Tag - Tasks
This does not come up every day: I've been using OmniFocus for at least five years now, and I've never done this before -- but I've wanted to. I've been thwarted by what seems to be a simple process, but has just a couple of little catches that meant it never seemed to work for me. If that's you too, this is how to do it. If that isn't you, if you find OmniFocus child actions or subprojects as obvious as they are intended to be, you could've let me know. On the other hand, if you don't know OmniFocus at all, let me tell you at evangelical length.
In the two years or so since we last looked at this app, it's been updated 17 times. That somehow seems fitting for software designed to keep you productive. Pocket Informant 4.91 is for busy people juggling busy lives, and especially ones that revolve around both tasks and appointments.
We're a funny bunch, really. All of us. We're high-functioning human beings, yet if an app tells us we're lagging behind some goal, we do something about it. Ask any Apple Watch owner if they aren't at least more conscious of their daily exercise now. Goalify 2.0 wants to press on this Pavlovian reaction tendency of us, and use its power for good. It wants you to achieve things, and it wants to help you.
We are unabashed fans of the Omni Group, and in particular of two of its four apps: OmniFocus and OmniOutliner. These are the company's To Do and outlining apps, and we use them across OS X and iOS. Not everyone on MacNN uses them, but those who do seem to either be actually using them constantly, or just talking about them all the time. They are very strong apps in their fields, and now we've got that out of the way, we want to point out a problem with them. This being Pointers, we'd also like to fix the problem.
We've argued before that the To Do app Things has the best name for this kind of app, but we had forgotten Remember the Milk, which is unquestionably the cleverest title in the genre. The reason we'd forgotten it, though, is that RTM is a very long-standing service that hasn't particularly kept up with the times -- until now. Now, with a revamped online service and a new Remember the Milk 4.0.41 universal iOS app, it's back.
Due 2.2 is not the reminders app to beat all reminders apps: it's the one to join them. Whatever To Do app you're currently using, Due can work alongside it in your life -- and we're still surprised at that. Uncomfortably surprised: it cannot be a good idea to have some of your tasks in one app and the rest in another, it just cannot. Yet it is. We've been using Due alongside Wunderlist and OmniFocus, and in both cases it's proved just too handy to leave.
The Wunderkinder company, makers of Wunderlist 3.4.0, was bought by Microsoft back in June 2015 and if you thought that meant the app would get subsumed into Outlook, well, you weren't alone there. However, it's had four updates since then and if it all stopped tomorrow, it'd still be a superb To Do app.
The MacNN staff who don't happen to use this To Do manager are secretly convinced that the rest of us would do a new Hands On if the Omni Group even so much as changed the color of the app. We resent that accusation, and wish to point out that it is patently not true -- for they changed that back in 2.6, and we didn't say a single word. Now the various incremental updates since our last review have brought us to OmniFocus 2.8 for iOS. It's got more than a color change, it's got a native Apple Watch app, and now the iOS version has certain features that are better than the OS X release.
Not everyone has OmniFocus, but maybe everyone should. True, it's a bit of a bionic To Do manager, and overkill for many people; plus, more than perhaps most software, this kind of thing is very individual. You can hate OmniFocus and adore Todoist, and we wouldn't think you're a bad person. Only, if you are an OmniFocus fan, or you're just starting out with it, you are the sort of person who needs its powerful features, yet may not be getting to grips with them. You will. Let's just take a jump forward now, and get you using what we'd call its five best but least-known excellent features.
It's a big job, Getting Things Done. David Allen's clever system takes effort but it actually works and despite all the work you have to put into it, you do tend find yourself feeling lighter than you used to. Fewer things are pressing on your mind because you're handling them all. If the hardest part of GTD is keeping at it then we'd say the second hardest part is understanding Allen's corporate language. Hopefully we've dealt with translating that all week – including yesterday's coverage of the single most vital part of GTD – but now we want you to go do things. We want you to do them with our recommendations of specific Apple technologies and software.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R