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Each week, Ray Sidney-Smith (🌐 https://twominuterule.com) and Augusto Pinaud (🌐 https://productivityvoice.com/) review and provide commentary on the week’s news in the world of personal productivity and related technologies.
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In this Cast | Google Announces New Pixel Fold Aiming for Productivity Market
Headlines & Show Notes | Google Announces New Pixel Fold
Resources we mention, including links to them, will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.
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- How and When To Use Music To Boost Productivity While Working
- ‘Swedish Death Cleaning’ Can Improve Your Life Right Now
- Tom Hanks used this productivity hack while writing his first novel
- OpenAI CEO Sam Altman says the remote work ‘experiment’ was a mistake—and ‘it’s over’
- Zoho launches Ulaa browser to boost privacy, security, and productivity
- WhatsApp now available on Wear OS for beta testers
- Mozillas setting up shop on Mastodon and trying to reinvent content moderation
- How to Protect Your Apple ID With Security Keys
- Upgrade to the new Pixel 7a from Google
- Bard AI may be coming to Pixel phones with a dedicated widget
- Google announces Chromebook app streaming for Pixel Xiaomi
- 5 Cool Folder Tips You’ll Love Using on Windows
- How to Send Big Documents to Your Kindle
- Papercast partners with Solotech to set up e-paper public transit information system in North America
- Review of the Mudita Harmony 2 an E INK Alarm Clock
- The new mmhmm desktop is easier than ever
Raw Text Transcript | Google Announces New Pixel Fold Aiming for Productivity Market
Raw, unedited and machine-produced text transcript so there may be substantial errors, but you can search for specific points in the episode to jump to, or to reference back to at a later date and time, by keywords or key phrases. The time coding is mm:ss (e.g., 0:04 starts at 4 seconds into the cast’s audio).Read More
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:00
Hello, personal productivity enthusiast and community Welcome to Anything But Idle. The Productivity news podcast. Today’s show is brought to you by co working space by personal productivity club. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith. And I’m Augusto Pinaud.
And we’re your hosts for Anything But Idle. This is episode 114. And we’re recording this on May 15 2023, ah work each week of Gousto. And I cover the productivity news headlines of the week. So you know what’s going on in the current research tools, services, products and more in the world of personal productivity. With that, let’s get into our headlines. Augusto, what is our first headline this week?
Augusto Pinaud 0:38
So it happens when you forgot to put the Do Not Disturb thing anyways, our first article is boosting your attention span. And how can you train your brain to manage distractions. And so very interesting articles, you know how to manage your demons, how to manage handle your environment, you know, and
as a person very prone to distraction, I have been working at home for the last 10 years, I have two kids,
I have a wife that now works at home. So interruptions is something that happens and boosting that attention span is critical for me, because otherwise nothing gets done. And from getting people coming into the office and
teach them and train them into before you come and be loud and talk do you need to signal can I talk to you? And as the show was starting? Somebody was walking into my office on I needed to signal you need to text? I cannot talk right now. But in the same way, what are your distractions. And recently for me, I discovered that as I pick the kids in school, when I come back, that going back into work, it’s hard for me. So I want to spend a little bit more ask a little bit more to the kids and all this. So I changed my routine to add a 30 minutes of exercise. So I walk or go into the bike er, and that allows me to interact with the kids, you know, they can come to where I’m working. And then we can do you know that short conversation they anyways, don’t give me more than four or five minutes after that they’re gone, that I work. So
it’s working. It’s part of how can you handle that environment? How can you can remap your queues? How can you be a lot more effective into managing that attention span so that you can keep your productivity level much higher?
So the next article we have came from Jaya who finance. So it’s titled toxic productivity is making workers on happy, say the UN happiness Council expert. And here are three ways to feel more a bit. You know, with the world situation COVID remote work, one of the things that I have found more and more is come 6pm. And work doesn’t end come 12 midnight, and now people is trying to reach Europe in the case of the people in the United States or reaching, you know, the other time zones? And how can we work? Because the problem is work is not ending anymore. For many people, there is many people working really into almost a 24 hour agreement. And
that is what this article define as toxic productivity, you know, are you really going to be okay? When you don’t do anything outside of the working hours where you know, you are all day connected all day irrelevant, you know, when your phone can rings at midnight or a 3am and you will go and respond. I’m not talking about emergencies. I’m talking on the day to day emergency. And one of the trends we have seen is an increase in this toxic productivity increase on the number of people and the burn out that that produce on these people going and going and going.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 4:35
Yeah, I have a I have a problem with the term toxic productivity and I haven’t quite come to
an understanding of its true definition, different people define toxic productivity differently. And so I have I just struggled with that terminology. And you know, like I think that
the the idea of toxic productive
Do I certainly see as someone just over committing themselves, and being over dedicated to issues, like their work? And so I’m consistently wrestling with that right now. And I’m curious about from any listeners, feel free to kind of chime in and let us know, you know, in the community about what you think about toxic productivity as a terminology to really
define this urge to always be productive, when it becomes unhealthy, right, when it becomes truly an aggressive form of
of compulsion, right, this is this is almost compulsivity, it’s not necessarily being more productive, right, it becomes this almost a symptom of high functioning depression, right, where you are trying to kind of mask other other feelings, other emotions around an issue. And I think this is probably more or less, I’m not, you know, your medical professional, I’m not a medical professional to be able to kind of manifest this, this kind of diagnosis. But it just seems to me like we were thrust into this circumstance, the COVID 19 pandemic, and, and we’ve had a lot of economic turmoil around this as well. And I think that has just caused a lot of feelings to bubble up, you know, and concern about your job security, and those kinds of things. And, of course, the technological thrust of, of now being and being capable of being always on. This sounds to me like a recipe for chaos for a lot of folks, not necessarily the people or are themselves engaging in toxic productivity purposefully. So I don’t know I just I struggled with the term, I’m sure that I’ll come to some consensus on it at some point. But I just that, that, that’s what all of these articles, whenever they come up with toxic productivity really, highlights for me is this, like, I don’t know, the idea of adding toxic to productivity really sets poorly with me, sits poorly with me. And so I’m a little wrestling with that. Anyway, on to our next article.
Augusto Pinaud 7:08
Our next article comes from Forbes, and he’s white, those working remotely, are heading from the tragedy of the commons and George Brad define the tragedy of the commons when you pick your benefit in detriment of others. And it is very interesting, because the rest of the article obviously goes through this concept. And
I am not sure as a person who love working remotely, who has been working remotely now for 10 years, I don’t necessarily agree that working remotely is on your benefit and the detriment of the others, I just understand that the organization’s need to evolve. That said, there are many organizations who, even before pandemic, even before remote working was a discussion on the table were doing very successfully remote working and hybrid, and looking for different ways to do this. So I disagree that those working remotely are heading to that, no, I there are two very important factors. One is we’re going to be working much longer than previous generation, one because we’re living much longer. And that means we are going to need to stay productive, much longer. And second, technologies in a point that allow to make remote productivity very, very, very effective. Now we 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 2020 years ago, or
20 years ago, when I was traveling back and forward doing technology consulting in Latin America, I needed to travel with two laptops. Why? Because if my laptop die, in the middle of that adventure, there was most likely not an easy solution to fix. Today, I can drive I can fly without an iPad, okay, and buy one in any country, I get and fix the problem. The online world the online tools, even without a laptop, I can get to a cyber cafe, connect to Google connect to the cloud and find almost anything in your system. If you set it up that way, your mobile phone, same thing. So the technology has evolved to a point where allow this remote working to be very, very, very, very effective.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 9:43
Yeah, the author seems to be preferring that Gallup has these 12 questions for employee engagement. And he kind of speaks out of both sides of his thought process here. You know, he’s saying that we’re headed toward this tragedy the commons yet
If we if we do these things, if we if we focus on these 12 questions and make appropriate action toward them, then we won’t hit that wall so to speak, we won’t hit those obstacles. And I agree with him that I think that there is a sense of some organizations will poorly manage the move to distributed work, and they will suffer. And as we said before, on the show, you know, the idea of hybrid work, remote work distributed work is not a yes, great, no bad, you know, it is, it is a mixed bag of you, yeah, there will be great organizations that are managed the and executed well, and there’ll be organizations that will embrace it or reject it, and poorly managed both of those things. And, and therefore will suffer the the future is likely distributed work, where some level of every workforce is not going to be in person. And that’s pretty much been the case for a long time anyway, but you know, it just more people are now seeing that as an option. Now, the one area where I do agree with him, which is that junior folks, you know, new hires, Junior Junior associates in an in an organization, especially in knowledge management, in a knowledge worker environment, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to, to onboard those people and to mentor them and train them without there being some really high thought in terms of how you do that, right, you take a senior person and you remove them from the physical environment, and you have only junior people working together. And, and not getting that level of thoughtful mindful mentoring, and encouragement, positive reinforcement, those kinds of things, you have a recipe for disaster, you know, those those those folks are going to going to be maladaptive in that work environment, you really do need someone to come in and make sure that they are encouraged and given the right guidance and corrected properly and so on so forth. And but the technology is there, you can do this, you just need to be able to do this in a really you know, well thought out way.
Augusto Pinaud 12:07
All right on to our next article. Our next articles from 14 Say pulses on workers are finally reaching a truce on remote work and it comes back to the number of companies who are implementing on the other side this flex work and talks about you know, out of 4000 plus companies 51% are going to be hybrid and are keeping there are increasing this hybrid reality. And like everything, there is companies who are going to resist to the change, you know, and there are companies who are going to embrace it and see how they get the best let’s not forget that when Henry Ford came with a vehicle people were asking for faster horses or that’s what he used to joke about it and it is no different in this case is not about the technology and whether it’s possible or not possible, what the number said it is what your comfort zone is and that’s our reality.
Let’s move on to our next story. And our most article from here is something that
I don’t understand. Okay and I’m getting old okay but I dream was this world Okay, where I have a piece of glass and have an unlimited access to books, music, technology, information, you name it, I have unlimited access to and what the article is titled is dumb phones being bought by Gen Z to reduce distractions and I have teenagers are our teenager and my teenager is into CDs and LPs and
I don’t understand it. I know I can grab my iPhone and make it as dumb as I want but also can enjoy the power and I’ve been saying for years I don’t check email on my iPhone. I haven’t checked it for years. So that’s a way to make your phone dumb. My phone has certain times and areas where automatically it turned into dumb okay, they don’t get notifications unless you meet certain very, very, very specific criteria. My phone default sound is no sound, no vibration. You need to earn that that make it even dumber than a dumb phone.
But it is very interesting how we are going to your phones not dumb phones.
I don’t like the title of the article calling them dumb phones. They are feature phones, feature phones true but you have all that accessing technology. What is interesting to me is really
How you are seeing that attraction to that analog for these generations that were born completely digital.
You know, as people my age, is so interested into their ability to read in the Kindle and listen to the music and unlimited music, the newer generations are looking into buying these LPs and, you know, I don’t mean sick.
They’ll be I don’t, okay, I don’t mean, getting into my car, and having a case of CDs and start looking, which was the CD or even burn the CD so I could get the playlist that I wanted. But again, it seems to be where this generation is trying to find the response to reduce distractions, and embrace the technology, or the lack of technology.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 16:00
Yeah, so this is like the
This is an article that does really tickles me, because the reality is, is that, you know, older generations have stuck on have stuck to older feature phones, and they have not embraced the smartphones for an extended period of time than a decade, before most older folks really embraced the the touchscreen, smartphone concept. And there are still some folks who are, you know, Neo Luddites, who decide to hold on to their feature phones, and so on and so forth, that there’s some small segment of Gen Z that want to focus on being present and not having their, their digital screens in front of them good for them, I, you know, I, I have a Kindle for that very reason, you know, I don’t want to be distracted while I’m reading. So I use a Kindle. And and I’m very happy in that sense. But I also like being connected to the world like you i i enjoy this, you know, this experience of being able to have screens that connect me to a very rich media environment connected to the global world wide web. And so, you know, I think that there is a place for this, I have a I have a second work phone, and that phone is
kind of similar, right? I’ve said it in a way that you have, so that it is very, very limited in terms of what it does for me, because I only want it to do certain things. That context is very important. If folks are using that for that purpose. Great. I worry though, having young people who are purposefully handicapping themselves access to technology in that way, purely from a professional perspective. I mean, they are, they are limiting their ability to do that. And I have seen this time and time again, now where I’m working with younger people who don’t have what I would consider table stakes, technological skills, right? Like, they don’t need to be as geeky as me and know how to, you know, rethread, you know, a connector for rj 45. Right, like, I don’t need them under desks, knowing how to how to run, you know, lines and having technical prowess in terms of taking a computer apart and putting it back together again. But like, some don’t know how to schedule email and outlook. And and it just it that’s a bit frustrating for me, because from my perspective, that’s stuff that should be should be understood, by the time you go into the working world that this technology exists. I mean, scheduling an email has been present and available for most of the college life of all of the new graduates from college today. So why don’t they know how to schedule an email, not send me email at 9pm in the evening, right? Like, they should know how to click, click schedule, send, and send me that email for the next morning. And so that requires me to then train them and teach them a culture of respect. So that again, this quote unquote, toxic productivity doesn’t continue to perpetrate through throughout the rest of the culture. So that’s the part that I get a little bit, you know, like, you know, concerned about is, are we really teaching the right thing here is this person trying to limit their exposure to things like social network, social media, and so and so forth for mental health and proper balance issues that I can get behind. But if they’re, if they’re in this Neo Luddite perspective of trying to reject technology in one way, purely because they think they’re going to somehow benefit from not being exposed to new technology, that’s going to that’s going to limit that their future income potential. And really, it’s going to limit you know, when I’m old and I can’t do the stuff I need to the younger generation, who’s going to be tech savvy and capable of being productive in and around me. So.
All right, so we have finished our personal productivity, personal productivity articles for this week, and so we’re going to take a break and then we cut when we
Come back, we will cover our technology articles for the week. And so now a word from our sponsor. This week, we’ll see after the break.
Sponsor Voice Over 20:09
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Raymond Sidney-Smith 21:19
Welcome back everybody to Anything But Idle. And with that we are on to our technology section to talk about the headlines this week. Gousto what’s the first headline in our technology section this week. The first one was kind of a shock for me a nice accessory maker breach cease operations. I have had a couple of their keywords. They were very, very high
Augusto Pinaud 21:44
produced and very, very well. And it’s another day when out of businesses how they went out of business.
You know, business comes and go we understand that. But we’re what you can read online bridge suddenly disappear. And they leave unfulfilled, preorders, unfulfilled employees, they just sold the IP and run. And it is sad because they were a very nice product. I hope whoever bought the IP can bring it back on on a on the quality of the products because they were very good even that I’m going to say, you know, there was a one of the articles that we quote in there from Jason Snell he said, You know, I use the rich very much until I got my first magic keyboard. And then I never used a bridge again. And then they understand that because, for me, it was similar. I have the iPads who have magic keyboard, that’s what I have. But I have still in use a bridge because I love the iPad Mini and I can use it in portrait mode, and is the only keyboard that has that high, very high quality and allow me to do that. So I am very sad about that.
On to our next story. This is also Apple, we got two more apple stories, right? Yes. So last week, on on our episode, we talked about the reports and the apple and how they were less iPhones sold. And this week, we are bringing an article saying hey, how long Apple users are keeping their phones. And one of the things we noticed is that that percentage is increasing. You know, and you were mentioning, interestingly, you know what happened with pandemic and an old days and his people getting, you know, the phone numbers and and you could see him there graphed, you know, 2021 You know what 34% 22 was 20%. So, at the beginning of the pandemic, people renew more phones, and well, they’re now keeping it for longer also. And these may be me, I don’t replace them as often as they do because they are not my primary device. And they are so powerful. That the difference when the first iPhone came, and the iPhone three G or three came the difference in between one and the other was abysmal. So upgraded makes sense. When the three Gs came, it was not when the four came between the three and the four, there was really a significant one. Now, that is not the case, the difference between the 13th the 12th and the 13th that well from the 14th
they’re not that big jet so that make you keep the phone a lot longer.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 24:47
Yeah, I think I think this is this is going to be a perennial problem for Apple going forward right? They need to be able to sell this these devices with remarkably fantastic new features and the
They just look the same, they operate the same, and they’re very high quality hardware. So they last a while, you know that there’s a, I bet you there’s, I don’t know this to be the case, I bet you there’s a much larger aftermarket resale, after, you know, sale retail market based on older iPhones than there are a new ones, you know, and a lot of, and a lot of countries, because you can buy a refurbished, you know, iPhone, and it’s going to be just as good as a current one, you know, as long as it hasn’t fallen out of update cycle. So, I think that, you know, I know lots of folks who hand their iPhones down to their kids and, and they have them for a while I know you’ve done that with with with your daughter. So it’s like, you know, like, it’s it’s a thing and it doesn’t bode well for Apple in, I think in the next few years. If they don’t do something really innovative with regard to their their newer devices, I don’t know what they could do, you know, they’re gonna have to start doing. And you mentioned that and it happened to us last year, we I give my old iPhone X to my daughter, and I bought me an iPhone with a new iPhone and then
Augusto Pinaud 26:14
a TNT, that’s who we use for a phone offer us
by our phones for almost as much as I pay for new ones, the US ones, so we upgrade right there. Now, the promise, I am going to upgrade this year, now I’m still making the payments for a phone that I don’t use that much, the only reason I upgrade was because
that’s too good not to upgrade. That’s another problem Apple is having with this cycles
Raymond Sidney-Smith 26:47
with their phone companies. And I don’t know what the difference is. But I feel the need to consistently upgrade on every other new model on the pixels. But I don’t feel that way about the iPhone, I feel like I can just keep the iPhone around for a much longer period of time. And I don’t know why that mindset is in play. But I feel that way about all of my Apple devices, I keep my Apple devices around a lot longer on, you know, in use than I do any of my other hardware, whether that Samsung, HP, Dell, Google Pixel devices, they all tend to cycle much faster. And even with I mean high quality builds, you know, I’m my, my main driver right now is pixel seven, pro XL, the pixel seven XL. And so, you know, like, I’m not, I’m not running around with low end hardware. But when the nine comes out, I will very likely do, I might even go to the eighth, you know, if if it’s enough of a hardware bump, for me to be able to do that. And I think part of it is that we’re not dealing with scale of size, iPhones are now coming what’s much, much larger storage sizes. And that’s not the case on the pixel devices. And so you know, you get a pretty good size in size storage, but I feel like cycling out in that sense really does kind of like give me an opportunity to get rid of the cruft and, you know, install the new new operating system, get the latest updates and kind of go on. So I’m curious if that has something to do with it as well. All right, onward to a little bit of court when for Corellian Oh, kirlyam and Apple were into this lawsuit and the US court rules that they were not infringing Apple copyrights, building iOS virtual machines for developers. That’s great news, I think they that will allow developers to test and to test faster and to hopefully means better software for iOS. Now, this is a remarkably powerful case. So this is in the 11th circuit of the US Court of Appeals. What what the court basically said was that under fair use doctrine, which is a defense not not a right, but as a defense, but it is a very strong defense that we use in the United States for being able to use other people’s IP in some way, shape, or form. And they basically said that their core SEC simulator that Corellian is using for basically virtualizing iOS was not infringing on Apple’s copyrighted code. What this means, though, is that all the other simulators that are out there trying to to simulate very high end software, you know, think about, you know, parallels and many others out there that are doing that kind of work, are somewhat probably breathing a sigh of relief, that they can actually do this work, and that it helps the development community not have to pay exorbitant numbers of licenses, which again, brings the cost of development down for for many, you know, freelance developer
versus other, you know, developers that are that are doing small projects, this is a really good thing for I think, both the open coding world, but also the open web, being able to develop for as many platforms as possible. And if somebody wants to learn Swift, and they are not capable of affording an Apple device, you know, and and paying exorbitant fees to Apple and blah, blah, blah, they can they can go to potentially lower cost providers and doing that now there’s there’s some travails there, you know, what I mean, like, potential limitations of a software that is not truly iOS. But I feel like this is a good, this is a good case and a good ruling, in that sense. All right, onward. Okay. So the next one is Google.
Augusto Pinaud 30:49
AI is taking over over the Google search, Google’s starting to move slowly into adding more AI into artificial intelligence into this same thing, the next articles work workspace, Google users, can now use the Google bar Chatbot. So finally, Google is learning more and more on the open the use of artificial intelligence for users. So this is very interesting, as we are being seen
a massive interest into artificial intelligence for Google, one of the biggest players into this two star allowing end users to but I think, done in a way where
they’re not giving the full capability out, but trying to control to a certain extent, what is coming out?
Raymond Sidney-Smith 31:46
Yeah, so so so everybody is aware, Google barred is akin to chat GPT from open AI, and or bing,
bing chat, which is basically open API’s connection to the Google system, Bart is a little bit different inside of workspace, this is going to be akin to Microsoft copilot, which is the API connectivity within the Microsoft ecosystem. Right now you can gain early access to it. If you’re in Google workspace, one of the business accounts, you can go into your apps, Additional Google Services, early access apps, and then enable access to it as it rolls out to folks, what that means is that you’ll be able to use the Google bar chat bot within other tools. So say that you’re in Google Docs, you’re in Google Sheets, you’re in Gmail and other interfaces. It’s basically taking AI into that environment, which again, is my dream come true, right? Like that is exactly where I want, the AI is embedded within the tools that I’m using. That means that it’s looking at the data that I have held within my Google workspace instance. It is processing that data and giving me back relevant information based on that. So I’m really looking forward to playing around with this. The bar itself, the open bar is actually fundamentally different. And I think better than open AI chatbot, which is chat JpT. The reason for that is that one, it is connected to the web. So you are when you’re doing a Google Bart’s search, it can answer questions about today. Chat, GBT, when you ask it a question, it’s only going back to the last time it was indexed. And therefore I think that’s September 2021. So you know, if you ask things about, like, you know, is a who I don’t know who’s dead and alive, but if you ask if somebody is alive, who happens to be dead, they won’t know that information, and it will just lie to you. So you know, it has no problem with with basically making stuff up. And and so Bard is in a position to also make things up. Don’t Don’t get me wrong here. Barb will make things up the other day, I asked her to do something, and it just it.
I asked it for something I asked it about a fundraising number, and it just made up a number. It’s a $10,000 was raised at this event. And that was absolutely not the case. It just put that number in I would have rather had it actually put in like a bracket and said like fill in the blank for a number but it just made it up. Right. And so if you just copy and paste that into the email, you would have been very faulted. Because it was it’s actually not true. So we do have to be mindful of that fact. But Bart is capable of interacting and engaging with with so many different applications and being embedded within within so many tools out there out the gate.
Open API’s chat GPT four is working to do the same. They’re rolling out plugins that you if you have a plus account, you should be seeing those soon. I have not seen it in my own chat GPT on my own a OpenAI account yet. I’m a plus subscriber and I haven’t seen it but we will start seeing those come to come to pass.
But I think ultimately Bart will, like with so many things, right is, is Google and Microsoft not going to win here, you know, they’re up against some really small players with some really, really powerful stuff going on anthropic and the Claude. You know, AI technology is coming from a much smaller player with a lot of really great technology. But Google and Microsoft and ultimately apple and and, you know, other larger technology companies, they have the ability to swallow those other AI, if they get to be too good or too big, in so many ways. And so I’m really looking closely at this area, because I think that, you know, it’s very important for us. But I think that all of us need to become aware of how to utilize AI in our own world to be more productive today. Because it’s coming. And we don’t really, we can’t stop it. But I’m really, I’m really thankful for Google, taking the time and being mindful about scaling out the approach to AI, as they did at Google IO. I know that a lot of people faulted them for not being in the mix and launching and being as successful as open AI was with chat GPT four, but I would rather Google do it right, than to get it out fast. So that’s the that’s the case. One other really great feature is that now Gmail is natively through its AI technology, scanning the dark web for your email address, so that if it does show up, my mind you this is capable in a lot of different tools. Mozilla’s Firefox has been doing this for some time, you can do this on a lot of different places manually. But now Gmail is the first to really just be doing it just built in to the application ecosystem, which is really, fundamentally a nice feature. Just know that you’re still if you have multiple email addresses, you’re going to still have to do that manually for the ones that are not Gmail. I’m presuming. So just keep that keep that in mind. Okay, onward to Google’s new nest locator tags that is located tags show up now
Augusto Pinaud 36:58
is coming in a Google wineo. Google was working on their version of the apple tag, and will they are there.
I say you sort of the opposite the the apple tax, I took me a while to figure out what they were very useful. I mean, I didn’t want it to just get them to get them. And it was through a visit of a friend, Mike Lewinsky, the NetSuite CEO, who we love, we were in the mall. And his father walked away and said, I don’t worry. So what do you mean, don’t worry, we were leaving. I said, Yeah, I know. But he has an apple tag on his belt. And all everybody in his family carry Apple tags. Okay, so that way, they can locate each other when they travel very, very effectively. And it was so effective that I got what for my son, who is 10. So when we go to parties and stuff outside of the house, I asked him to carry the thing. Not for anything, he’s 10. But kids move, walk, and suddenly you get distracted, and they are three things down. And funny enough. After I got it, we went to a birthday party. And he was on Dave and Busters. So they’ve combustors here plays were full
Raymond Sidney-Smith 38:25
coin machines and stuff. So the kids, you know, run into that thing, and we’re lost. And the parents were like, Okay, I’m we’re going to find them now. And I was able to pull my phone and said, find the thing, and it was a breeze. So I am very excited that Google is coming. Because again, the more competition, the better it is, the better will be for the whole locator and tagging devices. Yeah, so I think that one of the things to kind of keep in mind is that the NES locator tag is looking for, I believe Bluetooth devices using ultra wideband. So it’s going to probably take a little while for the uptick in adoption, unless for some reason it is backwards compatible in some way, shape or form. So I’ll be curious to see how they ultimately implement this. So that the as many devices can be out there in the wild, and folks will be able to
geolocate Well, you know, one of the one of the remarkable things about the the apple air tags is that, you know, every device is basically helping to ping and locate the air tag.
You know, that’s just a consequence of us all having so many devices, you know, constantly pinging the internet and otherwise, that’s a good thing. The fact that the next locator tag is also using the material
concept. I’m sorry, I believe they’re using matter. I might be wrong on that actually. But you know, however, they’re using the protocol
They’re using just Ultra wideband and BLE, then there’s going to be probably some limitation on the Bluetooth Low Energy piece. And as more people get ultra wideband based devices, it’s it’ll probably get better. So I’m just, I’m curious how this will all work. Ultimately, obviously, there are many, many more Android devices on the planet than there are, then there are Apple devices. The goal here is to figure out how they’re going to do this in a thoughtful way. But just knowing that, you know, they’ve, they’ve really thought through the privacy piece, making sure that a lot of the issues that the air tag came out to in terms of having, you know, stalkers and other kinds of people misuse, muesli using the air tags in those in those cases, they’ve tried to responsibly deal with some of those things. But I’m really curious how the Android finder network is going to work, how the nest locator tag is going to
its efficacy, right, I want to be able to pinpoint where something is really well, not just when I’m in a place that has a high number of devices, but in places where it may not, you know, because that’s, that’s the likely place that I’m going to lose it right, I’m going to be in the middle of, you know, compania, Italy, and be like, okay, where the heck is my luggage, you know, so that’s the kind of circumstance where we really need to to understand whether the nest locator tag is going to be as good or better than the Apple air tag. And I really hope that Google and Apple work together for privacy and security purposes. To make those cross compatible, I see no reason why they, they would have competition in that space. They’re working in two different, you know, camps, in a lot of ways. And so folks buying either of those tools are going to be useful and effective. So I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait till they’re they’re on sale. And I can start playing with them and seeing how how good they are.
Unknown Speaker 41:47
All right, moving right along. Finally, or not. Finally, we have couple more, but the Google Home app is finally getting you control your garage door. It’s a feature that is currently being tested, but it’s coming. So very soon, the Google app will allow you to open and close that garage door. Right? You’ve you’ve had to you’ve been able to tie a a voice activation to certain devices. But you’ve not, you’ve not been able to really do very much more than than that. And now having it embedded within within the Google Home app directly, I think is a really good choice and move on their part. And so I’m just glad to see it now surfaced in the in the Google Home app. All right, onward to our next story, or final score today is a first look on the Philip 23 inch monitor with a 13.3 inch screen. And, you know, it’s coming more and more colors. And black and white inks are here to stay. And they’re getting very, very good. I have one here in my desk, where I have my list, my task management open all day. And it’s great because it’s open all day doesn’t use any battery. So you can be in battery all day and, and it works very, very good. And if I want to speed, I just go to another device. But I can have my list open there all day. But we are seeing this monitors coming in larger and larger versions. So it’s going to be very interesting scene where these kinds of devices get us to, again, I’m by I have to go back to this is very powerful for so many different circumstances, my big concern on any of these is going to be refresh rate, refresh rate, you know, this, this currently says that it’s going to have a 75 hertz refresh rate. That’s pretty decent for for an LCD panel, and at that size, and that capability. And it having a pretty
Raymond Sidney-Smith 43:51
sRGB color coverage, right? Like it’s supposed to have fairly high color coverage.
Very high response time. So, you know, like, I think this is gonna be very interesting to see how this all kind of plays out and works. I just really want to see, I want to see it in real life, I want to see it in use and a wide number of of applications for this to just have it running. And and being able to see like, Okay, this is this is gonna, this is gonna work as as that kind of not primary monitor for me, but definitely a secondary monitor for things that just don’t need a lot more than than an E Ink display. So very cool. All right.
Well, we have reached the top of our
technology headlines, which brings us to our new tools of the week segment. So every week, Augusto and I come across many different productivity articles. But we also are looking at all the personal development time tasks, project management and productivity collaboration tools and services on the web. And so we try in the segment to pick one each and tell you a little bit about it. And so my pick this week is a tool called
Almanac and Almanac is something that I’ve been playing around with, just to see what it’s all about. And in essence, what almanac does, is it acts as a document
management tool. So it’s for the creation, collaboration and approval of documents. So if your world is very, very document heavy, think you have to do, you know, every year, you maybe have to do personal development plans, or everyday, every year, you every week, you need to be able to pump out proposals, or any of those kinds of things. This allows you to basically have a, a, a project board have all of the various documents that you have in process, and then you can collaborate in real time to be able to get those documents created, approved, reviewed, approved and shipped within the tool.
It’s, it’s kind of like a mash up of Google Docs plus Trello. Plus, Slack plus, like it’s like a bunch of tools mashed together for this very, very specific purpose. And it gives a really great, I don’t know, it just has a nice feel and flavor to it. I love the approval process. I like the way in which it kind of works in terms of being able to have a fluid set of templates for being able to create documents, this would be great for a company handbook. But it would not be I think price effective for you to do it just for one type of document, write there would have to be a lot more that you use this for to make it worthwhile to invest in the company. But it can be a great help center, you know, having FAQs and having a wiki with all of your various help center support documents in there. If you’re doing a lot of complex contract development, this could also work as well. And the good part is that it actually integrates pretty well with a bunch of tools, you know, Google Drive, being able to integrate with all of the various tools. So you’re not really being pulled too much from the what you already know and exist, right. So you can use Slack and Dropbox and Google workspace and embed Docs, Sheets, Slides, and, and otherwise, all within the review experience. It also really works well with JIRA and GitHub, so that those folks who are in that document space, you know, doing developer work, you can also do that as well. So something worth checking out, it’s an early access. So you know, obviously take it with a grain of salt, you know, its ability to survive early access. But what I’ve seen of it, to date has been really interesting and cool. And and has been kind of a nice, a nice flavor on top of it. I don’t think I’m drawn too much away from how I’m currently doing document management, approval and storage on the Google doc side. But it’s still it’s still worth mentioning for folks who may be looking for some some alternative look as to what is your neutral mind was really lounge in December, December 13, to be precise, but six months later, continue being very powerful. And it’s apple, free forming, think and free form as an unlimited canvas. You can add images, you can draw, you can write, you can put sticky notes, you can do everything. But at the same time, you can collaborate, you can bring people to play and do it live and make this unlimited pages. There is a limit, I don’t know what is the limit, there is a moment that the pages start choking. And I have not yet been able to discover how big they are to be able to predict it. And that is the moment we need to Okay, it’s time to open a new one, but has been very fun to play because people can interact in their different ways in this brainstorming, there is no really I have done brainstorming sessions on mind maps, and outlines. And they are the limit depending on who is playing the game. And, and if you can think in the same way this you can draw, you can ride you can pace, you can do anything. So that allows a much more move or, or flexible brainstorming. So if you have a Mac, a phone, or an iPad, you can download this and most likely it’s already downloaded for you and start playing. It is very, very interesting, fun and powerful.
Fantastic. All right. And on to our featured story of the week, which is that Google IO happened last week. And at Google IO, of course, AI was the was the most said term from the from the stage. But they also released new devices, one of which is the Google Pixel fold. And so the rumors were right, Google has released a Google Pixel device that is a fold to kind of challenge the Galaxy Z fold for from Samsung oppo find and to Microsoft Surface duo to that kind of folding device.
Augusto Pinaud 50:00
eyes. And so what do you think of it the Gousto from from first sight. From first sight, I am very jealous, but I’ve been, I don’t use my phone. And that will make me upgrade my iPhone very, very quick, because my main machine is the iPad. So if you give me an iPhone that I can turn into an iPad, yes, that will be the phone, I will upgrade immediately, I really think more and more the phone is the main device for people. So given this ability, and I don’t understand why to this day, Google and Samsung has not make more noise or actual Samsung has not make more noise of their decks.
Keep feature because that will be the killer. If you have a Samsung device with decks, you don’t need anything else get the fall. And now you can really have a full working machine why this has not gone more. I don’t know why this hasn’t get to the tablets, okay, because it will be awesome, forget about the phone for a moment to half the size of an iPad Mini eight inches and then been able to expand that then and now get 1315 inches. So you now make a full size iPad. Okay? That will be the by device of the dreams to be able to get that thing. So I am very, very excited about seeing this technology. And I hope that under stubbornness. Apple decide to follow and are reinvented if that’s necessary, I don’t care but I hope to see an Apple device that do this very soon. So they if they come out with a fold foldable iPhone, you know that they’re going to say that they invented the foldable
Raymond Sidney-Smith 51:55
reinvented your proper? Well, you know, I’ll say this, the the design and build quality looks phenomenal on the device, the way in which they have they have utilized the, the hinge looks like it’s pretty similar to the Z fold for the the signature look looks much like a pixel. And it is thin enough to basically be the same with have the just a little bit thicker than but you know, just about the same width of the seven XL, right the pixel seven excels. So that means that you’re going to be able to fold that and put that in your pocket and have something that actually then opens up and gives you that much larger, much larger screen. I think that there are so many different use cases for this. And again, just as we talked about the Microsoft Surface duo when it came out there, then as well as when we talked about the Z fold for all of these things apply, you know, it’s giving you that larger screen in your pocket when the need arises. Of course, I’m going to be
I’m, I’m going to be really interested to see how the first users of this really enjoy and appreciate it. Because this is something that I could be tucked into us into by I’m not sure that it’s for me. And but I can see an opportunity where if I had this device, it would it would reduce the number of devices I would carry. Because it would give me that larger surface to be able to do so like I’m on an airplane or I’m on a train. And I’ve got you know, an hour or two of time, I’m not going to use that time to dock it somehow open up a keyboard and just start processing email or being able to write or being able to do more productive activity than just digesting or ingesting, reading or listening to an audiobook. So I see that the practicality of having that larger screen in some contexts, I can even see the fold being useful for folks who just want a larger screen when they’re in bed, you know, Doom scrolling, Instagram, you know, it’s a nicer, it’s a nicer size screen, and it’s just steal your phone. So when you’re done, you can go ahead and flip it closed and put it down. So I can I can see some of these things. The one thing that I feel like is consistently missing from the dialog is that while Apple put out the their own silicon, and now they have the M one and m two chips. Google did the same thing. The Google tensor chips are phenomenal chips on on on the market now. They don’t get as much billing because they’re not called Google silicon or whatever they are, you know what I mean? But the tensor chips are really amazing. They have built in ML and AI, you know, Chip chips on, you know,
SOC s, and so the idea of being able to control that level of the product, so that you’re your chipset, and everything else is kind of caked in together. I’m
really excited about this, you can go up to a half terabyte on these devices as well. So we’re starting to get up into pretty large sizes. They’re available in obsidian and porcelain. And it has an IPX eight rating. So not the highest level of waterproofing, but pretty high up there. And also wirelessly charges. So they they didn’t get rid of Qi charging, they kept that in the in the device itself, which is nice. And it’s got, of course, USB type C, you know, topping, starting out at 1800, and then eating their way up to about $1,900 for that 512 gigabyte sized variant, you know, it’s not a cheap device. But at the same time, they’re also giving away a free pixel watch, as kind of a, you know, a way to reduce the pain of the of the upfront price price point.
What else is there there is a lot of AI kind of caked into the new pixel fold as well. So that’s kind of fun, they have a whole bunch of AI features that are being put into the Google Maps feature for the fold. And of course, the new magic editor in Google Photos. So it allows you to be able to edit photos, basically brightening scenes, adding things into a into an image not just deleting them, you know, with with the prior magic eraser, you could erase say, folks that are in the background, now you’re able to move things and put them into the into the picture that may have not been there, which is kind of creepy on one level to me, but also really amazing. And another. And so the demo they showed was a child who was off centered, and the balloons were cut off the screen, and they were able to drag and move the child to the center of the of the photo. And so came the balloons. And so the balloons were filled in wasn’t part of the photo. And so AI filled in that gap and created the balloon for it. So these are the kinds of things that are coming into it, obviously Bard is going to be kicked into
the phone eventually, you know, that’s just a natural place for, you know, barred to come into Google lens and to other areas of the of the product space. So I don’t know, I feel like the ability for us to utilize a tool that can have multiple form factors, like a fold is useful in the market, the price point has to be something that is much lower than it currently is. So we’ll see whether or not Google can make a success of this pixel fold. And then maybe the pixel fold, two and three can come down in price of it and make it more accessible to more audience. And, and I think that will be a good thing for everybody to have. You know, I can see a lot of folks giving up their full size device. And I would also go back and hearken to your point about decks. If Google were to do something like that, to be able to give you an external monitor, keyboard and mouse, you could just plug in or even wirelessly connect to that to that system. And now you can go into a full desktop view. I will be so powerful. Yeah, I mean, that would get that would get rid of have at least three devices on my desk right now.
Augusto Pinaud 58:16
Seeming here. Yeah. Yeah. So I could see a lot of opportunity there as well. So anyway, any other thoughts regarding the pixel fold from Google? No, that’s it. And then we come for to close in with the announcement and the rumors. So the announcement was the financial, you know, the Apple came under numbers with 94.8. Billings on the coolest quarterly result. And what was interesting was that even when we searched, there was no second article. Even that the tablet shipments are now going to pre pandemic levels. One of the interesting things was that
Apple or the iPads, you know, remain some challenge and then really has decreased a lot less than the competition. And finally, Apple announced the Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for the iPad. But what came very interesting with this announcement is that apparently,
Apple is use this announcement and others as a multi step operation to identify the source of the leaking or leaks, before WWDC, and there was people firing people sued and and apparently it goes to the level of where the comas are and the colors and the information in a very, very, nevertheless way to read how they catch this liquor. So it is very interesting, and that’s a remote Apple has not come and claim
And that that is true or not true, but seems to be that was the case.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:00:06
They’re gonna need to reach out to David Baldacci or somebody to write the novel about that one eventually. That’s so interesting. All right, we have reached the top of the end of the show, we’ve covered the productivity and related technology news this week. Thank you, Gousto, for leading the show, as always.
See you next week. All right, everybody on anything but idle.com, you will find our show notes with links to all the stories, our new tools of the week, we’ll see all the extra stories as well as anything we didn’t get to cover. Today, we have the text transcripts, and also a
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Download a PDF of raw, text transcript of the interview here.