The TextExpander Keyboard Preview and Beta

The day I have waited for since the iPhone was originally released is almost upon us…full TextExpander support is coming to any App on the iPhone or iPad, including built-in apps like Mail and Safari.

Smile has worked diligently to bring TextExpander to iOS but due to sandboxing restrictions, previously only apps which implemented the TextExpander touch SDK could expand snippets in-app. Thanks to iOS 8 and support for custom keyboards, that’s all about to change.

Smile has a video preview on their blog as well as an invitation for folks to join the public beta. TextExpander touch 3 shipping this fall. For more details, see the TextExpander touch home page.

Philip, Greg, everyone…thank you.

Disclosure: Smile is a Sponsor of Mac Power Users

Perspective Icons 2 for OmniFocus

Silvia Gatta of Icons & Coffee (along with some help from Federico Viticci) has launched a new set of OmniFocus icons,Perspective Icons 2. I’ve really loved the new look and feel of OmniFocus 2, in fact I feel that it has re-energized my OmniFocus use and productivity. But sometimes it helps to change things up a little and enhancing OmniFocus with these custom icons does just that. These icons allow you to add a touch of personality to your OmniFocus install while keeping the design clean and functional.

Partly due to our recent MPU episode on Task Managment, and with some inspiration from Silvia’s icons, I’ve been motivated to create some additional perspectives in OmniFocus that I hope will help me up my game.

There are 100 icons in total in multiple colors and resolutions and available for a special introductory price of $9.99 for a limited time.

My Ice Bucket Challenge - I Challenge You!

It finally happened…I was tagged to take the Ice Bucket Challenge. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) is a neurodegenerative disease that results in rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy. It’s devastating. Most of us know about ALS because of people like Stephen Hawking or Lou Gehrig, but ALS hit me in a very personal way this year when I learned that a friend and mentor was diagnosed. For my friend, and for everyone else impacted by ALS, I’m proud to take the Ice Bucket Challenge and more importantly, donate money to the ALS Association.

Part of the fun of this challenge is that you get to invite a few friends to help you raise money and awareness for this cause. To that end, I’m challenging the entire Mac Power Users community, including specifically calling out my podcasting partner David Sparks, to take the challenge with me. You can post your own Ice Bucket challenge videos to our Google+ page to share and inspire others. I’m also calling out my friends in the Mac Podcasting community in the hopes that they will inspire (and challenge) their listeners to participate as well.

You’ve been challenged…

Verizon's New Single Line Plan - There's A Catch

As I was browsing RSS feeds this morning I came across this post from iMore pointing to a new single-line smartphone plan from Verizon for $60. According to iMore:

As part of a new promo, you can now get unlimited voice minutes, unlimited text messaging and 2GB of data for $60, you’ll want to pay attention to the overage charges though that are set at a whopping $15/1GB. Obviously not going to be an option for everyone but it’s sure to fit some needs.

When Verizon moved to their “More” plans a few years ago that allowed individuals and families to share their data across multiple devices it made sense for some families and people with multiple devices, but individuals with a single smartphone ended up paying significantly more. For example, I have a 32GB iPhone 5 with Unlimited Talk, Text and 2GB of Data (generally enough for my monthly use) and pay $90 a month plus taxes - seems a little ridiculous. I hoped moving to this new plan specifically for individual products an opportunity to save $30 and a welcome change.

Unfortunately - there’s a catch. When I called Verizon this morning to inquire about the change I was informed the mobile hot spot feature is not available on this plan. Meaning you cannot use your iPhone to tether to other devices like your Mac or iPad. Notably this is not mentioned on Verizon’s FAQ site as of this posting and their online chat wasn’t aware of this limitation either. It's a shame because Verizon is restricting you to 2GB, what should it matter how you use it?

I don’t tether my iPhone often, but when I need it, it’s a big deal. Whether tethering is worth an extra $30 a month is something I’ll have to think about a little more before I make this decision, but if you’re considering this move you should be aware.

208: Repurpose your Apple Hardware

This week on Mac Power Users David and I chat all about Repurposing your Apple Hardware. We discuss turning your older devices into servers, prepping them to hand down to friends and family, upgrades to extend the life of older products, creative projects for old Macs and responsibly donating, selling or recycling older devices.

You can find the show on the MPU site or subscribe in iTunes or via RSS.

MILOfest Discount Offer

This week on MPU Live, David and I were joined by special guest Victor Medina, who is the organizer of MILOFest, a conference for attorneys and office administrators who use Macs and iOS devices in their law offices.

I had an opportunity to attend MILOfest last year for the first time and it was a career-changing event. This year the conference is being held October 23–25th at the Walt Disney World Yacht Club Resort in Orlando, Florida. Topics include iOS security, Document workflow and assembly, using OSX Yosemite (presented by yours truly), using Macs for trial prep, how to train your staff, creating an outstanding client experience and more.

Registration is now open and if you haven’t bought your tickets, Victor announced a special discount for MPU listeners. You can use coupon code MPU to save $75 on your registration between now and August 31st.

I hope to see you there.