One Less App

Removing Apps for Fun and Freedom

I have used Black Pixel's Versions app for around a decade. It's probably the best Subversion client I've ever used. Versions made it easy to work with subversion, slice and dice my repos so I could work on projects in my team's idiosyncratic way, and was always rock solid when I needed it.

But as of a few months ago, my last Subversion-using team moved their last Subversion project to git. As much as I love Versions, We've moved on.

But don't expect me to stop using Kaleidoscope any time soon.

Konami Picture Puzzle Icon

I'm deleting this one not because it's bad, or because I'm tired of it, or done with it. I'm deleting it because it's too good for my own good.

This is a picross game, which is short for “picture crossword”. In essence, It's a logic puzzle. You can read the whole rules for how to play on The game's website.

Each puzzle is simple, but engaging. You're making logical inferences, and there's a deep, skinner-box type satisfaction when you finish a puzzle and the grid goes from your guesses to a full color version of some iconic or obscure Konami sprite from days gone by.

The reason I'm deleting this app is because it's been taking up too much of my time and attention. Games like this are great for when you have a spare moment or two, but lately I've found it's so attention-grabbing that I've been taking time away from more important things to play, which is a bridge too far.

So if you have more self control than I have, I strongly recommend downloading this one.

Sadly, price is the reason I'm dropping Tower .

I like this app. It's a clean and well thought out git GUI. Every feature is right where I want it. It does a great job on the back end, writing commands that make sense, with all the right options. It integrates well with all my git servers, not just GitHub.

But I can't justify $70 a year for something I use maybe twice a month. At that price, I would consider buying a perpetual license for Sublime Merge, the git GUI from the makers of Sublime Text.

I'm at a point in my git usage where I prefer to work from the command line. Even using an IDE like IntelliJ , which has very robust and well-designed git integration, I'd still rather pull up a terminal window and do what I need to do directly.

The only real use I have for a git GUI these days is looking at the git history, and there are dozens of free tools I can use. I generally recommend Atlassian's Sourcetree, but GitHub's desktop client is also very good.

If you're looking for a premium git GUI, Tower is a great option. I'm just at a point where I need those dollars more than the git history graphs.

I'll be honest, this has been hanging around on my phone just so I can use the stickers in conversations. Except I never do use them in iMessage. So it's time to let it go.

But with fondness. I played Donut County straight through in about two hours, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's an interesting game with a unique aesthetic, great music, and an interesting message. If you haven't checked it out I recommend you do.

The IFTTT App Icon

This is definitely an “it's not you, it's me,” situation. I still use IFTTT for a number of things, all running silently in the background, helping put data where I want it without me even really thinking about it. But I don't use the app on my phone. When I want to set up a workflow I generally go to my browser on one of my bigger computers. So I'm clearing up one more app slot from my mobile device, but I'm definitely not removing IFTTT from my life.

the tally app icon

I like single-purpose apps; apps that do one thing and do it well. But I realized that I hadn't used this one in quite a while, so it's going away.

I also really like Agile Tortoise. They make Drafts, as well as Terminology, one of my favorite apps ever.

But when I was looking for an app that probably isn't currently carrying its weight, I opened tally and saw this:

And decided that Tally can probably go.

Agile Tortoise seems to think so as well, based on the Tally Homepage, which sports a square-image-on-the-home-button iPhone.

My replacement? The notebook I always have with me and a pen. Works just as well as this app.

This one was kind of embarassing to begin with. I honestly don't even remember what gift card I wanted to load into Apple Wallet; I just remember that I had a card I wanted to see on my iPhone's double-tap-from-lock screen.

I wonder what kind of data they got from me in the time I had this app on my phone.

The Solitarica Icon

Solitarica is the first interesting twist on Solitaire I've seen in a long while. It starts as a simple twist on Klondike solitaire but adds some deckbuilding components. Except you can't add cards, so instead it adds powers to the cards in your deck.

I've put a lot of hours into this game, but at this point, I've seen all of it that I need to see, I've beaten the boss a number of times and unlocked all the power-ups I want, and it's time to move on. Still, if you're looking for an interesting time filler, this is an excellent phone game. Give it a shot. #games

Sublime Text was an excellent stepping stone for me, some years ago. Through Sublime's “Vintage” mode, I was able to dip my toes into the world of vim-style keybindings, slowly getting more comfortable with that way of moving though a document. Through Sublime's very open plug-in system I learned more Python and wrote a couple of plugins that saw surprisingly wide adoption, for as simple as they were. Sublime took all the promises of TextMate and made them cross platform. In Sublime we have a fully customizable editor that does exactly what you need it to do, because you're fully in control of what it does.

Of course, this led me deeper down the rabbit hole, to actual Vim.

In the intervening years, as Sublime Text has moved fairly slowly, other editors have picked up the banner, like GitHub's Atom and, somewhat surprisingly, Microsoft's Visual Studio Code. We now have a plethora of good, simple, intelligent, and most importantly configurable text editors at our disposal, and Sublime has fallen behind. But I will always be grateful for how it led me into a wider, better world of editors.

Not much to say about this one. I don't use it much, never really have. I liked the Yahoo/Google duopoly back when it existed; the contrast and contest between the two was interesting and ultimately good for us as end users. But Yahoo's failing health makes it a much less interesting service, and I trust them less and less as they sink into a morass of hazy corporate ownership. So Flickr can go now. Sadly.

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