Sponsor: Timing, the automatic time tracking app for OS X

Timing Screenshot

Have you ever spent all day in front of your Mac, just to wonder where the heck all that time went?

Or tried to bill a client, but couldn't reconstruct how many hours you spent working for them?

You could use a time tracker.

But to be honest, manual time tracking sucks.

You have to start and stop timers, enter what you did, and so on.
And if you forget that, you are back to square one.

Not so with Timing. Instead of making you do all the work, Timing automatically tracks how you spend your time. It logs which apps you use, which websites you visit, and which documents you edit. You can easily categorize activities into projects.

Also, your data is not uploaded to anyone's server. It stays safe on your Mac at all times.

Still not convinced? Download the free trial now and on Friday review all the gory details of what you did this week. But don't blame us when you see all those hours wasted on Facebook and elsewhere...

You can purchase a copy via the Mac App Store or check out our website at timingapp.com. The app is $39, but if you buy direct with coupon code KATIE, you can save 20% this week - that already pays for itself by recovering just half an hour of unproductive or unbilled time! (And we promise you will save much more time than that!)

Katie's Week In Review: August 28, 2016

Hopefully the Apple news lull is coming to a close. I expect we will be hearing news in the next few days of Apple’s rumored September event. Until then, the rumor mill is buzzing with anticipation. Here are a few links of note for the week ending August 28, 2016:

  • Apple Patches Critical Zero-Day Data Security Exploit in iOS 9.3.5 Update - Apple released an unexpected software update this week, but a critical one. If you haven’t already make sure your iOS devices are all up to date. As Jeff Gamet of The Mac Observer reports this patch specifically addresses a major zero-day security flaw that could cause an iOS users personal information to be shared simply by clicking on a link. As reported by Nicole Perlroth of the New York Times, is believed that the flaw was used against at least one human rights activist from the United Arab Emirates.
  • Apple Music Festival to Light Up London with 10 Nights of Spectacular Performances This September - Apple has announced it’s “Apple Music Festival” will be back in London this September for a 10th anniversary celebration. headline acts include Elton John, Alicia keys, Britney Spears, Michael Bublé, OneRepublic and more. Performances will be made available live and on-demand to Apple Music members.
  • Spotify Is Burying Musicians for Their Apple Deals - Speaking of music, there are reports that Spotify is making it more difficult to find music of artists who have signed exclusive deals with Apple Music by making those artist’s tracks less likely to be featured or burying them in search results. Lucas Shaw, writing for Bloomberg, reports that Spotify has been implementing this retaliation strategy for about a year now and targets artists who sign exclusives with Apple Music and other services. Spotify has denied these accusations.
  • The iBrain is Here and It’s Already Inside Your Phone - Steven Levy spoke with Eddie Cue, Craig Federighi and other sat apple about machine learning and artificial intelligence. The article gives an in-depth look at Apple’s philosophy on machine learning and why this is such a difficult and important area for the company.
  • Vesper, Adieu - John Gruber, Dave Wiskus and Brent Simmons launched Vesper, a notes App to much fanfare in June of 2013. With such a well known group behind the development it came as a bit of a shock this week when it was announced that Vesper was shutting down due to lack of sales. John Gruber gave a fairly detailed post mortem on Daring Fireball and explained why he believes the App ultimately failed and what they might have done differently.
  • Instapaper is joining Pinterest In other interesting App news this week, Instapaper, my read it later service of choice, announced that it was joining (being acquired?) by Pinterest. The Instapaper developers claim that nothing is changing for the ned user but they are sunsetting the developer product, Instaparser. On one hand, I’m happy for the Instapaper folks, but also nervous about what this might mean for the future of one of my favorite apps.

Special Mac Power Users for Relay FM Members

Relay FM has created a membership system to allow listeners to support the hosts of their favorite Relay FM shows. Listeners can choose to support a specific show like Mac Power Users, or support all the shows on the network. One of the perks of membership is that members will receive a bonus episode shows during Relay's anniversary week in August, including a very special bonus episode of Mac Power users.

Since this show didn't have to conform to a typical format, David and I knew instantly what we wanted to talk about. Star Trek and Star Wars. We spent almost an hour talking about our love for the series, how we became fans, our favorite characters and movies, what we think about the reboots and some of our traditions. It was a lot of fun.

If you're a Relay FM member, you can grab your special bonus episode of Mac Power Users now, along with special episodes of many of the other shows on Relay. If you're not a member, you can sign up now and gain access to all the members-only content.

My sincere thanks to all the members for your kind support of David and me and all the wonderful hosts on Relay FM!

Mac Power Users #336: iPhone Productivity - Relay FM

This week on Mac Power Users David and I share some of the most efficient productivity tasks and apps appropriate for the iPhone. Topics include calendars and contacts, email, task management, scanning, writing, and additional utilities for productivity.

This episode of Mac Power Users is sponsored by:

  • Casper: Because everyone deserves a great night sleep. Get $50 off with the code ‘MPU’
  • Eero: Blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi.
  • The Omni Group We're passionate about productivity for Mac, iPhone and iPad. 
  • Automatic The connected car company that improves your driving and integrates your car into yoru digital life. Enter code MACPOWER to get 20% off your purchase.

Katie's Week In Review: August 21, 2016

It’s a crazy weekend for me so I’m leaving you with a more abbreviated “link list” for the week in review post this week. Nevertheless, here are a few links of note for the week ending August 21, 2016:

  • Apple Announces Environmental Progress in China & Applauds Supplier Commitment to Clean Energy - Apple continuing their commitment to the environment, this time by putting pressure on their suppliers in China to commit to clean energy. Apple suppler Lens Technology has agreed to run its Apple operations on entirely renewable energy.
  • Tim Cook, the interview: Running Apple ‘is sort of a lonely job’ - I enjoyed this interview by Jena McGregor of The Washington Post discussing his first five years as CEO after Steve Jobs. Cook talks about some of the missteps as CEO, how the job can be lonely at times and living up to expectations.
  • Apple, Google, FCC Team up to Stop Spam Robocalls Jeff Gamet of The Mac Observer explains how some of the biggest players in the telecom industry are finally stepping up to address the problem with spam phone calls. I received one earlier today. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t answer my phone (and sometimes miss important calls) if I don’t recognize the number. There’s a new feature in iOS 10 that will allow Apple to query a database to attempt to determine if a call is likely spam, but so far Apple hasn’t gone so far as to build or maintain one itself.
  • New Ways to Control Your Experience on Twitter - Twitter has finally taken some positive steps to allow people to attempt to filter out trolls and limit the notifications they receive from. Twitter says this is just the start of their steps to take back control of the platform and control harassment. We’ll see. Right now it seems that these features are only available in the native Twitter apps, which I don’t use because they also come with tradeoffs. Hopefully Twitter will open these features up to third party developers.
  • Introducing Automatic Pro - Automatic rolled out a new version of their connected car adapter this week. The highlights include a new 3G connection included in the purchase price so it doesn’t have to always be connected to bluetooth. This is great because I find my iPhone’s bluetooth connection can be flakey sometimes causing my Automatic to drop connection. I’ll be picking up one of the new adapters. (Full disclosure, Automatic sponsors Mac Power Users - you can save $20 using this link.)
  • AT&T Introduces new MobileShare Plans - Following a similar move by Verizon, in advance of the new iPhone announcement AT&T has announced new mobile data plans. The plans are more expensive (of course) but in lieu of overage charges you’ll have the option to throttle your speeds down to 128kbps when your exceed your data cap. While painful, it might be a nice alternative if you only have a short time left before your billing cycle resets.
  • New Star Trek postage stamps are being released to celebrate the 50th anniversary. They’re available now for pre-order through the USPS.

Mac Power Users #335: Workflows with John Voorhees

This week on Mac Power Users, David and I chat with John Voorhees. John is an attorney by day but also develops software and writes for Mac Stories. We chat with John about how he juggles all his tech related tasks while managing a busy day job. (We sympathize.) 

This episode of Mac Power Users is sponsored by:

  • PDFpen from Smile With powerful PDF editing tools, available for Mac, iPad, and iPhone, PDFpen from Smile makes you a Mac Power User.
  • 1Password Have you ever forgotten a password? Now you don't have to worry about that anymore.
  • Fujitsu ScanSnap ScanSnap Helps You Live a More Productive, Efficient, Paperless Life. 
  • Squarespace: Enter offer code MPU at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.

Katie's Week in Review: August 14, 2016

Mark Gurman is back with new rumors about the iPhone and MacBook Pros. That and other exciting links of note for the week ending August 14, 2016:

  • Mark Gurman, who is known for his accuracy recently in reporting Apple rumors, claims to have details of the new iPhones. Writing for his new publication, Bloomberg, Gurman claims that the standout feature will be a dual-camera system on the larger iPhone, a re-designed home button that appears to be touch sensitive rather than a physical click wheel and removal of the headphone jack. Gurman says we can also expect a hardware design similar to that of the past two years, perhaps making way for a more radical redesign next year for the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone. Gurman’s report, if true, seems to confirm previously reported rumors but doesn’t seem to bring a whole lot of additional information to the table.
  • Also this week at Bloomberg, Gurman claims Apple is planning its first major Pro laptop overhaul in four years. Again, Gurman’s report seems to give credit to previously reported rumors claiming the notebooks will be thinner, include a touch screen strip for function keys and feature more powerful processors along with USB-C technology along with a Touch ID sensor. However, Gurman says the MacBook Pros likely won’t debut alongside the new iPhone at an event rumored for September 7th. I’ve been hanging on to my 13" MacBook Air waiting for Apple to release new notebooks and if most of this is true, it sounds like just the update I’ve been waiting for.
  • This week Fast Company ran a cover story promoting an “inside look at Tim Cook’s Apple” It features an interview with Eddie Cue and Craig Federighi with follow-up by TimCook along with a sidebar featuring Bozoma Saint John about Apple Music.
  • It’s about time. Google has finally updated Google Docs, Sheets and Slides for iOS with split view support. Jason Snell of Six Colors has the details. Like Jason, David and I use Google Docs and Sheets to plan and prep Mac Power Users and the inability to use these apps in split screen on iOS was problematic. It only took them a year - but I guess better late than never.
  • Google has also announced that the Chrome browser will begin blocking Flash that runs in the background of webpages and make HTML5 the default beginning in September. John Voorhees of MacStories reports that Chrome 55 will make HTML5 the default except for sites which only support flash. I don’t load Flash on any of my computers but find myself occasionally using Chrome (which currently has Flash support built-in) to load a site that requires it. I’m unclear how that might change in the future, but it sounds like Chrome will still support Flash in the future, just not as a default.
  • IFTTT has released a new feature that allow recipes to live inside other apps. This will allow users to browse and activate select IFTTT recipes from within the developer’s app. Currently integrations are live with partners including LIFX, Garageio and Skybell with additional integrations coming online soon from partners including Automatic and Ring.
  • Last week I mentioned I was interested in the Logitech Create 9.7" iPad Pro keyboard case and I might have considered it if I hadn’t just bought the Apple Smart Keyboard for my iPad. This week Phil Dzikly of iLounge posted a review of the Crate 9.7". Overall it earned a high recommendation from the iLounge editors, though it appears to be a bit bulkier than Apple’s solution.
  • My thanks to MailButler for sponsoring the site this week. If you’re interested in having your product or service featured on KatieFloyd.com, consider an RSS sponsorship, details can be found here.
  • Finally, this week the official trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released. I have to admit, it gave me goosebumps. The trailer runs about 2 minutes. I can’t wait for the 2 hour Incomparable episode about it.

Mac Power Users #334: MPU Live: "She Can't Take It Anymore, Captain!"

This week's Mac Power Users was a live show. David and I are joined by our pal Victor Cajiao who discusses all the steps of producing a modern music album. We also take listener questions and help troubleshoot an accidentally reformatted hard drive, discuss password schemes, using a ScanSnap for photos, share listener feedback on our Special Event and Keynote shows, discuss options for Evernote and share listener tips.

This episode of Mac Power Users is sponsored by:

  • 1Password Have you ever forgotten a password? Now you don't have to worry about that anymore. 
  • Gazelle Sell your iPhone for cash at Gazelle! 
  • Marketcircle We help small business grow with great Mac, iPhone and iPad apps including Daylight and Billings Pro.
  • Sanebox Stop drowning in email!

Katie's Week In Review: August 7, 2016

We continue in the lull of summer with not a whole lot of exciting tech news to report. Nevertheless I did manage to find a few interesting links of note for the week ending August 7, 2016:

  • Apple released iOS 9.3.4 this week with a single security fix. Notably, this patch fixes the “Pangu jailbreak exploit” related to a memory corruption issue.
  • On the topic of security, Rene Ritchie of iMore reports that Apple has created a new security bounty program which launches in September offering cash rewards for reporting of security vulnerabilities. iMore has an FAQ on the program.
  • Apple released their long awaited Remote App for the fourth Generation Apple TV. Instead of an update to their existing App, this is an entirely new application available for iPhone. There are some pros and cons of the new application, Dan Moren, writing for Six Colors, has an overview.
  • Writing for Recode, Peter Kafka says that Apple is working on a new digital TV Guide type system to tell users what’s on Apple TV and how to watch it. According to Recode, the idea is to let users see what kind of programing is available through their various video apps and services without having to open the individual applications. Supposedly the “single sign-on” service previewed at WWDC earlier this year was the first step of the plan. I can’t help but think that TiVo does something similar with their “OnePass” feature that allows users to browse and record shows from a variety of different services.
  • The 2016 Olympics kicked off in Rio this week. Though I’m not a huge sports fan, I do like to watch the highlights. I’m primarily watching NBC’s primetime coverage using my OTA Antenna. However, watching the Olympics can be a problem for cord cutters, especially if you want to watch the games live, not delayed. Michael Ansaldo writing for TechHive has put together a guide for how to watch the Olympics without paying for cable TV.
  • Logitech just released a new Create Keyboard for the 9.7" iPad Pro. Oscar Raymundo at Macworld takes a first look. This cover features backlit keys, has a row of iOS specific shortcuts, and includes a protective folio case with holder for the Apple Pencil. I just bought the Apple SmartKeyboard and back case a couple of weeks ago. Although I’m happy with my setup, I might have opted to try the Logitech had I waited a few more weeks.
  • Federico Viticci at MacStories highlights a problem with Stolen iPhones and Identity Theft and shares the story of very convincing phishing attempt his mother received after having her iPhone stolen a few weeks prior.
  • One of my favorite Apps, 1Password has introduced a new subscription service for individuals. (Don’t worry, the standalone service isn’t going away for those of you that are happy with that service.) The new subscription service offers some additional features including built-in automatic sync, data loss protection, web access to all your data on 1Password.com and includes access to all the the most updated versions of all the 1Password applications. Pricing for an individual plan is $2.99 a month with a special launch offer offering 6-months free.
  • The OmniGroup also announced a major update to an App I use regularly, OmniFocus now supports end-to-end encryption. Thanks to recent updates to all the apps on their platform, data Synced to the OmniFocus servers are now securely encrypted when at rest on the server. One you’ve updated all your devices, you’ll receive a notification that your database is available for upgrade.
  • Finally this week, for years the original model of the U.S.S. enterprise has hung in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. However, for the past several it’s been relegated to the gift shop as the model has deteriorated. The Enterprise was recently restored to its original glory and is now back on display in the Milestones of Flight Hall. Here’s a video showing the process of the restoration.