Greg Morris

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No More Flat Edges

Before myself and Nati recorded the first episode of bring your own device, we made promises to each other. To be honest about everything. To be Apple fans, enjoy Apple devices but not be Apple apologists. To not be another voice in the sea of Apple bloggers that spent most of their time explaining why your opinions are wrong.

Sadly, the podcast no longer exists, but that idea that was core to everything we talked about stuck with me. I’ve never shied away from calling out mistakes from Apple, and tried very hard to not fall into fanboy traps. This is an extremely long-winded way of setting up a way to say I was right about the iPhone 12 design all along!

I made a (feeble) video about the design almost as soon as I felt it because I was amazed at the massive step back. I read in amazement all the words that were then written to defend it. Claiming that it was a brilliant design, and perhaps I was “holding it wrong” (again). There is nothing wrong with opposing opinions, and some people seemed to genuinely like the update, so I did question myself a little.

However, the iPhone 15 smoothed out edges make me feel vindicated. Even more so when the same people telling everyone that the design was great, are now saying the iPhone 15 update is much better. There is absolutely no denying it. A combination of the curved edges, the titanium frame and the slightly slimmer bezels make the phone feel much smaller than it actually is.

I’ve gone up to the max this year with zero regrets now this phone actually fits in my hand! My pinky would like to formally thank Apple designers for thinking about the shape of human hands.

Week 38/2023

The frantic realisation that I hadn’t written my weekly post happened about 20 minutes ago. Not that anyone cares but with all the excitement of Apple announcements it completely slipped my mind. So excuse the two week update of what I’ve been up to. Weirdly mostly tech related.

  • Ordered the new iPhone 15 pro. This year I am moving up to the max because I’m old and want a bigger screen and this is now my only camera so I want the best one.
  • Skipped the watch updates. Nothing beats my current Ultra and a processor bump will not make me part with another £850.
  • Running just over 10k consistently now. My lungs are still and issue but mainly after my run. Please donate to London for Lucie.
  • Happy to have Matt Birchler on board with the stock Apple podcast app. Nothing works as well over several Apple devices and although it’s not perfect the iOS17 beta makes it even better.
  • My son may be disappearing to Spain for a week next year as part of a school event. Super proud of his dedication to his school work and being an awesome human being.
  • Everyone is back at work now and the house is quiet all week while I work from home. Almost makes me want to visit the office. Almost.
  • I bought and returned a Pixel fold last week. It’s just not for me in the slightest. A poor phone and an even worse table rolled into on very nice but lacking device.
  • We have lots of hospital appointments coming up so this week will be a busy one. All of Lucie appointments come around at once and it always sucks. Hopefully I don’t forget to write stuff.

Continue to be awesome, and that’s an order but make sure you take it very easy my friends.


Micro Posts

The Little Apple Event Summary

I have already seen about a billion of these types of posts around the web. So why not add mine, with a twist. Here follows the shortest summery of my thoughts I can make.

  • 15, has zoom, probably buy this one
  • Pro, more zoom but only max.
  • Watch, there’s a new one
  • USB-C all the things
  • Glass all the things
  • Apple likes trees

Let People Love Stuff

There is nothing more polarising in the social media circles I travel in than iPhone announcement day. It brings out the worst in people from both sides, particularly the rampant consumerism and fanboy gloating. However, the thing that annoys me most is the snark that also appears.

There’s nothing wrong with a casual ribbing. Might I suggest that fact that it took Apple 5 years to implement USB-C? Or that Apple claims things like 5x zoom is cutting-edge technology? Choose these things, and you might even find a fanboy to argue back with you for internet points. Though, I’d much rather you let people enjoy what they like and get on with it.

This isn’t restricted to tech, but it seems to bring out the worst tribalism in people. Whenever England are playing football, you see hundreds of posts similar to “yay sportsball”. Obviously, with less tactful word choice. In the same way, people can enjoy watching an Apple event without being a blinded consumerist sheep. They can also enjoy a game of national football without being a hooligan.

The fact that I even need to explain this to people makes me a little sad. Even more so, that I almost wrote a blog post explaining why I am buying a new phone. Undoubtedly, there are people that overstretch themselves to upgrade when they really don’t need to. Marketing and perceived societal pressure can influence some silly choices. The idea of making people more aware that they don’t need to upgrade is important. However, the holier than thou attitude isn’t.

We all enjoy weird and wonderful things in our life. I certainly have some things that others think are odd, but it brings me joy, and that shouldn’t matter to anyone else. I’m a big believer in loving what you love, and hating what you hate, but you don’t need to press those things on anyone else. Be constructive, not destructive.

My Life In My Calendar

I read a recent post by Matt Birchler talking about his experiment with going back to Apple’s stock calendar. It sparked in me thoughts about my recent switch (well a few months ago) and I thought I would share my experiences. Not that my lowly blog needs to lend credence to the amazing Matt Birchler, but it is often helpful to see more than one person pointing to the same things.

With that said, Matt and I have very similar jobs. One full of meetings, team catch-ups and projects to complete. I am sure he also has a fair share of family things to keep up with too, and I have all sorts of appointments and meeting for my daughter to contend with. So the benefits felt by perhaps one side of life for some people very much bleed into every part of mine.

For me, my calendar is my entire life and has been for some time. When people turn their noses up at a subscription for “just a calendar app” I do understand. However, I get so much value from Fantastical, it is money I gladly hand over. You see, I could (and have) get by with the stock app, but I’m much better off with Fantastical. You might ask why, and that’s why you’re reading this post, so let me try to break it down for you without being too repetitive.

Meetings And Integrations

The pandemic accelerated my already increasing number of virtual meetings. Something I don’t really mind because I’d rather be working from home than traveling all over the place. For some reason, every company seems to use a different method for these, so I have to meet with SEO experts on Google meet, internal conversations on Teams and then move to chatting with event organisers on Zoom. Fantastical makes this a breeze. I don’t need to install loads of apps all over the place, just sign in with all of my accounts and click the join meeting button in my calendar.

Fantastical also integrates with my task manager of choice, Todoist, as well as my Office 365 work calendar, my shared iCloud calendar with my wife and even Meet Up for some sudo socialising! By having everything in one place, I can see all of my tasks scattered across the various platforms all in one full list. Not many apps allow numerous services to be integrated and work together as if they were all in the same place. This works on mobile too by selecting tasks in the top left menu.

Time Boxing

Which leads me to my next major feeling point for Fantastical, time boxing is life changing. I first noticed this with Josh Ginter writing about this for Sweet Set Up, and it was the thing that inspired me to go all in on a better calendar app. As you can see from my screenshots, I block out time in my calendar to complete certain types of tasks all at once. Placing DND into areas that I don’t want to be disturbed – but I can do that in any calendar app Greg, I hear you say. Indeed, you can, but the customised colours and templates you can set up make this easy to set up and understand with a glance.

This is where two things come into play and make time boxing effortless for me when using Fantastical. I can look at the upcoming weeks calendar and already all tasks with due dates are present. I can then begin to plan around them, blocking out my day to make sure I know how much spare time I have and what kind of tasks will dominate those days. Pressing CMD + R brings up a list of all the tasks I have outstanding, and I can simply drag these into the places that I have blocked out. For example, above are periods where I have blocked out designing time, and in this 4–5 hours I can get several design focused tasks completed.

Granted, I understand that these things might not make a difference to you. To be honest, there was a long time when I thought they didn’t for me, and now I couldn’t be without it. Fantastical saves me more than the cost of the subscription in time and effort, but I understand it is not for everyone.