Android Auto vs. Apple Carplay

Interesting video comparing Google Android Auto vs. Apple Car Play. (HT: Gruber) Apple’s clearly going more for the “drive as undistracted as possible” mindset that makes most car controls so frustrating. The Android UI honestly seems a little more useful since it’s not so tied to Siri. I understand why they do that but I’d like the option to actually see messages, for instance. Kind of surprised Apple doesn’t at least let you see the album art for your music. 

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Date Scripts

Dr. Drang’s been posting a lot of scripts he uses the past while, including some date scripts. Since I’ve not figured a way to bring over all the posts from the old blog in an easy fashion, it might be worth revisiting my old date scripts. I use these a lot with Keyboard Maestro.

Nearly all my text expansions, whether with the default System expansions1 or ones in Keyboard Maestro start with a semi-colon. That way they don’t get confused with words I’d be typing normally.  

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  1. Under System Preferences → Keyboard → Text if you don’t know about them. The system ones are somewhat limited but work well and sync between iOS and OS X from what I can tell. I primarily use the system ones for pure text modification. I have a lot setup so I can type things like ;-> and get →.

Easier Copy/Paste for Scripting

If you, like me, primarily script with Python dealing with the clipboard is a pain. You can either handle it manually with PyObjC or use the deprecated Appscript. Currently my scripts are about half and half. I just noticed there’s now a library, Rich Xerox, which will take care of this for you. Unfortunately it doesn’t do conversion between rtf and html for you. But you can just call textutil from the command line to do that. 

Solid iWorks Review

Really thorough iWork review up at Ars. It shows again why Ars remains one of the best tech sites on the web.

I’d add a few things. First to avoid font problems make sure you add the fonts you use on OS X to your iOS device using AnyFont. I use quite a few custom fonts in Keynote presentations and this lets me continue to use them. Likewise I have some Pages templates with custom fonts. While I don’t print often from iOS, it’s nice to have the option.

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Swift with Cocoa Applescript

Using Swift with ApplescriptObjC and Cocoa-AppleScript.

Seems like a nice tutorial although I’ve not tried it yet. (Quite busy) I’d tried to get this same thing working during the summer and never did. Maybe I’ll give it an other whirl. It’s pretty close to what I tried. Effectively you’re mixing the old way to mix Applescript and ObjC together and throwing a little Swift in the mix.

I think Swift would be a fantastic replacement for Applescript if there was a simple non-convoluted way to run scripts. Something on par with Python + Appscript. (What I used to use for all my scripting)

I should note that I’ve tried using Apple’s Javascript replacement for Applescript. However I do a lot of GUI scripting in most of my scripts and for some reason Javascript didn’t like some of those GUI objects. 

Multi-Item Edit

The more I use iTunes 12 the more I find equal parts annoyance and happiness. There are a lot of little UI fixes I wished they’d done years ago. Yet, continuing the process started by iTunes 11, heavy tagging by power users has become more difficult. In particular using the Get Info window to tag numerous files with the same tag no longer works. Fortunately Multi-Item Edit from Doug’s AppleScripts comes to the rescue. This gives you a window akin to the old school Get Info window to make batch changes in iTunes.

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iTunes 12

Tidbits has a good post on iTunes 12’s interface.

I don’t think it’s as bad as some. But let’s be honest. 11 was a huge step back from 10 — not the least of which was losing multiple windows. I like how they’ve cleaned it up compared with 11. That said I don’t understand why they changed some things and left long standing annoyances. If you’re going to change the Get Info window as much as they (and it looks fantastic) at least get rid of its modal behavior. There are several annoying bugs such as several of my TV shows not having artwork show up properly. I’m sure they’ll fix that quickly though. My biggest complaint is that several tagging apps like Identify stopped working with it.

Dial Daylite Number

One of the things I was excited for in Yosemite was dialing numbers on my iPhone from my Mac. In particular I really wanted my CRM app, Daylite, to support Yosemite dialing. Unfortunately it doesn’t. You can still only call via Skype or Dialectic.

To fix this I wrote a quick little script that utilizes Yosemite to dial the current number. I’ve been trying to move away from my traditional Appscript + Python to do my scripting since Apple script isn’t supported anymore. So this is pure Applescript with all the pain that entails.1 

Since this involves GUI scripting it’s a lost cause trying to explain it too much. Basically it just checks to see if the view is in Company mode or People mode and gets the phone number from the associated UI element. It checks the mode by looking at the value of the button on the top of the window. When you’re in Company mode it’ll say “New Company” and in People mode it’ll say “New Person.” I use a “try” block so it doesn’t fail in an ugly way if you’re in some other mode.

It’s not perfect since you can have a pop up person when in Company Mode. I’ll probably add that condition in later if I find the time.

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  1. I actually tried to do it in Javascript but Apple’s Javascript doesn’t work well with UI scripting. At least I couldn’t get it to function correctly for getting values.

Trying to figure it all out a post at a time