The Healthcare-Role Edition Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Thanks To Apple, I’m Going To Beat My Type-2 Diabetes, by Bryan M. Wolfe, AppAdvice

In a short period, Apple has become a key player in healthcare. Thanks to Apple Watch and Apple HealthKit, the company is making it easier than ever for each of us to monitor and improve our health.

Each year, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes. As one of those, I’m glad Apple is taking an active role in healthcare. It will be interesting to see where things go from here.

My Year With A Distraction-free iPhone (And How To Start Your Own Experiment), by Jake Knapp, Medium

Having a blank desktop on the phone is surprisingly calming. Once I’d cleared off so much stuff, I wanted to keep it clean. I found it really useful to ask myself why each remaining app was on my phone. Was it a tool that made my life better? Or was it dragging me along for the ride?

Child Development Experts Urge Facebook To Pull Messenger Kids App, by Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian

More than 110 child-health advocates have called on Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to pull the firm’s Messenger Kids app aimed at under 13s, warning of the dangers of social media for children.

In an open letter led by the Boston-based Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood, signed by doctors, educators and child health experts including baroness Susan Greenfield, warn that “younger children are simply not ready to have social media accounts”.

Coming Soon

iOS 11.3 Will Allow Parents To Approve Family Purchases Using Face ID, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

With this beta, we have been able to approve a purchase on a parent’s device using Face ID. The first time a purchase approval request is received, the parent must enter their password. After entering the password for the first time, iOS asks if the parent would like to enable Face ID for future approvals.

Not Coming Soon

Apple Delays iOS Features To Focus On Reliability, Performance, by Ina Fried, Axios

Apple has shaken up its iOS software plans for 2018, delaying some features to next year in an effort to put more focus on addressing performance and quality issues, Axios has learned.


Software head Craig Federighi announced the revised plan to employees at a meeting earlier this month, shortly before he and some top lieutenants headed to a company offsite.


Apple Celebrates Brazilian Carnival With Lively ‘Selfies On iPhone X’ Ad And More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The featured microsite is mostly made up of selfies shot on the iPhone X using the Stage Light Portrait Lightning effect. It also features tips on using Portrait Lighting and a new video.

Using iPad For Long-Form Writing, by

Overall, I’m very happy with my choice to move most of my long-form typing to iPad. And I’m very pleased with the Canopy/Magic Keyboard combination. I resisted the notion of attaching a keyboard to an iPad for too long. I stand by my original opinion that for many, many tasks, iPad is much better as a slab of glass with no mechanical keyboard. Thus I still have no interest whatsoever in an iPad with an integrated, always-connected hardware keyboard for my own uses. I also have no desire to see iOS and macOS merge completely into some sort of combined touch/pointer Frankenstein.

However, designating my iPad as my main blogging device by optionally attaching a Magic Keyboard on occasion will help me fulfill one of my goals for 2018, which is to spend more time in iOS and to get even more use out of my iPad.

These Are The Five Best Things About Using The iPhone X, by Jessica Dolcourt, CNET

Face ID doesn't always work when I want it to, but when it does, it can whisk me right into password-protected websites such as Amazon and my bank. That saves me from having to type my password a million times. It works similarly to registering your fingerprint to access a site -- except you literally never have to lift a finger.

The Seven Apps Every Woman Should Own, by Arwa Mahdawi, The Guardian

Take the dating app Bumble, for example, which was started by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd and has been designed with a women-centric interface. When two users of the opposite sex match on Bumble, the woman must send the first message, bucking the convention that men make the first move. Focusing on women has paid off; Bumble had a stellar 2017 and is valued at more than $1bn ($710m). And Bumble is just one of a growing number of apps designed with women in mind. From pedicure-scheduling to confidence-boosting to pill-planning, when it comes to a female need, there’s now often an app for that. Here, Guardian writers recommend some of their favourites.

Hands-on: Elgato Eve Button Lets You Program Multiple HomeKit Scenes With A Click, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Eve Button [...] is designed to let you activate specific HomeKit scenes with a physical button click — without using Siri or the Home app. You can still create groups of actions and automations through HomeKit, but having a physical controller can prove more convenient or accessible in certain situations.

Creating Business Cards Is A Breeze With Business Card Shop For macOS, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

The app is easy to use. Choose a template or start from scratch. Customize your card. Print cards on your own inkjet/laser printer. You can also submit your design to an online commercial printer if you want special UV finishes or raised inks.


Ten Days In Shenzhen, by Karim Jean Yaghmour

Unlike software where exploring the realm of possibilities and trying each one out is almost always only a click away, exploring the world of what's possible in hardware can only be done for so long in a seated position. Yes, you can find a lot of blogs with pictures and videos on Youtube on any given hardware topic. You can even take the time to explore the entire online catalogue of shops like Sparkun and Adafruit – which I did btw. But that's not enough. There comes a point where you need to touch and try. In the software world, if I want to try a project, I just grab it from github, build it and go from there. It doesn't work? No issues, go back to github, wash, rinse, repeat. For hardware, you actually have to look for parts in catalogues, order them, wait for them to arrive, try them and then decide whether you need to repeat that loop again because what you got doesn't do what you thought it did. The iteration loop is orders of magnitudes slower and that's especially painful when you're in a learning process because it means you're not learning as quickly. Plus, it's not free. You actually have to buy those parts with real money and possibly pay for shipping because it isn't sold by Amazon or the likes.

That's when you realize that having people around you who already have significant experience in hardware is priceless. Their map of what's possible and what's not and how to implement a specific part of a design in hardware is something no amount of self-exploration can replace. For me, being able to reach out to my friend and hardware mentor David Anders (also known as prplague) has been and continues to be invaluable. Dave was often able to point out pitfalls and steer me in the right direction when I was stuck. He was also helpful in administering the occasional slap in the back of the head when I was biting off more than I could chew.

By September of last year it was evident to me that a stop by Shenzhen was warranted

Bottom of the Page

I don't know how to do small talks. I don't hate them. I don't run away whenever a small talk situation arises. I'll just, most of the time, remain silent and hope other people will continue discussing the weather without me opening my mouth.

Which is rather awkward when the number of people involved in the small-talking session is two: the other person, and me.

To compensate, when I know in advance that there will be small talk scenarios up ahead, I almost always plan out potential topics to talk about. Do I know anything about the person? Interests? Hobbies? Work? Are there any noteworthy but non-controversial things that happened recently? Do I recall what I've read, or watched, or listened, lately?

This is more tiring than debugging regular expressions.

Which is my way of saying that I welcome the end of the 200,000 years of modern human civilization when smartphones were invented, which caused everyone to just sit around and look at their phones and stop talking to each other.


Thanks for reading.