Tech Bytes

Saturday Tech Bytes last week…Sunday Tech Bytes this week. What. Is. Happening. I promise they’ll be back to their regularly scheduled Friday slot soon. Life’s just coming at me fast right now. We’re visiting C’s family in South Carolina, and between playing with a pack of (ok, four) dogs, chasing a baby around, and all of the fun family bonding, blogging isn’t always at the top of the list. But tonight ended up being an early night, so here I am, surrounded by sleeping pups, typing away. Hope you learn something new — or at least crack a smile!

1. I have mixed feelings on email. On one hand, I have no idea how anyone did business or functioned in everyday life without it. On the other hand, it’s the bane of my existence and I wish my life (personal and professional) didn’t revolve so much around it. But since it is, unfortunately, a necessary evil in my life, I have always been very particular about which email app I use on my phone. I am not a “use the default Apple Mail app” kind of gal. Instead, I’ve always opted for 3rd party apps — there was Mailbox (RIP), Boxer (which seems to have ditched their consumer model altogether), Edison Mail, Spark, and of course old reliables like Gmail, Yahoo, and Microsoft. Look, I’ve tried them all. And other than Mailbox, I haven’t REALLY loved any of them. But after Mailbox died (or was killed, rather), there’s one I’ve been using that I actually came to enjoy — it started out as Cloud Magic, and then morphed into Newton Mail. It wasn’t perfect, but it was as good as I could find. BUT THEN I GOT AN EMAIL A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO NOTIFYING ME THAT IT WAS SHUTTING DOWN. Ugh. Why can’t these 3rd party apps survive? I don’t REALLY know. However, one reason I hear again and again in each post-mortem is that there just isn’t a big enough market for premium consumer mail apps. I guess I’m one of the only suckers that paid for them over and over again. So for now, it’s back to the native Gmail app while I do some research on what other viable options are out there. If you have one you really love (that I haven’t mentioned), let me know!

2. How technology affects young children and how to help them combat the addictive power of all of these devices is a topic I am genuinely fascinated by. We don’t have any children yet, but even before I was married I watched children all around me engage with smartphones, tablets, and video games and my mind started to fill with questions and worry. There have been some really good articles written on the topic — this was one of the best (and scariest). And here is another good one I read the other day that gives me a little hope for a change. The verdict is still out on how C and I will handle it all someday, but I’m excited for the challenge.

3. If you read the blog regularly, you know that I have long struggled with what smartwatch/activity tracker to give the most wrist-time to. In fact, you can find my Fitbit vs. Apple watch comparison here. In there I mentioned what I wished for in Fitbit’s next iteration of the Charge (aptly named the Charge 3). Well, my wishlist wasn’t COMPLETELY met, but it launches tomorrow (10/7) and Fitbit got pretty darn close. If you’re not into paying $400+ for an Apple Watch, I think this one is going to be worth a look!

4. Are Bert & Ernie friends? Brothers? Gay lovers? Does it really matter? The Internet sure does make me laugh sometimes.

5. I recently struggled to figure out how to do something in Instagram Stories, and after about an hour of Googling I realized there were quite a few other little features I wasn’t aware of. So I thought I’d share. Here was one of the most useful articles I found, although it actually didn’t address my question. In case you’re trying to figure out the same thing I was, I’ll save you the headache since there doesn’t appear to be a clear answer on the Google machine. I was trying to use the “Strong” text option with a highlighted background — but wanted to make the text a different color than white. By default, if you change the highlight/background color to anything other than white, the text becomes white (I assume for ideal contrast). I had seen other people do this in their Stories, but couldn’t figure it out. Answer: change the highlight color first, then hold your finger down on the screen and “select” all of the text you want to alter (as if you’re going to use the Apple cut/copy feature) and choose the color you want for the text. See below.

181007 Instagram Highlight with Different Color Text

 

What I’m reading (and listening to):

Audiobook (on Audible) — Girl, Wash Your Face

PaperbackLeague of Denial

Kindle — A Tale of Two Cities (an oldie but goodie)

Podcast(s) — Still true crime binging! Some of my faves: Once Upon a Crime, True Crime Guys, Southern Fried True Crime, Generation Why, Trace Evidence, The Fall Line

 

As I mentioned, we’re in Clemson for Columbus Day Weekend (yay for bank holidays!), where Dexter Bojangles got to learn the origin of his middle name, and meet his Walker cousins, Duke and Reily.

Hope your weekend is filled with as much cuteness as ours has been!

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