The Apple Artist Podcast #15

I just posted our 15th podcast over at The Apple Artist. If you’re a digital artist working on a Mac, this is for you. Joined by my Mac artist friends Krishna Sadasivam and Tracy Bishop. We discuss the popular Cintiq alternative Yiynova MSP19u and the brand new Manga Studio 5. As usual, filled with other tips, app suggestions and other geeky stuff. I’ve even been told that PC artists find it helpful!

More Yiynova MSP19u & Manga Studio 5 – The Apple Artist Podcast #15 – The Apple Artist.

In (Partial) Defense of Apple’s Skeuomorphic Design in iOS

Faux stitched leather annoys me too. But I’m not sure all skeuomorphic design is bad.

Wikipedia defines skeuomorphic design as:

an element of design or structure that serves little or no purpose in the artifact fashioned from the new material but was essential to the object made from the original material

I find it annoying in certain situations in iOS and OS X, such as the Phone app icon ¹, the Address Book on the Mac, the page flips in iBooks. Still, I’m not turned off by the green felt in Game Center.

Continue reading “In (Partial) Defense of Apple’s Skeuomorphic Design in iOS”

Assign a Keyboard Shortcut to Move Messages to a Folder in Apple Mail

Here’s a great tip on how to assign a keyboard shortcut to move messages to a folder in Apple Mail. In short, you use the Applications Shortcuts found within System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts to assign a keyboard shortcut to a specific folder in Apple Mail. Similar to my tip on a global keyboard shortcut for creating a new email message in Apple Mail.

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Revolution, Then Evolution: Apple and the iPhone 5

I’ve seen a few commentary articles about the iPhone 5 announcement that are referring to the new iteration as boring. This doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s no longer a revolution like the original one was. New Macs are nice to look at, but in reality who really cares how much the industrial design changes—it’s the one aspect of the device you almost never interact with. It’s the box the toy comes in.

I’m an Apple geek and I pay attention to the rumors before a new device is expected. Typically they are blown out of proportion and way off the mark. This is due to one simple fact: most people seem to misunderstand Apple.

I’ve been using a Mac since 1994. The one thing that stands out in Apple’s product lines since the return of Steve Jobs is that of a long period of refinement after a burst of innovation. The iPhone has been a perfect example of this approach.

Continue reading “Revolution, Then Evolution: Apple and the iPhone 5”

Things On iOS That Are Stupid

I love my iPhone and my iPad. But some aspects of iOS boggle the mind with the oversight of features. Here’s a list of my top offenders:

• timers in the Notifications screen: when running a timer, it should appear with live countdown in the drop down notifications screen. And probably in the lock screen too.

• the Notifications screen needs a “clear all” button

• opening up iOS to allow apps to talk to and share with each other

• we need a Mac App Store viewer app.

• Reminders and Calendar alerts need Snooze options

• easier methods to get to specific settings. Or re-allow 3rd-party apps to access them directly

• App Store trials

• Mobile Safari needs a “Copy Link to Clipboard” action

• let me see the image metadata of the photos I’ve taken with the device

Why I Love The Apple TV

Recently a friend asked what possible reason there was for him to be interested in the Apple TV. I thought I’d share my response.

• It’s a great box for Netflix Instant

• If you have videos on the Mac (in iTunes) you can stream them to the Apple TV. There are apps such as Air Video and Stream To Me  that will stream videos from your Mac in any video format to the Apple TV as well. They both offer live conversion too, so you can play .avi files and other formats not supported by iTunes.

• You can also mirror the newest iPad (iPad 3) & iPhone (iPhone 4S) screen to Apple TV.

• With Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and a newer Mac, you can send your Mac screen to Apple TV.

• You can rent films and television shows from the iTunes Store.

• Hulu Plus was recently added (if unlike me, that matters to you).

• Stream audio from any Apple device to Apple TV. Play music from an iPhone on the local network for example.

• Stream photos and videos from the default Photos app to the TV for group viewing.

• Sync the audio from iTunes to play on the Mac and on the TV or home audio system conencted to the TV for full-house audio.

• Send video from and iPad or iPhone to the Apple TV for viewing on a larger screen.

There are also lots of other things that I never use, such as the YouTube, Vimeo and Flickr channels, the MLB, NHL, NBA and WSJ channels, internet radio, video and audio podcasts.

The iPhone let’s you take you Mac with you. The Apple TV lets you share your Mac with the rest of your house.

Launch Center Pro

Launch Center Pro is an automation utility for the iPhone. You launch the app, then choose an action that you’ve configured earlier. Most actions in some way interact with other apps you’ve installed on your iPhone. For example, say you copied some text in Safari; you can have an action set up that takes the text from the clipboard and uses it to automatically Tweet that text. Or send it to Evernote as a new note. Or send it as a text to your spouse.

This app isn’t for everyone, but I love utilities like this and it’s extremely well done. I owned the original Launch Center and hesitated on having to buy a new version so soon after the original, but this version is so much better and it was completely worth it.

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