So you need to #unplug. You’re feeling overwhelmed by your gadgets—connected to your email list but not to your personal life. It’s time to take a break. It is precisely for times like these that we’ve created a guide to unplugging.
These step-by-step instructions will walk you through the difficult (but rewarding!) process of unplugging, from deciding when to unplug to informing your friends and coworkers that you’ll be offline for a while to avoiding the biggest temptations to plug back in. Here you’ll find advice from digital detoxing experts, business leaders, and our readers, whom we asked to use the #unplughashtag to submit their best methods for logging off.
We encourage you to print these pages, and when you find yourself reaching for your phone, reach for this guide instead for tips on how to overcome the urge to use your devices. And when you’re ready to rejoin the digital world, come to FastCompany.com, and we’ll help you find the most seamless way to do so.
Apple’s WWDC event kicked off yesterday, with Apple announcing a new OS X, a MacBook Air with better battery life, a redesigned iOS 7, among other things. Here are some WWDC resources to help you keep up:
Apple has a problem: Social media chatter about it’s iPhone 5 has dipped, and so have sales.
From September to today, the number of conversations on social channels about iPhones has declined for two of the company’s target audiences: Baby Boomers and Generation Xers.Looking at two other lucrative consumer audiences—Millennials and teens— shows a similar pattern. Despite a spike in conversations around last Christmas, iPhone conversations have been consistently declining since the iPhone 5 launch in October.
Apple’s failure to tap into what’s being said through social insights and develop a data-driven marketing strategy is becoming an object lesson for businesses everywhere.
NeverLateis an iPhone app that allows your calendar to cross reference the traffic report. So rather than merely warning you that a meeting is in 10 minutes, it can dynamically ping you, right when you should leave for that meeting, given unforeseen road construction, accidents, or just one of those backups where everyone is simply hitting their brakes too much. Meanwhile, you can focus entirely on getting ready, rather than digging through traffic reports.
“After you’ve used the app for about a week, NeverLate will learn where your home and work are and when you’re normally there.”
A new app called Moves could be the simplest fitness app ever.
It lives in your iPhone and tracks your activity in the background, so there’s no separate device to learn how to use or remember to carry (you already have your phone on you at all times).
There’s no setup: You install it, turn it on, and that’s it.
And there’s no management, syncing, or any other “interactive” bullshit to forget to do or get bored of and stop doing altogether. You don’t even have to launch it—Moves will simply ding a little summary of your physical activity into your Notifications Center every day, where you’ll end up seeing it regardless of what you’re doing with your phone.
Apple’s forest is cleverly made to make us forget the trees.
The iPhone 5 has been improved significantly over the previous generation—from its screen to its shell to its dock connector. But most of the tech specs featured by Tim Cook and crew at Apple’s event on Wednesday can be found in other devices by Apple’s competitors. Not one, single device, mind you—that’s a unique feat Apple pulls off with most of its launches. But take a look at the hallmark iPhone 5 features compared to its competition:
"Beijing was such a different city," says Ma Jun, China’s preeminent environmental watchdog, remembering the capital as it was during his childhood. "There were so few cars, I could walk in the middle of the road. In the summer, the streetlamps attracted swirling bugs. I loved those bugs: crickets, praying mantis, all kinds of beetles." The 44-year-old pauses. "I also have a vivid memory of dazzling sunlight coming out of the sky. Today, the sky is different."
Hipstamatic is set to unveil a partnership with Instagram that allows photos taken on the camera app, which enables users to snap professional-looking pictures with stylized films and vintage-era lenses, to be ported directly into Instagram’s network with just one click. It represents the first time Instagram has opened up this platform API to third parties, and marks a move toward letting photos freely flow into Instagram’s network from outside sources.
"When we launched, it was all about Facebook and Flickr and Twitter, and now we’re seeing a huge shift in our user base toward Instagram," says Hipstamatic cofounder and CEO Lucas Buick. "We’ve never been a social networking company, but we clearly benefit from social networks. So this will be the first app outside of Instagram that lets you into their network. That’s pretty cool for us."