Macworld previews Instacast for Mac beta

Instacast for Mac promises to deliver the seamless podcast experience already available on iOS to the desktop.

Macworld has a good review of the beta version of this application.

What’s really fantastic in Instacast is the sync across devices. You can listen to a podcast on your iPhone and resume listening on your iPad exactly where you left.

Having this capability on the Mac too is priceless. I wonder when Apple is going to introduce a similar functionality in iTunes.

Steve Jobs talks about what software is in 1980

The past weekend while wasting some time on my iPad I came across this video of Steve Jobs from 1980, talking to a group of computer enthusiasts about his experience funding Apple:

The Q&A session that follows, is as interesting as the speech itself. At minute 15:00 he clearly states that what Apple was striving for was simplicity and very refined sophistication and that they would stick with it.

I found it also interesting when Steve Jobs talks about what software is (skip at 15:40) in response to how Apple was planning to remove the obstacles to leverage the increasing power of the hardware that was being introduced on the market.

I won’t spoil this for you, but in my opinion Steve Jobs had already the Mac in his head in 1980. Check it out.

1Password 3.8.19 compatible with Mountain Lion

If you like to read a nice technical article on how developers are prepping their software for OS X Mountain Lion check the latest post of the Agile Bits blog.

The new update of 1Password – a password management software – will be compatible with Gatekeeper. This is a new protection to be introduced in Mountain Lion that will ensure that only software distributed by Apple accredited developers can be installed on your Mac.

Gatekeeper will come in the form of a new setting on your Mac that can have three different values:

  1. Allow only software coming from the Apple app store.
  2. Allow also the installation of software distributed by an Apple certified developer.
  3. Allow all software.

To the best of my knowledge the Flashback fiasco would not have happened with OS X Mountain Lion and the Gatekeeper set to the first two settings. The Trojan wouldn’t have passed the check.

Fantastical for Mac now integrates with Alfredapp

[Update on 02/06/2013: Alfred 2 integrates with Fantastical using workflows. You can find the instructions here.]

Andrew, the developer behind the great Alfred has just posted on his blog that the new version of Fantastical now integrates with Alfredapp.

In the link below you will be able to download the custom search that allows you to add a new even by simply typing f in Alfredapp and then the details of the event.

(Via Andrew’s Hot Chocolate.)

Simplenote for iOS pulled from the App Store

This entry has been posted today on Simplenote’s blog:

Temporarily absent from the App Store

Today we briefly released an update to Simplenote for iOS that introduced a bug. Under some circumstances, your notes could become invisible. Not actually gone, just seemingly gone…

Read the whole post by clicking on the link above. The developer confirms that the bug has already been fixed and the new app submitted to Apple for approval. We should be able to see Simplenote back in the App Store this coming Friday 3rd June.

(Via Simplenote.)

Battery life and iOS multitasking

This is a good article that describes how multitasking works in iOS 4. Essentially an iOS developer can decide whether to kill the app when you switch to a different one, keep it running (good for apps that stream music, GPS based apps etc.) or let iOS manage the whole process.

(Via iOS 4 Multitasking and Your Battery Life | One More Tap)

Growl 1.2.2 is available for downloading

Growl 1.2.2 was released on 25th May. I completely missed the news until a few minutes ago when I got a Growl notification telling me that the new version was ready for downloading.

In case you don’t know it, Growl is a notification system for Mac OS X that provides you with information about events in other applications without having to switch from the application you’re already in.

A typical Growl notification would be a new email, or the download of a file etc. The beauty of this software is that it integrates with the most common Mac programs to give you a unified notification system across all applications.

The complete change-log for this version can be found here.

Fantastical calendar for Mac


Sometimes a new software comes along and changes the way we work with our Mac. Fantastical has the potential to be one of those applications.

The idea behind Fantastical is to be able to add events to iCal, Outlook or Entourage using plain English sentences.

A gorgeous and well designed interface, and most important the natural language engine that runs behind Fantastical makes this software a little gem.

For example, the sentence Kurtis visiting from 14/09 to 21/09 automatically triggers Fantastical to create this event:


As you can see from the screenshot, the application lives on the menu bar and is available using a global keyboard shortcut of your choice.

The software is used as a companion to iCal, Outlook or Entourage and during the three step setup process you can decide which calendar to use.

There are plenty of options available to customize the user experience:



For instance, you can choose what information the icon in the menu bar should display, whether to add a default reminder to the events you create from Fantastical etc. The screenshots attached give you a good idea of what you can do.


The software comes with a generous 14 days trial after which you can buy it – even on the Apple App Store – for the introductory price of EUR 11.99 until 1st June.

The software also allows you to search for existing events. It’s not possible yet to delete events but this is a feature already under development.

Due to the complexity of the natural language engine, only the English language can be used to enter events. In the FAQ the developer specifically asks that if someone is interested in other languages they should contact him directly.

I think I’ll give Fantastical a serious thought. I love the clean interface and the fact that I can look at my appointments with a keyboard shortcut not to mention the easy way to add events in the most natural way. A very promising software, it’s going to be a huge success.