Watch The World Around You

I’ve noticed something about myself. When I’m in public arenas, I’m fascinated by what people are doing on their phones. Last night I flew to DC for a few days at the office. I was totally curious by what the sub 30 somethings were doing on their phones.

Especially as you get older, it’s easy to get stuck. But you gotta go where the puck is going, otherwise you’ll get left behind. Best way to know where things are going is by watching those that are younger than you.

For example, the market is clearly moving towards Snapchat as a predominant media platform. I know a lot of my peers cringe at the idea of Snapchat. But get over it. It’s the present reality. It’s what people use.

In general though, I think there’s a lot you can learn from just paying attention. When you’re in line for your morning latte or on your commute home, pay attention to the people around you. What are they doing? How can that inform how you go about trying to command their attention.

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Siri helps me remember 

IMG_0809Especially as a parent, the amount of information and details that you have to keep straight and remember is never ending. I’m constantly trying to tweak my system of tools. The latest that’s become really handy is Siri on the iPhone.

For example, I woke up this morning and wanted to remind myself to change the cat litter this afternoon. I just need to tell Siri to “remind me to change the cat litter at 2pm.” Maybe I want to remember to blow out a candle or get the laundry. Sometimes I’ll tell it to set a reminder that I have an 830am meeting.

Siri is an incredible personal assistant voice-based platform. I tell it to remind me and it interfaces with the Reminder app on my phone.  I then get the notifications for the reminders.

I love the idea of using a computer as a personal assistant, especially when just using I can just talk to it like a person. I just wish Apple would open up Siri as a platform so more apps could integrate with it. I want to create an event with Google Calendar or make a note in Evernote using Siri.

Do you use Siri? What other helpful use cases have you found?

Avoiding Restaurants Without High Chairs and Changing Tables

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One weekend, we took a drive up the Mississippi River. It’s a pretty drive and there’s some cute little towns. There was a winery with a restaurant. We decided to stop there for lunch.

When we get to the restaurant, we have the kid with us and ask for a high chair. They respond with “We don’t have high chairs. We’re a winery.” I was pissed but we’d already made our order and paid. So we stayed and he stayed with the kid in the stroller next to the table.  I felt bad for the other parents of young kids who were in a similar position and were struggling with their wiggly kids on their laps.

There’s a new fried chicken place in St Louis that I’ve been dying to try. But the restaurant has high top tables and 2 booths.  Having a kid in a high chair with high top tables doesn’t really work. Plus the restaurant is always crazy busy. It was a non-starter.

Having a kid changes how you see the world. What you look out for completely changes.  I wish there was an app that’d help me be successful.

The world of local search for businesses and restaurants is phenomenal. Yelp, Foursquare, and Google Maps are incredible products.  But I want more.

I want to ask those apps if the restaurant has high chairs. I want to ask if the restaurant has a changing table in the bathroom.  Is the changing table in both bathrooms or just the women’s? This knowledge would change what businesses I patronize.

Would you find this helpful?

 

Using My iPhone 6 As A Pedometer via Jawbone UP

I’m a big fan of quantified self and using data to help me understand my personal behaviors, especially health data and behaviors. While I’m not in horrible shape, I’m not in the best shape and constantly working to develop better behaviors.

I played with a lot of the fitness band/pedometers. I bought the Nike Fuelband back in 2012. Earlier this year, I experimented with the Fitbit. Both were neat but… After a while I stopped looking at the data, which means the data especially stopped having any meaningful impact on my life, which means I’d barely remember to charge it.

When I got my iPhone 6, it came with the capability to be a pedometer by itself. So I started using that with the Jawbone UP app. It’s worked really well.

While its not going to be as good as a wearable device that’s always on me, using the Jawbone UP iPhone app gets close enough where it can give me an indication of how active I’ve been. I do purposefully try and take my phone with me wherever I go so I can get the best data possible. I can also log my sleep and what I’m eating.

Plus the iPhone has the benefit of being a multi purpose device. I use it for tracking more than just tracking my steps. So I’m not going to set it aside like I would the wearables because it wasn’t providing enough value.

News Readership Increases on Mobile Phones

I thought this was pretty fascinating.  TechCrunch has a story on some new comScore numbers around Mobile Web usage.

The number of people who access news and information daily on their mobile phones doubled from 10.8 million in January, 2008 to 22.4 million in January, 2009.

With the news industry reaching for any ray of sunshine that it can, it’s interesting that one of the biggest growth areas is the mobile phones.  It shows that people like to be able to consume news when they’re on the go.  It also shows the importance of allowing users to consume content where they want it.


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Fandango Launches an iPhone App

Fandango has launched an iPhone app. You could definitely see this coming. The part that I’m the most excited about is that you can by movie tickets right from your phone. The bummer is that they don’t integrate with your existing Fandango account. You have to enter your credit card number right into the phone.


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Is that a book in your pocket? No, it’s my iPhone.

So… in addition to reading the NY Times on my iPhone, I recently downloaded the Amazon Kindle app for the iPhone, bought a book, and have begun reading on that.

Much to my surprise, it was quite enjoyable. It was like any other reading type experience that I had had. The book was good so I just flipped right through it.

It felt nice that I could have so many books in the palm of my hand. I didn’t have to worry about lugging them around with me in my bag.

After 20 minutes of reading, my eyes didn’t feel strained. They felt fine.

Battery consumption concerns me. It feels like because, when you’re reading, you always have the screen going that I’m going to kill the battery. I haven’t gotten a feeling for that yet so I’ll check back in.

Have you tried it out at all? What do you think?


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