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.

Recommended iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS Catalina reviews

I read a lot of reviews when Apple releases their new OS’s. That way I’m up to speed on what to expect when I finally decide to install them.

MacStories reviews are always one of the best.

iOS and iPadOS 13: The MacStories Review
No stone is left unturned in iOS 13 – and that includes iPad too.
via MacStories

macOS Catalina: The MacStories Review
With Catalina, Apple has taken clear, though not always successful, steps to bridge the divide between the Mac and iOS. App functionality has been realigned, System Preferences has been rearranged, and new features have been added to make it easier to move from one platform to the other.
Via MacStories

iOS 13 Reminders app incompatible with macOS 10.14 and earlier

If you have iOS devices and an iPad or Mac you’re going to want to read this Apple Support article regarding the new Reminders app before you upgrade to iOS 13. This may save you a lot of frustration.

Upgraded reminders aren’t compatible with earlier versions of iOS and macOS. If you upgrade your reminders on your iPhone with iOS 13, your iPad and Mac using the same iCloud account can’t access your reminders until iPadOS and macOS 10.15 Catalina are available.

Brave browser not remembering per site Shield settings

The other day I wrote that I have been testing Brave on my Mac as my primary browser. So I’m in the process of setting everything up the way I want it. One issue I was having was Shield changes that I made on individual sites weren’t being remembered after quitting and restarting Brave. I tried finding an answer to this issue with a google search but with no luck.

So I did a little tinkering around and here’s how I fixed it.

Go to Settings > Additional settings > Privacy and security > Clear browsing data and make sure Site settings is unchecked in the Advanced and On exit tabs.

Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 DNS server issue

I thought I was having intermittent WiFi dropouts with my MacBook Pro. It started all of a sudden a couple of days ago. The odd thing is, it wasn’t happening on any other devices or my wife’s new MacBook Air.

It was getting frustrating. Websites would take forever to load. Sometimes they would time out. I rebooted my MacBook and turned WiFi on and off. I rebooted my modem and Eero. I ran a speedtest and that also checked good. And after all that the issue persisted.

At a loss for what to do next, I finally remembered that I’m using Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS servers. Could that be it?

Yes! I switched back to my ISP’s DNS servers. After doing that everything was working as it should work. I then switched to OpenDNS servers and they worked fine as well.

I’m guessing Cloudflare is having some sort of an unresolved issue with there 1.1.1.1 servers.

The MacSparky Keyboard Maestro Field Guide

Keyboard Maestro is one of my most used Mac apps. In fact, I’ve written several articles about how I use it here on this blog.

Here are a few of those articles:

Keyboard Maestro Macro – Getting URLs from Safari
Keyboard Maestro macro for plain-text pasting anywhere
Launch your favorite Mac apps with keyboard shortcuts | Keyboard Maestro
Quickly quit all open applications at once on your Mac – Keyboard Maestro

If you’ve been thinking about getting Keyboard Maestro now would be a great time. Here’s why. David Sparks has just released his MacSparky Keyboard Maestro Field Guide. This is a great way to get started. There are over 4 hours of streaming or downloadable video, 76 separate videos, 8 separate sections, many downloadable Keyboard Maestro scripts, and lots of knowledge, tricks, and hacks to make your Mac dance.

David is offering an introductory price of $24 for a limited time. Along with the introductory price for the Field Guide the developer is also offering a limited time 20% discount for the Keyboard Maestro application.

If you don’t have the Keyboard Maestro application yet, no problem. Keyboard Maestro’s developer digs the new Field Guide so much that he is giving 20% off the purchase of the Keyboard Maestro app for a limited time to celebrate the release of the new Field Guide. Just use the offer code “KMFG” when purchasing the Keyboard Maestro application.

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Moom for Mac window management

The other day, I bought Moom after trying the free trial for about an hour. It’s an amazing Mac app for managing windows. As a side note, I’d tried it several times before but gave up on it because I found getting started confusing.

Before Moom, I was bouncing back a forth between Better Touch Tool and Magnet. I wasn’t really happy with either one and was looking for a replacement. This time around I was determined to understand how Moom works. So, after installing it I did a search for getting started with Moom. I came across this video Wrangle Your Windows with Moom by Kevin Yank that does a great job of explaining how to set up and use it.

If you’re looking for a way to manage windows on your Mac you ought to download the Moom trial and get started by watching Kevin Yank’s video. You’ll be glad you did.

Day One encryption

I have been using Day One for going on three years now. One concern I’ve had is that journals by default are encrypted but with Day One holding the encryption key. This means that someone at Day One might be able to access my journals. Journals with Standard encryption are also exposed to a data breach or security glitch. This has caused me to limit what I write in them.

Now, after reading Shawn Blanc’s ”Best Journaling App for iPhone, iPad, and Mac” on The Sweet Setup I’ve taken his advice and enabled End-to-end encryption for all my journals.

Shawn Blanc:

End-to-end encryption is not turned on by default for providing the best type of security for your journal entries, as users must maintain their encryption key at all times to unlock journals if necessary. As Day One’s FAQ puts it:

When using end-to-end encryption, it is essential you save your encryption key in a secure location. If you lose your key, you will not be able to decrypt the journal data stored in the Day One Cloud. You’ll need to restore your data from an unencrypted locally-stored backup.

We recommend turning on end-to-end encryption whenever you create a new journal to ensure your data is always kept safe and secure. Save your encryption key in an app like 1Password or a locked note inside Notes.app and never lose the key.

Now no one has access to my journals without the encryption key. I keep it in 1Password.

Getting the link for an Apple Mail Message

This post by David Sparks aka MacSparky from a couple of days ago provides an Apple Script that he uses to get links to Apple Mail messages anywhere using TextExpander.

It’s easy to understand and there’s also a video that shows you how and why you would want to use it.

After reading the post and watching the video I decided that this would be something that I would use. Only one problem. I don’t use TextExpander. So after thinking about it for a few minutes, I figured I could accomplish the same thing using a Keyboard Maestro macro.

Here’s the macro:

This Keyboard Maestro macro works the same way as David’s TextExpander snippet. Now type “;elink” in any app that can take a URL and you create a link to the currently selected email message. I’m primarily using it in Things 3 and Bear.

Here’s the AppleScript if you want to copy and paste it:

(*
  Returns a link to the first selected Apple Mail message
*)
tell application "Mail"
  set _msgs to selected messages of message viewer 0
  if (_msgs is not equal to missing value) then
    set _msg to first item of _msgs
    set _msgID to do shell script "/usr/bin/python -c 'import sys, urllib; print urllib.quote(sys.argv[1])' " & (message id of _msg)

    return "message://%3C" & (_msgID) & "%3E"
  end if
end tell

 

How I fast charge my iPhone

Here’s a trick I learned a while back.

There are times I want to fast charge my iPhone. By the way, I’m still using my iPhone 7 Plus. The 5W charger that comes with most iPhones is not able to fast charge and it’s also not able to charge other devices like my iPad.

Now, here’s the trick. Most iPads come with a 12W charging block. So to speed up charging on my iPhone I use my iPad charging block. According to Apple charging your iPhone with the iPad charger block won’t harm your iPhone.

Next time you want to speed up the charging time on your iPhone give this a try.

Local programming for cord cutters

One of the problems with cord cutting is getting local programming. When we lived in Southern California we were able to get it using a Mohu HDTV antenna.

One of the limitations of HDTV antennas is that they have an average range of 30 to 65 miles. Living in Central New Jersey now we are too far away from our local market, which is New York City, for an HDTV antenna to pick up the signals. So, we have been without local programming until now.

The other day we got an email from Sling TV, to which we subscribe, introducing Locast for local programming. Locast is a new live TV streaming service that offers access to local stations including ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. Locast recently added support for Roku Players and Roku TV. So, now we can stream local channels for free on our Roku using the Locast Roku Channel.

If you’re interested, Locast local programming is available for free in the following markets.

  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Dallas
  • Denver

Setting up an iPad for an elderly user before gifting

I saw this timely article on AppleToolBox today and thought it would be worth sharing. This article is specific to the iPad but it’s also good advice if you’re gifting an iPhone or Mac to an elderly user.

Sandy Writtenhouse, Writing for AppleToolBox How To Setup an iPad for Elderly User Before Gifting

If you’re purchasing an iPad for an elderly loved one, whether for the holidays or their birthday, one of the best things you can do is set it up before you give it to them. This makes the process of starting to use it much easier for them.

Conserve your MacBook’s battery with this keyboard setting

Did you know the MacBook has a setting to power off the keyboard backlight after a period of inactivity? I didn’t. This is the same concept as the Energy Saver feature for your display.

The setting is here: System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard > Turn keyboard backlight off after X secs of inactivity.

This isn’t something I would use all the time but it could come in handy in a pinch. Give it a try the next time you’re in a situation where you need to conserve your MacBook’s battery power.

How to View Folder Sizes on Mac Using Finder

I don’t often need to know the size of a folder but when I did I didn’t know how to find the size until recently.

When you use Finder’s List view to work with files on your Mac, the Size column tells you the size of each file, but when it comes to folders in the list, Finder just shows a couple of dashes instead.

Here’s how to view the size of a folder. Click File in the menu bar and hold the Option key, and Get Info will turn into Show Inspector. Unlike a Get Info panel, the Inspector panel is dynamically updated and will always display information for the active Finder window’s currently selected file or folder – including, of course, its size.

Magic Mouse randomly losing connection

I have been having issues with my Magic Mouse losing its connection. It was happening so often that it was driving me crazy. I had to do something about it.

I started by doing a google search for “Magic Mouse keeps losses connection”. I found a forum where other folks were having the same problem. This suggestion by sbeddoesdesign in an Apple Discussion Forum solved my problem:

I had this problem too, turns out a slight design flaw with the mouse is that smaller batteries come loose and power is lost, so the bluetooth dies. You’ll probably find that it loses connection when you’re moving it around quite a lot, in particular, when you lift it up off of the desk and put it back down again. See, different brands of battery tend to be ever so slightly varied in size, and smaller ones tend to be more ‘loose’ in the mouse and an be shaken loose when moving the mouse around.

The best solution (the one which worked for me) is to grab a set of Apple’s own rechargeable batteries from their store as they are just the right size to fit in the mouse without ever being shaken loose.

If you can’t do this, some people find that wedging a bunch of paper between the two batteries and between the batteries and the mouse door can help keep them in place.

Wedging a bunch of paper between the two batteries and between the batteries and the mouse door worked for me. If you’re experiencing the same problem with your Magic Mouse I hope this solves the problem for you as it did me.

iOS 12 keyboard trackpad on iPhone or iPad

Having a trackpad on my iPhone and iPad comes in really handy for moving the cursor around in a document versus trying to tap the cursor where I want it.

If you’re not using the trackpad feature you should give it a try. Here’s how:

If your device has 3D Touch – which includes most iPhones since 2015’s iPhone 6s – you can hard press the keyboard whenever it’s present onscreen, turning it into a makeshift trackpad. If you have an iPhone SE or iPhone XR with iOS 12 -both of which lack 3D Touch -you can now long-press the spacebar to invoke the same trackpad.

Via appleinsider

Web Finds for October 26, 2018

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!

Apple’s Privacy Website Updated to Reflect Latest Measures Taken in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave – Mac Rumors
Apple updated its privacy website to reflect the latest measures it has implemented in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave to protect customers.
Via MacRumors

How to Request a Copy of Your Apple ID Account Data – Mac Rumors
Apple now allows its customers to download a copy of their personally identifiable data from Apple apps and services. This can include purchase or app usage history, Apple Music and Game Center statistics, marketing history, AppleCare support history, and any data stored on Apple servers, including the likes of calendars, photos, and documents.
Via MacRumors

Apple News’s Radical Approach: Humans Over Machines – The New York Times
Via The New York Times

Here’s How the New UltraFICO Credit Score Will Work
The biggest shift in three decades is coming to how FICO credit scores are calculated next year.
Via lifehacker

Previous Web Finds are here.