App Nap and BetterSnapTool

BST

When OS X Mavericks launches officially in a few weeks it will include a nifty feature for some MacBooks called App Nap. I am not sure what MacBooks will have the ability to use this feature, I know for a fact that the new MacBook Air’s just released will benefit from this feature.

App Nap helps you save power when you’re working with multiple apps at the same time. OS X can tell when an app is completely hidden behind other windows. And if that app isn’t currently doing something for you — playing music, downloading a file, or checking email, for example — App Nap conserves valuable battery life by slowing the app down. But as soon as you start to use it again, the app instantly shifts back to full speed. It’s so seamless you’ll think it had been running that way all along. App Nap works the same way with Safari tabs, so only the visible tab is running at full speed. With App Nap, CPU energy use can be reduced by up to 23 percent.

This will work by resizing the application window you are working in so that it covers over any other application that is open and places current window on top of the non-current window. Dragging app windows making them larger seems like it would become a pain to constantly do on a regular basis. Of course you could always tap the ‘green +’ in your upper left app window to expand the application and enlarge it. There is also my preferred method of managing windows on my MacBook Air, BetterSnapTool.

BetterSnapTool is an OS X utility that allows you to easily manage your window positions and sizes. I have been using this feature within BetterTouchTool for quite some time now. But if you do not want to fiddle with all the BetterTouchTool settings and just want an easy way to manage the widows snapping/sizing features you should purchase BetterSnapTool in the Mac App Store for only $1.99.

I firmly believe that when OS X Mavericks launches that I will most likely be using BetterSnapTool more than ever. I already use it quite a bit on my iMac, but on my MacBook Air I rarely use it as I may only have 2 or 3 applications open at a time. Most of the time I am using fullscreen apps on my MacBook Air since it is only has an 11" screen and fullscreen apps offer a much better viewing experience as I can see quite a bit more on screen. With the App Nap feature in Mavericks I will have an actual need to resize windows that I am not using in fullscreen mode to preserve the already stellar battery life I get on my MacBook Air. The thought of getting even better battery life on my MBA is music to my ears, having an easy way to manage the applications running to help increase that battery life is something I don’t want to think about. BetterSnapTool offers me that aspect of not having to think about management of open windows and offers it in an easy to use way!

The greatest aspect of BetterSnapTool is all the features and optimizations the application offers. Not only can you customize the size of the windows, the placement of the activation snaps, but you also have keyboard shortcuts that will allow you easily resize or snap your current application window to a desired position or size. Then there are some extras in the preferences of the application that add even more functionality to this tool such as right-clicking on ‘red x’ in your app menu bar to quit the application. You can set this up if you desire and a lot of the features are disabled by default so you will need to set up the application to whatever fits your needs.

You can get the most of the same functionality out of BetterTouchTool but setting it up is a tad more work as it also features things for touch and some might find themselves overwhelmed with all the features. You can download BetterTouchTool for free. The developer does accept donations and if you really enjoy the application I highly recommend sending him a dollars for his wonderful application!

BetterSnapTool for Mavericks is currently in beta, you can find more info about BST for OS X Mavericks here.

Pinner for iOS

I recently signed-up to use Pinboard bookmarking service. Of course if I am going to use Pinboard then I will need an iPhone and iPad app, so I searched online for Pinboard iOS app reviews and asked on Twitter and App.net what apps Pinboard users recommend? I wanted an easy way to access my bookmarks as well as the ability to bookmark links from my iPhone.

I decided on Pinner as it was priced fairly at only $1.99 and works on iOS 7[1]. The design still resembles iOS 6 but it functions properly on iOS 7 so I have no complaints about the UI. Pinner is also a universal iOS application so it will work on iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

What I like about Pinner is it feels like I am using Pinboard in the browser, all the features I get from the site are built into the application. I can edit tags, make bookmarks private, view popular bookmarks on Pinboard right within the application. Pinner also features a built-in browser so I read articles I have bookmarked without having to leave the application. On top of having an excellent built-in browser you can also setup background syncing with geofencing which will allow you sync your bookmarks with you arrive in a certain area such as your home or maybe your office.

If you use Pinboard and you are looking for an iPhone or iPad app then give Pinner a look, I think you will enjoy using this app and the great features it offers. Pinner is available in the App Store for only $1.99:
Pinner – Social Bookmarking with Pinboard.in

Pinner website.


  1. Pinner 2 and iOS 7 update are coming soon.  ↩

Twitterrific 5 for iPhone

I recently switched to the official Twitter for iOS client from Tweetbot which hasn’t yet been updated to iOS 7, but the official Twitter app just wasn’t doing it for me. So, I bought Twitterrific 5. I have been a longtime Twitterrific user on the desktop but I have never given the iOS version a shot. What is Twitterrific 5? Twitterrific 5 is a universal 3rd party iOS application for Twitter. It offers multiple user accounts, custom fonts, sync between devices, and much more. Twitterrific 5 is only $2.99[1].

What I like most about Twitterrific 5 is the design and the way the app looks, the features it offers, and the way it functions. The design in my opinion is what sets Twitterrific apart from all the other Twitter clients I have tried or used. Twitterrific features a light theme by default but you also have the choice for a dark theme if you are not fond of a white background. The dark theme looks great at nighttime and what is really neat is that if you enable Location Services within the app, you can set the theme to change based on what time of day it is. During the day you will have the light theme and at night it will automatically switch to the dark theme. I find using the dark theme at night to be more easy on the eyes as the white background is really bright. You also have options to theme Twitterrific to your personal preference when it comes to font selection, size of user avatar, line spacing, and size of fonts.

Fonts

  • Helvetica (default)
  • Proxima Nova
  • Avenir (my current selection)
  • Signika
  • Museo Slab
  • Calluna

Another great feature included in Twitterrific is the services that allow me to either read links or send links to my favorite bookmarking and/or read later services like Instapaper or Pinboard. You can also choose who you would like to host your images that you share on Twitter using services like Droplr or Twitpic. Twitterrific also includes a built-in browser so you can click links you find on Twitter and never have to leave the app. Additionally you can read with the built-in browser using a mobilizer like the Instapaper Mobilizer. The mobilizer offers a much cleaner reading experience by removing the cruft such as banner ads. Other services included are as follows.

Services

  • Instapaper
  • Safari Read Later
  • Pinboard
  • Readability
  • Droplr
  • Twitpic
  • Img.ly
  • Favstar
  • Pocket

Another aspect of Twitterrific that I enjoy using is the built-in gestures. Swipe from right to left to view the conversation of a Tweet, left to right to reply to a Tweet, 2-finger swipe from the right to left to change the theme from light to dark, and tap and hold on a Tweet to bring up the menu to send to Instapaper, copy Tweet, copy link to the Tweet and more. To find all of the gestures that are included in Twitterrific simply navigate to the in-app settings and tap on the ‘Help’ label. Inside the Help section you will find all the gestures as well as a few tips and tricks.

Overall I think Twitterrific is a great application and I would highly recommend it to anyone who uses Twitter on a daily basis or someone who might want to try something other than the official Twitter app for iOS.

Pros:

  • Beautiful design
  • Safari Reading List built-in for bookmarks
  • Sounds effects
  • Sync
  • Best refresh animation. Ever.
  • Universal app, buy once get on all your iOS devices
  • Multiple accounts
  • Light / dark theme

Cons:

  • Stream doesn’t pin to the top
  • Can’t view Trends

You can download Twitterrific 5 for iOS in the App Store which is currently only $2.99:
Twitterrific 5 for Twitter – The Iconfactory


  1. I believe that $2.99 is a sale price. Prices of apps are always subject to change.  ↩

Reeder 2 for iOS

Reeder for iPad was finally updated to Reeder 2 putting it on par with the iPhone version, in the process the iPhone version was also updated. Reeder 2 now has a beautiful iOS 7 UI and the iPad version gets the same functionality as the iPhone version previously had.

One of the key factors to Reeder 2 is that the app is now a universal application, so if you have an iPad and an iPhone you don’t have to purchase the app for both devices. Not much has changed with the iPhone version but the UI was updated and the app is now even more beautiful than before.

Another terrific addition to Reeder 2 are gestures that allow you to simply swipe the screen to navigate between screens of the app. You can also swipe on articles to favorite or to mark unread by default, but if you want to change what action happens when you swipe you have that option as well. Those options can be found in the settings of the application under the Article List section.

I use the RSS Local option which does not include syncing between devices, but if you don’t want to store your feeds locally you can also use the following services: Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, and Fever. I only choose to use the local feed aspect because I do not want to trust that a service will get shut down like with what happened to Google Reader and caused all these great RSS apps to break in the first place.

I have bought all 3 versions of the original Reeder app for iPhone, iPad, and OS X and had no problem purchasing Reeder 2. I have seen a few people complain on Twitter about not wanting to buy the app again but whatever, the app is beautiful and well worth the $5 to help support the continued development of a terrific app. I can’t wait for the OS X version to launch, apparently a beta of Reeder for Mac is coming soon.

Purchase Reeder 2 in the App Store for only $4.99:

iPhone
iPad

iOS 7 – Automatic Updating

With iOS 7 Apple finally introduced automatic updating to the operating system. With automatic updating you no longer have to check in the App Store to see if any of your apps installed on your device need to be updated.

To check if your iOS 7 device has automatic updated enabled you will need to navigate to the Settings app > iTunes & App Store > Automatic Downloads > Updates > Flip the button until green is showing.

How to tell if an app has been updated? You will see a blue dot next to the app icon on your device if the application has been updated since the last time you have used it (image example).

You can also open the App Store > Updates and it will show you any apps that have been updated recently. If you want to know what the update included then tap on “What’s New” and a drop-down menu will open and show you everything that was included in that update.

If you are worried about apps updating while using your cellular data navigate to the Settings app > iTunes & App Store > Use Cellular Data > Flip the switch until the button is showing white.

BetterTouchTool – Window Snapping

I have been using BetterTouchTool for about a year now and it has increasingly improved my productivity with my Magic Trackpad. I am at the point now where I rarely if ever use my mouse any longer. I think over the next few weeks I am going to post a few short videos like the one above showing off some of the features of BTT and some of the tricks I use myself, as well as some useful presets that I have found online. Earlier today I posted this BetterTouchTool tip for using BTT with Final Cut Pro X.

In the video above I am showing off window snapping via BetterTouchTool. Windows snapping is something I first used with Windows 7, but with BTT you can bring that functionality to OS X. I find window snapping extremely useful on my iMac, the 27″ screen offers enough real estate to where I can arrange several apps on a single desktop and work fluidly.

BetterTouchTool offers so much more than just window snapping as its main purpose is for touch gestures with a trackpad, and over the next few weeks I am going to try to touch on as many aspect of this great tool as I can. If you have not heard of BetterTouchTool then you should go download it now!

Download if for FREE: http://www.boastr.net/

Also in the video above I mentioned the BTT Remote App for iOS, if you want to support the developer then you can purchase the iOS App in the App Store for only a $1.99:

BTT Remote for iPhone
BTT Remote for iPad

I plan on purchasing this and doing a video review of it very soon. Stay tuned!

The Touch

With just a few simple gestures you can work your images without having to find the on-screen controls using your mouse. Free yourself from the interface and concentrate only on your image and what you want it to become.

Last night while going through the fcp.co forums I came across this post. I downloaded the trial version of The Touch last night, I want to test it with my Magic Trackpad. I previously tried using BetterTouchTool and while it worked fine, I didn’t think it made me more productive within FCP X.

The Touch also has an iPad App called The Touch Pad that can be used in conjunction with your Mac and Final Cut Pro X. But I have already tried both ProCutX and CTRL+Console, and I really couldn’t get a good feel for using my iPad with FCP X. Later today I will test The Touch Pad on my iPad and see if it makes much of a difference.

If you are interested in trying out The Touch, you can download the trial version or buy The Touch HERE.

How to turn off background rendering in Final Cut Pro X

This is a Final Cut Pro X tip for turning off background rendering. I find this really helpful on my older Macbook, it seems to not have as many “beach balls” when I use selective rendering.

I originally posted this video on my YouTube channel back in November 2012. I figured it might be really helpful for some so I decided to share this video here as well.

If you have any questions feel free to ask. Hit that heart and show some love!

ISO500 for iPhone

ISO500 A beautiful iPhone application designed to view the wonderful photography on 500px. The App is free to download but if you want to upload photos to your 500px account that is a premium feature and can be purchased as an In-App Purchase for only $1.99.

This is a 5-star app in my opinion and is much better than the official 500px app.

Download ISO500 Free in the App Store:

ISO500 for 500px – Pulpfingers