ldstephens

Apps

Yesterday, I wrote about launching Mac apps with keyboard shortcuts using Keyboard Maestro. If you’re an Alfred user, you can do the same thing with an Alfred workflow.

As an example, here’s my workflow to launch Safari with the hotkey ⌥S. You’ll need the PowerPack to do this.

Step one is to create a new blank workflow.

Step two is to set up a hotkey trigger.

Step three is adding the Launch Apps action and dragging in the application(s) you want to open. The easiest way to do this is to search for the application or file in Alfred and drag it directly from Alfred's results into the action box.

Optionally, check the “Toggle visibility for apps” to tell Alfred to show and hide the app. Connect the action to the hotkey to quickly launch the app.

Using keyboard shortcuts lets you perform actions faster and more efficiently, cutting down on mouse and trackpad usage.

In the next day or two, I’ll show you how to do this in Raycast. It’s super simple. So download it today and in a couple of days, you’ll be launching apps with keyboard shortcuts. Remember it’s FREE.

#HowTo #Mac #Apps #Alfred

This morning as I sat down at my iMac to start my day, the first thing I did was launch Things, Drafts, Ulysses, and Safari. I do this using keyboard shortcuts. While doing this, it occurred to me that this isn’t the way most people launch apps on their Mac, so I want to share how I do this with you.

Using keyboard shortcuts lets you perform actions faster and more efficiently, cutting down on mouse and trackpad usage. So, how do I create these keyboard shortcuts? I do it using Keyboard Maestro. Within Keyboard Maestro I have a Group called Launch Apps. This is where all my launcher macros live. Here’s the launcher macro, which you can duplicate: Repeat this for all the apps that you would like to launch using a keyboard shortcut. If you create the macro the way I have, the hotkey will show and hide the app.

Tomorrow I’ll walk you through how to launch apps with keyboard shortcuts using Alfred.

#HowTo #Mac #Apps #KeyboardMaestro

Filipe Espósito, writing for 9to5Mac

As shown by StatCounter (via TechRadar), Safari remains the second most-used desktop web browser in the world as of January 2022, but two of its competitors are close to taking over second place this time around.

While Safari is used by 9.84% of desktop users, Microsoft Edge is right behind with 9.54% market share. Firefox, which had only 8.1% share in January 2021, has gained new users during the past few months and now has 9.18% of the desktop market share. Unsurprisingly, Google Chrome is still in first place with 65.38% of the share.

By comparison, 10.38% of desktop users were surfing the web with Safari in January 2021, which suggests that Apple’s web browser has been losing ground to other alternatives. If Safari continues to lose users, it will probably slip to the third or fourth place in the ranking over the next few months.

What I find interesting here is that there is no mention of Brave or Vivaldi, which seem to be fairly popular browsers these days. I’m guessing that their market share may be too small to measure. So in the larger scheme of things, they’re not really as popular as one might think.

I was surprised to see that Firefox has been gaining new users. Safari has always been my primary browser, with Firefox as backup. But after Firefox started working with Facebook on a new proposal that aims to enable conversion measurement – or attribution – for advertising, I installed Brave and have been using it as my backup browser.

#Mac #Apps

Lately, there’s been a fair amount of talk about a newcomer in this space called Raycast. It’s been discussed on Reddit, MPU talk forums and a few podcasts.

I bought my first Alfred license in 2016. As you might imagine, I’m heavily invested in Alfred. So, until now I’ve ignored Raycast. I was convinced to give it a try after listening to John Voorhees talk about how he has been using it in episode 257 of App Stories.

So, here’s what I’m doing. I’m running Alfred (⌘ spacebar) and Raycast (⌥ spacebar) side by side. For the short period of time that I have been using it, I’m liking it a lot. It could definitely replace Alfred if I had a reason to change.

Raycast is a great app and it’s FREE for personal use. You should certainly give it a try.

Raycast – FAQ

How is Raycast different to Spotlight, Alfred and other launchers?

Alfred is an app to search your Mac and the web with hotkeys, keywords, text expansions and more. Workflows are used to extend its functionality.

Raycast provides a much richer feature set compared to those launchers. On top of searching local apps and files, it can be your clipboard manager, text expander, window manager, command palette for all apps and much more. Raycast provides much deeper and more native integrations to third party services. You can install extensions for Jira, GitHub, and Google Workspace, amongst others from the Store and control them without ever opening a browser.

Raycast’s command line inspired user interface goes beyond searching data. List and detail views provide quick access to important information. Forms make it easy to create new content such as Jira issues, and the Action Panel is used to perform actions such as merging a GitHub pull request. We concentrate on providing a fluid UX throughout the app.

Raycast can be extended to tailor the experience even further with Script Commands and custom extensions which can be built with our flexible API. You can share all that within teams or communities.

#Mac #Apps #Alfred

Corbin Davenport, writing for XDA-Developers

The companies are working together on a new proposal for ad interaction tracking

Mozilla, owner, and developer of the Firefox browser, has attacked Facebook (now Meta) many times over the years for the company’s disastrous record on privacy and security. However, the two companies are now working together on a proposal for slightly more private online advertising, which is already drawing criticism from long-time fans of Mozilla.

​Mozilla in a blog post on Tuesday, “For the last few months we have been working with a team from Meta (formerly Facebook) on a new proposal that aims to enable conversion measurement – or attribution – for advertising called Interoperable Private Attribution, or IPA. IPA aims to provide advertisers with the ability to perform attribution while providing strong privacy guarantees. IPA has two key privacy-preserving features. First, it uses Multi-Party Computation (MPC) to avoid allowing any single entity — websites, browser makers, or advertisers — to learn about user behavior.”

My first response after reading this was “You've got to be fucking kidding me!” I have been using Firefox ever since I've been using a computer. And that's a long time! Today it's second fiddle behind Safari but I still use it several times a week.

I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do about this? I am pro-Mozilla, but I'm much more anti-Facebook. As of today, Brave is on my Mac.

The comments in the Firefox subreddit are very critical of this move by Mozilla.

#Privacy #Apps

Today Flexibits released Fantastical version 3.6 with Openings, Proposals, and Quarterly View. David Sparks has made demonstration videos for each of the new feature.

David Sparks, writing at MacSparky

I know many folks don’t like the subscription software model, but it is here to stay. I will say, however, that Flexibits is doing it right. All of these features are now just in the app. There is no upgrade fee or requirement for a higher subscription tier.

I made the demonstration videos for Flexibits. You can watch them here.

David points out that Fantastical is a subscription, which is true.
What he neglected to point out though is that there is also a free version which will satisfy the needs of most people with simple calendaring requirements. It’s a much better option than Apple’s Calendar app.

There are also those of us who were Fantastical 2 users that with version 3 kept all the features we had with Fantastical 2 without a Premium subscription. Of course, we don’t get new features, but honestly, I haven’t needed anything more than what I’ve always had. I did take a look at Openings. Although I didn’t go through the complete setup process, it appears that Openings is available to us without a Premium subscription.

Anyway, if you're interested, go watch David’s videos.

#Apps

I have been super critical of Instapaper lately. I wrote on Medium about how over the past year it has totally gone to shit. Not only that but I along with others thought that it was abandoned which prompted me to write an Open Letter to the developer asking them to fix or sell the app.

Read more...

As I did with iOS, I spent the month January evaluating apps and deciding which ones I’ll be using on my Mac in 2022. Here’s my list.

My Hardware:

  • 2021 24” M1 iMac with Touch ID Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, and Trackpad
  • iPhone 11
  • iPad Air 4th generation with Magic Keyboard and Trackpad and Magic Mouse 2
  • Apple Watch 44 mm Series 4

Web

Communication

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I spent the month January evaluating apps and deciding which ones I’ll be using in 2022. Here’s my list for iPhone and iPad.

My Hardware:

  • 2021 24” M1 iMac with Touch ID Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, and Trackpad
  • iPhone 11
  • iPad Air 4th generation with Magic Keyboard and Trackpad and Magic Mouse 2
  • Apple Watch 44 mm Series 4

Web

Read more...