Crashing Clockwise #532: ‘Oh, My Poor Nose!’
Sorry I’m late guys! I just wasn’t watching the clock closely enough, I guess. But I wouldn’t miss crashing episode #532 of Clockwise.
Mikah Sargent: What apps do you regularly use to take photos on your phone?
99.999% of the time (or higher), I use the stock Camera app on my iPhone to take photos. My go-to method to get to the camera is from the lock screen, or with a triple back-tap. I also have it set up as an icon from Control Center, conveniently placed exactly where it is on the lock screen so that there’s no fuss in getting that quick snap. With so many ways to open the camera, I don’t even have its icon on my home screen.
The only exception to my stock camera usage is when I remember that I pay for Halide’s pro plan so that I can take macro shots with my iPhone 13 mini. Although it has an ultra-wide lens, the 13 mini does not get the macro mode in the stock camera app. So I give the Lux developers $12 a year to use Halide’s macro mode instead if I ever want those up-close-and-personal shots with the micro world. Can I tell you when the last was that I used Halide instead of the Camera app? No, no I cannot. But I like having that tool available to me because I think those photos look so dang cool.
Rosemary Orchard: What is your favorite recent, small (less than $75) tech purchase that you would recommend to others?
In some good timing, I wrote up a blog post with two-sentence reviews for a bunch of gadgets and gizmos that I’ve picked up just a few weeks ago. Not all the things on that list are under $75, but a fair few of them are.
If I were to choose a favorite off that list, I’d have to double up on Stephen’s recommendation of the Hoto Electric Screwdriver. I echo everything he said. The carrying case with all the bits is awesome. The USB-C charging is convenient. The light is nice. But the best thing is that it’s small and light, so it can be used in tight spaces where a more typical power drill just wouldn’t. And you can stick it in a pocket to carry it around the house.
But two more things deserve a mention.
First, Anker’s 733 Power Bank (or GaNPrime PowerCore 65W 🤷♂️) at $70 on sale is pretty sweet. It’s both a battery bank and a wall charger, all in one! This is replacing the big battery pack and the older power brick that lived in my travel bag. Now I can just plug this one thing into the wall, and with its three charging ports, I should be able to power up everything I typically take on a trip. And if I need a little extra juice where there’s no place to plug into a wall, I can still just charge off the battery bank itself. And, I should never have to remember to charge it up because it’ll always be charging itself when plugged into the wall at night each trip. I’m pretty psyched about the features, and having one fewer thing to lug around.
Second, the Lutron Caséta switches. Granted, to get started with their required hub will probably cost a little more than $75. But the switches themselves are usually less than $75 a pop. Go for the Diva Switch for dimming lights, or the Claro Switch for simple on/off lights.
If you have members of your household who get frustrated with smart lights because Siri doesn’t like to listen to them, or they don’t want to go hunting through their phone to turn on a light, just get these. You’ll be a hero in the home because these gizmos will always work as a normal switch wired in the wall. But you can still control them via the Home app, activate them with Siri, and set up automations. They’ve been absolutely great.
I put off buying these for years because I thought they’d be tricky to install, but they’re totally not. I switched (heh) out a bunch of them in our new home all in an afternoon. The only downside? They don’t play well with smart lightbulbs. So if you have a light that you really like having RGB color-changing capabilities, maybe stick with the dumb switch for it.
Dan Moren: What new features of iOS 17.2 are you looking forward to?
While I’d like to say the Journal app because it would spur more personal journalling, I’m too much of a realist to do so. I’ve had Day One on my home screen for years, and I still only occasionally open it up to jot down my thoughts there. I am excited for my wife to try the Journal app because she has expressed interest in starting a gratitude journal, and I think she’d appreciate a built-in app over digging through the App Store.
But since I know I probably won’t use the Journal app, I’m going to go with the Listening History Focus filter for Apple Music as well. When I need to get in the zone, nothing does it quite like orchestral music or the BEATstrumentals playlist. But I don’t need music recommendations or song counts tallying up based on those listening sessions. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m glad there will finally be a way to easily switch that history on and off.
Stephen Robles: What new feature in macOS Sonoma has increased or impacted your workflows?
Perhaps my favorite new feature is the slow-motion screen savers/wallpapers. They bring me delight every time I turn on my Mac.
But the one that has impacted my workflows the most is probably the improved Passwords and Autofill experience. I’m slowly extricating myself from 1Password, and switching over to iCloud Keychain/Passwords has been nearly seamless. It’s great at detecting password fields, but when it needs a little help having them live behind the Autofill option in a right-click context menu is so handy.
And, of course, Ricky Mondello’s Passwords shortcut as an “app” on my home screen.
Bonus Question: What is something that always makes you feel better when you’re sad?
Most of the time, I’ll retreat to my ‘Sad’ playlist for some good emotional music to help me get the feelings out. But if I want a pick-me-up, I’ll revisit the Instagram message chain that I have with my wife which consists of nothing but funny or heartwarming videos, usually of pets or cute animals. It’s just the best.
My Question: For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, winter is knocking at our door. What’s something that you’re looking forward to in the upcoming snowy season?
For me, it’s ice climbing. When the weather turns too chilly for rock climbing, it’s time to pull out the ice axes and crampons and start scaling the frozen waterfalls and features. I started ice climbing back in college at the Michigan Ice Festival for a few winters. And then didn’t get another opportunity until last winter after I moved to the Adirondacks. I fell in love with the sport and now like it nearly as much as rock climbing!
In fact, I got out for a handful of pitches just this morning, despite the warmer temps and retreating ice. It’s helpful to have something that has you wishing for cold temperatures when you live in a place with frigid winters like northern New York State.
Catch you next week!