Apple CarPlay uses cellular data

We’ve been on a Verizon plan with only 2 GB of data for years and have only occasionally run out of data. Recently, we have been burning through it in just a few days. What changed?

We bought a new Jeep Wrangler that has CarPlay. According to this article by Jason Cross at MacWorld, “CarPlay itself doesn’t cost you anything. When you’re using it to navigate, message, or listen to music, podcasts, or audio books, you might use data from your phone’s data plan. Depending on your cellular data limits, that may end up costing you.”

We’ve upgraded our Verizon data plan and yes, it cost us more money.

Using a keyboard shortcut to trigger PopClip

In September 2017, I wrote a post on how to trigger PopClip when it didn’t appear using a Keyboard Maestro macro. With the release of PopClip version 2021.11 on November 3rd you can now set a keyboard shortcut in PopClip preferences. This comes in handy when PopClip fails to appear or disappears.

Guide to using the Keyboard Shortcut trigger in PopClip – How-Tos and Guides – PopClip Forum

PopClip 2021.11 introduced a new control in the prefs, to set a keyboard shortcut. This guide explains what the keyboard shortcut does, and how to choose, set and use it.

What the keyboard shortcut does:

It is a global keyboard shortcut that triggers PopClip to appear. Being global means it will be recognised by the system in whatever app you are using.

NetNewsWire 6 vs Reeder 5 iCloud sync

I’ve been using the free version of Feedly for RSS syncing with Reeder ever since I started using RSS. Reeder 5 introduced a built-in RSS/Feeds service using iCloud to keep everything in sync between devices. For privacy reason, I decided to start using iCloud instead of Feedly.

Here’s a friction point that I have with Reeder. It has three options for syncing background refresh, manually, and on start. My preference is background refresh, but with that option, I get a lot of feed timeouts. So, I’ve been using sync on start, which works fine but is really slow.

Now that NetNewWire 6 has iCloud syncing I’ve been checking it out. What I found is that NetNewsWire’s iCloud background refresh works flawlessly and manual syncing is lightening fast compared to Reeder.

This isn’t final, but I think I’m going to stick with NetNewsWire.

What will happen to PDFpen after the Nitro purchase?

PDFpen has been a part of my paperless workflow since I started it in 2017. Yesterday after reading about Nitro acquiring PDFpen on 9to5Mac I decided that it’s time to move on to a different app.

June 28, 2021 – Nitro to acquire PDFpen, expanding productivity to Mac, iPhone, and iPad users

Nitro Software Limited (ASX: NTO) (‘Nitro’ or the ‘Company’), a global document productivity software company driving digital transformation in organisations around the world, is pleased to announce the acquisition of PDFpen, a market-leading suite of PDF productivity applications for Mac, iPhone® and iPad®.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Nitro will acquire the PDFpen technology from US- based Smile, Inc. for $6 million in cash. The acquisition will be funded from the Company’s existing cash reserves.

According to the announcement, Nitro purchased the PDFpen technology (see the paragraph above). That brings up the question of what does that mean for the app? Does this mean Nitro will use the PDFpen technology to develop Nitro apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad and PDFpen will eventually disappear from the app landscape?

In light of this announcement and not being happy with PDFpen’s incredible confusing interface on the iPhone and iPad, I’m now using PDFViewer, which has a free version which is perfect for limited needs.

RSS reader NetNewsWire 6 is out for iPhone and iPad with iCloud sync

NetNewsWire 6 for iOS is now available on the App Store! This release brings new features — iCloud sync; sync with BazQux, Inoreader, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, and FreshRSS; home screen widgets; special support for Twitter and Reddit feeds; and more.”

If you’re not using RSS now is a perfect time to give it a try. NetNewsWire is free and with version 6, you can now use iCloud for syncing, saving the cost of a paid syncing service.

The one thing Apple Notes is missing

Quick note and tags are coming to Apple Notes in iPadOS 15. Even though these are nice additions, I doubt that Notes will become my everyday note-taking app, and here’s why.

Many of the notes that I take throughout the day are notes that I will want to do something with later. A note may become a task in Things, a reminder, or event in Fantastical, a new draft for this blog in Ulysses, or a journal entry in Day One. Missing from Notes is the lack of export options or actions to get notes out of Notes. This is a dealbreaker for making Notes my everyday note’s app. That’s why I use Drafts. Ya know, the old saying “text starts here”. Any text starts in Drafts, including stuff that may eventually end up in Notes.

That said, I do use Notes as cold storage for notes that I seldom reference. I have several hundred of these notes and Notes is the perfect place for them.

Journaling app Day One is now part of Automattic

Day One joins WordPress.com, Tumblr, Simplenote, and Longreads as part of Automattic.

Paul Mayne, writing for Day One Blog:

Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Day One is being acquired by Automattic Inc. This is incredibly exciting news. For the past 10 years since I started Day One, I’ve worked to not only create the best digital journaling experience in the world, but one that will last. By joining Automattic, I’m now more confident than ever that the preservation and longevity of Day One is sure. This acquisition will provide Day One access to the same technological, financial, and security benefits that WordPress.com, Tumblr, and other Automattic entities enjoy.

[…] 

When a small software company is acquired by a larger company, the original team is often swallowed up by the larger company. That’s not the case here. I’ll be remaining at the helm of Day One, leading the same passionate team that has been responsible for the development and design behind the app today. This means that the Day One you rely on to save your thoughts, photos, videos, audio recordings, and more isn’t going away. Instead, it’ll only get better, with future integrations with Tumblr and WordPress.com. Rest assured there are no current plans to change the privacy of Day One; safely protecting memories and creating a 100% personal space is the foundation upon which this company was built.

When an app that I use gets acquired I usually become concerned about its future. In this case I’m not. I have experience with both companies. I’ve been using Day One since 2016 and WordPress.com hosts this blog. I have a feeling we’ll look back on this acquisition as positive step forward for the Day One app.

If you have concerns about the acquisition please read the very thoughtful piece that MereCivilian has written on his blog.

Reeder 5 iCloud feeds sync revisited

I’m a long-time Reeder user for RSS. Not long after Reeder 5 was introduced I tried out the new iCloud feed sync feature. At the time I wrote that I wasn’t impressed.

I wanted to try iCloud feed sync thinking I could cancel my free Feedly account. I’ll share a couple of issues that I experienced and ultimately sent me back to using the free version of Feedly. First off I found iCloud feed sync to be much slower than Feedly. In addition to being much slower, often times feeds timed out and didn’t sync.

A few weeks ago I was having some sync issues with Feedly and while I was waiting for Feedly to fix them I decided to give iCloud feeds another go. And you know what? It’s now rock solid! It is so good that I’m leaving Feedly behind. I have had no issues with time-outs and in my opinion sync is just as fast as Feedly.

As a side note, David Sparks recently wrote about switching to Reeder 5 and using iCloud feeds for managing his RSS.

Looking at my toolset for managing RSS, it’s getting expensive. I currently use a Feed Wrangler account ($19 per year) to manage my feeds, Unread ($20 per year) to view my threads, and Instapaper ($30 per year) for read-it-later. In addition to being expensive, there is a certain amount of mental overhead that comes with managing data between three services that I would prefer to avoid.

[…]

This newest version of Reeder does a good job of managing your feeds, displaying your articles, and giving you the ability to set them aside to read later. It does all of this in one application, and in addition to the iPhone and iPad apps, there is also a Mac app. A nice bonus is that Reeder is a one-time purchase. There is no subscription involved. Instead, the developer releases a new version every few years that you buy over, but it is still far less expensive than what I paid for subscriptions. Reeder for iPhone and iPad is $5. On the Mac, it is $10.

Trying new apps

Greg Morris writing about trying out new shiny apps when he is already happy with what he is using.

It’s not that I have anything to gain, and it’s not marketing hype, I think I just like playing with new things and trying out other ways.

I guess it’s a bit of a waste of time but it give me quite a bit of enjoyment so what’s it matter. I enjoy the journey of transferring my information, setting things up to work for me. Those little “a ha” moments when you find a little feature that works are as enjoyable as finding a robust system and sticking with it.

I get it. I do this as well. I recently experimented with Notion and Obsidian and considered trying Craft. I didn’t switch to any of them. But I did enjoy the process and I now have a basic understanding of how each app works.

As a side note, I went in to a retail store without a face mask for the first time in 12 months this week. Even though I’m fully vaccinated, and the CDC says I don’t need to be concerned, I felt really uncomfortable without my mask. It’s going to take sometime before I stop feeling anxious when I’m not wearing a mask.