Oh John Carroll

Tag: ios (page 1 of 2)

Fantastical

I’m writing today with a software recommendation: if you’re on a Mac, iPhone or iPad and haven’t tried Fantastical, you should rectify that immediately.

Fantastical is an alternative to the built-in calendar software that arrives baked in to your operating system. I started using it a few years ago after hearing raves about the way it collects your event data: in sentences & phrases. Rather than telling you all about, let me show you:

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 8.04.11 AM

I write and Fantastical figures out what goes where. And it always gets it right. Once you use it a few times, you’ll wonder why all calendar software doesn’t work this way.

Why am I writing about this on a Saturday morning? Well, after spending a day house hunting, I appreciated how much Fantastical made everything about planning and living that day easier1, and thought I should reward it with my previously private praise.


  1. Since the software isn’t created by Apple, you have the option of opening everything in Google Maps. If you’ve been burned enough by Apple Maps (and I have), this feels like a godsend every time you use it, even though it’s saving 30 seconds, tops.

I joined the dating app Tinder last week. I had an idea for a piece where I’d run a series of a conversations where men chatted with a woman (played by me, naturally) who was obsessed with the new Amazon Fire TV. Instead, I instantly met a dude who spends all of his time on Tinder badgering women for nude pics. While unplanned, I wound up giving him a taste of his own medicine and had a blast doing so.

This was a lot of fun to do, and seems to be making its way around the web — we posted it about 24 hours ago, and have had thousands of new visitors to the site. You should go read it!

Own an iPhone? If so, you’ll want to read this post by Scotty Loveless about how to get the most out of your iPhone battery:

This is not one of those “Turn off every useful feature of iOS” posts that grinds my gears. My goal is to deliver practical steps to truly solve your iOS battery woes.

Thank goodness. “Kill all of your apps” has always been an inelegant catch-all for battery troubleshooting. Scotty uses his experience from years of work at an Apple Genius Bar to point out the typical culprits. 1


  1. I could have used him a few months ago when I got the run-around from Apple support and slowly figured some of these same points out myself.

Not Banned →

Remember this?  Well, it turns out that an issue of Saga wasn’t rejected by Apple after all.  This makes sense: I thought it seemed awfully weird that a tech company would have to read and clear the comics of a third-party application.

Race to the Pennant →

Own an iPhone?  Love baseball?  You’ll probably want this app.

Apple Touch Icon

I was browsing my site statistics today, and noticed that many of you have been trying to access a non-existent Apple touch icon.  This is the icon that loads when saving my site to your iPhone or iPad home screen.

I suppose I never thought to add this because I never thought anyone would want my site amongst his or her apps.  It never even occurred to me to do this.

I am flattered, and wanted to thank those of you who do this by whipping up an icon.  If you want to see it, add (or remove, then add again) my homepage to your screen.

Did You Go Yet? →

Gavin Purcell writes about his Letterpress addiction for The New York Times:

I slowed way down, stopped opening the game. Other things took over my free time. The games began to pile up. Friends started coming out of the woodwork, trying to get me to play my turns. I got texts from some, e-mails from others. One guy even took the time to put a Post-it note on my computer. These people — who I work with and love — were suddenly on my back, all the time. I started to actively avoid places I knew I’d see them, turned corners more quickly, closed my door more.

He got out, but I’m not so lucky.  Look me up if you’re also hopelessly addicted.

His Cup of Tea →

Dan Moren describes a proper cup of tea for the iOS-exclusive publication The Magazine:

It’s an embarrassing state of affairs for a drink whose consumption dates back to the 10th century B.C. We’ve known how to make a proper cup of tea for thousands of years, but in the last century or so it’s as if our collective cultural tea-brewing knowledge has been whacked over the head and thrown into the trunk of a car. Filled with coffee.

Eating Our Paper →

Craig Mod has an excellent post about digital publishing, inspired in part by Marco Arment’s new iOS-exclusive publication The Magazine.  He writes:

In product design, the simplest thought exercise is to make additions. It’s the easiest way to make an Old Thing feel like a New Thing. The more difficult exercise is to reconsider the product in the context of now. A now which may be very different from the then in which the product was originally conceived.

Ticket to Hide

Can I nerd it up and write about iOS some more?  OK, thanks.

I went to a Royals-Tigers game last night, which I may blog about tonight or tomorrow.  But I wanted to first write about how I got into the game: using a ticket in my iPhone’s Passbook.

I think this is an incredibly exciting feature — so exciting that I’m openly geeking out about it here.  Passbook is a new application that aims to be a pseudo-wallet for iPhone users, albeit without the cash or credit cards (…for now).  The application is rather bare at the moment, as it’s developer-driven — passes only exist if third parties create the passes for use.  Major League Baseball is an early adopter, enabling the tickets for a few ballparks in the US, including Kansas City’s Kaufmann Stadium.

I am terribly hung up on remembering tickets.  Even though I’ve only forgotten a ticket once in my life (the Virgin Music Free Festival in Maryland), I worry like someone who forgets things weekly.  When I buy tickets to an event, I set calendar reminders: to make sure I receive the tickets, to make sure I’ve packed the tickets, to make sure I see a different calendar item about the tickets.

I never have to set such reminders for a few basics in my life: my wallet, my keys and my phone.  I don’t want to carry tickets for a November concert in my wallet this next month.  But if I can carry those around in my phone, and not worry about them until I arrive at the venue (at which point my phone dings me!), I’m suddenly not just saving paper, but also a lot of (admittedly excessive and unnecessary) anxiety.

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