hjertnes.blog

Squarespace 7

07.10.2014 02:00

Squarespace

Today, we’re thrilled to announce Squarespace 7, our largest update in two years. Squarespace 7 features a completely redesigned website manager interface, a deep integration with Getty Images, a cover page builder, an integration with Gmail and Google Apps for Work, 15 new category-specific designs, and much more.

Squarespace 7 is the result of a year-long effort to refine the simplicity of our platform while retaining its power. The biggest change you’ll notice is in our interface; you can now make live edits in your website without switching back and forth between preview mode and your Website Manager, and we’ve annotated every editable element on your site to make everything easier than ever. We’ve also reorganized our menus to create a more intuitive experience overall.

There aren’t many news that are more exciting for me than major updates to the Squarespace platform. One exception might be iOS and OS X releases. I can’t wait to get access to the beta.

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iPhone screen sizes.

07.10.2014 02:00

I have been trying to write something sensible about what I think about phone sizes for a while now.

My favourite size up until now is the original one, 3.5 inches. That was the size that had the perfect balance between screen real estate, and easy of one handed use.

It was easy to have a safe grip, without feeling it was flipping over. And it was easy to reach anything on the screen.

I have used my iPhone 5s since May now, and I have gotten used to the larger screen, but I don’t think it gives me much benefit. And my 4s still feels better.

The main problem with the 4.0 inch screens from Apple is that they just made it taller. It kind of makes sense, but I’m not a fan. It just feels too tall, and it’s not that comfortable to hold.

I like the iPhone 6 screen size better than the 5s. It is more balanced. But it is far from as nice to use with one hand. There are one thing I really like about it, and that is how much better it is to thumb type with two hands in portrait orientation.

The 6 plus is a category of devices I have never understood. And I don’t like them. I like to have two devices, one that is smaller, but powerful. And a iPad or iPad mini when I want a larger screen. I get why some people prefer to have one device, instead of two. It’s too big to be a usable phone for me.

I really hope that Apple will keep updating the 4.0 screen size moving forward. There should be room for three sizes in the cell phone market. One 3.54.0 inc model, one large and one ridiculous. I know people that like 5.5 inch phones, and I know people that used to buy the 17″ MacBooks.

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Sundays

28.09.2014 02:00

Sunday is the most important day of the week. At least for me. I do more or less the same thing every Sunday. I have a few repeating tasks for every single one.

I have a few maintenance tasks, like tagging stuff in DayOne, adding stuff to my calendar, and tackle ten items in 1Password that need to be changed.

Sunday is the day where I do everything I need to do, to make sure that the coming week runs as smoothly as possible.

The great thing about it, is that I get all the larger things out of the way in the beginning. And I know what I’m going to do each day. And I can do more work in the beginning, if I need to do something else in the end.

I prefer to have the overview, because it makes everything so much easier.

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Custom keyboards on iOS 8

27.09.2014 02:00

I started writing a longer piece about custom keyboards in iOS 8. Before I realised that I could cut it down to the basics.

Custom keyboards in iOS 8 is amazing, we finally have a TextExpander that have the same universal power, as the OS X counterpart.

We also have something that might be even cooler as we move forward. Custom keyboards will enable developers to make new and improved ways to input text on iOS; like what Swype are doing, by just “swiping” the word, instead of typing. Or what SwiftKey are doing with the best prediction engine I have ever seen.

The default keyboard have also gotten a facelift, with a prediction engine, instead of autocorrect.

I’m Norwegian, and most of the good keyboards available for iOS don’t support it. My iOS typing is 5050 English and Norwegian. So, I have to stick with the default one, for now.

I’m going to keep my eye on both SwiftKey and Swype in the coming weeks and months. And I really hope either one or both get support for Norwegian.

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Battery usage on iOS 8.

23.09.2014 02:00

iOS 8 came with a feature I remember from, back in the dark days, when I was using Android. And that is a neat feature that let’s you see which apps consume the most battery.

It’s a brilliant way to see what apps you use the most, and to get some pointers on where your battery power goes.

First of all, don’t complain to developers about them being on the top of the list if you are using the app all the time. Overcast, Audible, Spotify together with Unread and Tweetbot, will probably high on my list, most of the time. The reason is simple: I listen to audiobook, podcasts and music more or less all the time when I don’t study, work or sleep. While Tweetbot and Unread is the apps I launch when I have a few minutes to kill.

I think the battery usage list is a useful feature for two reasons. You can kind of see which apps you use the most. But, you can also see if there are some app that use way too much battery related to how much you use it.

For example. I expect that the Facebook app would rise in the list, if I re-enabled the access to background updates and location data. I won’t.

Use the list, if you have some concerns about your battery life. The first thing I always do, to opitimize my battery life is to limit access to background refresh and location data. I only let a few apps have it.

Background refresh or update, or whatever it’s called, is something I limit to the apps where I need it; like unread. While access to location data, is something I limit by doing a simple test: is the app less useful without it. Tweetbot isn’t less useful without it, but Google Maps is.

The great thing about this list, is the same as with a similar feature in OS X Mavericks last year; developers have a real incentive to make sure their apps don’t use more power than they should.

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R.I.P Macworld.

11.09.2014 02:00

I rarely write about anything news related here. My usual reasoning for this is that I don’t have the time, a lot of other people do it way better than me. But the most important reason is that I’m not interested in it.

This is one of the few exceptions. My goal is to write about it, when I get the feeling “I have to write about this”.

The fact that Jason Snell is leaving Macworld, and the fact that the Macworld magazine are shutting down is mind boggling.

You have publications like The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker or The New York Times; they have always been there; and I hope they will continue to be there, well beyond my death. I have always looked at PC World, and Macworld as the two publications that always was there. And it is sad to se that both of them are gone in a few months.

The print version of PC World was shut down a while ago, and now Macworld.

It is sad. But most of all weird.

A lot of great writers lost their job, and we lost our number one Mac-site.

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Write good

09.09.2014 02:00

Some people like long articles, while others prefer the short and concise versions. I have gone back and forth on this question many times. But I think I have managed to make up my mind.

Some people like to read the kind to writing that contains long sentences, complicated words. While others like short and direct sentences, that use the simplest and most direct word available.

I read a lot of writing from both camps. Two of my favourite authors are Bukowski and Hemingway. Both of them had a style that give me a lot, if few words.

I don’t care either way. Write your text as long as it need to be, but also edit it down to be as short as it need to be. There are good and bad ways to form a sentence. Some people are competent enough to write long sentences, without making them hard to read. There are times for complicated language, but rarely.

My style here on this site have always been to keep it as short as possible, with the simplest and most direct wording possible. While at the same time telling the reader what I want to say.

Don’t write 35000 words, just for the sake of writing 35000 words. And don’t use fancy words, because you think it makes you look any smarter. The brightest people, and the best writers I know, write short, with the simplest terms in their possession.

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You aren’t a content creator.

08.09.2014 02:00

I don’t like imprecise descriptions, or definitions. And I hate passive writing even more. The thing that fascinate me more than anything is that people think they are content creator. What is a creator? A creator and the creator is two very different things. What is content? Well, content is more or less anything.

This bullshit need to stop, right now.

You are a writer, you are a podcaster, you are a photographer you are a “whatever the people creating video’s for youtube are called”.

Be precise. Tell people what you do. Don’t use generic terms. A content creator could be everything from sending dick picks over snapchat to writing a very popular site.

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Some thoughts regarding markdown flavours, and standardisation.

07.09.2014 02:00

Markdown is more or less the de-facto markup language these days. And some people are trying to standardise the whole thing. I, and a lot of other people have some problems with it.

My problem with the whole thing is the following 1. They didn’t give Gruber the time to answer them 2. It doesn’t come clear in the name what they are trying to do; example GitHub flavoured markdown is a good name. While Standard Markdown is obnoxious and misleading. 3. Do we need a standard?

There are many versions of Markdown; in many ways. You many different parsers for the original format that Gruber made, there are minor differences in most of them, but I don’t think this is a major issue.

And there are a few different other versions that extend on the original. Like MultiMarkdown or GitHub flavoured markdown. All of them add something to the mix, that the original doesn’t have. Which one you use, depend on your needs.

I use MultiMarkdown a lot, because I like Footnotes.

We don’t need “one markdown to rule them all”. It would be nice to have a test suite to make sure that all parsers do the basic markdown parsing more or less in the same way. But it’s not something we need to have.

The thing I would love to see is a project that takes all the different flavours of markdown out there, and highlight the differences. In other words: makes it easier for people to pick the flavour that’s right for them.

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The minimalist home screen.

04.09.2014 02:00

I can’t promise anything, but I think this will be the last one about home screens I’m a while.

One of the requirements I set for apps on my home screen is that I launch them every day. Or at least five days a week. In other words, every day I’m doing something more productive than listening to podcasts or audio books.

My home screen is usually not full. And I do this for a very important reason. Few apps there, makes it easier to find the app I need.

Give it a try. It makes my day to day life much easier. And I think it could make yours simpler too.

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