Apple’s Copy Crush

Apple’s WWDC 2014 keynote revealed some cool new innovative features for Mac OS X and iOS. It also showed off several features that simply copied from products built on its platform. In an attempt to dazzle developers with the new features, Apple sent the message, “We will copy your features and crush your apps!”

The new Spotlight is a near clone of the Alfred App. I have been a big fan and supporter of Alfred App, but as more of Alfred’s features get built into the operating system itself, there may be less reason for me to use and promote Alfred. Sad.

Some of the new iOS Mail features ripped off concepts from Mailbox. Long swipe to delete and swipe for reminder actions are powerful Mailbox features. I believe Mailbox still holds an advantage because its reminder system is superior to the iOS Mail reminder. Mailbox lets you choose when to be reminded. Mail simply flags the message.

Does Apple do itself a disservice by competing with its own app market? Does this make app creators nervous? Or should app writers always assume this risk?

My RootsTech Presentations

RootsTech Speaker

RootsTech is now less than 2 weeks away, and I’m really excited. I’ve wrapped up the details on my 3rd presentation and I’ll be rehearsing for it tomorrow.

Here’s a rundown of my presentations. I’m really excited about all three presentations. The Kickstarter presentation is new for this conference. I’ve given the Mac presentation at two previous conferences, and it has always been well received. The finding stories on Google Books is perhaps my favorite presentation, because this is what got me hooked on family history.

Discover the Future on KickStarter
Friday 1:00 pm – Ballroom C

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Technology is a popular category with many exciting projects underway. This presentation will explore 2-3 successfully funded projects and the impact that they could make on the future of genealogy.

Just a hint, I’ll be talking about programmable flying robots, 3D technologies, and possibly a drum set made out of apples.

Mac Users: Tricks to Save You Time
Friday 4:00 pm – Ballroom G

Save time every day with these tricks. Find important files faster than ever. Slice, merge, and create PDFs with ease. Make old photos look clean and new. Snatch and annotate screenshots. Find FamilySearch records with a few keystrokes.

Finding Stories on Google Books
Saturday 4:00 pm – Ballroom C

Google has made millions of books searchable through Google Books. Learn tips for performing effective searches, obtaining transcriptions, clipping pages, finding books if the full version isn’t available, and sharing discovered stories and photos on

This presentation has ghost stories, dinosaurs, and an attempted burglary that ends with a gunshot.

This is my first RootsTech where I will be presenting content to a non-programmer crowd. This will be the best RootsTech yet. I’m not sure how it will be topped. The conference gets better every year.

Using Mac Spaces

The first time I tried using Spaces on the Mac, it really didn’t click for me. I recently found myself frantically trying to keep up with everything at work and getting distracted mid-thought by other tasks, that I finally decided I needed to try something new.

I decided to give Spaces a try and really stick to it. Today was day 1 in this experiment. I enabled 4 spaces and have designated the spaces as follows:

Space 1: My primary workspace (browsers, text editor, Evernote, etc.)

Space 2: Misc. (haven’t figured this out yet)

Space 3: Communications Apps (Skype, Mail, iCal)

Space 4: Media (iTunes, iPhoto, Twitter)

I actually used the option to constrain those apps to the designated spaces. I use hotkeys to navigate between spaces and I believe it actually helped today. I’ll stick with this for a while and see how it works out for me. Stay tuned!

(Photo used under Creative Commons by Flickr user: mattbrett)