It’s fair to say this blog isn’t getting the love it once did, and so I’m ripping off Ian Betteridge and writing a weeknote, to get me back into the habit of sharing what I’ve been up to and some hopefully interesting reads.

Assuming anyone’s still reading, of course. (Hello, if so!)

Published stuff

Last weekend on Stuff’s website, I celebrated the iMac’s 25th by remembering when rivals glued bits of transparent plastic on to beige PCs and wondered why Apple’s success didn’t rub off. I said I wanted Apple Arcade to include classic arcade games (and noted why it will never happen). I scared wallets worldwide by updating my guide to upcoming Lego sets. And I today added: Find My iPhone! Google Find My Device! Why not Find My Everything? (Spoiler: because ecosystems.)

And in Stuff’s June 2023 print edition, I round-up six free (including from ads/IAP) mobile games, dig into image editing on phones, and lob a load of snark at the App Store as it approaches its 15th anniversary.

I’m also still plugging away for tiny indie iPhone mag Swipe. Every fortnight, we release a new issue. The latest, #275, has my round-up on photo filter apps, a toolkit for parents wanting to make devices work for kids, and a piece on how AR could change the future of museums.

Online this week, TapSmart reprinted my tutorials on customising Carrot Weather and improving reading habits with Alfread.

In-progress stuff

Among other things, I’m currently buried in weather apps for an upcoming mag round-up, and discovered with a little shock just how inaccurate most of them are locally. For where I live, if I want to know what the weather will do more than a day out, forget it. And even within the next 24 hours can be spotty.

I’m also exploring yet another retro handheld. This time, it’s the Retroid Pocket Flip. I liked the Pocket 3+ a lot, and this one’s more or less the same guts, but in a clamshell that evokes the GPD XD (or, to some degree, the Nintendo DS).

As someone who is VERY OLD, and has taken to writing up a daily retro game over on Mastodon, it’s quite something to see how even very affordable modern tech lets you cart around a huge chunk of gaming history in your pocket. Alas, as I wrote for Stuff a while back, when a lot of modern games are retro, we might not be able to revisit them so easily. (See also: Game history needs to be preserved and made accessible to all, over at the rebooted Wireframe.)

Personal stuff

This has been quite a difficult and tiring week. Not much spare time. Too much work. Lots of juggling. (Well, not actual juggling. That’d be more fun.)

I’ve started Duolingo, primarily for a feature, and partly because my 8-year-old now has a 400+ day streak. I barely managed four. Tsk. I’ve also not been keeping up with my Yousician. (I’ve written music since my teens, and yet can I play instruments properly? Apparently not.)

But the main life thing this week was going to the local hospital about a foot problem and being told I have “possibly reversible” arthritis in my big toes. And then being told about another condition I didn’t know I even had (to do with a weak tendon). This… all gets better once you hit 50, right?