App of the Week: Dayone: Superb journal app trades simplicity for sophistication

The new version loses some of its predecessor’s gorgeous simplicity, but compensates with powerful and useful new features.

 

By Nathan Alderman of MacWorld

It’s hard to improve upon perfection. The original Day One made keeping a journal on your Mac easy and fun. Day One 2 wants to do even more, but to fulfill those ambitions, it’s partly sacrificed the original’s beautifully simple design.

 

What’s changed, and what hasn’t

It’s still a snap to start typing a new entry in Day One 2, either from the app itself or its convenient menu bar widget. The latter also provides customizable reminders to write down your thoughts at a given time. Day One 2 tags entries with the date, time, any custom tags you care to create, the current weather, and your GPS-based location.

Don’t want your journal knowing too much about you? You can deactivate location info when crafting a new entry.

Don’t want anyone else reading your journal? A password-lock feature will keep it safe from prying eyes.

Day One 2 adds the ability to keep up to ten separate, color-coded journals at once; for example one to serve as your personal diary, another for business notes, and a third to jot down ideas for that novel you’ve been planning. And where its predecessor only allowed a single photo per entry, Day One 2 supports up to ten, dragged and dropped from Photos, Safari, or the Finder. Paste in a YouTube or Vimeo URL to embed that video in your finished entry, as well.

The Mac version adds a Photos view (previously an iOS-only feature) to the existing Map, Timeline, and Calendar views, and now lets you edit multiple entries at once. You can also view and search by additional information gathered by Day One 2’s iOS versions, including motion and step data and the songs you had playing while you composed a given entry. (The Mac app doesn’t include these features, which at least partly makes sense, unless you frequently take long hikes while typing on your laptop.)

To accommodate these new features, Day One 2 sprawls across greater screen space, stuffed with more, smaller icons. While Bloom Built has clearly worked to keep the interface clean and appealing, it’s definitely more cluttered than its predecessor’s. Figuring out each of the many new buttons remains fairly easy, but still not as easy as in the old version. Editing multiple entries particularly threw me, until I spotted a series of related icons that quietly showed up in an unexpected corner of the window.

 

That syncing feeling

Version 1 relied on Dropbox or iCloud to sync journal entries across its Mac and iOS iterations, but version 2 uses Day One Sync, Bloom Built’s own free, proprietary system. This has alarmed some iCloud-loving users, but Bloom Built argues that the new service works better, faster, and more securely than either of the old solutions.
I had trouble getting Dropbox to work with the original Day One, but I have no such complaints about Day One Sync. Setting up an account took mere minutes, and synching entries between my Mac and iPad happened almost instantly. Though any data you sync via Day One’s system is already securely encrypted, Bloom Built says it’s planning to add even stronger private key encryption in the months ahead.

Day One 2 also temporarily lacks its predecessor’s Publish feature, which automatically turned entries into blog pages, although Bloom Built says it’s rethinking that ability, and will add it in a future update. I can see how Day One 2 might evolve into a powerful online publishing platform, especially if its makers keep their other on-the-horizon promises of stronger social media integration and the ability to turn your journal entries into a printed book.

 

Bottom line

In my tests, Day One 2 offered speedy searching, excellent online help files, and responsive, bug-free performance. It’s become slightly more complicated than its predecessor and it costs four times as much. But this superb journaling app remains pleasant to behold, easy to use, and a tough act for any rival to follow.

Download DayOne for iOS here.
Download DayOne for Mac OS here.

 

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App of the Week: Trusted Contacts

 

Google brings it’s emergency location tracking app to iOS.

 

 

By Brett Williams of Mashable

Smartphones allow us to stay in contact with our loved ones more closely than ever before, but some of the most important features, like location sharing, are only functional when everyone uses the same operating system on their devices.

That’s about to change. Google is bringing its Trusted Contacts location sharing app to iOS, making it even easier for families that span the Android-iPhone divide to keep track of each other during emergencies.

The app comes to iOS after debuting for Android last year. Users can now proactively share their location with their in-group or search for the last place a friend or loved one was active on their phone if they suddenly go silent, no matter their OS.

iOS devices already have a similar feature with Find My Friends, but Trusted Contacts expands the scope of the tracking abilities across operating systems. That means a loved one with an iPhone can pinpoint the last active location of a Samsung Galaxy S8, for example, and vice versa.

The new iOS Trusted Contacts app comes with a round of updates for the service for all users. You can now add people to your “trusted contacts” list by their phone number, and the app sends an SMS to them to connect.

Users can also choose how quickly their location will be automatically shared if they know they’ll be away from their phone and unable to answer. The default setting had been five minutes, but now the response time can be set at any time from immediately to an hour.

Privacy might be a concern for people who don’t want their loved ones to have a constant bead on their location — but if it’s that big of a deal, those people don’t have to download the app. Google told Mashable last year at the launch of the Android version that Trusted Contacts is “necessary” no matter the privacy concerns, since emergency situations can make it impossible for people to respond to messages.

The Trusted Contacts expansion follows Google’s new SOS alerts, a set of features for Search and Maps designed to make emergency information more accessible to all in the event of a crisis. Google might not be able to prevent disasters, but it’s taking steps to help those affected.

What steps have you taken on your phone to ensure your family can reach you in an emergency? Tell us about it in the comments below!

How to: Reset your Brightness in iOS 11

Apple doesn’t want you to set your own brightness in iOS 11

By Napier Lopez of the Next Web

It seems there are still a few small surprises in store for Apple’s iOS 11, and not all of them good: the latest developer beta of the OS makes it a pain to manually set brightness.

Previously, you could toggle automatic brightness on and off right from the Display & Brightness section of Settings – you know, where it should be. Now the option is buried all the way under General>Accessibility>Display Accommodations, where pretty much no-one will find it.

To be clear, Apple’s version of auto-brightness does allow for some flexibility. Similar to adaptive brightness on Android, you still get a brightness slider, but instead of setting a fixed brightness, it roughly establishes a brightness range.

The idea is that even if you set your brightness low, the screen will still brighten when you step outside into the sunlight. But sometimes auto brightness gets it wrong, and the subtle adjustments in brightness can be annoying for some activities like watching a long movie.

Sure, it’s a bit of nitpicking. For most people, auto-brightness is fine. But I frequently alternate between auto and manual brightness depending on what I’m doing, and I’m not the only one. Moreover, there’s just no reason to bury such an inoffensive and commonly used setting under several non-intuitive menus.

Do you have work arounds for automated settings on your device? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Tips & Tricks: How To Set Up Your Medical ID On Your iPhone

 

By Charlie Sorrel of Cult of Mac

Inside the iPhone’s Health App, the app that counts your steps and hooks up with other apps to monitor your activity and health, lives your Medical ID. This is a page containing everything important that you might want a doctor or first responder to know in an emergency, and is accessible from your iPhone’s lock screen without a password.

By default, the app only contains your name, and a few details automatically culled from your address book, but fleshing it out is quick and easy. Here’s how to set up your Medical ID with any and all the information you want to make available.

How to Edit your iPhone Medical ID

Inside the iPhone’s Health App, the app that counts your steps and hooks up with other apps to monitor your activity and health, lives your Medical ID. This is a page containing everything important that you might want a doctor or first responder to know in an emergency, and is accessible from your iPhone’s lock screen without a password.

By default, the app only contains your name, and a few details automatically culled from your address book, but fleshing it out is quick and easy. Here’s how to set up your Medical ID with any and all the information you want to make available.

Even if you don’t have a medical condition, you might like to have the contact details of your next-of-kin in your Medical ID, just so they can be informed if/when the worst happens.

To add information to your Medical ID, the easiest option is to open up the Health app and tap the Medical ID tab at the bottom right. Then tap Edit to see all the options. You can enter any medications you take, list allergies, add medical conditions, and input your weight and height (perhaps already entered from other Health app info), along with a list of emergency contacts, blood type, and organ donor information. As you can see, there’s a lot of info that you might want to give to emergency personnel even if you don’t have a specific condition or allergy.

Accessing your Medical ID in an emergency

 

All first responders know what a Medical alert pedant looks like, but perhaps not all of them know how to get the information out of your iPhone. Luckily, the iPhone is the most popular phone in the world, so that makes it fairly familiar to anyone. And getting to the info is easy — for other people anyway.

The Medical ID is accessed from the iPhone’s lock screen. When the passcode entry panel comes up, you can tap the word Emergency to get to a phone keypad. Below that keypad is the button for your Medical ID. If you try this on somebody else’s phone, it’s easy. On your own iPhone it’s almost impossible, because Touch ID unlocks your iPhone before you can get to it.

It only takes a few minutes to set up your Medical ID, and then you can forget about it.
So why not do it right now?

Weekly Round Up 8/18

 

Maybe they should ask Trump for advice on how to deal with them…. Too Soon?
Tech is not winning the battle against white Supremacy


Guess they didn’t read the fine print…

Here’s why Tech Execs can’t quit Trump’s technology council

It’s all fun and games….
The US Government must work with tech companies if it wants to remain competitive in AI

….Until the subpoenas start flying around.
Tech firm is fighting a federal demand for data on visitors to an anti-Trump website.


Leave the old people alone!!

Robocall scams get craftier as tech industry tries new ways to block the practice.


When I was in 4-H, all we got to do was cook $hit and shovel $hit.

Google continues to push diversity in tech — now with the 4-H club

…But they didn’t have any problem approving them to begin with?!
Apple pulls Apple Pay support from selling White Nationalist and Nazi Apparel.

App of the Week: Yoink

Yoink is the macOS Shelf Utility I Want on iOS Too

 

 

BY JOHN VOORHEES of MacStories

At WWDC, I was disappointed that the iOS 11 announcements didn’t include a shelf where content can be temporarily parked. When Federico and Sam Beckett made an iOS 11 concept video earlier this year they included a shelf, which felt like a natural way to make touch-based drag and drop simpler. I found the omission in the iOS 11 beta somewhat surprising. On the Mac, people use the Desktop as a temporary place to stash items all the time, and without a Desktop on iOS, a shelf that slides in from the edge of the screen seemed like a natural solution. In fact, it’s a solution that has an even more direct analog than the Desktop on macOS that makes a solid case for implementing something similar on iOS: Yoink, from Eternal Storms Software.

Yoink, is one of my favorite macOS utilities that sits just out of sight until I start to drag something. There are many days when I have a bunch of apps open across at least a few different Spaces. If I need to send a file1 to someone in Slack or attach it to an email message, those apps may be buried under several layers of windows, in a different Space, or may not be open at all. Instead of starting a drag and using Alt+Tab to find the app to drop a file into if it’s even open, I can drop it onto Yoink as a temporary resting spot until I find the destination for which I’m looking. This is especially useful when I’m using an email client and haven’t begun composing a new message yet.

As soon as I start dragging a file, Yoink fades into view. I have it docked to the middle of the right edge of my screen, but it can be anchored to the left edge too. You can also customize when Yoink appears. Instead of showing up as soon as a drag starts, you can set Yoink to wait until your drag approaches the side of the screen where it’s docked. You can even have a little Yoink window show up near your cursor as soon as the drag starts to minimize how far you need to move the file. As soon as you drop the file on the Yoink drop point, it re-attaches itself to the side of your screen.

Once a file is sitting on Yoink’s shelf, you can pin it there. I’ve begun doing this with a few files I need throughout the day when I’m working with MacStories and AppStories sponsors. After I pin the file, I can drag it out of Yoink and into an email message as many times as I want, which is faster than digging back through layers of folders in the Finder. If I don’t want to see it sitting there in Yoink on the edge of my screen all day, I press F5, which hides the Yoink window until I toggle it again.

There is a preview button next to each item on Yoink’s shelf that can be used to take a quick look at its contents. You can also share and open items using a variety of apps on your Mac by right clicking on any file stored in Yoink. If you decide you no longer need the files sitting in Yoink, click the ‘x’ button next to individual items or the broom icon to remove all of them at once. Right-clicking on Yoink or clicking its gear icon also gives you the option to bring back the last removed files if you clear out any by accident.

Multiple items dragged onto Yoink become a separate stack of files. Instead of a preview button, a split icon appears next to a stack, which unpacks the stack into separate items when clicked. Yoink also supports a customizable Force Touch gesture that can be set to select all the files in Yoink, reveal a file in Finder, pin and unpin the file in Yoink, or trigger the preview/stack-split button.

One final trick I like to use with Yoink is an Alfred workflow. It’s a simple workflow that deposits files found via Alfred onto Yoink’s shelf without having to take my hands off the keyboard. After triggering Alfred’s text field, I type a space, which triggers a file search. When I’ve located the file I want, I tap the right arrow key to reveal the available file actions. I pick Yoink, and the file magically appears on its shelf. The workflow is perfect for finding multiple files quickly.

 

Like a lot of utilities, Yoink isn’t something you need, but if you try it, you may find it’s something you want. Everything Yoink can do can also be done another way with the Finder, but it makes working with files on your Mac easier and faster. It’s a shortcut that saves seconds over and over, which adds up to real time over the course of weeks and months.

Yoink is also why I’m disappointed there’s no shelf in iOS 11. Dragging files around iOS 11 is a two-handed operation not unlike grabbing a file on macOS and maintaining the drag until you find the destination you want. As a result, it’s not surprising that iOS drag and drop works the way it does, but iOS 11 is an opportunity for a fresh look at how files are moved across the OS and to improve the way it’s accomplished. It doesn’t look like that will happen this year, but I’d love to see Apple take a cue from Yoink and implement an iOS shelf someday. Until that happens, I’m optimistic that we’ll see third-party developers tackle the problem.

Yoink is available on the Mac App Store. If you want to try the app first, you can download a trial version from Eternal Storms’ website.

 

Do you have any suggestions for features to add to iOS? Tell us about them in the comments below!

How to: Password Protect a Folder in a Mac

 

 

By Henry T. Casey of Laptop Mag.com

Not all of your files are meant to be seen by everyone. Your friends and family may not appreciate this truth, but that’s just the way it is sometimes. Luckily, MacBook owners can protect their sensitive files from prying eyes by password protecting specific folders.

Many paid programs offer similar functionality, but we prefer this free method built into Apple that allows folders to be turned into protected disk images. We tested this on a MacBook Pro running macOS Sierra version 10.12.6 but research shows it works the same way going as far back as Mac OS X 10.6, Snow Leopard.

1. Click Command + Shift + A to open the Applications folder.

2. Open the Utilities folder within Applications.

3. Open Disk Utility.

4. Click File.

5. Select New Image.

6. Select Image from Folder.

 

7. Select the folder you wish to protect and click Open.

 

8. Click on the Image Format option menu and select read/write.

 

9. Click on the Encryption menu and click 128-bit AES encryption.

 

10. Enter the password for this folder twice, and click Choose.

11. Name the locked disk image and click Save.

 

12. Click Done.

You’ve turned your folder into a locked disk image! You can delete the original folder now, if you’d like. Just don’t delete that .DMG file!

And just like a folder, you can add items to your password-protected disk image before ejecting it.

 

 

Do you have any tips for protecting your data? Tell us about it in the comments below!