New Firefox: Faster, Privacy Focused Web Browser

Firefox Updated

Firefox Quantum has just been released. I was once an avid Firefox user.  Unfortunately, as the web engine in the previous version aged, it became slow and tired. So this is great news, especially for privacy focused users. In my casual, unscientific testing so far, the claims might not be too far from reality. It does appear to be fast. I'm not sure I care for the new look, but that has never been a problem with the ability to customise Firefox.

I posted recently about the improvements to Safari. The control I gain from WebKit blockers. Along with continuity features, that would make it difficult to switch properly, even if I wanted to. 1 But as I learn more about web development, I can see myself turning more to the Mozilla offering. If you remember the bad old days, browsers haven’t always covered themselves in glory. Thankfully for users, we now have serious options.

When you load it for the first time, you’ll notice that it looks different. Some highlights include a unified search bar that helps you get to what you’re looking for lickity-split, navigation icons are organized on the left and the far right side is where you can find all your personal items like downloads, history, screenshots). Even better, this bold new design and intelligent menus are easy to use and look amazing on PC, Macs, phones or tablets.

I recently had my iPhone sent in for a warranty service. While it was there, the carrier gave me an Android to carry around 2. On thing I took out of it was, running an Android phone next to an iPad is not the insurmountable nuisance a lot of people think it is. I prefer not to do it, but not everybody has that choice. If you are mixing and matching, there are plenty of solutions for syncing all kinds of data. Firefox is one of those options. And, given the hodge lodge way that Android OEMs ship the OS, Google Chrome is not the same kind of native experience you get with Safari. That kind of choice is meant to be the part of the attraction. If you happen to be using an Android, and an iPad, I would consider giving Firefox another look.

If your concerns lay with privacy, the performance improvements will be welcome indeed.

  1. A note on contents blockers. I support the independent websites I browse, but I won’t control over the constant noise, invasive tracker and general nuisance elements of the web. The granular control I get from 1Blocker gives me that.
  2. Like an animal

DEVONthink To Go updated for iPhone X, adds PDF and sheet editors

This round of updates sees DEVONthink To Go  updated for iPhone X, adding PDF and sheet editors. I mentioned DEVONthink to go as a novel solution for better data security recently. While that alone is a good reason to put it to use, it drastically undersells the apps all round utility. DEVON Technologies summarise the app like so:

DEVONthink To Go is DEVON technologies' document and information management solution for iOS. Serving as repository for a large variety of data types it lets users keep their important documents with them at all times. It offers a rich set of organizing features as well as built-in viewers and editors for many file formats. Document provider and file provider extensions make documents available in other apps, and an encrypted synchronization keeps all data in sync with other iOS devices as well as with its Mac counterpart, DEVONthink, without compromizing the user's privacy.

Apart from the obligatory iPhone X support. This update includes further improvements to File App integration, smarter PDF interactions and markup, new document editing capabilities for table data., and refinements to database syncing.

Effectively using DEVONthink apps is a huge topic, given what you can do with them. I have every intention of a deep dive on DEVONthink, when I can do it the justice it deserves. It is tidbits for the meantime. For users of DEVONthink on macOS, DEVONthink to Go is an ideal companion app. On its own merits, it is also an excellent self-contained solution for iPad first, or iOS only users. Now with drag and drop on iOS 11,  OCR integration with third-party apps like Scanbot is much easier. The excellent native x-callback-url support also makes DEVONthink to Go one of the best apps you will find for Workflow automation. All in all, you can set up a robust research system on iOS using DEVONthink. With, or without a Mac.

Workflow 1.7.7 Brings Drag and Drop Integration, iPhone X Support, and More iOS 11 Changes – MacStories

Workflow Updated.png

As usual, MacStories has the full scoop on updates to Workflow. This is timely. I needed a prompt to write up some citation workflows for students I have been playing with. Writing any detail about the release itself is redundant. Viticci has that completely covered,

The marquee addition of this release is full support for drag and drop in iOS 11, which is especially impressive on the iPad as it allows you to trigger actions based on content you drop into a workflow. In the original Workflow, if you wanted to feed external content (text, images, links, videos, etc.) to actions, you had to manually select an item from a native picker, use the iOS clipboard, or use Workflow's action extension in other apps. The system worked well, but it was neither fast nor intuitive.

iOS 11 gets patched again…already

Apple Releases iOS 11.0.2 Update With Fix for iPhone 8 Crackling Earpiece Issue – Mac Rumors – This hasn’t been an auspicious start to the latest iOS cycle. Two patches in the last week or so, and plenty of complaints to boot. Nonetheless, users experiencing the crackling noises referenced in the release notes, will no doubt be relieved this has been addressed. With any luck this will also address the freezing issues that so many users are reporting.

Workflow for iOS updated

On the growing list of topics I intend to cover in detail is the indepensible automation app Workflow, which these days is owned by Apple. To dispell the ever-present rumours of Workflow's impending death, the latest in a steady schedule of updates has been released. This time focusing in on a long list of bugs with third-party app and API interactions. If you haven't already tried this incredible peice of software, the is no time like the present.