ldstephens

Hey friends, as I mentioned the other day, I’m switching to iA Writer for my blogging and writing. This means capturing my ideas directly in iA Writer. Since GoodLinks is my go-to read-it-later app, I’ve created some Custom Actions that seamlessly transfer content from GoodLinks to iA Writer.

Previously, I wrote about creating Custom Actions in GoodLinks and later shared several actions for sending content to Drafts. Both posts were well-received, so I’m excited to share three Custom Actions for sending content from GoodLinks to iA Writer with you.

Title, Author, URL, Selection to iA

ia-writer://x-callback-url/new?text=[title]%0A{_}[author]{_}%0A[url]%0A[selection-text]

This action sends the title, author, URL, and selected text in the active article to iA Writer as plain text.

Selection – iA

ia-writer://x-callback-url/new?text=[selection-text]

This action sends the selected text in the active article to iA Writer as plain text.

Markdown Title, URL – iA

ia-writer://x-callback-url/new?text={[}[title]{]}{(}[url]{)}

This action sends the title and URL of the active article to iA Writer as markdown.

Subscribe via Email (Powered by Substack):

RSS Feed | Email Me
© 2024 ldstephens.me

As a long-time Drafts user, I'm experimenting with a new approach to capturing content.

Most of my capture happens on my iPhone. Traditionally, I’ve used Drafts to gather everything, then send it to its final destination. I’m thinking of bypassing Drafts and capturing content directly into its final app.

Here’s the plan:

  • Blogging/Writing: Capture in iA Writer
  • Notes: Capture in Apple Notes
  • Reminders and Tasks: Capture in Things

This method covers most of what I capture.

To streamline the process, I've created a shortcut called Quick Add on my iPhone for quick capture to Things, Notes, and iA Writer. The Quick Add shortcut, in my Dock, allows me to quickly add a new task to Things, a new note to Notes, or a new idea for a blog post to iA Writer. I’ll let you know on how this works out for me.

Subscribe via Email (Powered by Substack):

RSS Feed | Email Me
© 2024 ldstephens.me

Hey friends, have you ever wanted to scan a document and have it scan to “text” instead of PDF or JPEG? Well, now you can with Simple Scan.

Simple Scan by Greg Pierce of Agile Tortoise is a portable scanner app for iPhones. It allows you to capture high-quality scans of papers, receipts, and photos with just a few taps. You can save your scans as PDF or JPEG files and easily share them via email or cloud services. In addition to PDF or JPEG with version 5 you can now scan to text“Text” format option shares on the text recognized by optical character recognition as plain text. This can be output to a text file, or shared to other applications as text.

I have a workflow where I can scan a document to “text” and share it directly into Drafts Greg's other great app.

Check it out.

Subscribe via Email (Powered by Substack):

RSS Feed | Email Me
© 2024 ldstephens.me

Since the new iPads were introduced a couple of weeks ago there has been a lot of chatter about what one can and can't do on an iPad. One of the complaints I encountered was about not being able to set a default app to open certain file types in iPadOS. You know one of those posts about why someone can't use an iPad.

Well, there is a way sorta. Let's take a .txt file. The most common files that regular users have are .txt .md or .pdf. The last app to open a file type will be the default until you open it with a different app. Here's how it works:

For example, to change the default app that opens a .txt file on your iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Files app and find the .txt file you want to change the default app for.

  2. Tap and hold the .txt file until a menu appears, then select “Share.”

  3. In the share sheet, you’ll see a list of apps that can open the .txt file. Choose the app you want to use.

  4. The file will open in the selected app. From now on, whenever you open a .txt file, your iPad will remember this preference.

My preference for .txt and .md files is to open in 1Writer and .pdf files to open in the default Preview in iPadOS.

Remember, iOS doesn’t have a universal way to set a default app for file types, but this method works for accessing files with your preferred app. This works the same way in iOS on iPhone.

Subscribe via Email (Powered by Substack):

RSS Feed | Email Me
© 2024 ldstephens.me

Jaron Schneider

“One comment I saw on Threads in the hours after reviews went live stuck with me and continues to play in my head. It alleged that the disconnect between tech reviewers and actual users was never more obvious than in iPad reviews. It said that they, and I am included in this, just don’t “get” it and that real creatives have been happily using only an iPad for years, yet we as reviewers have echoed the same refrain about iPadOS for just as long. Clearly, tech reviews are not in tune with real iPad users this and many responses like it read. […] Trying to do things the way you’re used to doing them on a computer is a recipe for disaster when it comes to the iPad. […] But that’s the world tech reviewers live in: they are fluent in multiple types of tech language and when they try and integrate the iPad into an existing workflow, even a workflow designed by Apple, it stumbles and falls. […] “A lot of people don’t realize that we’re aging. A younger generation’s version of computing is massively different than ours. If we had iPads growing up we’d be interacting differently, too […] Apple is an at an impasse. It can continue iPadOS and the users who know it and nothing else will continue to love it, but reviewers and those who work in a wider ecosystem of devices will regularly complain. Or, Apple can change iPadOS to be more like a computer and upset the users that are used to the current experience. If there is anything obvious from all of this, it’s that Apple has to do something, but very likely whatever that is, it won’t please everyone.”

I found the reasoning in this article interesting. People like me, who grew up using desktop computers, often critique iPadOS for limiting the iPad's potential despite its powerful hardware. The disconnect arises because we try to use the iPad like a computer, leading to frustrations with tasks that are simpler on traditional desktops. Younger users, who have grown up using iPads, have adapted and don't even realize that limitations exist.

There's a generational shift in digital fluency, with iPadOS satisfying an iPad-centric workflow but disappointing those expecting a more computer-like experience.

Subscribe via Email (Powered by Substack):

RSS Feed | Email Me
© 2024 ldstephens.me

Google search has started giving me Google's AI-driven search results. This has led to the search engine providing inaccurate, irrelevant, and sometimes nonsensical answers. I’m increasingly frustrated as AI-generated results replace more reliable, human-curated information. Let’s call this the enshittification of Google search!

To avoid this shit, I have taken advantage of a few strategies, that work, recommended by OSX Daily and appsntips. That being said, take a look at these articles if you want your Google searches to return to the old way.

Subscribe via Email (Powered by Substack):

RSS Feed | Email Me
© 2024 ldstephens.me

Inspired by a recent trend on other blogs, Manu recently shared his blogging workflow. Here's a look at mine!

Idea Capture and Drafting:

  • Drafts App: I use Drafts for all my ideas and initial writing. It allows me to easily capture quick thoughts and inspirations.
  • Starting and Developing Posts: I begin writing posts in Drafts. Sometimes, I even finish an entire post there. For longer pieces or when I need a more focused writing environment, I send the draft to either iA Writer or Ulysses.

Editing and Publishing:

  • Grammarly: Once my writing is complete, I use Grammarly to check for typos and punctuation errors.
  • Write.as: After editing, I copy and paste the markdown text into write.as, my blogging platform.
  • Email Distribution: Next, I paste the content again into Substack for email distribution to my subscribers.
  • Cross-Posting: Finally, I cross-post the blog content to Medium.

Organizing Published Work:

  • Markdown Archive: All published posts are saved in markdown format to a dedicated “Published” folder within my iCloud storage.

Subscribe via Email (Powered by Substack):

RSS Feed | Email Me
© 2024 ldstephens.me

Hey friends, with the introduction of new AI features, Google has added a way to revert to the old search experience. A new button at the top of the search results page, labeled Web, allows you to view only text links from websites, similar to the classic Google Search.

Switching to the Web filter eliminates AI-generated content. If you don’t see the Web button in the toolbar, it can be found in the More menu. I thought that you might find this helpful.

Source: The Verge.

Subscribe via Email (Powered by Substack):

RSS Feed | Email Me
© 2024 ldstephens.me

Hey friends, following up on my post “Google's AI Search Update shakes up indie bloggers and creators,” I've spent the last few days thinking about its potential impact on this blog, and I'm convinced it will be significant.

This concern was further reinforced by a recent comment from Kara Swisher on the Pivot Podcast (May 17th). She stated, “Let me just say though, the search engine is very bad news for media and other websites in general because it will reduce the amount of traffic significantly. The whole SEO world is over. As I was looking at it, I was like, oh, look at this.”

Despite this potential traffic loss, I'm committed to keeping this blog going. Thankfully, we have a strong community of RSS readers and email subscribers who consistently engage with my content.

For Email Subscribers: Our blog post email distribution is now “Powered by Substack.”

Subscribe via Email (Powered by Substack):

RSS Feed | Email Me
© 2024 ldstephens.me

Joe Rosensteel “If you are someone who regularly uses an iPad, and you needed new hardware for some reason, then any new iPad hardware is an iPad for you. If you didn’t use an iPad (or had one collecting dust on a shelf) I don’t know why today’s announcements would make you want to buy an iPad. […] The consistent refrain before, and after the event is that Apple isn’t addressing the iPad software platform. […] Unlike some others, I’m not expecting any dramatic innovations at WWDC this Summer, and even if there were you’d be on a beta iPadOS until the Fall if you really wanted to use them. […] Anyway, this is my two cents, as someone that can’t remember the last time he charged his iPad Pro.”

A couple of months ago, to simplify my digital life and address the constant struggle of underusing my two iPads, I made a switch. I traded them in for an iPhone 15 Pro Max. That fucking alleviated the question of “where do iPads fit”? My iPhone and MacBook Air combo handles all my needs.

The only thing that would get me to consider adding an iPad back to my tech stack would be the addition of a legitimate clipboard manager and the ability for apps like Alfred or Raycast to run on the iPad. We'll see what happens to iPadOS at WWDC but I’m not holding my breath for that to happen.

Subscribe via Email (Powered by Substack):

RSS Feed | Email Me
© 2024 ldstephens.me