Things I like this week, volume 3.

Here’s a few things I’m enjoying this week.

Carousel by Dropbox
When Carousel launched, I’ll admit I was underwhelmed. I have a lot of pictures stored in Dropbox, and they’re all neatly organized into folders (big surprise there, I’m sure). Initially, Carousel’s performance seemed lacking with massive libraries, and the app would pick up images from throughout your Dropbox, with no way to specify which folders to use. The option to proactively pick a “photos” directory is still missing, but the app did get the ability to hide entire folders from the web. Previously, it was possible to hide individual images from the iOS app, but now if you visit on the web, you can right-click to select an entire folder to disappear as well. There’s also a “flashback” feature which we’ve seen with other photo services before, but which is a nice addition since I used it last. This stuff, plus some nice speed enhancements, which make it very usable with my large library, have given me a reason to throw it a second look.

Amazon Music with Prime Music
Another app that’s improved over time is Amazon’s music offering. While the title evokes a Microsoftian naming convention, the app’s UI has gotten a little better over the past few months, and the Prime streaming service, while nowhere near as comprehensive as Spotify, Rdio, et. al., has improved a bit as well. It still lacks the super deep catalog of those other services, but I have been pleasantly surprised at what I did find as I browsed. The curated playlists and recommendations are pretty good (for me at least), and it’s gotten more fun to use, with some swipe controls to move through the different sections of the app. If you’re a Prime member, it’s worth taking another look. If you have little kids, there’s a ton of great music on there that you can stream and add to your library for free.

Workflow: Annotate Screenshot and Delete.

One of the things I’m always trying to do is reduce the number of apps I need to use to accomplish certain tasks. In the absence of Yosemite’s Markup feature on iOS, I’m using Skitch, and have for a while. It’s good, but I almost never open it unless I need to draw an arrow in a picture for some reason. And then I send it somewhere, and then I have a screenshot I don’t really want, and a second version with an arrow. Both of which I want out of my Camera Roll.

So I built a workflow to do just that. Here’s what it does:

  • Looks for your most recent screenshot
  • Opens that photo in the editor so you can do whatever you want to it
  • Copies the edited photo to the clipboard
  • Launches the Share sheet
  • Provides the option to immediately delete the original screenshot after sharing is complete

Instant editing, no messy screenshot leftovers. Unfortunately since the image editor can’t currently run as part of an extension, you need to launch it by itself. If that changes, this is going to be awesome.

Get it here:

Annotate & Delete

12-14-2014, 9:24 PM
Phillip Gruneich over at One Tap Less (one of my new favorite places on the internet) took this and improved on it, bypassing the clipboard entirely. I’m still getting the hang of variables, so any time someone can take my initial idea and make it better, I’m all for it. Check out his full post here, which has a few other gems as well.

Oh, and it was brought to my attention that the ampersand in the workflow name causes trouble if you try to use it in Launch Center Pro. Just change it to ‘and’ to avoid that. Didn’t occur to me. I just liked the way it looked.

Pure online photo ecstasy.

I am a Mac user, and I rely on iPhoto heavily on my systems to keep all my photos in order. However, I also have a sizable Flickr account with a bunch of photosets, some of which duplicate things stored locally, and some which don’t. But what I didn’t have was a good way to interact with Flickr on my laptop. Until today.

Enter flickery, an application by Eternal Storms software, makers of the excellent GimmeSomeTune, for use with iTunes. Flickery is a native Mac app for wrangling the hell out of the content you store on Flickr, and I am absolutely floored by it. I will be spending so much more time using the site now, simply because the interface it provides is far and away an improvement to the web interface. Which is not to say Flickr’s site isn’t useful, because it’s come a long way over the years. But for all that can be done within the confines of http://, it doesn’t even come close to the experience you get with flickery.

What makes it so great is that it looks a lot like iPhoto, but with its hooks straight into your online account, you get to see both your local content and online content in similar fashions, which is fantastic for mentally arranging your photos how you like them. Clean, easy to understand, and powerful – everything a great app should be. God, I love good software. I could go on and on about it, but I really want to play with it more. If you’re a Mac-head and have a Flickr account, you’ve got a 15-day free trial to see if you like it. I’ll definitely be plunking down a few bucks for it. It’s essential as far as I’m concerned.

flickery