Are You Still Using Google Apps?


While compiling the list of apps on my iPhone 6 Plus I realized something — I’d listed not a single one from Google. It was something of a shock. Previously I’d had Gmail and Google Maps, Google+ and Hangouts, YouTube and Google Search. I’d even been using apps they’d acquired, like Snapseed. After setting up my iPhone 6 Plus as new, however, and downloading apps only as I needed them, after close to 3 weeks, I still hadn’t needed a single Google app.

I’ve noticed that I’ve been slowly drifting away from the Google Apps proper, myself. I’ve started using Mailbox for email on all platforms and I don’t use Google Calendar for much. Because I use a Nexus 5 I still use Google Hangouts a lot on that device, but I hardly touch it on my iPad. I use Google+ a lot because I like it.

Do you use the Google Apps more or less than you used to? Are you drifting to other services that work better for you? Let me know in the comments.

Why I’ve Stopped Using Google Apps on my iPhone 6 Plus:

Funny Post from The Macalope

From Macworld

You know that joke where you say a year called and it wants its whatever back? Yeah, it’s been overused and turned into a cliché, which is OK because the Macalope thinks this piece by the Tampa Bay Times’s Daniel Ruth was literally filed from 1920.
“Consumers Picked a Sour Apple” (tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody)

The Macalope is an opinion blog on Macworld, often reacting to pieces in other news outlets that are absuredly critical. This one had me rolling this morning. Please enjoy.

The Macalope:

A Deal on Marked 2

From Brett Terpstra

I’ve built Marked 2 to be a tool for professional writers. More than just a Markdown previewer, it boasts features for improving your writing and keeping track of advanced statistics. Marked works with Scrivener and Ulysses 3 too, showing you compiled versions of your complete document as you work, and seeing changes instantly as you make them.

If you’re a writer I recommend you look into Markdown. It’s a way of marking up plain text documents in a way that’s easily portable between different applications and operating systems. John Gruber originally devised it for the web, but writers in all fields have found it useful.

Brett Terpstra is offering Marked, a tool for previewing the output of your Markdown-formatted text, at close to 30% off for the month of October in preparation for NaNoWriMo. Marked allows you to use any text editor with Markdown. A lot of professional writers use Markdown with Marked (I just purchased Byword, or I’d be getting in on this deal). Check it out if your interested.

Marked 2:

Tools to Help You Work Faster

From Shawn Blanc:

Computers are great at doing the boring, automated stuff we don’t like to do. So why not automate common tasks (like performing backups of your computer), pre-make decisions for your computer to carry out on your behalf (such as auto-filing certain email newsletters), and generally just find ways to make yourself more efficient?

Shawn posted a list of the tools he uses to get his work done. This goes hand-in-hand with what I wrote about yesterday. Take a look at his list. Use it as a starting point for your solution. Your final workflow will look different from anyone else’s, but it’s always good to look at what others are using.

Shawn Blanc Little Things That Improve the Way I Work on a Mac:


Format My Social Handles, Please


From David Chartier:

I think all the big social networks should divide up special characters so they all link to different services properly, then get it implemented with OS and browser makers.

I like this idea. There’s no reason some of the more feature-rich applications shouldn’t include this type of functionality. A lot of them already do smart things like format text that looks like a url as hyperlinks.

Chartier suggests a top down approach in which apps and OSes implement it as a standard, but I think this is more likely to become a de facto standard. It’s just one of those features that makes sense for everyone to implement, a la “pull to refresh”. There’s no reason that @daboyter shouldn’t auto-link to

David Chartier, A Modest Proposal For Social Media Names: