I firmly believe that having regular breaks from long work sessions is a necessity. We work sitting long hours without much movement. It’s often we forget to take long or short breaks when we work on a task that occupies our brain. Also sometimes it’s hard to break a focus session.
Without a tool reminding us of the breaks, it’s very difficult to track when we started working and when to take a break. GTD methods like Pomodoro helps to track these moments but even with planned natural work blocks we miss taking a break from the screen.
I started to use a tool to remind break time with a schedule. First I used a paid app called Timeout.app. Then one of my colleagues found the open source alternative of the same tool. https://github.com/hovancik/stretchly
I highly suggest a timeout app like this one to be embedded in the workflow. Now I take much more regular breaks with the help of a tool like this. Sometimes I feel it becomes annoying because I feel I’m very focused. I don’t want to break the focus session but I also acknowledge the importance and the value of giving opportunity and space to our minds with these breaks.
The app is pretty straight forward to use. You set micro and regular breaks with an interval. I take 10 seconds micro break in every 10 minutes. Every after 2 micro breaks, I take a regular break of 5 minutes (every 30 minutes)
I had a radical switch to iPad Pro as my primary workspace and I used that set up exclusively for 6 months. As part of my day to day work, I test a lot of features and new developments on our mobile development cycle. I uninstall and re-install and replicate a lot of weird conditions on mobile environments. It’s great to do these and relatively easy to simulate these cases with real devices but when it comes to testing Android, it gets a pretty wide range of devices and hardware/software differences. Often I test the same user behavior on 5-6 devices which is very annoying.
This could be easily me doing testing 🙂
Anyway, I was in search of doing this on the actual mobile device but replicate the other hardware and software variations but in the very cloud, remote-desktop fashion. Why there is no strong service doing this more professionally? Other than testing purposes, I really want to open and want to play with a new android OS on a real device with any resolution I want to and stream that to my existing mobile device? I would love to check out some android apps on my ios device, vice versa…
I gave a try to:
AWS Device Farm – their browser experience is very lagging, starting up a device takes at least 4-5 minutes (why?) and there are most of the time device initialization errors.
appetize.io – so far, the best experience, mobile browser friendly as well, but limited virtual device variations and there is just one real device type.
Genymotion cloud – I haven’t got a chance to play with it since they are in their private beta.
Other option is to build it manually with VPN or RDP but required rooting or jailbreaking the device which is not ideal and painful to go through.
Hopefully, we’ll get there and we’ll have the option to stream apps or OSes as we do movies tv shows today…
I’ve put my efforts on making mfyz.com responsive and mobile compatible last week. After 4 days work, now you are able to access mfyz.com from your tablets and phones (small screen devices).
I’ll write about coding responsive layouts following weeks. There are lots of CSS frameworks that allows you to build responsive layouts but I didn’t use any CSS frameworks when I coded current interface. I could transition to twitter bootstrap but I didn’t see any need to do so. Also the current layout is simple enough to not require any complex structure. Anyway, let’s get back to the subject.
Desktop version (as you can see above) is displayed for 800px and wider screen resolutions. For smaller screens than 800px, interface turns to mobile compatible fluid layout. As you know, fluid layouts are resolution independent because they are fitting the screen they’re in. That’s the reason most of the mobile compatible pages built in fluid layouts.
Tablet devices are usually 800px and wider when they are held landscape, so you will see mfyz.com’s desktop version for landscape orientation on most of the tablets.
Also, most of the tablets have below 800px wide screen resolution for portrait orientation, so the site becomes fluid and mobile compatible version. The mobile compatible version is optimized for better readability and optimized navigation.
Microsoft doing things less sucks lately. I like their Windows 8 release strategy, even if they still copy Apple products and services (look new Microsoft stores). I shouldn’t criticize without using it but reaction on social media agrees me.
IE is the most hated browser or more generally, most hated software all times. But it looks like Microsoft turned this into a good oppurtunity with creating their new ad campaign based on this. They release this new video.