Tag - Typing
We don't like being predictable, but usually -- we'll admit this -- if we look at a third-party on-screen keyboard for iOS, we tend to go down the same route every time. They're mildly fiddly to switch over to, and they rarely offer any benefits. Only, we're admitting to our predictability because this time, we're different. For this Word Flow Keyboard from Microsoft Garage could well be the best non-Apple alternative keyboard for iPhone that we've seen. It's got issues, but it's the first time we could imagine you switching permanently to one.
There is no such thing as the perfect keyboard, or at least there isn't one slice of perfection for everyone. It'd be dull if there were, but it would also be quite handy. As it is, for us the Logitech K810 keyboard is so very nearly the best possible option that we're wondering why it took us years to try it out. With chagrin, we also realize that if we'd checked it out even a few months ago, we'd have ditched it in favor of the Logitech K811 instead.
Sometimes, just sometimes, the difference between two keyboards is quite subtle and truly down to the fingers of the beholder. What someone finds strong and reliable, the next person will find loud and clacky. This time, though, there is a very apparent and clear difference between this Logitech K480 and the K380 model that we've previously enthused about. The K480 must surely be 100 somethings better than the K380.
If you don't already have TextExpander, then what you're reading now is just one more rumble in the continuous droning that is praise for this app. There is really so much praise for it that it would be hard to justify another round of applause for the thing, except that sometimes it takes just one more mention to get you to try something new. Publishers say that, on average, you need to hear of a book five times before you buy it, so in case you've only read four articles about TextExpander today, let's talk. Because that's where I was three years ago.
As I write this, the paperback of my book The Blank Screen: Blogging is working its way through the final stages of publication via Amazon. It's a book about blogging for writers and authors, but more importantly it has been the subject of the Summer Project. Through countless software apps and services, we've followed the creation of a genuine book. Not some test thing, not an afternoon's casual typing, but a real book that was already being written.
You've read the headline, Hands On: TextExpander 5, and for many people that would be enough to send them straight off to buy it. Here's TextExpander 5 on its official site. Without exception, though, those keen people will all be ones who've already used TextExpander 4. If that's not you, if you've barely heard of this thing that speeds up your typing, then wait a moment, read on a bit, and only then go buy it.
Woke up one morning -- dah da dah duh -- with an entire short play in my head. As you do. I would like to tell you that I picked up my iPad, opened Drafts 4 and wrote the whole thing in one go, because that is what I should have done. Instead, as much of a fan of Drafts on iOS as I am, I tried writing it in Final Draft instead.
Those of us who have used Apple's built-in local search tool Spotlight through its early years to now often find they've outgrown it, and are now life-support-dependent upon Alfred 2. Yes, there was some notable improvement in Yosemite, but it was too little, too late. Now Flashlight could bring us back. It's a free application that extends Spotlight's searching facilities, and to give you quick access to different corners of your Mac. From the keyboard, you can search the web, start a phone call, email someone a file, or shut down your Mac.
You probably own Apple's Pages, and you may even have opened it. If you did, what you think depends on what you're used to: new users just dive right in and start typing, while we've heard Word users complain that it simply isn't powerful enough for them. This is an odd one: they are actually right, but not in the ways they expect. Pages does lack some of the very heavy-lifting word processor functions that Word has, but few people use those. What Word fans think is missing from Pages is the more general day-to-day features that in fact it has, and has very well.
Ergonis has launched an update to its text expansion software, Typinator 4. The application automates the insertion of whole blocks of text or commonly used phrases while auto-correcting typing errors. Typinator has thousands of predefined corrections for typical typing errors and misspellings, supporting U.S. and British English, German and French. It replaces a predetermined abbreviation with a whole phrase, graphic, URL, date or image. It also auto-corrects typing across all applications system wide.
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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