A blog post for a second week in a row? This could become a habit.

Published stuff

My column on Stuff this week is about Telly giving away 500,000 TVs – and selling your privacy. The company’s marketing appears to be aiming for fluffy, but instead keeps hurling darts into ‘terrifying dystopia’. The CEO in an interview saying “we know who you are, we know where you live” is a red flag you can see from space, although you might argue that at least he’s being up-front about the horror.

Elsewhere, I brought my upcoming iPads piece up to date and wrote about Lego’s baffling Bat-box set.

Meanwhile, over on TapSmart – sister publication to our wee indie iPhone mag, Swipe – I outlined what I’d like to see at WWDC23 and explored interior design apps that’ll make me guilty about having done nothing with my home office for years.

In-progress stuff

I filed a piece on noise apps for Stuff, which will feature in an upcoming issue. I hadn’t dipped into these for a while, and was surprised how many quality apps were around. Endel has some really great stuff inside it, even if you only stick with the free version.

Beyond that, I’m still trying to figure out how much I like the Retroid Pocket Flip. (Never let it be said my reviews aren’t thorough!) The fan inside it is a total waste of time – it’s noisy and doesn’t impact on performance. Fortunately, it can be turned off. And the sliders are a bit weird. But… it’s a really nice thing.

Russ over at Retro Game Corps – a YouTube channel I highly recommend if you like retrogaming hardware – suggested is was down to its form factor making it feel like a console rather than an Android phone with controls bolted on. There’s definitely something in that.

Other stuff

Having been getting guilt-trip messages from Yousician, I headed back this week, and improved my score on a couple of vocal tracks.

I’m not a good singer, which isn’t ideal when it comes to getting vocals down for my songs. I adore Yousician’s view that lets you track your pitch, live, against a piano roll and dearly wish Logic had something similar, to help me improve what I input rather than fiddling about with it afterwards.

Still, if I can get my vocals somewhat into shape, this year might be the one where I – finally – release a new album. The first since 2012. Hopefully it’ll be worth the wait…