Day One app support

I purchased the iOS version of Day One journaling app about a year and a half ago thinking I would use it for journaling in place of the journal I was keeping in a Ulysses. My journaling is pretty hit and miss so I never got into using Day One until now.

A few months ago I decided I wanted start documenting some of the activities in my life so I started doing that in Day One. I call it a Lifelog. I do this with words and photos which is a really nice way to document things. Now I’ve decided I’m going use Day One for all my journaling. With a couple of hours work, I moved all the journal entries that I had in Ulysses into Day One.

There’s only one missing. When I purchased Day One I only purchased the iOS app which I have on my iPhone and iPad. Now I think I would like to have the Mac app. Since my account is a grandfathered Plus account and not a subscription I wasn’t sure how to go about getting the Mac app.

Plus – grandfathered

For users that purchased Day One 2.0 between February 4, 2016 and June 27, 2017:  You will see this user status in the app settings. The status is per platform. If you owned Day One only on iOS, you will have Plus on iOS only.

So I contacted support to see if there was any way to get a trial of the Mac app with Plus status.

I have to say, this was the best support experience I’ve ever had. My support person was Adam. He understood what I wanted to do and offered to set me up for a one week trial. I said that would be wonderful. He said at the end of the trial I could purchase the Mac app with Plus status, or go for the Premium subscription with a discount for being a previous user, or just continue using the iOS app as I have been.

Adam was so nice and accommodating that I feel compelled to upgrade to the Premium subscription for at least one year. He said if I don’t renew the next year my plan reverts back to the iOS Plus plan which in the end would probably be fine.

Search Bear notes from Alfred

If you’re using Alfred and Bear I want to share a workflow with you that I use to search Bear notes or tags and open the result from Alfred.

Here’s how it works.

Searching and opening results

  • bs — Search for a note by title and open it in Bear.
  • bst — Search for a tag (a group of notes) by tag title and open it in Bear.

You can also create a new note from Alfred.

Creating a new note

  • bn — Create a new note with input as title. Tags optional.
    • bn I love notes! — Creates a new note with the title and text “I love notes!”
    • bn I love notes! #love #notes — Creates a new note with the title and text “I love notes!” and the tags “#love” and “#notes”

This saves some keystrokes if I’m not already working in Bear.

Download the workflow.

iCloud data is stored on Google servers

I always thought my iCloud data was stored in an Apple-owned data center. I’m not sure why I thought that. I guess I just assumed. Turns out it’s not. It’s being stored on Google and Amazon S3 servers.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. I started avoiding Google services several years ago. I left Gmail for Fastmail. I moved my calendars and contacts from Google to Apple Calendar and Contacts. Now I find out that Apple is storing my data on Google servers.

I guess we have to trust that Apple is properly securing our data on Google and Amazon’s servers. They say they are.

iCloud stores a user’s contacts, calendars, photos, documents, and more and keeps the information up to date across all of their devices, automatically. iCloud can also be used by third-party apps to store and sync documents as well as key values for app data as defined by the developer. Users set up iCloud by signing in with an Apple ID and choosing which services they would like to use. iCloud features, including My Photo Stream, iCloud Drive, and iCloud Backup, can be disabled by IT administrators via MDM configuration profiles. The service is agnostic about what is being stored and handles all file content the same way, as a collection of bytes.

Each file is broken into chunks and encrypted by iCloud using AES-128 and a key derived from each chunk’s contents that utilizes SHA-256. The keys and the file’s metadata are stored by Apple in the user’s iCloud account. The encrypted chunks of the file are stored, without any user-identifying information, using third-party storage services, such as S3 and Google Cloud Platform.

​CNBC first reported on this.

Don’t use Facebook’s data tracking Onavo VPN: It’s spying on you!

Facebook is always looking for new ways to violate user privacy. They’ve instituted a new one.

In the Facebook iOS mobile app, they recently added a new button under the Settings menu called “Protect”. When you click on “Protect” it takes you to an app in the App Store called “Onavo Protect – VPN Security”. Don’t install it.

This may seem like a good option for a free security app, but it’s not.

This is indeed a VPN. But, it routes all your web browsing and app usage data to a Facebook server. Think I’m kidding? I’m not. They even tell you they are.

From the Onavo description in the App Store

To provide this layer of protection, Onavo uses a VPN to establish a secure connection to direct all of your network communications through Onavo’s servers. As part of this process, Onavo collects your mobile data traffic. This helps us improve and operate the Onavo service by analyzing your use of websites, apps and data. Because we’re part of Facebook, we also use this info to improve Facebook products and services, gain insights into the products and services people value, and build better experiences.

This is nothing more than Facebook spyware. If you’re looking for a VPN I can recommend TunnelBear. It’s what I use. It’s not free though. But remember if it’s free you’re the product.

Things 3 – Updated to version 3.4 with URL linking

Things 3 is my favorite task manager.

With today’s update to version 3.4 Things now has URL linking, app handover, and automation capabilities. I don’t have a need for these new features but more advanced users are going to be very excited.

For a more detailed explanation of the new features go to Culture Code’s blog post.

For new users, Things 3.4 can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for $49.99 and the iOS App Store. The iPad version is priced at $19.99 while the iPhone version (which includes Apple watch support) is priced at $9.99.

Outlining vs Mind-Mapping

The other day, I read two reviews about OmniOutliner 3. As I read them I got to thinking. Maybe outlining could help me better organize my thoughts for what I want to write.

My current method of organizing my thoughts is a bit messy. I have a basic idea of what I want to write and I start writing. This doesn’t always work out so well. It’s frustrating at times. I know what I want to say but I don’t know how to say it in an organized way.

I’ve tried mind-mapping with MindNode but mind-mapping doesn’t click for me. So, I’m going to try using outlines. I’m giving two apps a try. OmniOutliner 5 Essentials and OutlineEdit. OmniOutliner 5 Essentials has a free 14 day trial with an in app purchase of $9.99. OutlineEdit is free on the App Store.

Worth Reading Today

How Apple Plans to Root Out Bugs, Revamp iPhone SoftwareBloomberg Technology News

“This change is Apple beginning to realize that schedules are not being hit, stuff is being released with bugs – which previously would not have happened,” when Apple was a smaller company with fewer engineers, customers and devices to manage, says one person familiar with the company. Apple declined to comment.

The shift is an admission of what many customers have already come to notice: Some Apple software has become prone to bugs and underdeveloped features. In recent months, users have complained about text messages appearing out of order, the iPhone X registering incoming phone calls late and frequent app crashes.

I hope Apple plans to take the same approach with macOS.