Tag - Writing
The problem of doing something you love for a job is when you aren't able to do it anymore, and you have to separate yourself from it. As you are likely to be aware from earlier this week, myself and other members of the editorial team were informed our services will not be required from the end of this month. Since each of us are writing what could be described as a note of farewell for an impending closure, I'm now having to go through that separation process -- and believe me, it's hard.
We're late to another party: previously we've spoken of note-taking apps, text editors, and word processors. Now, though, we have to recognise that there is a fourth class of apps that you type into: the writing studio. Once you come up with a name for something, you realize it has been applied to apps for ages: Scrivener and Ulysses, amongst others, are like this. They are software apps intended to be a complete writing environment. Add to that list the newly-updated Textkraft Professional 4.1.
One of the lesser-appreciated features of email today is how you can swap the application you use to read and write it, without swapping email addresses. You can practically swap in the middle of writing a message, it's that easy, and Airmail 3.0 for OS X wants to persuade you to make the jump. Mind you, so did Airmail 2.1 which we reviewed a year ago, but each new version does push it a little further along from good to compelling.
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.
Every so often, people browse the Internet and the Mac App Store to try and find useful things to add to their app arsenal, but sometimes it's hard to find discounted apps that you really want to get. For App Deals for OS X, the MacNN staff has compiled a list of apps for your Mac that are either a great bargain, or even free for a short while.
This is not going to be the rave that I was expecting, but it's pretty close to one. After some years of writing in whatever app seemed to be nearest, I've moved almost exclusively to just one. Practically everything I write now, I write in Ulysses 2.5 for OS X and iOS. What's more, I had to look this up: the day I reviewed this app for MacNN was March 15 this year, and that is the same day I moved over completely. It was such an instant and total change that it's hard to believe I've not always written everything in this way.
Now on sale: a new MacNN Pointers e-book devoted to getting you writing more and better on your Mac, iPad and iPhone. Every Pointers book aims to speed up your work, show you the inside tips, and make using your Apple gear more fun -- but this one is personal. MacNN Pointers: Macs and iOS for Writers is writer-to-writer talk. You've already found that Macs and iOS transform your writing life, but we're going to transform it again.
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.
You will never read a Hands On review that does not include the price. Of course you won't, but usually price is the least significant part: whether something is expensive or not, good software and hardware is worth anything because it is so very, very useful and you use it so very, very much. TextExpander 6 is very, very good. Yet this might as well be a Hands On review of the price, and the software's shift to subscription.
Nobody writes the way you do. Just looking at the end result, at the words you choose to use and the sequence you write them in, plus the very topics that you decide to cover or explore, that is inevitably and distinctively you and nobody else. Then, the ways you get to that end result is probably unique: you'd think there are only so many ways of getting words down on Macs or iOS, but you'd be surprisingly wrong there.
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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