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.

Marked 2 update includes improved Bear integration

Brett Terpstra released a nice upgrade to Marked 2 yesterday with some improvements for Bear integration. I purchased my copy of Marked a couple of years ago through the App Store. To preview what I was writing in Bear in Marked was a bit tricky. I always wondered why. In fact, it took me a while to figure out how to do it. Well, Brett answers why it was tricky.

Before I start talking too much about Bear, there’s one issue to note. Bear writes its preview files out to a system temp folder that Marked can’t permanently access from the sandboxed Mac App Store version, so users are constantly asked for permission. If you’re using Bear with the Mac App Store version of Marked, I offer a free crossgrade to the unsandboxed direct version. If you use the Help->_Report an Issue_ feature and just send me the top part of the report section (above the ---), I’ll consider that enough proof to provide you with a license. You can also contact me through the support forum.

I took Brett up on his offer for the crossgrade to the unsandboxed version Marked. Now viewing what I’m writing in Bear in Marked works as it does in my other apps.

If you’re using the App Store version of Marked I suggest you also take Brett up on his offer. You’ll be glad you did especially if you use Bear.

You’ll want to delete the App Store version of Marked and then install the unsandboxed version.

 

App Update issue in the Mojave Mac App Store

There’s a Mac and iOS app update for Bear out today. I ran the update on my iPhone, iPad and iMac without a hitch. On my MacBook, the update wasn’t showing up in the Mac App Store Updates section on my MacBook. I knew it was available because as I already said I had run the update on my iMac.

In the old App Store, when you went to the Updates tab it would automatically look for all new updates. In the new App Store it appears to not do the same. Anyway, I closed the App Store and relaunched it, went to the Updates section and the Bear update still wasn’t there.

If this ever happens to you there’s a way to force the page to reload. Here’s what you do. Open the App Store > Updates > Store in the Menu Bar > click on Reload Page. After doing that my Bear update showed up.