Mike Schmitz put together a fantastic summary for The Sweet Setup, covering all the highlights from Apple’s keynote yesterday.

I thought this was one of the most polished and entertaining Apple keynote events of the past decade. Obviously there are some advantages to having a pre-recorded broadcast rather than doing a live event. But Apple’s production team did an excellent job with making it feel authentic, whimsical, and intentional. And that’s just the production

The announcements around iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and more were all huge.

As a long-time Apple nerd, it is encouraging to see Apple’s software continue to mature and expand in both useful and whimsical ways. And, as someone who uses an iPad for the vast majority of just about everything I do, these next iterations of refinements and features to iPadOS just keep moving things forward for power users.

Everything You Need to Know from Apple’s WWDC 2020 Keynote Presentation

Over on The Sweet Setup, Josh Ginter just published a fantastic review (with photos!) of the new Magic Keyboard for iPad.

A lot of the early-access units and first reviews that came out were of the 12.9-inch model. Josh, like myself, has an 11-inch iPad and his review is of the smaller size.

There were two points that stood out to me most in Josh’s review.

First of all is just how great the hardware connection is between the iPad and the Magic Keyboard. You attach them and you are good to go. You detach them and you are good to go. There is no pairing or unpairing required.

This lack of friction is such a massive advantage that — even for me — I will often just use the attached keyboard even though I have a fussy, clickey bluetooth keyboard already on my desk and ready to pair with the iPad. (More on that another time.)

Secondly, I love how Josh highlights the “philosophical” positioning / signaling of what the iPad Magic Keyboard means for the iPad as a whole:

If ever there was a sign that Apple was working on the iPad’s perceived shortcomings, it’s this: The Magic Keyboard dramatically improves — I’d venture to say “flips on its head” — the notion that the iPad has poor keyboard and trackpad support.

As John Gruber commented regarding Jason Snell’s review of the Magic Keyboard:

Apple has made iPad better in new ways without making it worse in any existing way.

Magic Keyboard: Turning the iPad Into Something New

A Blank iPhone First Home Screen

About a week ago I moved all the icons off my iPhone’s first Home screen.

Basically I moved everything over by one screen. So the first Home screen became the second, the second became third, etc. Now, my iPhone’s first Home screen is blank.

I just finished the book Make Time, by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. And one of their suggestions for reclaiming time in your day and improving your focus is to remove all the apps from your first Home screen.

In the same way that a small little meteor rock can strike the earth and create a huge crater — so too can small little interactions with our phones end up creating huge craters of time in our day.

In terms of absolute efficiency, a blank Home screen is not exactly the most efficient Home screen. By moving everything away from the first Home screen, it means my most-used apps — aside from those 3 in the Dock — are now one additional swipe away.

But I’m okay with that added bit of friction. It ensures that I’m being a bit more mindful and intentional when using my phone. I don’t know how many times I have unlocked my iPhone to do something, but then forgot what that thing was the moment I was at the Home screen. Over the past week, when I’m presented with that blank Home screen it helps me stay on track with what I’m on my phone for.

Secondly, I think the blank Home screen looks pretty great.

Lastly, I’ve found that the blank Home screen makes it easier to stop using my iPhone when I’m done with a task.

I always swipe up and up in order to exit out of the app I’m using and then exit back to my first Home screen. And so now when I do that, I end up back at the empty Home screen. And for some reason, that brings a sense of closure.

Side note: moving all my apps was a giant pain in the app. I had to move each folder one by one, from screen to screen. You can tap-and-hold to get into wiggly-app mode, and then once you’ve selected one app you can tap on other apps to select a whole bunch and move them all at once. It took me about 15 minutes — but it was actually a bit cathartic, and I deleted / rearranged some apps in the process.

A Blank iPhone First Home Screen

How to Have a Recovery Day With the Apple Watch

There are a few things I have learned over the past year of perfect Apple Watch Activity, and one of them is how to have a recovery day without breaking your workout and activity streak.

Sometimes I think the Apple Watch fitness tracking is amazing.

And sometimes I feel that my Apple Watch is trying to kill me.

For example… My November 2019 challenge is to get a total of 1,690 exercise minutes, which is an average of 56 minutes every single day. Almost double my normal goal. No thanks.

Or, consider the “stand trend”. The whole point of these trends is that you are supposed to be always trending upward! But, at what point is enough standing enough? Some of us sleep while lying down…

Anyway, my point is that the Apple Watch is always pushing and challenging. And even though I joke about it, for the most part I do like that my Watch is pushing me to stay active.

But, at the end of the day, I am the one in charge of my health and fitness. My Watch is not a personal trainer.

That’s why I have been happily taking recovery days without breaking my activity streak.

Here’s how…

. . .

On the Apple Watch there are several default workout types, but all of them are active. (Well, walking and yoga could be a bit on the chill side.)

But there are also about 60 more workout types that are buried within the Other workout option.

One of those buried workout types is called Mind and Body. The Mind and Body workout is one that I have been using for the past few months as part of my recovery day “workout” each week. I have also begun using it in order to track my times of quiet meditation.

How to Unlock the Apple Watch’s Other Workout options

As I mentioned, there are about 60 other workouts. But you wouldn’t know it unless you went through a specific series of actions.

In order to “unlock” one of the awesome, Other workouts, just do the following:

  1. Start a new workout on your Apple Watch and select Other as the workout type.
  2. Go about your workout.
  3. When you are done, you’ll be able to choose a name for the workout.
  4. Now, that workout type will be available to you in your list of workouts.

What are the “Other” Workouts?

There are about 60 of them. From Barre method to Curling, Fishing to Golf. You can see a complete list here.

The ones I use on a regular basis are Play, Mind & Body, Flexibility, Climbing, Indoor Cycle, Core Training, and Strength Training.

Using “Mind and Body” On Your Recover Day

A few months ago when I discovered the Mind and Body workout type, I began using it on my recovery days.

I would start the workout and then take 15-30 minutes to sit in quiet without any digital devices nearby. Sometimes I will have a book to read, or I will spend the time in personal prayer and meditation, or just sit in quiet.

And so I am still being intentional with that time — I am using it for quiet reflection — but I am not doing an intense or active workout.

Is this Cheating?

Nope! For me, it is a very fair and legit way to stay intentional about my health and my fitness while also being realistic about the fact that I don’t want to do an intense workout every single day of my life forever and ever until I die.

What’s great about having a recovery day workout is that I still get the motivation and momentum of keeping my workout streak going while also getting the benefits of a recovery and rest day.

The recovery day helps me keep going during the other days of the week. I’m able to take a break without breaking my streak, so to speak.

The Apple Watch is pretty great for tracking and managing your health and fitness. I’m incredibly thankful for how much it has helped me over the years. But the more I use it, the more I also see that it does still have a long way to go.

If I felt that I had to continually push myself further and further and further, eventually you can’t go any further. But the Apple Watch will never tell you that.

In fact, I’ve come to to be more and more thankful for this workout type. Because, by starting a Mind and Body workout for 15 minutes, I’m actively doing something: I am being intentional with my health. And it has helped me to be less restless and more focused during those times of quiet.

How to Have a Recovery Day With the Apple Watch

How to Edit and Organize the Shortcuts in Your iPad Home Screen Widget

One of the best new features in iPadOS has been the addition of the Today View on the iPad Home Screen.

There are a few reasons I like it. For one, it just looks better than the plain grid of icons. But, more importantly, the Today View improves the functionality of the first Home Screen by turning the Home Screen into a home base rather than just a spring board.

I have especially love having the iOS Shortcuts Widget right there on the Home Screen, allowing me to have one-tap actions and automations at my fingertips.

Now, by default, the order of the shortcuts that appear on your Shortcuts Widget are the same as those in your primary Shortcuts Library within the Shortcuts app. Showing all the Shortcuts that you’ve ever created and which were toggled to “Show in the Widget”.

If you find that you have too many shortcuts in your Home Screen Widget, it can be a bit overwhelming. You may realize you don’t need all those shortcuts to be right there all the time.

This is something that has bugged me for quite a while, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I just discovered the solution to it yesterday.

Fortunately, there is an easy — albeit somewhat hidden (at least, it was hidden to me) — way to edit and organize the shortcuts that are on your Home Screen Widget.

To edit and organize your Shortcuts Widget:

  1. Tap the top-right carrot arrow in the Shortcuts widget to expand it completely.

  2. Then, at the bottom, you’ll see the option to “Customize in Shortcuts”.

Tap the “Customize in Shortcuts” button and you’ll be taken to the Shortcuts app with a special settings window that is specifically for the Shortcuts Widget.

From here you can now rearrange the order of the Shortcuts that are displayed in the Home Screen Widget and you can quickly select the check marks for which Shortcuts you do and do not want to show up in the widget.

How to Edit and Organize the Shortcuts in Your iPad Home Screen Widget

Breckenridge Whiskey Barrels: Wallpaper Background

Breckenridge, Colorado is one of the best towns in Colorado.

It’s beautiful. It’s full of great things to do. It has a bunch of excellent food and drink spots. And, arguably, it’s home to one of the best bourbon distilleries in America.

I grew up not far from Breckenridge, and used to go up many times during the winters in order to snowboard. Nowadays I usually visit Breck with my family during the summer. And I’ve been hosting a small mastermind retreat there for the past 3 years in a row.

Earlier this summer as some friends and I were touring the Breck Distillery I snapped this photo of some of the stacked, aging barrels. It’s been my iPhone’s Home screen wallpaper for a while, and I wanted to share it for you to use if you’d like.

Download the full version directly here and save it to use as a device wallpaper on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone. Cheers!

Breckenridge Whiskey Barrels: Wallpaper Background

Long-time readers will know that for years and years I’ve used a hybrid approach to managing my tasks and time. I use both Things on my iPad and also a Baron Fig notebook.

But a few weeks ago I wondered how it would be if I went fully digital.

And then, of course, I wrote about it.

Over on The Sweet Setup you can get a look at how I’ve been experimenting with the GoodNotes app on my iPad and using some custom templates to plan out my weeks and days.

Using Custom GoodNotes Templates for Productivity and to Plan My Life

A Few Photos from The Talk Show Live at WWDC 2019

The Talk Show Live at WWDC 2019

The live podcast events at WWDC are turning into the main events, second only to the keynote. I was just barely able to get tickets to the Talk Show, and I only managed to do so by setting an alarm on my phone for a few minutes before they were scheduled to go on sale, and then furiously refreshing the web page.

But it’s worth it. This year’s The Talk Show Live show was fantasic.

I’ve been to nearly every live Talk Show. And, aside from the year when Phil Schiller showed up completely unexpected, I thought this year’s show was definitely best. John’s interview with Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak was just excellent — both insightful and entertaining.

The Talk Show Live at WWDC 2019

The Talk Show Live at WWDC 2019

The Talk Show Live at WWDC 2019

The Talk Show Live at WWDC 2019

These photos were taken with the Leica Q and edited in Lightroom CC on my iPad Pro.

A Few Photos from The Talk Show Live at WWDC 2019

For me, the most important and exciting announcement at WWDC was iPadOS.

I spent most of this week writing notes, jotting down half-formed ideas, and trying to distill why iPadOS is such a big deal.

Then, on my flight back home, I finalized my thoughts and published them in an article on the future of working on an iPad.

Hope you enjoy. (And might I suggest brewing a fresh cup of coffee and sitting down to read it.)

iPadOS: My Initial Thoughts

Photos from WWDC Trip, Day 0

Yesterday, Sunday, I flew in to California for WWDC. Here are a few photos from my first day at WWDC 2019.

Even though the conference is in San Jose, I first flew into San Fransisco to meet with a friend for dinner.

At my layover in Las Vegas.

My WWDC travel bag. (Read here for more details.)

Outside Marlowe restaurant in Soma.

After dinner in San Fransisco, I hopped the Cal Train to San Jose and got in just in time to meet up with a bunch of other Apple nerds…

Stephen Hackett and me. (Photo by Mike Hurley.)

With Federico Viticci and “Underscore” David Smith. (Photo by Mike Hurley.)

Myke Hurley.

Side note… I forgot my iPad’s SD Card reader! And, to top it all off, there’s a bug with the Leica Q app on my iPad that is keeping me from being able to import photos.

So let’s just say my photography workflow this trip is a bit convoluted. Here’s what it looks like…

I am using the Leica Q app to connect the camera to my iPhone via the camera’s built-in WiFi. Then I transfer the JPG files over to my iPHone. And then I transfer them via AirDrop to my iPad where I can edit them.

Normally, I’d just plug in the SD card reader dongle and transfer the RAW files directly to my iPad. Ah well.

Photos from WWDC Trip, Day 0