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Category: iOS (page 1 of 14)

Calculating Dates When Automating OmniFocus

A few days ago, I wrote about my first attempt at using the new and improved automation features in OmniFocus for iOS. In that attempt, I used Editorial to create a Taskpaper-formatted template that prompted me for dates. Those dates would carry over as due dates in an OmniFocus project. I’ve since tweaked that template, so that it flags the tasks, and automatically calculates defer dates based on the due dates.

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OmniFocus iOS Automation – First Look

UPDATE (2016-05-01): I’ve updated this template to calculate defer dates, add flags to tasks, and make the project parallel instead of sequential. You can find the updated template to download, along with an explanation, in this post.


The Omni Group released a new version of OmniFocus for iOS yesterday. That version dramatically improved automation in OmniFocus for iOS, adding support for two-way communication with other iOS apps. This was irresistible for me, so I dove in, albeit at a very basic level.

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My Two-Item iOS 10 Wish List

Every year, Federico Viticci of MacStories publishes a wish list for the next version of iOS. He’s done it again this year, and I’d love it if even half of his wishes come true. I don’t use iOS to near the extent that Federico does, so my personal wish list contains just two items, including one that I didn’t find on Federico’s list:

1) A share sheet for the Mail app. This is perhaps my biggest source of annoyance on iOS, and the reason why I constantly evaluate third party mail clients. All I want is an easy way to get content directly from the Mail app into OmniFocus and other apps. I can use Omni’s Mail Drop service for this, but with Mail Drop, I need to later go in and add projects and contexts to my tasks. Omni is also adding automation support to OmniFocus 2.14, which could make use of the share sheet even more helpful.

2) A search box in the Slide Over app picker. As more apps support split screen multitasking, the shortcomings of the Slide Over app picker become more glaring. Having to scroll, and scroll,and scroll, and scroll, and (you get the idea) just to find an app is a chore. Federico has mocked up very a great fix, with a tighter clustering of apps, the ability to search, and the ability to pin favorite apps. All three would be great, but I’d be happy with just the ability to search apps.

To see this mock up, and many others, hit the link below. I hope some influential people at Apple read MacStories.

iOS 10: Wishes and Concept Video – MacStories

A Rant About the Slow Adoption of Apple Pay

Pretty soon, it’s going to be hard to find a bank in the U.S. that doesn’t offer Apple Pay:

Apple Pay officially expanded to its sixth country yesterday with Apple adding support for Singapore and today, the company has added support for over 50 new banks and credit unions in the United States.

(From Apple Pay comes to over 50 new banks and credit unions in the United States | 9to5Mac)

Rant time: seeing an article like this just reminds me how hard it is to find merchants who accept contactless payment options like Apple Pay, at least where I’m located in Pennsylvania. It’s telling that I’m pleasantly surprised when I discover a merchant that accepts Apple Pay, instead of being disappointed when one doesn’t.

I have no clue what Apple is doing behind the scenes to get more merchants on board, so I don’t know whether the fault lies with Apple, or with merchants who are slow to adopt change. I’d love to know if Apple has any incentives, such as subsidies for new contactless payment terminals, to get smaller merchants on board.

Once you’ve used Apple Pay (or, I presume, a competing contactless payment system like Android Pay), you realize just how simple it makes the checkout process, and don’t want to go back to using cash or a credit card. That’s doubly true if you’re paying from your Apple Watch. No more fumbling around for cash or a credit card. Checkout lines would be cut in half for some merchants. My wife is probably tired of hearing me say, “this line would be gone if all these people were using Apple Pay.”

So, come on folks, what’s the hold up?

Get Audio Files into Your Podcast Client with Huffduffer

I’m way late to the game on this one. Huffduffer is a service that I’ve heard mentioned several times on different podcasts, but I recently checked it out for the first time. Huffduffer has been described as the Instapaper for audio files, and the description is appropriate. The idea behind Huffduffer is that you can take individual audio files, including individual episodes of podcasts, and easily get them into your favorite podcast client.

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Cross Your Fingers for the Scrivener for iOS Beta

The iOS version of Scrivener appears to be getting closer to seeing the light of day, as development is moving from alpha to beta testing. If that sounds familiar, it was just over a year ago that the iOS version of Scrivener entered closed beta. Alas, it was not to be, as so many bugs were found that the entire project was scrapped, and started from scratch.

Let’s hope the beta goes better this time. The founder of Scrivener on the Mac took over coding duties himself for this go-around, after using an outside developer for the last attempt.

Scrivener is one of my favorite writing apps on the Mac, especially for writing legal briefs. Scrivener’s ability to handle reference material is unparalleled among writing apps. The absence of an iPad app, though, is becoming increasingly problematic as I do more writing work on the iPad Pro. I’m crossing my fingers that soon we will be easily moving back and forth between Scrivener on the Mac and iOS.

∞ From Alpha to Beta | Literature and Latte

10 Ways I’m Using the iPad Pro

I’ve been using an iPad Pro for more than three months, and while my MacBook Pro is my workhouse, the iPad Pro has found an essential place in my workflow. Since I’m a couple of years overdue on posting a numbered list, here are a ten examples of how I use it.

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A Judge’s Perspective: How Shared Calendars Can Reduce Legal Custody Issues

couple with iphone 2

I’m pleased today to present this guest post from the Honorable Joseph C. Adams, President Judge of the York County Court of Common Pleas, in York, Pennsylvania. Judge Adams is a well-respected judge, and a tech enthusiast who spearheaded the overhaul of the courtroom technology in York County. Attorneys appearing in York County now have access to cutting-edge technology in the courtroom, to help them better serve their clients.

As a family court judge, I deal with custody issues on a daily basis. One of the most frequent custody issues I have to address is the lack of communication between parents. In fact, lack of communication is what often keeps parties coming back into court. In my opinion, parents who are able to effectively communicate are, in the majority of the cases, able to work out most custody issues without the involvement of the court. That being said, some people are so bad at communication that I see them more often then some of my own family!
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DEVONthink To Go 2 Beta Test With New Sync Starts

DEVONthink-To-Go-sync-settings New-document-assistant

I’m a heavy user of DEVONthink, and one of the few who seems to really like the DEVONthink iOS app, DEVONthink To Go. I was pretty happy to see today’s news that the developer of DEVONthink has started a Beta test of version 2 of DEVONthink To Go, which includes new sync technology that will also be used on the Mac app. Some highlights:

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Dispatch Comes to the iPad, at Last

Dispatch has long been one one of my favorite email apps on the iPhone. Lately, I’ve been going back and forth between Dispatch and Spark. I suspect I may be switching to Dispatch full time now, though, since Clean Shaven Apps has just released an update to the app to make it universal. 

Yes, you can now use the app on your iPad. Truth be told, you could always use the app on your iPad, but you were using it in scaled mode, and not taking advantage of the iPad’s differences from the iPhone. Now, the app is optimized to run on the iPad.

The app’s strengths have always been its email powerful triaging capabilities and customizable sidebar, but it also offers support for numerous third party services, such as TextExpander, 1Password, and Evernote. I’m just excited to be able to use the app in landscape mode on my iPad. You can get the app for $6.99. If you already own it, the update is free.

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