thresholds they’re willing to put up with until they abandon or delete a service. Here’s what I’ve done and it’s worked out for me so far.

Facebook: I’ve deleted the app from my phone and have purged all the data except for photos I’m tagged in. I don’t align with the values of Facebook as it stands today and my family and groups I’m apart of only use FaceBook so I need to at least have an account.

Instagram: Private profile that I only allow people I know in real life to view. Like most people with kids, I love to share moments I have with my family and I want to make sure that only those I’ve approved can see it.

Twitter: Ugh, where do I start with you? I have an open account. I avoid discussing location-based things, anything involving the company I work for and I try but sometimes fail to avoid posting anything political. Twitter is probably my number one most used social network just for the news alone. One thing I do recommend with twitter is that you use a service to delete tweets after a certain amount of time.

Wrap up: Like stated at the beginning, this is all subjective to your own experiences and risk tolerance. If you want to sign up for that service, just educate yourself on their privacy policy and be aware of the data they’re asking for. Be safe out there fellow internet users…

Apple Video Service Announcement this Month, Actual Launch later

Apple is going to give the world a first glimpse at its marquee video content at a press event in Cupertino, Calif., at the end of next month, where the iPhone maker is expected to show clips of its original series. However, sources familiar with the company’s plans told Variety that original series on the service may not launch until the summer, or even fall.
— Read on

Seems like today’s Apple to announce something with it being months if not years away.

I long for the days of an Apple launch and release within a week or so.

iPhone SE back in stock

It seems Apple has brought back the iPhone SE (refurb) for an unknown amount of time. This once flagship is still holding on by a thread to presumably boost Apple’s iPhone sales numbers.

This was the last iPhone I used that I didn’t feel the need to put in a case. The design was amazing with the squared edges and the ability to use one handed. I look forward to the day Apple releases an iPhone with this + the new iPad Pro design.

$299 for 128 GB of storage, don’t sleep on this!