I am moving to Substack. Please follow me there.

A note to my loyal followers:

WordPress has finally pushed me over the edge. It is no longer the simple blogging platform that it once was. I can no longer continue using it as my blogging platform.

Going forward I will be blogging on Substack. I invite you to start following me there. You can subscribe at lorenstephens.substack.com, and you will get an email right in your inbox every time I post something new.

Thank you for being a loyal follower.

Desktop vs Mobile vs Tablet

Are you ditching the third device?

I often wonder how many people actually own an iPad and if they do how often they actually use it. I know there are iPad enthusiasts like Federico Viticci and Christopher Lawley. But what about you and me?

According to my blog’s Google Search Console visitor statistics the distribution of device type used to visit my blog puts the tablet (which includes iPad) far behind the desktop (which includes laptop), and the smartphone.

  • Desktop 63%
  • Smartphone 34%
  • Tablet 3%

These percentages are fairly consistent month after month.

I have an iPad, but I haven’t used it for a few months. A few weeks ago I figured I should be using it so the other day I turned it into a read-only device. You know what? I still don’t use it because I would rather read on my iPhone.

With a laptop and today’s larger screen phones is a tablet necessary?

MacBook Butterfly keyboard suit gets class action status

“Apple customers unhappy with the butterfly keyboards used in MacBook models from 2015 on will be able to proceed with a lawsuit against the Cupertino company, as the judge overseeing the case has given it class action status. The suit covers anyone who purchased a MacBook with a butterfly keyboard in California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan.” Juli Clover for MacRumors

This lawsuit will include those who bought a MacBook between 2015 and 2017, a MacBook Pro between 2016 and 2019, or a MacBook Air between 2018 and 2019. We have a 2019 MacBook Air but so far have not had a problem with the keyboard. We also live in New Jersey so it sounds like if we do have an issue at a later date we will be included in the suit.

New from Bitwarden: Send

Secure one-to-one information sharing

Bitwarden has been my password manager since 1Password went subscription a few years ago. Don’t get me wrong I love 1Password but by comparison, it’s pricey. Bitwarden is free to use with Premium features for $10 a year. The free version will do everything most people need from a password manager.

This week Bitwarden introduced a cool new feature. Send for secure one-to-one information sharing. “Bitwarden Send is a lightweight utility used to share information with another person for a limited period of time. Bitwarden users can easily transmit a file or text, and rest easy knowing the sent information is protected with end-to-end encryption, and will not live forever. Users choose an expiration date for the Send link, after which it no longer works to access the information.”

“This new feature is available on all Bitwarden clients: Web Vault, mobile, browser extensions, and CLI, meaning users will always have a secure way to share sensitive information temporarily.”

About Send | Bitwarden Help & Support

Create a Send | Bitwarden Help & Support

This isn’t something that I will use all that often but it sure is good to know that Send is there for that rare occasion that I need it.

Did the Bitwarden Safari web extension disappear on your Mac?

Bitwarden Safari extension no longer works with the Bitwarden direct download application

Today I needed to login into a website so I opened Safari and went to open the Bitwarden extension and to my surprise, it wasn’t there. WTF!

Here is whats up: “Due to changes by Apple, Safari limits Web Extension use to only those obtained through Mac App Store downloads. As of the 2021-03-11 Release, users will not be able to use a Bitwarden Safari Extension obtained through a .dmg installation from bitwarden.com/download or any other non-App Store source. ”Safari Web Extension | Bitwarden Help & Support

According to Bitwarden Support Release Notes the Safari App Extension has officially been ported to a Web Extension for use with Safari 14 . Due to changes to Safari, Web Extension use is now limited to only those obtained through Mac App Store download. Release Notes | Bitwarden Help & Support

I unistalled the download version of Bitwarden and installed the Mac App Store version and all is good. A little advance notice on this issue would have been nice.

Independent bloggers are questioning where they publish their content?

I regularly read several blogs like mine written by individuals. They’re mostly tech and Apple-focused. I’m finding a constant theme amongst us lately. We’re questioning if we are blogging on the right platform if we should have a newsletter yada-yada-yada. Why? Because we’re all in search of more views for our content and to increase our subscriber/follower base.

We find ourselves in this place because we have way too many choices for posting our content. Where do I blog? Ghost, WordPress, Medium, MicroBlog, Jekyll, Hugo. Hosted or self-hosted. Should I have a newsletter or only a newsletter? Substack, Revue, Hey World, MailChimp, ConvertKit. Holy shit! The list just goes on and on. Where and the hell is the right place to be?

I find reading stories by fellow bloggers about this subject interesting. It lets me know that I’m not the only one who struggles with this.

Jeff Perry

Jeff Perry – Moving Back to Substack

The thing that I hate is the fact that I have moved platforms so much over the past year. I know it is frustrating to readers, because it is frustrating to me.

Jeff Perry

A goal I have is to make Tablet Habit bigger than just a hobbyist newsletter. I would love to make it a side hustle or my literal job. It won’t happen overnight, but I think it’s possible in due time.

If you haven’t subscribed, check it out! It’s free. TabletHabit.com

Matt Birchler

Why Newslettersr?

​There is a definite trend of email newsletters becoming the primary medium for writers who “go indie” recently. In years past, these folks would be starting blogs, but you don’t see nearly as many new blogs these days, and things like Substack and Mailchimp have made it so that anyone can get up and running with a newsletter, and if they’re big enough, get paid to do so.

Instead of ranting about why I think blogs are a better medium for writing in basically every way, I instead wanted to try to understand why so many people are opting for emails over the web. Here are my questions:

  1. What about writing in a newsletter is more enjoyable than writing for a blog?
  2. Are newsletter audiences more engaged than blog subscribers?
  3. As a reader, do you prefer reading in your email app to an RSS app (or just the web in general)?
  4. Do you not miss things like link posts and “going viral” which are much harder, if impossible to do with emails?
  5. Is it easier to get people to sign up for a paid subscription compared to the web?

LJPUK

Giving up on Substack (and newsletters in general) – LJPUK

I think it comes down to energy levels and focussing on one output method, in my case this blog. I much prefer to write shorter posts that I can do from my iPhone whenever I want to. My main issue with newsletters is I want to share these shorter posts, not something that I store up for a weekly release.

Chris Hannah

What Is Your Perspective?

But I realised that when I was reading other people’s writing, while I was usually interested in the topic itself, I found the most value when the author made it personal and provided their own perspective. And that’s what I’m trying to do with my own writing.

Now when writing about a topic, I remind myself that if anyone reads my blog, they’re probably not coming here as their primary source of news. So I may as well make it personal because what else have I got? I’ve only got access to one perspective. My own.

Here’s some good advice from Om Malik and John DeVore:

Om Malik

Homestead

Are newsletters the new blogs — or is it that blogs are newsletters? I can’t tell. For me, however, the blog is my homestead.

HEY World makes what’s old new again with blogging.

But ultimately, the truth is that it doesn’t matter how you express yourself. Discussions and worries about platforms and tools are distractions. CJ Chilvers is quite right when he says, “Publishing online is all about relationships.” Kevin Kelly, the legendary author and founding editor of Wired magazine, argues that 1,000 true fans are enough. I would say that even one is good enough.

John DeVore

Who Am I Writing For?

My best work happens when I write for a single person instead of a mass of people. Like any writer, I want to be popular. I want to be read by as many people as possible. But the only way to do that is to connect with one person. Before I write anything — whether it’s a social media post for a brand or a first-person essay or a movie review — I ask myself, “Who am I writing for?”

New in NetNewsWire 6: Syncing Via BazQux, Inoreader, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, and FreshRSS

More news today from NetNewsWire. “NetNewsWire 6 — currently in beta (Mac for now) — adds support for a bunch of RSS sync systems: BazQux, Inoreader, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, and FreshRSS. (NetNewsWire already supported Feedly and Feedbin: this makes the list a lot longer.)”

If you’ve held off on checking out NetNewsWire because you use one of the above, well, you don’t have to wait any more. If you are new to RSS this is an excellent reader and it’s also free.

Thoughts on Notion app

Mac Power User episode 587 Getting to Know Notion, with August Bradley was about how August uses Notion. It has been getting a fair amount of buzz lately so I decided to check it out.

First what is Notion? It is an all-in-one workspace that provides components such as notes, databases, wikis, calendars, and reminders.

I spent an entire day getting to know the app. To get started I watched several videos so that I would have some idea of what I was doing when opened the app to nothing more than a blank page. Next, I worked with a few of the built-in templates, made my own notes notebook, and started making a notes database. By the end of the day, I had a basic understanding of how things work in Notion.

Here is my takeaway. For personal use Notion is a powerful personal wiki app that requires building out components for what it is that you want from the app. It also takes a lot of customization and tweaking. I could see that this could become a major time suck. Why not just use an app instead?

Things to consider:

After a day of using the app, I don’t see a use case for me. Of course, this is my opinion. Your situation may be different.

Since Notion is free for personal use I might continue experimenting with it just for the learning experience. But, I doubt that it could ever become part of my workflow.

4 New things I learned today about my Mac’s Dock

I was catching up on some reading today and one of the articles that I read was Get to Know Your Mac’s Dock by Kirk McElhern. I’m not a Mac newbie but even as an experienced Mac user (sometimes considered a power user) I still learn new things all the time.

“One of the key elements you use to interact with your Mac is the Dock. You can use the Dock in many ways: you can open apps, you can open files by dragging them on icons in the Dock, you can open folders that you’ve stored in the Dock, and more.”

In Kirk’s article you will discover the many configuration options available for the Dock, and the best way to turn the Dock into a high-powered productivity booster.

The 4 things that I learned

  1. Magnification

In the early days, the Dock’s magnification was on by default; these days, now it’s off by default. When you select this setting, the Dock icons increase in size when you hover your cursor over them. This has the advantage of providing a bigger target when you drag a file to the Dock, but you may, like me, find it a distraction.

  1. Animation

The Dock preferences have a few settings for the way things animate in the Dock, or when you minimize windows by clicking the yellow button at the top left of a window or by double-clicking a window’s title bar.

  1. Add files and folders

You can also add files and folders to the right (or bottom) section of the Dock; just drag them there, to the left of the Trash icon.

  1. Click and hold menu

You’ll notice other settings in the menu that displays when you click and hold an app icon: you can have it launch at login, you can show it in the Finder, and, if you use Spaces, you can assign it to a specific desktop.

The changes I made

Previously I had the Dock on the bottom with Hide on and a smaller size than the default. Now I have the Dock on the left with Magnification on, and Genie effect Animation, and the same smaller size. I also removed a few apps that I rarely use. I’m liking my new Dock setup.