Web Finds for July 24, 2017

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique, informative, and some of the coolest websites and apps that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

GoodNotes for iOS lets you take beautiful handwritten notes and annotate PDF documents. The handwritten notes are searchable and are created using a pioneering vector ink engine. Thanks to iCloud sync, your documents in GoodNotes will synchronize between your iPad and iPhone automatically.

If copy & paste is a part of your workflow, Pastebot for Mac is an indispensable tool to improve your productivity. Quickly recall clippings that you have copied before and apply powerful text filters to format before pasting. You can even queue up multiple copies to paste in sequence. Pastebot is always running and only a keyboard shortcut away to command copy & paste.

Mellel for Mac is a sophisticated, time-tested, word processor, designed for writing long and complicated documents, books, manuscripts, dissertations, and more.

Forklift 3
ForkLift 3 for Mac is the most advanced dual pane file manager and file transfer client for macOS.

Previous Web Finds are here.

Open Safari URL in Chrome – Keyboard Maestro

Safari is my main browser. From time to time I come across a website that doesn’t play well with Safari. When this happens I open the site in Chrome. To do this I have to copy the URL from Safari -> launch Chrome -> and paste the URL into Chrome. To many steps. To simplify this, I have a Keyboard Maestro macro to automate the steps with the hotkey ⌃⌘G.

Here’s how to create the macro:

Can iPad replace my laptop?

Brett Terpstra recommended this article in Web Excursions for July 14, 2017.

An in-depth look at the current state of the question “Can iPad really replace my laptop?”

This is an excellent article that will help you decide whether an iPad or MacBook is better for you.

Can iPad replace my laptop? by Joshua Carpentier

In this post, we’ll have a look at the biggest changes to iPad with iOS 11, when an iPad is most suitable as a laptop replacement, and when a laptop is still the best choice. We’ll even look at a THIRD OPTION you’re probably not aware of that gives you the best of both worlds. But let’s start with taking a look at what you should think about (but aren’t) before making any purchase.

What to consider before buying a new computer

When looking for a new computer, many (I’d even argue, most) people claim they “need a laptop”—usually because that’s what they’ve always had. And so they naturally think that’s what they still need because they haven’t done these two things:

  1. Assess what they actually do on a computer
  1. Learn about the changes in technology since they last made a laptop purchase

I’ve always felt that an iPad couldn’t replace my laptop. I’m even more convinced after reading this article.

Productivity tools like Alfred and Keyboard Maestro are a major part of my daily workflow. These tools have no iOS counterpart. I use both many many times everyday and I’m not willing to work without them.

I prefer to do most of my writing on my iMac instead of 13″ MacBook Pro Retina because of the extra screen space. I’ll often have Ulysses, Marked, nvALT, DEVONthink, and Safari open at the same time. Safari may have up to 10 or 15 tabs open as well. I can’t imagine doing this on iPad.

After reading the article you’ll have a better idea on whether an iPad can replace your laptop.

1Password responds about local vaults

This is a follow-up to my article July 12, 2017. Dave Teara, in an agilebits blog post, has clarified that for now local vaults will continue to be supported.

blog.agilebits.com · by Dave Teare · July 13, 2017:

Many Mac users worry that the same fate awaits 1Password 6 for Mac, and that we will remove support for local vaults and force them to pay again.

This isn’t going to happen. First, it would be evil to take away something you’ve already paid for. And evil doesn’t make for a Happy 1Password Customer, which is the cornerstone for a Happy 1Password Maker. It’s simply not who we are.

For those who purchased 1Password 6 for Mac already, you’re perfectly fine the way you are and can continue rocking 1Password the way you have been. There’s no requirement to change anything as we will not be removing features or forcing you to subscribe. In fact we’re still selling licenses of 1Password 6 for Mac for those that really need them (you can find them today on the setup screen under More Options).

And you need not worry about 1Password 7 for Mac, either, as it will continue to support standalone vaults just like version 6 does today.

We know that not everyone is ready to make the jump yet, and as such, we will continue to support customers who are managing their own standalone vaults. 1Password 6 and even 1Password 7 will continue to support standalone vaults.

There’s a message in Dave’s closing statement:

But 1Password memberships are indeed awesome and are the best way to use 1Password, and as such, I am going to continue to nudge you over when ever I can.

1Password takes it on the chin over subscriptions and cloud vaults

There was a lot of buzz over the weekend about the future of 1Password when it emerged that the service’s new subscription-based model will push users to adopt a cloud-based password storage system over locally stored password vaults.

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai writing at Motherboard:

In the last few years, 1Password has become a favorite for hackers and security researchers who often recommend it above all other alternatives… Last weekend, though, several security researchers tweeted that 1Password was moving away from allowing people to pay for a one-time license and have local password vaults, in favor of its cloud-based alternative that requires a monthly subscription.

I moved from LastPass to 1Password in Oct 2015. Why? The main reason was local vault versus having my vault on the web.

I have to say. I wouldn’t be happy if I were being forced to move to a 1Password cloud subscription plan. If I were, I’d be pissed off enough to move back to LastPass. At this point, I’m not. From reading the forums and comments by Dave Teare we tech savvy users, who want control over our vault, will be able to continue using our local vault version of 1Password for the foreseeable future.

For new users, it’s going to be difficult to buy a license for the local vault version. I searched the 1Password website and saw no option to buy the standalone version. From reading the forums It sounds like the only way to do this is to write to 1Password and request it.


Yet even with the statements provided to the public, the messaging has been mixed at best. On the product’s support forums, customers are regularly complaining that it’s become a huge challenge to buy and use the local vault version of 1Password while employees say such a request is now “complicated” and that they “want all new customers to use 1Password.com subscriptions as it is simpler to use by default.”

Dave Teare says, March 1, 2017 at 9:01 pm:

You asked “why not?” have both 1Password memberships and standalone licenses at the same time. Certainly you’re right that I don’t want to do anything to piss off our long time customers. And that’s exactly why we’re rolling out 1Password memberships exactly the way we are. You can purchase a standalone license today just like you could last week.

In defense of 1Password, I would agree that the cloud subscription model is far easier for the average non-techie user to setup and use.

Productivity Apps and Subscription Pricing

This post by David Sparks from a couple of days ago got me to thinking about the impact the subscription model will have on the end user and ultimately the developer.

David uses the recent event of the journaling app Day One going to a subscription model as the basis for his post. He also makes reference to a post by Gabe Weatherhead on the same subject.

David Sparks:

Day One, the best diary app for iOS and Mac is transitioning to a subscription model and they are taking a beating for it. Gabe Weatherhead wrote a post about this and I agree with every word.

Gabe Weatherhead:

So, the obvious question: Am I signing up for the new Day One service? The answer is “not right now.”

David Sparks:

I spoke with a developer friend that makes legal-related apps. He explained the transition of his app to a subscription model as a last resort to keep the lights on but also “the worst two months of my life”.

My fear, as someone who really likes quality productivity apps is that all this will end up driving productivity apps out of business.

Those apps take a lot of time and attention to do right while at the same time consumers are not used to paying subscriptions for them.

The traditional model for productivity apps was the upgrade price, where developers released a new version every year or so and everyone paid a reduced fee upgrade price.

In the meantime expect more quality apps to go to the subscription model and, if they are apps you love (or even like), I’d encourage you to support them through the transition.

My thoughts on the subscription model for the end user:

I have two productivity apps that I use many times every day. They have a lot of overlap. But each does things that the other doesn’t do. Now let’s say they both decide to go to a subscription model. I’m likely not going to pay a subscription for both. So one of the developers will lose. With the upgrade price mode, I have the option to upgrade none, one or both apps. Whether I upgrade or not I can continue using the app that I originally paid for.

I’m not a fan of this model. I think the subscription model has the potential to kill some great apps. Many end users myself included have to take a hard look at the cost of app subscriptions. With only so much money to go around I have to be selective with the subscriptions that I sign up for. With the upgrade pricing model, I have the option of upgrading and paying the price or continuing to use the current version of the app.

Web Finds for July 7, 2017

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique, informative, and some of the coolest websites and apps that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

CheatSheet is a free Mac app that displays an app’s keyboard shortcuts in an opaque pop-up in the vein of a Quick Look preview. Holding down the command key for a couple seconds brings up the entire list of shortcuts for the active application. While holding down the command key, you can click on commands with your mouse cursor to activate that command. If you want to learn all of the useful keyboard shortcuts to get the most out of your Applications, CheatSheet is what you’ve been looking for. It runs in the background without taking up menubar or dock space on your Mac.

AppCleaner is a small Mac application which allows you to thoroughly uninstall unwanted apps. Installing an application distributes many files throughout your System using space of your Hard Drive unnecessarily. AppCleaner finds all these small files and safely deletes them.

Screens 4
Screens is a powerful VNC client app that lets you control any computer from anywhere as if you were sitting in front of it! Screens 4.0 for macOS adds curtain mode, drag-and-drop file transfers, touch bar support, and more.

Related Posts:
Web Finds for June 12, 2017
Web Finds for May 23, 2017
Web Finds for May 7, 2017

Previous Web Finds are here.

Bear vs nvALT and 1Writer for notes

At the time I wrote My Must Have Mac and iPhone Apps for 2017 I was using Bear as my notes app. Since then I have reverted back to nvALT and 1Writer.

Recently, Bear was awarded a 2017 Apple Design Award and has been getting some good press and user recommendations. I thought I should give it another look. As a trial, I imported all my plain text notes into Bear and I’m running it parallel to my nvALT on Mac and 1Writer on iOS setup.

Bear has a very pleasing UI. It’s nice to look at as well as write in. Bear has both a Mac app and iOS app. I also like Bears x-callback-url schemes for automating parts of my workflow with Alfred, Keyboard Maestro, and Launch Center Pro.

But, I like having plain text notes so they can be accessed from other applications. For example, at times I like use BBEdit on my Mac to work with my plain text files. This isn’t possible with Bear since all files are stored in an iCloud database. Yes, I could export a file from Bear in several different file formats but it’s not the same. I also prefer nvALT’s vertical layout to Bears horizontal. It fits on the right side of my screen taking up very little space always ready to take a note.

Although I wrote this story using Bear it falls short as a writing app compared to Ulysses. This story will end up in Ulysses for final editing and publishing. I also have access to my plain text notes in Ulysses using the External Folders feature.

There is a cautionary lesson to be aware of with Bear. A large part of its appeal is in its more minimal design, and the more features it adds, the closer it could resemble the bloated apps it’s trying to replace.

I’m an edge case. But I’m the only edge case I care about. This trial could end up going either way. Bear is a nice notes app and text editor but still may not be a match for my nvALT and 1Writer setup?

Related Posts:
Quick Notes with nvALT and 1Writer
How I use Ulysses for writing, journaling and notes
My Must-Have Mac and iPhone Apps & Web Services for 2017