ldstephens

There is one app that is the backbone for everything that I do on my Mac. That app is Alfred!

Most folks refer to Alfred as a launcher, but it is so much more. I use it for text expansion, finding files, launching apps, clipboard history, and more. No bullshit, this is the app that I use most on my Mac every single day.

The core of Alfred is free to download and use forever, with no strings attached, but if you end up liking it, you’ll want to check out the advanced features of the optional Powerpack.

New to Alfred? Check out Getting Started with Alfred 5.

These are the features that I use to unlock the full power of my Mac. Each feature listed below is a link to the documentation for that feature. To get the most out of Alfred, I highly recommend that you take the time to read about each feature.

My Workflows

Reference:

Guides and Tutorials – Alfred Help and Support

Tip: You can click the question mark icon in any preference to get to the relevant help page!

I hope this post gave you some insight to what's possible with Alfred.

If you’ve tried Alfred in the past and felt, that it's the same as Spotlight, I hope this post has changed that view.

If you’ve never heard of Alfred and are now eager to try it out, give it a go and download it for free.

If you have questions about my setup, please feel free to comment.

The post “The backbone of my Mac – Alfred 5” appeared first on ldstephens.net.

#Alfred #Mac #Productivity #HowTo

Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica

After Apple updated its privacy rules in 2021 to easily allow iOS users to opt out of all tracking by third-party apps, so many people opted out that the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported that Meta lost $10 billion in revenue over the next year.

Meta's business model depends on selling user data to advertisers, and it seems that the owner of Facebook and Instagram sought new paths to continue widely gathering data and to recover from the suddenly lost revenue. Last month, a privacy researcher and former Google engineer, Felix Krause, alleged that one way Meta sought to recover its losses was by directing any link a user clicks in the app to open in-browser, where Krause reported that Meta was able to inject a code, alter the external websites, and track “anything you do on any website,” including tracking passwords, without user consent.

Now, within the past week, two class action lawsuits [1] [2] from three Facebook and iOS users—who point directly to Krause's research—are suing Meta on behalf of all iOS users impacted, accusing Meta of concealing privacy risks, circumventing iOS user privacy choices, and intercepting, monitoring, and recording all activity on third-party websites viewed in Facebook or Instagram's browser. This includes form entries and screenshots granting Meta a secretive pipeline through its in-app browser to access “personally identifiable information, private health details, text entries, and other sensitive confidential facts”—seemingly without users even knowing the data collection is happening.

​[…]

In the meantime, the lawsuits say there is an easy way to stop Meta from collecting this info. Instead of clicking on links shared on Facebook or Instagram, copy and paste them directly into your preferred browser.

I have written so much about Facebook and its fucked-up ways that I get tired of repeating myself. But I think it’s important to continue shining a light on the shit that they continue to do. This time specifically targeting iOS users.

#Linked #iOS #Privacy #Facebook

Kev Quirk

Back in 2018 I decided I was ditching Android for an iPhone. Since then my Apple devices have continued to grow. Have I become a fanboy? I recently bought my seventh Apple device to add to my ever growing collection of iStuff. Here’s what I currently own:

This reminds me of my iCreep journey. Only mine started back in December 2014 when the keyboard on my Android went to hell. I replace it with a refurbished iPhone 6 Plus from Verizon.

Next came an iMac to replace my Windows computer. In 2015 I decided it would be nice to have so I got a MacBook Pro. I loved it so much that I finally sold the 2013 iMac.

I was never interested in an iPad but I eventually got one. It was the cheapest base model and as it turned out I never used it all that much.

Today I'm all in with Apple devices.

  • iPhone 11
  • M1 iMac
  • iPad Air
  • Magic Keyboard for iPad
  • Apple Pencil
  • Apple Watch
  • Air Pods Pro

I wouldn't call myself a “fanboy” but I love my Apple products.

The post “iCreep” appeared first on ldstephens.net.

#Apple #iPhone #iPad #Mac

Nicolas Magand:

Last Friday, I went to the Apple Store here in Strasbourg and replaced the battery on my soon to be 3-year-old iPhone 11.

[…]

Replacing the battery also pushes me to commit at least one more year to my iPhone 11. I won’t replace my phone this year with one of the new iPhone 14, as my current phone from 2019 still works fine and I know that thanks to this brand new battery the fourth year of use will not be a pain.

This is excellent advice for most iPhone users, including me. I also use an iPhone 11. It functions perfectly and I love it. But I have noticed that the battery isn’t lasting quite as long as it used to. So checked the battery health and it’s at 87%. In my mind, that’s still pretty damn good.

I’ve been getting the itch for a new iPhone. Nicolas has reminded me that I don’t need one. I may need to replace the battery soon, but that is certainly far cheaper than a new iPhone.

#iPhone

New York Times

The Food and Drug Administration moved today to make hearing aids available over the counter and without a prescription to adults, a long-sought wish of consumers frustrated by expensive exams and devices.

As soon as mid-October, people with mild to moderate hearing loss should be able to buy hearing aids online and in retail stores, without being required to see a doctor for an exam to get a prescription.

The F.D.A. cited studies estimating that about 30 million Americans experience hearing loss, but only about one-fifth of them get help. The changes could upend the market, which is dominated by a relatively small number of manufacturers, and make it a broader field with less costly, and perhaps, more innovative designs. Current costs for hearing aids, which tend to include visits with an audiologist, range from about $1,400 at Costco to roughly $4,700 elsewhere.

This is exciting news for those of us who are hearing impaired. My last hearing aids even after insurance still cost over $2,000.

The Wall Street Journal has already reported that Apple is considering getting into the hearing aid business. I’m excited to see what Apple will be doing in the OTC hearing aid market. Apple might be my next set of hearing aids?

As a side note, did you know that you can already use your AirPods as hearing aids?

#News #Linked #Apple

9to5Mac

Below we’ll focus on how it works to Remind Later with Mail on iPhone.

[…]

​Interestingly, when you use Remind Later with Mail, the email that’s scheduled for a future reminder is actually sent to the trash folder.

This makes no fucking sense. What happens to that email and reminder when you empty the trash?

Look, I use this feature fairly regularly in a different app. In that app, an email with a reminder is moved to a folder called Snoozed. If I happen to empty the trash in that app my email and reminder aren’t affected.

Apple needs to fix this before this feature goes live for everyone.

#Opinion #Apple #Apps

iA Writer has been in my writing toolbox since 2017. It's not an app that I use every day but often. So next week we're going to get version 6. What I'm most interested in seeing is what the payment model will be. Will it be a one-time purchase with a paid upgrade as it has always been or a subscription? I'm guessing both options will be available.

#Apps #Opinion

  1. Finally! Apple Mail app on Mac, iPhone, and iPad is getting Undo Send, schedule emails and reminders (snooze) to follow-up.

  2. Finally! iPadOS 16 Finder will have the ability to view folder size and extension, and the ability to change a files extensions.

  3. iOS 16 will push standalone security updates to iOS 16 devices between standard software updates.

#Apple #iPhone #iPad #Mac

Casey Newton points out “that Sandberg held many roles at Facebook over the years, and helped guide it through several tumultuous periods. In conversations with people who worked closely with her, though, there were really only two distinct eras in Sandberg’s time at Facebook. They fit neatly, into two seven-year periods.”

“From 2008 to 2015, Sandberg played a critical role in Facebook’s rise. Coming from a top business job at Google, she gave the young company a credibility among advertisers that it previously lacked. Mark Zuckerberg trusted her with functions that he viewed as less critical to the company’s success than the product and growth teams on which he spent more of his time.”

Shira Ovide, writing for the New York Times

Sandberg spearheaded a plan to build from scratch a more sophisticated system of advertising that was largely based on what she had helped develop at Google. Ads on Facebook were tied to people’s activities and interests on the site. As at Google, many advertisers bought Facebook ads online rather than through sales personnel, as had been typical for TV or newspaper ads. Later, Sandberg cultivated new systems for Facebook advertisers to pinpoint their potential customers with even more precision.

Google and Facebook transformed product marketing from largely an art to a sometimes creepy science, and Sandberg is among the architects of that change. She shares in the credit (or blame) for developing two of the most successful, and perhaps least defensible, business models in internet history.

All the anxiety today about apps snooping on people to glean every morsel of activity to better pitch us dishwashers — that’s partly Sandberg’s doing.

“The second era, from 2016 on, looked very different.”

Shira Ovide, writing for the New York Times

Sandberg was also partly responsible for Facebook’s failures during crucial moments, notably when the company initially denied and deflected blame for Russia-backed trolls that were abusing the site to inflame divisions among Americans ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

[…]​

Sandberg initially said publicly that Facebook played little role in the organizing of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. That wasn’t quite true. As my colleagues Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang reported, people used Facebook to spread misinformation about election fraud, which fueled anger among the protesters. Some rioters used Facebook to openly discuss the logistics of the attack ahead of time.

In their 2021 book, “An Ugly Truth,” Sheera and Cecilia wrote that to Sandberg’s detractors, her response was part of a pattern of trying to preserve the company’s reputation or her own rather than do the right thing.

Sandberg was also among those responsible for Facebook’s delayed or insufficient initial response in 2018 about news reports that a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, was able to harvest personal information on many millions of Facebook users.

Sheryl Sandberg is leaving behind a mixed legacy for her time at Facebook. I applaud her for her work advocating for women. On the other hand, I deplore her for her partnership, in crime, with Zuckerberg making Facebook the shit hole that it is today. The final chapter of her legacy is yet to come. Let’s see how it turns out?

By the way, Mark it’s time for you to join Sheryl in leaving Facebook/Meta. It’s the end of an era and time for a new chapter.

#Linked #Opinion #Facebook

Did you know that Alfred's Clipboard History has actions that can be run on the clipboard's contents?

I happened onto this totally by accident. The other day I had a URL on the clipboard and I wanted to open it in Safari.

I knew I could open Safari, navigate to the address bar (⌘+L), activate the clipboard (⌥+⌘+C ), and paste the URL.

That's four steps. It would be nice if I could open the URL in Safari directly from the clipboard. I know that the right → opens additional actions for some items in the Alfred bar so I thought I would try that on a clipboard item. Magically a list of actions opened up.

I discovered that this is part of the Universal Actions feature in Alfred version 4.5. By the way, actions can also be triggered with the Universal Actions keyboard shortcut ⌥+⌘+\.

Alfred 4.5 is an exciting milestone, bringing you a whole new way to use Alfred!

With the new Universal Actions feature, you can select text in your browser, a URL in an email or a file on your Desktop and pop up Alfred's Actions panel to choose what to do with your content. Start anywhere and jump into action.

If you're using Alfred and not using Universal Actions you should take the time to check it out.

#Mac #Apps #Alfred #HowTo

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