Tag - Contacts
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.
The flood of replacements for Apple's default iOS keyboard died down after developers went crazy offering every conceivable gimmick, and users realized how few of them were any good. We're now at the stage where the only new keyboards that appear are ones that look like they've been built to solve a particular need, and in the case of Microsoft Hub Keyboard 1.0, that need is to speed up typing for Office 365 users.
Usually, a contacts or address book app aims to make it easy and quick for you to add new people or change some details. Invariably, a new contacts app will have something more, because it has to: given that you already have Apple's Contacts app on your Mac, you need a compelling reason to buy a replacement. ContactsMate 3.0.0 wants to be your new daily address book, and it's aiming to get you by way of its tools for cleaning up problems.
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.
It doesn't work. At first we thought the makers of Veer launcher – Contacts widget for notification center by Veecards 1.6.14 might just be having a bad day. The app does not work, and they told us we had chanced upon a particularly rare bug that actually was fixed in the version working its way through Apple's approval process. It isn't. Veer does not work at all. Not for us, not at all.
You need to shut the world out so that you can get this urgent thing done, and maybe that's really what Airplane Mode was invented for. However, even or especially in your busiest times, you cannot afford to miss an email from your partner or your boss. So now the answer is the VIP feature in iOS 8: quickly nominate people whose emails get through to you, and choose how much they disturb you. Well, that's how much as in whether you get a bleep, a dropdown notification, a banner or a full middle-of-the-screen alert. It's not as in whether they're sending you disturbing news or not.
Perhaps you know a lot of people, perhaps you don't. Yet you can be pretty sure that most of the ones you do know have at least one email address, a cell phone, a work line, maybe even a fax if you remember those, plus a website and a Twitter address. Lots of people times lots of contact details means it can take ages to get to the person you want. The newly updated iAddressX 3.6.0 aims to fix all that by putting every detail into one icon on your OS X menubar.
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.
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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
Dropbox expands iOS, Mac app capabilities
Dropbox has updated its iOS app to include new capabilities, including the option for users to scan text-based paper documents and turn them into searchable files, as well as greater ability to organize files saved with the online service and more control over uploaded photos. For the desktop version for Macs and PCs, the application can now share files directly from the Finder (or Explorer on Windows), add comments or otherwise highlight parts of files, and create (and save) Microsoft Office files from within the app (requires Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint to be installed on the desktop or mobile device). [94.9MB]