I installed Big Sur on my 2015 MacBook Pro the other day. One area that I wanted to customize was the menubar. There is so much blank space between the icons, it’s a gigantic waste of space and looks awful. Even after installing Bartender 4 to organize my menubar I wanted to move some items to the Control Center for better organization.
Now that I have items in the Control Center, that used to be visible in the menubar, I’ll be accessing Control Center more frequently. Rather than clicking Control Center, I wanted a keyboard shortcut to toggle it open and closed. I did this with a Keyboard Maestro macro.
Credit maxwellj02 for the apple script:
tell application "System Events"
tell process "Control Center"
tell menu bar item "control center" of menu bar 1
By the way, my Big Sur install went perfectly and I haven’t had any issues.
On November 11 Instapaper announced that a Mac app is available in the Mac App Store, thanks to Apple’s Catalyst technology. As a long-time Instapaper user, I was excited to hear this. Now that I’ve used the app for a few days it’s nothing more than a basic reader and lacks almost all the features the website and iOS apps have.
You can’t highlight text, add notes, copy text, copy article links, delete articles from the article view, and the share sheet is non-functional.
The app in its current state is useless to me. Let’s hope the developer gets the app on par with the iOS apps and website.
With Reeder 5, the option to sync your RSS feed via iCloud instead of using a third-party sync service such as Feedly or Feedbin was added.
Sync all your feeds and articles with iCloud. Reeder 5 comes with a built-in RSS/Feeds service which will keep everything in sync on all your devices. Of course, this is optional. You can still just use one of the many third-party services supported by Reeder
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.
Reeder 5 supported third-party services
Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, FeedHQ, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, Inoreader, BazQux Reader, and FreshRSS.
I wrote a while back about going iPad first when iPadOS 13 was released with keyboard and trackpad support. I had turned my 2015 MacBook Pro (MBP) off and put in a drawer to never be turned on again hoping this would work out.
Well, it lasted about 60 days and then I got my MBP out of the drawer it had been sitting in, turned it back on and slowly started transitioning back to my it.
The trouble with iPad was that I spent more time fighting it than loving. It was just too hard to get things done as fast and efficiently as I can on my MBP. I have so many automations with Alfred, PopClip, Keyboard Maestro, and Hazel that make doing things on the Mac so fast and easy that just can’t be duplicated on the iPad. So, I gave it up.
In fact, I’m not sure that I even need or want an iPad. A couple of weeks ago I put it in the same drawer that I had put my MBP in and didn’t even miss it. I found that between my MBP and iPhone 11 I can do all that I need or want to do.
All that said, I just finished watching Apple’s One More Thing event where they introduced the new Apple Silicon 13” MacBook Air, 13” MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini with the new M1 chip. These devices are incredible and what I’ve been waiting for. I’ll be ordering a new MacBook Air as soon as I decided whether to get 8 or 16 GB of unified memory.
Apple to announce three new MacBooks with Apple Silicon at next week’s event
I’ve been waiting for Apple Silicon Macs since they were announced in June. The unveiling will be next Tuesday, November 10 at Apple’s “One More Thing” event.
Read the rest of the article on ldstephens.medium
I’ve been working on an article about the iOS 14 privacy feature that has Facebook and other advertisers running scared. Facebook acknowledged that Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 could lead to a more than 50% drop in its Audience Network advertising business. (Doesn’t that just break your heart)
Today to my disappointment, Apple is holding off on introducing the default feature until early next year to allow developers more time to make the necessary changes to their apps. I guess this makes everything I’ve written all for naught. Oh, well.
By the way, did you know that you can manually limit targeted advertising and reset your identifier? If you do this an app will still be able to access your IDFA but it makes it much harder to build a profile on you. I reset my identifier once a month.
The advertising identifier on an Apple device does not identify you personally, but it can be used by advertisers to create a profile about you. If it’s never reset, that profile increases in detail, allowing advertisers to target ads to you based on your Internet activity.
I’m guessing you’re aware of what’s going on between Epic and Apple. It’s been the big story in tech news for a few weeks. Yesterday Apple terminated Epic’s App Store account, as threatened, following a legal dispute between the companies. This is headed for the courts and is going to be playing out over the next several months.
I’m enjoying watching this battle. Its two big tech companies fighting it out over a lot of money. I do tend to side with Apple on this because of the brazen and calculating way Epic has brought this on them self.
The Apple pundits have differing opinions on who’s right or wrong but I like Jason Snell and David Sparks take on this kerfuffle.
Epic versus Apple? I’m rooting for the users
The thing is, I don’t really back all the actions of either party in this kerfuffle. Instead, I’m squarely on the side of the people who use technology. Let’s leave aside the tech giants. What are the outcomes that would most benefit regular users?
So who am I rooting for in this case? I’m hoping that the judges, along with the legislators and regulators, don’t get distracted by the sight of two large, profitable companies squabbling in court and lose sight of the most important party in this case—the people who use these products every day.
Apple’s Troubles and MacSparky Coverage — MacSparky
Lately, Apple has been dealing with several percolating problems. Governments, at home and abroad, are interested in their business practices. Troubles between the United States and China are now threatening Apple’s business in one of its biggest markets. Big and small developers are now finding ways to exert pressure against the existing App Store model.
I have had several readers/listeners write in asking me to cover these topics more, but to be honest, I’m just not that interested.
I am much more concerned about all of the families that have lost loved ones and all of the people out of work due to this pandemic than the troubles of a $2 trillion company.
The two most popular markdown writing apps on Mac and iOS are iA Writer and Ulysses. Ulysses is a subscription and iA Writer is a purchase. When Ulysses went subscription many users got pissed, me included, and moved to iA Writer. I got over being pissed at Ulysses and today I use both apps.
Not surprising, iA Writer is now going to be transitioning to a subscription / paid choice (I’m guessing) with their next major update.
Here are the details:
Subscription or no subscription? That’s not the Question. – iA
Talking about subscriptions in public is a delicate matter. Apple is jealously watching what developers say. Competitors are watching and trying to get ahead of the game. Customers are watching and might get worried: What are they planning!? McKinsey suggests that you could offer both subscriptions and paid options in the transition from paid to subscription.
This is not where we are going. We believe in the choice and we want to bring the choice to buy or subscribe to all platforms. Customers like the choice, and we like it. Clearly, after seven years of offering free updates, there will be a new version of our apps at some point. And even though Apple doesn’t offer upgrade discounts, this, next to offering a choice, is exactly what we want to do. We just have to find a way around the hurdles. But we have lots of other things planned, that we can’t talk about yet. It won’t be a simple move from paid to a choice between paid and subscriptions. It will be even better.
Maybe subscriptions are not the best fit for productivity software. But, as laid out above, some do prefer subscriptions, especially if they are reasonably lower than buying the apps. In that sense, subscriptions will allow you to charge a fair price for your app and not compete in the race to the bottom. But if you offer the choice, you offer customers the opportunity to decide for themselves how they support you.
Ulysses 20 – Ulysses Blog
We added an “advanced text check” to revision mode, which offers informed suggestions on capitalization, punctuation, semantics, redundancy, style and typography. We partnered with LanguageTooler for this, a fellow German company which develops the magnificent LanguageTool Plus. As a matter of fact, we fully integrated LT Plus into Ulysses, so you now have access to its comprehensive set of grammar and style rules right from within Ulysses!
I use the free version of Grammarly to check spelling, grammar, and punctuation before publishing my articles. Now that Ulysses has LanguageTool Plus built-in I wanted compare it’s results to Grammarly’s. To compare I first ran my articles through LanguageTool Plus and made the suggested changes. I then ran the same articles through Grammarly and in every case, Grammarly found additional items for correction. Based on that comparison I’ll be sticking with Grammarly.
John Gruber is one of the leading experts blogging and podcasting about Apple. Recode referred to him this way “Apple obsessive John Gruber built Daring Fireball, the world’s most powerful one-man media company” If you’re into Apple you know who he is. John blogs at Daring Fireball and has a podcast The Talk Show. He’s also the creator of Markdown the popular plain text writing markup language that many of us use today.
I’m an enthusiastic follower of John’s blog and listener of his podcast. I find him to be knowledgeable about all things Apple thanks to his contacts at the highest levels of the company. What he writes is well written, always informative, and accurate.
I find it interesting to know what makes people like John tick and how they got to where they are. I’ve heard John talk about himself on his podcast but only bits and pieces never the full story from beginning to where he is now.
The other day John posted about being on Antony Johnston’s Writing and Breathing Podcast. If you would like to hear John’s full store in his words listen to this podcast. It’s excellent!
MONDAY, 10 AUGUST 2020
YOURS TRULY ON ANTONY JOHNSTON’S ‘WRITING AND BREATHING’ PODCAST
Antony Johnston — best known as the creator of the excellent and right-up-my-alley Atomic Blonde — hosts a podcast devoted to writing, and he was kind enough to invite me on. I could talk about writing — what I do, how I do it — forever, even though, as I hope I made clear to Johnston, I don’t really fully understand how exactly I do what I do. The only thing I really understand about writing is that I need to do it.
I really enjoyed having the opportunity to talk about this. If that sounds interesting to you, I bet you’ll dig listening.