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Saturday, April 25, 2015

In praise of the Health app and Instapaper

It was Matthew Parris in the Times who alerted me to the fact that the iPhone in my pocket has an app which is measuring how far I walk every day. As soon as I discovered this I became, like him, obsessed with trying to maintain my average. At the moment this is 9,257 steps a day, in case you're interested. On the days when I don't have any reason to leave the house I go on long circuitous walks round the neighbourhood to try to keep up.

I've been using another gismo a lot recently. Instapaper is a site and app where you can store long reads from magazines and newspapers to read at your leisure. Since I never read anything longer than 300 words on a screen that's a fair bit of stuff. I've just added Kate Mossman's piece about Bruce Hornsby where it sits alongside an Esquire story about the early days of Silicon Valley, another about the ownership of the copyright of "Happy Birthday" and David Simon's interview with Richard Price.

I read these stories on my phone on the tube. Most of them will last as long as it takes to travel from Oxford Circus to my home. If it weren't for Instapaper I wouldn't read them at all.