Foolish Chatter

geekery, and so forth w/ @alsmo

  • IFTTT Pro

    Put the building blocks of IFTTT in your own hands. Go beyond if this then that with queries, conditional logic, multiple actions, and more.

    IFTTT Pro

    I’ve been using IFTTT for free since its inception. I’ve always hoped they’d do a pro level to help sustain them a bit longer and provide more value (much like Zapier), so I’m happy to contribute. I rely on both IFTTT & Zapier for a lot of automation in my daily life.

    If you use it at all, I suggest heading over there and subscribing. Early adopters can get in for as low as $3.99/month.

  • via Tools & Toys:

    The next time you’re thinking of buying a stuffed animal for a special kid or baby in your life, check out Jellycat’s shop.

    Doing what I can to share the Jellycat brand. My daughter turns 18 months today, and has absolutely loved each of her Jellycat plushes, as well as the If I Were Books. Enjoy.

  • An Apple Search Engine

    Also — and this is a complete guess — it feels like a good opportunity for Apple to repurpose its domain, doesn’t it?

    Apple Once Again Rumoured to Be Working on a Web Search Engine — Pixel Envy

    Certainly does.

    However, and to link to the original post by Jon Henshaw, I think what Apple may – or may not – be building is a different kind of search engine. You are seeing points of that in spotlight, Siri suggestions, and the advanced search coming to iPad OS (which I hope makes its way to iOS proper).

    By not having a simple search starting point, they wouldn’t face scrutiny for favoring their own products & services. I see a Safari start page that functions a lot like the Siri face on Apple Watch. It’s useful, could be so much more, and gets a tad bit closer with each revision.

    Parlay that beyond the wrist, with advanced Siri capabilities everywhere, and now you’re talking.

  • When watching the well-executed keynote in late June, it hadn’t dawned on me that the new Spotlight Search on iPad would be more representative of an app like Alfred and less representative of Spotlight Search on the Mac. Spotlight Search on the Mac is somewhat underpowered, and bringing that to the iPad seemed natural, evolutionary, and sensical.

    Apple clearly opted for a more powerful rendition of Spotlight Search for the iPad, however, and I couldn’t be more excited.

    Two Weeks with the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Betas – The Sweet Setup

    Spotlight Search is probably what I’m most excited about in iPadOS 14. I’m at the point where my mind is trained to operate a Mac based on numerous Alfred workflows and searches. If it’s more designed towards that on the iPad, then I’m all in – especially with the running of shortcuts directly.

  • Pinboard is Eleven

    Meanwhile, thanks to everyone for using the site for another year! Not everyone gets to be around long enough to have to do major upgrades, and I am grateful to be in that position, thanks to all of you.

    Pinboard is Eleven (Pinboard Blog)

    Pinboard is a fantastic service that never fails. I have almost 900 bookmarks captured from over the years, and use it to automate various bookmarking tasks every single day. I also pay for the archiving feature, so I know I’ll always have a copy of what I was looking at specifically.

    I’m hopeful the updated API lights a spark in Pinboard iOS app developers. I’ve relied on a few in the past, but they haven’t been updated in a year or two.

  • I’ve been busy, so I’m behind on WWDC news. However, MacStories, as always, has a great rundown of everything that’s changing in iOS and iPadOS 14. Most notably the first-party Notes and Reminders apps.

    No more texture. At long last, Notes’ textured background has been put to rest. The new flat background looks great in light mode and even better in dark mode, where OLED iPhones display true black.

    Everything Changing in Apple Notes and Reminders in iOS and iPadOS 14 – MacStories

    I use various notes apps (more on this some other time), but I’ve always wanted to swap one with the Apple Notes app. I just could never bring myself to look at that background. Finally, that is being replaced. I will need to test this in the upcoming public betas.

    As for Reminders, again, I use different task managers for different things (more on this later, too). In Reminders, I keep all personal items that have nothing to do with my work. It helps my brain to have everything in its own spot, so any additions and refinement here are welcomed.

  • Apple’s Shortcuts app (aka Siri Shortcuts) is an exciting platform for automating tasks. This directory is my attempt to collect all the best Shortcuts resources. I hope it helps you find and create shortcuts to make your life better.

    Shortcuts Directory / Start Here

    Awesome resource to get started with Apple’s Shortcuts app. Once you get started utilizing Shortcuts, you won’t be able to stop.

  • Sharing in case someone somehow sees it here first.

    After some research, I discovered that YouTube offers a privacy-enhanced way of embedding videos. Instead of linking to, link to, and no data-collecting HTTP cookie will be sent. This is Google’s way of providing GDPR-compliant YouTube videos.

    YouTube offers a tracking-free embed option. Be kind and use it.

  • Fantastical 3.1

    Enhancements to the app include link detection and a new Join button for conference calls, the ability to schedule calendar sets for different times of day, and more.

    Fantastical 3.1 Arrives as a Valuable Aid for Work-from-Home Users – MacStories

    The link detection plus Join button addition instantly makes Meeter irrelevant to me. It was nicely done, but if Fantastical can handle it just fine in a calendar I already have open all day, then even better.

    The second added feature, though, shouldn’t slide by you. Scheduling calendar sets for different times of day, in addition to location, is a welcomed surprise. Fantastical, another app I happily pay for and support.

  • We’re excited to announce a deep integration between Siri and Castro that shortens the distance between you and your podcasts.

    Castro Podcast Player

    Castro is such a beautifully designed podcast player in iOS, and this update adds all the Shortcuts features you could ever want. I’ve gone back and forth enough times between Castro and Overcast that I happily subscribe to both to support future development (hopefully that means an iPad app from the Castro team).

    Currently, Overcast handles my regular listening. But Castro’s side loading from YouTube is an essential workflow of mine. Don’t be afraid to use more than one app to get the job done.