‹ Sid Verma

Tags / iOS

I’ve been using the excellent Firefly III to manage my expenses for a while. As a result, I have developed a habit to actively monitor every transaction I do, which, in my opinion is a much better way than using other automated expense managers which can only track your non-cash expenses, without a lot of context.

Android had an unofficial app which made it easier to interact with Firefly, but iOS doesn’t seem to have one, and the web-ui is not a very mobile friendly one.

While searching for solutions, I came across this blog post by Jesse Dyck where they utilised iOS Shortcuts to create transactions in Firefly. Honestly, I was pretty surprised that Shortcuts is powerful enough to do this, given Apple’s approach to customization.

The shortcuts provided by Jesse didn’t work for me (they were written for iOS 12, before Shortcuts were revamped for iOS 13), so I decided to build one for myself, with a UX more suited for my needs.

I spent the last two days trying to switch from my three year old Oneplus 3, to a brand new iPhone 11. I thought I was probably done with expensive phones (I count Oneplus as an expensive purchase), but resigned to giving iOS a chance this time around.

The Oneplus has served as my phone for 33 months now, and has had its fair share of rough usage. The screen broke twice (and got replaced once). Its battery had degraded so much that I didn’t dare go out without carrying a small sling bag with a charger and a power bank in it. Screen-on time would have been somewhere between 50-90 mins. At least it charged fast.

It wasn’t a fast phone by any means anymore too, and I’d gotten used to waiting a few seconds for apps to launch.

The iPhone, is a stark contrast to that. It’s a recent phone with the latest and greatest Apple processor, and things are super fucking fast on it. I am almost in disbelief of how much the battery lasts on this thing. That carry bag isn’t a necessity anymore (though I have gotten used to it - it came in handy a lot more times than it became a hindrance).

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