Escaping The Amazon (and Google)

Nothing in life is 100%.

Escaping The Amazon – //Jason Burk

I found Jason’s chronicling of leaving Amazon behind quite interesting. It’s something I’ve thought a lot about recently in addition to Google. I’ve been getting caught up in ensuring I can distance myself from every little facet of each company, but I need to remember the above.

Their tentacles are in places I likely don’t realize. And if I do need use Google Search Console or make an Amazon purchase, all will be well.

A 2021 goal is to now move as much away as I can.

Playing Stadia

For some reason being able to pick up my controller and play on my phone, iPad, or on my TV whatever the situation really fits into my life.

♥️ Stadia – Greg Morris

I received a free Stadia package from Google for being a YouTube Premium (or YouTube TV) subscriber. To quickly recap my previous life as a gamer:

  • PlayStation 4 sitting at the living room TV (haven’t touched it in years)
  • Nintendo Switch that roams, with docking station at living room TV (played sparingly)
  • Various iOS devices (don’t play any mobile games)

I never thought to try Stadia until I saw it supported the latest Madden. That, and NHL, was the driving force of my game-playing days, so I decided to give it a shot. A couple tries later and my brother-in-law and I are hooked.

I haven’t kept up to date with cloud gaming, but being able to go from one TV to another or play on my iPad or computer monitor amazes me. I just pick up my controller and play wherever, whenever I can. It fits into my life perfectly as well.

There’s no longer friction in my video game playing. You know, except for that whole working and having a family thing.

Subscribing to YouTube RSS

Prior to using YouTube over RSS, I would open the YouTube app on my iPhone or iPad, browse the subscriptions tab and save any video I wanted to view in my Watch Later playlist. Then I’d start watching from there.

YouTube Over RSS – Initial Charge

Reading this piece from Mike hit home. I love YouTube. I subscribe to a ton of content, and even pay for YouTube Premium. However, my usage would oftentimes follow the above, except after something was pushed to Watch Later I’d forget about it.

I usually consume YouTube on Apple TV and just scroll through my subscriptions list. Basically, if I get to it I get to it, which meant I missed out on a lot of good stuff.

Starting today, I’ve pushed a lot of my must watches (Chris Lawley & A Better Computer to name a couple) into my RSS reader of choice, Reeder. With using Reeder’s iCloud option, I just input the YouTube URL and it automatically grabs the feed for me. Even better.

Just today I starred two videos from those above to watch later. It works perfectly, because I actually to peruse my starred articles daily. Time to go watch!

Castro’s New Queue Widgets

Overcast is a really good app, and I used it for years, but it doesn’t seem “fun” to me, and when it comes to apps, I like it when the design has a bit of character.

Castro’s New Queue Widgets

Couldn’t agree more with Chris on the above. However, I still can’t leave Overcast. There remains a space for Castro in my workflow, and that’s offloading YouTube audio via the amazing Sideload to Castro extension.

I’ve tried to switch in the past and just couldn’t escape how Overcast audio sounds just enough better for me to tell (can we combine the audio of Overcast and design of Castro?). Also, I listen a lot on my iPad at my desk, and I’m still waiting for Castro’s iPad app.

Regardless, these widgets do look great.


Put the building blocks of IFTTT in your own hands. Go beyond if this then that with queries, conditional logic, multiple actions, and more.


I’ve been using IFTTT for free since its inception. I’ve always hoped they’d do a pro level to help sustain them a bit longer and provide more value (much like Zapier), so I’m happy to contribute. I rely on both IFTTT & Zapier for a lot of automation in my daily life.

If you use it at all, I suggest heading over there and subscribing. Early adopters can get in for as low as $3.99/month.

An Apple Search Engine

Also — and this is a complete guess — it feels like a good opportunity for Apple to repurpose its domain, doesn’t it?

Apple Once Again Rumoured to Be Working on a Web Search Engine — Pixel Envy

Certainly does.

However, and to link to the original post by Jon Henshaw, I think what Apple may – or may not – be building is a different kind of search engine. You are seeing points of that in spotlight, Siri suggestions, and the advanced search coming to iPad OS (which I hope makes its way to iOS proper).

By not having a simple search starting point, they wouldn’t face scrutiny for favoring their own products & services. I see a Safari start page that functions a lot like the Siri face on Apple Watch. It’s useful, could be so much more, and gets a tad bit closer with each revision.

Parlay that beyond the wrist, with advanced Siri capabilities everywhere, and now you’re talking.

Spotlight Search on iPadOS 14

When watching the well-executed keynote in late June, it hadn’t dawned on me that the new Spotlight Search on iPad would be more representative of an app like Alfred and less representative of Spotlight Search on the Mac. Spotlight Search on the Mac is somewhat underpowered, and bringing that to the iPad seemed natural, evolutionary, and sensical.

Apple clearly opted for a more powerful rendition of Spotlight Search for the iPad, however, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Two Weeks with the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Betas – The Sweet Setup

Spotlight Search is probably what I’m most excited about in iPadOS 14. I’m at the point where my mind is trained to operate a Mac based on numerous Alfred workflows and searches. If it’s more designed towards that on the iPad, then I’m all in – especially with the running of shortcuts directly.

Pinboard is Eleven

Meanwhile, thanks to everyone for using the site for another year! Not everyone gets to be around long enough to have to do major upgrades, and I am grateful to be in that position, thanks to all of you.

Pinboard is Eleven (Pinboard Blog)

Pinboard is a fantastic service that never fails. I have almost 900 bookmarks captured from over the years, and use it to automate various bookmarking tasks every single day. I also pay for the archiving feature, so I know I’ll always have a copy of what I was looking at specifically.

I’m hopeful the updated API lights a spark in Pinboard iOS app developers. I’ve relied on a few in the past, but they haven’t been updated in a year or two.