Posts Tagged With ‘ios&8217


Heyday, An Automated Journaling App for iOS

Heyday is a pretty neat automated journaling app for iOS. It automagically puts together different locations, images, and other pieces of data to create a journal of what you do each day. This data is then only available privately on the iOS device, rather than on the web for the world to see, which is one reason I find Heyday so attractive.

I have been playing with Heyday for a couple of weeks now and thoroughly enjoy it. Once you train it on the locations you visit which it tags incorrectly, Heyday will remember them moving forward. This makes manual intervention almost entirely unnecessary unless you want to add details about the various locations you are visiting, or the pictures and videos you have taken.

Heyday does a great job of aggregating data fro your iOS device into a single location and turning it into a journal. I totally recommended it if you are into these kind of lifestreaming-like or are interested in journaling.


Hidden iOS 7 Settings You Probably Do Not Know About

This is a good list of some new iOS 7 settings that you probably did not know about, or likely never would have accidentally run across.


Notes on Mailbox.app and Gmail Labels

As soon as Mailbox was unleashed, like so many other people, I quickly downloaded the app and got in the 150,000+ access queue. I had already signed-up via the web, but for whatever reason that reservation did not follow me, and I had to start over. After a couple weeks of waiting, I was finally offered entry into the system I eagerly awaited.

Hopefully some of my trials and tribulations will help other folks better understand how Mailbox functions sincer there is not a lot of information available right now. The good folks behind the Mailbox twitter account are great at responding to people, but sometimes people need more in-depth answers than what happens inside of 140 characters.

Before I continue I must confess: I am an email client junkie. I do not know why but I really enjoy testing and playing around with new email clients. I am forever in search of email client utopia. Although I have come close a couple times, in the end I always end up returning to my old [bad] habits.

The built-in Mail.app, while decent, does not have the same polish I would like, nor does it natively support Gmail’s labeling system. It was for those reasons that I snatched up Sparrow as soon as it became available on iOS. Unfortunately, like with so many other services, Google bought Sparrow and promptly dismantled what was probably the best third-party iOS email client.

Although the Gmail iOS app is decent, it is not a fully native app, opting for a Web View-based app instead. This makes it a bit slow and clunky, and it feels uncomfortable. Plus, even though it supports multiple accounts, it fails to offer a unified inbox view, which is almost a necessity these days.

So Mailbox was released and I was jazzed about yet-another-iOS-email-app to try, along with the idea of turning email into a task management system. I started playing around with Mailbox and was pleased with the clean user interface. The unified inbox, snoozing, and archiving system the Mailbox team has built is very exciting.

But I ran into an adoption problem: existing Gmail labels are inaccessible from within Mailbox.

For me, this is a deal killer as I have a number of filters designed to apply labels and skip the inbox. Although that appears to violate the spirit of Mailbox, it is the way I use email. I need access to those labels; luckily there is an easy solution.

Upon initial launch, existing Gmail labels are not accessible but there is a simple way to make those labels viewable. Simply go into Gmail->Settings->Labels and move all labels so they are nested underneath the [Mailbox] label. This turns them into Lists in Mailbox parlance. The app will automagically see the new labels and create new Lists.

If your existing Gmail label setup is something like this:

Merely move all those labels so they nest underneath the [Mailbox] label as so:

Now all those labels are accessible as Lists from within Mailbox. It may be necessary to force-close Mailbox after moving the labels, because this appears to force the app to rescan for new Lists. Jump on over to Mailbox->Settings->Lists to reorder Lists into a desirable order. Personally, I go for alphabetizing my Lists since it makes it easy to locate the List I need.

Here are some additional notes about List use within Mailbox:

  1. If two separate Gmail accounts both share the same label, Mailbox will treat them as a single List. Mail from both accounts will be intertwined within the List. It may be necessary to open an email to determine which account it was sent to, so this could cause a bit of confusion if not properly managed.
  2. Similarly, because Mailbox only presents a single collection of Lists, it is not possible to determine which account a List – ergo, a Gmail label – belongs to. This could be confusing if you are not aware of exactly how Mailbox employs List use. It is easy to “inadvertently” put an email on a List previously defined from another account, leading to unexpected filing when using Gmail on the web.
  3. If you have Gmail filters apply labels, and use Mailbox to file the email on a List, the previously applied labels will be removed.
  4. Similarly, if you have Gmail filters apply labels, and use Mailbox to archive email, the previously applied labels will be removed. In Mailbox, when an email is archived, all labels are removed, and it can only be found in the All Mail Gmail label.
  5. If you have Gmail filters apply labels and “Skip the Inbox”, the applied Gmail labels will remain intact, and the email will be found on the appropriate Mailbox List [assuming the labels are nested as previously discussed].
  6. Adding a new Gmail label will automagically add a new Mailbox List. As previously mentioned, it may be necessary to force-close Mailbox before the changes can be seen.
  7. Similarly, removing a label in Gmail does not automatically remove the label from Mailbox. The app appears to cache certain data, and there is no method for forcing Mailbox to rescan for label changes. At some point, the deleted label will be removed from the Lists side-panel, but still show up in the Lists configuration. At this point it is safe to delete the Mailbox List without fear of any unintended consequences.
  8. Mailbox’s List message totals do not appears to match those in Gmail. Even if taking into account multiple email accounts sharing the same List, the totals are orders of magnitude off. Not all email on those Lists appear to be accessible.

I did perform a number of fairly exhaustive tests but under limited circumstances and with only a finite set of Gmail accounts. I hope this information I found helps some folks better understand Mailbox, and how it manages Lists and Gmail labels. As I find more quirks, I will update this post to reflect the new information.

Mailbox is a truly revolutionary yet simple app. I am sold on the email-as-task premise and plan to stick with Mailbox for the foreseeable future, especially since DropBox acquired the app. I anxiously await an iPad and OS X app sometime in the near future!

This post is part of the thread: Email – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


Apple Discussing iOS Security at Black Hat 2012

Erica Ogg of GigaOM on Apple discussing iOS security at the upcoming Black Hat 2012 Conference:

This is a big deal for Apple for a few reasons. First, Apple almost never appears at major technology conferences – with the exception of AllThingsD’s annual confab. It doesn’t do MacWorld anymore, and it doesn’t do the Consumer Electronics Show. Second, Apple doesn’t talk much about security. It’s been able to get away with this for years because its Mac market share has been almost too small to attract much of an effort from malicious hackers running scams.

Times are changing under Tim Cook’s leadership. This can only be a good thing.

This post is part of the thread: Security – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


Why is iCloud Free?

Stephen Hackett on iCloud being a loss-leader:

The reality is that free services can’t run forever without one of those two things happening. In the case of Instagram, the service was bought by a company that offers a free-to-users-but-with-ads service. (It just so happens the service is disliked by many nerds, hence the outcry online.)

Where does iCloud fit in to this? iCloud isn’t backed by piles of VC money, nor is it paid for by ads. Does that mean that it will go away one day?

Surely not, because iCloud is the exception to the rule.

Spot on. iCloud is one of the central parts of Apple’s strategic vision for the next decade.

The attraction of iCloud is how its bundled with iOS and OS X, and how it will be further integrated into future versions of each operating system. iCloud allows Apple customers to easily access and synchronize their cloud-connected devices – Mac’s, iPhone’s, iPad’s, iPod Touch’s, etc. – so customers have access to all the same data regardless of what device they are using. Apple realizes most customers purchase multiple Apple products, and desire easy access to all their data, no matter which device they pickup.

iCloud is part of the Apple experience and what makes Apple devices so exciting to use.


A Plausible Theory for a 4-Inch iPhone 5

The Verge on a plausible theory for a 4-inch iPhone 5:

Colin’s idea was to keep the shorter side of the iPhones screen the same, i.e. 640 pixels at 1.94 inches. With that in mind how much would the longer side need to increase so the that diagonal measurement was 4 inches. The answer, derived using simple algebraic rearrangement of Pythagorus’s theorem, 1152 pixels and 3.49 inches. That leaves the the diagonal length measuring a little over 3.99 inches, I’m sure Apple PR could round this 4.

This sounds quite doable in theory. The images look a bit peculiar, like the phone is way longer than it needs to be. The additional vertical screen real estate – in portrait mode – is ideal for reading, browsing the web and interacting with apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Path.

What Apple will do remains to be seen, most likely to be revealed sometime this summer. I anxiously await the arrival of the newest iPhone, but do not hold my breath about any of the rumored features.


The Problem with Tablets in the Enterprise

Shara Tibken of The Wall Street Journal on the problems with tablets in the enterprise:

Some companies try to get around this by using virtual desktop applications, Web-based programs that give users remote access to their PC desktop, but those also don’t always translate well to the smaller screen. Hyatt Hotels Corp. says some of its employees with tablets work with such an app but sometimes can’t navigate all of the programs without a mouse or keyboard. In addition, most PC programs are designed for larger monitors, making it difficult to read them properly on a smaller screen.

I have spoken to a number of people interested in deploying iPad’s in their enterprise work environment, and often-times they plan to use this methodology. In my mind, this is the wrong way to use tablets. The native applications are the better, and generally speaking, more cohesive method of deploying tablets.

Why would I want to view my Windows 7 desktop on an iPad when Mobile Safari, Address Book, Calendar, and a host of other native iOS applications can get the job done better, and just as secure? One of the many reasons I use Apple products, such as a MacBook Pro, iPad, and iPhone, is because I want to get away from Microsoft products and their constant need to be tweaked so they work correctly and comfortably.


iOS Text Editor Roundup

Brett Terpstra created the most comprehensive iOS text editor roundup I have ever run across. This is a must read if you are in the market for an iOS text editor.

I have been considering snatching an iOS text editor, usable both on the iPhone and iPad, and now plan to use this guide to ease the decision-making.


Definitive Camera+ Walkthrough

Ed Elliot created the definitive Camera+ walk-through. Everything you have ever wanted to know about the shooting modes, editing tools, filters, and sharing options is covered in this exhaustive guide. Nothing goes untouched.

If you are not already using Camera+ on your iPhone then you are missing out on the best iOS camera app. (via tap tap tap blog)


Why the iPad Mini Rumors May Be Plausible

A.T. Faust of AppAdvice on why the rumors of a 7.85-inch iPad Mini may very well be plausible:

Because the original iPad screen was set at a pixel resolution of 1024 x 768, it’s a good guess that the mythical iPad mini — in order to simplify and streamline third-party development as much as possible — will need to sport that same resolution (or, like the new iPad, a multiple thereof). Of course, the entire proposed point of the mini is to keep production costs low enough to hawk it for between $250 and $300, which pretty much means no Retina display. So, 1024 x 768 will have to do.

And, boy, does it ever. If you do the math, a 7.85-inch tablet with a resolution of 1024 x 768 works out to a PPI of 163. 163!

He makes the most compelling case for the existence of an iPad Mini that I have read to-date. I am not so sure I like the idea of an iPad Mini, but I can see how a lot of folks would be interested in a smaller form factor iPad. Like the Kindle Fire, it would most likely fit in a jacket pocket, potentially negating the need for a carrying case. Presumably, it would be substantially lighter, thus easier to hold for longer periods of time. Plus, it has more screen real estate than an iPhone or iPod Touch.

For many folks, the iPad Mini is the holy grail of tablet form-factors: larger than an iPhone/iPod Touch but smaller than an iPad. I suspect these would sell better than hotcakes. (via John Gruber)