Sweet App: DropVox

DropVox has completely replaced the native iPhone Voice Memos app for me.

I often record voice memos to myself regarding articles I’m working on or other ideas. This is especially true when I’m in the car because things have a tendency to pop into my mind when I’m driving around running errands, and the only way to capture that is to record a voice memo. Also, there are times when I record Shawn Today using my iPhone.

Back in August I began using DropVox instead of the native Voice Memos app. Basically this app creates a folder in your Dropbox account, and then when you launch the app you have one option: record. You record your voice memo and the app uploads it to your Dropbox account in the previously created DropVox folder. It uploads quickly, and in the background if necessary.

The audio quality is not quite as high as what you’ll get with the native Voice Memos app, but that aids in the quick upload times, and I do not find the audio quality to be lacking.

The utility of DropVox is superb. It does one thing and it does so very, very well. If you’re regularly recording voice memos that you don’t want confined to your iPhone, this one-dollar app is a great choice.

Sweet App: DropVox

My thanks to Studio Neat for sponsoring the RSS feed this week.

The iPhone 4S has an amazing camera. This is undisputed. What the iPhone lacks, however, is a tripod thread for mounting it to a tripod. Enter the Glif.

The Glif is a small and simple accessory for mounting your iPhone 4 or 4S to any standard tripod. It also acts as a little kickstand to prop your iPhone up for watching movies, using FaceTime, etc.

And now, we are offering Glif+, a deluxe Glif package. It comes with Ligature, a keychain loop for always keeping your Glif handy, and Serif, an additional attachment to keep your iPhone super secure in extreme situations. We are also offering the +Pack, for those of you that already own a Glif and just want the add-ons. Both are available for preorder now, and will ship in 1-2 weeks.

With the holidays fast approaching, the Glif makes a great stocking stuffer. Available now at StudioNeat.

The Glif and Glif+ [Sponsor]

A Hack to Get Back “Save As”

I miss Save As. A lot.

A common workflow for me was to open a previously saved document and use it as my template for a new document. I would make changes to it and then save it a as a new document. To Save As meant you took the document you were working on and saved it as a new document in its current state while discarding those changes from the original and leaving that original document as it was. I used Save As all the time.

But in Lion, the ability to Save As is gone. Sadly, Command+Shift+S gets you nothing.

In place of “Save As”, we now have “Duplicate”.1

Duplicating means the document you’re currently using gets, well, duplicated. A new document window pops up and out of the original and now you have two. The new one gets named something like “my document copy” and now you have two documents open.

If you Duplicate your file after you’ve already begun making edits to it then you’ll have the option to: (a) revert the original document back to it’s pre-edited state once you’ve duplicated it; (b) keep the current document as it is and duplicate it as well; (c) cancel.

Duplicate File Options

For the most part, Duplicate and Revert is the new Save As.

In the end you mostly get the same result as what we used to with Save As, but this duplicating and reverting business always feels cumbersome to me. Moreover, it’s a little bit scary — it still catches me off guard and forces me to stop and think for a few seconds about what it is I’m doing. I used to just hit Command+Shift+S and have my new document based on the first in no time.

And to add insult to injury, as a keyboard junkie it’s not just the removing of “Save As” that saddens me. It is also the removal of a very handy keyboard shortcut that I used many times a day: Command+Shift+S

And so, by harnessing the power of Keyboard Maestro, I set up Command+Shift+S as a “Save As Hack”.

  • I set the macro to only run in Pages, Numbers, Byword, and TextEdit. These are the apps I use on a daily or near-daily basis.
  • With a keyboard shortcut of Command+Shift+S, the macro will select “Duplicate” from the File menu, choose “Duplicate and Revert” for the original document, close the original document, and then open up a Save dialog box for the new document.

Download the macro

In essence, it’s an automated hack to get Save As and its keyboard shortcut back.

You can download the macro here.

  1. The Save As menu option isn’t gone completely from the system, just only for apps that utilize new document features in Lion such as versioning and auto save. For apps I use the most often, Duplicate has replaced Save As in Pages, Numbers, TextEdit, Byword. However, for apps which have not updated for the new Lion features (such as Adobe CS3), the Save As menu item is still present.
A Hack to Get Back “Save As”

It’s always great to read posts from people who use their devices in real life and have their reasons for why they like it. Such is the case with Geof Harries and his Windows Phone phone.

Geof is right that many of the Windows Phone reviews found on major sites talk about how it’s a great OS but alas it’s short on apps. I have not spent any time with a Windows Phone phone and so I cannot say if I would ever be willing to switch to it or not. No doubt it would be hard for me to give up some of my favorite iPhone apps, such as OmniFocus, Tweetbot, Instagram, and Simplenote, but I think I could get by if there was at least an alternative for Simplenote.

The Reports of Windows Phone Lacking in Apps Are Greatly Exaggerated