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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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
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
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