WCCO-TV picks my brain about traffic apps

What’s the best traffic app for your phone? WCCO-TV’s Liz Collin posed that question to me.

Quick answer: Google Maps.

Longer answer: It’s complicated, but there are good options for various usage scenarios and device types. If you use an Apple Watch with your iPhone, for instance, Apple Maps is a no-brainer.

Liz interviewed me in my home office, with an Apple Macintosh 128K just over my right shoulder, and Speed Racer over my left shoulder.

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Milestone: I wrote my 100th TidBITS story

I recently marked a minor but memorable professional milestone: I wrote my 100th article for TidBITS, the venerable email newsletter and website focused on all things Apple.

I kind of stumbled into becoming a sometime TidBITS contributor in 2009. The role became formalized in 2015, when the editors added me to the masthead.

This is a big deal: A journalist with a passion for tech and especially Apple tech getting paid to write about it on a regular basis. I’m very, very lucky.

I am grateful to Adam Engst, Tonya Engst and Josh Centers for this opportunity — and for the friendship and professional camaraderie they and the other members of TidBITS team have shown me.

On to 200!

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Facebook friends brighten up my birthday

Friends of mine once again seized on the occasion of my birthday to get creative on Facebook.

Their handiwork (typically of a nerdy nature, since they know me so well) was among dozens and dozens of Facebook greetings from friends, acquaintances and professional colleagues, which made mi cumpleaños all the more awesome.

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Finally falling in love with the Apple Watch

Warming up to the Apple Watch took me a while.

When the first version of the smartwatch came out in 2015, I delighted in having an Apple-branded product on my wrist. When the novelty wore off, though, I realized the gizmo wasn’t useful to me in any life-changing way, and ended up leaving it on its desktop charger most of the time.

Apple’s initial, largely ineffectual stabs at a smartwatch operating system were part of the problem, but it kept iterating to make its watchOS better and better. An increased emphasis on fitness was a good move (pardon the pun).

Over time, I discovered more and more uses for the Apple Watch, some fitness-related, others not. I detailed this in a recent Pioneer Press column.

And that was before Apple released the groundbreaking Series 4 version of the watch, along with a vastly improved version 5 of watchOS.

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