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Some tips for working faster with Fantastical 2 for iPhone


Flexibits just released Fantastical 2 for iPhone, an all-new version of its powerful calendaring app for iPhone. The app got one of the best iOS 7 redesigns I’ve seen yet, as well as support for Apple’s Reminders built right in and lots of other goodies. If you want to be even more productive, Fantastical has plenty of tricks for you:

  • Use natural-ish language when adding an event—”Lunch with Brett Fri 12:30pm”—and Fantastical will figure it out
  • Add an alert in the same way: “Lunch with Brett Fri 12:30pm alert 1 hour”
  • With the new Reminders support, you can use Fantastical’s natural language input to add tasks that appear in both Fantastical and Apple’s Reminders, which in turn will appear in iOS 7’s new Today view in Notification Center: “todo get milk 4pm” (you can also prepend your task with “task” or “reminder”)
  • In Fantastical’s settings, you can enable reminders to be shown in-line for each day next to your events
  • Add events and reminders to a specific calendar or reminders list by using a slash at the end: “Lunch with Brett Fri 12:30pm /w” adds it to your Work calendar (or /work if you have more than one list that begins with a “w”)
  • Add recurring events: “Invoice clients last Friday every month 10am”
  • Search events and reminders by pulling down on the DayTicker or month view just a little. That gesture swaps between the two, but if you pull just a little, a search box appears
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iOS 7: Enable Short Names to fit more names on screen, save space

Short Names iOS 7iOS 7 helps you save screen space when communicating with contacts. Under Settings > Mail, Contacts, & Calendars > Short Name, you can now customize how iOS displays contact names in various places, such as at the top of a Messages conversation view.
If you add your own nicknames for contacts, you can also now tell iOS to use those instead. Careful with that one, especially if you lend your phone to nicknamed contacts.

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Mavericks: A much easier way to toggle your library folder

Mavs show library folder
One of the most popular Finer Things in Tech posts of all time is a set of tips and a terminal command to show your home user library folder. Apple decided to hide this sensitive folder from users back in OS X Lion, but with the October 2013 release of OS X Mavericks, the company has made a solid compromise.

If you open a Finder window to your Home folder, press ⌘-J (View > Show View Options). The info window that appears has a bunch of customization options, and a new one is Show Library Folder. Note that this option is contextual; it won’t appear unless you’re viewing your Home user folder.

[via Lifehacker]

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iOS 7: Double-tap the date and time picker to switch between minute increments

When creating an event in iOS 7, double-tapping the date & time selector switches between 1-minute and 5-minute increments.
Editor’s note: This works in Apple apps like Calendar, but I can’t get it to work in third-part apps like the recently released and iOS-7-ified OmniFocus 2 for iPhone.

[thanks Brad Fortin!]

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Seven Finer Things about Dispatch, a great email client for iPhone

Dispatch for iPhone has been my favorite iOS email client for a while, largely because it can turn emails into tasks, events, and notes in third-party apps like OmniFocus, Fantastical, and Evernote. A couple of recent updates have added some really handy features, so I rounded up the best Finer Things  for one of my favorite iOS apps. Tap or click through the gallery below and check the captions to pick up what I’m puttin’ down.

Dispatch for iPhone is available in the App Store.

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iOS 7: Block incoming phone calls, iMessages, FaceTime requests [Updated]


In iOS 7, you can (finally!) block phone calls, messages, and FaceTime requests. In the Settings app you can go to Phone > Blocked or Messages > Blocked to add phone numbers and email addresses.

A catch as of iOS 7.0.2, however, is that phone number(s) or email(s) you want to block must already be added to a contact in your device; tapping the Add New button displays a searchable list of all your contacts, and there is no way right now to manually add addresses. I should also note that this is for blocking incoming phone calls, iMessages, and FaceTime requests from phone numbers and email addresses (iMessage allows you to register both for these features); as far as I know, it doesn’t work to block incoming SMS or actual emails.

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Update: Thanks to Brian Webster on ADN, you can block numbers and addresses without having to add them to a contact. Just go to the Recent list in the Phone or FaceTime apps, or tap ‘Contact’ at the top of a conversation in Messages, then tap the (i) button and scroll to the bottom of the details for that number or address to find the ‘Block this Caller’ option.
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On the upside, tapping a contact will add all of their phone numbers and email addresses at once, so there’s a trick you can use to save some time when it comes to random addresses not yet assigned to a contact:

  • create a new contact, name it something like “Undesirable”
  • add all unwanted numbers and emails to this new contact
  • whenever you make significant updates to your new contact, re-add them to the Blocked list (no, it doesn’t update automatically)
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Vizify creates an interactive timeline of your Twitter connections, favorite topics

Vizify is a bio and personal infographic service for displaying who you are, what you do, and where you hang out online. Among its many tricks is a new Connections page that displays an animated, interactive timeline of your Twitter activity, who you talk to, and your favorite topics.
For example, here is my Vizify and my new Connections page.

Vizify Connections