Pragmatic 51: Psst Come Here I Want To Tell You Something

31 December, 2014


Automation in OSX, iOS and the PC can save lots of time for users prepared to invest some time up-front. We delve into the history on these platforms, where it can be useful and when you should use it.

Transcript available
Welcome to pragmatic pragmatic as a weekly discussion show Constantine the practical application of technology exploring the real-world trade-offs we look at our great ideas are transformed into products and services can change our lives nothing is as simple as it seems this episode are sponsored by many tricks make use of helpful apps for the Mac visit many tricks all one more information about the apps Butler chemo Leach desktop curtain time sink mushroom name angler and which if you visit that URL use the code pragmatic 25 that's pragmatic the word and 25 the numbers in the shopping cart is a 25% off any many tricks product is observed is also sponsored by CP and pay and the iOS and shopping that spelt SH OPI shop is a collaborative shopping list at that simple and easy-to-use with great features like pocket locks smart ordering in real-time collaborative updating shopping list is a special to-do list and shopping addresses that use case very well it's three on ion the iOS App Store so check it out at say. That's SAPI ENT – pair as in for more information little better more during a show on your host John Judy and I joined today by my co-host because Heydon Vic good John area I am fantastic it is well for me so it's 10:30 PM on Christmas Eve excellent and squanders yarn owners on a slip in one episode before the end of the year so we can have far after this are we can have a weaker couple weeks off so backyard back in the second week of January and why things want to talk about this week it's our it's not only long show and I realise that in some of pod casts saying it's only a short show is actually an indication is not going to be with this case it is going to actually be a short show and the reason is that our I think is an interesting topic but it's not a hugely are technical one exactly anyway I want talk about our automation and I don't mean automation as in like my career choice which is control systems I mean automation on a consumer computer platform whether that is our Lennox all those necessary clinics that I can really add about Lennox but the windows and of course I was 10 or if you really want going back to system seven and everything since system seven so automation from that from an operating system point of use overplayed much with our automation on the Mac are have wealth a probability much but I have I would say barely either over a been a fair amount of time with AppleScript and automated wealth I like this I like them to our boat some hopefully winter with more than just saying we like them anyway case okay R has a fast first time you used are automated think it was shortly after I got my first ragbag ever 2011 and I was looking for a weight of two batch rename images and I was searching on the Google and I found links that were talking amazing automated to perform the fact that they had no idea even existed because previously again from Windows world and it's not really anything like AppleScript or other media either one Windows arm as I found some tutorials about that in the first few things I may relate imagery naming in batches and stuff like that nowadays I make a lot of them and are using four different things somewhat maven styled as a service of my makers applications couple that I have added to the calendar to schedule events and things like that but schedule calendar events but use calendar events to schedule the work) cool monetary advance I don't even do that there are I have it open hopefully this will be relevant in the in the near future when the new photo separately comes out but arm I made one as when forestry first came out and offered still the case but I think it is said that the Photos for 30 days something like that and so I made one that would open a photo and leave it open for about five or 10 minutes and enclose a photo again like every other week so that I can make sure it always had Downloaded my forestry images and stuff like that can all is good idea okay will arm a little bit about the history of automation on the Mac first so stunning with AppleScript was actually first introduced in October 1993 and that was in system 7.1.1 or in as North Americans would say 7.1.1 arm really understand the difference 7.17.1 white Y .1.this is run with it it's just the arm you not talk about so it uses a common arsenal of conversational language for a high-level control of applications the whole thing is built on something that is called Apple events and the first actor fully supports AppleScript's worst QuarkXPress but applications have to build support into them for it to work sites like a special subset of commands not not exactly keyboard shortcuts arm no mouse commands menu many many things you it's Morse it's a specific subset of support the needs to be built into the app for it to work so standard Apple apps are have got a subset of commands that will work but it will not cover the full yummy I have yet to get iTunes being the one I automate the most there is a ton of stuff on iTunes there cannot be automated so yes it's interesting to see where different developers of drawn the line so it's like automation to appoint but not automation incomplete incompleteness if that makes sense but still doesn't mean is not worth knowing doesn't mean it's not handy it's just that it's not like sleep well when I first came across automation on the pit on a PC it was using some software called when runner and when runner is more of a user interface Sergio a GUI test tool and what does its kind like AER a click and move macro recorder which is so the idea is you move the mouse across screen it's can recreates going from this point this point on the screen in a single click double-click left click right click mid milk click whatever her click and select whatever from the menu or select whatever text on on a page or BA you can eat it can replicate and test and you can program it started to run multiple tests in a certain sequence you can insert laser light something that is really designed try and are more for unit testing so I can exercise the GUI without having to our do those same things over and over again which will become very laborious after the 10,000th time I'm sure proper has even laborious after the first 10 so the point is that I originally thought AppleScript was gonna be something like that when I first dabbled with a back in the days of the Tiger and is it just isn't like that so the subset of commands and you cannot do everything there that's but that's that's okay so Elizabeth the weird syntax to a few lives to traditional programming yeah that's it that's true it's very conversational you know so you start out in awe it with AppleScript saying you're going to tell an application something psych can take something and it's like in like hey I would never have thought to talk to iTunes like you know tell you something does come over here we got to work at the Naomi maybe you should just start with like chat with iTunes are under no army ants is very conversational edges seems so strange but then you ask CAU run this past like opening a writ run some code past non-programmers in the past and they had a look at an insight that's that's kinda cool they consider get their head around it easier and it's clear that they had that I made out with the goal exactly to make it a little more accessible yet and will go get awkward a circle back today as to whether or not it has value but will bore the sort of thing and disability going through a for a minute okay so this or AppleScript's has to be built into the apps in question and when is the subset of all the possible combinations of things you can do and something simple like I want to play a single sound out of iTunes and that's it it's really really hard to get to work you have to do stuff like set a Tyler get the duration of the track set a call back and that callback will then execute her to stop when it reaches the end of that callback you know like that play duration is iTunes not set up to play a single sound see you hit play play the playlist yet severe player single sound you can create a new playlist and one sounds specifically to a play that playlist and then if you are honest you can scrap the playlist when you done yet it's designed for that kind of automation it's not design follow play a soundest ones that set so is and AppleScript saves rated values for managing Metadate in batches and stuff yes Amy exactly and that's what I've done as well as exactly what I use for soberness as an example I'm picking on iTunes are the most experience automating iTunes but the truth is that no do not expect that you can do everything in AppleScript you can do with a mouse and keyboard you just it's simply not allow a realistic expectation that at the gate what particular great website for it to lessen your link you completely are shallots if you like Doug scripts now, oh yes absolutely only his colliding predated stuff in there and even if you're not interested in an item meeting iTunes there is a lot of good scripts there are you can look at to see how to do things and to learn it absolutely you know I'll add insurance and I definitely absolutely arm have been that site several times and I have ripped off sections of his scripts and are my I don't think I actually use any one of his scripts is only because understatement of attempting grass like yet you were doing the whole workflows thing which will get to it again shortly but back and forth NII can numbers of either corrective variable names ideas angered as under the underside I can't leave it alone think clearly later when I see you that they have better with the Campbell case yes you are a catchier shake that mentality it never occurred to me you could actually put like a space than a variable name if you haven't yet if you ever want to one if your me to review your source code for run any of your Objective-C stuff just brace yourself as soon on the it's not a year I've had differing levels of feedback Campbell case belongs in their urine_diary I'm afraid our Diane many things but anyhow let's leave that there shall our meow I'm digging a hole myself were shut up and move on automatic automate automate what is fantastic and I love automated because Apple said you know what AppleScript is just not simple enough you know it's not drag-and-drop it still code your type in so let's build a layer on top of that and we can make pretty graphical objects as you can just drag into a sequence and a sequence will simply logically linked from one to the next emo thing Vladimir Payne and actor programmers really is really is IN terms of like Apple figuring out how to make that work was actually really quite simple if you take any command that you can tell an application it's ashy quite simple to wrap that into an automated item because you know that the result of that action is either gonna contain information or it's not so if you say eight get playlists you come back with a list of playlist with us and have an output you can infer that output into the next step in at all Apple did you not rocket science but it makes it so much easier you can also drag in two automate the section we can write your own AppleScript so you have to use the older cars like the Xcode because you can initiated in a script editor for run you AppleScript can be done that way of course the traditional asset of traditional, traditional weight used to be done but I haven't done that in years I see is automated and I'll drag in a box that says you run AppleScript and I was put my AppleScript in there and it becomes part of an automated workflow it wraps all up nicely with a bow and I move on with my life it's great so that was introduced in April 2005 Annette came out with OSR 10.4 are otherwise referred to quite lovingly as a tiger based on hurt you like a tiger might consider doing if you go really. But yet is fantastic a lot icy tiger resort of being the the first version of virus 10 that was truly specialising spotlight also came in tiger and I and I started using I was 10 are at tiger and sort of fell in love it so could play around with jaguar before the art like after-the-fact and it was missing too many things I fall in love with so may be of suffering a little bit from theirs as there's a name for syndrome old messenger maybe not so you anyway and that abstraction makes it even easier for people to say right well I want to rename this file I want to prompt the user for a for a file yard to add to my workflow and Anton's oval and then I can do to do with it you and at brilliant and when you don't you can create and use it hinted at this so you can create's arm was in the different options you can create our major thing you could just save it as a workflow that you run manually from Demeter itself or you could also it can package them up as a standalone application or you can install them into the OS of the service level so that when you are a click on the recount avails that that it accepts is imported also it is an option to run on those files and lease it you can add to a calendar so that they run on a schedule I had initially tried that one you mentioned before haven't tried to counter schedule 11 things it's worth mentioning is that you can restricts our system so you can create a workflow that becomes it that saves a sewer system service and that service can be active as globally as in you can access it anywhere from under the hour Apple manual to services or you can have it confined specifically to an app and you can further filter than by specific data from the file say whatever specific yet exactly obviously it's it's app specific so there's no point saying you know you filter only URLs from arm you from something that doesn't have URLs in their soul that is driving an examples and it can't have a URL and everyone I come up with comes with okay calculated ego there or you can just tell it that it only runs on movies orderly runs on songs or tag store images yes that's it so and articles then makes it specific but also generic in terms of it's not about the application itself so rather than the date of termination from my mime types I think I think so we're whatever it's useful if if for no other reason it's useful just to keep that list down to a manageable size when you flip open the services from the context menu are yet exactly because otherwise if you keep doing this to Marshall discusses many that is 1/2 a mile long and you'll be hunting through the lesser psycho which one do I need to look at in terms it's that this to go right so I put arm put I did something recently regarding that arm and I present a distortion which is really not revolutionary in any way at all but for me it was conical which is that I created my own bookmarks sink mechanism using dropbox and my reason for doing that is that i.e. arm the Safari bookmarks and did not work reliably which is the only unfortunate but that's just reality and because I do editing and markdown these days with dark as my CMS systemic and sports markdown and the on I'm not a huge markdown advocate necessarily it's it's okay art by EOE Connor gets the job done I guess but are done just as happy markup and HTML to be honest and half the time there when the winner markdown powers are instead it falls apart arm for whatever reason and occasionally does had chugged his effect I I tend to fold back to HML because the ACC to taxation tags the markdown powers it says right yet the problem I understand this so you know and love, get things like our air it might impose a reasonable spit the dummy sometimes with the bracket like cool arm parentheses within square brackets in a URL so I can anchor HML anchor so invitational and cargo [a HREF equals quote.quote arm you insert URL here with your L itself has parentheses in and you close the quotes then everything encapsulated in the quotes is passed as being a URL which is the correct thing to do you close close and squarish bracket while the only angle brackets and then you have your text and you have your closing tag closing/a takes your closing rank and XHTML but viewing the markdown it [the text] square bracketed as the text of the link and then no open parentheses for the URL but there is no quote "have you got parentheses in that eventually got parentheses set parentheses inside a set of parentheses and most markdown paths will see that and get confused level where is this end is at the first bracket is the second bracket I don't know what brackets are and what they that week is that deny my God it's all too hard so you can argue until you're blue in the face that the parlour should be clever enough to figure that out parts arm having used a couple different paths as you know Pakistani has a cult has their own baked in our as well as some you use they are one of get a train which went in the it they using its passed down and are you both of them chugged his effect in that case I not doing a bit HML anyway this very longwave leeway me saying that I created a automated workflow arm is a system service are using very basic AppleScript to take whatever the current active tab of Safari is and save it to a text file and dropbox just appended to the end of a Lynx file in dropbox and it saves it in Korean correct markdown format which is [] the it really really clever while they came out badly it is true before if I could be if I could be bothered and if I was clever I could deliver my mind to it and come up with a system that detected if there is an open) in the URL and to automatically say that HML save myself and mark up later myself in fact maybe you should do either to modulus for the holidays because I should be doing on highs is not spent on my family but writing AppleScript girl I'm gonna I'm just going on a go to slap myself right moving on any else to say about automated for OS X because honestly literally covered it pretty good there you always say that anyway okay I like talk about our first sponsor and that's many tricks to matrix very great software development company whose apps do you guessed it many tricks and their apps include Butler chemo Leach desktop curtain time sink usher Moon name angler and which an ice which is in a which is opposed to which restaurant should I go to the did the first witch with a black pointy hat and a wide brim which keeps the sun off and how this summer to talk about each of their apps and is gonna touch on some of the highlights for four of them starting off with which this is made a big deal about it you should think about which is a supercharger for command tab apps which are it's great for and very popular with ex-Windows users like myself if you've got three or four documents open at once in any one app then which is beautifully simple pop up quickly let you pick exactly the one you're looking for name angler if you got a whole bunch of files need to rename them quickly efficiently in large numbers will name anger can extract the data from those files and use it to rename the file names themselves with certain replaced capability as well as creating stage renaming sequences so if an and if you mess it up you can just revert back to where we started and off you go again Moon makes it so easy many windows to whatever positions you want on the screen halves corners edges fractions of the screen and then you can even save and recall your favourite window arrangements with a special auto arrange feature when you connect or disconnect specific external displays it's awesome I use it every day I love usher it can access any video store and iTunes aperture iPhoto on any connected hard drive on your Mac allowing you to easily group sought tag and organise them in one place if you install parents of make is no need to convert anything into an iTunes format quote unquote 826 for you in it in order what you can watch it within usher so if you're a video collection are scattered across all those different programs and rice usher can help you to strain an all-out masses four of the apps they got any working on a special new one that will be coming out are in coming months to watch that but they're still five more than that on their site that you should check out as well that I haven't talked about in all these apps have free trial so you can download them from many tricks all one and try them out before you buy them there are also available from the respective pages on the site or through the Mac App Store if you prefer to get them that way but if you visit that URL and yes they keep extending this offer you can take advantage of the special discount off their very helpful apps exclusively for pragmatic business simply use the code pragmatic 25 that's pragmatic the word into five numbers in a discount code box in a shopping cart and you receive 25% off this offer is only available to pragmatic business for a limited time to take advantage of it while you can once again thank you so much to many tricks for sponsoring pragmatic before we talk about iOS I have to put in a mention for Windows automation you said you think is any way of automation to do automation windows constantly let think there was isolated in the out well I'm sure there's plenty of clever geeks out there that have have worked that out arm really not really sold but okay here's the thing arm batch files in Dos are a form of automation and I was mucking around batch files long before I my fingers touched the Mac sounds creepy for some reason anyway are batch files for renaming a particular Rian? to I know X was a nightly army rename this whenever you can rename staff using the over whatever wild cards and some civil footing about finding the batch renaming insights of what you have our inputs could solicit input from the user and then feed it into scripts like percent 1% to a lot of different stuff on wall outlets crazier remember that office of mad her job in doing research on that one sorry can't see me rolling my eyes right now and myself but anyhow so Dos scripts batch files yes yes yes for years and years and years been out to do that it was and remains crummy but you know what hey it to say that doesn't exist is not true it is it does exist it's just very restricted and what you can do a lot of it is file based you can use it to kick off programs you can use it to rename files in different things that you have in terms of other stuff there is a limit to how much you can do with batch files still it's a form of automation okay however I did some digging and turns out turns out that there is a Java-based cross platform better software called action and in brackets ass on the answer action actions and ink then that there because Java-based cross platform that includes Windows theme called EU install Java away go now it's a layer that sits on top it's not baked into the applications in the same way that AppleScript is and therefore it is slower and far more restricted in certain respects is what can and can't accomplish and based on the different peoples reviews of it I didn't dig into it isolated to have time to play with it but when I looked at it now it's worth the exploring perhaps but it's not really the same thing it's not it's not written like AppleScript it's not it's not like Automator in the same sense and some of its foibles allocated Java-based in your Java-based cross-platform stuff is like is it's our doesn't feel like it quite fits but you know in terms of basic automation and fewer windows it's worth checking out just have a plane sealed you can accomplish but I don't have anything else to really say about it so will wipe the lead that specifically write their and talk about iOS so iOS aha and I was automation it is this bloke who came the show on episode 37 are entitled the sledgehammer solution are by the name of Federico the teaching and we talked about his first an experience with Hodgkin's lymphoma but what people may or may not know is that Federico is also well known amongst our shall I say our little tech bubble that III say little about tech bubble of size and unquantified or perhaps even unquantifiable waiver anyway as being the iOS workflow guy why was automation guy so I'm in a present and discuss here is a shadow of what he would be capable of presenting but alas arm I'll do my best relishes they will do our best-this stuff did you ever play with it now okay well that's paper Faith Osborne willingly gave inevitably with Catherine Eicher I've dabbled with it and I put into the man's and sound bad couldn't be bothered learning occurs the payback was not there I'm not just mean and say that because every time I learn a new language every single time there is an overhead to immediate argue and I know Nick wants can be so cross with me but hey arm now Mr python but the truth is that I never got into python I had a dabble in my own time for this so I've moved on maybe the time will come when there is something that I need to know the language forward to doing this is the thing that I will I found in my life is that if there is a need my end goal requires that then I can put in the time to learn so when I was doing my bedside clock for the iPad years ago I had learned Objective-C again that was a steep learning curve fun but steep mail-order mistakes and you know and it rewriting whole chunks code once I learn how to code it properly and so and so forth and it's now much better now than it was but the truth is that I saw midpoint since it is not out of the other point is that you I had a reason to learn it are good reasons I want to put an Apple store and get summing out that it worked iPad and away we go that automation and the purposes of automation learning a language specifically for automation the payback has to be there so Visual Basic DO I put in a lot of time and effort into learning Visual Basic because I'm a heavy user of of Microsoft Excel and have in the past 4 to be honest arm not as that actually I should also add access marks of access because I can use Visual Basic to script are a lot of database like function so let let's say I want to build so might my most predominant use case in recent years for scripting has been our tag databases for symbolic tags in Skarda but not a Skarda scale appeal sees touchscreens all these different bits of software that supposedly come the company same company that supposedly are integrated just aren't so you got your go in your gets our go to Schneider and say I'm going to use video designer I'm going for my touchscreens just touchscreen I'm going to use our video sites tax for my Skarda and I'm going to use our unity pro for my our Schneider premium PLCs and all of them are going to reference no memory bit and 100.7 but here's the thing symbolic's descriptions are all completely difference lengths so the character restriction is something like 24 characters on one of them is 32 another Anthony 12 on another one there is no common database there is no common anything so for example arm on eye belts are I buy I put together using Visual Basic scripts I put together a complex our tag generation script which worked in Excel or an access and was able to essentially automatically generate from us from a basic list of devices and tag structures and tag memory offsets I was able to automatically generate something in the region about 85 90,000 tags and is it all ran through the script running on my arm minding my maximise the 15 inch MacBook Pro thing was the time there in around about three or four minutes and was awfully scripted and Visual Basic I had okay I would confess confess hands up by IC did learn Excel scripting way back in the days of Nortel when I was doing component are filtering in and modification sound for similar reasons are anyway the point is that I had a definite reason to learn automation payback for learning python is the only cause I had the learning path and so I simply did not bother because I didn't see the part the payoff simply for me was not there yet however the same is not true the people that do not have a Mac do not want to have a Mac and dysplastic with iOS and is Federico and he put the time into learning python and yap-ist in editorial which was the one followed on from that you very big on that site played much more in editorial but it wasn't really until workflow iOS came out which is far more analogous to Automator that I actually really dive in and started to play so how would you describe workflow iOS I would probably describe it as Demeter for avail with a thinkers probability that the quickest way for people to visualise the leftover had experience with automated from the Mac arm it's it's it's a really powerful iOS tool to be quite honest Caliph still surprised that Apple has actually loaded into the story no have this nagging feeling that this could be pulled one day are basically you chain events and sequences together in individual GUI interface that let you are to meet specific KSC and you can prompt the user for employed or you can get files from dropbox iCloud and you can modify them in and do things with them send them share them and they think the absolute coolest thing about it is its ability to work within the context menu extensions from the surety absolutely that really opens up possibilities for basically a clever use of of workflow can make their own custom extensions to do just about anything you and why things that you and I did concurrently was we developed a year a link are to eager for overcast that included the year the podcast artwork ends that was something that by both of us for a while and is arm the stock stamina came with overcast dad didn't have a cup couple to ease me was such a minor tweaking I can completely understand why Marco had better things to do and that's fine but you know that the power of workflow was that we could do that ourselves we didn't have to do yoga big Marco do it for us and our facsimile driver asked Marco he would would or could do it well not that we can constitute a frivolous request and spaghetti provision need frivolous requests coming in because there's probably thousands of other frivolous requests coming in in mind that it's okay is workflow the rescue and you know and I know that when you shared that workflow on now on Twitter got dark quite a bit of airtime so a lot of people are now using and that's fantastic is it easy to share them as well mind you it's an horrible to search for them but that's not beer that's a different story here so as you can you can share an annual shared give a link on your website on their website workflow under ISO thing on his website and dazzling show notes and honestly it was Saeed system nightmare to try and find anything see an upset air through Twitter the people of shared workflows on that they create on says actually media this this was another quickly gets a little bit of ice was a metre workflow that would search Twitter for close you exactly workflow find workflows she is the slight slightly manner but bits but useful but it is indicative of the search issue in the fact you have to create that and of course that we play workflow that you missed because you are assuming that that everyone is workflow used Twitter which is not the case so you can share workflows elsewhere and there's there's there's servers other than Twitter is a Twitter being Catholic public very much and is a because your private private data tweeter but no one does that I said so anyway the point is that our house doesn't listen less okay old email hasted a lovely work anyhow moving on so are yes so workflow is is awesome one of the complaints I've heard level that is I would bring is that the box up the AER modal dialogue that you blocks you what runs the workflow and you see it stepping through the steps of the workflow and now I try to get that same time I also understand why I'm pretty sure the app has to do our it's not a young man so I I think it does anyway but I'd like to know if it does or doesn't it doesn't bother me too much arm it might be possible for them to run it without viewing the GUI are at have to dig into the API. A little bit more same here I wish I there may have been part of what loaded actually succeed in the year in the app store are letting it get the review was the fact that it shows the user what it's doing an alternate experience of the could be some variables there are people are taken into account in exactly exactly so as I know at a minimum though it's gonna have to bring up a dialogue for you to pick the workflow only at just like any other extension would so I mean let's keep it in a prospective weather and I take it immediately dismiss it what you choose workflow and I could maybe be determinable later on I don't know what you the other thing is that you can actually save the workflows through our receipt of a pseudo-roundabout method as a shortcut to the desktop yet and are and that's that also is very very costly as desktop skies, desktop and ordinary home screen all my God I'm so sorry that you can add an remember you can edit a lot of cerebral to now I am I'm not a product of the tablet generation are well liked in the process on the folders well either the reason I bring that up is because as much as I love workflow that that the interface for it especially on the way may still be the same on the iPad is not immediately two columns of tales of the other two but deftly on the iPhone is two columns of tales and it gets pretty long and unwieldy and I've imported a bunch of my favourite ones are and these are used from extensions in other apps or I've imported them into our lisinopril because I could group them into folders and lots and abroad stuff like they are given neatly categorised well if you look at the my workflows in our importance orientation and some three columns they they sharpen three: the iPad going on the iPad while miser minds of many iPad many and when you actually select out in in landscape we in landscapes for cross for columns but some the much larger screen obviously allows a lot more the workflow visually and on on import mode and in landscape mode on the left you've got the selector always visible arm while adding action is not always feel we can nothing intellectualise visible basement that he liked the idea is that you a lot more screen real estate to play with but I've got ideas on the athlete with a little bit on the iPad but most may use a spit on my fault that same here but I II because I use the iPad and this is what I again refrain that article I wrote is I've generated the same screw same the equivalent script that I generated using workflow on the Mac I've generated the workflow equivalent are on iOS and since I installed on my iPad and on my iPhone such that I can then save any link from Safari Apple Safari into our frankly any web browser by his mother Safari predominately so are into that text file for links for the show so you end in markdown format so EA works really really well so are the honestly armed Eagles of the really great things with their sales of options you can now you can fire applications you can play songs you can Neo append text or dropbox file like I did you can now tweet source of the stuffing and pulling like Federico are posted are a really cool one where you can select text from an egg from a spreadsheet and will turn into a markdown formatted as a label you and that's that's mindbending we call you know I mean it's ridiculous it's sense what if I let out the things that the clever people can figure out to do with the separate years ago what Oakley long as the applicant this palmistry I really hope it doesn't get taken down and there's a lot of people sound too paranoid about that but it is used to useful while there are a little jaded by some of the things that have gone on recently so will the battle while we we talked about outlined in the addenda number four I'd I suggestive lessons are curious about listening to Victor Wayne and overtired angry rant about app store rejections recently then I said I point your direct you to addenda arm episode for butts are for the purposes of this discussion are let's keep moving on and our frankly I think that the possibility for workflow only going to increase the time provides less than store and is I think that that level of automation on iOS is finally reached the point of usability for the masses and there are lots of little things can make your life a little bit easier by using those works by using workflow so you do is leave the show's checkout having already so before we are move onto the last section will talk about and are and we start wrapping up a Georgia are a little about second spots of this episode and ASAP impair ASAP impair decide after years of being annoyed with eggs the existing to-do apps when they were shopping are to create their own iOS app for the iPhone is called shopping now there are a ton to do this apps out there and I've used lots of them over the years but going shopping is a very specific use case for a list if you shopping for more than just yourself then shopping really begins to shine the best way to describe shop is a fully collaborative shopping list at that simple and easy-to-use I picked it up and figure how to use it pretty well immediately it's not cluttered with options it doesn't presume you live in a specific country or present you with hundreds of options you scroll through to get a specific date defined by the raw milk is type in what you want to remember to buy into the less answer an amount if you want to that's optional you have to do that and there's a list it remembers what you've entered in the future so that when you can easily selected from over essential becomes your most common list of things that you would buy because we tender by the same things over and over it's it's obvious intuitive that's the way we shop and that he remembers the order in which you buy them so when you walk through supermarket so that orders and correctly in the list is cool enough but when you share your list while you by either email or iMessage or whatever you add to your spouse your partner your kids hopefully the container just ice cream to the list but in and how maybe shouldn't share with them out but you can add in your the person shared it with can add Mark often reorder my items in the list as they need to anyway I tried this in real time between two iPhones and the sink happened in less than three seconds I was over 3G so it's fast I also love pocket lock if your security conscious and you've got a pass code set on your phone like I do there's nothing more annoying and aim to lock your phone slip in your pocket and get back out again our at the end of the I'll just unlock it again to look at your list of things you need to get the pocket lock disables the screen went to Texas in your pocket and then re-enables it instantly when it's removed there's no passcodes to deal with no fuss it works so well I love it out my wife and I have used it several times now and are become regular users and where we used to denote things and reminders in to-do apps or even on paper now when either is go shopping we're shopping so you open up to indicate your bow start shopping the new the geolocation attacks to store your shopping at and on our shared list the other person or persons can get notification that you're about to start shopping and then if they remember you need to be need you to grab something for them you can tap a notification jump to the scheduler straightaway and quickly added it will then appear on my list and I can grab it while on their shopping it's brilliant and it sounds so simple but they do that it's been done really well so anyway are the last minute is anything else you need phone calls you just don't need them anymore now is free to try this after the first month art with nomads after which it becomes unsupported there is no rest Alice funds and functionality it but if you are the developers out you can in our purchase a three or 12 months and removal for a dollar 99 or $4.99 US respectively now recently they have had an update that fully supports I was eight and iPhone 6 and 6+ it's now live in the app store seeking grab it and the features that it comes with are really handy with an iPhone 6s Plus sofa reachability purposes you can now pull down to add new items rather to reach the top of screen to tap plus add an item supporting Danny can anyone that's really cool makes it simple set a fresh coat of paint arm while not literally but synonymy and that now you can also be checked items are to the bottom of the list and a sort of decline has those longer lists that's handy as well so please visit this URL safely and that SAPI ENT – pair is and follow the links to the app store from there to help out the show so if you follow that URL you that's how you can help out the show are soap you can search the app this year in the app store if you want to but please if you can go to that URL we really appreciated and our thank you once again to say pin pairs shopping after sponsoring pragmatic go check it out so the last little piece of this I want to talk about Vic has to do with why automated or inner because the thing is you and I have done programming on and off throughout for our gnome most of our adult life as this is not a dislike for us automation the oh yes we we we see the power of it we understand the utility we think that it's worth the time investment go let's do it no questions we we survey that the typical user and okay on-again of the argument of what constitutes typical user but in an and is in fact you might argue that many of the listeners of this episode right now aren't typical users but I am willing to bet that at least some of them are users that do not use will have unused workflow that don't use actions on windows that don't use Automator and have never used or seen AppleScript yet on their Macs I'm willing to bet that there are people listeners that have never tried so what is the sales pitch why would you use it why should you use and why should you take the time to learn is what I've been going over in my head for months if not years is what what's the salon this because I've saw to show my wife some workflows inside the school that scores of different people work I use I can do this on my Mac and almanac and they like and that's nice but shrug note there is a thing if you have something that you're doing that you do a lot of that is a lot of repetition or just very regularly scheduled yet exactly is something that you do regularly and light I going to work in the morning and at seven the morning on a Monday I'll always open up my calendar and whatever else and I can always go today's date and open emails or whatever I can jazz could all make Lisette set me up for that and that's fantastic but then again they're saving me what file six clicks is it worth it well is one nice thing is that once you spend a little bit of time investment upfront for that first repetitive task that works really worth the effort learn then the investment becomes incrementally less with each subsequent automation task you then create so you you put the time and effort in because you really want to rename a bunch of these files for iTunes or edit meta data for iTunes aggressor specific very geeky case but let's say you do will now when it comes to your counter trigger appointment thing then you that became a bit easier because you've now done you've part the way of that learning curve you put that effort in just a curiosity what do you what were if you're alluding to say what what do you trigger off your calendar are well that that may lead to Theo that I thought of the assembly there was something else that I had made that triggered off the calendar at one point that you remember now arm but you because you thought it was more than one thing that's why I thought that there was particularly cold at the moment I think I deleted because I think I found something else to do it whatever the organisation of the gazed very long but the iPhoto when it it still runs to this day adult and whether it really needs to anymore night but Lisette I just wanted to make sure that iPhoto would open up every two weeks for at least five minutes and the close down so could download everything from the forestry Menachem each of those rallies back to ponder the Mac because there was the sound of it still there are not that there was a limitation when it is that it would give 30 days with the photos and the need be gone from the forestry so I was really concerned about that because they don't manually open and interact with a photo very often extra and in my case I didn't year to year five minutes would not be enough me to download everything, my crappy Internet connection would have like two hours anyway and as stimulus using okay so there I guess my my my point is that it's each step along the way it's become a little bit easier and little bit easier I think it's worth experimenting with the we randomly Raven we say how amazing workflow is an amazing Automator is in AppleScript and so on but I think that the actual number of people that use it is very very small as the terms of a percentage of the overall user base now I'm not saying necessarily that's that's a justification for it to not be important like you can write off and say doesn't matter but what I like to think of it as is it's an opportunity for different that for developers to see how different automated active tasks are happening in their wraps and then they can incorporate those features in their product is kind like it gives us the users the ability to streamline the tasks that we do and then developers can learn from the where there is a feedback mechanism of course is the caveat presuming there is a feedback mechanism then they can see just how popular it is to do certain actions and that can help make a better product but ultimately it is a very niche thing and is I strongly recommend having a player having a fiddle but it all comes back to arm here is this awesome well I guess it's a hammer and noun go looking for a bunch of nails and I think I may be ripping off of Casey less but it's an accurate analogy insofar as I have this awesome powerful tool are hence the hammer analogy now in India bunch look for bunch of nails which is completely asked around backwards you know it should start with I need to drive an alien how do I do this and the answer in non-automation terms is well you move the mouse around you click this you type in the text and that is more than enough for the fast majority of users so they never take that next step two or I can automate this what you know what maybe you can automate things and maybe you should automate things that half the battle is knowing that you can because you light like I think you mentioned earlier in the episode is that there are people out there that don't know that this exists what you did know that this existed in the very early days arm and once you discover it is cycle haters conical web programs we would think it's cool most people would look at and say what's the point that I can do is enter same thing by clicking five times why you think you discover obviously you know geeks like us just enjoy doing it just for the sake of doing it but aside from that you've gotta weigh out you know how often do you do this how much accumulated a method of retirement and Willow payoff to develop this workflow versus just continuing to do it manually the thing I find interesting is that if you're developing an app that saves for the Mac hour of developing an app for the Mac think about if you have the whole minimal via minimum viable product idea if the vast majority of your users are going to use a subset of automation then giving them all the basic hooks that they need and then letting them do the automation and a high-level complex stuff you're offloading all of that work for a bunch of features that you you may not need to implement to someone else can implement them for you in their own scripts and maybe share them wherever it's essentially weave the end users become a little bit more like the developers and we are extending the capabilities of the software that is available and we are essentially becoming part of that development and if we feed that back to the developers as a result then that can help to drive better products for us to end up being reaping the benefits from so I guess would like to wrap this up is if you haven't played with automation on iOS or in windows or on the Mac I strongly recommend having a play and it could be just be something simple you know like open up for five windows and I go to your inbox whatever mark all these items as red or something and start playing with start to start playing with automation and seeing what you can do you may find that you do have a bunch of nails after all the tune that that this can help with and once you know what to look for and what it can do its main it's kind like the nails are there but you just can't see them at your blindspot and then once you know where to find the hammer suddenly you can see the nail and you now use the hammer and you can nail it down and away you go first major life a bit easier so have a play is the first step you may be automatically measured and maybe you'll come up with nothing and your safe pay well arm you no great I can open this and Michael Martins read the deal don't care that's fine nothing ventured nothing gained but it is there and now it works I was out of iOS year you have no excuse so right now workflow is listed as 40% offer a limited time it doesn't say how limited but says for a limited time to dollars 99 are US and it does not a lot of money for does I've already had its it's already got in a 446 ratings for this version and the those ratings are 4 1/2 stars you it's like and there's a lot of comments in these reviews about this is that this is this the beginning we a week and see where this is going on so far this is amazing while once we did mention is you get latest photos and turn them into arm and animated GIF you can access the camera and and create yourself and your own customer may give our gift Geoff Levy 19 and you know you can do that of your own head turning whatever head you want now that's cool it's a simple thing but it's cool to anyone everything else is you want at the not now a lobotomy are available workflow that Albert is a goalie however account with you on that it wasn't more about this you can reach me on Twitter at John Geagea is JH MCH IDG why and you can tear my writing and this podcast knows I've made a host of mice I take if you want to get in touch are with Vic was a bustling interleaving they can find me on Twitter advocates and want fantastic now if you like to send any feedback please use the feedback from the website that's we also find show notes this episode in the podcast pragmatic and there is any topics you like me to cover you can suggest invite on the site as a bunch of new topics of an allergist recently so please if you've checked out the last month or two there's a bunch new ones go to those new ones out and vitamin C like and are in the New Year will be covering a bunch of those do not list so are those great please give suggestions coming lots of really great ideas so we go to a site for a free account and away you go now also start to release exits and show that a one-off topics cover the main it's certainly an addendum look for it on the side of the podcast and then notify pragmatic short seashell announcements and other related stuff I also want to thank many tricks sponsoring this episode of pragmatic if you are looking for some Mac software that can do many tricks remember specifically visit this URL many tricks all one more information about the amazingly useful at discount code pragmatic 25 that's pragmatic the word and to find the numbers for 25% of the total price of your order hurry it's only for a limited time I also like to thank Sadie and Pam in the iOS and shopping sponsoring show if you're going shopping anyway great collaborative shopping list at the shop we can help it add free for the first month to check it out safely and SAPI ENT – sure you check so thanks as always Vic thank you everyone for listening and thanks for Russia's last 50,000 fourteenths are so thank you to everyone who has listened to and supported the show and support responses of the show 2014 arm your awesome all of you and I really appreciate your time and are glad that all the feedback I've gone and Diane Vickers well arm thank you and the you will see in the new year of you seen about that big happy New Year happy new year next year yeah you will see them they will level you normalcy anybody that here's they may hearest get complicated bar DME�
Duration 1 hour, 1 minute and 17 seconds Direct Download
Episode Sponsors:

Shopi: Shopi is a collaborative shopping list app that’s simple and easy to use with great features like pocket-lock, smart ordering and real-time collaborative updating. A shopping list is a special To Do list and Shopi addresses that use case very well. It’s ad-free for the first month so why not check it out. Visit to learn more.

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Vic Hudson

Vic Hudson

Vic is the host of the App Story Podcast and is the developer behind Money Pilot for iOS.

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.