All posts by briantiede

App Cubby Launches Launch Center Pro

If you haven’t heard of the Launch Center App before, you will want to now. App Cubby first launched their shortcut app Launch Center and it was basically a list of shortcuts and actions. It was in a list view and it was really handy.

Now they’ve redone the app and relaunched it as Launch Center Pro. The basic point of this app is to make things easier to do and faster to do things. The shortcuts you create in the app can be specific to certain apps or people, like create a new item in Omifocus, or message or call a certain person to launch Instagram in the camera view.

The format of Launch Center Pro uses a grid of large buttons, that are accessible with gestures. There are a lot of supported apps and actions, and I really only went back to using the original a few weeks ago, but it saves me a lot of time and actions.

The one thing I do like is that you can schedule actions to happen, so for example if you want to write an entry in Day One everyday at a certain time, you can schedule it to notify you.

There are a lot of supported apps and actions, and they use the Custom URL scheme. If you are unfamiliar with what that is, it’s how you can launch apps and actions, and a developer has to use that within the app itself. If you want to add one that’s not included, you can check the handleOpenURL index. Most of the time though you can just try appname:// and see if it will open your app (replace appname with the name of the app you want.

You can also customize the icons in the app, which is nice, and I highly recommend you get it and start using it, the more you use it, the more you will get used to it and customize it.

Launch Center Pro is available right now for $2.99 in the App Store ($4.99 after the introductory pricing).


Automatically Change Desktop Wallpaper to Satellite Images of Your Current Location

Automatically Change Desktop Wallpaper to Satellite Images of Your Current Location:

Satellite Image wallpaper

Satellite Eyes is a neat free app that automatically adjusts your desktops background wallpaper to satellite images of your current location. Commute to work and you’ll see a new background than what you do at home, fly across the country or world and it’ll change with you.

For a simple app there are a fair amount of customization options to change how the wallpapers look. There are four different map styles, which include the generally attractive Bing Aerial satellite imagery, Terrain map which looks like a general map, Toner which looks pretty dreadful, and Watercolor which is exactly what it sounds like. Additionally, there are four different zoom levels, including Street Level, Neighborhood, City, and Region. The City and Region options can look either really great or really awful depending on how good the satellite images are for the area and how much terraforming human lifeforms have conducted in your region of planet Earth. If your setup includes multiple monitors you’ll find Satellite Eyes is smart enough to extend the imagery over each display.

If you don’t want Satellite Eyes to automatically adjust the wallpaper as you change locations, you can open the app once at a select destination and then quit, the background picture stays intact. The app uses Location Services in Mac OS X in order to function, meaning you’ll need to have them enabled for the satellite image to be accurate.

Satellite Eyes preferences
The Preference panel is accessible through the menubar and includes a fair amount of customizations. This is showing regional view.

Satellite eyes neighborhood watercolor view
Seeing Neighborhood view painted in watercolor is abstract and attractive.

Not a fan of pictures of the planet from satellites? That’s ok, we have ten gazillion more wallpapers in our archives.

Heads up to @Daryl and Isiah for the tip

(Via OS X Daily)

WWDC 2012

The Apple store is down in preparation for the WWDC keynote. I’m really excited to have a look at iOS 6 and see what they have up their sleeve.

We are expecting iOS 6 news, OS X Mountain Lion News, iCloud enhancements, Possible new Mac’s all around, New Apple TV or updated Apple TV software to support Apps.

We won’t know anything until they announce it, so follow along and hear it all for yourselves.

The keynote starts at 10AM PDT / 12PM CDT / 1PM EDT

If you want to follow along, here’s where I’ll be watching and reading:

What do you think they’ll announce?

Automate the Web

Have you ever wanted to update your twitter profile pic when you change your Facebook profile picture? Do you want an automatic text message every time the forecast calls for rain? How about keeping a log of all your Foursquare check-ins on Google calendar. That’s all possible with a web service called ifttt or the long version If This Then That. It takes some getting used to, but once you set up the channels you want, there are a ton of what they call recipes that others have created to automate the web.

One of my favorite tasks is called where did I leave my phone, which lets you send a command via google talk and it’ll call your phone so if you have it on you can hear the ring. I also use all the various read it later services such as Instapaper, Readability and Pocket (formerly Read It Later), as well as google reader, so I like that when I star an item in Google Reader, it goes to all those services. I can also keep my delicious and inboard accounts in sync, as well as do pretty much anything else I want.

Use Instagram a bunch, why not send those photos to Dropbox, or Facebook automatically, the possibilities are endless.

I really suggest you take a look at it and start using it, you’ll love it, and once you automate your web, I don’t think you could go back.