Chrome Keywords - Examples

Some follow up specific examples regarding my last article about Chrome Keywords. In these examples, you can set the keyword to whatever you would like, and whatever makes sense to you, but I wanted to provide some example URL's with the %s in the string. The Keywords I provide below are just what I have used and what I recommend.

Duck Duck Go -

Keyword - duck

URL with query in place - https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%s

Bing -

Keyword - bing

URL with query in place - https://www.bing.com/search?q=%s&PC=U316&FORM=CHROMN

Google Cloud Search -

Keyword - cloud

URL with query in place - https://cloudsearch.google.com/cloudsearch/search?authuser=0&q=%s

Wolfram Alpha -

Keyword - wolf (also considered “wa”)

URL with query in place - http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=%s

GitHub -

Keyword - github

URL with query in place - https://github.com/search?q=%s&ref=opensearch

Google Drive -

Keyword - drive

URL with query in place - https://drive.google.com/drive/search?q=%s

Maps -

Keyword - maps

URL with query in place - https://www.google.com/maps/search/%s?hl=en&source=opensearch

YouTube-

Keyword - youtube

URL with query in place - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%s&page={startPage?}&utm_source=opensearch

Hope these are helpful, and can get you started on thinking of your own keywords to use!

Chrome Keywords - Power User

This week I learned about a powerful feature within Chrome that has honestly completely changed my workflow. After looking around on the internet I found out that this has existed for a while, but it is something new to me, so I thought I would share.

I discovered this because I was trying to find a way to use Google Cloudsearch (Google Cloud Search: Search Gmail, Drive & More | G Suite) more effectively. If you are a G Suite customer and haven’t used Cloudsearch before, I would highly recommend you give it a shot. Think of it like Google, but for your G Suite data. You can type a search in for just about anything, and it will find it in your G Suite docs, emails, calendar, etc. and is much better at understanding natural language than the Gmail, Docs, or calendar searches that are built in to each individual product. They also recently opened up the API to allow applications to use Cloudsearch with external applications as well. I will do a longer write up on Cloudsearch at some point, but it’s an amazing tool, and I rarely use it because you need to go to a specific URL(https://cloudsearch.google.com) to use it. I wanted a chrome extension, or a keyboard shortcut that I could use so I could use Cloudsearch more easily.

In searching for some solution on how to invoke Cloudsearch more easily, it was recommended to me to set up a “keyword” in chrome. Something like “Cloud” that I could type and it would know to use Cloudsearch to do whatever I was typing next.

To edit keywords, open up your Chrome settings by going to chrome://settings and then scroll down to Manage Search Engines. You can also go there directly by going to chrome://settings/searchEngines.

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 5.33.07 PM.png

Google will automatically create some keywords for you. I didn’t realize that this is what it was doing, but for instance if I typed in youtube.com in my chrome and just did a space at the end of it, it would come up with a search field for YouTube, without even going to the site. The cool thing is, these are all customizable, and you can even go in and create your own!

For me, the first thing I did was remove the .com from all of the ones that I actually use. I changed youtube.com to just youtube github.com to github and even made maps.google.com to just maps. If you want, you can make it really easy to use a different search engine, just by typing a keyword first. For instance I set up duck duck go with the keyword duck to make it easy to switch, in case I want to do a more private search.

In the case of Cloudsearch, they didn’t pre-populate one for me to edit, so I needed to add a new one on my own. I went in to Add under “Other search engines” and named it Cloud Search, with the keyword cloud (you can use whatever you’d like, that’s just what I chose). In the URL section you need to replace the query section of the URL with %s, so in this case my URL is https://cloudsearch.google.com/cloudsearch/search?authuser=0&q=%s. That’s it! Now I can just type cloud in to the URL, followed by a space, and it will just search my Google Cloud search for whatever I type in. For me this was a HUGE time saver!

Screen+Shot+2019-03-06+at+5.35.05+PM.jpg

Google's Messaging Platforms

Google has really been in a tough spot with their messaging platforms over the last several years. As a consumer, it's been frustrating becaues they have so many different directions that they are constantly going, and have very little focus. It would be even more frustrating to me if I were an Android user and relied on these platforms for my every day messaging.

Google's default messaging app did not have the feature set that you would generally expect from a messaging platform, so Google has tried several things over the years. Hangouts was already a chat platform even before Android came around, and for a while Google tried to make hangouts integrate with Android better and be more of a messaging platform, but it was weird what you could or couldn't do. For a while, they didn't seem like they wanted to touch the default SMS app, and instead opted to work on a new product, called Allo. Allo was a great app that had a lot of really cool features, but the problem is no one seemed to care and very few people used it. In a blog post yesterday Google is trying to clear up their message and what they are doing going forward -

We want every single Android device to have a great default messaging experience. We’ve been working closely with the mobile industry to upgrade SMS so that people around the world can more easily enjoy group chats, share high-res photos, and get read receipts on any Android device. Thanks to partnerships with over 40 carriers and device makers, over 175 million of you are now using Messages, our messaging app for Android phones, every month.

In parallel, we built Google Allo, a smart messaging app, to help you get more done in your chats and express yourself more easily. Earlier this year we paused investment in Allo and brought some of its most-loved features—like Smart Reply, GIFs and desktop support—into Messages. Given Messages’ continued momentum, we’ve decided to stop supporting Allo to focus on Messages.

When iMessage came out on iPhone several years ago, I think it was pretty obvious that it was an advantage over Android. I didn't think that it would be an advantage for long though. Many features come out on one platform or the other first, but are quickly implemented by the other platform as well. iMessage seemed like an obvious thing to copy, but Google has so far really struggled to get their messaging platform off the ground.

In the same article, they talk about their enterprise messaging platforms. In the enterprise space, I think their message has been much more clear, however I think they are going in a really great direction. Until last year, business or enterprise users (using G Suite, Google's productivity Suite) would use Google Hangouts for both video calls and for chat. This was basically the version of Hangouts that people would use with their personal accounts, and didn't really offer business specific features. It was ok, but definitely felt out of place. Google has aggressively been working on more business/enterprise ready versions of all of their apps, and in the last year, Hangouts has received that treatment.

Google Hangouts Chat was released and is a new chat platform more on par with Slack or Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet was launched as a video conferencing platform. Google has been much more focused on this side of their business than they have been on the consumer messaging platform, and both products are pretty great, and continue to improve at a rapid clip.

Read the Full Blog

Tweetbot 5

My favorite Twitter client, Tweetbot, got a significant upgrade today to version 5.0. This new version includes the following features in addition to bug fixes and optimizations -

  • GIF support in compose view (Powered by Giphy)
  • Redesigned profiles
  • Redesigned tweet status details
  • New iconography and app icon
  • Optimized dark theme for OLED displays
  • Support for haptic feedback
  • Auto video playback in the timeline (which can be disabled in the settings)

Check it out on the App Store or their website.

Google Brain teams hiring

Chris Lattner, on Twitter -

The Google Brain team is hiring for a wide range of positions spanning compiler engineering, runtime and systems work, ML modeling and infrastructure, API design, Swift compiler engineering, data perf optimization, and more

See this page for more details! https://gist.github.com/lattner/5cf81ce99fece780450428f93c21e400

Chris is brilliant. He worked at Apple for a long time and is the primary creator of Swift from apple.

Personally I would love to work on this team. It would be a dream come true.

Steve Jobs - 7 Years Later

Seven years ago today, Steve Jobs passed away. I wanted to briefly reflect on him, as he had a huge impact on my life and is someone I greatly admired.

I had the fortune of working for Apple for several years, and after Steve's death, we closed every Apple Store in the company so that we could live stream the memorial service. It was one of the most meaninful memories that I have, and one of the actual attendees brought me a program from the memorial, which is one of my prized posessions.

In the program, it contains all of the words from his Stanford commencement speach, which I can honestly say changed my life the first time I heard it, and is something I revisit at least once a year. Here is the full text of the speech -

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned Coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backward 10 years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents’ garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4,000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down — that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the world’s first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors and Polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: It was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Bloomberg Apple Report

Bloomberg recently published an article with an extremely flashy click bait title “The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies”

In the article, Bloomberg is claiming that a Chinese company Supermicro who builds server chip sets, had been able to sneak a chip on to these boards allowing the company to compromise the security of the server that they built. They claimed that Amazon and others found these chips and reported them to the FBI.

Apple and others have been unusually clear in their response to this article. Full press release is here The opening statement makes their stance immediately clear -

Over the course of the past year, Bloomberg has contacted us multiple times with claims, sometimes vague and sometimes elaborate, of an alleged security incident at Apple. Each time, we have conducted rigorous internal investigations based on their inquiries and each time we have found absolutely no evidence to support any of them. We have repeatedly and consistently offered factual responses, on the record, refuting virtually every aspect of Bloomberg’s story relating to Apple. On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, “hardware manipulations” or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server. Apple never had any contact with the FBI or any other agency about such an incident. We are not aware of any investigation by the FBI, nor are our contacts in law enforcement.

Amazon has issued a similar statement here

I truly feel like clickbait articles around technology and sensationalizing stories like this is absolutely hurting the credibility of these publications and also creating panic and distrust with consumers when it isn’t necessary. In my experience I steer away from Bloomberg because I think they are extremely lazy in their tech reporting.

EDIT - Additional evidence that Bloomberg's article is not true, posted by Reuters

Facebook Hack

Earleir today, Facebook announced that around 50 million accounts had been compromised. According to Facebook -

Our investigation is still in its early stages. But it’s clear that attackers exploited a vulnerability in Facebook’s code that impacted “View As” a feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like to someone else. This allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens which they could then use to take over people’s accounts. Access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they don’t need to re-enter their password every time they use the app.

Facebook says they have reset the tokens of compromised accounts, which will force users to log in again, and should resolve the problem.

I personally do not trust Facebook with my data, for several reasons. First, I don't trust what Facebook themselves do with our data. Facebook only cares about making money with your data, and never thinks about the morality of what they do with that data.

This security breach illustrates the other potential issue I see with Facebook, and that's the security around individual's data. If you're pessimistic about Facebook, they are mining all of our data for profit, and that's all they care about. If you're optimistic about Facebook, then they care about connecting people. Either way, it's been pretty clear that security is not a priority.

This couldn't be made more clear than it was during the 2016 when foreign state actors used Facebook and others to manipulate the presidential election.

Part of me wonders if this is part of a data mining effort by a nation state, gearing up for another round of targeted political attacks for this November.

For instructions on how to delete your Facebook account entirely, rather than just suspending it, check out this article from the Verge.

1Password and iOS 12

Apple released iOS 12 yesterday, with a whole bunch of awesome new features.

One of my favorite new features, however, has largely flown under the radar. At WWDC, it was announced in one of the developer sessions that they would be adding support for password managers to use the native API for password auto fill, meaning Dashlane, 1Password, LastPass, and others would be able to present you your managed passwords natively in iOS, without you needing to link it to the other app.

This seems like it may be a small deal, but it honestly has already radically changed my workflow on iOS for the better.

More information about how this works, as well as a few other features of iOS 12 that weren't directly talked about by Apple at their developer conference can be found here, at The Verge, by Chris Welch.

Google Remotely Changed Settings

Ryan Whitwam, writing for Android Police -

Like most phones these days, Google's Pixel devices have a battery saver mode that automatically kicks in when your charge level reaches a certain threshold. You can change the percentage at which battery saver activates, but apparently Google can do that, too. A substantial number of Pixel owners report their phones have suddenly switched to battery saver mode when almost fully charged.

In a subsequent update to the article, it clarified that in fact it wasn't just the pixel phones, but many Android phones.

While we all kind of assume that Google and Apple have these capabilities, it's a little frightening when it's actually used. Particularly that it was possible to use this by accident, as it seems was the case here.

It makes me wonder, as unlikely as this is, what if this capability was hijacked at some point by someone malicious?

I also can't help but wonder how the reaction to something like this would differ if it were Apple that had made this mistake.

Twitter Permanently Bans Infowars and Alex Jones

Today, right after Jack Dorsey's testimony to congress where he avoided every possible question related to filtering political commentary on his platform, Twitter has decided to permenantly ban Infowars and Alex Jones from their platform.

I'm really glad Twitter finally relented on this and is doing the right thing, but let's not forget that these aren't the only accounts out there promoting hate and racism on the platform. This is a great step in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go.

Tesla Staying Public

Late Friday evening, on August 24, Elon Musk posted on Tesla's blog that they have decided to remain public.

I met with Tesla’s Board of Directors yesterday and let them know that I believe the better path is for Tesla to remain public. The Board indicated that they agree.

The blog post is short and is worth a read.

While I still beleive it would make a lot of sense for Tesla to be a private company, I wasn't very optimistic that it would happen. It would be very difficult to get all of the share holders and board members to agree on that.

I believe that Elon is a brilliant engineer, and although some disagree with me, I think his heart is in the right place with everything that he is trying to do. He needs to stop tweeting everything that comes to his mind though.

Elon Musk and Tesla

Elon Musk has been making headlines lately, largely focused around his Twitter comments. Elon has always been somewhat controversial on Twitter for various reasons, partially because no one seems to know when to take him seriously. At one point, he posted that Tesla was going bankrupt. Turns out it was an April Fools joke, but many people thought it hit a little too close to home. He often has a dark sense of humor, and sometimes doesn't seem to know where the line is as one of the most famous and successful CEOs in the world.

Recently Elon tweeted about taking Tesla private -

It's an interesting idea, and I think actually a really good idea, but this raised a few issues. No one seems to know for sure what exactly is happening, but the SEC is rumored to be investigating the legality of him saying this in this way, and there are rumors that the board of directors was caught off guard by this comment. No one seems surprised that Elon would say something like this without consulting the board.

After tweeting this, Elon tried to combat some of the criticism of him doing this by talking about how busy he is currently, and how he's been putting in so many hours at the gigafactory that he's basically delirious right now. He's not backing down on what he said, but seems to be trying to justify it anyway.

Personally I think this is further illustration of why the company should be private. Elon does not behave like a normal CEO, and does not like being told what to say or what not to say. In many ways, this is immature, however in my opinion he has earned that right within his companies.

I want to take a second here to acknowledge that there are other stories out there about employee abuse, sexism, potential drug use in the workplace, and several other pretty serious allegations. I personally believe that these are either not true, or exagerated, but this is only my opinion and I acknowlege that part of why I believe what I believe is because I want them to be false. When I am talking about what Telsa should or shouldn't do, I am doing so under the assumption that these allegations are false or exagerated, though I certainly could be wrong.

There are a lot of Elon haters out there. He absolutely exagerates the truth, and does so fairly frequently. Often this is about the timeline on something they are working on (they are never on time) but sometimes it's even about features, which either never end up existing, or are much further off than he implies. I wish that he wouldn't do that kind of thing, and that when he says that the company is going to do something by a certain date, that's what happens, however I don't think this is as big of a deal as some people make it out to be. Every tech company does this, it's just a matter of degree.

Think about all of the accomplishments that his companies have had, and how world changing they really are. PayPal changed how we pay for things on the internet. SpaceX has already dramatically changed how the space industry works, and has even more ambitious plans for the future, and last but certainly not least, Tesla has the whole car industry scrambling to catch up. Any one of these companies in their current state would be a monumental lifetime achievement, and I don't think they are anywhere close to being done.

Elon is a genius engineer, and I truly believe that he wants to change the world for good. He is for sure quirky, and sometimes selfish, outlandish, and has many flaws, but I think people should cut him some slack, and acknowledge some of his accomplishments. Being part of a public company comes with a lot of baggage. Everything is based on quarterly earnings, rather than innovation or even doing the right thing.

Even though I'm a stock owner of Tesla, I think that it would be able to move forward more effectively as a private company. I think Elon is a great visionary and incredible engineer, but sometimes I wish he would lay off of his Twitter for a while.

Dark Sky

My favorite weather app, Dark Sky, recently got a big update. The update completely changes how the whole timeline looks and feels, and there are way more options available now.

Having used it for a couple of days, one of my favorite new features is that it can send me a push notification when it’s going to rain soon where I am. So far it’s been really accurate, giving me a 5-10 minute warning when it’s going to rain.

They wrote all about the update on their blog. You should check it out, and I highly recommend the app.

1Password and iOS 12

One of my favorite new feature announcements of iOS 12 that will be coming out went largely unnoticed by most people, unless you were really paying attention to WWDC this last year. In the forthcoming release of iOS, Apple is providing new API's to allow password manager apps to be used for the AutoFill function in the OS. This means it will be able to pull from apps like 1Password, rather than requiring that you use KeyChain for your password management.

Juli Clover, writing for MacRumors wrote an article that details how this functionality is going to work.

I personally am a huge fan of 1Password and definitely consider that an app I can't live without. I'm very excited for this feature to be widely available when iOS 12 is released this fall.

Back to my Mac

Apple has made the decision to remove "Back to my Mac" from the forthcoming macOS Mojave.

I have had mixed luck with Back to my Mac. When it works, it works well, but it seems like a lot of the time it just doesn't connect, and doesn't give you a clear reason as to what happened, or how to fix it.

From Apple's support site -

If you have multiple Macs, screen sharing lets you use one Mac to view and control your other Mac remotely. This means you can open, move, and close files and windows, and use apps — even if you're in another location — so you can always get what you need. Learn how to set up and use screen sharing

The part that is interesting to me is the even if you're in another location. It's not very clear to me what that means. Apple also recommends Apple Remote Desktop for remote Mac management, and again mentions the term another location

If you have more than one Mac, Apple Remote Desktop also lets you run apps and work with files that are on your other Mac, even if you're in another location. So if you want to run an app that's only on your other Mac, you can. Learn more about how to use Apple Remote Desktop.

Maybe I'm reading in to this, but that phrase makes me think that you'll basically be able to do the same thing that you can now, it's just a different mechanism than "Back to my Mac" has been. It's also interesting to me that Apple talks about using Apple Remote Desktop, and I wonder if they'll finally give that some love after years of neglect.

Apple has a very interesting feature in iMessage where you can request and grant screen share with other people, presumably for things like troubleshooting. I wonder if anything is going to happen to that feature in Mojave.

Readdle

Readdle is a company that makes great Mac and iOS software. Today they are celebrating their 11th birthday, and offering bundles of their software on sale.

I highly recommend checking out their site and see if there's anything you want. For me, PDF Expert in particular, both for iOS and macOS, is a piece of software that I can't live without.

Check out PDF Expert as well as all of their other great applications by visiting their website