Episode 190 – Test Is Green. Code Is Clean.

This week we follow up on Youtube changes, IBM Watson and CoreML, 3rd party Twitter apps. We discuss Xcode compilation on mutli-core Mac Pros. The Home Pod has a sluggish start in sales. Apple reveals the (Product)RED® iPhone 8. Apple Music has 40 million users and a new boss. We follow up on HTTP 400 error codes. We discuss Apple upcoming purge of 32-bit macOS apps, reliving Windows File Manager and the RWDevCon 2018’s post mortem. Picks: Understanding Git Version Control and Learn how to Use it in Xcode 9, Xcode TDD keyboard short cuts, App Store insights. Aftershow: Facebook testimony.

Photo: Greg Heo

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Understanding Git Version Control and Learn how to Use it in Xcode 9

Episode 177 – It Was Black Magic

This week we follow up on the iPhone battery debacle and Apple’s battery replacement program. We also follow up on sales of Amazon Echo and Google Home while waiting for Apple’s HomePod. We discuss the 25th anniversary of pCalc. Meltdown and Spectre are the main topic as we chat about Intel’s kernel memory leaks. Blackberry signs a deal with Baidu to build self-driving cars. The big story for us is Apple’s acquisition of Buddy Build. Picks: 5 Advanced Mac Tricks You’ve Never Used, Oh Sh!t Git, 7th Guest for iOS, 360iDev 2017 Session Playlist

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iPad in Business – Part Two

In the previous article, entitled the Businesses of iPad Part One, we began to explore some of the options of using an iPad to get actual work done. Apple’s iPad launched onto the world stage in the early part of 2010 and transformed our understanding of tablet computing. Initially seen as the device for consuming content, it is also become a great tool for creating content. Professional and amateur artists can produce sketches and paintings with the tip of a finger, musicians can perform and record entire albums and business users can get their work done in out of the office.

In Part One we talked about some applications, such as Apple’s iWork suite, Documents To Go, Air Sharing and the technologies built into the iPad such as File Sharing and its synergies with MobileMe. Using iWork or Documents To Go users can import, create and work with documents compatible with Microsoft Office. Using Air Sharing users can easily store, transfer and open to read documents that they receive from a networked computer, e-mail or from a cloud computing platform. Apple’s own MobileMe suite allows users to employ cloud technologies to keep their iPhone, iPad, Windows and Macintosh computers in sync.

One of the most interesting technologies to come out of the cloud computing arena is a product called DropBox. DropBox is the answer to FTP for everybody. Simply stated consists of a website that you log into, create folders, upload and backup files (documents, images, media files and zip archives.) Once you have set up your dropbox you can download the DropBox application on your Mac or PC and keep your stored items in the DropBox in sync. Even better than the DropBox has mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry. These let you access the files and dropbox. That means that while you are on your iPad you can open up the document into an application that supports the so that sleek and work with the files.

The cool thing about DropBox is that you can also share a folder with a friend or coworker. Simply choose to share the folder, enter your friend’s e-mail, optionally add an e-mail message and press invite. Your friend or coworker will receive an e-mail invitation to join your DropBox. You don’t have the messy FTP style username and password. They use their own e-mail address to log in and they choose their own password. They can access the files that you shared right there in their web browser, or they can optionally download the applications to their computers and iPad etc. They can create their own folders and share those folders with their other friends and colleagues.

Things is the name of an application that runs on iPhone, iPad and your Mac. Things is a to do list and project management tool. You add task items and attach notes and optional deadlines so you can follow-up on the things you need to do. You can also install  a Things app on your iPhone and iPad and  Things will automatically sync the three computers together. Create a task item on your iPhone, or on your Mac and Things will automatically sync up and keep all the items up to date.

If your business uses FileMaker Pro databases you can also install FileMaker 2 Go on your iPad or iPhone and access the very same databases. The iPhone and iPad have built in support for VPN networks. You can use PPTP, L2 TP or Cisco VPN right on the device to connect into your office. Once you connect to the VPN network or virtually inside the office and by opening FileMaker to go you can open the databases and work as if you’re in the office. The using FileMaker 2 Go you can create that estimate, look up that contact or access the companies payment schedule.

By combining the applications above, with access to your e-mail, contacts and calendar items conjunction with Google maps the iPad or iPhone can easily becomes the most portable office tool. Not just for consuming information before accessing creating and working with it. Oh, of course you can also play Angry Birds.

iPhone text entry tricks

Q. I recently got a new iPhone and I find that entering text can be tricky. Can you suggest any things that will make typing easier.

A. If you recently switched from another handheld device such as a Blackberry or a Palm you’ll find that entering text on iPhone is different because of the tactile differences of using a touchscreen. When entering text on your iPhone you are presented with QWERTY style keyboard. Numbers and punctuation are accessed by clicking the key in the lower left-hand corner.

One of the first and tricks I learned while entering text on my phone was that to quickly access punctuation while entering letters you can press and hold the punctuation key, slide your finger over to the character you want and release your finger. Then you’ll find that the iPhone switches back to the QWERTY keyboard. This makes entering text with punctuation relatively easy because you can quickly access commonly used characters such as a comma, period, underscores and dashes.

While you’re walking down the street you tend to bounce around quite a bit. With a device like a Blackberry, or a cell phone you have actual keys so it’s easier to find the character you want. So using the “sliding finger trick” on your iPhone you can accomplish the same thing. When you press a key on the keyboard and display shows you the keys selected by popping up. If you hold your finger over the key you can see if you have the right key or not. If you don’t, you can slide to left or right and choose the correct key. [If I’m close, I often roll my finger left and right to choose a character while holding my finger down.] Of course you should always be aware of what you are doing and ideally you should stop walking while you’re entering text – so that you don’t have an accident while you’re not paying attention to where you’re going.

By the way, you can also access accented keys by holding down your finger over a letter that would have special punctuation. For instance if you hold down the keep the letter “E” you can access accents “grave”, “acute”, “circumflex”, “tréma” or “umlaut” and “cedilla”.

If make a mistake while entering text, you can hold your finger down on the text that you entered and a magnified view will appear and you can slide your finger until the cursor goes where you want within a word. To fine tune this you can roll your finger to more accurately place the cursor.

There is also a free application in the App Store called “WritingPad” which takes the sliding finger to the next level. To spell out words you slide your finger over the letters that spell the word all without lifting your finger – sliding rather than tapping.

Speaking of not lifting a figure – this article was input into Word using MacSpeech Dictate – spoken into an iMac not typed on the keyboard.

[There are also now many stylus products that work with the iPhone – hand if you’re wearing gloves.]