Good points. I start in Word (or similar program). That’ll give you a very good sense of the structure before enclosing everything in tags. Headings, sections, lists etc. Present themselves clearer to me this way.

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For the past couple of months I’ve been using Cover on my Nexus 4 and Nexus 7. Cover is only available through the Play Store, and is a lock screen replacement for devices running Android 4.1+.

What I like about it is the fact that it switches modes and presents the app you use most in that mode.

There are 4 modes; Home, Work, Car, and Out. You can have separate wallpaper for each and Cover will switch in between each mode automagically. First couple of times it switched to car mode was a little “spooky”. Learning what you use most in those modes lets the apps bubble up, and now you can boost or drop apps from each mode.

Screenshot_2014-04-18-14-42-54

Pulling the apps icon to the right will slide the cover away, revealing that app. A nice peek feature. You can also swipe down the list to find other apps, or boost & drop them by a long-press. Once you are past the lock screen you can still use Cover, as it has a nice gesture based menu reveal. Pull down along the right-side of the device and your current running apps are revealed, much like the Alt-Tab function on PC’s.

Screenshot_2014-04-18-14-42-12

After this long I haven’t really found any cons to using Cover. It’s more seeing the potential. I’d love to see tighter integration with the modes and apps. Switching Play Music to only songs on the device when in Car Mode, rather than trying to stream without WiFi as I’ve now left home. Also making use of icon sets other than the stock one.

I’ve also been running this at the same time as the Aviate Beta, and have had no conflicts at all. In fact it was pretty easy for me to get used to the way they both worked. I really like the way the icons are large and the gestures are natural and responsive. Now Cover has been acquired by Twitter so I’m not sure where it’ll go next, but hopefully they continue in the direction they’ve been headed.

 

 

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I’ve just received the March Energy Report from our Nest Thermostat. We did pretty good – Earned 26 Nest Leafs in March, that’s more than 70% of all Nesters apparently.

Nest-Leafs-March-2014

The whole experience of installing the Nest was pretty easy. I did it myself, sent them a photo of my existing wiring and they send back a diagram of how to install the Nest just for me. And only called them a couple of times to ask about a stray wire I found afterwards, tucked behind the drywall.

I’ve always had a mild interest in the whole “quantified self” aspect, especially how they link to our behaviours and homes. I used to really like logging into, the now closed, Edenbee to see the carbon offset of my air travel and driving etc. It was a site before it’s time I guess as it’d been great to feed my Foursquare, Nest, and TripIt data to show the changes.

As we start to enter further into the ‘Internet of Things‘, it starts to get a little harder to remember what’s connected, and to where. Miles Rochford gave an interesting talk at this years IA Summit on ‘Designing for shades of grey‘ which touched on this subject (notes to follow). Not only buyer behaviour, WiFi scales and Credit Card spending get linked. You can even rope your dog into too by monitoring it.

Now I’ve a FitBit Flex I’ve started playing around with dashboards like TicTrac. Maybe when I actually get of my arse and start working out again I’ll share my Fitness dashboard here.

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I posted most of my photos from this years IA Summit up to a Flickr set. I’ve still got to go through some of the ones I took on my tablet, but most are there now.

I also created a Flickr Group if anyone else wanted to share their memories of IAS14.

In the coming weeks I’ll write up the 24 pages of notes, currently sitting in my Evernote moleskine, with links to the slides etc. If you don’t want to wait (and why would you?) you can go and read through Daniel Newman‘s collection of slides, notes and related material from the Summit.

As I look back at the last 5 days I remember hearing, time & time again; “family, “home”, “tribe”. These words resonate. I met interesting people from all over the world who’d congregated to present, discuss, share, and further what we do every day.

Next year the Summit moves to Minneapolis, MN. Hopefully I’ll see you there.

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I’ve 3 hours till I take off. 3 hours to decompress from a fantastic week of hearing, meeting, and talking to like minded people. So Here I sit nursing a coffee and adding articles mentioned to read later.

I’ve met some new people, caught up with online friends, and seen the best of a community.

Now to collect my notes, follow back people on Twitter, add photo to Flickr, tidy these entries from IA Summit 14 and put into practice what I’ve learnt. Hopefully I can make it next year, and repeat the whole thing all over again.

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