Articles is an Apple Design Award winning Wikipedia reader from Sophiestication Software with one simple, elegant goal in mind -- to present all the information you want in a fast, fluid, feature-rich format. Articles 2.3 takes all of that makes it equally available for iPhone and iPod touch, and iPad. That's right, Articles 2.3 is now a universal app.
A few weeks ago, we covered how to use 1Password to manage passwords on your Mac. While 1Password is great for your home computer, many users now access their accounts through their mobile device. Fortunately, 1Password has a mobile version available that pairs perfectly with the Mac. Continue reading, and we’ll show you how to sync your 1Password data over using Dropbox, and how to add and use the items in 1Password.
What You’ll Need
>> 1Password for Mac with Dropbox sync turned on >> 1Password for iOS [iTunes link]
1. Turn on Dropbox Sync
When you first launch the app, you will be asked whether you wish to create a new database, or sync an existing database. Since we are using Dropbox to sync our 1Password data, we’ll choose New Database. If you wish to sync over your local network with 1Password on your Mac, then you can follow the syncing procedures by choosing “Sync Existing.”
On the next screen, create a master password, and then re-enter it. You should also specify a password hint, should you lose your master password.
After the database has been set up, choose Settings > Sync > Dropbox. Flip the sync switch to ON, and then enter your Dropbox account credentials in the pop up view.
After you enter your credentials, 1Password will download your 1Password database, along with the encryption keys, and will deploy the data on your local device. After the download has completed, all of your Logins, Accounts, Identities, Notes, Software, and Wallet items will appear in the mobile app.
Making any changes to the mobile version of 1Password will cause those changes to sync to the desktop version of the application.
2. Add New Items
You can add a new item (login, account, identity, note, software, or wallet) by tapping on the + button on any of the item screens. This will cause a pop up to appear where you can enter the details about your new item. All new items added to the mobile version of 1Password will be synced back to the desktop version using Dropbox syncing.
3. Using the Built-in Browser
To access your 1Password logins, you can either use the built-in browser or copy your passwords for entry into Safari (or another browser). To use the built-in browser, navigate to any of your logins and tap on the arrow beside the website URL.
This will cause 1Password’s built-in browser to open to the specified page. To enter your password and proceed with the login on the website, tap on the small globe in the browser toolbar, and select the appropriate login from the list of stored logins for that site. Your credentials will automatically be entered, and you will be logged into the site.
Cory Bohon is a freelance technology writer, indie Mac and iOS developer, and amateur photographer. Follow this article's author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.
Enterprising indie software developers trying to gain ground on the industry’s major players can take a couple of approaches. One is to ape what’s come before, but with a fraction of the resources. Another is to try to do something entirely new. Sketch 2 goes with the ballsier tactic, and largely succeeds in creating a sleek and modern app for crafting vector graphics.
Although Sketch 2 will appeal to some fans of Illustrator (and, to some extent, Fireworks), it’s not trying to be an Adobe product, nor is it striving to be all things to all people. It lacks Illustrator’s interface flexibility and depth, but its efficiency more than makes up for it. Sketch’s approachable, usable single-window workspace has common tools across the top, layers and objects in a panel to the left, and a contextual inspector to the right. Even relative newcomers can quickly get a grip on the basics of the app.
Sketch 2's pixel preview lets you see how vectors will look when exported as a bitmap.
Fundamentally, Sketch 2 acts like a typical vector drawing product. You get a canvas (which is infinite, although multiple artboards and pages can be defined) to which you add shapes and Bezier curves. These can then be edited, styled, and combined using boolean operations. Plenty of nods are made to screen-based user interface design. For example, you can zoom in and view a pixel preview, and exporting is geared heavily toward modern devices, letting you optionally export 2x versions of any user-defined “slice,” handy for Retina displays. Usefully, Sketch 2 also lets you trim transparent pixels during exports, which is just as well given that slices don’t appear to snap to object edges.
Web designers get special tools, too. Style types mirror CSS properties, and you can copy the CSS attributes from any onscreen item. With web design increasingly emphasizing layout creation via the manipulation of CSS rather than exporting imagery, this is an excellent feature for anyone working in that industry.
Sketch 2 does have some downsides. Magic Trackpad scrolling was erratic (although holding down the Space bar and click-dragging was fine), and we found various bugs and limitations throughout. The most irksome was inconsistency in the Undo and Union commands, the latter of which occasionally obliterated very small objects during attempts to combine them. Elsewhere, applying effects sometimes moved items very slightly on the canvas. None of these quirks was a deal-breaker, although we did find ourselves relying more heavily on Sketch 2’s shapes than on freehand drawing. The bottom line. For its most likely target market, we have no qualms in recommending Sketch 2. As a product for working on interfaces for iOS apps and websites, it’s excellent value for money, and the 2x export and Copy CSS Attribute features easily justify the price tag. For illustrators without a geometric bent, we’re slightly less gung-ho, but the 15-day free trial is definitely worth a shot.
When you dream of computers, do you dream of high-resolution displays? What about 5.1 million pixels on a screen that is almost comparable to the resolution of the human eye? A screen where the picture is as detailed and sharp as the scenery outside your window? Whether or not you’ve got the cash for it, you can’t deny that the MacBook Pro with Retina display is one of the most impressive notebooks ever built. But unlike the iPad’s vast library of Retina-ready apps, the Retina Mac apps are lagging a bit behind. More often than not, owners of the new MacBook Pro have to adjust the dimensions for apps that haven’t been updated. Developers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to convert, however, and they’re starting to do what’s necessary to make their applications shine on Apple’s new vivid display.
Upgrading an application for the Retina display can be a tedious task, though it really depends on how the application was originally created. Images are two-dimensional or consist of vector graphics; the former can be fairly low resolution, while the latter shouldn’t need any changes if done correctly. Developers who choose the low-res, two-dimensional route must redraw all of the images in the application to make them twice as large. “This requires a lot of work in an image editor of your choice,” says CTO of IGG Software, James Gillespie, which publishes iBank, a personal finance app for the Mac. “We use Pixelmator, Photoshop, and Illustrator in-house, but we also contract out a lot of graphics work.”
Once the new images have been created, Gillespie says that incorporating them into the application is an easy task, thanks to Apple’s framework. “The hardest part is making sure that everything lines up correctly onscreen. This can only be done by looking at every version of every screen in the app and making sure that it looks correct.” IGG Software’s developers have found issues where vector graphics didn’t line up quite right on the Retina display, which meant having to go back and change code to fix it.
Fortunately, the end result is worth the work. “I think the biggest triumph so far was when we went to the Retina MacBook Pro and launched iBank. The reports looked beautiful.”
The other part of the challenge is coming up with designs that will translate well to the Retina’s high-resolution display. “The best designs often include tiny details that only Retina users with the keenest of eyes would notice,” says Jack Hirsch, Product Manager for the Mac version of Evernote. “Our greatest challenge was trying to catch every single image and rendered graphic in our applications. Some of the images were very old and needed to be redesigned completely.”
For game developers, conversion requires a little more than simply dumping out low-resolution images for high-res ones. For Aspyr, a company that ports games to the Mac, the difficulty of the process differs by title. “It’s dependent on the title and is typically focused on if the resolution is supported already in game, how the user interface scales at this large of a display, and game performance at higher resolution,” says Elizabeth Howard, Director of Business Development. Depending on the scenario, a game can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to redevelop. Fortunately for Aspyr, it already has titles that are fit for the MacBook Pro’s ginormous resolution, old favorites such as Quake 4, Doom 3, Prey, and Call of Duty.
Lastly, developers lament the fact that Retina-compatible applications must still be made to work well with a variety of lower resolutions. Creating software that can automatically detect and adjust to either the MacBook Pro’s Retina screen, an external monitor, a TV, a projector, and so on can be just as challenging as re-creating graphics. “Dimensions and hard-coded numbers get mixed up and objects onscreen can behave erratically,” says Hirsch.
The difference between the Retina-and non-Retina-compatible versions of Evernote is readily apparent.
Of course, developing for the new MacBook Pro’s screen isn’t an entirely foreign process, since many developers have been working with the Retina display on the iPad. But desktop applications present a few more challenges, such as ensuring that windows are resizable. “The challenge is really balancing the development requirements of this support with the ongoing development efforts toward new release titles,” adds Howard.
For many developers, having a Retina-ready application has always been high on the priority list. “We saw the Retina MacBook as an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to providing our users with a truly beautiful application, even on the world’s most demanding display,” says Hirsch.
Adds Gillespie: “I don’t think that when choosing a finance application that Retina support is very high on their list of must-have features. But I think for a lot of people it will be an extra ‘delighter’ that the application just looks great.”
What a topsy-turvy world we live in! Valve's Steam is expanding beyond games next month, while Verizon js hoarding some not-so top-secret data plans for its new Share Everything program. Don't know what we're talking about? Then you clearly haven't read today's news recap, which includes all the details on this and much more. Here's the latest for Wednesday, August 8, 2012.
Steam Expanding Beyond Games in September
Valve announced today that beginning September 5, the company's Steam platform will be home to more than just popular games such as Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead and Portal. The company is planning "a major expansion" to the Steam platform next month, with both Mac and PC software titles planned for categories from creativity to productivity and everything in-between. Many of the launch titles will take advantage of popular Steamworks features like easy, cloud-based installation, automatic updating and the ability to save your work in your personal chunk of Steam Cloud storage space. "The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games," explained Valve's Mark Richardson. "They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests." Developers will be welcome to submit software titles via the Steam Greenlight following the September 5 launch.
Turns Out Verizon Has Five "Secret" Data Plans Available
If the six tiers in Verizon Wireless' new Share Everything program simply aren't enough for you, a new ComputerWorld report has exposed five more data tiers not included on the carrier's website. At the very top is a $150 per month 20GB plan, which a Verizon spokeswoman confirmed to the website on Tuesday. Others include 12GB for $110, 14GB for $120, 16GB for $130 and 18GB for $140 per month. So what's with the little secret? It seems Verizon just wanted to keep its website neat and tidy, given that "the majority of customers use under 2GB a month," according to Verizon's Brenda Raney. But don't let that stop you from taking advantage of those higher tiers -- you'll just need to call into Verizon's customer service line via phone or step into one of Big Red's retail stores to do so.
Is OS X Mountain Lion Killing Your Battery Life?
Ars Technica is reporting that something appears to be draining the battery life of Mac notebooks with OS X Mountain Lion installed, and Apple doesn't seem to quite know what's going on. The situation seems to affect all supported MacBook products and causes the battery to drain much faster than it did under OS X Lion. Strangely, some users claim that battery life is "as good or better" with OS X Mountain Lion than it was under Lion. Others have filled Apple's support forums with suggestions ranging from "repairing disk permissions or access control lists, disabling or reinstalling Dropbox, or resetting GateKeeper to allow apps to install from any source," although none of these solved the problem across the board. Anyone else out there suffering from this malaise?
iFixit Offers MacBook Pro with Retina Display Repair Guides
Even though the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display received a basically "unrepairable" score from the folks at iFixit, far be it for them to discourage someone who's hell-bent on doing it themselves. That's why the company has now published a full set of repair guides for the MacBook Pro with Retina Display for those who want to get their hands dirty (and presumably have cash in the bank to replace their precious notebook should things go horribly awry). But iFixit claims the guides are published with a disclaimer: "Fair warning: working on the laptop is no easy task, even with a full set of guides," they warn. "Barely a month ago, we called the MacBook Pro with Retina display 'the least repairable laptop we’ve taken apart.' It’s clear that Apple did not design this computer for the sake of repair-conscious customers." iFixit calls Apple's design direction "disturbing" while noting that "finding replacement parts is currently difficult" -- but if that doesn't scare you off, have at it, folks.
Apple Confirms Over-the-Phone Password Reset Freeze
A quick follow-up to this morning's news item about Apple suspending over-the-phone password resets: Apple has now confirmed with Wired that this is indeed the case, and issued a statement about it. “We’ve temporarily suspended the ability to reset Apple ID passwords over the phone,” said Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris. “We’re asking customers who need to reset their password to continue to use our online iForgot system (iforgot.apple.com). This system can reset a password in one of two ways -- either have a password reset sent to an alternate email address already on record or challenge the customer to answer security questions they had previously set up. When we resume over-the-phone password resets, customers will be required to provide even stronger identify verification to reset their password.” No word on exactly when telephone-based resets might go live again, but we'll let you know when they do.
Nuance Communications Inc.'s latest quarterly earnings climbed 90 percent as the company's voice recognition software resonated among more customers plugging the technology into smartphones, automobiles, TVs and medical devices.
Once you’ve played out the instruments and effects built into Apple’s GarageBand software, you’re be delighted to know that you’ve got lots of other sonic options that can easily be added to your Mac, and many of them won’t even cost you a dime. Read on to find out what cool new sounds you can add to your band without breaking (or even entering) the bank.
So how about that YouTube app? With Apple confirming that YouTube isn't being invited to the iOS 6 party, it certainly appears Cupertino is working hard to ditch as much of Google as humanly possible from its mobile OS. Thankfully, iOS 5 seems as if it will be safe, so if you've got an older device or no plans to upgrade right away, you can keep 'Tubin' the same way you have been. Meanwhile, here's what else is making headlines for this Monday, August 6, 2012.
AT&T Mobile Share Plans Available Starting August 23
Carrier data sharing is becoming all the rage, and today AT&T announced that its own Mobile Share Plans will light up on Thursday, August 23 after being teased last month. To help make the transition to a single pool of wireless data, the carrier has posted a Mobile Share Planner tool on its website -- simply add up to 10 devices, estimate how much data each of them uses, and AT&T will recommend the best Mobile Share Plan for you. Our own family plan doesn't stand to save all that much from AT&T's new plans, but for folks with higher mobile data consumption, this could be a great way to take a whack at your AT&T Wireless bill before the kids head back to school.
Pixelsync Developer Throws in Towel Due to Aperture, iPhoto Changes
Developer Bart Jacobs has announced on his blog that his iPad app Pixelsync is closing up shop due to significant under the hood changes in the latest Aperture 3.3 and iPhoto 9.3 releases. The app was a great way for amateur or pro photographers to access their photo libraries to allow rating, color labeling or tagging right from the iPad -- until the new versions threw a monkey wrench into the works. After struggling to rectify the problem, Jacobs today wrote: "The bad news is that the problem is not temporary. Based on my findings, I have come to the conclusion that Pixelsync will not be able to support Aperture 3.3+ and iPhoto 9.3+. Aperture and iPhoto have changed significanlty under the hood and this has resulted in permanently breaking the interoperability with Pixelsync." The developer recommends that users who purchased Pixelsync after June 11, 2012 request a refund through the App Store, and the app is currently available free for those still running older versions of Aperture or iPhoto.
Next iPhone Nano-SIM Tray Revealed?
MacRumors is reporting that Apple's new nano-SIM has turned up online again, giving us a good look at what the tiny card's tray might look like in the next iPhone. French website Nowhereelse.fr shared a peek at the images, which compares the current iPhone 4S micro-SIM against the presumed nano-SIM tray, which doesn't appear significantly smaller when viewed from above, but is clearly more narrow when stacked on top of the current tray. Given how fast August is already flying by, we may not have long to wait, with numerous reports claiming the new iPhone could be announced as early as September 12.
Boinx Software Offers FotoMagico 4 Public Beta
If you're looking to bring a little pizazz to your photo slideshows, you've probably discovered Boinx Software's FotoMagico for Mac. But the company isn't exactly resting on its laurels, announcing a new public beta for the upcoming FotoMagico 4. "The latest upgrade to Boinx Software’s slideshow software adds support for multiple layers, a new timeline for fine-tuned control over slides, improved audio syncing, and many additional updates for a sleeker and more intuitive user experience," the company announced in a press release last week. And even better, Boinx is inviting its users to give it a test drive, absolutely free! Simply head to the FotoMagico 4 beta website, enter your name and email and Boinx will email you with download instructions and a temporary license key. The developers aren't saying when the latest version will be available, but presumably by everyone pitching in on the public beta, it will be sooner rather than later.
Report: Apple Will Update All iOS Products with New Dock Connector
Don't get excited: That existing iPhone, iPod touch or iPad you currently own won't magically be getting a new, slimmer dock connector come fall. However, iMore is now following up its earlier report about the smaller port by claiming that Apple will refresh its entire iOS product line at the launch event, which is expected on September 12. While a new iPhone is a given and rumors have been swirling about a 7-inch iPad and refreshed iPods, presumably this means that the existing third-generation iPad will also be released with the slimline dock connector rather than waiting for the next major release in the spring. It makes sense that Apple would want to make the transition as painless for users as possible, while a small adapter will take away the pain for the rest of us stuck with older devices.
There's big news from Imangi Software, the husband-and-wife team behind the breakout iOS hit Temple Run. The game has picked up 100 million downloads in within a year on the App Store.
The team has a lot to show for it, like a long time on the Top Free apps chart, plenty of microtransactions (surely), and even that Disney-branded spinoff for Brave. It's well deserved, as Temple Run is a great, fun game.