Alfred or Keyboard Maestro or both

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of Alfred and Keyboard Maestro.

Alfred was one of the first apps that I discovered after moving from a PC to a Mac. I use its features many times every day.

I discovered Keyboard Maestro a little later on. Since Alfred was already ingrained in the way I used my Mac there were a lot of its features that I didn’t use. There’s a lot of feature overlap between Alfred and Keyboard Maestro. Over time I created or accumulated a couple of dozen Keyboard Maestro macros some that I used often and others that I rarely used.

When Alfred 4 came out in June I immediately upgraded without a thought. I think the cost was around $15. Today I received an email from the developer of Keyboard Maestro letting me know that version 9 is now available with lots of new features and an upgrade price of $25. But, I’m having trouble justifying the upgrade. After reviewing what’s new I’m not sure I’ll use any of the new features or actions.

So that leads me to question whether I even needed Keyboard Maestro. I figured if I could recreate my KM macros as Alfred workflows I wouldn’t need Keyboard Maestro any longer. So that’s what I did. To my surprise, I was able to create Alfred workflows that would do the same thing that my KM macros did. To be fair to Keyboard Maestro I love the app but don’t need to apps that will do the same thing. Also, my macros were just scratching the surface of what Keyboard Maestro can do.

For now I’ve stopped using Keyboard Maestro and I’m using Alfred for 100% of my automation. Folks, this is what works for me but may not be what works for you.

1Password 6 will stop working with Safari 13

It was very disappointing to read that 1Password 6 will stop working with Safari 13.

On Monday, Apple released the macOS Catalina public beta that includes a preview of Safari 13, which is set for release this fall. We’ve discovered there’s lots to love about Safari 13, but we’ve also learned that it will no longer work for customers using 1Password 6.

I moved from LastPass to 1Password when LastPass had a security issue a few years ago. Another thing with LastPass, I didn’t like having my passwords on LastPass’ servers. At that time the 1Password vault was locally stored which is what I was looking for.

Now, here’s my dilemma. One, 1Password 7 is a subscription, which I don’t want, or I could buy the upgrade for the standalone version at $49.99 which I don’t want to do either since 1Password 6 does everything I need.

Here are my options:

1Password 6 will continue to work in Firefox and Chrome so I could switch to Firefox.

1Password 6 will continue to work with other browsers. Safari lovers like myself won’t want to hear this one, but if you’re stuck and really can’t upgrade, you can still use 1Password 6 in Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Vivaldi.

Or I could switch password managers and continue using Safari as my preferred browser. I have Enpass installed on my Macs, and iOS devices but haven’t used it. One thing I like about Enpass is vaults are locally stored and can sync via iCloud. I also like that Enpass is a purchase and not a subscription.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to experiment with my options.

No more subscription apps

I’m on a mission to eliminate all my subscription apps. I only have two more to go. Those would be Bear and Ulysses.

Why? I just don’t want to pay for an app over and over year after year especially when I already have other free and paid alternatives that work just as well for me.

Bear moving to Apple Notes
I’ve been using Bear as my notes app since leaving nvAlt a couple of years ago. Back then the Apples Notes app was very basic at best. Over the last couple of years, it’s been much improved. Don’t get me wrong, Bear is a great app. But, I’ve come to realize that I can do all that I need to do in Bear in Apples Notes. For now, I’m running both apps parallel until I’m absolutely positive Notes is going to work for me.

Ulysses moved to iA Writer
I’ve written about Ulysses a lot over the last few years. In my effort to eliminate subscription apps I recently moved all my writing to iA Writer and deleted Ulysses from all my devices and I will not be renewing my subscription.

Apple listening

I love the Mac. It’s my preferred computing device. What makes the Mac great are all the apps that increase productivity. I’m thinking about Alfred, Keyboard Maestro, PopClip, Moom, and Hazel to name a few. You won’t find these in iOS or iPadOS

So, my Mac’s are getting old. Up to today, I have been concerned with what I would replace them when the time comes?

If you care about the Mac as I do you’ll want to read Marco Arment’s article Apple is Listening. After WWDC and reading Marco’s article I’m encouraged about the future of the Mac and that I will be able to continue to enjoy the Mac and the apps that I love using.

But there has clearly been a major shift in direction for the better since early 2017, and they couldn’t be more clear now:

Apple is listening again, they’ve still got it, and the Mac is back.

Alfred 4 Is Here

My Mac launcher app has gotten an update.

Although I didn’t see much reason to upgrade from version 3 I did so anyway. I want to support the developer so I also upgraded my Powerpack license.

Alfred is an indispensable part of the daily use of my Macs. I use it at least 20 to 30 times every day. You can find all the articles that I’ve written about Alfred here.

 

Step count in the Health app not matching the step count in the Activity app

I have a goal of 10,000 steps every day. I’ve been doing this ever since I quit bike racing back in 2011. Before my Apple Watch, I tracked my steps with my Garmin Forerunner 35 and the Garmin Connect iOS app. Now I’m tracking my steps on my Apple Watch and the Activity and Health apps.

One thing that I noticed was that my step count in the Activity app was different than the step count in the Health app. Curious, I set out to see why this was happening. By the way, I noticed that a lot of folks were wondering the same thing.

Here’s how I fixed this issue. The answer is in this Apple Support article Manage Health data on your iPhone, iPod touch, or Apple Watch. The answer is in the Prioritize data sources section of the article.

Prioritize data sources

Here’s how to choose the sources that Health uses first:

  1. Open the Health app and tap the Health Data tab.
  2. Tap a category, like Activity.
  3. Tap a data type, like Steps.
  4. Tap Data Sources & Access, then tap Edit.
  5. Touch and hold next to a data source, then drag it up or down in the list.
  6. To turn off a data source so that it doesn’t contribute any more data for that category, tap the checkmark next to the source.
  7. Tap Done.

If multiple sources contribute the same data type, then the data source at the top will take priority over other sources. Any new apps or devices that you add go to the top of the list automatically, above your iPhone or iPod touch.

Once I moved my Apple Watch to the top of the list my steps in the Health app matched my steps in Activity app.

Why I now have an Apple Watch Series 4

I’ve been wearing a sports activity watch for several years. My main use case is to track my runs and to make sure that I meet my personal goal of 10,000 steps per day. I’ve been doing this with a Garmin Forerunner 35 and the Garmin Connect iOS app.

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were in our local Apple Store to have the contents on her old MacBook Pro migrated to her new MacBook Air. While we were there I spent a few minutes checking out the new Series 4 Apple Watch.

I was interested in the Apple Watch because I had just read Joe Cieplinski article about the Apple Watch detecting an irregular heartbeat. If I’m not mistaken he discovered that he had A-Fib using the ECG feature. Then within a few days, Stephen Hackett on Connected Episode 238 talked about a fall he had taken on his bike and how the Apple Watch Fall Detection worked. Now, these are both areas that are of interest to me. I have a history of heart problems and as I’ve gotten older I find that I’m more prone to losing my balance and possibly taking a tumble.

The heart features of the Apple Watch and Fall Detection are why I now own one. Because the Apple Watch also has wonderful activity tracking I now use it to also track my runs and step count. So, what did I do with my Forerunner 35? I gave it to my wife since her Fitbit was about to die.