When trying to sync a new iPhone to my Google Apps account it seems that it’s no longer possible to use Exchange push mail, address book and calendar syncing. By signing up for their service for free I paid by letting Google rummage through my mail for later use in targeted advertising. But now they killed yet another service that I come to depend on. My trust in Google is totally gone. Now I have to spend hours setting up a mail server, getting passwords from my users and sync all accounts using IMAP. Then I have to help everyone to set up iCloud sync for the address book and calendars instead. Because Google can’t be trusted. All these problems can easily fixed buy paying Google, but why pay twice? Money AND my private life? WTF?
I want to be able to share interesting web pages on my WordPress blog using iOS directly from Safari using a bookmark and a Pythonista Python script. The script takes the URL of the page, any text you copied and the page title, formats it in Markdown and creates a new post in Poster App automatically.
Pythonista, finally programming workflow automation for iOS?
I’m doing most of my writing on my iPad or occasionally on my iPhone, and I write everything in Markdown. There are some great scripts in my current favorite language Python out there for doing Markdown conversions, image manipulations, etc., but unfortunately, Apple rules regarding programming apps on iOS devices are pretty stringent. But an app for programming Python on iOS called Pythonista have some smart ways of getting around some of Apple’s restrictions. And one of the wonderful things you can do is home screen shortcuts, making your scripts available directly from the home screen of your iOS device. All you have to do to create a Pythonista home screen shortcut is to go to a web page and enter the script name and optional arguments. After that, add the page home-screen with Safari’s bookmarks button. Another way of starting your scripts is directly as bookmarks in Safari or another web browser.
I found the app from this article about making life easier by scripting with Pythonista, a great read of all the functions available in the app.
Because they added a Python library for managing the clipboard, you can copy pictures or text to it, then start your script that reads from the clipboard and then put the new modified text/picture back to the clipboard, ready for pasting into any app. Very handy!
iPad and MultiMarkdown Supported Apps
Since I originally wrote this article, much has happened. The Elements app looks like it’s been discontinued because I couldn’t find it in the AppStore, so I have removed it from the comparison table. I’ve added my new favourite iOS text editor, Editorial which is an amazing app for configure your text workflow just the way you like it. IA Writer has added support for MultiMarkdown so I added it to the list as well.
Trying to use MultiMarkdown for writing this blog on an iPad has been frustrating. Just trying to find a writing app that supports tables, footnotes, internal links and tables drives you crazy. One App can do some of the things right, others do nothing right. So here is my test of the Markdown Writing Apps I have available, and how they compare feature-wise.
I’ve moved over all my writing to Markdown, just because it’s a great way of writing for different media. But I need to use the more advanced version MultiMarkdown to be able to handle internal links, cross-references, more advanced image links, footnotes, tables and bibliography. So I did a Markdown test document with all the stuff I need, and checked if the App could handle it and generating working HTML. So here it goes.
|Writing Kit 3.9.2||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Drafts iPad 3.6.3||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|IA Writer v2.0||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
So if you need some or all of these features, have a look in the table and make your choice. I like to write in Editorial when blogging because of the workflow I added for uploading images and the ability to export to any app using URL scheme. When writing other texts I usually use IA Writer or Byword. Thankfully the apps for iOS isn’t expensive and most of them can sync via Dropbox, so switching between apps isn’t the end of the world.
I’ll try to keep this list updated whenever an update is available.
To be able to tag your DSLR pictures with GPS information is both fun and practical. But to date, most DSLR cameras don’t have GPS built-in or is an expensive hardware add-on option. That includes the Wi-Fi iPad you might own. The last couple of years I’ve used a lot of different solutions to track GPS data while I’m out taking photographs. My first way was to use a Garmin GPS unit and then transfer the information to my Mac, but now, with mobile phones like iPhone and Android, there’s no reason to tug along yet another device.
My weapon of choice now is an app for iPhone and iPad called GeoTagr, a universal app for logging GPS tracks while you photograph, and then tag images with location data. For me, the pictures I want to tag are the RAW images that I import into Adobe Lightroom 4. And with this app, it’s straightforward to accomplish.