Category Archives: iOS

No Password Required for Free Apps in iOS 6

Cult of Mac:

In the latest release, users no longer need to enter their password to download free apps — regardless of whether they’ve owned them before or not.

But as a parent, I don’t want my kids downloading every free app. Hopefully parental controls can restrict this feature.


iOS 6 and

I’ve been thinking about this. On iOS, a project folder for all my documents would be really useful: Project management, OmniGraffle, and Markdown-formatted notes. I am a fan of Rene’s approach as quoted in the article.

Federico Viticci at MacStories:

I agree with the notion that the current Open In, app-based document transfer model of iOS is broken. The simplicity brought by iOS freed average users from the complexities of the filesystem; people who like to get their daily work done with iOS devices, however, miss a unified document filing system. Paradoxically, the “simple” iOS, with its “Open In” menu and multiple copies of the same document, requires people to manually manage more.


Google Voice on Sprint (Updated)

Have you seen this? Oh, do I want this to be true! Are we really living in the future?

Sign up for Sprint service, activate a free Google Voice account and configure the Google Voice app on the iPhone. As long as you use your Google Voice number, you never use minutes again.

UPDATE: According to previous posts from the Google Voice blog, it is true. Google Voice can be fully integrated into a phone with Sprint service. I want in.

iPhone Apps I Actually Use

These are the iPhone apps that I use sorted roughly by how often they are used. Thanks to Dave Caolo for the idea.

Like Dave, all these apps are on the home screen with room to spare. Unlike Dave, I use the phone as a phone. My front left pocket holds my cherished iPhone 3G. That model puts me three generations behind and on iOS 4.2.1 so no Notification Center or wireless sync or iMessage or Game Center or geofenced Reminders. Don’t feel too sorry for me though as I will be upgrading here in the next couple of months.

Vote for Best App at MacStories

MacStories is my new favorite Apple-centric web site. The site looks great and they write articles that catch my interest. They are currently running a Best Apps of 2011 voting contest. Vote for the best iPhone, iPad, and Mac app of 2011 and you can win one or more app promo codes. You have to give them your email address but that allows them to contact you if you are a winner.

If they asked me which one I would choose, it would be the Alfred Powerpak. Alfred is my favorite post-Quicksilver app launcher and handyman.

Go vote.

LANSA LongReach

LANSA has a new product they recently introduced called LongReach. Have you seen it? It is their first product that I am aware of that comes with a native iOS client. They are giving away 1000 free licenses so go grab yours. You will need an iOS device for testing but I am willing to bet that you or someone in your department has an iPhone, iPad or both.

I am currently putting LongReach through its paces.

Splitting the Keyboard

iPad Split Keyboard

A number of my programmer peers use a split keyboard; usually the bloated one from Microsoft. When they ask for help, I sit down, stare at the keyboard and reduce my word per minute to about ten.

Yet I like the new split keyboard on the iPad. It is much smaller, more of the text I am typing can be seen and my thumbs do an okay job of typing.


The iPad 2 Smart Cover

Ben Brooks of The Brooks Review and Marco Arment’s review have both reviewed the Smart Cover after months of use. Since my solution is slightly different, I’d like to add my two cents.

Back Protection

I knew from day one that I wanted both the front and the back of the iPad to be protected. After researching everything I could find, I decided on the Smart Cover with a separate purchase of a back protector. I ended up choosing the enki Genius Case in Smoke.

If you set the iPad down on its’ back enough times, it will get scratched. The back protector has been a great bodyguard. The scratches, or more rightfully gouges, this case has taken in defense of my gadget is admirable.  It is amazing the damage a grain of sand can cause.


Many people say they feel the need to remove the Smart Cover when snapping pictures and video. Folding the cover in half while leaving it on seems to work just fine for me.


I’ve heard awful stories (like Marco’s) about the leather versions not staying true to their color very long. My flat-gray polyurethane cover is still flat-gray and is easily cleaned with a wet cloth.

The cover does leave lines on the screen but I see it from the inverse perspective.  Cleaning a few lines is much easier than cleaning the whole screen. I went to the local dollar store and stocked up on three microfiber cleaning cloths and put them everywhere I work for long periods of time. I’m a bit OCD about fingerprints on the screen so it gets a good cleaning a few times each day.

The combination of the Smart Cover with back protection is one that let’s me get productive use out of the iPad without stressing about keeping it pristine.

If I were purchasing now, I would look to see if someone has combined both front and back protection into one connected unit with cover magnets. There was one when I did my research but it did not have magnets in the cover.

I want my magic, thank you very much.


Merging Work and Home on the iPad

The iPad is an awesome device.

It sits at the storm front gathering between my home and work lives. Using it is forcing me to reevaluate how I manage my life. All of a sudden, I have one practical, usable device with me wherever I go.  I LOVE that! My goal is to have all my personal information and all my work information available to me on this device.

The biggest challenge is that at work there are only Windows machines.  At home, I use a Mac.  How do I sync the information on my iPad between those two environments? This question currently has no acceptable answer.  Which enterprising app developer is going to solve my problem so that I can hand them money?

Task Management

This is my to do list for all of life and I have to trust it.  This was an easy decision even though there is no Windows option.

OmniFocus rocks my world and I am still only beginning to understand the power of this app.  I own it on all three platforms (Mac, iPhone, iPad). The apps are expensive but are more than worth their cost. As much as I would love to see a Windows OmniFocus client, it is not coming. But OmniFocus is so good that I will simply use the iPad version at work.

Having all work and home tasks together is overwhelmingly wonderful.  I’ve never had a trusted system like this before and it is life changing.

Information Repository

Tasks get completed so I need a better place to store information.

At work, I use OneNote on Windows. Of all the products Microsoft has made over the years, this is by far my favorite. It organizes information the way my brain does so it takes very little work to add and retrieve information from OneNote.

At home, I use Evernote on Mac. Evernote is the app I want to love but just… can’t.

I’ve looked at a bunch of options for merging work and home repositories.  Curio looks wonderful but is only available on Mac. Where are the cross-platform solutions? And remember that I am cheap so I will purchase a piece of software before I sign up for a service contract (yes, I am looking at you Evernote Premium). No cross-platform solutions I’ve tried have worked. That leaves me trying to sync two different repositories to the iPad.

Evernote syncs and just works. OneNote not so much. We use OneNote 2007 (not the newer 2010) which apparently has fewer syncing options. MobileNoter does sync and the notes look just like they do in OneNote, which is great. Adding and editing content, though, is absolutely awful and note links, which I use everywhere, do not work. The kind folks at MobileNoter allowed me to use a second trial period to make things work but I finally put that brain damage to rest. There is a OneNote iPhone app but no iPad version. It syncs with Office Live, or whatever they are calling their cloud storage service now, but the 2007 version of OneNote does not sync to Office Live.

I’ve looked into plain text editors using Markdown but I need to store images as well. I’ve tried a bunch of “ultimate” note taking apps but for the most part, they are ugly or difficult to understand.

The long and short of this is that I have no solution for work, let alone a solution for life.


Using the iPad is causing me to rethink and fine-tune how I manage my life. This is a wonderful process and I am enjoying the road.

It Just Works

MG Siegler for Techcrunch:

With iCloud, Apple is transforming the cloud from an almost tangible place that you visit to find your stuff, to a place that only exists in the background. It’s never seen. You never interact with it, your apps do — and you never realize it. It’s magic.

If you want to know why developers’ jaws were collectively hitting the floor during the keynote where Steve Jobs introduced iCloud, this article gives some insight.

The magic of iCloud is that your digital life is everywhere you need it to be. You don’t need to care about how it got there.

via my brilliant cousin Andy