iOS Quantified Self Workflow

Valuable personal analytical data can be gleaned from the diagnostics files created by iOS, but getting them requires an awkward workflow.

iOS generates a multitude of diagnostic files every day. The most useful of these are the log-aggregated plist files, rotated every week (although my iPad seems determined to hang onto a week’s worth of files from 2012-09 for some reason).

My preferred method of getting at them is to carry out the following process every morning, for the previous day:

  1. On iOS Device: Open Settings
  2. General → About → Diagnostics & Usage
  3. Find the plist file starting with log-aggregated-YYYY-MM-DD for yesterday
  4. Open the file
  5. Double tap, select all, copy
  6. Open mail, compose message
  7. Subject: date, Body: paste
  8. On Mac: Open mail message
  9. Paste into .plist doc
  10. Save as YYYY-MM-DD in iOS Diagnostics/YYYY folder

Questions to be Resolved

  • Are the files still generated/contain the same data if you deselect “send logs to Apple”?
  • Could we automate this via iOS backups? All the backup files have opaque IDs, but their contents are available. Are the DD files even contained within the backups?