JR Ignacio’s Log
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Screens 3 is out 

Screens 3 (iTunes Store link), is out. It’s a brand new app and it’s iOS 7 only. Looks great. It’s a separate purchase so I haven’t gotten down to buying and using it yet. Screens 2 seems to work well for me for the few times I actually need it.

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Reeder 2 for iOS is out 

Reeder 2 (iTunes Store link), my favorite RSS reader is out on iOS. It’s a separate purchase and is now universal. After Google Reader closed down, I haven’t really been using an RSS reader on the iPhone, I’ve been getting most of my news from Twitter and Tumblr. But, if you’re looking for one this is one of the good ones.

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PCalc 3 is out 

The OS won’t come out until the 18th of September but apps built against the iOS 7 SDK have started trickling in the App Store. One of them is PCalc (iTunes Store link). It fits really well on my home screen and really gets me excited to see how my most used apps get updated for iOS 7.

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Reset Home Screen

After spending a week just using an iPhone 4 while in the Philippines as a primary phone with minimal apps installed, I realized it’s time to start removing apps on my primary phone here in Singapore. So I hit the “Reset Home Screen” button to get a fresh start.

Reset Home Screen

For the next few weeks, I’ll try to monitor which apps I “really” regularly use. To do this, I’ll only add an app to my second screen if I start getting annoyed at launching an app via Spotlight or from trying to find it by swiping between home screens. I hope that I won’t need a third screen for my frequently used apps.

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SkyDrive Path Limit

After trying to use SkyDrive as an alternative to Dropbox for some of my Instagram recipes on IFTTT, I discovered that it cannot sync paths with more than 254 characters. From SkyDrive’s FAQ, under The path to a file is too long:

The entire path, including the file name, must contain fewer than 255 characters.

Receiving the error disables file sync and logs you out of SkyDrive. You’ll need to remove or rename the file that generated the error before logging in again.

After looking around why Dropbox doesn’t seem to have the same problem, it appears that this is a limitation of Windows. Dropbox will sync longer paths on a Mac but will not sync the same on a Windows machine.

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The Subscription Model

A number of boxed software have started going to a subscription model. Not too recently, Microsoft released Office 365 Home Premium which is essentially Microsoft Office with subscription pricing. If you’re not averse to paying for software, I think it is a very good deal for families (or anyone) with multiple computers. You get to install Microsoft Office on 5 devices at SGD 12.99 per month (SGD 129.99 per year). You also get an extra 20GB of SkyDrive space (making it a total of 27GB), which is a good enough (and cheaper than Dropbox) solution if you want to have a backup of your documents and media files on the cloud.

More recently, Adobe announced that its future products will only be subscription based via Creative Cloud. If you’re not a current customer, the complete suite is priced at SGD 66.00 a month (with annual commitment). A single product is SGD 26.00 a month (with annual commitment). If you have at least a CS3 license, the complete suite goes down to SGD 39.00 a month and the single product to SGD 13.00 a month for the first year. It goes even lower to SGD 26.00 for the complete suite if you have a CS6 license. With this new pricing they’ve also opened up Creative Cloud for individuals to more countries including Singapore.

If you use any of the above products and always find the new versions more useful, the subscription model makes the cost more predictable and managable compared to a one-time purchase. Otherwise, I’m not sure if it makes sense.

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Paying For Services

All this talk about Google Reader shutting down made me think about all the services I use and pay for but have free tiers. I depend on them so much that I felt bad not being a paying customer. Also, because I want to be able to complain to someone when their service is down. Kinda hard to do that if you’re not giving them money.

  • Dropbox for syncing
  • iCloud for iOS sync and backups
  • Google Apps for email

Of the above, I’m slightly worried about Google Apps because I’m not sure if they’re profitable enough for Google not to ever have to shut it down. I’m actually wondering if I should get Office 365 Small Business Premium (wow, that’s a mouthful) instead. It comes with Office for 5 computers and I hear they’re no longer the enemy.

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