Welcome to the last edition of this newsletter for 2023. I hope that you enjoyed the ride so far and looking forward to meeting you on the other side: in 2024. Enjoy.
👨🏻💻 20 articles posted on my blog & 3 articles shared on my main website 😃
🏞️ 11 photos shared 😃
🎙️ One podcast episode published 😃
📺 No YouTube video published 😔
Some highlights from recent readings.
Some of us will try to neatly organize everything under one hyper-curated digital roof, while others will scatter things around on 12 different domains and 24 services. — Manu
Some things don’t change and won’t change. Only the tools used to convey those lies change – from high priests and mass media to social networks and artificial intelligence. — Om Malik
1️⃣ I recently started interacting with this guy on Micro.blog. I discovered an artist, and I wish I had his talent for drawing. He's very good at it! And he's very good at photography too! Kudos to him.
“Thanks for sharing! You share a ton of detail every week. It's pretty impressive how much quality content you create.” — Eric, who left this comment on my blog where this series is published.
1️⃣ This comment made my day. I don't often get these comments, but when I do, I'm really appreciative. 2️⃣ As I wrote in the Apple section below, iOS 17.2 was released, including the highly awaited journaling app. It's currently only available for the iPhone, which is a mistake. I understand that the journal app can kickstart the writing process by offering information tidbits and starting to write around them, but long typing sessions on the iPhone are not my thing. The iPad version is probably not far ahead, and the Mac version afterward. I've been using Day One for many years, and I don’t think Apple's take on journaling is something the maker of Day One should fear for now. Beyond some experimentation, I'm still unsure if I will use Apple Journal on specific use cases. Time will tell. 3️⃣ Day One, the leader in journaling apps on Apple's devices, doesn't stand still. They do take advantage of some new things in iOS 17.2. See the documentation here. 4️⃣ I had this bad dream that I shared the details in the last edition of the Friday Notes series. Behind the scenes, Day One now integrates with the Apple Suggestions API to bring Journaling suggestions directly into Day One. This is nice.
1️⃣ Each month, I receive an email from Unsplash highlighting analytics. I pasted it on the exhibit section below. Unsplash is still hugely popular if my analytics are any indication. I should probably contribute more often than I do. I prefer to focus on Glass and Pixelfed. 2️⃣ Is the upcoming Apple Vision Pro about to change photography as the iPhone did? I'm skeptical in the short term. The Apple headset price and limited availability confer a niche status to the device. Let's wait for the second generation. 3️⃣ It was Pixelmator Pro's turn to get full HDR editing support. I'm not a big user of Pixelmator; I prefer Photomator, which is from the same company. These two apps might be the ones that will replace Adobe Lightroom next year. Read all the details here.
1️⃣ Right in the middle of the week, I was wondering if I'll be able to record one last episode on my podcast before the end of the year. By Friday noon, an idea popped up: wrapping up the year 2023. The episode “Wrapping up 2023” is available here on Micro.blog or in the Apple Podcast. Enjoy.
1️⃣ Apple released a slew of updates for all its hardware platforms. Update all your devices; it’s worth your time. I'm always amazed by Apple's capabilities to deliver new releases to millions of users and devices without too much trouble and issues. Software development is complex. Are there any other companies that offer something similar? 2️⃣ Apple is already working on the next betas for all its platforms, as they also released iOS 17.3, iPadOS 17.3, etc. They never stop! 3️⃣ Apple invited some press members to experience Spatial Videos on the Vision Pro. It's not the first time, but Apple asked people to bring their videos on this occasion. People reactions were enthusiastic and emotive. It's interesting to see Apple marketing machine in action and be so manipulative of the press. It's just works. Spatial videos might be > Spatial Audio? Time will tell.
The playback of the videos happens in what seems like a hazy, light, borderless frame, giving the videos a dreamlike quality. It is a very strange feeling — as if you have been transported back in time — and the videos have a dimensionality to them. The spatial videos I experienced felt more like memories — somewhere between reality and an abstraction of it. — Om Malik
🚧 Special projects
1️⃣ At the beginning of next year, I’ll have to go through all my subscriptions and decide what to drop. The status quo is not an option. Monthly costs must go down. It’s not a creative project per se, but it might affect future creative projects. 2️⃣ I'm planting the seeds on Reddit for my next project: moving out of Adobe's photography plan and cloud. This is part of my desire to lower my subscription costs. Anxious to read the feedback!
📱 Apps & Services
1️⃣ PocketCast podcast player received an update which brings bookmarks. While listening to a podcast, inserting a bookmark for easy retrieval later is now possible. PocketCast is not the most popular podcast player, but I like it. I wish I could share an audio clip like Overcast can. But I'm not ready to switch for this. 2️⃣ Timery got an update, too, with many minor improvements. As a reminder, Timery is the app that I use with Toggl to track my time. 3️⃣ Another updated app is Flighty, a flight tracker app I love! If you are a frequent traveller, consider trying this app. Flighty users get a yearly summary of their flight-related data at the time of the year. 4️⃣ I'm curious about Capacities, an alternative to Notion and somewhat a competitor to Craft. I try to follow their release notes and ponder a subscription to take full advantage of it. The only problem is that I don't have a use case. I need to experiment more with it. 5️⃣ There was a trend recently on Micro.blog where people would write about which app they use for which use case (photos, calendar, camera, cloud storage, etc.). I wrote my version here. Then, there was a new round of posts where people would openly share their subscription details. Then, I wrote a similar post here. The takeaway is simple: my subscriptions cost me a lot of money, and I'll have to reconsider many of them early next year. 6️⃣ Many more apps were updated in what looks like the last updates for 2023: AnyBox, Timery, and Grammarly. Each receives valuable additions and meaningful tweaks. Seeing that your favourite apps are alive and well with frequent updates is reassuring. 7️⃣ Omnivore, the open-source read-later service, keeps improving at a rather fast pace. I love it.
“The quality of your app’s onboarding is a reflection of what your users will expect from the rest of your app” — Dalai Lama(Really? 🤔)
1️⃣ Early in the week, I felt bad about my creative work. I wasn't very positive after getting some lousy pushback on Reddit regarding my initiative to create a feedback board for Craft. This episode reminded me how harmful and toxic the internet can be. Once you put something out there, for one person who will agree, there are probably hundreds waiting to disagree and hit the nail on more than once to make their point. It's the jungle out there, requiring some preparation to face it. Thankfully, after receiving positive feedback about my previous edition of this weekly newsletter, I started to see things more positively.
1️⃣ A friend of mine asked me to do a recorded discussion around Craft in the near future. It's probably going to happen in January. I'm really looking forward to that one because it will be done in French and I'm more comfortable speaking in French than in English. I can’t wait for that one.
🔮 Looking ahead
1️⃣ As we get closer to the holidays, my creative work will enter a slower pace. This will be my last creative summary for the year. I'll spend more time on Micro.blog, interacting with the community, which is nice, BTW. And, do more reading and podcast listening, too. 2️⃣ Next Thursday is my fourth and last DJing course. I'll wait for that last course to make a final judgment, but I'm slightly disappointed by the course content. I learned a few things, but I think I already had some knowledge that made me a bit more than a newbie, which was the target of the course audience. One thing is sure: It takes a lot of practice to improve and also requires a lot of library management, which is mandatory to build great DJ sets. For that purpose, I have found a great utility called Meta. It's a Mac app and looks great. It is used to edit file metadata (tags, artist name, track name, artwork, etc.). It's really well done. 3️⃣ You can listen to my very first mix on Soundcloud.
1️⃣ Do you pay attention to the exhibits section down below? At the end, a graph shows how I spend my time during the week. For obvious reasons, only the time spent on creative activities is shown. But in fact, it's more subtle than that. Not all my hobby time is accounted for. I'll start the timer (using Timery) when I'm really focusing on something. But, when sitting in front of the TV and doing stuff with more or less focus, I'll skip the timer thing. In other words, I'm recording the intentionality of my activities. This means that I'm spending a bit more time than what the totals are showing. I thought it was worth mentioning. 2️⃣ Raycast, a Mac utility, generates a yearly summary of my usage. I love it when apps gather this type of usage statistics, all based on local data, without any privacy-invasive techniques. See the exhibit section to get a glance at this.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ☃️. This newsletter will come back in early January 2024. I might make some changes to it; stay tuned.👀