PSA: What Is Amazon Sidewalk and Why Should I Disable It Before June 8?

Brendan Hesse writing for Lifehacker:

On June 8, Amazon will launch a new feature called Sidewalk that creates small, public internet networks powered by Echo smart speakers and Ring home security products in your neighborhood. Yes, including yours—unless you disable the setting, which is turned on by default. That means if you don’t want your devices included in this particular tech experiment, you only have a week left to opt out.

🔗 Link Post: iOS 14.6 Battery Life Draining Issues? 8 Tips to Help

Paul Horowitz writing for OSXDaily.com:

Some iPhone and iPad users have reported that battery life is suffering after updating to iOS 14.6 on their device.

My normal practice is to wait a few days before installing OS updates. I want to see if the update is presenting any new issues. I was alerted to a possible battery issue with iOS 14.6 in a May 26th blog post by Lee Peterson. Therefore, I did a some research and found that several folks were having problems with rapid battery drain. I’m going to hold off installing 14.6 and wait for a fix.

As a side note Apple has stopped signing iOS 14.5.1, blocking downgrades from iOS 14.6 according to 9to5Mac, so this is no longer a possible workaround.

An update on Goodlinks my read-it-later app

Last July I wrote the following about Goodlinks.

In my opinion, GoodLinks is one of the best read-it-later apps out there. The reading experience is excellent. Articles and reading position sync between devices via iCloud. And best of all it’s a one-time purchase for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Since it’s a relatively new app it’s missing a few features. One big one for me is that there is no way to import saved bookmarks from other apps. I would like to use GoodLinks as my bookmark manager as well as read-it-later but until import is available that will have to wait.

Since then, the developer has been busy improving Goodlinks, and it has become my go to read-it-later and bookmark manager app of choice.

In version 1.1.1 the ability to import links from Instapaper, Pinboard, and Pocket was added. Version 1.2 added support for iOS and iPadOS 14 and widgets. And version 1.2.1 added the ability to export links.

At this time, the only thing that’s missing from Goodlinks is highlighting, but I can work around that by clipping excerpts to Drafts instead.

Give Goodlinks a try. I highly recommend it. Oh! And by the way, it’s a universal purchase, so it’s a one-time purchase that includes the Mac, iOS, and iPadOS apps. And it syncs via iCloud, so there’s no subscription.

My one wish for iPadOS 15

WWDC is just around the corner. With the 2021 iPad Pro having a M1 chip there has been a lot of speculation about what might be coming to the iPad with iPadOS 15.

I’m not a pro user so a lot of what’s being speculated is lost on me. But I do have one wish. I would like to see the Files app become a true Finder equivalent. Files needs an Open In option so that I know which app is going to open when I tap a file. And I want the ability to view a file’s extension and to be able to change it.

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.