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MyQ HomeKit Bridge is (Finally) Available (Maybe Not)

Update: Chamberlin's website now says the product is "temporarily out of stock due to high demand." 

From MacRumors:

After an introduction at CES in January, and an expected launch date of April 2017, Chamberlain's MyQ Home Bridge has today been made available for users to purchase. For users already in the company's MyQ ecosystem, the MyQ Home Bridge will upgrade any MyQ garage door opener with the addition of Apple's HomeKit.

This bridge appears to only bring HomeKit compatibility, It does not bring compatibility with other IOT devices like the Amazon Echo. You will be able to use Siri to control your garage door and incorporate your Garage door into your HomeKit scenes.

Currently, Chamberlin is selling the product directly for $49.99 (plus shipping which adds $13 or more) and says the price will rise to $69.99 at some point in the future.

While I was initially excited about this product when it was originally announced at CES, I've cooled off a bit. Based on the comments and installation instructions it appears the upgrade kit for existing MyQ owners will require this adapter be installed as a second box in the garage. (As opposed to hanging off your router somewhere on the network.) I tend to use my Echo for controlling my home tech devices and I'm not sure HomeKit support brings enough features to justify the purchase.

 Honestly, I'm likely going to wait for the initial reviews of this product (I'm looking at you Casey Liss) and will likely wait for it to show up on Amazon before buying.

Mac Power Users #390: Tagging with Terpstra

This week on Mac Power Users, Brett Terpstra (drink!) joins David and me to talk about the state of tagging on Mac and iOS. We discuss uses of tags, developing a tagging scheme, what you can do with tags, the turbulent history and hopefully bright future.

This episode of Mac Power Users is sponsored by:

  • TextExpander from Smile Type more with less effort! Expand short abbreviations into longer bits of text, even fill-ins, with TextExpander from Smile.
  • 1Password Have you ever forgotten a password? Now you don't have to worry about that anymore. Save up to 20% using this link.
  • Fujitsu ScanSnap ScanSnap Helps You Live a More Productive, Efficient, Paperless Life. 
  • Casper: Because everyone deserves a great night sleep. Get $50 off with the code ‘MPU’

Grammarly

On our "Must-Have Utilities" episode of Mac Power Users, I mentioned Grammarly as a tool I’ve been using to enhance my writing. Grammarly is a plug-in for your web browser that will help you common grammar mistakes, spelling errors, punctuation, and more.

The basic version will check for critical grammar and spelling errors. There’s also a premium version available that will perform advanced checks for punctuation, grammar, context, and sentence structure, make vocabulary suggestions, genre-specific writing style checks and has a plagiarism detector.

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For Mac users, Grammarly is primarily a web-based grammar tool. They do have a Mac App that you can copy/paste text to check it. Unfortunately, their Microsoft Word plugin is PC only at this point and there is not an iOS App. Supposedly they are working on expanding their feature set. If Grammarly can expand into Word for Mac or plug-in to native Mac Apps it will become much more useful.

For anyone who writes on the web (blogs, etc.) the free version is a no-brainer. Since using it I’ve found a significant reduction in simple typos and incorrect word use. If you write for a living or don’t have someone to double-check your work before it goes out you might want to invest in a premium subscription which starts at $11 a month.

Mac Power Users #389: The Mac-Based Small Business

I'm about to celebrate my one-year business anniversary. In this week's episode of Mac Power Users, David and I talk about it along with the hardware, software, and workflows I'm using. There are also a few hippie parts.

This episode of Mac Power Users is sponsored by:

  • Eero: Never think about WiFi again. Use code MPU for free overnight shipping.
  • Fujitsu ScanSnap ScanSnap Helps You Live a More Productive, Efficient, Paperless Life. 
  • 1Password Have you ever forgotten a password? Now you don't have to worry about that anymore. 
  • Fracture Bring your photos to life.

ScreenCastsOnline Monthly Magazine: My Menu Bar

This month’s issue of ScreenCasts Online Monthly Magazine is now available in ScreenCasts Online Magazine App. In the August issue you’ll find an article from me about apps in my Menu Bar.

The monthly magazine is packed with streamable versions of Don’s excellent video tutorials as well as articles, reviews and tips from authors including David Sparks, Katie Floyd, Allison Sheridan, Wally & Wendy Cherwinski, Mike Schmitz, Frank Petrie and more.

The ScreenCastsOnline Monthly Magazine is available on the iTunes App Store, and is available for individual purchase or as part of a subscription which includes a free trial period. Find more info at https://screencastsonline.com/magazine/

Relay's Anniversary Month and Bonus Episode for Members

August marks three years since Relay FM began and not long after that David and I decided to move Mac Power Users over to the network.  Maybe you followed our show over to Relay, maybe you found us because we were on their network. I'm proud to be a part of Relay FM and appreciate the support they provide for our podcast. 

Not long ago, Relay launched a membership service, allowing listeners to provide direct support to the shows they love.  Relay FM memberships start at $5 a month and come with a few perks including:

  • A monthly behind-the-scenes newsletter

  • Previews of upcoming shows

  • A members only podcast, in which Stephen Hackett interviews two hosts about a big topic each month.

  • Access to a feed full of bonus episodes of Relay FM shows throughout August and September

And as an added bonus, we’ll be releasing a special episode of Mac Power Users which will be exclusive to Relay FM members. If you're a Relay FM member you’ll  get a link to a special RSS feed just for Members, this is where you’ll find our bonus episode, along with more from other Relay FM shows this month.

For our bonus episode, David and I are doing an "ask me anything" style episode. However, since our show is always tech-focused we thought it might be fun if we asked for questions that were not. We thought it might be a good way to cover topics we don't normally talk about and for you to get to know us a little better. To submit questions, send a tweet with the hash tag #mpuama. The show is slated for release on August 19th. 

To make sure you don’t miss out on our members show along with all those other great perks, you can support us by heading to relay.fm/mpu and signing up to be a member. Or you can support more shows by going to relay.fm/membership.

 

 

 

 

Mac Power Users #388: MPU+: Don't Put Your Keyboard in the Dishwasher

Last week David and I released a special bonus episode of Mac Power Users where we chat with Apple Distinguished Educator and Musician Shirantha Beddage. We also answer questions on a variety of topics including lightning protection, starting a blog, how much iMac to buy, OCR accuracy, and follow up on Home Tech, must-have utilities and more.

This episode of Mac Power Users is sponsored by:

  • Away: Travel smarter with the suitcase that charges your phone. Get $20 off with the code ‘mpu’.
  • Audible: You can’t make more time, but you can make the most of it. Start your free trial today.
  • Setapp: Pay one monthly fee and get access to the best Mac software around
  • 1Password Have you ever forgotten a password? Now you don't have to worry about that anymore. Save up to 20% using this link.