I’m currently at the end of a break between jobs. I took one week off. I had grand schemes of working on my app, maybe starting some other new things, etc. Pretty quickly though, it was clear I needed something else. I ended up just relaxing. Read books. Visited family. Took naps. Played some games. Fiddled with my nevoid config. The usual relaxing stuff. It was nice.
I feel a bit guilty about it about it though.
I’m fortunate enough that I can take time off, unpaid, without it running everything. But I feel like I should’ve been more “productive” with that time. My work tends to come in waves. I think that’s pretty normal, but in the times when I’m not feeling inspired or motivated, I feel like I’m just lazy. But, it’s okay to do nothing sometimes. I often forget how important breaks are, wether it’s during the day or during the year. Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is nothing.
It was a nice little break and now I’m excited to jump into my new job.
When rumors of the Studio Display started coming out, I started saving money to buy one just in case. When it was announced in 2022, I immediately ordered one and got day-one delivery. I was beyond excited to replace my Dell U3818DW with a beautiful Retina display.
A little over a year later, I’ve never really felt 100% satisfied with it, and I think I’m going to switch back to my Dell…
I’ll try to explain why.
1. My Eyes
This may make no sense, but I’m starting to think the Studio Display is too good for my eyes. I have pretty bad eyes, and it’s like the Studio Display has too good of contrast or something, and it’s sometimes really hard for me to look at text—a problem since my job and a lot of my hobbies involve looking at text on my screen. Sure, I can make the text bigger, and I’ve switched to light themes instead of dark themes. But at that point, I’m bending the monitor to my will instead of using it for what it’s good at.
I also did not get the nano texture on the Studio Display. I think that was a mistake. My office is really bright. The Dell has a matte finish which works a lot better in my space. I can use dark themes on the Dell without it being washed out by window glare just fine. Not the case with the glossy Studio Display.
The Studio Display is definitely still way better for editing photos and stuff like that. But I still have my 14” MacBook Pro’s screen when I need an excellent screen.
A couple months after I got the Studio Display, I built a gaming PC. I didn’t really think things through. You cannot easily use a PC with a Studio Display. So I now have 2 complete computer setups on my desk. 2 monitors, 2 keyboards, 2 mice. It’s cluttered.
The Dell U3818DW has a KVM switch built in. I can plug both computers in with one set of accessories and somewhat seamlessly switch between them. That is really nice.
Switching back would free up some space. Not only would my desk be cleaner, the Dell has more screen real-estate too. The ultrawide aspect ratio makes a lot of developer tasks nicer.
There are some downsides to not using the Studio Display though. The speakers are much better on the Studio Display. The Dell does not have a webcam and microphone built in. While the Studio Display camera is not stellar, it’s more that sufficient for work meetings and the microphone is pretty good in my experience. I’d have to put a webcam with a (probably) worse mic on top of the Dell. Not ideal, but not the end of the world either.
3. New Family Computer
This is the whole thing that got me really thinking about this. My wife brought up that she thought maybe it was about time to get a family computer for her and the kids to use. She suggested an iMac. That got every gear in my brain whirring. I suggested a Mac Mini and use my Studio Display with it as a cheaper, more flexible option. And what do you know, Mac Minis were over $100 off on Amazon right then. I ordered one.
So I’m going to do the great monitor shuffle and see how we like things. Give it a go.
Basically, I think it came down to it feeling like I was forcing the Studio Display into my life instead of it fitting in naturally. If I had a separate space and desk for my gaming PC, the calculus would probably be different. If I had gotten nano texture instead of the standard glossy finish, I also might feel differently.
Was the Studio Display an expensive mistake? Maybe. Am I glad my family will be able to enjoy it? Yes. Am I asking questions because I don’t know how to conclude this? Also yes.
It’s apparently been a little bit since I’ve posted. My family and I have been sick for about the last 3 weeks straight. Has not been fun. Took me out of my groove and I haven’t made much progress on things. Starting to get back into it.
I’ve made one substantial change to ScreenCred.
Casey Liss of ATP and other parts of the internet, is working on a TMDb iOS client called Callsheet. If you’re a subscriber to ATP, you can join the TestFlight. He recently added support for a URL scheme to open movies, shows, people in his app. I was very excited for this! ScreenCred currently lets you open the details of a movie or person in an in-app browser or Safari. But with this new URL scheme, I can open the details in Callsheet instead. I think this is a much better experience.
Feeling lazy, so no demo right now.
I had never used another app’s URL scheme before, so a couple things I learned.
You need to add the URL scheme to info.plist using LSApplicationQueriesSchemes.
You can use UIApplication.shared.canOpenURL to essentially check if the app is installed. In my case, I fallback to the default of opening the details in an in-app browser.
So now, if you have Callsheet installed, you can open details from ScreenCred in it. Pretty neat.
I’m also working on expanding my URL scheme to allow a single movie or show to be opened in the app. This would let apps like Callsheet open ScreenCred from a movie details page, or something like that. Probably won’t be used, but will help me sleep better at night.
I decided to do the themes or color collections or whatever.
So many colors
I like this. Gets rid of a lot of the issues I had before. I started with the basic system colors, but there’s opportunity to add a lot of custom colors. Eventually down the line, I think I’ll add a theme builder or something.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to. I’m sick, so this is all I have energy to write.
As part of the redesign, I wanted to add the ability to select an accent color. But I also got it in my mind to have a random option where the accent color will change every time you open the app.
Screenshot of an iOS picker menu showing several accent color options
This was my first attempt. A simple picker. 2 things I don’t like about this:
You can’t preview the color.
You don’t know which colors are included in “random”.
I started thinking of a way I could create a multi-select color picker. This is what I came up with:
Screen recording of an accent color picker showing the selection of multiple colors
I’m not 100% sold on this idea, but I like it. If you have multiple colors selected, then the app will randomly pick one each time it opens. If you have a single color selected, the app will only use that color. One issue I ran into was how to ensure at least one color was selected. I didn’t really want to pop up an alert if you deselected them all or something like that. So I decided to go with disabling the last selected color so you can’t deselect it. Not sure this is the best idea or not.
Overall though, I like this idea of having multiple accent colors and seeing a new one each time I open the app. I might scrap this color picker and switch to some preset “themes”, or collections of a few colors. That would get around the issue of deselecting all the colors. Could make a theme builder too.
I decided to go full force into the redesign. I’d like to give credit to the inspiration for this design, but I can’t remember where I saw it. I think I saw it fly by in my Mastodon feed, didn’t think much of it at the time, but it got stuck in my head.
I like it. I feel like it adds some personality to the app. Still needs work. There’s some spacing/alignment issues, and dark mode needs quite a bit of work.