Mobile Devices


MobileViews Podcast 402


In this podcast, Jon Westfall and I discuss:

  1. Note to self: Upgrade to Audio Hijack 4.0
  2. The joy of USB-C PD (power distribution) when away from home

  3. New Fitbit feature makes AFib detection more accessible
    Does not say when the feature will be available or which current devices (if any) can support it
  4. Fi unlimited plans now start at $20
    Title is slightly misleading. $20 unlimited per line for 4 or more lines. Still a good deal. $50 for a single line. Also, a good deal. However, you need the Unlimited Plus plan if you need service outside of the US
  5. Jon bought a different form of mobile technology. A RadExpand 5 Electric Bike. Siri is much more necessary on a bike than a walk! Mobile tech is crazy though – my bike’s LCD screen has a USB port to charge your phone while you bike.
  6. Discussion Topic: Do you use version control for anything? If so, professionally and personally? Thinking about using Git more for various things, including (of course) code and configuration files. But wondering about extensive explorations: Word Docs, Powerpoints, etc…?

Available via Google Music Podcasts and Apple iTunes.

MobileViews Podcast from Audible.com

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MobileViews Podcast 400!


  1. Surprise! Windows 11 is NOT popular. Techradar: Windows 11 just isn’t as popular as MS wanted it to be
  2. In-app(car) purchases? The Aui Q4 E-Tron sync HVAC function. TheDrive: Sync HVAC function behind a paywall on an Audi Q4 E-Tron
  3. Dyson Zone air purifying headphones NOT an April Fools joke? Dyson Zone: air purifying headphones
  4. A college professor (Jon) wonders if Google’s writing assistant will mask student skill levels when adjusting teaching for classes. The Verge Google wants you to write better
  5. CNET: Apple iOS 15.4.1 Update: Fixes for Battery-Drain Bug, Security Issues
  6. Looking back at “potential” podcast topics from 2014 that we didn’t discuss back then. What is still around in 2022?

Available via Google Music Podcasts and Apple iTunes.

MobileViews Podcast from Audible.com

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MobileViews Podcast 395: Apple reinvents the TRS-80 Model I; Dealing with an analog life

In this podcast Jon Westfall and I discuss:

  1. 5 new Google Workspace features
    What exactly is a “Google Workspace” these days?
  2. Speaking of Google. Revisiting Google Chrome OS Flex
    Kevin Stratvert: How to Install Chrome OS Flex: Make an Old PC New Again
  3. Apple patents Magic Keyboard with integrated Mac inside to bring macOS to any display

    Apple has re-invented the Radio Shack TRS-80 Model-I. Also the Commodore 64, VIC-20, and, more recently, the Raspberry Pi 400

  4. Conversation Topic: Merging the Digital with the Analog / Skeuomorphic Design.

Available via Google Music Podcasts and Apple iTunes.

MobileViews Podcast from Audible.com

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MobileViews Podcast 389: Monet & more plus Coconut the Cat


Jon Westfall and I are back after a brief hiatus. We are joined by (briefly) Coconut the Cat. In this podcast, they discuss:

  1. Apple added the last Macbook Pro with a DVD Drive to the Vintage List – Amazing how quickly DVDs / Optical Media came in and out of our lives – 15 or so years.
  2. Google’s Pixel Foldable Notebook?. With this rumor and rumors of a Google watch and obviously the existence of Pixel… will 2022 finally be the year Google gets a cohesive ecosystem like Apple
  3. Jon’s Tech Find (Via a friend, Matt Rozema): Ventoy. Finally gives me the best of both worlds on my USB drive that I keep on my person – I can boot off of it, but also still have all of the available storage. I had been using Yumi previously.
  4. I wrote Task Manager and I just remembered something…<.a>
  5. “I’m the Microsoft (Redmond, ’93) developer that wrote TaskMgr at home in my den in about 1994 and then the NT silverback devs let me check it into the main tree even though I was a greenhorn at the time. So that meant I got to bring it into work and polish it up and make it an official part of Windows, where it remains to this day. So I got to define my own day job, actually, which was nice! I don’t know if it’s still like that, but great culture and people.

    This is all based on XP, as I left long ago, but it’s still the same core app underneath.

  6. First, there was the Van Gogh Experience. Next, the Monet Experience
    The surprising role of technology in enabling 19th century impressionist art
    Trains enabled artists to travel quickly and easily to relatively distant places.
    The paint tube was invented in 1841. Previously, artists had to mix their own paints which would dry quickly. Paint tubes let them travel with their tools
    I don’t know if “serious” artists use iPads or other modern drawing tech. But, I wonder how its influence will be viewed in the future.

    An interesting movie: Tim’s Vermeer

Available via Google Music Podcasts and Apple iTunes.

MobileViews Podcast from Audible.com

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MobileViews Podcast 388: Hello 2022, Goodbye Blackberry, can your Apple Watch save your life?, Jon’s travel tech tips


iPhone 13 Pro photo by Jon Westfall

iPhone 13 Pro photo by Jon Westfall

Jon Westfall is back from his holiday travels. Thanks to Paul Lawler and Ryan Ozawa for co-hosting the past two podcasts (the last two of 2021)! In this first MobileViews Podcast of 2022, Jon and I discuss:

  1. Jon was continues to be very impressed by the iPhone 13 Pro’s low light photo capabilities (see example photo)
  2. BlackBerry will die on January 4th — for real this time
  3. Apple wants to remind us how easy it is to use their products to save your life. Not your typical Apple Ad. Makes you wonder: Does this make LTE AW just make sense?
  4. Jon made it for 10 days with just his iPhone and iPad Mini – no laptop / no iPad Pro.
  1. Apple Dual charger is great, just expensive, for travel.
  2. Oura ring records more sleep tracking data than AW, so ditch the AW on nights I don’t need an alarm. But when you need an alarm, AW is so much nicer than the iPhone blaring at you (A friend disagrees).
  3. VNC & VPS’s are a nice thing to have in the back pocket when you are visiting people and don’t want to drag out a laptop / bigger iPad. Manage most of the world through your iPhone. – Screens 4 for iOS
  4. Apple MagSafe charging pack came in handy a few times for top-offs, but way too small of a capacity.
    Almost convinced that I have the perfect travel bag – the eBags Pro Slim Weekender
  5. If you’re a Swiss Army knife kinda person, definitely get their TapForms. Reminder that this is about the closest you’ll come to MS Access on Mac/iPhone. Just wish it had some reporting functions or synchronization to an actual database backend. $50
  6. Available via Google Music Podcasts and Apple iTunes.

    MobileViews Podcast from Audible.com

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MobileViews Podcast 385: People & severe weather; Tech for remembering beloved pets;



Jon Westfall and I are back after an unplanned podcast hiatus last week.

There were several serious weather related problems in the US this past week including the deadly tornadoes that went through Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee. And, although hurricane season ended in November for those of us in Hawaii, we were hit by a storm system referred to as a Kona Low. I’d like to discuss tech failures and successes in the weather issue I dealt with.

But, first, I want to note the passing of a beloved pet – our rabbit Bunbun. Jon and I have both had pets pass away in the past couple of years. And, a number of friends who have appeared on this podcast have also lost pets in the past few years. In the best situations, pets are family. So, what are the tech solutions that help you enjoy your pets while they are with you and then, sadly, after they have passed?

The obvious answer is recording photos and videos throughout their life. Is there something else (short of pet cloning?). 3D tools? Which photo/video tools do you use to enhance memories? Google Photos and its built-in search, album building, and other tools is my key tool for these memories. What else is there?

Despite having lived in Hawaii most of my life, I do not recall hearing about a Kona Low (or Kona Storm) until two weeks ago when the island chain was confronted by one.

SYNOPTIC STRUCTURE AND EVOLUTION OF A KONA LOW

Kona lows are subtropical cyclones that occur during the cool season in the north central Pacific (Simpson 1952, Ramage 1962). The Hawaiian word, kona, means leeward and is used to describe winds with a southerly component that replace the usually persistent trade wind regime. Historically kona lows have produced a variety of weather-related hazards, including heavy rains, hailstorms, flash floods, landslides, high winds, large surf and swell, waterspouts, and severe thunderstorms (Schroeder 1977a,b; Ramage 1995; Kodama and Barnes 1997; Businger et al. 1998).

Most of our issues were related to flooding due to many inches of rain falling in a 24 hour period. I don’t think most populated areas had high wind issues although major mountain tops recorded winds in excess of 100 MPH (161 KPH). And, we were fortunate not to have any fatalities attributed to this storm system. That said, some key technology failed. Electricity outages were a big problem with a significant part of downtown Honolulu (the business district) being powerless for several days (up to three).

For me personally, my internet provider (Charter Spectrum) went down and then remained spotty for nearly 24 hours. I have a work-provided Verizon MiFi. However, the Verizon tower near my home was one of the 10 Verizon towers that I learned had become inoperable during the storm. Fortunately, I also have at AT&T phone and its voice and LTE service remained up allowing me to continue to work remotely through the worst part of the storm. I was also fortunate to have power at home throughout the storm. And, my office building has a generator which allows us to continue to process tasks around the clock throughout the storm.

It is still a mystery to me when government issued severe weather alerts sometimes are triggered on my phone and not others when I can clearly hear or see other phones getting these critical alerts. And, yes, I checked my setting to confirm that my phones are set to receive these alerts.

Although I have not installed the Apple 2021 Apple Watch app awardee Carrot Weather on my Apple Watch, I do have the full app installed on my iPhone. I found it more useful that the Apple owned Dark Sky. This is somewhat puzzling since Carrot Weather actually uses the data from Dark Sky for its forecasts.

Apple 2021 App Store Awards

Some you might be surprised to know that your Android or iPhone has a barometer built-in. I happen to have an iOS app named Barometer S10 installed on my iPhone. You can see the dramatic barometric change that it recorded during a 14-day period before and after the Kona Low event.

Jon’s End of Year Reminders:

  1. Run a backup even if you run regular backups. My air-gapped backup (an external drive) gets updated once a month, even though I have nightly replication of most stuff to my off-site. You need on-site/online, off-site, and air gapped.
  2. Check your important paperwork. If any of it is lost, you want to know about that before you need it.
  3. Update firmware/software on any embedded devices you usually keep offline. Crypto cold wallets are good examples.
  4. Review your end-of-life instructions for your loved ones. Update any passwords you changed, add any new financial accounts, strike out outdated information. I have a 3 color system: Black for initial entries, green for additions, and Red for strike-out/corrections.

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