Tag - Productivity
One person's essential Mac app is another person's waste of time and there is software that you cannot work without yet nobody else you know has tried it. However, this might be the one example where not enough people have even heard of it, yet it is software that should be an essential for everyone. If we were Apple, we'd want it included with OS X -- and that was back when we were on the old, ancient, dark days of version 3. Now Hazel 4.0.1 for Mac is out and it is much improved.
We'd like to say that having any To Do app is better than not, but there are some that are so bad that they test this idea to its limits. Still, the To Do list is a remarkable thing, and so much so that simply having it on an app can be enough to make you like these lists, instead of hate and avoid them.
Ignore that headline: there is versions of this task manager for iOS, but we're going to concentrate on the Mac one. That's partly because this is a serious trio of productivity apps, and we'll be stress-testing them all together for some time. However, it's also because Things 2.8.3 for OS X is the classiest To Do app we've seen.
This even looks like the kind of thing you'd have used in the Filofax era. The Parker Planner company says it began by making productivity tools on paper, and that the move to iOS was obvious. Yes. If they still sell any paper, the Parker Planner 1.7.7 app for iPhone is better.
If you've got a Mac and an iPad, think about the last time you did a lot of work on them. The odds are that you were more focused, that you concentrated better, and that you had fewer interruptions when you were on the iPad. That's because for all its new multitasking features, the iPad is meant to be used for one thing at a time. Those new features, and the fact that you tend to work on your iPad on the move, mean that focusing can be hard, though, and that's what Focus Productivity Timer 1.4 aims to fix.
On Thursday, Apple updated its iOS App Store to offer a special sale on productivity apps, taking 50 percent off highly-rated programs such as to-do list Clear, package tracker Deliveries, and a utility that turns an iPad into a wired second monitor for a Mac called Duet Display. Corresponding Mac versions of the apps are on sale as well, such as task manager Things. The sale, which is expected to last for a week, is a repeat of an earlier promotion along similar lines called "Get Productive."
So, with OS X El Capitan, you can now have half of your screen devoted to one app and the other half to another. It has been unexpectedly excellent for our productivity: somehow even more than just dragging two windows next to each other like we used to. However, if you don't know how to do it, it isn't obvious.. Plus, some of the things it does really aren't obvious either. Although some apps play nice with it and some don't even let you try, there is a surprising third class of apps that say they work Split Screen yet you'd never know because they need careful handling.
This is you. On your Mac. Countless apps open, endless windows, you have to dig through to find what you're doing next -- and then as you work, your eyes flick to that Facebook window over to the left, or that email inbox to the right. HazeOver: Distraction Dimmer 1.5 for OS X focuses you by making the document you're working on be clear and vivid, while the rest of your desktop is darker, dimmed, almost greyed out.
A standalone version of Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac has been released, on the same day Microsoft launches Office 2016 for Windows. Already available to download for Mac users since July as part of Office 365 suite, today's release is the first time the most recent version of Office is being offered for purchase on Mac without requiring the subscription, with both Office Home & Student 2016 and Office Home & Business 2016 versions being offered.
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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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