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Screenshooting on the iPad Using a Keyboard →

Dr. Drang:

As you probably remember, ⇧⌘3 on a Mac takes a screenshot of the whole screen and ⇧⌘4 turns the cursor into crosshairs so you can select a rectangular portion of the screen to capture.. On the iPad, ⇧⌘3 captures the whole screen, just like the Mac (and just like capturing with the top and volume up buttons). The ⇧⌘4 shortcut also captures the whole screen, but in a neat analogy to the Mac, it immediately puts you into editing mode so you can crop the capture down to a smaller size.

I use these keyboard shortcuts all the time on the Mac. Am I the only one who didn’t know they worked on the iPad, too, if you have a keyboard attached?


Mailbutler Review

Mailbutler Logo

Don’t give up if you lament the lack of advanced functionality in the default Mail app on Mac, as there are a number of third-party plugins available which add features to Mail. One of the more comprehensive plugins is Mailbutler, a tool that lets you snooze messages, schedule messages to be sent later, attach notes to messages, set follow-up reminders on sent messages, and more.

Mailbutler works not only with the Mail app on Mac, but also with Gmail if you use Chrome as your browser. I’m using Mailbutler with the Mail app on Mac. Although the Gmail version appears to work similarly in my limited testing, this review is written from the perspective of an macOS Mail user.

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The Friction of an iPad for the Middle User →

Gabe Weatherhead at Macdrifter:

I don’t count bloggers and podcasters as normal iPad users. There’s a different kind of drive for these folks. Part of that drive is being able to write about their impressive accomplishments with an iPad. That will always take some of the sting out of losing hours trying to figure out how to upload a file to a website.

Gabe Weatherhead was writing about a post by Thomas Verschoren, who highlights some of the limitations of iOS. Weatherhead’s comment got me thinking about how iOS usually satisfies the needs of power users and basic users, but not those in the middle. Power users cook up workflows with tools like the Shortcuts app to overcome almost any hurdle, and casual users never run into those hurdles in the first place.

It’s the people in between who need to get over those hurdles, and don’t want to build a tool or workflow to do so. They just want something that works. The iPad won’t be a laptop replacement for those users until those gaps are filled.

Most users aren’t like us. They don’t want to have to build a workflow that, in their eyes, is a Rube Goldberg machine. Most of my automation workflows on the Mac are to speed up processes I can already perform without automation. Too many of my automation workflows on iOS are to perform tasks I couldn’t otherwise perform at all. 1


  1. Siri Shortcuts, not to be confused with the Shortcuts app, is the exception to this.


Finally Making Sense of Magic Variables in the Shortcuts App →

Dr. Drang:

All those green bubbles come from a single Magic Variable and its many parts. I’m going to show how to put them together—partly because it might help you, but mostly in the hope that doing this will reinforce the use of Magic Variables with me.

The introduction of Magic Variables in version 1.7 of the Workflow app was supposed to make the use of variables easier. Magic Variables never clicked with me, though, probably because I never spent the time to understand them. I finally grasp how to use them, thanks to this post by Dr. Drang. If you want to use Magic Variables in the Shortcuts app (the successor to the Workflow app), Dr. Drang’s post is a great place to start.


A Few Simple Apple Maps Tips →

Gabe Weatherhead at Macdrifter:

If I’m already following a route and I’m getting low on gas or caffeine, I swipe up from the bottom to reveal some new options. There are quick search options for gas and food.

I’m trying to reduce my Google footprint. As a result, I find myself using Apple Maps more than in the past. This post digs into some of the less obvious features of Apple Maps, such as avoiding highways.