Web Finds for November 17, 2019

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

IBM Finds Its Mac Users to Be More Productive Than PC Users
Today, during the keynote at the 2019 JNUC, Previn was back on stage to share research claiming that Macs enable IBM employees to be more productive, and also improve employee satisfaction and retention. IBM now has 290,000 Apple devices deployed in the company.
Via TidBits

Apple Research app
With the Research app, volunteering to help advance medical understanding has been greatly simplified.1 You can sign up for a study (or studies) right from your iPhone. If you meet the criteria for a given study, you’re in. It’s that easy.
Via Apple

Save Safari Web Pages to PDFs on iOS with Dropbox App
Dropbox has just updated its iOS app, and the latest version includes a useful new addition:

“Save to Dropbox” App Extension now saves PDF versions of websites from Safari (iOS 8 & 9 only) — to enable, you can tap the share icon in Safari and toggle the extension from the “More” section
Via Kirkville

How to Use iOS 13’s Text Editing Gestures on iPhone and iPad
With the release of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, Apple introduced a number of new text editing taps and gestures that can be performed on both iPhones and iPads. These taps and gestures make it quicker and easier to do things like select text, copy and paste, undo and redo edits, and move the cursor around the screen.
Via MacRumors

Previous Web Finds are here.

Store Ulysses files in Dropbox instead of iCloud

Ulysses is my favorite writing app. But I have had iCloud sync issues with it off and on since I started using it. Well, I have solved that problem forever.

With Ulysses 18 it’s possible to use Dropbox in place iCloud for sync. The ability to do that hasn’t been widely written about so I’m guessing a lot of folks don’t know about it. I stumbled across it in the Ulysses library settings. I searched for information about it on the Ulysses website and here’s what I found.

Ulysses 18 & External Folders

One of our most requested features, like… ever, was to allow Ulysses files to be stored on Dropbox (or any sync service for that matter). Well, with Ulysses 18, you can finally do it!

We’ve added the option to use native Ulysses files in external folders, no strings attached. These files offer the full feature set, from Markdown XL right down to attachments, goals and everything else. So if you don’t want to use iCloud (or are not allowed to), you now have an alternative means of syncing your work.

I moved all my writing into Dropbox and disabled iCloud in the Ulysses library settings. So far everything is working flawlessly.

Convert existing external folders to Ulysses’ own format

If you already have lots of Markdown files in external folders and you want to benefit from the advantages of our Ulysses files, simply create a new folder, change the file format and drag your existing text files into the new folder.

My choice for a Safari 13 content blocker on Mac

With Safari 13 my favorite Mac ad and tracker blocker uBlock Origin, along with a few other extensions, no longer work. Because of this, I have switched to Firefox as my main browser. That said there will still be times when I will want to use Safari and will want an ad and tracker blocker.

I tried Ghostery Lite but I had two issues with it. It doesn’t block YouTube ads and I didn’t like the way it handles space left behind by blocked ads.

For now, I’ve settled on Wipr. Wipr blocks all ads, trackers, cryptocurrency miners, EU cookie and GDPR notices, and other annoyances. I also switched to Wipr for Safari on my iPhone and iPad in place of BlockBear. BlockerBear was working fine but for consistency, I switched to Wipr.

Back to Dropbox after a short stint with iCloud Drive

Along with being done with Apple Notes, I’m also done with iCloud Drive. After updating to iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2 iCloud sync is a mess.

I should have never moved from Dropbox to iCloud in the first place but I did based the recommendation of the same folks that were singing the praises of Apple Notes. Well, I’ve never had an issue with Dropbox and I’ve used it since it was released in 2008. You know the old saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. I should pay more attention to that saying in the future. So last night I moved all my files out of iCloud and back into Dropbox.

I’m done with Apples Notes

I have never liked Apple Notes because I have found it to be unreliable in several ways. But a few months ago I thought I would give it a try because I kept reading and hearing good things about it. So I copied all my notes from Bear to Apple Notes. After doing so everything was running along smoothly. As a fall back I kept my notes up in Bear and I’m glad I did.

So, here we are with iOS 13 and iPadOS and Notes is having sync issues. After reading a few support forums I found this to be a common problem among Apple Notes users. Notes fail to sync, or at best, some notes randomly sync hours later. I don’t have the patience for this.

I’m back to Bear for notes and short-form writing. I have over 500 notes and never had a sync issue. Another great thing about Bear is that I can backup my notes just in case. I also missed the ability to export a note if I wanted to.

Goodbye Apple Notes never again.

iOS 13, iPadOS, and watchOS 6

A couple of days ago I installed iOS 13 on my iPhone and iPadOS on my iPad. I’ve taken some time to review the new features in both OS’s. I did that by watching the below videos by 9to5 Mac and found them to be very informative.

With iOS 13 I don’t see much that will change how I use my iPhone. On the other hand, I see quite a bit in iPadOS that will change how I use my iPad. Particularly the multitasking features.

The upgrade on my Apple Watch didn’t go smoothly. I’m not sure how to explain this but my Watch update was stuck on an old update 5.3.2 that never finished downloading and installing. My Watch was actually on 5.3.1. I got a message that the install was paused because I needed to connect the Watch to WiFi. So I did that but it was still stalled. As a last resort, I rebooted my iPhone and Watch and went back into the Watch software update and the stall cleared its self out and then the 6.1 update appeared. After that, the install completed with no problems. Bye the way, I like the new California watch faces in watchOS 6. Very cool!

As for macOS Catalina on my MacBook Pro? Well, that’s going to have to wait. It is riddled with problems that I don’t want to deal with. I might not Catalina and just wait for next years macOS update in hopes that it will be a stability update.

TunnelBear VPN security and privacy

TunnelBear was my first and only VPN service. I’ve been using it on my MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad trouble-free for the last 4 years.

I choose TunnelBear for its simple setup and ease of use as well as it’s transparency about the data it does and doesn’t collect. Another big plus is that the software has been through two security audits by Cure53. All this gives me peace of mind that I can trust the TunnelBear VPN.

If you’re looking for a VPN you should consider TunnelBear.