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Hands-On: Ozmo Smart Water Bottle

A water bottle with smarts

As a big fan of the Apple Ecosystem, I am very much used to entering my vitals into the Apple Health App. One area which I am not very good at is maintaining my levels of hydration. I have a busy schedule, a stressful job and a whole host of other excuses I can use…

As an Apple Watch and smart scales owner most of my vitals are already automatically pushed to the health app, and although I’ve tried using many hydration tracking apps I often forget to update them. Which is when I decided a ‘smart bottle’ was the way to go. After a little bit of research, I settled on the Ozmo Smart Water Bottle.

Hands-On: Ozmo Smart Water Bottle

I’ve owned the water bottle since July 2018, so I think it’s fair that I make note of my thoughts on the bottle. Overall I am impressed with it, there are some pitfalls and some annoyances, but they don’t bother me enough to dump it and find a replacement.

Design

The overall design of the bottle I think is good, it’s ergonomic and fits well in your hand, it also has a handy carry handle on the top, which unlike some others is fixed in place. I actually like this. The lid on the top of the bottle does a good job of filling the spout to prevent any leakage once full. Which I’ve proved to work perfectly, as I’ve hopped around the house on crutches whilst holding the bottle.

Smarts

The Ozmo iPhone app looks like it was designed for the iPhone 5, and doesn’t scale well at all on newer iPhone models. Definitely not well on my iPhone X. However, I am happy to dismiss this, as that’s not so important to me. What does get tricky sometimes is the keyboard often lays over and doesn’t collapse correctly on some of the screens, which renders the application next to useless at times. It does also seem to have a tendency to crash frequently. Although the Ozmo brand and company look well established with a range of smart hydration tracking products for sale, the iOS app is definitely an afterthought.

Although the Ozmo app leaves a lot to be desired, the measuring of the fluids, your intake and the reminders given by the bottle work well. Inside the bottle is a channel which contains sensors to measure how much fluid you’ve consumed. This is transferred via Bluetooth to the Ozmo app and then from there is synced to the Apple Health app without issue. The bottle is also smart enough to know if you’re drinking a cold or hot drink!

Function

As I am trying to improve my levels of hydration, I generally (more often than not) use the bottle for cold drinks (mainly water), for which the bottle functions perfectly fine delivering everything you’d expect (no leaks). I have on occasion used the bottle to carry hot coffee, and each time I have I’ve been impressed with the length of time the bottle keeps the drink piping hot. So much so that almost the first thing I do when I sit down without is remove the lid to allow it to cool a bit quicker. All in all, I can’t argue with the function at all – it really does what it says on the tin… (or website at least)

Price

When I purchased the Ozmo bottle it was much cheaper then it is now (by at least £10) so I think I’d be reluctant to pay the £45.65 price quoted on amazon currently. Perhaps if/when the bottle is on offer again, I’d be tempted.

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“fast charge” Siri Shortcut

Rey Ian Cabanganan shared a handy Siri Shortcut over of the Siri Shortcuts Facebook group which does a good job of optimizing your phone for “fast charging”. Now, obviously, none of the charging technologies is changed using this shortcut. It simply switches off all of the battery intensive functionality on your device. What’s more, to save you the effort of having to switch all the services back on, it will prompt you in 30-minute intervals, so once your battery has reached the required percentage it will switch them all back on again.

Ian appreciates his device knowing who is boss and has added voice acknowledgement of his status. I’ve removed those sections, the rest I’ve left in place.

You can download it from here

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OpenPGP Encrypt Folder Action

Automate file encryption

On my MacBook I use the GPG Suite in order to keep my sensitive data secure, including data which I upload to the cloud. Encrypting files is something I do frequently, so I put together a small automator folder action to automatically encrypt files dropped into a specific folder.

For this to work, you’ll need the GPG Suite installed, with a private key setup. You’ll also need to adjust the ‘–recipient’ option in the bash code listed below.

Once the file has been encrypted it deletes the unencrypted copy, so be sure to keep your key safe.

 

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I’m a NCSAM Champion

I'm a NCSAM champion

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)

This October marks the 15th NCSAM which is co-lead by NCSA & Cyber. As part of my role at my current employer, one of my main focuses is on the business and its staff’s Cybersecurity compliance and awareness. This is also something I am pationate about outside of work. Therefore, I have registered to become a NCSAM Champion.
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Siri Shortcut Favorites

For sometime now I have been a big fan of the Apple Workflow app, which Apple acquired 2 years ago. So needless to say, I was very excited when I learnt about their intention to bundle the Shortcuts app with iOS 12 back in July. As a veteran applications developer, I like automating things where possible and the Siri Shortcuts app enables just that. With the benefits of it being ‘cross-device’ and also actionable via voice from the HomePod.

The app is amazingly powerful, with third parties updating their apps all the time to support the new hooks.

The social media platforms are awash with Shortcut examples, the best of which I’ve found so far are attached to a conversation on Redit by user Varoeldurr;

It’s not as large as it used to be mainly because I had to delete a lot of them to reduce clutter.

Some of them are self-explanatory, but a few are personalized so they might not make sense to you. I’ll try to explain. It’ll take forever to share each one so let me know if you find one interesting and I’ll share later tonight before I sleep.

From left to right

Music:

  • Say you shuffle your music, you land on a song you love and you want to play the whole album. This will do it. LINK
  • Shuffle a playlist of favorite songs (~3000) LINK
  • Sometimes I listen to an album of an artist I just discovered, so I like it and I want to know where to go next. This will take you to an aggregator that ranks the artist’s top albums. LINK
  • Tweet a song you’re listening to with an album artwork and a YouTube link of your choice (it’ll take you to YT app and you copy a link then it’ll take you back). LINK
  • Shuffle all songs LINK
  • Shuffle albums (you play a random album in full then move to the next random album). LINK
  • Play one song of your choice and then shuffle all songs. LINK
  • Get artwork of your current song LINK
  • Add current album to your favorite playlist (same playlist mentioned above) LINK
  • Similar to the one above except here it asks you for input which should be an artist name LINK
  • Search lyrics of current song LINK. Better shortcut

Keyboard shortcuts:

  • Presents some codes (¯_(ツ)_/¯ etc) LINK
  • Lets you type a setup and a punchline then copies the text to your clipboard LINK
  • Type an emoji and it’ll name it LINK
  • Get a wall of text from your clipboard, find a word and replace with another. LINK

Camera roll:

  • Create a grid from camera roll LINK
  • Combine Screenshots LINK
  • Upload to imgur and copy link to clipboard LINK
  • Save video from Safari LINK
  • Convert video to GIF LINK
  • Select multiple screenshots and delete them LINK

Web:

  • Open a Reddit link in Apollo LINK
  • Same for Tweetbot LINK
  • Download YouTube LINK
  • Download videos from major social networks LINK Updated shortcut
  • Download a file LINK
  • Shorten URL LINK
  • Want to read a NY times or WashPost article and get hit with a paywall? This will take you to an add free webpage of the whole article LINK
  • Show a graph of an Amazon product from CamelCamelCamel LINK

Utilities:

  • Kidnapped and want to ask for help but don’t know SOS? Well, this can save you by sending the signal using flashlight LINK
  • Flip a coin LINK
  • Control center DND has improved but not dramatically. Sometimes you want to turn it on and disable at a certain time. This allows you to do that. LINK

Random:

  • Calculate how many days between two dates LINK
  • Calculate Tip LINK
  • Speak body of article LINK

Edit: Just updated my comment with links. And yes, I used a shortcut to automate part of the process:)

I did want to embed the thread into the page, however – reddit has other ideas..

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