Tag Archives: iPhone

An App Shopper Wish List

Apps for iOS abound to an almost insane extent. You want a camera app? Well, here are 150 of them. Per page. Just click next. Figure it out. So, you look at the icons, the star ratings, and read all the reviews. You’ve picked one out and buy it. If you don’t, you have to keep some mental list of which ones you were interested in lest having to do the search all over again. Let’s see, was that Pro Camera, Camera+ Pro Camera Pro+, Camera Plus, or just Camera Pro you liked before?

This was the muddled situation before I came across AppShopper. It’s universal and let’s you look through what’s available and filter it all by paid or free, by device or category, by date or popularity, and by type of update. That would be great if it ended there, but the real value of the app is that last criteria coupled with the “Want it” button. If you are browsing and come upon an app you’d like to consider, just click it. You will then have an entry in your Wish List to refer to. You could have just written this down to consider. You are, however, quite unlikely to chart price changes and updates unless you’re gifted with some serious compulsion issues. AppShopper can notify you of these types of changes. Perhaps you might like to get The Professional Chef but find that $49.99 is ridiculous for a glorified cookbook app. This is not the best example, only a personal one, because the only activity for this in AppShopper is Oct 25, ’11 – New App: $49.99. If someday the notification comes in that there has been a price drop, I would certainly reconsider the app. Many apps have a sale for a few days only, and the notifier dutifully reports: Price Drop: 14.99 -> Free. Oh, joy! Of course, the feeling is not so great when you get that notice a while after your own purchase, but thus is life.

I noticed recently that they also have a website with all of this functionality that syncs with your other devices, as was always the case (it also has some features for the Mac App Store), but it also has a utility for Mac and Windows that uploads the names of the apps from your local iTunes folder to your My Apps tab so that you don’t have to do a session of search and mass Own it jabs if you want to know what you already have. Of course, Apple added the Purchased link in the iTunes store for an unabridged picture, and this is a necessity, but scrolling through years of purchases can be an onerously frustrating task.

AppShopper is quite a necessity for me in my quest to impose some sort of order to the wild app landscape.

 

iCloud & Contacts Disappear

Português: iCloud para iOS, Mac e Windows
Image via Wikipedia

I decided to do a mass cleanup of my contacts. Being prudent, I made a backup before, and after, using the “Address Book Archive” option as we’ve been told. Then, all of the contacts disappeared. Fine, no problem, I restored from the backup. Everything looked good but a few seconds later everything was gone again. Fine, I restored from a Time Machine backup. Things went just as badly. I frantically searched for a solution and was relieved to find a post from Richard L. on MacRumours. It was an horrific experience for us to have to share. I’m posting the steps I was forced into due to this obvious near fatal bug from our dearest Apple.

1. Completely sign out of iCloud.
2. If there are somehow any remnants of your contacts in Address Book, delete them.
3. Import your “Address Book Archive File” that didn’t work for long before.
4. Make any edits and clean things up. (some were obscenely mis-alphabetized – a likely corrupted cause of the problem in the first place)
5. Drag each address book entry out of AB individually to a folder somewhere.
6. Delete everything in AB.
7. Drag the mess of vCards back into AB.
8. Log back into iCloud. (You will notice you still have contacts – that don’t sync)
9. Turn off Contacts sync in the iCloud pref pane, keeping your local contacts.
10. Turn it back on. It will kindly “merge” your contacts with iCloud.

At this point you should have a complete Address Book on your mac as well as the nicely synced data on your mac/phone/pad/pod.

Oh, Apple! It “just works,” until it doesn’t. Hopefully those good folks will fix this quite traumatic situation soon.

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Siri-ously?

I understand that Siri is still in beta, but it can still be extremely irritating how it interprets some things so oddly. I asked “How far is it from Singapore to Amsterdam” with Siri just insisting that it “cannot give directions in Singapore.” I’m sure everyone knows already, but it’s often best to prefix whatever you want to ask with “Wolfram” to increase your chances of getting some sort of sensible response. I suppose this would be much less important in the US … and have anecdotally heard that some Australians are having trouble getting the word “wolfram” itself to be recognized. <Giggle>

Before it’s suggested that SingTel has def!nd out now as a localized Siri, def!nd works fine to search for local things, but is and never was intended to be a drop-in Siri replacement despite what some deluded reporters like to put in their headlines.