Posted in App

OmniFocus – Organize Your Life


OmniFocus 2 for iPad icon

With the school year beginning, now is a good time to consider getting OmniFocus to help organize your life. The app is not just for students. This app can be used by any kind of professional, parent, teenager and more to help capture your ideas, accomplish your goals and finish your projects.

OmniFocus Screen Shot iPad

To learn more about ways to effectively use OmniFocus, check out Inside OmniFocus. There, you will see example workflows, tools & services and more.

The latest update brines the following changes:

• Encryption — Made changes to significantly reduce the likelihood of a “No Key in Slot” error. For more information on recovering from this error should it occur, please see this support article: https://support.omnigroup.com/omnifocus-no-key-in-slot/
• Large Databases — Made changes to reduce OmniFocus’ memory footprint when reading your database from disk.
• Repetition — Fixed a problem where repeating items could be corrupted when edited on multiple devices.
• Migration — Changed the interval at which you are prompted to migrate to one week, from one day.

Posted in App

FineScanner Update


FineScanner icon

In the never ending quest to find apps that can “scan” in paper, you may want to consider FineScanner. The paid version, FineScanner Pro has additional features like book copying and OCR.

FineScanner Screenshot

The basic app allows you to take pictures of documents, crop, and organize them.

The Pro version has an online OCR engine to recognize text from scans.

FineScanner Book Scan

A feature not seen in many other apps is the ability to take a picture of two pages of an open book. This particular feature was recently updated to allow faster processing.

So, if you want a quick way to scan in pages, consider the free version. If you want the more powerful OCR engine that will allow recognition of text in multiple languages as well as editing, consider the Pro version.

Posted in App

Apple Store App Adds Suggestions


Apple Store App 3.7 icon

Apple’s Apple Store app has been updated to version 4.0. The new version adds the following features:

• Get recommendations and shop for new products based on what works with the Apple devices you already own.
• Manage your Apple account at a glance with the updated, easy-to-use Account tab.
• Learn about helpful workshops and exciting events happening at your nearest Apple Store.
• Stay on top of your in-store activities. Find out when your order is ready for pickup and see what time your reservation starts.
• Scan a product at a participating Apple Store to get more information, make sure it’s compatible, and buy it from your iPhone.
• Find out if a product you’ve added to Favorites is available when you visit a participating store.

Now, you can know more information about events at an Apple store near you, get recommendations for products you already own, and better manage your account.

Posted in App

Ulysses Adds WordPress Support and more


Ulysses-iOS-1024x1024-rect

Ulysses, is a powerful writing app with a fresh and clean feel. No matter what kind of writing you are doing, this app allows you to get your ideas down using it powerful text editing capabilities.

This universal app also syncs with the Mac version using iCloud so you can work on your Mac, iPad or iPhone.

Ulysses Synchronization

Version 2.6 brings the following feature enhancements and bug fixes:

WordPress Publishing
– Added publishing to WordPress.com and self-hosted blogs
– Publish as Markdown or HTML
– Offers post or draft, schedule, or immediate publish
– Includes excerpt, feature image, post type, slug and title link options
– Can auto-fill categories and tags based on keywords
– Can auto-fill excerpt and feature image based on note and image attachments
– Customizable preview using standard CSS

Dropbox Syncing
– You can now add Dropbox folders to your Library (similar to External Folders on Ulysses for Mac)
– Syncs sheets, filters, icons, group goals, sorting, and favorites
– Automatic background sync, so no need to press a “Sync” button
– Sync folders from multiple Dropbox accounts at once
– Share to Dropbox using Share Extension

Accessibility
– Ulysses is now fully accessible: Utilize the whole app using VoiceOver

Quick Open
– Quickly search your whole library
– Search for text, keywords, and group names

Typewriter Mode
– Keeps editor vertically fixed (like it does on Mac since 2003, sorry for the delay)
– Option to mark current line
– Option to highlight line, sentence or paragraph (aka Focus Mode)

Updates & Fixes
– Allow pasting images directly into editor
– Added option to duplicate groups and filters
– External sheets can now be filtered by their filename
– Allow selection of sheets using external keyboard if selection is empty
– Disabled auto-capitalization when using external keyboard
– Improved handling of X-Callback URLs
– Improved introduction, added section on Markdown XL
– Allow hiding introduction
– Reworked library view sections
– Reworked fonts section in editor settings
– Split iOS preferences into general settings and editor settings
– Can now import CSS files as HTML export style
– Updated some PDF/DOCX export styles
– PDF export: Reset page numbers after section breaks
– Re-added a simplified RTF exporter
– Glued sheets are again exported together
– Read fenced code blocks as Raw Source in external folders
– Fixed look of alerts in dark mode
– Improved legibility of filename tag in dark mode
– Fixed crash when editing keywords of an already broken sheet
– Back buttons are not broken anymore when rotating on an iPhone 6 plus

Posted in App

MindNode Mind Mapping


MindNode icon

MindNode, an incredibly useful and responsive mind mapping software app has been updated.

This app allows you to visually represent your ideas. It syncs / opens documents created on the mac version as well.

Mindnode tasks birthday-party

The fixes and updates include:

FIXES
• Fixes a performance issue related to tasks
• Correctly restore scroll position when returning to the app
• Correctly replace documents uploaded to MyMindNode
• Always upload the current version of a document to MyMindNode
• Adds a UTF BOM marker when exporting a CSV document (this improves compatibility with Excel)
• Fixes an undo issue related to insert new parent node

APPLE WATCH
• Increase cell spacing for better readability
• Improves user notification on first launch
• Prevent repeatedly refreshing document list

Posted in App

Dark Sky – Weather Predictor Info App


Dark Sky icon

Dark Sky, is a really interesting weather app. Not only can it tell you the general forecast, but one of the more useful features is the precipitation predictor that tries to provide specific information for the next hour as well.

For example, you are at an outdoor sporting event for your kids and you look up and see dark clouds forming. You think its going to rain. Tap on Dark Sky.

Dark Sky Precipitation Predictor

The app, using your location, determines over the next 60 minutes when it is likely to start raining, how long and how hard. (Dark Sky is available in the US, UK and Ireland). A graphic is created which modifies itself over time. At a glance you can see it may not start raining for another 10 minutes and when it does, it will be light and over in about 30 minutes.

Dark Sky Forecast

Of course, normal forecast information is provided in a graphically pleasing way as well.

Dark Sky Radar

The graphics interface is really stunning in this app. Even the way the radar information is presented is unique and engaging. The weather animation is also very nice.

The developer describes additional features as follows:

PUSH NOTIFICATIONS
Dark Sky comes with notification options: Receive down-to-the-minute alerts before it starts raining at your exact location, get notified of government severe weather alerts (for such things as thunderstorms, flooding, hurricanes, etc), or even create your own custom notifications covering the next 24 hours for things like temperature, wind, precipitation and more. Even if you haven’t opened the app in days, Dark Sky will tell you what you need to know, when you need to know it.

TODAY WIDGET
The Dark Sky Notification Center Widget tells you at a glance what’s going to happen in the next hour, so you don’t even have to unlock your phone to quickly check the weather before heading out.

There are many other cool features like the 3D earth you can spin to see weather in that location and zoom in and out to see the details.

The app offers Apple Watch app for the iPhone as well so you can pull up similar information on your Apple Watch.

If you are looking for an interesting weather app that provides useful information in a very visually interesting way, check out Dark Sky.

Posted in App, Review

Scrivener for iOS Released


Unknown

Scrivener for iOS has been released. If you are familiar with the Mac or PC version, this universal iOS app finally brings the typewriter, ring-binder, scrapbook, and more tool to your iOS device.

If you are not familiar with this app, think of it as a word processor that helps you get your ideas down and organized more than formatting for final production. You can “compile” or export your complete document or manuscript into Word, PDF, EPUB and other formats.

If you are a person who writes, researches, or puts together written projects, this is a powerful writing and revising tool. There are a lot of features which may, at first, seem overwhelming. Remember, this app is designed to help you get your ideas down, organize them and then export them into a useful format.

Scrivener Screenshot binder

A big concept to understand about Scrivener is the idea that each project can be broken down into smaller parts like text, research, notes and trash. The app uses a notebook analogy. The binder, seen on the left above, is the place where your project is stored and can be manipulated. Tapping on one section on the left, allows you to see your working area on the right. This is where you enter your text. You can create as large a chunk of text as you want or break it down into itty bitty pieces like note cards. If you think of your manuscript as a group of notecards, you will find writing much easier.

Scrivener Corkboard

The cork board is another way to view your manuscript. These pieces of text can be moved around like note cards to help you better organize your thoughts.

scrivener overview screenshot

If you plan on using this app on your iPad, get the Apple Smart Keyboard so you can have even more screen real estate as the software keyboard will be hidden. The software keyboard has been augmented to include additional tools. Above, you can see the iPad screen without the Apple Smart Keyboard. Below is a screen shot without the keyboard attached. Another feature is the ability to pinch to zoom in and out to make the text appear larger or smaller without actually changing the actual font size set.

Scrivener Screenshot Without Apple Keyboard

When you first get the app, make sure you review the included written tutorial. The tutorial is in the form of a binder. Walk through the lesson and get familiar with the app.

The ability to sync between your computer and iOS devices is limited to Dropbox.

The search capability is very nice. Pull down on the left side to search for terms.

The developer has a screencast showing an overview of Scrivener for iOS for the iPad. You can watch it below.

Below is a list of features provided by the developer:

Get Started
• Interactive tutorial project
• Keep each manuscript and supporting materials in a self-contained project
• Import Word, RTF, Final Draft and plain text files
• Easily split imported text into separate sections

Get Writing
• Write your manuscript in sections of any size
• View all sections as a single text using the “Draft Navigator” (iPad only)
• Quickly navigate sections using the “binder” sidebar
• Format with fonts and presets
• Comments, footnotes, links and highlights
• Simple bullets and lists
• Insert images
• Pinch-zoom to resize text
• Full-screen mode (iPad only)
• Typewriter scrolling mode keeps typed text center-screen (iPad only)
• Write a screenplay using scriptwriting mode
• Live word and character counts
• Set word and character count targets
• Find and replace
• Customizable keyboard row provides quick-access buttons for formatting, navigation and punctuation
• Comprehensive keyboard shortcuts for external keyboard users

Find Your Structure
• Write in any order and reorganize later
• Write a synopsis for any text section and see it in the outline
• Expand, collapse and drill down into sections of your project
• Rearrange sections as index cards on the corkboard (iPad only)
• Project-wide search
• Track ideas using labels and status
• Apply custom icons to your sections

Refer to Research
• Import research material such as image, PDF and media flies
• View research files or other sections right alongside your writing (iPad only)
• Every section has its own notes area for jotting down ideas
• Supports multi-tasking split screen mode (supported devices only)

Share Your Work
• Compile to a single document for sharing or printing
• Use different formatting in your exported or printed document
• Export to Word, RTF, Final Draft, PDF or plain text
• Convert rich text to Markdown for sharing with Markdown apps
• Create and email zipped backups of your projects

Work Anywhere
• Use Dropbox to sync between devices and with the macOS and Windows versions of Scrivener*
• Copy projects between devices via iTunes

* Requires a Dropbox account. Scrivener is not compatible with iCloud.

Conclusion

This very rough overview post was written to get some basic information out about the app and let you know it has been released. If you have been waiting for Scrivener for your iOS device, you should not hesitate to get this app if you want to be able to take your Scrivener projects with you. Keep in mind, not all of the features of the Mac version are present.

If you are looking for an app to help you draft manuscripts, documents and other written projects, you will find this app fits your needs.