The once-a-month live feedback show format is really finding its stride. In this latest edition, we tackle getting started with becoming more productive with your Mac, answer questions related to traveling with your tech, extending Wi-Fi networks, and get lots of Evernote feedback. Go get it.
Intel's new Broadwell chips have a lot of hopes pinned upon them. They are supposed to be bring energy efficiency and graphics performance to new levels. I suspect Apple is relying on Broadwell to make the fabled 12" Retina MacBook Air-ish computer into reality. If that is the case, we may be waiting longer for this computer than expected. MacRumors reports the necessary chips are now pushed back into next year.
If the rumored delay is for real and if Apple needs the chip to release a thin, light retina MacBook, this has got to be driving people at Apple crazy. I've always thought the idea of an Apple designed ARM-based Mac a little nutty (at least for a few years into the future). However, when Apple can't ship a product because a supplier can't deliver, I bet the super-secret-put-an ARM-in-a-Mac team in Cupertino is getting a few phone calls.
Starting today you can download 51 sample pages from the new Presentations Field Guide. The book ended up weighing in at 432 pages, 44 screencasts (over 2 hours), and lots of other interactive gizmos.
Everything is on track for the July 21 release date but if you'd like to read a bit of it now, why not go download the sample?
This week MacSparky.com is sponsored by Rocket Matter. Rocket Matter is a fantastic cloud-based solution for running a law practice. You set up an account and log in and get back to work. You don't need to buy your own server. You don't need to install local updates. You just work and let Rocket Matter do all that back-end stuff for you. Rocket Matter continues to grow with some great features like billing, document storage, calendaring, and more. They even have an iPhone app that lets you accesses and manipulate all of your data.
If you're looking for a more efficient way to practice law, it is time to get your own Rocket Matter, walk-through. They do live demonstrations every day. Jut go to Rocket Matter and and request your very own demo. Tell them you came from MacSparky.com.
First you build a tower from LEGO bricks. Then it magically appears in an iOS app and you defend the tower you built, brick-by-brick in the real world, from invaders in the virtual iOS world. Sign me up.
I'd like to thank Rocket Matter for sponsoring MacSparky.com this week. Are you a legal professional looking to end the insanity of broken, old-school practice management tools? Do you want to see how information based workers will manage their workflows, billings, and businesses in the future? This week, Rocket Matter is giving away a free ebook, Cloud Planet: The Mobile Lawyer to MacSparky Readers. Go get your free ebook and check out Rocket Matter.
I'm pleased to announce the newest MacSparky Field Guide, Presentations.
Most presentations are terrible. That, however, does not need to be the case for your presentations. This book explains how to create your own exceptional presentation. This Presentations Field Guide explains how to plan a presentation that will connect with your audience, the technical wizardry to create a stunning presentation, and walks you through presentation day to make sure it goes off without a hitch. The book was built entirely in iBooks Author. There are more than 30 screencasts, audio interviews, and other rich media assets to help you make your next presentation riveting. The material is accessible to beginners and power users alike with a thoughtful, fun, and systematic approach to planning, creating, and delivering a stellar presentation.
This is the first book to reflect the new MacSparky Field Guide design and it's gorgeous. Here are a few screenshots.
The book is now available for Pre-Order and shipping on July 21, 2014. Also, here's the first ever video trailer for one of my books.
Episode 200 of the Mac Power Users is now available. That's 200 shows. That's approximately 300 hours of talking about how to turn average and beginner users into power users. That's 300 hours of the best work of my life.
This show is a bit introspective but also includes some of our favorite tips and show recommendations. If you've been with us this far, you may enjoy this episode just for the sentimental value.
Today is the last day for early bird registration for the annual Macs in Law Offices conference at Disneyworld this October. If you are practicing law with a Mac, this one is just for you. As an added bonus, this year, my pal KatieFloyd will be speaking.
If you're a Sanebox subscriber (or thinking about becoming a Sanebox subscriber), you'll want to check out their new Advanced Filtering options. Sanebox still doesn't read the contents of your email but you can do a lot with a subject line. With advanced filtering, you can tell correspondents to include a phrase in the subject line that puts their email right to the head of the line. You can also filter based on subject lines. For example, if you have an Internet business and want to auto-file your emails from PayPal to a particular folder, you could set up a filter looking for the PayPal header in the subject line and Sanebox will take care of the rest. I continue to rely on Sanebox for my email management and I like it now more than ever.
The Omni Group just updated OmniOutliner 4.1 with several useful new features:
- Row padding control has been added to the standard feature set.
- There is a new set of colored toolbar icons. (Purists can switch to Graphite appearance in System Preferences to use monochrome versions of those icons.)
- The Pro version now allows you to link to rows to quickly navigate or reference other sections. To make a link, select a row and use Edit > Copy As Link. Paste this where ever you’d like to make a hyperlink to that row. I often use OmniOutliner for witness examination outlines and deposition outlines. This new navigation trick will be huge for me.
The app also got improved Word export and other nice interface tweaks and attachment support. I'm happy to see the Omni Group giving my favorite outliner further love.
I wrote a few weeks ago about the release of LaunchBar 6. I had moved over to Alfred but after spending a few weeks with the latest version of LaunchBar, I'm firmly back in the LaunchBar camp. Both apps are great but for some reason, the keyboard shortcuts with LaunchBar just resonate with me better. I'm in the throes of finishing a book, which means I've got files all over the place and a pile of emails from editors and other helpers needing assets and questions answered. I just caught myself this afternoon blasting through these items and finding files all with LaunchBar and thought I'd take a minute to pause and give thanks.
The LaunchBar team really stepped it up with this new version. I dig the new interface, themes, and the way it lets me drive my Mac so wicked fast. I can't wait to dive in even deeper with its new power features ... just as soon as the next book ships.
My podcasting compadre KatieFloyd blogged about her new EverDock yesterday. I'll second Katie's endorsement. I got in on the original Kickstarter. I ended up ordering two of the Duos. This let's me simultaneously charge the phone and iPad. I've got one at work and the other on my night stand. I've been using it since it shipped (which I believe is about 6 months).
The EverDock remains tight against the surface and absolutely stays connected when I lift my devices out (several times a day). However, it is not as tight as it was when the device was new and it felt like I was going to need a crow bar to get it off the table. I suspect I may need to clean the micro-suction surface.
Occasionally, the Lightning cable starts to get a little wobbly in its housing, requiring me to pry the device off the table and pull the cable back down tight. Interestingly, you can see the cable tops listing to the right and left based on the channels I've pulled them to underneath. It is noticeable on visual inspection but doesn't seem to be a problem when housing the iPhone and iPad.
This morning I took it apart and inspected the Lightning cables. I'm sure getting bent around the EverDock and having the strain of me pushing and pulling against it to repeatedly seat my iThingies is damaging them. They looked okay though. (If only the good Doctor lived closer, I'd let him experiment on my cables and write 3,000 words about it.)
The EverDock is the first third party dock I've stuck with. It does a great job holding my devices and when I lift them out, the dock stays put.
Dan Frommer has a nice piece up about Tim Cook.
"In many ways, Cook is running Apple better than Jobs ever did."
I think anyone following Steve Jobs has the deck stacked against him. Nevertheless, looking at all the news from WWDC, I also think Tim Cook is the right guy to follow Steve Jobs. If you think Tim is under heat now, just wait until Apple actually releases a watch or fitness band. That market is much smaller than the iPhone market. Even a product pitched by Steve Jobs with his reality distortion field turned up to full power is not going to touch iPhone numbers. When this inevitably happens, all the long knives will come out for Tim in the tech press.
This week MacSparky is again sponsored by MindNode. MindNode is an excellent mind mapping application that uses iCloud Sync (or Dropbox) to share your data between its iPhone, iPad, and Mac versions.
This week, I'd like to point out some of the really great functionality MindNode now has with its live outline view. This screenshot (which will expand with a tap or click) demonstrates MindNode's ability to take your mind map and display it as an outline. The outline view auto updates as you make changes to the mind map and it is a great way to see your data in two different formats. I use this function all the time. MindNode is a great combination of looks and power. If you've been curious about mind mapping, go buy it now and find out for yourself how useful this tool can be.
This week’s home screen post features Ian O’Flaherty (Twitter) (Website). Ian is the developer of Trial Pad (App Store) and Transcript Pad (App Store). Both of these apps are essential to me in the day job and I’ve met Ian several times at various technology conferences where I’ve observed him obsessing over making some of the best legal software out there. So Ian, show us your home screen.
What are some of favorite apps?
Besides the obvious bias towards my own apps, TrialPad and TranscriptPad,Keynote is a favorite. It can assist anyone to create great looking presentations. I use Keynote not only for presentations, but also to create fully functional mock-ups of new app ideas, or to see how a new user interface element might look within one of my existing apps. I thinkGoodNotes is one of the better note taking apps, and is ideal for my needs. Besides note taking, I use it to bring in screen shots of apps to draw on and sketch various user interface changes or ideas, especially with its shape recognition mode. My RSS reader of choice is Mr. Reader as I like the way you can organize and skim through your feeds, and I’ve recently started usingPocket to save interesting articles to read later when I have more time. I have tried various podcast apps but keep coming back to Apple’s own Podcasts to listen to great podcasts, such as Mac Power Users ;)
Which app is your guilty pleasure?
I’m not a fan of social media because I constantly see it used in an unintended spirit in legal proceedings. Everything you say (i.e. type) on any social media can, and will, be used against you if you ever find yourself in a courtroom. Having said that, I do use, and have a twinge of guilt, every time I open Instagram. I like the simplicity of just sharing a photo and comment with my family which is strewn around the world. And my teenage daughter has taught me that crafting the perfect caption is just as important as composing the perfect photo if you want to get the right number of “Likes”.
What is the app you are still missing?
A calendar app! That may sound strange considering how many beautifully designed calendar apps are available. I’ve bought most of them, and each has certain strengths, but I keep reverting back to Apple’s Calendar app. I feel all the calendar apps could offer more, such as the ability to hide certain hours in the day or week views (e.g. midnight to 5:00AM) unless I have an appointment during that time. Maybe there’s one out there that I just haven’t found yet, or maybe a calendar has such a personal requirements that no one calendar app is going to satisfy all users.
How many times a day do you use your iPhone/iPad?
My iPhone is always with me, and my iPad isn’t far behind. I always have my wallet and phone with me, but if I forget one as I leave the house I’d have to turn back for my iPhone. I can buy a coffee at Starbucks with my iPhone, but I can’t call anyone, check my email, or get driving directions with my wallet.
What is your favorite feature of the iPhone/iPad?
I can’t pin it down to just one feature. I believe the ability to access your data or work, while being mobile, gives me a better work/life balance. I can zip through a dozen emails while in the waiting room at the pediatrician. The iCloud integration that’s permeated so many apps that I use every day has been key to being able to get things done. Starting something on my Mac, and having it available to read, add to, or edit on my iPad or iPhone is invaluable. This is only going to get better with the new handoff feature coming in iOS 8 and Yosemite which will take it to another level. And Siri, in combination with the Reminders app, is another favorite feature. Just being able to tell Siri to “Remind me to…when I get home/leave the office/at a certain time” is such a convenience.
If you were in charge at Apple, what would you add or change?
Being at WWDC again this year and meeting so many smart and talented Apple engineers, designers, and segment managers, makes you realize that anything you’d want to add or change has already been thought of and already is in the works, or has been dismissed for reasons you didn’t even know you should have considered. However, I’d like it if Apple allowed developers to charge upgrade pricing (not for minor updates or bug fixes) as opposed to forcing us to coming out with a new version of an app or utilize in app purchases in order to have a recurring revenue stream. This is particularly important in specialized apps meant for very narrow verticals. The fact is that there’s a growing professional app space, and niche professional apps don’t have the massive audience of game apps, maybe a Professional category for truly professional apps?
What’s your wallpaper and why?
My lock screen changes constantly to feature my wife or children when they have a birthday or special event, but the wallpaper on my home screen is plain old black. I like the way the text for the app names pops, and the icons are shown with a negative background so I can quickly find what I’m looking for. You may have noticed that my apps are all in alphabetical order because I like to have a logical reason for their placement. I only have two screens on my iPad, so if an app doesn’t make it into the twenty on my home screen it’s placed into organized folders on the second screen. I’m not a swiper.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Having owned a Mac since 1989 (a Macintosh IIcx), and having spent a brief stint on the dark side (Windows), it’s great to see the innovation coming out of this iconic American company. Also, my family tries to make Sunday a “no tech day” so that we don’t turn into that family you see at a restaurant who are together physically, but engrossed in their iPhones, seemingly finding better company and conversation elsewhere.