IBM and Apple Sitting in a Tree …

Today Apple and IBM announced a partnership to use IBM’s enterprise expertise and Apple’s products to tackle enterprise sales. It seems like a good fit. There are a lot of moving pieces and, as usual, Macworld covers it well.

For years now, Apple has been building this retail/consumer battleship and largely ignoring enterprise sales. While Apple has lavished significant attention on enterprise support in iOS, they’ve never appeared to care much about selling to and supporting the enterprise. As a result, we’ve all wondered if they had some sort of plan or just didn’t care. With today’s move, it appears the plan is to offload enterprise sales and support to IBM. It makes sense. I hope it goes well for both companies.

Spreadsheet Tricks

I am a business lawyer but did my undergraduate degree in political science, which makes me a bit of a faker among some of the business types I spend time with. However, the one thing that always gives me credibility is the way I can make a spreadsheet application dance. I've written in the past how, for certain problems, a spreadsheet application can double as a simple application development platform. Here is the Settlement "App" I've built in Numbers.

If you are looking at getting better at spreadsheets, Rob Griffiths wrote up a nice summary at Macworld of nine things you should know how to do with a spreadsheet.

 

Sponsor: Beloved Robot

This week MacSparky.com is sponsored by Beloved Robot, a group of app developers that get it. 

Got At Idea?

Do you have an idea that will take your business to the next level? Want enable your employees to be more productive and efficient? Solving these types of problems is their specialty. They can offer you the design and development that will solve problems, not create more.

Got An App?

Do you already have an app that needs a little love? Not happy with the look and feel? Let Beloved Robots developers take a look. They pride ourselves in creating beautiful apps that will stand out in a ever more crowded App Store.

Don’t Hesitate

The ever growing need for mobile solutions is not going away. Don’t stand aside and let the competition beat you to the punch. Engage your customers with a stunning mobile app and let the pros at Beloved Robot help you do that. They provide strategy, design and development services to clients that is a cut above the rest.

Beloved Robot has got you covered. 

Natural Scrolling in LaunchBar

launchbar-512.png

Apple has me so well trained on natural scrolling that when LaunchBar scrolls the old way through its lists, I panic a little. "Why is it going the wrong direction?" The LaunchBar gang has a post explaining their design decision. They also have a terminal commands for people like me that want a naturally scrolling LaunchBar. If you want natural scrolling in your LaunchBar, go into your terminal and type the below command. Then quit and relaunch LaunchBar and you'll be all fixed up.

defaults write at.obdev.LaunchBar NaturalScrolling YES


Jazz Friday: John Coltrane, A Love Supreme

John Coltrane is one of the most well-regarded saxophonists ever to pick up the instrument. He was a vital band member with Miles Davis and a force of his own as a solo artist. I used his Ballads album to serenade my children when they were babies and I still find myself playing it when I need a bit of serenity.

John was also quite spiritual. He recorded several albums that were spiritually inspired. In one of his seminal works, A Love Supreme, he wrote a Psalm and then, in the studio, put the words on his music stand and played them I first heard about this when I was 15 and playing the sax several hours a day. I couldn’t fathom someone playing words instead of music. However, I did read John’s Psalm and listen to the music and I did hear it.

Just a few weeks ago, Dan Colman made a video at OpenCulture, that shows you John’s original words overlaid with the music. I found it mesmerizing to watch as I could put myself in the head of this musical genius and look at the words float by as the notes come out.

My thanks to David in Cincinnati for pointing me at the OpenCulture post.



About that Sapphire Crystal Video

I'm going to declare the release of the below video demonstrating an alleged Sappphire crystal display from the next iPhone the official opening of iPhone rumor silly season. Every year about this time, the parts leaks start up giving us increased information about the next iPhone, which Apple will probably announce in September or October. While the video is impressive, I'm not sure how relevant the tests were. I've been using iPhones without cases since the first iPhone. Granted I'm pretty careful about it (the left pocket is for iPhone only) but I have never had a scratch on the glass of any of my iPhones.

Shattered glass is another story. The real test I would like to see with this Sapphire crystal (if this is Sapphire crystal), is shatter resistance. If Apple is incorporating this new material and it can dramatically decrease the amount of shattered screens, then we are talking.

Either way, I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more links and stories in the coming months leading up to Apple's announcement. Moreover, if the new material is used and is more shatter resistant, I'm certain that Tim and gang will be shouting that from the rooftops at the eventual announcement.

Home Screens - Hardik Pandya

This week’s home screen features Hardik Pandya from the Netherlands. Hardik was featured here once before when he was still a student. Now he runs a company. Okay Hardik, show us your home screen.

Who are you? What do you do?

I’m Hardik Pandya, I am a developer, hobby photographer and a writer. I run a company with a friend of mine at Octal which is a automation systems and product design studio. I write most of my articles at my own website, connect with people on Twitter and share photos on my VSCO Grid.

I use an iPhone 5S 16GB model in Gold color. That awesome wallpaper is here.

What apps do you use the most and why?

Not a lot has changed from when I showed my homescreen the previous time. Currently I have a few of the basic Apple stock apps and a few of the best replacements I could find out from our good folks on the Internet.

Calendars 5: I love and prefer this over Fantastical because of its better Week, Day and Month views. I use calendar on my iPhone mostly to check sports schedule and plan my travels. I do not prefer using it to schedule appointments and meetings because that’s what I use another app I will discuss in a while.

Instagram / Over / Vine / VSCO Cam: I am a photographer at heart. I edit photos I take on my phone and for that I use VSCO Cam and its large array of filters. It’s a great great app. Over is an app that I use to put typography on my photos that looks great sometimes (not always, but a good app to have). Vine is an app I mostly use to share some visual bugs that we encounter while product development with my colleagues. It’s a great use-case but of course not much useful with the social nuance of Vine.

Pocket Casts: The Sweet Setup guys called it! I was using it since even before their iOS 7 redesign and I loved it even back then. Just the best podcatcher out there before you finally try Marco’s Overcast.

Simplenote: I have always loved a simple text catching app that is always handy and just a click away. Its speed and reliability in sync has always prevented me to look at other options. I long-ditched Evernote for its bulky and overblown premises. I use Simplenote for starting blogpost ideas and at times building lists.

Day One: The most used and the most priced possession on my phone. It contains so many life-long memories I could just pay Paul Mayne a yearly fees just as a mark of appreciation for building this gem.

Telegram (www.telegram.org): WhatsApp got acquired and I decided to move on for Instant Messaging needs. Telegram is cross-platform, free (will always be) and even has desktop/Mac apps and web-apps. Perfect for chatting from the laptop whenever you feel typing on the phone makes you mad.

Reeder / Interesting / Pushpin / Zite: My news-reading begins in Reeder and Interesting (from Mike Rundle) and good and long articles end up in Pinboard (the best bookmarking service that recently completed 5 years of existence). Pinboard is link-saving nirvana.

1Password & Tweetbot: Well, no surprises here.

LiveScore: A free and awesome app for following your favorite sport. Football World Cup is going on and I use this app to stay up-to-date with all the matches and schedules. It supports Football, Cricket and a lot of other sports. I really cannot live without it for the sake of the FOMO.

Todoist: Todoist is my task-manager of choice. I love OmniFocus too. But OmniFocus is not exactly for teams nor does it have a web component. I have my own company and we have a team. We use Todoist and it’s great for sharing projects and tasks and delegating tasks without much of a deep hierarchy or a learning curve. It’s pretty straight-forward and easy to get up and running with.

Slack: Our tool of choice for inter-company communication. It’s great for chatting with colleagues, sharing files and troubleshooting with code snippets. It has web, native and mobile components and is even free to start with.

So these are the tools I use to get my daily work, social communication and entertainment done. There’s been a lot that evolved since my last iOS 6 screen covered here on MacSparky but that’s the nature of this industry!

What’s your favorite feature of the iPhone?

Control Center. I can’t imagine going to the Photography folder to pull out the camera without missing a moment. Control Center makes switching to Camera, Torch and Music much faster. Indispensable.

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

ThreesRuzzle and Monster Dash too. But mostly Threes. I even played 2 games in the middle of writing this article. It’s so addictive I need psychological help.

Thanks Hardik.

MPU Live 202

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.


 

Broadwell Delays

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.

Sponsor: Rocket Matter

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.


 

Sponsor: Rocket Matter and Free Ebook

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. 


 

New MacSparky Field Guide: Presentations

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.

MPU 200: The Story So Far …

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.