Posted in App, Commentary

iOS 11.1.1 Released


Credit Apple Inc.

Apple has released an update to iOS 11 to address an issue with the keyboard auto-correct and where “Hey Siri” stops working.

To update, connect to a Wi-Fi network and tap on Settings > Software Update and download and install. As usual, it is always best to back up your device first. You can read more about the update process here.

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Posted in App

Workflow Automation Tool


Workflow is an app that lets you string together steps or actions you may perform on your iOS device into a single tap. The steps allow you to manage your media, share content, create and send notes, tweets and more. The app is now an Apple product.

There are 3 basic concepts for the app. Creating, running and managing workflows.

Creating

A workflow is a series of actions that accomplish a task.

credit Workflow

The app allows you to organize the actions and tap once to begin them with each step like a falling domino that leads to the next until the task is complete.

credit Workflow

A single action could be Get Latest Photo, Edit Image or Post on Facebook. If you combine the three, you can tap once and perform all three together to get an image, crop it and then post on Facebook.

Running

You can run a workflow from within the app or from outside the app by using Spotlight, the Today Widget, your Apple Watch and more.

Managing

Each workflow is represented by a button like icon.

Credit Workflow

You can arrange or rearrange them similar to your home screen. You can even choose to have workflows appear in the widget.

Advanced Steps

You can learn about more advanced steps, like using variables, choosing from a list or menu in the advanced workflow documentation.

The “documentation” for Workflow can be found here.

A YouTube video posted by AppChasers walks through the process in about 12 minutes.

The app had a bunch of updates recently that include:

  • Optimized for iOS 11 and iPhone X
  • Drag and drop content onto a workflow to run the workflow with that input
  • Added HEIF support to the Convert Image action
  • Added HEVC support to the Encode Media action
  • Added support for iOS 11 Health data types: Insulin Delivery, V02 Max, Waist Circumference, Resting Heart Rate, Walking Heart Rate Average, and Heart Rate Variability
  • Added the ability to retrieve and save multiple files at a time in the Get File and Save File actions
  • Added the ability to specify a default “From” address for the compose sheet in the Send Email action
  • Add TaskPaper to OmniFocus now supports adding TaskPaper under specific folders, projects, and tasks

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed the Tweet and Post on Facebook actions on iOS 11
  • Fixed an issue where text items could unexpectedly be converted to image metadata dictionaries
  • Fixed an issue where granting access to Ulysses may not work
  • Fixed an issue where workflows launched from the Complication would not run on watchOS 4
  • Fixed an issue where the Text action may randomly scroll to the top while typing
  • Fixed an issue where the Send Message via WhatsApp action contact field did not work properly
  • Fixed an issue where the Convert Image action may crash in the Today Widget or Action Extension
  • Fixed an issue where the Show Directions action may not use the correct travel mode when opening Google Maps
  • Fixed an issue where messaging the attendees of an event may include yourself
  • Fixed an issue where VoiceOver may not focus on an action after it’s added to a workflow
  • Fixed an issue where the Select Photos action did not work with VoiceOver when “Select Multiple” was turned on
  • Fixed an issue where a Workflow Input variable may not be editable after being added from the variable bar
  • Fixed a crash when inserting variables into the List and Dictionary actions
  • Fixed an issue where some files may not be selectable in the Dropbox and Box file pickers
  • Fixed an issue where a ghost workflow may appear while workflows are being reordered
  • Fixed an issue where passing a comma-separated list of email addresses into the Send Email action did not work
  • Fixed an issue where the Get Contents of URL action did not support passing a JSON body in DELETE requests
  • Fixed an issue where saving a file to Dropbox when a file already exists with the same name did not properly append a number to the filename
  • Other bug fixes and minor additions
Posted in App

Track Your Time with OfficeTime


If you are looking for an app to keep up with and help you bill your time, consider OfficeTime. There is an app for your iOS device and Mac that can sync. There is a free version and a paid version that costs $7.99 that allows wireless syncing.

You can create invoices and view graphs to see how your time is spent.

The developer lists the features of the pro version as follows:

* Track your time from your home screen or any app with the OfficeTime widget.
* No monthly fees.
* Increase your billables
* Know if you’re on budget
* Improve your productivity by knowing where your time goes
* Easy, intuitive, flexible.
* Pay once. Get for both iPad and iPhone
* Work offline. No need for WiFi or cell connection.
* Export to Numbers, Excel and tab delimited.
* Get cross team reports on your Mac or PC (sold separately)
* Work with cross platform offices (sold separately): PC, Mac , iPhone, iPad
* Run multiple timers
* Rapidly switch tasks
* Time in the background
* Free Apple Watch version! Quickly start and stop timers and see where your day’s at.

The Mac version costs about $47. The developer advertises a 120 day refund policy. You can learn more about the app here.

This slightly dated video gives you some idea about the app.

Posted in App

Fantastical for iPad 2 – Your Digital Calendar Hub


Fantastical 2 for iPad is like a digital hub for your calendar, reminders, and contacts. This is a place where you can organize and plan events or tasks to be performed on a particular day with ease. Fantastical allows you to enter the information in plain English (or other supported language) and the event will be created in your calendar(s).

If you have not already done so, take a moment to adjust some preferences in the app. For example, in settings (the gear icon), under New Events, select default alerts you would like to receive before an event – like 1 hour and 2 hours before. Choose your default calendar there too so when you enter an event, it will automatically be placed there.

Another thing that is helpful is to turn on the Share feature. This allows you to be in another app, tap and select information and then share it with Fantastical.

To do this, in an app like Mail, select the text you want to send to Fantastical and then tap on the Share… pop up. Scroll along the apps visible and select Fantastical. If the app is not there, scroll until you see More, tap on it and slide the selector to turn on the Fantastical app. Now, Fantastical will be available to share your selections to create events, etc.

For example, lets say you get an email reminding you about a dinner meeting.

First, select the language you want to send to Fantastical.

Then, from the pop up share menu, tap Fantastical.

Then, tap Add on the top right.

Last, make any modification that may be necessary.

As seen below, Fantastical automagically, created the event, time, etc. from the selected text.

Other tips and tricks for using Fantastical 2 for iPad can be found here.

Posted in Opinion, Review

iPhone X – Way Cool


 

Credit Apple Inc.

I have been playing around with my new iPhone X since the Friday launch date. Here are some quick thoughts about using it.

  • No Home Button – No Problem – I have forgotten about missing a home button. Opening the phone is as easy as picking it up, tilting it towards you and swiping up with your thumb. The phone automagically opens with the facial recognition.
  • Quitting Apps – One thing that I could not figure out was how to quit apps. On older phones, you double tap on the home button and then slide the open apps up to quit them. To accomplish this now, from the home screen, you slowly slide your thumb up and leave it about half way up the screen for a moment. Then, you will see your running apps in a stack to the left. Tap and hold on one and a red “-” will appear at the top left of each app. Tap on the red “-” over each app you want to quit that and the app will quit. If you are in an app, at the bottom, you will see a small line. Tap on that line and swipe up to the middle to accomplish the same thing.
  • Battery Percentage – I am used to seeing the percentage of battery at the top left. There appears to be no way to make that percentage number appear and stay. The 2 work arounds are to plug your phone into a charger and you will see the charge. The second way is to swipe down from the top right to access your control panel. There, you will see the battery percentage.
  • Update Apps – Make sure you update the apps for compatibility with the new iPhone. A few apps did not work. I also found that if I had a problem that deleting the app and reinstalling seemed to help.
  • QI Charger Not – Last, I chose not to get a QI charging pad to lay the iPhone on at this time. All of my cables currently work and I think I will hold out until Apple comes out with their version that will allow the Air Pod, Apple Watch and iPhone to charge.

If you happen to be near an Apple store, check the availability with the Apple Store app. An iPhone X may be closer than you think.

 

Posted in App

Mind Node Update


MindNode 4 is my go to mind mapping app. One of the reasons it is great is because of the ability to sync between the MindNode Mac version and the iOS version. This allows me to work on my mind maps whether I’m in front of my computer or on the go.

The latest update adds the following:

• Fixes importing documents from Files.app
• Allow to import text files from in-app document browser

If you are wondering about what Mind Mapping is or how to use MindNode, check the below video from MindNode.

The developer has announced that MindNode 5 is coming with some new features like Top-Down-Layout and orthogonal branches.

 

Posted in Commentary

Apple Special Event Today


Today, September 12 at 10 a.m. PDT, you can watch the keynote presentation where it is widely believed the new iPhone X will be introduced. Along with the new iPhone, there may be some new information about when the new iOS will be available. There may also be some news about any new or updated hardware for devices like the iPad.

You can watch the presentation livet here.

While waiting, you can learn more about iOS 11 here.