For All Mindkind

Posts tagged with "mavericks"

Skitch for Mac Updated with Mavericks Compatibility, Redesigned Toolbar, New Icon

Following a major update for iOS that was released last month with a complete redesign and rewrite for annotations and sharing, Evernote updated Skitch for Mac today with a new icon, new branding, Mavericks fixes and a redesigned toolbar.

In a move that it’s in line with the company’s recent focus on Skitch as a standalone product and not an extension of Evernote apps, Skitch for Mac no longer launches with a login screen for users who don’t want to sync their image annotations to the service. Sync is still available, but all Evernote-related features have been grouped in a single area that doesn’t ask users to log into their accounts every time they launch the app. That alone was one of the biggest annoyances of the old Skitch for people who liked to keep it out of Evernote, and I’m glad it’s been improved.

In terms of using the app, Evernote has redesigned the toolbar to be more similar to the iOS counterpart in how it groups items and only shows more options when necessary. On the left side of the screen, you can click items as you’ve always done with Skitch, but now tools that have sub-menus for additional controls will navigate into a sub-view when clicked instead of showing a popup. This view can be pinned on screen to keep it visible by clicking the pin icon at the top, or you can click anywhere in the sidebar to go back to the main tool selection view. I’ve only been trying the new sidebar this morning, and it does seem to work better than the old UI for how I’m used to annotate images in Skitch (I either drag images onto the dock icon or use the menubar helper for crosshair snapshots).

The bottom section of the app has been redesigned as well. Zoom controls, file name, format, and “drag me” are more tightly integrated in a single toolbar, and I’ve noticed that you can click the filename to rename an image directly in Skitch before saving it to the Finder. Interestingly, file format options include both “PNG” and “Skitch PNG” – the only difference being that, in my tests, “Skitch PNG” set the Alpha Channel to “Yes” in the Finder’s image inspector.

I still miss the old app’s ability to snap webpages (I’ve been using Ember for that, and it’s a very nice app) but it’s good to see Evernote getting rid of cruft and polishing the design for users who don’t care about syncing their annotations to the main Evernote service. I don’t think that Skitch for Mac will ever be as simple as the new iOS version, and today’s update feels like a good one.

Skitch 2.7 is available on the Mac App Store.

The State of Maps

Maps for iOS 6 wasn’t well received, prompting an apology from Apple and a brief App Store campaign that featured alternatives such as Google Maps. Apple’s core problem: they just didn’t have the data or the mapping prowess to compete with Google, the previous maps supplier and a popular provider for search, directions, and transit information. Apple’s strategy was to provide a core Maps experience, letting developers ship apps on the App Store that could take the spotlight for reviews and transit info.

For the past year, Apple has been trying to hire a number of “Ground Truth Experts” while acquiring companies like HopStop and Embark. They’ve made lots of improvements to Flyover, revisiting popular tourist spots to patch messy data. It’s a continual work in progress, but one year later, I expected to see more progress.

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Hazel 3.2 Adds Mavericks Tagging Support

Hazel is the key element of my paperless workflow and several other automation scripts I run on my Mac, such as photo backups. One day, I will get around describing my paperless system (which I have tweaked and perfected over the past months), but, today, allow me to link to version 3.2 of the app, which adds support for tags in Mavericks.

You can now create rules that check for tags in matched files and apply tags automatically. This is great if you want to process a bunch of files automatically and tag them instead of moving them into a folder. Hazel can pick up tags you’ve already created on your Mac, as well as create and replace existing tags if you want to type a tag’s name manually in Hazel.

Interestingly, Hazel can still set color labels (I assume for Mountain Lion users?) and it doesn’t show a tag’s color inline when editing an action – for me, it just displays a blue “token” for the tag with a white label. It’s really a minor issue –  I have been testing the public betas with Mavericks support and they’ve been working well for me.

You can get Hazel here, and check out our review of version 3.0 and some of my workflows.

Mavericks, Mail, and Gmail

Joe Kissell:

Apple Mail in Mavericks treats Gmail accounts differently than any previous version of Mail did. Although some of the changes are quite clever, the implementation has flaws. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I’ve seen a number of folks on Twitter complaining about some of the same things I’ve found. Here’s what I’ve observed and what you can (and can’t) do about it.

I mentioned “strangeness” with Mail in my review of Mavericks. Joe does an excellent job at documenting what’s going on and why.

I’ll let you guess what other old feature Mavericks broke in Mail (keep reading Joe’s article until the end).


AppleScript, Automator, and Automation Improvements in Mavericks

I have been using Mavericks for a little while now and I have to admit that I was a little slow to get excited about this release of OS X. Once I started to sink my teeth into some of the power-user features, though, it didn’t take long for me to really get sucked into trying out every new geeky addition, specifically all of the new AppleScript features.

I will be the first to admit that AppleScript is not my favorite language and I only ever use it when I absolutely have to, but, with the release of Mavericks, Apple has added some very compelling reasons to give it another chance. I was recently discussing AppleScript with a developer friend of mine, and we agreed that since Apple had begun stripping out some script-related functionality of core apps like iTunes, it would not be surprising if the language was slowly phased out of any upcoming OS releases. However, I was wrong. In a surprising turn of events, Apple decided to breath new life into AppleScript and make it easier than ever to write clean and reusable scripts. Read more

Working with Mavericks After A Year of iPad

I don’t need my Mac as much as I used to.

When I started MacStories in April 2009, I had a late–2008 MacBook Pro and an original iPhone I had bought from the United States and unlocked to make it work in Italy. From 2008 and until the better part of 2012, my MacBook Pro (and then the Air) was my primary computer: it was the device I used to write, browse the web for research and leisure, respond to emails, and do all the other tasks to get work done on a daily basis. Because my Mac was also the only device that could allow me to manage MacStories, I had to bring it with me on trips or longer vacations.

I’ve always been the kind of Mac user who likes to enhance his OS X experience with little scripts, shortcuts, and automation tools to save a few minutes every day and speed up tedious work tasks. I have Keyboard Maestro macros to automatically resize and generate screenshots for my reviews; I have assigned hotkeys to actions that I run frequently; if necessary, I can trigger a Python script or AppleScript-based workflow and have OS X take care of a complex task for me. I fall into the category of OS X power users and I’m fond of the apps and utilities I rely upon. But, in the past year, I’ve found myself using them less and less because I enjoy working from iOS more.

Most of my work activities are related to writing: whether it’s an article, a quick research note, an email, or chatting with my co-workers, I spend a lot of time typing and assembling words in a way that (I hope) makes sense to my readers and colleagues. In the past year – as people who have been following this site know – I have realized that I can be as efficient on my iPhone and iPad as I am on my Mac. I was initially forced into my new iPad-first workflow by frequent hospitalizations and a general inability to use my MacBook Air for long writing sessions; after the initial “What do I do now” moment and annoyances, I’ve come to like iOS – and the iPad – more and more.

I haven’t listened to people who told me I couldn’t work from my iPad. Read more