Apple’s goal to actively encourage screen time

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I am heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem and have watched it evolve over time. Coincidentally, as my kids started to get their own apple devices, family sharing and screen time also came into being.

These are great features in theory and awareness of your screen time (and potential to enable restrictions) is an essential ingredient to a healthy relationship with our devices, for adults as well as children.

So Apple’s omission of one simple but key feature is utterly baffling until you realise their real goal.

Search the internet for how-to’s on managing kids screen times and you find thousands of articles explaining how to limit individual app usage or using the downtime feature to set fixed periods of time offline. But none tell you how to set an overall device time limit. Even when contacting Apple Support they confirmed that it just can’t do it. Let’s look at why this is a problem and why apple might just be doing this deliberately. …

A detailed review of what it is and what it does!

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My H6L Brompton Electric

The Brompton Electric is a fantastic machine, one that can open up options to you that you would not have today on a normal ‘manual’ bike (hereafter referred to as a Standard Brompton, although you can picture your own bike for reference).

What you read below is based on several months of research pre-purchase and my first months of ownership. It's a long read but hopefully I’ve covered every question you might have. As a relatively new product, there are few extensive articles on the bike overall, including owning and using it in the real world.

But before I explain why it's a game changer, first a bit of context. …

A tool for every job

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Photo by Nick ter Haar on Unsplash

When i got my first smartphone, an iPhone 3G, I was amazed that I could go on the internet wherever I was and that I could use it as an iPod. As a child of the Sony Walkman era, having my music on the go was important to me (although playlists were called mix tapes in those days, but that’s another story!)

Those were the only two things I remember using my iPhone 3G for (in addition to making actual phone calls).

Nowadays my iPhone does everything. Storage has become cheap and hardware & software performance now outstrips all but a specialist alternative item in any category. …

(But I do have an aim)

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

I read so many articles about those who schedule their day around their writing, social activities and sport/health etc. Good for them; seriously. I’m a big advocate for getting yourself together. But that’s not me. No getting up at 5pm to have a detox smoothie before hitting the gym and then writing for 4 hours solid!

Because I have a day job. And I have a family. And frankly, they take precedence. Always; no question.

But I do write and I do have ideas to share so I’ll do this on my terms, with no daily goals or word counts. No run streaks and self congratulatory milestones. I’m going to continue to focus on my family and my career. And if I publish once a week, that’s awesome (provided it’s something good!). …

How I use the iPad 12.9 inch in the real world

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Photo by Suganth on Unsplash

I’ve been an apple iPad user for the last 10 years since Gen 1. I still have it and will never sell it, even if it now lives unused in the bottom drawer. It was the top-spec model at the time, 64GB, wifi and 3G cellular.

I wouldn’t have called it a laptop replacement. And my friends laughed and pointed out that it wouldn’t fit in my pocket! Understanding of the purpose of these devices has thankfully changed over the last decade.

Are we in the age of buying performance improvements?

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Rocky (Sylvester Stallone, left) and Drago (Dolph Lundgren) square off in “Rocky IV.” Credit:MGM

It seems to me that people find it easier to buy improvements.

And before anyone points out how judgemental this sounds, I include myself in that statement.

Whenever I’ve gotten into a new hobby or activity over the past decade or two (If I had to pinpoint when it started, I’d be pretty sure it was when I started earning a real wage; more on this later), I’ve been keen to be the best I could be at that thing.

When questioning how to be the best I could be I’ll consider what the required skills are or techniques I need to master. And immediately after I’ll ask, what software; technology; equipment will make me better at that thing. …

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Photo by Precondo CA on Unsplash

Don’t let a mortgage limit your life choices

About 20 years ago I had a chance to move and work abroad with a very unexpected last minute opportunity. I didn’t take it, primarily because I had just taken a mortgage on a small place that was going to be my first home whist I started my working career in the U.K.

I don’t regret not taking the opportunity (and on reflection it was probably the better choice as it allowed me to focus on building a stronger career base, but that’s not the point of this article!)

I remember being angry that my life choices were limited by a large and difficult to unpick financial arrangement. Flexibility is something I never even considered as I signed up to the commitment, it was just the ‘adult’ thing to do. The privilege of home ownership has this one massive downside. …

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Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

One of the hardest lessons I ever had to learn growing up (both as a child and in my career) is that it’s often not relevant if you are right. It only matters how people respond — how they feel about it. This is important as the world around you is your environment which will make your life easier or harder. It’s the context you operate in.

If your environment is vitriolically against you, it’s so much harder to get things done; let along the mental strain on you.

The U.K. news today is full of articles about Dominic Cummings (senior adviser to the Prime Minister) and analysis of whether he broke lockdown rules. …

All things considered, this is the killer Apple device

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Photo by Kenny Luo on Unsplash

The best iPad to buy doesn’t have the word ‘pro’ in its title (and that’s ok)

Why is it a winner?

Plain and simple, the iPad mini the most handheld friendly of them all. In the same way that A5 sized notebooks and paperback novels just ‘fit’ into your flow when using them, so does the iPad mini.

There will be some who need a bigger screen for specific tasks, but these are outlier tasks in my mind. As a multifunction device, the iPad mini is the sweet spot.

Phones are just too small. iPads 9.7 inches and above are small laptop-sized. Only the iPad mini works as a truly handheld tablet device.


The mini is of the cheapest ways to access the Apple tablet ecosystem. It may not be the cheapest overall (the basic iPad 7th Gen is £349 in the UK at time of writing for 32GB ‘v’ Mini 5th Gen at £399 for 64GB) but I wouldn’t suggest anyone buying anything less than at least 64GB nowadays anyway. …

You’re not really a leader until you…

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Hopefully you’ll excuse the click bait title since the photo completes the story!

I was recently watching the film The Core when I heard this dialogue.

Col. Robert Iverson: Being a leader isn’t about ability. It’s about responsibility.

Maj. Rebecca Childs: Got it, sir.

Col. Robert Iverson: No you don’t, Beck. I mean, you’re not just responsible for the good ones. You’ve got to be responsible for the bad ones. You’ve got to be ready to make the shitty call.

Maj. Rebecca Childs: What makes you think I’m not?

Col. Robert Iverson: Because you’re so damn good. You haven’t hit anything you couldn’t beat. I mean, hell, you were the one who figured out how to save the space shuttle. You made me, you made the rest of NASA just look like an ass. …


Robert Craig

Stories based on my experiences; making sense of the world of work. Scottish by birth, globally curious Gen Xer - Technology/Personal Development/Careers/Talent

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