PDFPen and Gaia GPS have both been acquired. I can’t think of many products that were better after they were acquired. I’m disappointed because I genuinely like Gaia GPS for iPhone. I’ve also been close to purchasing a PDFPen upgrade for a few weeks because it’s one of the most powerful Mac-native PDF editors. It’s not that I worry about lower software quality from new owners. I worry about the dark market of data skimming which seems to be so lucrative.
A couple of months back I was looking for an application to manage art assets. I’ve been creating logos and websites for my business and didn’t love the experience of browsing these in the Finder. I eventually just stuck with the Finder because it was too much effort to test alternatives. This week I discovered Eagle which is a macOS and Windows app for managing all kinds of art assets. I’m still in the demo phase but it seems nice.
Have you heard enough about the new M1 Macs? Of course you haven’t, that’s why you’re here. I’ve been using the new MacBook Air with M1 ARM processor for a few weeks. It has been mostly great. The battery life is unbelievable and it’s a very powerful computer. There are a few problems with my transition from Intel to M1 but they are minor. What Works 99% of everything I’ve needed to run on the M1 works.
Mac Keepers and Sleepers I’ve discovered a new universal truth of computer purchases. The moment I get a new Mac setup is the moment that I no longer have enough time to use the Mac. That’s more or less the story of my iMac Pro. After several years of neglect I’ve returned to using my Mac on a daily basis and I’ve enjoyed re-discovering what I love about macOS. Here’s a brief list of Mac apps that I truly enjoy.
If you want to spend more time typing on your keyboard and less time fiddling with your mouse, I highly recommend Alfred as a file navigator and replacement for Spotlight.1 The latest Alfred update brings some minor improvements like placeholder variables for text expansion, new workflow actions, and some better file handling options. I’m not even really into building Alfred workflows and I still think it’s worth the money. I mostly use Keyboard Maestro for complex workflows on the Mac but if you want to build your own tricks in Alfred, it’s pretty easy.
I’ll admit, I’m terrible at rote memorization. I always have been, which is weird for someone that became a chemist. Often chemistry is approached by pre-med students as another flashcard topic, and this definitely works for many people. If you are someone that uses flashcards then this Anki system looks very good. There are apps for the Mac and for iOS. Anki has an interesting plain text format that also has quite a bit of power.
Drafts for Mac Status Update: What can Drafts for Mac do? The initial version of Drafts for Mac will support most of the same draft capture, editing and organization features of Drafts 5 on iOS and all drafts, tags, workspaces, versions, etc. will sync between versions. The editor will support themes and all the same editing features, syntax highlighting and more. True to its core, there will be quick-capture tools to easily popup up a window and start typing to start on all your text snippets and notes in Drafts as easily on Mac as you do on iOS.
Let’s see if I can do a Dave Pell style post. I actually liked Snow Leopard more than Leopard, so a year of improvements is just fine by me. 2018 feels like the year of “sorry we ruined your family life” from Apple. I still don’t want a HomePod I actually kind of want a pair of HomePods. I wouldn’t say no to a series-3 Watch but I’m also not saying yes until I see Overcast for Apple Watch Siri actions will enable the most productive, dumbest assistant I’ve ever worked with Great, now I need to pretend I don’t know how to do group FaceTime just like I pretend I don’t know how to do group messaging Please, oh please don’t let game makers use tongue detection.
I immediately turned on iCloud storage for Messages with the latest iOS update. I liked this succinct summary by Paul Horowitz over at OS X Daily. That’s a lot of storage moved to iCloud.
Affiliate: This basically converts Amazon and iTunes links on my clipboard to affiliate links. It’s simple but it works. Default Folder X: The “Save as…” window is so much better with this app. The menu bar app provides a convenient way to navigate to recent and favorite locations. I don’t use it often but it’s nice to have access to. Path Finder can also provide this option but I think it’s too noisy.