Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

_DavidSmith on the Apple Watch Series 3


While I’ll have to live with it for a few weeks to see if it really pans out, imagining a future where my iPhone is no longer a ‘must carry’ device is remarkable.

This is why I’m ordering one. As I said I would.

Pedometer++ 3.0


I’ve been steadily working on Pedometer++ now for nearly four years. Over that time the core conceit of the app has remained the same, to motivate you to be more active. It has done this with colors, confetti, complications and streaks. Now I’ve added another tool to hopefully motivate, achievements!

Pedometer++ continues to be my favorite step counter*. I’m looking forward to trying out this latest release.

* Yes, I’m building Summit, but that doesn’t mean I won’t still use Pedometer++ and Map My Walk. Each of these apps play a different role. I hope to make Summit good enough to fill a role for others too. But not the same role as Pedometer++. Even though the number one feature request is that I add more stats – that isn’t what Summit is about.


_DavidSmith has a new side project called PodSearch. He explains:

The concept was simple. Take a few of my favorite podcasts and run them through automated speech-to-text and make the result searchable.

It works. I’m still waiting for Google to add real contextual search to video and audio. They’ve got images working well. And Pinterest has even taken that a step further. But, at some point, every bit of content should be searchable.

This reminds me of a tool I wanted to add to Viddler years ago. I described it in this blog post. I wrote:

I remember in 2008 or 2009 when I was working at Viddler I had come up with a conceptual way of pulling this off for our platform. We never fully implemented it. But I did take a swing. I still have the code.

It went something like this; every video has a certain number of keyframes in it. You can think of those keyframes as thumbnails. In fact, at Viddler we stored several of those thumbnails per video. Imagine tagging someone’s face in a video and using facial recognition on the rest of the keyframes just to mark where in that video the person was. (at the time,’s API was still a thing, it could have been done for free).

Imagine if that existed? Seeing _DavidSmith’s new side project makes me want to build it.


From _David Smith, the creator of Pedometer++ (which I highly recommend) comes Sleep++ — an app for Apple Watch that monitors how you sleep at night based on your movement.

This obviously creates an issue since most people would charge their Apple Watch while they sleep. He offers this solution:

The TL/DR is to charge your Apple Watch in the morning while you get ready for your day (take a shower, get dressed, etc) and then again in the evening while you get ready for bed (brush teeth, put on pajamas, etc). Then put your Apple Watch in Airplane Mode while you sleep.

There you have it.

100 words 010


I missed posting this yesterday. I have only myself to blame. Number 10 already!

Speaking of 10; yesterday I finally surpassed the 10,000 daily step goal. I’m using Pedometer++ (my favorite step-tracking app) to track my steps. When I hit the milestone the app exploded into this cool animation showing that I had made it. It was a great touch from _DavidSmith.

For anyone wondering; 10,000 steps is about 5 miles of walking. At a normal human pace this should take you roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes. Give it a shot and use Pedometer++ to track your steps.



Invisible iOS Home Screen Icons

Pretty cool trick from _David Smith.

Since getting my iPhone 6 a few weeks ago I’ve been continuously trying to optimize the configuration of my home screen. The larger screen means that I now have an extra row of icons to fit onto the screen, but the physical size of device means that I can’t actually comfortably reach them.

Simple, effective.


Emoji++ Keyboard

I feel the same way _David Smith does about trying to find Emoji in the default iOS keyboard:

I feel like I’m always playing a game of memory each time I’m try to craft my perfectly composed Emoji response.

It is pretty painful. So, Smith set out to fix it with Emoji++, a keyboard that adds the Emoji as a single scrolling list. Simple and effective.

Smith also makes Pedometer++ which I recommend.


Pedometer++ 2.0

I’m loving Pedometer++. If you don’t have it, get it. It is free. And, it has just seen a significant update that adds some great features and a new design.

Also worth reading is the tidbits that David Smith has learned from his development of this application and the feedback he’s gotten from those that use it. Two really stand out for me.

3. The app skews predominately male. Not because they are more interested in counting their steps but simply because they are far more likely to have their iPhone on them all day. I’ve heard from many women who wish they could use the app to count their steps but carry their iPhone in their purse so it just doesn’t work as a reliable measurement for them.

The M7 chip is fantastic but I can see this being Apple’s biggest hurdle for women to use their iPhone to track their health. Women seem to wear pants more and more these days but many of the women that I know that have iPhones keep them in their purse*. This means the M7 isn’t tracking any data for them (and if it is, it is false data for sure). So if Apple were to make a “watch” or wristband of some type I can see it being something that simply pings back to the iPhone a wearer’s data and allowing the iPhone to have the apps, do the data crunching, etc.

4. The general advice is that taking at least 10,000 steps a day is a reasonable goal for healthy activity levels. I’ve found that for someone who works a typical office job this is only possible when taking proactive steps to start moving. For me this has meant starting to use a treadmill desk for part of my workday. I’ve also heard from many people who have started adding walks and runs into their days to try and meet their goals.

I “work a typical office job” and my average daily step count is somewhere around 1,500. On days when I’m out and about it is around 6,000-7,000. I’d have to really try pretty hard to hit 10,000. Which I will (more on this soon).

What a fantastic app! I wish he charged for it.


InstaBackup – Download all of your Instagram photos to your Mac

Speaking of backing up your Instagram photos. InstaBackup is a free Mac application by David Smith that makes it simple to download all of your Instagram photos to your Mac.

/via Andy “$1B is a good deal” Baio.