The Dent

"We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?" - Steve Jobs

Homescreen: November 2019

Unbelievably, it’s November already, so I thought I’d do a quick Homescreen update post. First things first, here it is:

My main Homescreen has remained pretty static for months now, with only a few tweaks here and there. I’ve recently moved from Overcast to the stock Podcasts app for my podcasting needs. While it is, of course, far more basic and sync can be a little flakey between devices, I’ve been enjoying a more integrated experience. I’ve started using the excellent ‘Handoff to HomePod’ feature from iOS 13.2 as well. This isn’t unique to the Podcasts app, however. While I’m trying to spend less time on podcasts, and more time listening to audiobooks, a simpler and streamlined experience has been working well.

I’m also experimenting with replacing 1Password with the iOS keychain, so I have a simple Shortcut, represented by the key icon, that will jump straight to that page in settings. So far, it’s working well.

Lastly, I’ve added Federico Viticci’s excellent Reminders+ Shortcut to my dock, for quick access.

I don’t usually share the second screen, because that’s where my ugly folders or junk is kept, but I’ve been experimenting with more basic, but helpful, Shortcut actions recently so I thought I’d show these too. Currently I have Shortcuts to:

  • Switch my current audio output to, or from, one of my HomePods. I can pick the HomePod to send or retrieve audio from within the Shortcut.
  • One very simple one that just switches the audio to my AirPods Pro. This is just a quicker way of doing it than going through the Control Center.
  • Podcast episodes lets me pick from one of my subscribed podcasts and plays the latest episode.
  • YouTube time turns on one of my Apple TV’s, opens the YouTube app and launches the remote on my phone. This works well from my Living Room HomePod also.
  • The Meeting Shortcut simply puts my device into DND and turns the volume off at the start of a meeting and reverses this, setting volume to 25% when I leave.
  • And, finally, ‘Detailed’ gives me a quick, yet detailed, weather report as and when I need it.

I’ve also started using more Shortcuts widgets in the notification center panel, but that may be something to share another day.