A few apps that make using my MacBook Air that much better.

Favorite Mac App Icons

A few weeks ago, I did a post on some utilities that I use on my Mac. You can argue some of those were applications since they could be treated as such, but the difference for me between a utility and an application is how you use it. For me, a utility mostly lives in the background, and an application is something you are interacting with for long periods.

For instance, 1Password to me is a utility. Sure, there are moments where I am using the 1Password interface updating passwords or adding two-factor authentication for a login. But once set…


A quick look at the new AirTags and my unique key setup.

AirTag in hand with water in the background.
AirTag in hand with water in the background.
Apple AirTag

Since receiving my AirTags only a couple of days ago, I have not had enough time to say how useful or good they are in all scenarios. So instead of a review, I want to talk about my first impressions and my plans in using the tiny new trackers by Apple.

After deciding to buy a 4-pack of Apple’s AirTags, I realized that I didn’t know what I would use them for other than my keys. So this tweet by Ken Norton really resonated with me:

I knew I at least needed one for my wife’s keys and mine…


My impressions on AirTags, iMacs, iPad Pros, and Apple TV.

Source: Apple

So Apple finally had their first event of 2021 last Tuesday; Spring Loaded. Not only was this highly anticipated because it has been a while since Apple has had any announcements, but newly designed iMacs and AirTag rumors have been swirling around the internet for months and even years.

I thought overall that the event was concise and well structured. I do like these prerecorded video announcements that Apple started doing since the pandemic. It is going to be sad if and when they go back to live events. …


Sacrificing iPhone users experience to spite Android users was the wrong move.

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

I don’t usually keep up with tech battles in court. The Epic versus Apple case is interesting, though, and since so many podcasts bring it up, it is hard not to be somewhat aware. Once the trial starts, there will be more to share, which I will then be informed of but do not seek to learn more. I don’t care all that much.

What I do care about, though, are things that come out of the trials discovery phase. I remember when the Samsung versus Apple trial was going on and how much news came out of all the…


Launching apps with widgets on iOS is no good.

An iPhone homescreen is personal. Some people set it and forget it. While others are constantly customizing and changing how it is set up. I am in the latter group, but instead of constant change, I am always thinking about how my homescreen can serve me better.

Phones today are very important, it is with at all times and is just as essential as a wallet or purse. So the setup should do nothing less than work for you, not the other way around. I put a lot of expectations on my phone, providing me things I need. …


Trying out Amazon’s best Kindle e-reader.

Kindle Oasis on a fabric background.
Kindle Oasis on a fabric background.
Kindle Oasis.

After moving to ebooks from physical books about four years ago, my Kindle ebooks and Audible audiobooks library has grown to over 200 ebooks and over 100 audiobooks. I have not read or listened to them all, nor is this anywhere close to others with massive libraries, but due to the amount that I have aqcuired over the years it is hard to leave the ecosystem.

Amazon has made it easy, though, to continue buying Kindle ebooks and Audible audiobooks by providing access to all of my purchases on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac. This is the main reason I…


My new unhealthy habit of consuming too much of something before doing it again with another type of content.

Now that we are all are living in the era of the internet surrounding everything in our lives. It is not surprising that entertainment and social media are the most robust when it comes to variety and binge-worthy content. Swiping through my Twitter feed or TikTok videos can feel endless, and Showtime autoplaying the next episode of Billions creates a continuous watching experience.

This provides positives and negatives. Positives in that we no longer can complain that we are bored. I remember as a kid laying down on the carpet in my living room with my brother bored out of…


With the hope of being in public again, these will be my essential carried items.

My current everday carry; Rayban Sunglasses, iPhone 12 and wallet, Distil KeyLoop, Apple Watch Series 5, Aer Mask, and Airpods.
My current everday carry; Rayban Sunglasses, iPhone 12 and wallet, Distil KeyLoop, Apple Watch Series 5, Aer Mask, and Airpods.
My current everday carry.

We are far from out of the woods yet, but with vaccines rolling out and seeing my friends and family getting their shots, I am starting to get a glimpse of a future where I can begin to see people again — possibly even see their full faces too.

There is still a lot to do, and rushing things will not make it better, but even my workplace is starting to talk more about bringing us back to the office in waves. …


Five simple utilities that make my Mac that much better.

MacBook Air with my five favorite utilites displayed on the desktop at one time.
MacBook Air with my five favorite utilites displayed on the desktop at one time.
MacBook Air with my five favorite utilites.

I like to write about hardware a lot, like laptops, headphones, or even pens and notebooks. What I don’t talk about enough are applications or tools that I use on those pieces of hardware.

I have been using a Mac for almost ten years now, besides the times in-between where I used iPads full-time. Over that time, I have picked up on a few tools, utilities, and apps that I like to use regularly.

For this post, I would like to go over the utilities that I use. Ones that are immediately reinstalled on any new MacBook. Some of these…


Amazon’s robust ecosystem outweighs any concerns of having them in my home.

Every time I thought about buying a house, I always envisioned transforming it into a smart-gadget filled home. Now that it is 2021, many smart devices are now available and much cheaper than they were even 5–10 years ago.

While existing in Apple’s ecosystem quite comfortably with an iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, and AirPods, it would make sense to assume that I would have Homekit compatible devices throughout my house, but this is not the case.

There are many Homekit compatible devices to choose from, and more are coming out each day, yet I decided to go with Amazon…

Paul Alvarez

Full-time IT Project Analyst, all the time husband, and cat Dad. I also write.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store