Vincent Ritter

Thoughts

My thoughts, micro blog style. Usually short showing off ideas, screenshots and other things that might be on my mind on the day.

Just finished reading Caliban’s War (Book 2 of the Expanse series) 📚 Great story. Although, just like Book 1, the ending felt somewhat rushed. Going to read book 3 for sure.

The frustrating part of learning more about Apple Arcade games is that the App Store listing preview text (shown without tapping the “more” button) always starts the same.

“Play [Some Game] with Apple Arcade, a game subscription service...” blah blah

They should rename “smartphone” to “PC” because that’s exactly what it is. A Personal Computer.

My current home screen. Great quote by Bruce Lee:

One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.

I’ve been using Outlook on iOS the past few days. I really like that A: it works and B: it has the concept of a “focused” inbox. So I’ll only get notified when someone emails me directly. Other mail like bills etc don’t seek attention. Nice!

Just sketching out some ideas for a really simple web template/layout for my apps like Gluon or Status. Ideally something I could re-use easily without much hassle. Let’s see. Notebook and pen at the ready!

Not a very productive week for me so far. However, not every day or week is perfect. I’m sure in a few days I’ll be back in the swing of things. Perhaps my mind needs some time to think… let’s see what it comes up with.

Just been using Windows for a bit, installing a few apps and services. One thing that strikes me… Apple’s own apps are really bad on it. It’s like they make no effort. Compare that to Microsoft products on the Mac… they really do their best. Not perfect, but still really great.

A good example would be OneDrive. It integrates really well into Windows and also, surprisingly, into macOS too. I wish Apple took a few pages from “the other companies”. And I also think they should take that to their own platforms too.

I know it’s not in Apple’s interest, I totally get it, but the quality of apps you get seems to be, lately, much nicer from third parties. Even if it’s on a third party platform.

Inbox Zero achieved.

And only 2 flagged emails (4 messages)… not 8! Catalina Mail bugs are great!

I was dreaming, the past few nights, that I was converting over to use Microsoft Windows and the Surface Pro line as my main devices… Interesting thoughts for sure.

There are 3 books on my bedside table. That’s 3 more than I usually have. I’m happy I started reading. 📚

I’m working on a nice client project that also includes sound clips of certain animals. But when I download them,  Music stops playing and adds the file to my library and plays it… 😭

The Books app in iOS13 has a new feature that gives you reading goals and other gamification. If you like reading on your devices but don’t want to gamify it, like I do, you can turn it off in the Settings app (-> Books -> Reading Goals).

I’m thinking of adding a “Save this planet” section to my apps (in settings or so). It could include links on great charities that one can donate to and perhaps spread more awareness about that whole topic.

A new quirk of mine… once I finish my coding sessions… I close all active windows and collapse the folders. So when I come back, I only see this:

Really great to focus on what you want to work on in that moment. A bit of zen to chaos.

With the 1Hz display on the Apple Watch, I’m wondering what a 1Hz iPad/e-reader would look like. I hope that they explore that space. That would be quite exciting!

I think I’ll slowly move away from small companies that are funded mainly by venture capital. When I come across an app or service, that you pay for, you know that the indie developer, without funding, put all his heart and energy into the product.

I’d rather support them, than the “cash sheet to pay back investors”. Knowing truly that my money goes to the developer and his family. Knowing that when they get paid they are truly relieved and, I hope, happy.

The world is at a strange spot and I wish non funded companies would dominate and be the norm.

I just pushed out build 35 for Gluon. It adds a pure black theme, which looks really stunning. Combine that with your chosen accent colour it really looks great!

Also added a few tweaks to the UI and the reply screen… nothing major but important.

I pushed out a small update for Gluon that will now nicely display a first name and a username in your feed. It’s an important change, which doesn’t add too much clutter to the timeline. Really want to bring back a slightly more human touch to it.

I’ve been chipping away at a client project, a few hours a day (3 - 5) without stressing too much about it. Taking care to just do something at small bursts and concentrated intervals. The main point to just work at the problem one piece at a time and making that daunting to-do task way smaller. Feels great. On top I feel way more productive than rushing and burning that night oil. So far the project seems to be on track, which makes me happy.

I get many emails in my inbox mention something along the lines of: “Your website looks good and is well developed BUT it’s not optimised for [insert some crap big search engine]”.

I really couldn’t give a damn. They are not the internet!

A good social network should be about community/groups. A group should not be an “account” as such. A group should be separate with organisers, of real accounts, where everyone can come together. For example “Xcoders” should be a group of people together and not one account. In a sense, I feel, this would create better “online” communities in all with people responsible for the group in a whole… talking as a whole. Yes, I think it’s important to of course be able to set who is allowed to post on behalf of the group but everyone should be able to contribute.

Groups could be anything of course. “Plane Spotters Poland” or “Coffee nerds New York” or “Let’s fight for the planet and the future of humankind”.

Maybe something like MeetUp.

Groups/Communities should be easily discoverable in general where everyone can find what they’re into.

Groups should actively seek to do things in the real world and out of the digital. Digital being a medium of message but with real world change and human exchanges and experiences.

Maybe I’m stretching it a bit… hard to describe what I mean...

Does anyone have any recommendations on a good site, or book, about good personal finance? Good for tips like saving, especially for those times when it gets tough. Good and actionable no matter the income.

Just thinking how the most advanced device of its time, in 2007, was $500. It was truly revolutionary and pushed the world to what it is today... good and bad. $500 for a device that changed the world. That was the original iPhone.

Can a good social network do away with usernames? I think it could, given thought. Contacts should me more like your address book. Make it invisible. No more “@“s. Bring back the human part like “Hey Vincent” and not “Hey @“. I’m not an @.

Saying all that, just now, I think the Apple Watch is the perfect answer. It has utility and function and you can be connected when you need to be. I look forward what the future brings here... unless they screw that up somehow (bigger screens).

Things I didn’t like about the Apple Keynote:

  • When they mention how the iPhone changed the way we live in ways no one ever imagined. (47 min mark on the video).

They should trademark that. Robot humans. People clinging onto their phones like their life depends on it. Car crashes and deaths because of FOMO. Friends talking to each other whilst messaging or checking a feed of some sort… not actually interacting with each other. Parents more obsessed with their phone than their children. All that great stuff you know… feeling empowered to do great things like checking your email or that blue social network… great use of energy and resources of the A13 Bionic processor. So wasteful. Oh and countless selfies… hence we’re getting an upgrade.

Oh I could go on.

Things I loved during the Apple Keynote (Live stream):

  • The animated Apple logo when the stream started - make it a screensaver please Apple!!!! You need some new ones in Catalina!
  • The intro video. They’re always very creative.

That’s it.

Predictive text on iOS is getting so bad that I just want to revert to typing on my laptop for anything more than a couple of sentences.

Seeing bugs on the iOS13 simulator, on the Xcode 11 GM, that aren’t there on the real device 🤔

Time Machine backups pretty much stopped working after beta 2 or 3 of Catalina. Let’s see if it works now...

Last night I tidied up a few things on Gluon. Simpler screens and logic, moved search to “Discover More” as an experiment, ultimately getting rid of clutter on the tab bar. Also managed to reduce the app size by 100KB. And added push! Coming soon 😊

Mail on iOS13 is still broken in the latest 13.1 beta… Why fix something that certainly wasn’t broken in iOS12? It’s so frustrating that Apple are doing this.

My daughter always brings a smile to my face, and my inner self, no matter how bad the day.

Continuing my “good social network” topic. A good social network should never allow ads from advertisers. Advertising the social network itself is OK. A featured post, something like the Discover section on Micro.blog, should be encouraged.

Just pushed out build 8 (2019.1) for Gluon. This fixes an outstanding, and longterm, issue with swiping back out from a conversation or somewhere where feed items are showing.

Thank you to Matthew for bearing with me on this one! It still requires some tweaking but I hope this is an improvement already.

I’m about push out and update for Gluon, on iOS, that will tweak a few things especially the swipe actions on a cell. Also worked on speeding up the navigation to a conversation. It used to wait until the screen opened before fetching any data, but now it goes ahead and does it as you tap the post or conversation button.

As a test, I removed the “see who they’re following” on profiles. Is it important? Does the Discovery section not allow you to make your own decision whom to follow? Should I create a special screen that will load random profiles? Feedback welcome. Personally I’d like to just randomly find people that pop up on Discover. It gives a better feeling of “chance encounters”. The profile data you get back from the following count isn’t enough to give you a sense of whom they are anyway… just a name and username.

Anyway, here are the new swipe actions:

A good social network needs to be something that is built for the long-term happiness of people. Us humans. Not something built out of greed or “just yet another social network because everyone else is doing it”.

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