App Santa–Sweet iOS Apps on Sale

App Santa


I’m not sure how the actual St. Nick would feel about iTechnology, but App Santa offers a surprisingly large selection of excellent iOS (and Mac) apps for sale, starting today.

A few highlights of apps I use (and like):

  • PDF Expert 5 ($6.99, from $9.99)
  • Scanner Pro ($2.99, from $6.99), which I use regularly for e-filing
  • Calendars 5 ($2.99, from $6.99), even better than Apple’s native Calendars app
  • TextExpander Touch ($2.99, from $4.99)

And a few apps that I haven’t reviewed (but will soon) that look sweet:

  • Drafts 4 ($4.99, from $9.99), “where text starts on iOS”
  • Launch Center Pro ($0.99, from $4.99), the tag line of which is, “Launch actions, not just apps”
  • Screens ($13.99, from $19.99). This morning after having it installed for less than a minute, I was using a tiny little phone to control a big desktop computer. Amazing!
  • MindNode ($4.99, from $9.99): a smooth mind mapping app, which I’ll post about more in coming months

Find them all (and others) here.

TextExpander Touch On Sale for $1.99 in the App Store

Text Expander TouchNow that I’ve made it through Black Friday without (a) buying anything or (b) blogging about any sales….

TextExpander Touch is on sale at the App Store for $1.99. Given how long it can take to type long swaths of text on an iPad or iPhone, TextExpander is a great time-saver, especially for stock replies or snippets (e.g., if you email directions to your house a lot).

Here is my review of TextExpander. You can find the app for sale here.

Never Make Another Keyboard Typo Again



Next to OmniFocus and Accordance, TextExpander has become one of my most frequently open computer and iOS applications.

It’s not that typing is all that hard, per se, but there are some things (TextExpander calls them “Snippets”) that we tend to hammer out frequently on a keyboard:

  • An address
  • A signature
  • An out-of-office auto-reply
  • Directions to your house
  • Repeated typos!

TextExpander does just what its name suggests: it allows you to type text abbreviations that automatically expand into pre-selected text. So I can write “.omni” and my long OmniFocus task capture email address pops up instantaneously.

You can even have a Snippet include hyperlinked text and bold formatting. If I (theoretically) had become mildly obsessed with using OmniFocus to track all my tasks and projects lately, I might save the snippet “oomni” to expand to the following:

OmniFocus 2 allows for more complex project management. Projects and Contexts are a great way to break a bigger endeavor down into its component steps (Projects), or organize them according to the environs in which you do them (Contexts): Office, iPad, Computer, Errands, etc. The Forecast view shows you both appointment and tasks in one place. Or you can just make a quick entry in the Inbox, and then decide how to categorize it later.

(Note–the above paragraph came from the snippet.)

There’s also a wonderful “Accented Words” section so that I can always type résumé correctly (snippet is resume’) without having to remember how to type accents. There’s a nice “HTML and CSS” pre-defined set of snippets, too, which are useful in blogging, Website writing, etc.

The most amazing feature? You can create a snippet and then have the cursor positioned in the middle of the expansion. This could be useful, for example, when you’re citing the same source in a research paper, but need to just change the page number with each citation.

The Preferences let you make some nice customizations. Here are a few:


TextExpander Preferences


The iOS version–TextExpander Touch–is universally useful now that iOS 8 supports third-party keyboards. You can use it (via switching keyboards) in Gmail, text messaging (“;txt” can expand to mean, “leaving soon, home in five minutes”), and more. The keys don’t pop up/out as much as the regular iOS keyboard does; it’s not a very easy keyboard to type in. But if you’re not using it as a primary keyboard and are just typing your snippet abbreviations into it, it works well enough.




And, conveniently, TextExpander on Mac and TextExpander Touch can sync all your snippets seamlessly and automatically.

Learn more about the Mac app here and the iOS version (for iPad and iPhone) here.


The folks at Smile Software kindly supplied me with a license of TextExpander and TextExpander Touch for the purposes of writing this review, but with no expectation as to its content.

351 Words on 4 Mac Apps I’ve Been Using Every Day

Here are 4 Mac apps I use every day:

OmniFocus1. OmniFocus

This is turning into Organize-Me Central. I figured out today how to install extensions in Firefox and Chrome on OSX, so that I can save any Web article I want to read later as an action step in Omni Focus. It syncs seamlessly across Mac, iPad, and iPhone, too. There’s a bit of a learning curve to it, but I’ve made the decision to try to run all of my tasks, appointments, and notes through OmniFocus.

I even figured out, using their Clip-o-Tron 3001, how to turn Mac Mail messages into tasks with a keyboard shortcut. (Email inboxes are not a good place to keep tasks, you realize.)

OmniFocus 2 for iPad just came out, and works very well so far with iOS 8. Check out their site here.

TextExpander_icon2. TextExpander

TextExpander does something simple but sweet: it allows you to type text abbreviations that automatically expand into something larger. There are some preset “Snippets,” as well as the option to create your own. For example, “ddate” will insert the current date into any document. I’ve even got “.autoreply” set to convert to this text (I’m using TextExpander for the below):

Thanks for writing. I’m out of the office and away from email Tuesday. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible after that.


Abram K-J

It’s also available on iPhone and iPad, and you can sync your Snippets across devices. Pretty awesome. Read more about it here.

accordance 10 lamp3. Accordance

I’ve written a lot about Accordance, including a six-part review of Accordance 10. It’s my go-to Bible software on Mac.

Accordance is on Windows now, too, and has an iOS app for iPad and iPhone. Find Accordance on the Web here.

Scrivener Logo4. Scrivener

What a word processing program! (But, also, so much more). Writers love this app, and I can see why. I recorded my initial impressions of Scrivener here (where I used it to write a paper). It’s my primary organizing tool each week for sermon writing.

Check out Scrivener here. No iOS apps… yet.

Soon I’ll post about some handy iOS apps I’ve been using.