2021, Allison Sheridan
NosillaCast Apple Podcast

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[0:00] Music.

[0:10] Today is Sunday, April 9th, 2023, and this is show number 935.
Well, I started doing an impromptu poll over in our Slack community, asking people whether they would like me to introduce the subjects that are going to be in the podcast each week before I actually talk about them.
The results were mixed, but one of the members said, you're asking the wrong people.
You should find out whether it helps new people to the podcast if you do that.
So I have a question to you. If you're new, or even if you've been around for a while listening, do you like it when I tell you what's coming, or would you rather I just get to work and start the show?
Again, like I said, the results have been mixed, and I'm not sure which way we should go, so I'd like your opinion.
So send me an email at alison at or hit me up on Mastodon at podfeet at chaos dot social.

Al on Let’s Talk Apple

[0:59] I always enjoy it when Bart Bouchat has me on Let's Talk Apple, especially when I have him all to myself.
This week we got together and went over all the news about Apple in the month of March, including subjects like Apple in China and India.
As he says, it's complicated.
We talked about Apple Pay later launching, and Bart explains why having a dedicated classical music app matters.
I really didn't understand why we needed one.
Anyway, you can find Let's Talk Apple in your podcatcher of choice or at let'

[1:30] Music.

Tiny Tip – How to Add a Line Feed on iOS When There’s No Return Key

[1:39] Well if you know that music, you know it's time for a tiny tip.
And I had a tiny tip I've been sitting on for a long time that I was super excited about and I wrote it up as an article on
And after I posted it, Yop came in with a comment that explains a way easier tiny tip to fix the problem.
But I'm going to tell you my tiny tip first, and then I'll follow up with the way Yop says to do it, which like I said, it's way better than mine.
Mine's kind of cool, but his is probably more elegant.
All right, here's the setup.

[2:08] When you're using an app that expects long-winded typing on iOS, you'll get the standard iOS keyboard with four rows of keys.
On the fourth row of an American English keyboard, you'll find a key labeled RETURN.
Hitting this key gives you a line feed, which is an expected feature for separating long thoughts for readability.
However, short-form apps like, say, Mastodon, Discord, and Twitter use a different keyboard layout that replaces the return key with two keys, the at and hashtag symbols.
To be fair, those are pretty darn useful keys to have at your fingertips in this kind of And I bet most people would prefer having access to them versus having access to a return key there to make a choice.
However, when I'm sending a link through one of these apps on, like I said, Mastodon, Discord, or Twitter, I think it's nice to say something about the link first to get people motivated to actually click it, and then I put in a couple of line feeds to separate the text from the link, and so then I paste the link. This sets it off nicely and makes it easier for your followers to read. Our tiny tip for today is how to add a line feed when there is no return key on the keyboard.
It's super easy. Hit the microphone in the bottom right to enable dictation and say, new line. Easy peasy.

[3:22] Well, like I said, after I wrote up this post, Joop, who's also known on Mastodon as OetGrunen at, and I've got a link in the show notes, of course, Joop wrote a comment below with an even better solution.
If you don't see a return key, look in the bottom left of the keyboard.
You should see a key with 123 on it.
Tap the key once and the keyboard will change to show you all of the numbers and special characters.
I've seen this before. I use it all the time. But it turns out it also changes the bottom right key back into a return key. I can't believe I never noticed that it was doing this when I switched between the alpha keys and the number keys. It's a great solution and, this is a good illustration of how great it is to be part of such a vibrant community and I can learn something when I thought I was teaching something.
Thank you so much, Yope, for this second tiny tip.

A Tale of Two iPads (and Two Keyboard Cases) by Jill from the Northwoods

[4:15] Hello, this is Jill from the Northwoods. The story of me buying an iPad goes all the way back to 2010.

[4:29] I was in charge of a pool of medical tablets for medical staff to carry around and enter in patient information through these tablets.

[4:38] And I meant to keep them healthy. I would give them out when there were certain types of demonstrations that required them, them updated, all that. And I just dreamed of the day when I could have such an amazing device. And then in March of 2010, the iPad comes out. And as soon as I saw it, I went to the store and I couldn't believe it. Not only was it what I wanted, it was beyond what I wanted. Turn it upside down and it would still work. It was just the thing I had been looking for for years and years. It was almost my dream device. And despite not really having the money to buy it, I bought it anyway and immediately adored it. I showed it to all of my friends and they thought this was some sort of a silly niche device. They couldn't believe I spent money on this. I said, no, no, no, you have to understand this is the future. This is what everyone's going to be doing. This will free us from our computers.
And after a while, maybe six months, my friends finally saw all the different things I was doing with it and decided it was for them too.
So eventually they followed my lead. Everything on it.
I read, I played games, I mean, you name it, I did it on this iPad.
I used it like a laptop, even though it was not prepared to be a laptop way back in 2010.

[6:04] And now it brings us to today. I no longer have that first version iPad. I do have the first version of the iPad Pro that came out because big is amazing. I even had one of those magazine subscription applications that Apple eventually bought and I loved reading magazines on the iPad.
This iPad Pro went with me everywhere and in fact when I would go to training sites.

[6:30] All the other trainers would have these huge stacks of manuals they would go through page by page but there I was with my iPad Pro flipping through the pages and walking up and down the aisles so I could help people get through the training manuals. It just was my favorite thing. I eventually did buy a mini and I like the mini just fine. It's a perfect kind of bedtime companion. If I want to check a radar, I want to play a quick game, I can do very quick and small things with it. I do love my mini but I also bought the smallest mini possible and quite frankly 64 gigabytes just does not do it for me anymore. So my eye started looking towards buying a new iPad but the question came out first of all do I really need an iPad? I have a MacBook I use it all the time and it goes with me everywhere I go. I travel less than I used to before the pandemic, and quite frankly I have the iPad mini and I maybe don't even really need another iPad. My iPad Pro still chugging along. I use it as a way that I can look at certain data all the time despite the fact it's old and it has a very old processor it still has an amazing screen and to be my weather station it does a great job!

[7:49] But now what do I do about a new iPad? I'm being a little bit cost conscious lately just because I'm trying to save money.
And did I really want to buy a new iPad in general?
I did get a bonus from my work and used most of it to buy gas and food, which is really boring and not in the spirit of a gift for your 15 year anniversary.
So I started looking around and the question always comes along whenever you're buying Apple devices, is now the right time?
Are they going to come up with something new and amazing? Are they going to do something very different?
I'm curious about when major changes happen, something monumental happens, but I never use an iPad for a camera and when people talk about bezels, my brain just can't handle it.
I don't care about bezels at all.
Yeah, I know. I came from the Windows world.
We don't have bezels in Windows.

[8:42] When looking at the prices, I saw a few of the iPad Airs that were on sale, but I really wanted the iPad Pro, primarily because it used Face ID, which I know is a silly reason why, but I don't have fingerprints.
I could commit almost any crime and you couldn't tell what I was doing.
Just lucky that I'm not a criminal because you would never find me.
But Face ID was a big changer. the M2 chip means that it's future-proof. It's going to last a long time. And so my, heart was saying the iPad Pro, my budget was saying an iPad Air, and when I looked at different prices suddenly at Costco, they put the iPad Pro 11, which is exactly the size I want, on sale. I ran out, bought it, and now that's what I have. A few weeks ago, my best friend picked up an iPad Pro 12.9.
She walked into Best Buy, she saw the Magic Keyboard, she saw the iPad Pro, and she says, this is what I want.
Picked up the whole thing. She just loves it.

[9:46] But then I had my new iPad Pro and I was excited to do things.
One of the uses that I had needs, probably not much a need, is that I want to build up the social media game that I'm doing for my podcast.
And one of the things that a lot of productivity, personal improvement podcasts do is they create memes or tips sheet.
And I can't read my own handwriting. I'm not very artistic.
My friend and I used to do these cute cartoons though in college.
And I thought, what if with her new iPad Pro and my new iPad Pro and we both have pencil too, maybe we could start drawing these cartoons all over again and create our own artwork so we can put on our own social media.
This is gonna be a great idea. And the last few weeks, we've been sitting there with YouTube, and the Procreate app that comes on iPad and just learning how to use the software.
And we've created some fun images with it. So there was my first big use case, beyond just games and being able to watch things on planes.
I wanted to learn how to draw.

[10:57] Now I would be lying if I didn't say that Allison used her strong persuasion to help me buy an iPad.
I was a little bit on the border, but she pushed me over the edge.
But she also made the point that I had to get the Magic Keyboard to go with it, or really any keyboard.
And I replied, I don't really type on my iPads, but that's because you don't have a great keyboard for it.
I had the Folio keyboard for my old iPad Pro, and to be honest with you, I kept leaving it places just because I never typed on it.
It was mostly used as a cover for my iPad.
As most of you, you probably wish that you could go without any sort of cover on your iPad because it just makes it heavier and clunkier and, Aren't those devices just better when they don't have anything?
The old owner of my company used to just make fun of me because I always had the most complicated and Somewhat heavy cases for my phone for my ipad.

[11:54] And he tried to tell me that the joy of owning an ipad is just to walk around with it with no case at all It's supposed to be light and then I thought well, He probably has the money to replace it if he were to drop it and shatter it into a million pieces I really don't so buy cases for my iPads and in this case. I did definitely want to get a case, Not so sure about the keyboard My friend had the magic keyboard which she really likes. It's great because it can sit on her lap, It has that floating appearance to it, puts the screen at the right angle, and even on her lap she can type anywhere.
She responds to emails, she's able to take notes, almost like it was a MacBook for her.
One of the reasons that she picked an iPad over a MacBook is because it has a touchscreen.
She loves a touchscreen. But for me, I just really don't do it that often.
If I have an email to write, I'm fine with the onboard keyboard with my phone or my iPad, And it's not really what I do with it.
So I started doing some investigation and found a lot of different cases.
I thought about just getting the folio cover.
I just thought about just getting a light keyboard.
I thought about just taking the Bluetooth keyboards I had around the house and bringing along and just use it for those cases where I need it.
But I still wanted that case.

[13:18] With my research I found the Logitech Combo Touch. It's brand new, it changed quite a bit, and I noticed that many of the complaints that people had with this version of a keyboard case in the past have been fixed in this particular version.
What I liked about it in particular is the keyboard detaches, so when I don't need it, I'm just sitting around using it on my couch or I'm drawing with it, and I don't want a keyboard, I can use the kickstand behind it and use the device without having the extra weight.
We'll talk about measurements in just a moment.
So from my friend's point of view with the iPad 12, point 9 and the case together, she found that it was heavy, it was hard to carry around and she pulls it out of the magic keyboard for iPad all the time when she's just watching TV. So she, She feels while she likes her case and that it's very grippy and she feels her device is very safe in it, she also can tell that it's very well made, it also adds a lot to the iPad and she ends up removing it just to have an iPad.
She ended up getting just a folio cover so that when she is around the house she has something to give it a little bit of protection.

[14:33] When I bought the Logitech Combo Touch, the first thing I saw is that it was woven.
It's this kind of woven material on it.
I didn't know really what it is, but in doing some research, they say that it's actually some form of plastic that has been woven together.
It's fairly grippy, although it can be a little bit slippery at times.
I wonder if it's going to start looking dirty over time because it feels more like a fabric, But if it's plastic, maybe not.

[15:02] I know that with the iPad Magic Keyboard, that can be cleaned and complained with water, and it will probably look great for a really long time.
Overall, the case feels very rugged. It gives a nice rim around the screen of the iPad so that it passes that flower test. If you've ever heard of the flower test, it's when you turn an iPhone or an iPad case over with flour on the table. And does it pick up any of it? It's because it has that little lip that prevents the screen from getting scratched if there were something on your table very small that could potentially scratch it. I find that has been the most helpful thing over my years of owning Apple devices. It has a kickstand in the back and I know that kickstand is not everybody's favorite method. It is gonna be weird if you're sitting on a couch and you have this on your lap and you're trying to type something. I tried it today and it just floops over and it doesn't really stand upright unless you fiddle with it quite a bit. But if you're sitting at a table it works just fine. The other thing people talk about is if you're on a plane where the table is very small, this.

[16:10] Might have some trouble because those kickstands come out just a few inches behind it which makes it not as useful on an airplane. But again I don't foresee myself typing on an airplane so I didn't feel like that was much of a problem. The.

[16:25] The kickstand goes into two different positions.
One that's great for watching TV or typing on the keyboard when it's attached.
Or the other one folds over a lot more and it makes a great writing surface.
So if you're taking notes, you're doing some art with the pencil, it's at that right angle for you to use your wrist to write something.
In past versions of this keyboard people complained that the keyboard itself when you take it off didn't have a place to go.
It doesn't really flip over backwards.
But what this does is you can turn it around so that the magnets reattach and then it goes back into the bottom of the iPad.
So the keys are protected and they don't get all messy.
So they heard that piece of advice and now they have a way of protecting your keyboard but keeping it with the whole ensemble all the time.
I tested the keys, it has a nice feel to the keys, and it also has a trackpad that works really well too.
Although again, I'm a touchscreen person just like my friend, and I'm also very used to using touchscreens, so I go either way whether I'm using that. Past versions of this particular case had batteries in it, and you charge the battery to power the keyboard itself, but this actually just runs power directly off of the keyboard, and that also gives it its responsiveness, but it also doesn't need that spare battery so that you have to keep it charged.

[17:48] There is no pass-through connector like the Magic Keyboard for iPad has, which means when you have your keyboard in the case, there's a charging socket in there, which leaves your USB-C Thunderbolt port for other things.
If you're adding other types of pieces like a microphone or some other device, it's free to do that.
In this case, there's no pass-through charging at all.
Again, I don't think for me, at least that's going to be a problem.
One of the nice things about this compared to the Magic Keyboard for iPad is it does have audio and visual controls at the top of the keys.
Which means you can turn up the volume, turn down the volume, turn up the brightness, control the brightness of the lighted keyboard right from the keys themselves.
And that makes it nice. The Magic Keyboard for iPad does not have that.
Which is interesting because I saw a lot of people, if they had a complaint about this keyboard, that was it right there.

[18:44] When it folds up, it has a little lip where the magnetic pencil 2 can connect to the iPad like it always does, but it gives it a little bit of a perfection.
It used to have a strap or a little pencil loop in the past.
It no longer has that, which makes it nice for easy removal and putting it back.
But it also means that it's not quite as protective as it used to be from falling out into your bag if you did shove it in your bag.
But I feel that this whole case around my iPad gives it a lot of protection, makes it very safe.
And I feel that if I shove it in a bag, it's not going to get scratched in any sort of way.
I've already scratched my iPad mini by having the folio cover for it and putting it in a bag and somehow the magnet didn't stay to it very well.

[19:34] So let's talk a little bit about some of the statistics that we have for these.
The iPad itself weighs 1 pound, 0.04 ounces. It's 7 inches tall and 9.74 inches wide and it is 0.23 inches thick. So right there you already have a pound. This makes it 0.6 inches thicker to have the Combo Touch case on it, which isn't too bad. I didn't feel or I don't feel that it's too thick or too large to carry around.
And so then the Logitech Combo Touch is 10.31 inches total by 7.67 inches and for a total width of 0.83 inches.
It weighs all by itself 1.39 pounds which is more than the iPad itself weighs. But if you take the cover off that is 0.65 pounds lighter which which means it reduces the weight of the entire device quite a bit.

[20:35] But the dimensions of the Magic Keyboard for iPad is a bit smaller, and the weight is 1.1 pounds instead of 1.3 pounds, making it a little bit lighter, but then there's no opportunity to remove the keyboard to make it even lighter yet.
So it's just a matter of choice which one that you like to have.
So here you bought a new iPad.
Maybe you even went in for the pencil, but your wallet is about to get a little bit lighter.
Let's compare the prices of the two devices. For the 11-inch iPad Pro, the Magic Keyboard for iPad comes in at $299 at the Apple Store.
Other retailers can sometimes discount it all the way down to $229 for the same iPad Pro 11-inch.
If you want to get it in the 12.9, It's a little bit more expensive, and if you want to buy it for the iPad Air, it gets a little cheaper.
For the Logitech Combo Touch, it comes in at around $169, $179.
And it retails on their website for $199. There are occasional discounts there too.
Again, if you're going to buy the 12.9, a little bit more expensive, and if you're going to buy the iPad Air a little bit cheaper.

[21:55] With the Magic Keyboard for iPad, there's two positions. It's either 85 degrees or 130 degrees, depending on how you want your viewing to look.
And that's great when you're using it almost like a laptop replacement.
But when it comes to drawing on it, neither of those two positions work very well.
So I think my friend is very happy with the Magic Keyboard for iPad.
It allows her to take her iPad everywhere she goes and then type on it.
She loves to write notes.
And for me, I think the Logitech Combo Touch is great for me too.
I feel safe in it. I feel I can pack it in a bag. And particularly when I go on trips on planes, it's going to be safe.
The pencil is always attached. And when I'm just walking around the house, the keyboard comes off.
And I have a nice place to stash that when I'm not using it.
My friend is happy. I'm happy. And we both have iPads that we can use for whatever types of purposes we have.
I'm looking forward to doing more with my iPad.
Right now I'm getting it all set up and going through those Procreate tutorials on YouTube.
Hopefully someday you'll start seeing social media memes coming from me and my friend as we start to promote our podcast.
I hope this review helped you in looking at a different type of case for your iPad and other considerations when looking for a case.
We're both happy and thrilled with our new iPads.

[23:21] Again, this is Jill from the Northwoods. You can find me on Allison's Slack channel if you have any questions or comments.
And you can also reach to me at my website,
Well this is absolutely terrific, Jill.
Now to the audience, she's telling the truth. I really did push Jill to get a keyboard, but I love that she found a different one that makes her so happy.
By the way, Jill made one slight verbal typo when talking about the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro.
She said that it had two positions, 85 degrees and 130 degrees.
What she meant to say was that it has a range of position from 85 to 130 degrees.
Now she's 100% right that nowhere in that viewing angle is it any good for writing with pencil.
I always tear my iPad off the Magic Keyboard when I want to use pencil.
Thanks for the great review as always Jill and for telling us about the Logitech Combo Keyboard Case.
I'd never seen it before and I kinda wanna try one of those too.
All right, let's have a listen to a pre-recorded interview I did at the CSUN Assistive Tech Conference a little bit ago.

CSUN ATC 2023: AYES OKO Navigation Aid for Blind & Low Vision

[24:28] One of the problems for visually impaired people is being able to tell when the light is green or they're allowed to walk to cross the street.
A company called Ayaz is working on a product called Oco that is supposed to make this easy and I am standing here with Michael Janssen who is from Belgium.
We love Belgians, of course, on the Podfeet podcast and so he's going to tell us about it.
Describe how this works. Yeah, sure. Hey, nice to meet you, everyone.
I'm Michael, indeed one of the founders of a company called ICE.
We basically started off two years ago.
We have a Bion family friend in Belgium, and he told us about the challenge of crossing the street in a safe way.

[25:02] And that's why we've developed a mobile app. Of course, these days, only on iPhone.
But basically what we do is we use a camera of your smartphone and artificial intelligence to analyze the pedestrian traffic light status.
So we convey the walk signal or the don't walk signal through audio and haptic feedback, such that they know whenever it's safe to cross.
Oh, that is really cool. Now, we've just traveled to other countries.
Those signs are different everywhere you go. I mean, in Argentina, there were like 11 different things it showed.
But in the US, is it fairly standardized?
It's fairly standardized, but it's completely different than, for example, in Belgium or just throughout Europe.
And that's why it took us so long to make the AI as good as it is in Europe and translate that in the US.
I can imagine, yeah, it's different everywhere. Yeah, because our service is already live for about now a year ago in Europe, and now we're three weeks here in the US, so that's pretty exciting.
Before we got started, you were explaining that a lot of traffic lights do have like an audio beep telling you you're allowed to walk or don't walk, or a clicking sound, but that's not standardized and you said it's not very well maintained as well.

[26:06] There's not a lot to correct. There's not a lot of those audible speakers.
That's actually the problem or the biggest problem.
But of course, if there are there, the maintenance is not maintained well, so they're not always working.
So that's a very frustrating thing if you're relying on that service.
Of course, our service doesn't need to have something installed at a traffic light because we literally look at a sighted person at the traffic light and convey that information back.
Very cool. So we're going to try to do a quick demo here. He's got a traffic light up above us.
It's got a little walking person right now.
And do you want to zoom in here, Steve, on the screen?
So he's holding the phone up to look at the traffic light.

[26:52] We have to get farther away, because in reality you're really far away, right?
Indeed, indeed. So describe what we're seeing on screen.
Yeah, so the screen lits up green to indicate the walk signal is on.
But of course, there's also an audible and a vibration cue. It's a very fast tone to indicate the walk signal.
And the don't walk signal is the same pattern, but much slower.
So a very slow beep to indicate that don't walk signal.
OK, how about that? Run, run, run, hurry, the light's about to change signal.
Does it do that too? No, no, yeah, no. And I think like if it's got a countdown, what does it tell you?
The countdown signal is some sort of a timer, tick, tock.

[27:29] Tick, tock, counting down to just indicate that either you should hurry up and finish your crossing or do not start your crossing if you're just about to enter the crosswalk.
So we always are there to convey more information.
It's not in a replacement of orientation and mobility or a wide cane or a guide dog.
We're just another tool on the assistive technology belt, let's say.
I think a very important aspect, and that's what a lot of Americans like here, the moment that you start veering off, which is a critical thing as a blind people, the phone will become silent.
So if you're rotating to the right or to the left, your phone will become silent.
And that means that you're veering off into traffic. Off of the crosswalk.
Off the crosswalk, indeed. And so what most people do, they'll just put the phone against the chest, the camera looking in the direction that you're walking in.
And so if you're crossing, the walk signal is on, and you're veering off, it will become silent.
And that means that people need to reorient themselves to find the traffic light, or our system will find the traffic light, of course.
And that means that you always need to follow the sound or the vibration to reach the other side of the road.
And it was actually in Milwaukee two weeks ago that there was a blind user that mentioned it's the first time in my life, and she's 20-22, that she was able to cross the street in a safe, straight way with our application.
With confidence. Wow, that is really, really cool.

[28:50] And the fact that the whole screen turns green is, somebody listening might think, well, you're blind. What good is it being green? But low vision as well, right?
Exactly, yeah. inch rectangle.
A lot of people would be able to notice that where they don't have the visual acuity to see the sign itself.
That's indeed intended for people with low vision to just maximize their wrist fuses and just look at their phone rather than a couple of feet at distance to analyze the traffic light itself.
This is very cool. So you can download OCO, it's O-K-O in the app store for the iPhone.
Nothing for Android though?
Nothing for Android at the moment. Of course, Apple has been a pioneer in accessibility.
And I think a very important aspect, our software runs locally on the phone.
So no Wi-Fi, no cellular connection is required, and Android is still not there yet.
And that's why we, as a young company, focus on iPhone. I wondered why you were willing to do a live demo because everybody else is going, oh, I can't do that because, you know, the Wi-Fi and cellular in here isn't good enough.
But you don't use that. So that's proof of it. That's the beauty of it.
It's such a scalable thing.
It doesn't require the Wi-Fi or cellular connection. And that's the beauty.
What's the cost of using OCO?
So we charge it for free to the user. Our vision is if sighted people do not need to pay to look at the traffic light, why do blind and visually impaired people?

[30:05] Our mission is to find B2B or B2G partners, so working with cities or healthcare partners.
Same is true for Belgium, our home country.
The app is there reimbursed for all users across the state, let's say. So that's amazing.
That's fantastic. Well, this is really cool. I'm going to download it and take a look and see what it does myself.
So it's OKO and... Thank you very much for helping us out. Thank you very much.

Support the Show

[30:31] I am delighted to introduce the Nosilla Castaways to our newest patron of the Podfeet podcast.
His name is Keith Kuby. Keith went to slash Patreon and committed his hard-earned dollars to help support the show. His support means a lot to me, as does the support of all the people who continue to support the show every month. If you can afford it and you think you get real value out of the show, please be cool like Keith and become a patron.

Track All of Your Stuff with Under My Roof

[30:57] One of the most important applications I use is called Under My Roof from Binary Formations.
Under My Roof helps you keep track of everything to do with your home through a beautiful interface.
Under the hood, it's a powerful database, but that's hidden from the user so you don't have to worry your pretty little head about it. Now, it does take some time investment to populate Under My Roof, but in case of fire, flood, tornadoes, earthquakes, or theft, you'll be glad you have all of your records in one place. Speaking of insurance, you can keep track of insurance policies and coverage information for your home as well in Under My Roof.

[31:30] I use it to keep track of all of my electronics. I add in warranties, serial numbers, and photos.
You can use it to track collections like say Pokemon cards or Bernstein bears or Tiki mugs.
Jewelry is another big thing people might like to keep records of in Under My Roof.
You can track maintenance tasks as well. Anything that's under your roof, whether it's a house or an apartment, can be maintained in Under My Roof.
When it comes time to move, Under My Roof helps you by letting you record what you put in each box with photos and when you arrive in your new home you'll be able to find that spaghetti strainer you need on the very first night. I'm betting a significant number of you are thinking, well this sounds like way too much work, but Under My Roof has such a great interface it makes it easy so it's actually kind of fun. Now as Jo from The Northwood says on her podcast, start with small steps. I recommend by starting out by just putting new stuff when you buy it into Under My Roof. Once you get the hang of doing it, you'll find you want to go back and start entering things that maybe you've had for a long time. Let's get pricing out of the way.
Under My Roof is a very moderately priced subscription of $25 a year. That's USD.
For that price, you get the app and your synced inventory on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

[32:46] Now, if you'd rather pay month to month, you could do that for $4 a month.
And when you stop paying the subscription, you can still access all of the data in your inventory.
So let me repeat that. You never lose access to your data if you stop paying the subscription.
Now, you can also even get a free trial with 10 items in it, so you can kick the tires yourself and see whether Under My Roof is as easy to use as I claim.
Now, Under My Roof also supports family sharing, which means you can share your inventory and the app subscription with your family members. I used to have to do all of the work to maintain our under-my-roof database, but when the fine folks at Binary Formations added family sharing, Steve was able to start maintaining his own items. It's so easy to add new items that he picked it up really quickly and he doesn't ever drag his feet about keeping the database up to date. You can also share an inventory with other people who aren't in your family.

[33:39] I'm itching to tell you about the fun stuff, but I'm betting another big percentage of you are are wondering how secure is my data if I put it into Under My Roof, seeing that you can share it between users and between devices.
Binary Formations is adamant. They do not maintain any intermediate servers.
All syncing and sharing is done through iCloud.
If you want a bit more security from prying eyes on your devices, you can also send an inventory password through the options panel in Under My Roof.
So when you search for Under My Roof in one of the app stores, you'll notice that it's called Under My Roof Home Inventory Plus.
The reason for that is that they used to have a product called Home Inventory, and Under My Roof is the grownup version of the same concept.
By adding a home inventory to the name in the app stores, they ensure that people searching find the new applications. Now, I was an avid user of the home inventory, and I've talked about it on the podcast actually nine years ago, so it's well past time for me to tell you about Under My Roof. When you first launch Under My Roof, you name your inventory, and then you create a home. You may have multiple homes. Maybe you have a home in Houston and a home away from home in Austin. Perhaps you manage rental properties, or you have a vacation cabin.
Under My Roof can handle as many homes as you can afford.

[34:53] The left sidebar of Under My Roof is called the browse bar, and it allows you to browse your inventory from a bunch of different perspectives.
You can browse by location, category, collection, and more.
I normally browse my inventory by location, so I can look at, say, just what's in my office, just what's in Steve's office, just what's in the family room, or maybe just what's in our bedroom.
In the bedroom, for example, we can have electronics like a HomePod, a TV, and a receiver, but we've also got jewelry that's in the bedroom.
Well, don't go looking in my bedroom for my jewelry. Anyway, I can see all of those items if I browse by location.
Now you can also browse by category. So I could say, see all of my jewelry or all of my electronics regardless of location in my home.
You can also tag items and then browse by those tags.
You can browse by all items if worrying about organization is not on the agenda for a given session with Under My Roof.
There's a lot more ways to browse your items, but let's jump ahead to how to enter items into Under My Roof.
I promised you it was easy, so I better hurry up and prove it.

[35:54] There's a lot of different ways to start entering items into Under My Roof, so you can pick the way that's easiest for you and under the circumstances that you're in at the time. There's a pretty obvious plus button to create a new item. From there, you can enter the details about the item, things like what it is, the price, purchase date, serial number, who you bought it from, and you can add the location and category. Now, if you're using a Mac or an iPad with a keyboard, starting with all this text entry works really well. If you've already taken a photo of the item, you're going to import the photo from your photos library directly into the item.

[36:27] Now there is an option to add a photo using the camera from your device, but you know, if you're using the Mac or iPad, that isn't the most convenient way to take a photo.
However, if you're on your iPhone, you might want to start from the other direction.
You can take photos directly within the under my roof interface, so you don't clutter up your photos library with pictures of your stuff.
If you're a good little typer on that wee tiny iPhone keyboard, this is probably a great way to enter new items. You can always add a photo from the iOS version of Under My Roof, throw in a quick title on the wee tiny keyboard, and then move over to the Mac to enter the rest of the information. There's a third way to create a new item, and that's to use the Inbox. On the Mac or one of your iOS devices, Under My Roof installs a share extension.
Recently, my good friend Pat Dangler gave me a Brother laser printer. I took three photos of it right after I set it up, but I didn't have time right then to mess around with adding it to my inventory. I used the share extension from photos to send it to under my roof inbox and when I, opened under my roof on my Mac at a convenient time I had a notification to check the inbox.
I selected the three photos from there and I was able to create the new item from those images.
I really like being able to time shift some of the tasks with the Inbox feature.

[37:41] I do want to make one comment about taking photos of your stuff.
When you take photos of an item, make sure that you're in the photo with the item.
I know that sounds kind of funny, but when all of our jewelry got stolen many years ago by the now defunct airline TWA, our insurance company told us it was very important.
He said anyone can supply a photo or a copy of a receipt, but that doesn't really prove that they ever had it in their possession.
They wanted photos of us actually with the jewelry that got stolen.
And by the way, we got everything paid back because we were able to provide those photos of us with our jewelry.

[38:17] Now I really like the flexibility of Under My Roof in how it lets you use the right tool for the right job at the right time.
Whether you wanna enter a photo first, whether you wanna enter text first, whichever way you wanna do it, or just send something to the inbox to deal with it later.
Now once you have a few items added to a location or category or tag, you start to get the feel for how easy it is to navigate the interface of Under My Roof.
You have the browse bar that I mentioned on the left. Then there's a column showing all of the items you've added with nice thumbnails, so it's easy to see the items.
Then on the right, you've got a bigger area that shows you the details about the item selected.
You see the photos of the item in a nice little collage that's with the make, the model, the value, and everything else about the item that you've entered.
It's efficiently laid out to give you the information you need right at your fingertips.
In addition to adding photos to items, You can add receipts for purchases and warranties, and you can add repair information.
While I was working on this review, I realized I'd never recorded the repair done to my MacBook Pro last year, so I hunted the information down in my email and uploaded the PDF to Under My Roof using the inbox feature.
Now when entering warranty information, be sure to put in the term of the warranty.
Under My Roof will automatically calculate the end date of the warranty, and your item will reflect when it falls out of warranty status.
I know with Apple Gear we can always check online for this kind of information, but I really like having it for every item in Under My Roof.

[39:45] Now some items you might want to add by barcode rather than typing in all of the information by hand. For example, we have an extensive DVD collection, and that's a perfect thing to to record as a collection in Under My Roof using barcode scanning.
Under My Roof supports scanning of UPC, EAN, and ISBN barcode types, which when successful, really speeds up the process of entering your items.
As you would imagine, this is a good time to use the iPhone to do the scanning rather than trying to hold the DVDs up to a camera on a Mac.
It might work, but I like using the iPhone better.
I tested using the barcode scanning option to scan in our Tom Cruise movies.
In my experiments, nine of my Tom Cruise movies popped right in.
One of them took four or five tries to get the scan to work, and the last three never scanned properly at all.
I'm not sure why this is, but I've had the exact same experience when scanning movie barcodes into another database app that I use.
Now I did find that my success rate went up with diffuse sunlight rather than direct light, which could cause reflections.

[40:48] Now upon successful scan, under my roof enters the basic information for the DVD, such as the name and description. But it didn't pull in information like director, actors, and genre or the artwork. I still needed a photo of that. Now I use DVD-PDF from Bruges to manage our DVD library because it does pull in much more extensive information about the DVDs. But I just want to use that as an example of how you can scan in anything that's got a barcode.

[41:17] Now, if you've ever given something away and then later on you can't find it in your house because your memory is as bad as mine, maybe you float an iPhone down to your nephew and then you go looking for it to use it as a continuity camera and you can't remember where it went.
In Under My Roof, you can set a flag on any item as Disposed.
Simply right-click on the item using a Mac or long-press if you're on iOS and select Dispose.
You'll be given 12 different options for how it was disposed of.
Broken, deleted, destroyed, donated, gifted, lost, other, recycled, returned, stole, stolen, or trashed.
Others in the middle there because it's alphabetical.
Anyway, depending on the option you choose, you might be queried for more information.
For example, if you choose sold, it'll ask you how much you got for it.
If you choose gifted, it will ask you who their lucky recipient was.

[42:06] Once you've disposed of an item, it's removed from locations, categories, and all the other ways you can look at items in the browse bar. But at the bottom of the browse bar is the option to view disposed of items, so they're still available to you when you want to know to whom you gave that iPhone. If you really want to get rid of it, there's a trash can available to you there, or you can right-click and choose delete. Maybe you think it's silly to track the stuff you no longer own, but we have definitely used this feature when we couldn't find some luggage we swore we used to have.
Now items in your database can only be in one category, but Under My Roof supports sub-categories.
An example of how to use this would be to say have an electronics category, but also have a sub-category for cameras.
The other nice thing about sub-categories is you can create them after creating the original categories.
In the example I just gave, I had two parallel categories, but I right-clicked on the cameras category, chose edit, and I have the option to make it a subcategory of an existing category.
Now in the browse bar under categories, electronics has a little chevron inviting me to flip it down to see my camera's subcategory.

[43:15] A new feature in Under My Roof is the ability to manage maintenance for everything under your roof.
Steve and I know that changing the air filters is important for our health, but we just don't seem to remember when to do it around Casa Sheridan.
At the top left of the side panel that normally shows the browse bar, you'll see a little hamburger menu.
When selected, this opens the options panel, which is where you can enter maintenance tasks.
Think about changing the batteries in the smoke detector, changing the air filters like us, or maybe having your solar panels cleaned, whatever maintenance you need to do around the house.
The annual flush of the water heater, that's a good one too.
You can put in the last date you did it and set up regular reminders for when you need to do it next.
But that's not all. If the maintenance requires supplies like our air filters, you may have trouble remembering whether you bought extras last time, where you might have put those extras, and if you didn't buy extras, which exact air filters do you need to buy?
For this, we take a trip back to our friend the browse bar where we can manage supplies for our home.
You can scan the barcode on the supplies if you like, or enter the information by hand.
In my case, I entered the part number including the size, how many I have in stock, that's important, and for location I told myself they're in the garage.
I even threw in a couple of photos of the filters so they'd be easier to find the next time we need to go buy them.

[44:36] Now once you have the supplies entered, you can connect this supply back to the maintenance task. Let's say you buy a pack of six air filters at Costco, but you only need to use two each time. When you complete the maintenance task, when reminded, your quantity of supplies will go down from six to four. When it goes down to zero, you'll be notified so you know to go buy more.
By this time, you're understanding just how powerful Under My Roof is for managing your home. But wait, there's more! The most tired I have ever been in my entire life was the last time I moved. There is a reason I've been living in the same exact house for 33 years.
When you do have to move, Under My Roof can make it easier. It turns out you can make or buy barcode stickers of your own to put on your moving boxes. You can scan those codes into Under My Roof and enter what you put in each box. Heck, just take a photo of what's inside each box before you tape it up and you can have that in Under My Roof as well. When, you get to your new home on the other end, instead of rummaging through every box looking for things, you can scan a barcode and check to see what's in that box using Under My Roof.
Whether you're an organizational mess by nature or a detail-oriented person, you can still imagine that throwing things into a box, sticking a sticker on it, taking a photo, scanning a barcode would greatly reduce your stress when unpacking your belongings in your new home. In fact, maybe you don't even have to be as organized as long as you know what's in what box?

[46:01] Now, what's a good database without the ability to generate reports?
Back in the Browse Bar, you can choose reports to generate information about disposed items, home and locations, item detail by location and collection, item list by category, item list by location and category, item summary by category and collection, and all policies on your home.
If we take a look at just one of these, the item detail by location and collection report, we get a nice layout of each item with the detailed information and photos in thumbnail form.
In mine, I can see a summary level information of, say, how many Star Trek DVDs I have because I did a collection for those, what room and category they're in, and how much they're worth.
You might think it's silly, but we have 300 DVDs and at roughly $20 a piece. In case of a fire, that's a $6,000 replacement value. So you want to think about what kind of collections you have in your home. At the end of the report, by categories, collections, and locations, you can see the the quantity of items and the total value of the items.
Even though Under My Roof has this pretty exhaustive set of canned reports, if you're a database nerd and you like making reports already, you know you're gonna wanna create your own report format as well, and of course, Under My Roof can do that.

[47:13] All right, believe it or not, in over 3,000 words, I have not covered everything that Under My Roof can do.
To give you an idea of how extensive and well-supported this app is, The user manual is 141 pages of detailed explanations and screenshots to guide you through every feature.
I am just wild about this user manual. It is fantastic.
Most of what I know about how to use Under My Roof I got by reading the manual, reading the very simple instructions.
The team that created this app, it's a husband and wife team by the way, are absolutely fantastic at support of this application.
And you can see that in the care of the user manual.
I know tracking items for insurance is right up there with doing your taxes in terms of enjoyment, but having a beautifully designed application that is rock solid and not fiddly truly makes it enjoyable.
Check out Under My Roof for Mac, iPhone, and iPad at

[48:11] Well that's going to wind us up for this week. Did you know you can email me at allison at anytime you like?
If you have a question or suggestion, just send it on over.
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And if you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to slash live on Sunday nights at 5 p.m. Pacific time and join the friendly in the.

[48:53] Music.

[49:08] You.