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You can use your email for iMessage, plus it’s more identifiable

By default, your iCloud account is your iMessage to/from address. If you own an iPhone, your phone number is enabled for iMessage and, as far as I can tell, becomes the default to/from address on every device.

You can also attach extra email addresses to your iCloud/iMessage to use as your default to/from address. I added my personal email (at chartier.land) and set it as the default on all devices. I think it’s easier to identify and remember than some random string of numbers, especially when I’m messaging someone new.

To do this:

  • iOS: Log into appleid.apple.com with the iCloud account you use for iMessage. Under the Account > Reachable At section, click Add New and add any other email addresses you want to use with iMessage.
  • Mac: Open Messages and go to Preferences > Accounts > your iMessage account. In the Reachable At section, click Add New. You can also use the iOS method if you prefer.

**Important Note**: Any email addresses you attach to your iCloud/iMessage account are no longer eligible to become Apple IDs. However, you _can_ detach these addresses later at appleid.apple.com to make them eligible again.

To set an email address as your default from for new conversations:

  • iOS: Open Settings > Messages > Send & Receive, then make your selection in the Start New Conversations From section.
  • Mac: Open Messages and go to Preferences > Accounts > your iMessage account. Make your selection in the Start New Conversations From section.

Now, when you iMessage someone new, or start new conversations with existing contacts, your messages will come from your email address instead of a phone number. Bonus points: if you set an email address you actually use, now your contacts also know your email address for sending more email-y stuff.

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[iOS 11] One-handed multitasking on iPad

I really like the new multitasking features in iOS 11. It’s also time that I start making videos again, so here’s the first—a quick tip on how to put apps in Split View with one hand.

I don’t publish a lot of videos on my YouTube channel yet, but I do have more planned. Feel free to subscribe there, but I’ll blog them here, too.

The music is Moonlight Jive by Proleter.

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[iOS 11] Drag links in Safari for iPad to open them in a new background tab

In Safari for iPad on iOS 11, you can quickly open a link in a background tab by dragging it to the new tab (+) button.

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Subscribe to my next newsletter all about Messages, iMessage tips

As you may know, I now publish a weekly Finer Things in Tech Newsletter alongside this site, and you should totally subscribe. In addition to a handful of bite-sized tips that are almost entirely exclusive to the newsletter, I also include a few links to insightful and inspiring reads from around the web. 

For example, last issue I linked the brilliant 100 Demon Dialogues about impostor syndrome and self-doubt, and this great piece from Benedict Evans exploring the cognitive dissonance and statistics around which traditional and modern devices have actually been used for creation versus consumption.
I’m experimenting with focusing some issues on a particular topic or app, and next week’s issue will be all about Messages and iMessage for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Be sure to subscribe now to make sure you get it, and share the signup link with friends and coworkers who could use help in the messaging department.

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How to archive your internet likes with Day One

A long time ago, I had an app called Favs that collected everything I liked/hearted/bookmarked/whatevered across a ton of services (it was sadly abandoned). We’re talking Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, newsreader services, Pocket—probably over 20 services. It was a one-stop journal to find that thing I know I liked somewhere, and it made me happy.

IMG_0124I miss Favs, so I recently decided to try and recreate it using apps and services at my disposal. Last week, I settled on Day One + IFTTT, and so far it’s working pretty well. If you dig this idea and you’re a Day One user (2.0, not Classic), or this post inspires you to give it a try, here’s how to set it up. I’ll write from the assumption that you have accounts for both apps and a basic understanding of how they work:

  • Open Day One and create a new journal. Name it something relevant to you. I went with “Favs”
  • Open IFTTT, tap the Search tab, and search for the first service for which you want to archive your likes
  • (Optional) You might need to log into that service in order to enable it for your IFTTT needs
  • Tap it, scroll down a smidge, then tap “New Applet”
  • In the “If ‘This’ then that” screen that appears, tap ‘This’ and pick the action for your service related to liking something
  • “That” should now be highlighted in the applet screen. Tap it, then find Day One and select it (you might need to log into Day One to enable it for IFTTT)
  • Tap “Create new journal entry”
  • In the Day One journal entry customization screen that appears, be sure to select your new Day One journal for these entries
  • (Optional) Customize the entry template to your desires
  • Save your applet
  • Rinse and repeat for every relevant service

Day One can often grab things like metadata about the item you liked, and sometimes the related photo thumbnail or featured image.

Things To Know

One drawback of this setup is that IFTTT doesn’t support grabbing your likes from every service. For example, while Facebook does support IFTTT, it doesn’t allow access to grabbing your likes.

Other services simply may not be available since, as I understand it, even if they have an API, their maker needs to opt into IFTTT’s service and pay a monthly fee to be listed. Some, like my new bookmarking service Dropmark, do not yet have an interest or budget for it.

A Tip

When it comes to searching your likes later in Day One, you might need to make sure you select this specific journal. Day One has an “All Entries” view that searches everything, or you can search each individual journal by first selecting it, then searching.

So Far, So Mostly Good

I’m generally happy with this setup so far. My main gripe is that, since it’s dependent on IFTTT, there are a number of services I can’t plug in simply because they don’t support IFTTT. Swarm checkins are there (handy because I’m bad at remembering restaurant names), so are Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Pocket, and Feedly. But Untapped, Distiller, and others aren’t.

That said, I’ll probably stick with this unless something better comes along. I’d love to see Favs return or a new app built to solve this exact problem, though I realize indie App Store economics can be tough these days. Still, this is a good way to keep an ongoing catalog of those many things you like all over the internet.


How to add tasks to Things 3 with Siri and Reminders

Things 3 iPhone Siri RemindersThings 3 can automatically import tasks from Reminders, which includes those added by Siri. You can use the default Reminders list or tell Things to watch a specific list for new tasks. Once Things notices them, it will bring those tasks into your Inbox and delete them from Reminders.

It’s worth noting that, once iOS 11 ships this fall, Things 3 will integrate directly with Siri and no longer require Reminders as a proxy. It was demoed on-stage at WWDC 2017, and Cultured Code confirmed this on its blog. If you want to keep Reminders as a proxy for other workflows or integrations, though, they’ll keep this feature around.

But if you want Things 3 + Siri today, here’s how to enable it:

  • Open Things 3 on an iPhone or iPad
  • At the bottom of the sidebar, tap the Settings gear
  • Tap Siri
  • Tap Show Reminders switch to turn it on
  • A “List” option appears at the bottom
  • Choose whether you want Things to watch your default Reminders list (where Siri puts everything unless otherwise specified) or a specific list you created

Things 3 can only watch one Reminders list, so you’ll have to decide how you want your setup to work. Personally, I use the default Reminders list; I manage all tasks in Things 3 now, and almost never open Reminders.

But, if you choose to use one of your other Reminders lists, adding tasks with Siri is still pretty easy. Say you created a Reminders list called “Things” specifically for this purpose. Just say to Siri “add Finish the blog post to my Things list,” and your task will make its way to your Things 3 inbox.

I really like Things 3 for iPad, iPhone, and Mac so far, and I’ve switched all my personal task management to it. That includes planning Finer Things in Tech articles and the newsletter (to which you should totally subscribe!), as well as all of my Bit & Pen client tasks that don’t need the collaboration of something like Trello.

The iOS apps don’t have any sort of trial. But you can grab a Mac demo from Cultured Code.

Reminder: I use affiliate links like App Store/iTunes and Amazon. If you tap through and buy something, you’ll help support Finer Things in Tech and my app habit.


You can quickly select multiple items in Photos with a swipe [GIF]

Photos select multiple itemsWhen managing your media in Photos, you can quickly select multiple items simply by dragging your finger across them.

To start, tap the Select button in the upper right. Then drag your finger across two or more items. You can lift to stop the selection, scroll your library, and drag again to select more. This works on both iPhone and iPad.