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ATPM 15.05
May 2009


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Showcase for iPhone 3G

It looks a lot like my Otter Box case. Same price range and should give the phone decent protection. I carry mine in my pocket…less chance of having it hit the floor or having someone swipe it.

—G. Watson

• • •

I can recommend this product. I’ve used it for over a year, and it has worked flawlessly. The density of the cover has protected the iPhone from a couple of nasty drops without any problem. I’d recommend a thin screen film for maximum protection. The belt clip can work as a stand on a level surface. Well made, very secure.


Very Interesting…But Stupid

I like Safari 4. I use the Cover Flow feature and generally am very pleased with it. It’s a grade up.

But I’ve noticed that people either hate it or love it. There are no in between!

—John Davis

• • •

The reload button is not gone. It’s now a little “circular arrow” icon in the right of the address bar. It’s been shrunk and moved, not taken away.


Facebook for iPhone 2.2

If event requests have been omitted in favour of friend requests because, as you say, the latter occurs more frequently, I put it to you that you merely represent an insignificant “subset” of people who have legions of cyber “friends,” but never actually leave their computer to spend anytime with anyone in the real world.

—Richie Montana

I really can’t speculate as to whether or not your comment is valid—it may very well be. But what I can do is assure you that I don’t represent the subset you describe because I, personally, get away from my computer to spend time with friends in the real world to a high degree. In fact, right this very moment, I am typing to you having returned from an out-of-state trip to an event and catch up with friends I went to college with nearly 20 years ago. Moreover, with fewer exceptions than I can count on one hand, every one of the nearly 500 friends to whom I’m connected on Facebook are people I have at least met in person and, in most cases, have had a long-time relationship with in person. The few I’ve not met in person are essentially all professional contacts with whom I’ve interacted frequently—if only online or by telephone. But I digress. All I was trying to suggest was that it would be nice if I could, at best, be able to manage my friend group lists and see some information about events on the iPhone application. Or, at the least, be able to assign someone to an existing group list when I request a friend connection via the iPhone application.

—Lee Bennett

Freeway Pro and Freeway Express 5.3.1

Nice, fair, and balanced article. I created my first Web site in iWeb and my second in RapidWeaver. Both programs were very good at what they were trying to achieve and met my expectations, but I needed some flexibility in what I was doing although I am novice (to be sure). I found Dreamweaver was too much for the inexperienced amateur.

What I have found in Freeway 5 is that even with the limitations I bump into occasionally, it just does what I want, and if I don’t know how to do it I read the well written manual and experiment without worrying about messing up the rest of my “creation.” This program almost makes me look like I know what I am doing. Software, after all, can only get one so far!


Espionage 2.0.2

When a folder is locked via the contextual menu, only some Macs, and only some of the time, will that strange error message appear from the Finder. The problem appears to be an odd caching issue with the Finder, where it will simply assume the folder is inaccessible and will not even attempt to access it. It’s easily fixable by moving the folder slightly or getting info on it. Most users don’t experience this issue at all. A system-wide menu for locking and unlocking folders is coming very soon, which will make it even easier to avoid this Finder/Espionage bug.

If you get the password prompt randomly claiming that the Finder is trying to access the folder, check to make sure that none of Finder windows are set to “Calculate all folder sizes” in the view options.

We also have plans to make it even easier to restore backups (very similar to the suggestions in this review), we did not include them in 2.0 initially because it would have delayed the release of 2.0, and restoring a folder is a rare operation, and the documentation makes it very clear on how to do so. We do agree though that this is a user-friendliness defect in the program, and it will be fixed in a free update soon.

—Greg Slepak (developer of Espionage)

• • •

Why would anyone need a $25 application to do something that Disk Utility does for free? In place of secure folders you just create encrypted sparse bundle disk image files that require passwords before they will mount. If you find it necessary to hide the disk image files, there are free utilities or Finder contextual menu tools that let you change file visibility.

—Gregory Tetrault

As I see it, the main benefits are: (1) Espionage can mount the disk images inside your regular folder hierarchy (i.e. ~/Library/Mail) whereas Disk Utility can only mount in /Volumes, and (2) It can auto-mount the disk images when the folders are accessed.

—Michael Tsai

• • •

Indeed, as Michael mentions, this allows Espionage to do things that aren’t possible with Disk Utility, like encrypting application data. That’s actually a FAQ item on our support page.

We just released version 2.0.4, which adds new features (including support for custom folder icons) and addresses a couple of the issues brought up in this review, including the Finder’s “insufficient privileges” prompt, and probably most (if not all) of the situations that could cause the password prompt to appear randomly. Hopefully now we can really live up to the unobtrusive claim.

Full changes can be found here.

—Greg Slepak (developer of Espionage)

OmniFocus, TaskPaper, and Things

Thank you for a great overview.

Thought I’d share my experience of the three programs.

I bought and worked with OmniFocus and TaskPaper. For my purposes, OmniFocus requires too much upkeep. On the other hand, with TaskPaper, I couldn’t get an instant overview of my workload whenever I completed a task. I want to know exactly what remains to be done for the day, and what’s next.

Then I got Things, and I dumped the other two programs. Things is great, and I use it hourly; it’s the backbone of my personal GTD system.

Over the past couple of weeks, however, I’ve added The Hit List to Things, essentially because I wanted the option to add sub-tasks for various tasks, and also because the card view is very useful for some tasks, where I need to open lots of files or add lots of information.

I’m very pleased with both Things and The Hit List, they’re a pleasure to use.

—Angela Booth

• • •

I really like Things. I guess it’s a matter of how your mind works. Things seems to parallel the way I think and turn a confused mess into a logical sequence. There is also an iPhone application that syncs with the desktop version.

This makes an excellent combination.

—John Davis

• • •

Excellent review. My experiences have been very similar.

—Michael Ogilvie

• • •

I’m a TaskPaper fan, mainly because of the fact it uses text files. This means I can use my TaskPaper files with any text editor. I often work in the Terminal, which means I can use VIM to edit my TaskPaper files. On Windows there is TodoPaper (a TaskPaper clone) or I can simply open Notepad++ for quick tasks. For people working on different systems/architectures, TaskPaper is a great solution. Jesse is also working on an iPhone version and a cloud service to sync up files. For the moment, I use the Dropbox service to sync files.


• • •

I’ve never tried OmniFocus—too much emphasis on GTD (which I adopted, followed, then burned out on…I don’t need that much structure). But Omni does make incredible software, particularly OmniGraffle and OmniOutliner.

I had used Remember The Milk for a long time but was looking for a desktop application on the Mac. I tried Things and was really happy with several of its aspects, mostly along the lines you point out. I also liked the iPhone application. But the syncing, which I find to be a critical feature, is too limited…I just wish it’d sync to a Web service so I could do it anytime, anywhere, as my MacBook Pro is often shut off and in its bag. If it had had that feature, I’d probably still be using it.

TaskPaper is my current choice. The mixture of outlining notes with tasks in a text-driven environment is incredibly satisfying. I find that my to-do lists often devolve into fragments of notes, details, ideas, suggestions, reminders…not simply tasks. And all the other apps require you to hang all of those extra details off a task (which is the GTD influence: make everything into next actions). Once the iPhone application is delivered I’m afraid I’ll never look back!

Right before I found TaskPaper I encountered an in-beta Web application called Thymer. If I was only looking to manage tasks I’d possibly consider it over TaskPaper as it has some very slick features. It’ll definitely give Remember The Milk a run for its money.

—Troy Gilbert

• • •

I have used Things and OmniFocus and looked at TaskPaper. I agree with your assessment.

Taskpaper is great for a simple approach. Similar to Tudumo for Windows.

Things has a nice interface but is missing three things OmniFocus does very well:

  1. Things does not have context for their iPhone application.
  2. Things treats Areas of Focus and Projects differently.
  3. Things does not allow you to view your tasks in different cuts easily like OmniFocus.

OmniFocus is my favorite because it has an iPhone application that actually has contexts and it has reoccurring tasks, and it can sort the information in different perspectives very well.


• • •

Great review. Interestingly, the element you did not explore in OmniFocus—converting e-mails to tasks—has become my must-have feature.

Instead of dozens of e-mails which are, in reality, tasks, I now send them to OmniFocus. This is done by selecting the e-mail in Mail, going to the Services menu, and selecting “OmniFocus: Send to Inbox,” which starts the OmniFocus quick entry window.

End result—my average in box size is about 20 mails instead of 1,600. Priceless. Just need to complete some tasks now…

—Mark Hubbard

• • •

I have tried both OmniFocus and Things and have settled on OmniFocus. While I agree that the “features” of OmniFocus can quickly get in the way, once you learn the program it is pretty easy to use.

I really love the user interface of Things, and if they can ever get the connection between the desktop and iPhone version I would probably go back again. I really do love the user interface—it is very simple.

—Mike Erickson

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