Apple Content Caching, Secret Wallpapers, and Desk Porn

I have been doing a lot of tweaking my home tech setup recently, and I wanted to share a few random Apple / iOS tricks today.

I recently discovered a YouTube channel named マメ (“mame”) that is full of short and very well-produced videos, and the first two tricks come from this channel.

The first is this short review and how-to on an application that is just so VERY Japanese, because it allows you to replace your existing nerdy wallpaper with a boring, work-and-society-approved wallpaper that you can then press to show your REAL wallpaper whenever you need a personal pick-me-up.

I found myself empathizing with this a lot, since I have a Very Serious Face that I wear at work and being the boring guy has been a big help to my career.  On the other hand, I love my Uzaki-chan wallpaper and it never fails to make me smile.

Anyway, I watched this video and decided that I needed the app, but the application name was obviously in Japanese and I didn’t know if it was available in the US App Store or how to find it.

It turned out that searching on やは嫁 brought up the English version, which was completely unexpected.

Another of マメ’s videos was this roughly nine minute long bit of minimalistic desk porn, which I mostly watched because I am a huge fan of minimalistic desk porn and that turned out to have a really clever idea in the middle of all of the product shilling.

The iPhone has a feature called AirPlay that you can use to stream your screen to an Apple TV or other device that supports the AirPlay protocol, and he set up an iOS shortcut to turn on AirPlay and point it at his TV, which isn’t the brilliant part but which I didn’t know was possible.  Here’s the video and you can skip past it if you just want to know the brilliant part without watching the whole thing.

The brilliant part is that he then set this shortcut to activate by touching his phone to an NFC tag, so he can just tap his phone against the edge of his desk and suddenly his display is being mirrored to the TV.  Moreover, if you have an Apple TV and have enabled HDMI-CEC, this will turn on your television and receiver etc.

I’m not huge on home automation, but this is bloody magic.

The last thing I wanted to mention today is something that I would like to take credit for,  but that I have trouble feeling too proud of since it has probably been staring me in the face for years.

Basically, I noticed that there is a checkbox in the macOS Sharing Properties called Content Caching that I had somehow never seen, and that it had a very interesting description.

What this does is simple: it turns one Mac on your network into a caching proxy for OS and application updates.  We have a lot of Macs, and a lot of iOS devices around, so now whenever one device downloads an update it is stored on the Mac with Content Caching turned on.  If any other devices want the same update, they get it from the content cache and NOT from the internet.

Over a month, it’s a pretty good bandwidth savings.  Our assorted iDevices requested a little over 54GB of data during the last 30 days, and about 40% of this came off the server and didn’t chip away at our bandwidth cap.  Granted, the bandwidth cap is a solid 1 TB and we’ve never exceeded it, but I just FEEL good about this.

You can apparently set this to cache all iCloud content as well.  I’m not sure if that applies to streaming movies off iTunes or not.  If it does, then this could be a huge savings if you like to rewatch the same thing.

I’m not planning to turn this into a weird tech productivity blog – there are enough of those already – but sometimes I find things I just want to share with other people, and hopefully this wasn’t too weird of a topic.

This entry was posted in iOS, mac. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.