MacStories Review of Fantastical 2 for Mac

 

Fantastical2 mac screenshot dark

Fantastical 2 for Mac Review: Reinvented – MacStories

Today, I feel comfortable saying that Fantastical 2 is the best calendar app for Mac I’ve ever used. It’s really simple as that, and I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t recognize the effort that went into this new version of the app. No other calendar client – not Apple’s Calendar, not Sunrise, and certainly not the original Fantastical – gets close to the masterful blend of simplicity and power of Fantastical 2.

Fantastic detailed review as always from Federico – It sounds like the perfect calendar replacement app on OS X. If you are serious about your schedule, then you can download it from the Mac App Store for £29.99/$39.99 for a discounted limited time here.

Marco Arment On The Future Of The Dumbwatch

Screen Shot 2015 03 27 at 13 49 45

Marco Arment on the Future of the Dumbwatch:

Some people will always want to own and wear traditional watches, but they’ll only become more of a niche, not a growing market. People will buy whichever kind of smartwatch works with their phone platform — iPhone owners will get Apple Watches, and Android owners will get Pebbles or Android Wear watches — and then, most of them will be effectively removed from the traditional watch world from that point forward.

I couldn’t agree more.

Nintendo to start making iPhone games, including first-party IP like Mario

 

Nintendo to start making iPhone games, including first-party IP like Mario | 9to5Mac

According to the report, Nintendo wants to create a gaming membership service that would span smartphone, and traditional games consoles. It’s unclear how this would work on Apple’s platforms in conjunction with the App Store rules on In-App Purchases. The games would be ‘new experiences’, not simply ports of existing Wii U and DS titles.

Doesn’t sound particular straight forward, but still a good sign that Nintendo are seeing sense. We look forward to hearing more on their future plans.

Update:

Ben Lovejoy writing for 9to5Mac in response to a Time Magazine interview with Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata:

Iwata also confirmed Jeremy’s view that we’re unlikely to see classic Nintendo games like Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda come to iOS and Android devices in their original forms … 

Iawata said that smartphones and dedicated games devices were different platforms, and he believed people wanted different things from them.

My understanding is that, on smart devices, the main demand is for very accessible games which smart device users can easily start and easily finish. These are not necessarily the characteristics that people demand from games for dedicated video game systems. Actually, this is one of the reasons why we believe that we should not port games for dedicated game systems to smart devices just as they are.

Rene Ritchie on Apple Watch Potential

 

Apple Watch and digital unleashed | iMore

We imagined the same lunch two months from now, when we both have Apple Watches. If a notification came in, I wouldn’t get a buzz that he could hear and he wouldn’t get a buzz that I could hear. We’d each get a discreet tap alerting us — and us alone — to the notification. A turn of the wrist and a causal glimpse, and we could see what the notification was for, and either who it was from or what it was about. With that information, we could choose to ignore the notification or, if it was urgent, we could excuse ourselves to handle it.

More discreet as well:

The difference can be seen in something as simple as checking the time. Neither of us had watches because the iPhone has become our watch. Yet when either of us wanted to check and see if we needed to start wrapping up, we again had to make the visually loud and obnoxious gesture of reaching into our pockets.

Less staring down at phones and more interacting with the world. Can only be good.

Launcher – Super Useful & Newly Approved

 

After Six Months of Rejections, Launcher Returns to the App Store – MacStories

The actual Launcher app is as convenient as it used to be when it was first released in September. Launcher lets you create shortcuts to other apps (both Apple and third-party ones) that will be displayed as a grid in the Today view of Notification Center. Upon first launch, the app will offer a selection of built-in shortcuts based on your contacts, but the best part is the ability to create your own buttons for installed apps and any URL scheme you know. In my case, I created shortcuts to Shazam, Google search and Maps, 1Password, and even a couple of MacStories webpages.

Fantastic detailed piece from Federico Viticci over at MacStories highlighting just how useful this app can be. You can have shortcuts to specific tasks within apps available very quickly, just by pulling down the Notification Center or you could have some apps that you have hidden away in folders or anywhere for that matter, now available as a shortcut in the Notification Center. Very useful app.

Apple Watch Docks & Charging Stands

In preparation for pre-ordering the Apple Watch, you will want to make sure you have a quick and easy charging solution for when you take it off to charge overnight with that in mind, here are some good choices from various manufacturers that I have seen so far:

Luxury Pocket Stand by Pad & Quill lps-colorselect-amcherry-1399_1 magnet-1399-125k

Hand finished and cut from hardwood, these stands offer a solid and natural finish to put your new Apple Watch in each night – if you have a wood-effect bedside table, then this is obviously ideal. Also available in a darker mahogany style, you can pick one up here and they are priced at $69.99/$79.99.

HiRise for Apple Watch by Twelve South twelve-south-hirise twelve-south-apple-watch

Based on their designs for their iPhone and iPad charging docks, Twelve South’s solution is to offer a choice of 2 colours white and black, with a more aluminium-look and feel to their stands. Not yet available to pre-order, they will be priced at $49.99 and you can sign up to be notified when they will be available for pre-order.

Griffin WatchStand griffin-watch-stand griffin_watchstand_02_1

Griffin Technology are also letting people sign up for their upcoming Apple Watch cradle with the announcement of the WatchStand.

Griffin state that the WatchStand offers:

  • Holds your Apple Watch at an easily viewable angle as it charges
  • Cradle captures cable connector and keeps it in place, ready to charge
  • Excess cable length stores away inside WatchStand’s post
  • Non-slip base and no-scratch padding hold WatchStand in place on desk or tabletop
  • Molded base also holds iPhone, angled for easy viewing
  • Uses Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable that comes with Apple Watch

You can sign up to be notified for more information regarding it’s release here.

I personally prefer the silver HiRise solution as I like my devices to match with the white/silver combination of colours so I have signed up to be notified and then order when they become available. These solutions certainly won’t be the last to be announced for the Apple Watch but it’s good that folks are planning ahead.

Apple Watch Pro Tips

 

Apple Watch Design Overview [Infographic] – Mutual Mobile

There’s a setting to let the user select what is shown on wrist-raise: the watch face or the previously used app.

Glances are only accessible from the watch face. If you do select previously used app for wrist raise, your glances will be much less accessible. You’ll have to hit the home button, select the clock app, and then swipe up.

Apple Watch has a notification center. Swipe down from the top of the screen to access any notifications you may have missed.

Double tapping the home button in an app will take you to the previously used app. Double tapping again will bring your forward to the app you were just in. Double tapping the home button on the home screen will take you to the clock app, regardless of which app you used previously.

Worried about your watch battery? There’s a complication you can add to the watch face, and there’s also a glance dedicated to battery.

Another new glance is similar to control center allows you to put the watch into Do Not Disturb, Mute any sounds, Activate Airplane Mode. Another handy feature will cause the paired phone to emit a distress signal, for the next time you’ve lost it in the couch.

You can only get notifications while you’re wearing the watch. Otherwise they only go to your phone.

(via Dave Mark)

Interesting Snippets on the Apple Watch

apple-watch-selling-points.jpg With Apple previewing more of the Apple Watch in this week’s Spring event, we got to see a lot more of what it can do, what developers are working on as far as creating their apps to work on the device and of course prices and release dates.

After events like these, there are always questions about the device which Apple didn’t cover most probably down to time constraints but since the event, some snippets that caught me eye included Jim Dalrymple’s view on the how the Watch can differ from the iPhone;

I really like what Uber has done with its app on the watch. You are initiating something on the watch, not just responding to things happening on the iPhone. This is what we need to see more of from developers moving forward.

One of the mistakes that I made when thinking about the watch was that I’d just be responding to messages—that sounds expensive and boring. Luckily I was wrong.

On a question of storage, Charles Arthur sought out this from Apple:

Apple Watch can store 2GB of music (and play it to Bluetooth headphone), 75 MB of photos; 8 GB storage total.

On a question of waterproof, John Gruber found the small print for the Apple Watch:

Apple Watch is splash and water resistant but not waterproof. You can, for example, wear and use Apple Watch during exercise, in the rain, and while washing your hands, but submerging Apple Watch is not recommended. Apple Watch has a water resistance rating of IPX7 under IEC standard 60529. The leather bands are not water resistant.

Clayton Morris on the speed of interacting:

On the surface the Apple Watch is limited and direct with the most useful information pushed to the top. A text comes in from one of my VIP contacts and I can immediately read it and respond without being dragged four layers deep inside my phone. To respond I can only use voice dictation or tap one of the prefilled fields such as “On my way”. An Uber notification that my car is two minutes away. Great, nothing more to see here. A Dark Sky notification that a massive thunderstorm is set to strike. I think I’ll head inside. A phone call from my wife, “Hello?”. No more fumbling for the phone inside the car, the backpack or pants pocket. My phone could even be plugged in three floors away, on the same WiFi network, and I can receive a call on my wrist.

Personally, I think I am going to order the 42mm Sport version as I like the matte finish to match metal.

There will be stacks more snippets to link to in the coming weeks before launch and with the initial excitement hitting everybody before pre-orders take place, it’s useful to learn as much as we can about the product including details that were readily available.

So for now, we look forward to April 10th when pre-orders begin.

PC makers mock Apple’s new MacBook

Over at The Verge, they put together nice retorts to how PC makers were quick to advertise how their products were better than Apple’s newest design. It seems to be getting more and more common for competitors to try and sway consumers for choosing their products over Apple’s – still worth a quick read even if Apple are guilty of it themselves:

PC makers mock Apple’s new MacBook | The Verge

Lenovo was first out the gate by calling the new MacBook “so last year,” the ultimate insult to any fashion-conscious laptop buyers. Lenovo also went for a comparison picture showing how its Yoga 3 Pro is 12.8mm thin compared to the 13.1mm thinness of the MacBook, all while conveniently overlooking the fact its laptop is 0.62 pounds heavier than Apple’s latest. The comparison picture also makes the MacBook look rather thick.

And this:

Dell followed Lenovo in its response to the Macbook with a tweet dismissing its Retina display. Dell claims its XPS 13 has 2 million more pixels than the MacBook, but weight and thickness didn’t even feature in Dell’s comparison. While Dell’s XPS 13 is heavier and thicker than the MacBook, you do get two USB ports, a mini DisplayPort, and a SD card reader.

And this:

The final entry in the PC market response is Asus with its ZenBook UX305. At just 12.3mm thin it certainly beats the MacBook thickness, and even has an impressive three USB ports, micro HDMI, and SD card reader. It’s still slightly heavier than the MacBook, and Asus forgot to mention it only has a 1920 x 1080 13-inch display on the base model.

 

Good summary from The Verge:

If there’s anything these comparisons teach us it’s that PC makers will compare only their very best stats and ignore the rest. That’s surprisingly similar to Apple’s own stats manipulation during its keynotes, but it’s also a reminder that the PC market doesn’t have an answer to the new 12-inch MacBook just yet — a good combination of weight, thickness, trackpad, and high-resolution display. Some have matched or got close to the MacBook Air, while failing on the quality of trackpads and battery life.

iOS 8.2 Available Today, Preparing Your Phone For The Apple Watch

 

iOS 8.2 Will Be Available Today, Preparing Your Phone For The Apple Watch | TechCrunch

Apple’s iOS 8.2 update is now official, bringing support for the upcoming Apple Watch. Version 8.2 will include the Apple Watch companion app and will offer a number of other new features in addition to support for communicating with Apple’s wearable.

8.2 brings developer support for Apple Watch apps to the iPhone, letting WatchKit software work with other iOS devices. It also improves Apple’s Health app, adding the ability to bring in workout information from third-party apps as well as new privacy features for those who don’t want to record the steps and distance data.

Apple also made improvements to general OS stability with this update, improving the reliability of Mail, Maps (when using the 3D Flyover feature), Music, VoiceOver, and hearing aid connectivity.

Check software update for it now, to update your device.