Tag - Address Book
This may be a first for us: we're examining a new software release in not one, but two separate reviews. It's not because this is going too long, either. It's because this software is FileMaker Pro 15 and it's less an app, more a whole world. If you are an existing user, then you probably love it -- but you also know that any upgrade has to earn its keep, so you'll be looking for details of what's new. Yet if you've never touched it before, the differences between this and the previous version 14 won't really tell you whether it's worth your time and money. So do this for us, please: if you have never tried FileMaker Pro, carry on reading this; if you're an old hand, read the other review -- that one's for you.
In February 2015, we said that the then brand-new BusyContacts 1.0 was so good we were willing to call it the best address book app for the Mac. We knew we were being rash but we meant it –– and one year on, it's gone the distance for us.
This should come with a trailer that begins "From the makers of Drafts 4..." as Interact 1.0 is a Contacts app from Agile Tortoise. It's the fifth app from there and we've previously praised them all and fair enthused about note-taking app Drafts 4. This Contacts one has the power we've come to expect from this developer, it has clever features and we recommend it. However, it is definitely a 1.0 release and there are some unnecessarily confusing elements alongside the powerful ones.
Gone are the days when you can't make any more friends whose names begin with E. Now there's no page to fill up and no reason not to just keep on adding everyone you come across. So we do. And it's a mess. Last year you added that fella your boss said you should get in touch with. This year the same guy contacted you and you cheerily added him again. Whatever you do and however fastidious you are, your address book is in a state and Cleanup Suite 5.0.3 is here to do something about it.
We have written previously in our Pointers column, about Smart Things in OS X -- by which we mean Smart Folders (usually found in the Finder), Smart Albums (found mostly in iPhoto or Photos, and other photo-oriented programs), and Smart Playlists (commonly seen in iTunes). We forgot to mention another one -- Smart Groups in Contacts (formerly Address Book), but then it's good to understand Groups first, so here we go.
We've said that we think BusyContacts is the best address book software on the Mac, so here's some proof. One feature that we've found we keep coming back to is the ability to email a group of people. You can select a group in Apple's own Contacts, and you can choose that group in Mail, but we never did. It was a chore. Yet with BusyContacts, we do it a lot.
BusyMac, the makers of BusyContacts, have been steadily adding to this address book app with the kind of attention you get when you've gone from a beta to a shipping product and now have customers all over the world stress-testing it every day. There have been many fixes to bugs we hadn't ever encountered ourselves and there have been improvements to features that we did spot and do like. However, regard this as less of a Hands On 2 review, more a nudge that we think you should get this app.
It takes a lot to get anyone to switch away from Apple's free apps to paid-for alternatives, yet BusyCal has for years been persuading people to do just that. If you've resisted even looking at it, though, the recent release of its companion address book app BusyContacts makes the move compelling.
This week's Pointers tip is short and sweet, and one of those head-slapping "of course!" moments. It's a far simpler way of adding your family into Siri so that she (or he) will understand who you mean when you say "send a text to my wife" or "read me the last email from my father." You can do this manually in Contacts (or the previous version, known as Address Book), but its a bit labor-intensive that way. Using this easier method, you can eliminate the dreaded "which John did you mean?" when you know more than one, and meant the one you're related to.
Twitter has reportedly admitted that it currently stores smartphone contact information for 18 months after users initiate the "find friends" feature found in the company's mobile apps. The data stored on the company's servers includes address book fields such as names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE