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Author: Evan Kline (page 1 of 164)

AirPods Pro First Impressions From a Non-Audiophile

Here’s my super quick first take on the AirPods Pro:

Fit and Comfort

As you probably know, you can change the size of the tips. If the default tips pass the Fit Test, you will still want to try the other tips. Both the default tips and the smaller tips gave me a good seal and passed the Fit Test, so I went with the smaller ones as they were more comfortable. I must have a generic ear size, as the comfort of the AirPods Pro is about the same as my AirPods, and I can’t shake them out. I know some reviewers found that the AirPods Pro didn’t stay in as well as the AirPods, but that wasn’t my experience.

Audio quality

I hesitate to even mention audio quality, as I haven’t yet done a side by side test, so my impressions on audio quality are just quick first impressions. That said, the sound quality didn’t immediately blow me away as noticeably different from my first generation AirPods. Keep in mind that I’m not an audiophile, I haven’t done a side by side comparison, and I mostly listen to spoken word.

Latency

Latency is improved over the first generation AirPods. I have an AirFly Classic wireless audio transmitter hooked up to the TV by my treadmill, for when I’m watching sports or other shows on the TiVo instead of using the Apple TV. The latency with the first generation AirPods, when connected to the AirFly, was so severe as to be too distracting to use. In my limited use of the AirPods Pro, the lag is still there, but improved. I can live with it.

Noise Canceling

Assuming the noise canceling is similar on a plane (which other reviews suggest it is), it will be good enough for me to no longer have an interest in buying a high-end pair of headphones. I had a funny moment when I activated noise canceling while walking on the treadmill, nearly eliminating noise from the treadmill. I thought the treadmill had stopped until I realized my legs were still moving.

 

Overall

If I never flew, my first generation AirPods would be fine. But since I’ve been considering noise canceling headphones for flights, having a pair of jack-of-all-trades earbuds is a win.


iOS Meeting Templates Shortcut

When I meet with new clients, I typically take typewritten notes in the Drafts app on my iPad, using a template/checklist of topics I’ve created. In the past, I generated this checklist in Drafts via TextExpander, but I now trigger the template via a shortcut in iPadOS’s native Shortcuts app. I run the shortcut just before the meeting, and it automatically pulls the title of the meeting from my calendar, and puts that title at the start of a new note in Drafts. The shortcut inserts the date below the title, followed by my checklist/template.

I’m actually using three shortcuts to accomplish this, but they automatically run as one.1

Shortcut #1 – The “Launch” Shortcut

This first shortcut is the shortcut I run to start the whole process. It prompts me for the type of case my meeting will cover. Right now, I’ve only set up two case types, but I will be adding more in the future. The shortcut looks like this:
New Client shortcut screenshot

When run, this shortcut has a popup with two case types (“MVA” or “Misc”). I tap one, and my answer will determine which of two embedded shortcuts will run next as Shortcut #2 – either the “New MVA” shortcut or the “New Misc” shortcut (see below for these). Each of those two shortcuts creates a different template in Drafts.

Shortcut #2 – The Template Creation Shortcut

As mentioned, Shortcut #1 will run one of two “template creation” shortcuts, depending on the type of case I pick in the popup. So, for example, if I choose the “Misc” option when running Shortcut #1, it runs the following shortcut to fill out my template in a new Drafts note: 2
New Misc shortcut screenshot

This shortcut does three things:

  • The first step of the shortcut (i.e., the first block of the shortcut, above) runs Shortcut #3, spelled out below, to get the title of my next calendar event.
  • The second step of the shortcut contains the text I want to appear as my template in a new Drafts note. The first line of this step pulls the name of the calendar event from the block above it. The second line calculates the current date and time. The third line contains the text/template I want in my Drafts note. I haven’t expanded the second step in the screenshot, since this will be different for everyone.
  • The third step (i.e., block) of the shortcut creates the note in Drafts, containing all of the text from the preceding step.

Shortcut #3 – Get the Title of My Next Calendar Event

The final piece of the puzzle, as mentioned above, is triggered in the first step of Shortcut #2. That first step runs a shortcut (“Get title of next calendar event”) that pulls the title of my next calendar event from my work calendar. It looks like this:

Shortcut to get title of next calendar event

The End Product

The end product lets me tap the “New Client” shortcut (Shortcut #1, above) to start the process. I’m then prompted for the type of case. Depending on my selection, a Drafts note is created containing one of two templates. That note automatically contains the appointment title at the top, followed by the current date and time, followed by the template. This all happens within a second or two.

Downloads

Here are links to download all three shortcuts:

New Client shortcut (shortcut #1)

New Misc shortcut (shortcut #2)

Get Title of Next Calendar Event shortcut (shortcut #3)


  1. I’m using three shortcuts, instead of combining them into a single shortcut, so I can reuse/embed the shortcuts in other shortcuts. This is done within a shortcut by using the “Run Shortcut” action.

  2. The “New MVA” shortcut is identical, except for the text in the second step.


Dark Mode on 40Tech

It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally implemented dark mode on 40Tech. I started working on this a few months ago, and it was my use of dark mode on iOS in bed at night that spurred me to take the extra couple of minutes and finish this off. It is tied to your system setting, rather than being a site-specific option. If you visit 40Tech with dark mode enabled on your system, you should see a darker version of the site. Future tweaks may be coming, as I’m not entirely thrilled with the color scheme.

Thanks to a tweet by Matt Bircher and a post from Andy Nicolaides at The Dent for pointing me in the right direction. My theme ended up being more complicated than I hoped, requiring a fair amount of tweaking.


watchOS 6: The BirchTree Review →

Matt Birchler at BirchTree:

watchOS 6 is not a massive update to the platform, and you will likely use your watch in largely the same way you always have, but there are some new apps, nice usability updates, no real regressions, and frameworks that will allow third party apps to get better in the future. Basically, it won’t all change your life, but there is probably at least one or two things that you’ll really enjoy in this new update.

The always-on display isn’t the only new feature of watchOS 6, and Matt’s review is a good look at the major new features for those who want to read a thorough review, but can’t afford to take half a day off work to do so.


DEVONthink 3 Review, From a Lawyer’s Perspective

Readers of this blog know how important DEVONthink is to my workflow. I use it as a central repository on my Mac for almost every piece of information in my professional and personal life, including as a place to store personal and business records, deposition data, jury verdict reports, legal research, trial notebooks, and more. I’ve been using DEVONthink 2 for over 7 years, during which time the program has seen frequent updates and improvements. Now, though, DEVONtechnologies has released an entirely new version of DEVONthink for the Mac.

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