First, the big news.
Apple is taking orders right now for March 16 shipping for their third version iPad. The specs are here. The crude details:
- Retina display with 3.1 million pixels (2048-by-1536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch)
New rear-facing iSight camera offering 1080p HD video recording, 5 MP images, stabilization, Auto focus (tap to focus)
- Also 2nd FaceTime camera with VGA-quality photos and video at up to 30 frames per second.
- Voice dictation (this is NOT Siri)
- An A5X CPU with quad-core graphics
- Both WiFi 4G LTE versions (buy the model for either AT&T or Verizon) and WiFi only. See Glenn Fleishman’s explanation of LTE and why you should care.
- Form factor a tiny bit larger (fractions of a millimeter larger), includes Bluetooth, battery life about the same, storage (16G, 32G, 64G) and pricing identical to the iPad 2. Black and white bodies both offered.
Apple’s shiny pictures and tasty videos are here. Smart coverage from TidBITS here, Jeff Carlson in the Seattle Times here.
Other announcements included the refreshed Apple TV, iWork updates, the $4.99 iPhoto for iOS (which is available now from the App store, and looks very very sweet, but requires iPad 2 or the new iPad), and iOS 5.1, with updates to lots of Apple’s apps, available now.
TextExpander from Smile Software is a nifty piece of software for Mac OS X and iOS 4.x that allows you to type special abbreviation codes, and then the software, hovering in the background, expands the abbreviation to whatever snippet of text you’ve associated with that particular abbreviation. TextExpander will also correct common typos and misspelled words using a list you create, or one of the many downloadable collections of snippets. I’ve been using it for a little over a month, and it’s made my work much easier. Instead of copying and pasting standard tech support emails to help users, I open a new email form, and type the user’s name followed by an abbreviation for the specific boilerplate email. It saves the copying-and-pasting clicks. That may not seem like a lot, until you realize that I may send 100 or so basic tech support emails a day, with essentially the same text customized for the particular user’s situation.
I also use TextExpander for things like sigs, frequently typed addresses, or URLs, or chunks of HTML and CSS. Smile Software also offers TextExpanderTouch for iOS devices like the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. TextExpander touch can share your TextExpander snippets over local WiFi, and there’s a list of iOS apps that support TextExpander Touch, and can use its snippets. TextExpander Touch is extremely useful on my iPad.
There are a number of useful pre-defined snippits you can download to use with TextExpander; I think the page at Smile Software is the most useful starting place.
There’s a free 30 day trial of TextExpander; you can download it here. If you’re ready to purchase TextExpander, you can purchase TextExpander from Apple’s App store or from Smile.
TextExpander Touch is $4.99 from Smile Software or from the App store.
I also enthusiastically recommend the Take Control of TextExpander book.