If … Then … Else

8 03 2013

IF your device crashed THEN

restore it from a backup

ELSE

use it for improving your life

END IF

Software developers call this an IF-Statement.

The part marked in red is the CONDITION and the ones in blue are ACTIONS.
The condition is always a question to the system with an unexceptional True or False for the answer. If the condition would sound like ‘IF the car is expensive THEN’ the following action will be up to a subjective assessment of the meaning of ‘expensive’ and no rigorous True or False.

It’s definitely the most used statement in programming and all of us are faced with this procedure over and over. In real life it’s sometimes hard to pursue the right path and we need time to decide and may go another way if our first decision was wrong. The main difference between IFs in software development and in real life is that the CONDITION in real life often cannot be reduced to a Yes or No.

For a better understanding look at this video.
It explains some lines of programming and the result on the iPhone’s screen.

I’m sure this article is boring for developers but can be interesting for normal users as IF-Statements can be effectively used e.g. in Apple’s spreadsheet app Numbers.

So let’s leave the magic activities of app developers behind us and return to daily life.

Consider the following situations …

Mark a line in my spreadsheet to emphasize

  • it’s important
  • it’s greater than 500
  • there are less than 30 days to an event

Unlike in grown up spreadsheet applications installed on big brothers of the iPad conditional formatting is not available in Numbers for iOS. However here is an alternative to feature information.

  • Double tap the cell where a marker should be displayed
  • Select = from the input bar
  • Tap on Functions
  • Select Logical and Information and then If
    Numbers puts a generalized If-Statement into the input bar.
    Your task is now to fill it out with referrals to cells.
  • For defining the If-expression tap on cell C3 and add =High.
  • The action for if-true is to display the marker.
    To do this tap on “abc” on the keyboard. An input bar opens. Enter the marker e.g. from the iOS keyboard Emoji.
  • Repeat the procedure for the if-false part of the expression and in the input bar enter nothing so that nothing is displayed if the priority is not High.

20130120-144509.jpg

Here is the formula for an If-Statement comparing a value with a given value.
The marker is set if the contents of cell C5 is greater than 500.

20130120-145320.jpg

Here is the formula for an If-Statement comparing a given date with the current date using the NOW-Function which provides the current date and time of your devices clock. Additionally the a function called DATEDIF is used which provides the difference between two dates in a selectable unit (day, month, etc.).

20130121-053105.jpg

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me via comment or the contact form on my page ‘About’.

Thanks for visiting http://iNotes4You.com. I hope you come back soon.





Numbering in Apple’s Numbers

6 03 2013

Numbers is Apple’s app for creating spreadsheets.
It’s part of the iWork Suite for iOS.

From my point of view it’s the far away best app for working with spreadsheets on iOS devices.
It’s simple but yet powerful. The UI is perfect and with the last update 1.7 (2012-12-04) Apple provided a functionality called ‘LOCK’ with which you may secure objects, e.g. tables so that their position and their content cannot be changed any longer until they are unlocked.

I want to continue my series about the usage of Apple’s Numbers.
The task is to automatically number lines in a table starting with a given value, to extend the numbering if lines are added and renumber them if lines are moved to new positions.

Step 01 …

Set the start value e.g. 100 in the upper left cell. The cell is identified by A1.

Step 02 …

Define a formula which tells Numbers how to generate the line number for the line following the first line with the start value.

20130119-165031.jpg

To define a formula for a cell double tap the cell and select ‘=’ from the input bar.
The input field is prepared to enter a formula. Tap on the cell A1 which contains the start value 100. A symbol for this cell appears in the input field. Add 1 to this parameter and tap Done on yhe right side of the input field. 101 will appear in cell B1.

Step 03 …

I think you agree with me that you don’t want to repeat this procedure for the next 200 lines.
So select cell B1 and tap on Copy in the upcoming context menu.
Select cell C1 and expand the cell marker downwards for all lines you want to be numbered.
Tap on Paste and then on Paste formulas.

20130119-175324.jpg

Step 04 …

If you add lines to the table the new lines are firstly not numbered.
To renumber all lines just copy the first cell B1 and repeat the Paste procedure described in Step (3). This can also be done after inserting new lines or changing places of lines.

Thanks for visiting my blog.





iWork and iThoughts

20 02 2013

iWork is Apple’s offer to create spreadsheets (with Numbers), presentations (with Keynote), and write letters (with Pages). The components of iWork are specially developed for iOS devices, easy to use and nevertheless powerful. I see lacks in the missing connection to cloud services without WebDAV support and to network attached storages.
If you ever used these apps you will never change back to other apps which are more likely to Microsoft’s Office Suite.

There is another app which should be in the portfolio of all users working on an iPad.
It’s the mind mapping app iThoughts for iPad developed by Craig Scott, UK.
Mind mapping is a perfect way to save all the ideas you have on your device.

See my blogs

Mind Mapping (1)
Mind Mapping (2)
Mind Mapping (3)

In Jan 2013 iThoughts got an update with some interesting features regarding Apple’s iWork suite.

The Workaround …

This is a mind map about a recommended home configuration when using iOS devices.

You may download this mind map from Biggerplate.com, The Mind Map Library.

Apple iPhone+iPad Home Configuration

20130111-143005.jpg

Look at the branch ‘Software – iWork – Numbers’ on the right side of the mind map. You can see a small green at the top right corner of the branch. It represents a globe and points to a website link.
Tap and Hold to open the website with the integrated browser of iThoughts.

The essential new feature of iThoughts …

You can now connect iWork documents to mind map branches to breathe life into your mind map by assigning additional detailed information to that branch.

20130111-151152.jpg

Note

Attached documents are stored in the mind map file in their native format.
So you can delete the source file located in the documents folder of Keynote.
You can also share the mind map. The recipient can then work on the mind map as well as on the attached iWork documents and send them back.

The marked branch contains the Keynote document icon as well as the note icon of iThoughts (left lower corner of the branch) which shows that there is additional information available. By ‘Tap and Hold’ the Keynote document can be opened to display the contents or to move over to Apple’s Keynote app to further work on it.

20130219-190800.jpg

That’s what I call SUBTLE PROGRAMMING. Congratulations, Craig.





PAGES and envelopes

29 12 2012

In the latest version of Apple’s iWork suite (Dec 7, 2012, Ver 1.7.1) objects can be locked.

Locking means that objects (tables, shapes, images, …) and their positions cannot be changed until they are unlocked again.

It’s a powerful feature for avoiding unwanted displacements of objects particularly for small displays and ‘bulky’ fingers.

Here is a brief description how to create a marker line in Apple’s PAGES for folding the letter paper at the right position so that it fits into a panel window envelope.

To view single slides tap on the slideshow and use the well-known icons.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As a newbie I have to try out all the awesome features of WordPress.com and made a video with Apple’s app iMovie and DispRecorder from Smart Baby Co., Ltd.
Please accept my apologies for this exciting and brilliantly designed video.

Visit How to do it without any device
if you are struggling with letters and envelopes and the contents of my blog.





WebDAV basics

17 12 2012

For my readers, who are not experienced with all these technical aspects of today’s digital world I want to describe WebDAV and how to use it when working with iWork-Applications.

WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) is a method that allows you to edit and manage files stored on remote servers. By linking to a WebDAV location from your iWork for iOS app, you can easily copy documents to and from a remote server or web service.

The protocol …

Quote (Wikipedia, modified)

A communications protocol is a system of digital message formats and rules for exchanging those messages in or between computing systems and in telecommunications. A protocol may have a formal description. Protocols may include signaling, authentication and error detection and correction capabilities.
A protocol definition defines the syntax, semantics, and synchronization of communication. Communications protocols have to be agreed upon by the parties involved.

Example …

The most popular protocol is our language with some fine distinctions:
It’s not digital and non-standardized. Nevertheless I hope you will understand this article.

The HTTP-Protocol …

If you access the internet e.g. put http://iNotes4You.com in the address field the communication between your computer and the webserver is based on http-Protocol. In simplified terms: You computer sends a message to the world wide web and normally gets an answer, the display of the requested website.

The HTTPS-Protocol …

Quote (Wikipedia, modified)

HTTPS provides authentication of the web site and associated web server that one is communicating with. Additionally, it provides bidirectional encryption of communications between a client and server, which protects against eavesdropping and tampering with and/or forging the contents of the communication. In practice, this provides a reasonable guarantee that one is communicating with precisely the web site that one intended to communicate with (as opposed to an impostor), as well as ensuring that the contents of communications between the user and site cannot be read or forged by any third party.

The WebDAV-Protocol …

This protocol is an extension of the HTTP-Protocol.
With a WebDAV-Connection (almost always via HTTPS) you can not only display informations but also manage files on webservers e.g. creating folders, copy files from your local storage to the webserver and delete files.

Getting access to a WebDAV-Server …

Via your browser go to a provider where you can get storage capacity.
If you want to use WebDAV-Protocol to save your iWork-Documents in the cloud ensure that your provider supports this protocol.
At the time Dropbox does not, but e.g. iDriveSync.
Later on you can configure access to the webserver in an iWork-Application like NUMBERS in order to be able to save and open documents.
Your benefit is:
You easily can share documents with other people, have full access via an iOS-, Mac- or PC-Version via client applications or via internet without installing any software.

Further information about Cloud-Services …

Application …

You can use a WebDAV-Server for saving iWork-Documents.

20121208-225606.jpg

Details …

After you’ve signed in to a WebDAV server, you can copy documents to and from the server without signing in again. You’ll remain signed in to the server until you tap Sign Out in the upper-right corner of this same window.

You can sign in to a different WebDAV server by signing out of the current server and linking to another one.

This description sounds easy. But do you have addresses and complex passwords in mind? Configuration of more than one WebDAV-Access is strongly recommended.

Fetching files from a WebDAV server …

With all your iWork for iOS documents closed, click the “+” icon at the top left of the display.
If necessary, navigate to the presentation you want to copy by tapping the folder in which it’s located. If no files or folders are listed, the server is empty.
Tap the name of the document you want to copy. The document downloads and opens in your iWork for iOS app.

Availability of WebDAV-Access…

The availability refers to the free versions of cloud storages.

USA Box https://www.box.net/dav
GER HiDrive https://%5BUser%5D.webdav.hidrive.strato.com
CH MyDrive https://webdav.mydrive.ch
SWE CloudMe https://webdav.cloudme.com/%5BUser%5D
GER CloudSafe https://%5BNumber%5D.webdav.cloudsafe.com
USA iDriveSync https://dav.idrivesync.com
GER DriveOnWeb https://storage.driveonweb.de/probdav
GER Telekom https://webdav.mediencenter.t-online.dev
USA TrendMicro n/a
USA GoogleDrive n/a
USA Drobox n/a
USA SugarSync n/a
USA Amazon n/a
CH Wuala n/a




iWork and iCloud

14 12 2012

iCloud is a powerful feature provided by Apple for syncing, backing up and managing documents on Apple-Devices. If you use more than one iOS-Device you cannot believe how much benefits you will have when iCloud is turned on. It’s the highest integrated service for Internet capable devices ever provided by a company.

20121208-121832.jpg

Configure your device …

To use iCloud you must ensure that the following settings are made on all of your devices.

  • 1 Tap the Settings icon on the Home screen, select iCloud, then enter your Apple ID.
  • 20121208-123658.jpg

  • 2 Tap on Documents and Data and switch it on. This allows apps to store documents and data in iCloud.
    (Later you can switch this feature off for individual programs e.g. a Banking app for that you don’t want to store its data in iCloud. You find this feature under iCloud – Storage an Backup – Manage storage – Your device – Backup options.)
  • 20121208-123707.jpg

  • 3 In Settings scroll down to the list of apps and slide the Use iCloud switch from Off to On for all of your iWork-Apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote).
  • 20121208-123716.jpg

Once iWork is configured, you can collaborate with yourself on all of your devices.

Activity indicators …

If you now open an iWork-App e.g. Numbers you will see an Arrow-Up-Symbol in the upper right corner of the documents you already created. The symbol is an indicator for ‘Uploading to iCloud’. During upload of the file you will see a progress bar.
20121208-125000.jpg

20121208-131415.jpg

Look at this document status which is largely unknown and keep in mind that you cannot access those outsourced documents without an active internet connection. If you don’t have access to a WLAN it’s a good idea, to allow syncing via 3G/LTE connections (see Step 2 below ‘Configure your device’).

20121208-125012.jpg

Essentials …

Here are a few things to keep in mind about using iCloud.

  • If you organize your spreadsheets into folders on one device, you see the same folder organization on all your online devices set up to iCloud.
  • If you change the title of a spreadsheet on one device, the title is changed on all your online devices set up to iCloud.
  • If you save a spreadsheet to icloud.com/iwork from another device, it appears on this device only after you open Numbers while connected to the Internet.

Deleting a document …

If you delete an document, it’s deleted from iCloud and from the applications folder on all your online devices set up to iCloud. The deletion is definite. There is no trash and no accessible history of older versions which could be restored.

20121208-154457.jpg

Conflicts …

Normally you will not get a conflict between different versions of the same document except yuor devices are not connected to the internet while editing the documents. Look at the following issue.

On an iPhone the document ‘Checklist’ was modified while the device had no internet connection. The document shows an upward-pointing arrow. That means the file is in the queue for uploading to iCloud.
If this device connects to the internet again, the document would be uploaded.)

If the same document now is edited on an iPad with internet connection, while iPhone is still unconnected, the document will be stored on iCloud in a newer version. If iPhone reconnects to the internet the following dialog comes up:

20121208-204723.jpg

In the Resolve Conflict window, tap the circle next to each of the spreadsheets you want to keep.
You can select as many of the spreadsheets as you want. The Keep button reflects the number of spreadsheets selected.

If you select more than one of the spreadsheets, all of them are saved to this device. A number is appended to the spreadsheet’s filename, so that no two files have the same name. For example, if you keep two spreadsheets called ‘Checklist’ they appear as ‘Checkliste’ and ‘Checklist 2′.

All the saved spreadsheets are automatically pushed to your other online devices that are set up to use iCloud.

Deactivating iCloud for iWork …

To complete the description:

20121208-155511.jpg

What you should always keep in mind is that iCloud is bound to your Apple ID.
If you sell a device your iWork documents (and all other data) are still accessible in iCloud via your unique Apple ID.

Thanks for your attention.





A simple one minute video

8 12 2012

Who the heck are Francis Ford Coppala, Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino?

You can create your own movies with the following apps
Keynote and iMovie (Apple)
Disp Recorder (Smart Baby)
and publish them on your website.

Examples of usage are presenting presentations, describing process instructions and what have you.

In brief …

  • Create collages with Keynote.
  • Save screenshots of the collages to the camera roll.
    Cut the screenshots to an appropriate content for further usage in iMovie.
    The first three sequences of my video display these collages, which are automatically smoothly moved by iMovie. Position and size of objects may be adjusted at start and end of a sequence.
  • Animation of objects in slides is a built in feature of Keynote, but iMovie cannot execute these animations. So you have to record animated slides with a helper app, e.g. Disp Recorder.
    (Disp Recorder is an app from Apple’s App Store for recording the display of an iOS-Device. The recorded display content looks a bit bumpy as you can see in the last sequence of my video.)
  • Record a video with your iOS-Device to complete the basic data set for creating the video with iMovie.
  • Embed the video in an Automattic powered blog or publish it on YouTube.
    Embedding is outlined below.

Embedding …

Upload the video
to your WP-MediaLibrary via app WordPress.com as follows …

  • Go to http;//yourblog.wordpress.com/wp-admin
  • Select DASHBOARD – MediaLibrary – AddNew – Select File and select the video from your iOS-Devices camera roll
  • Set the appropriate video properties

Note …
Uploading a video with the iOS-App WordPress to your media library is not possible at this time. It may be implemented in a future version of the app.

Insert the video
into your article as follows …

  • Open your article in edit mode
  • Tap on Add Media (above the Editor-Menu)
  • In the Add Media-dialog tap on Media Library
  • Tap on the video to select it
  • Check the attachment details (on the right side)
  • Tap on INSERT VIDEO
  • Place the shortcode for embedding at the desired position

Note …
The attachment details also show the shortcode for embedding in the following parameter notation: (wpvideo + tr3129z)

As you can see here, my first approach did not exactly meet the requirements for an Oscar Nomination, neither in Hollywood nor in Bollywood. I promise to start working on it soon.

20121204-203037.jpg Discussions and replies are highly appreciated.

This video on YouTube





Update 1.7 of iWork for iOS

7 12 2012

On 2012-12-04 Apple’s iWork-Suite was updated to version 1.7.

This update is a major improvement of iWork for iOS without destroying the simplicity of usage. The updated features are perfectly designed and retain the simplicity of the product. From my point of view that’s an intellectual stimulus for all people developing software.

We will see how the competitor Microsoft will response.

For now, advantage Apple!

The feature changes …

20121205-144043.jpg

Pages for iOS …

  • Use Change Tracking to track changes to body text in a document
  • Accept and reject individual changes as you review a document
  • Import Pages and Microsoft Word documents with change tracking and continue to track changes to body text
  • Preserve tracked changes in documents exported in Microsoft Word or Pages format
  • Preserve calculations in tables when importing from and exporting to Pages for Mac

Numbers for iOS …

  • Hide and unhide rows and columns
  • Import and export Numbers for Mac spreadsheets with filters, and turn filters on and off
  • Preserve rich text in tables when importing and exporting

Keynote for iOS …

  • Import and export all Microsoft PowerPoint and Keynote for Mac slide sizes
  • Import and export presentation themes, complete with master slides and preset styles
  • Play back all Keynote action builds including Move, Rotate, Scale, and Opacity
  • Add new slide transitions including Shimmer and Sparkle
  • Preserve calculations in tables when importing from and exporting to Keynote for Mac
  • New print layouts include options to print with presenter notes, with builds, and without backgrounds

Common improvements …

  • Lock and unlock objects
    For locked objects changing properties (size, position, content) cannot be changed until they are unlocked.
  • Add reflections to shapes
  • Improved compatibility with the pendants Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint

Some details …

Locking of objects …

On my point of view this is a great new feature, because faulty operations on touch screens cannot be avoided particulary on the small screen of an iPhone.

20121205-160439.jpg

Objects which can be locked in …

Pages Numbers Keynote
Shape ‘Curve’ only All Objects All Objects

Improved page print layout in Keynote

20121205-220739.jpg

Lacks in Numbers …

Locking …

20121205-223906.jpg

SIRI and the keys …

20121206-160621.jpg





Page layouts in iWork

3 12 2012

Before you print a Microsoft Office document you can quickly fine-tune it in the Page Layout view to achieve professional-looking results. As in Normal view, you can change the layout and format of data, but in addition, you can use the rulers to measure the width and height of the data, change the page orientation, add or change page headers and footers, set margins for printing, hide or display gridlines, row and column headings, and specify scaling options. When you finish working in Page Layout view, you can return to Normal view.

Page Layout view is indispensable for many layout tasks that prepare your data for printing.
You can see how your data will look when it is printed.

iWork for iOS-Devices …

iWork for iOS-Devices is designed as a powerful tool with basic functionalities for editing text (App Pages) , spreadsheets (App Numbers) and presentations (App Keynote). Working up complex data for professional-looking printer output is not in the foreground.

However let’s have a look on the features oft he iWork-Apps.

KEYNOTE for presentations …

Keynote-Documents always consist of slides.
Each slide simultaneously is printed as one page in landscape orientation.
There are no further options except printing From-To-Page, defining the number of copies and (depending on the printer capabilities) printing on both sides of the paper.

PAGES for text editing …

Without further settings, you will not see any page brakes while editing text.
Here is a brief description what you have to do …

  • Tap the Wrench-Symbol in the toolbar, and then tap Document Setup
  • Tap the area below the document body to insert a page footer.
    There are three sections available. Tap in one section, and then tap Page Numbers.
    Tap the page numbering example that matches the format you want.
  • Tap Done in the left corner of the screen.

20121201-160750.jpg

There are some other options (header, watermark) which are not discussed here.
When you return to the normal view you will see the page numbering as an orientation what you write on which page.

Note …
These settings must be set for every new document.
So the best practice is to design a template containing all your settings.

NUMBERS for editing spreadsheets …

Spreadsheets may contain a large amount of data organized in columns and rows.
So options for adjusting the layout are obvious.

20121201-204805.jpg

Summary …

iWork for iOS is not designed for labor-intensive usage in an office.
There are only a few options to control the output but they meet the requirements.
Apple found out the right level of simplicity.

Here is a comparison between Apple’s iWork and Microsoft’s Office 365 for iOS

Office 365 for Mobiles

Thanks for dropping by.





Bridge the gulf, Apple

1 12 2012

There are some documents provided by Apple presenting cases of business applications on the iPad, e.g.

iPad @ work
iPad @ work Volume 2

These e-Books give an overview how iPad features and apps allow you to streamline common daily business tasks.

That’s the theory.
Lets take a look at the reality.

Consider the following scenario …

You have to provide an iWork-Document (created with Apple’s iWork-Apps Numbers, Keynote or Pages) on different cloud storages (with recommended complex passwords), e.g. two Numbers-documents containing data worth being protected.

As a normal user with basic knowledge there are some questions which have to be answered:

  • What is a secure way to transfer data?
  • Which cloud provider guarantees a secure storage?
  • Do I need additional apps to work efficiently?
  • Are the additional apps stable?
  • Is there a fast and understandable support if errors occur?
  • Which apps should I buy to improve the usage of the device?

Generally you have 3 features which allow you to move documents:

  • Send by E-Mail
  • Open in another app
  • Save to WebDAV

Using ‘Send by E-Mail’ …

Apple’s NUMBERS does not support sending more than one document to a recipient.

Apple’s Mail does not support access to iWork-Documents to send them as attachments. Only photos and videos can be inserted.

Apple’s Mail does not support E-Mail distribution lists.

So for easy distribution of documents via E-Mail you will need an additional app.
But is it possible to use the ‘Open in another app’-Feature of iWork to provide the helper app with the required documents?
Does the app support IMAP-Accounts? If it does you have one more E-Mail-Client installed on your device.
If it does not, you will not see what you sent in your other E-Mail-Client.

Using ‘Save to WebDAV’ …

iWork supports only one connection to a WebDAV-Server. Changing the server from time to time requires the knowledge of the address and the password which might be complex so that you have to look it up in your Password-App.

(The app ‘Documents To Go’ from DataViz, Inc. allows access to 4 preconfigured servers.)

Summary …

There are many features not supported by iOS or standard apps of Apple.
So it will take a long time until you have found out the right apps for your specific requirements.
You will need additional time to find out which app fits best to to do your work.

So
Bridge the gulf, Apple
and take frequently used workflows into account when updating iOS and the iWork-Suite. There are still to many stumbling stones.

And …

Is it an advantage to offer more than 600.000 apps? No it is not, except I have the option to first look within a limited time whether an app meets my requirements or not.

The security of iOS, the iOS-Filesystem and the usability of the File-Management
are not well-balanced so far.








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