by Tyler Hayes

Tyler is a music and technology enthusiast, so this is a collection of items related to music and technology.

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This Is The Reason You Should Consider A Pixel 2 Phone

Google’s Pixel line of phones is now in its second iteration and the new Pixel 2 device got some really cool features like a great camera, unlimited photo storage, ability to squeeze the phone to bring up Assistant, and a lot more.

The phone’s use of its OLED lock screen might be the coolest, however. Since OLED technology allows a screen to only light up the pixels it needs to display a message, the screen can keep displaying new info without a hit to battery life.

Instead of needing to ask an app or assistant to name a song you hear playing, the Pixel 2 automatically displays that information right on the lock screen.


Ever since we’ve been able to identify songs by apps listening, the problem persists, we’re too late. Either the song was already close to finishing or it took way too long to get to Shazam or ask for the music to be identified. It looks like that problem is now

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How To Enable Alexa Voice Control On Sonos Speakers

It’s a big day for anyone with a Sonos speaker and an Amazon Echo. You can now control your speaker by asking Alexa to play music.

Here’s a quick look at how to do that and how it works.

First, download the latest app update on the App Store or Google Play. This will prompt your speakers to update their software. There’s also a refreshed Sonos app design which looks really great.

After your Sonos app and speakers have finished updating, you’ll need to open the Alexa mobile app and add the Sonos skill and signing in to your Sonos account. Hit the smart home section and refresh the list of devices and you should now see your Sonos speakers pop up.

Tip: If you have any speakers named “Play:3 or Play:5” you probably want to change them to something close generic, default names like Living Room or Bedroom. Telling Alexa to “Play Tom Petty on the Play 5” doesn’t work so well.

Now you

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Double Tap Each AirPod

Before AirPods were even out, I railed against wireless earbud controls. Not just wireless earbuds, but most wireless headphone controls aren’t good either because they require the user to remember a bunch of non visual gestures.

For example, The Dash from Bragi has more than 26 touch control gestures! (The image is just a sample.)

Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 7.26.45 PM.png

The gestures on AirPods have been limited since launch, but this new improvement gives them a big jump in functionality.


With iOS 11, AirPods can now perform different commands based on which one (left or right) you double tap. You can do this in the Bluetooth settings under the “i.”

I have mine set to play/pause on the right and skip track on the left. Also if you’re using a 3rd party app like Overcast, skip track will do whatever the app does, which in this case is 60 seconds forward.

If you’re at all curious about wireless earbuds, AirPods are

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Why Is Siri Watch Face On Apple Watch So Dumb?

Apple Watch is continually getting smarter, especially around fitness and activity, but it’s still got a long way to go. Trying out the new Siri watch face has showed that more than anything.

Looking at the bigger picture for a second, the first question around Apple Watch’s smartness is why aren’t the watch faces more dynamic? I find myself wishing complications would change to other ones when they are no longer relevant. For example, if you have a calendar complication on a modular face and your appointments are done for the day, shouldn’t it switch to another complication for the rest of the night instead of being empty space?


We may not have dynamic complications presently, but in the meantime we have the Siri watch face which I hoped would be a move in that direction.

In the first week, waiting for it to be useful, it has seemed to just fall completely flat.


Even with

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Making Sense of The Missing iPhone 9

Apple unveiled iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus on September 12th, 2017. Not only that, it also announced the iPhone X–but pronounced it “Ten,” instead of ex.

Apple has a long history with X as a Roman numeral so the naming scheme isn’t out of the ordinary. This is also the tenth anniversary of the iPhone so calling it “ten” is definitely a nod to that milestone.

The reason a lot of people thought it’d be the iPhone ex, and not ten, however, was because now Apple will be selling an iPhone 8 and an iPhone 10.

Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 4.46.31 PM.png

 What happened to 9?

Here’s my guess at how I think this iPhone numbering plays out:

The iPhone X is the future of the iPhone line and Apple is foreshadowing that it’s two years out from being its mainstream device.

Next year there will be an iPhone 9 and an iPhone XI–though it could also move to a modifier like X2.

So in 2018, the iPhone 9 will be the mainstream device at the

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Record Podcasts, Notes, and Music Right From Your Phone

iOS devices are great for getting into music making, in fact you can make music without even knowing how to play an instrument just using your phone now, but they’ve also become increasingly great at recording different types of audio too.

If you’re trying to answer questions like: how do I record a podcast? How do I record meeting notes? How do I capture audio of my demo songs? You should try out some of the apps listed below.

Anyone who’s done audio recording in the past on a Mac or PC knows the apps can be a little convoluted so one of the requirements for being listed here is that the app could be figured out in the first 5 minutes of downloading and opening it.


Anchor: If you can make a phone call, you should be able to now record your own podcast. The beauty of this app is that you could record a podcast in public and it’d look like you’re on the phone.

Anchor keeps

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The Best iPhone Dock Yet

Back in 2011, Casey Hopkins unveiled his Elevation iPhone dock on Kickstarter to great enthusiasm. At the time it was the first campaign to raise more than $1 million.

Looking back, the original ElevationDock doesn’t seem so special, but in 2011 a quality iPhone dock was still hard to come by and thus lots of people happily gave over the money for this metal stand.

There have been revisions to the iPhone dock over the years, but none quite that have captured the usefulness of the original one — until now.


The ElevationDock 4 looks to be a near perfect iPhone dock which will be able to accommodate the iPhone years into the future as it changes shape and evolves. The new dock will also work for iPads. Check out all the benefits and features in the video.

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The Best Everyday iOS 11 Tips and Tricks

While there’s a lot of new and noteworthy features coming in iOS 11, lets look at some of most essential ones, necessary for daily use which should help with things like freeing up space on your iPhone, doing more with the pictures you take, or just being more productive overall. iOS 11 will be able to help with all those things and more.


 Free up space on your phone

In addition to some cool user-facing features, iOS 11 should bring some peace of mind by being more aware of available space and make efforts to minimize over usage.

  • HEIF/HEVC: photos (and videos) will get a new type of format which will let them take up less space but keep the same quality. A photo now could take of 50% less space for the same resolution.
  • Offload unused apps: if your phone detects you’re low on space and sees apps you haven’t used in a long time it can temporarily remove the apps to make room.
  • Big

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Book Recommendations for 2017 Part 1

Here are a few books from the first half of 2017 that might be worth your time and which cover a variety of topics.

 American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind The Silk Road by Nick Bilton

About: This is the story of Ross Ulbricht who started the Silk Road—a website which allowed people to sell drugs on the dark web. It covers Ross’s story using a lot of facts from various sources to fill in the gaps and provide a gripping narrative.
Why it’s interesting: It’s a detective story at its heart, but deals with the dark web and cryptocurrency.

 Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity by Derek Thompson

About: Hitmakers digs into how things have gotten popular, from the early days of published media to today’s instant viral pictures and videos using social networks.
Why it’s interest: If you don’t have an immediate answer for how a piece of content goes viral, in the

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5 Takeaways from Brand New’s Science Fiction

Brand New surprised everyone with a new album on August 17th called Science Fiction. (Though, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the band just put it out whenever they felt like it, without advance notice.)

Instead of reviewing it, trying to argue it’s good or bad, let’s break it down a little differently and talk about its interesting characteristics.

1) Science Fiction isn’t too out there

Love it or hate it, Daisy was divisive for Brand New fans. That release in 2009 seemed, to me, like the band was moving more towards putting out music that scratched their itch for something new–for the sake of being different for themselves.

If Brand New put out another album two years after Daisy, who knows what it would have been, but I probably wouldn’t have cared for it. There’s a good chance it would have been wildly experimental.

Science Fiction has its quirks, like the interlaced spoken

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