The Smile Blog, With News, Tips, Photos and Other Stuff That Makes Us Smile
Posted 12/02/2013 by Jean
TextExpander touch 2.3 has been released. This update changes the way that snippets are shared between TextExpander touch and third-party apps with TextExpander support. Here is the email we sent to users explaining the change and its impact:
Dear TextExpander touch User:
After recent discussions with the App Review Team from Apple, they informed us that TextExpander's use of Reminders for shared snippet storage will no longer be acceptable. We will need to significantly revise TextExpander touch, and to do so immediately.
We have come up with an alternative to using Reminders, which will require you to take action to update your snippets and keep them updated. This will have to be done via apps you use with TextExpander integration. There will probably be a "Get Snippet Data" button in the app’s settings, but that depends on how the developer chooses to handle this.
Reminders are no longer used for shared snippet storage in the latest update, TextExpander touch 2.3, which has been approved by the App Store and will be released shortly. Version 2.3 includes the new mechanism for apps with TextExpander support to update your snippets.
We have also provided an updated TextExpander touch SDK to third party developers so that they can revise their apps. As developers ourselves, we know this sort of unexpected and unscheduled change is difficult to accommodate even under normal circumstances. At this time of year, with impending holidays and year-end obligations, it’s even more difficult. You might want to let the developers of your favorite apps know that you would like to see updated TextExpander support, but please be patient with them as they work out how to fit that into their development schedules.
The apps list (http://smilesoftware.com/apps) has been reset. We will add apps to the list as they update their support for TextExpander touch. In the interim, apps which have not updated to our new SDK will be accessing stale snippet data from Reminders. On the bright side, you'll still be able to use TextExpander in those apps. On the downside, you won't be able to access new or updated snippets until those apps are revised.
We know how much you depend on TextExpander touch. We are doing our very best, as always, to provide a workable solution that meets the needs of users, developers and Apple. Thank you very much for your support.
PS. If you are interested in knowing more about the changes in iOS 7 and how they’ve affected TextExpander touch, see our post: http://smilesoftware.com/blog/entry/how-ios-7-affects-textexpander-touch
Posted 10/30/2013 by Jean
One of our favorite apps is Fantastical from Flexibits. It's one of the most popular calendaring apps on Mac and iPhone. It has a beautiful, intuitive interface and lets you use natural language to create events. If you enter "Meeting with Philip at 1:30 on Friday", Fantastical creates an event with all those details filled in.
Fantastical 2 was released today, with lots of new features and interface refinements. And one of those new features is support for TextExpander touch. We thought it would be a good time to review what you need to do to make sure app work with TextExpander under iOS 7, using Fantastical as an example.
As we've written earlier, iOS 7 changed the way that TextExpander can share your snippets with other apps. It will now store your snippets in a reminder, which means that both TextExpander and the other app (in this case, Fantastical) must have access to Reminders.
When you first launch Fantastical, it will ask for permission to access Reminders. (If you skipped this on first launch, you can enable it in Settings.) In TextExpander, you need to enable the Share Snippets setting, at which point TextExpander will ask for access to Reminders.
If you go to your iOS settings, under Privacy > Reminders, you should see both TextExpander and Fantastical listed and enabled. If they are not enabled, you need to enable them. If one or both don't appear on the list, check the settings of the apps themselves and make sure they are set as described above.
Here's another tip for new TextExpander touch users: if you set Ignore Case in your TextExpander settings to "Off," you'll avoid issues with auto-capitalization.
If you have any questions, our friendly support geeks are ready to help--just send us an email!
Posted 10/23/2013 by Greg
We strongly recommend you use TextExpander 4.1.1 with Mavericks.
If you are using TextExpander 3.4.2 from the Mac App Store, you should download TextExpander 4.1.1. It should automatically detect your license. If not, please send us an email with your Mac App Store receipt, and we'll work with you on a TextExpander 4 license.
Here's how to enable the system support TextExpander requires on Mavericks:
1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu
2. Click on Security & Privacy
3. Click on the Privacy tab
4. Click on Accessibility in the list at the left
5. Click the lock icon to allow you to make changes (you'll be prompted for your password)
6. Check "TextExpander" and "TextExpander Helper" (the latter may not appear)
7. Launch TextExpander and you should be back in business
If you have any questions, please let us know.
Thanks for using TextExpander!
Posted 10/16/2013 by Greg
PDFpen 6 introduced support for performing redaction via AppleScript.
Redaction completely removes text from a document and leaves behind your choice of either a black box or a blank space. It can be used to remove sensitive information from a PDF before sharing it, such as names in transcripts or account numbers in bank statements.
Here's an example AppleScript showing how to remove all instances of “Smile” from the frontmost document:
tell application "PDFpen"
tell document 1
search string "Smile"
repeat while performing search
redact with block
repeat while performing redaction
display dialog "Done"
The first part of the script performs a search for all instances of "Smile" in the frontmost document and waits for the search to complete.
The second part of the script tells PDFpen to redact all the instances of "Smile" found in the search, replacing them with a black block, and waiting for the redaction to complete. If you prefer blank space, use "redact without block".
Once this script is completed, you'll no longer be able to search the document for "Smile", because "Smile" no longer appears in the document.
You can use this sample as the basis for part of a folder action or automator action to perform redaction as part of your workflow.
Posted 10/07/2013 by Jean
In the latest version of TextExpander [ download ], we added a new Predefined Group of snippets that you can add to your snippet library: emoji.
In case you're note familiar, emoji is the Japanese term for the ideograms, or "smileys" used in text messages and elsewhere. According to Wikipedia, the word literally means "picture" (e) + "letter" (moji). The characters are used much like emoticons, but there are many more emoji, which depict a vast range of items and emotions.
If you want to add the new Emoji group, it's simple. Just go to the File menu, and choose Add Predefined Group > Emoji. The abbreviations follow a standard, with a colon before and after the emoji name. (Example: :smile: inserts a smiley face.) If the emoji has two words, there is a space between the words. (Example: :space invader: inserts a little character from the classic arcade game.)
There are 247 emoji in the group. If you don't see your favorite, let us know.
Posted 09/24/2013 by Jean
At Smile, we are always looking for new ways to help our users be more productive and save time. Today, we are pleased to announce the release of the latest app in our PDFpen suite, PDFpen Scan+.
PDFpen Scan+ lets you scan and OCR documents wherever you are. You can open them in PDFpen for iPad or PDFpen for iPhone for further editing or share them via cloud services for seamless editing on your Mac.
Some of the features included in PDFpen Scan+:
- One-touch scanning directly from your iPhone or iPad camera
- Scan multiple images into a single document
- Detect page edges automatically and crop scans
- Use on-device OCR to convert scans into searchable PDFs
- Copy text recognized by OCR
- Email and share PDF documents with embedded, searchable OCR text
- OCR in 16 languages
Get PDFpen Scan+ on the App Store now--the introductory price is just $4.99!
Posted 09/16/2013 by Greg
When you update to iOS 7, you may find that TextExpander doesn't work in some apps which did work on iOS 6. Due to a change in iOS 7, those apps no longer have access to shared snippets. We have communicated with developers whose apps support TextExpander, and we've provided them an updated SDK with a new way to share snippet data. Many developers are working hard to ensure their apps are updated. Bear in mind that review times and other issues are beyond their control.
Please update to TextExpander touch 2.1.1, and allow it access to your Reminders. After you install iOS 7, we recommend that you turn on automatic app updating so that when app developers deliver updated TextExpander support, you'll get it right away.
Thanks for using TextExpander and the apps with TextExpander support. We've done our best to work through a situation mostly beyond our control. Our fellow developers have been very supportive, and we anticipate they will deliver apps using the updated TextExpander SDK promptly. (More technical details regarding the change and our solution are below, if you are interested.)
We maintain a list of apps with TextExpander support. As developers update their apps to work with TextExpander in iOS 7, we will add them to the list. If you have any questions, just drop us an email at email@example.com.
Here's what you can do:
- Update to TextExpander touch 2.1.1
- Let developers know that you use TextExpander in their app
- Ask those developers if they plan to update to the TextExpander 2.1 SDK
- Be patient with developers as they work hard to update their TextExpander support
- If your developer is not aware of this issue, point them to this blog post
What changed? Some technical details
Prior to iOS 7, TextExpander stored shared snippet data in a persistent pasteboard named "TextExpander". The TextExpander code in supported apps read from the "TextExpander" pasteboard. Unfortunately, other libraries used these persistent named pasteboards to store and retrieve information used to track users across apps, without their knowledge or consent.
Apple decided to put a stop to that by prepending one's team ID to their named pasteboards, e.g. "Smile.TextExpander". This allows shared pasteboards within one's own company's apps but not across unrelated apps. For example, if Drafts requested the "TextExpander" pasteboard, iOS 7 updates the request to "AgileTortoise.TextExpander" such that Drafts cannot access the shared TextExpander snippet data. (In fact, the new pasteboard names are more complex than this example.)
Smile has responded to this by discussing the issue with Apple engineers at WWDC, filing a bug (#14168862), and checking up on the status of that bug. We also developed a workaround by storing the TextExpander data in a new place. Reminders requires user consent to store and retrieve data. Completed reminders are not normally shown in its interface. Long-past reminders appear at the bottom of the completed reminders.
TextExpander touch 2.1 (and later) supports storing shared snippet data in a long-past, completed reminder. We produced an updated SDK and kept our developers posted on its progress. Our final SDK was ready within a few hours of the end of Apple's official iOS 7 announcement.
Posted 09/11/2013 by Jean
This summer, I took a four-month sabbatical from my work at Smile to launch App Camp For Girls, a program that teaches girls ages 12 to 14 how to brainstorm, design, build, and pitch iPhone apps, mentored by women developers.
The idea had been percolating for some time. If you've ever attended a developer conference, the lack of women participants is striking. While there are a lot of theories about why that might be, it seemed to me that it would help if we got girls interested in software development at a young age. Drawing on my experience with the Rock 'N' Roll Camp For Girls, where girls form a band, learn an instrument, write a song and perform a showcase all in one week, I wanted to put on a program that would be fun and educational.
The camp was a big success this summer. We put on two week-long programs. In both sessions, the girls worked on their own quiz apps, which were built in Xcode and deployed to iPod touches. This was an important feature of the camp program. Each camper was issued an iPod touch to use for the week, so that they could build their apps onto the device and take it home to show off your work. There is nothing that compares with the sense of accomplishment the first time you run an app that you wrote on a device!
The community has been incredibly supportive of our efforts. We held an Indiegogo campaign in June/July which raised $106K, over twice our original target. With the additional funds, we will focus on expanding the App Camp For Girls program beyond Portland for Summer 2014.
If you are interested in volunteering or registering for App Camp For Girls, please fill out the form on the website.
I'm happy to be back working full-time at Smile. My colleagues have been amazing, generously taking over my Smile responsibilities so that I could devote this time to get App Camp For Girls off the ground. Maia Olson, our awesome support geek and marketing associate, even came up from California both weeks to coach a group of girls through the development process. (That's Maia in the photo, third from the right in the back row.)
Posted 03/18/2013 by Jean
We are very excited to release a major new version of our popular and award-winning PDFpen and PDFpenPro for Mac. Version 6 has lots of great new features and enhancements, including:
- Microsoft® Word export
- New editing bar and enhanced design for better ease-of-use
- Support for Auto Save and Versions
- Optimized for Retina displays
- Drag and drop to reorder Library items
It has always been our policy to offer current users an upgrade path when a new version is released. Because PDFpen is available in both the Smile Store and the Mac App Store, upgrades are more complicated.
There is no mechanism for offering upgrades in the Mac App Store. To accommodate customers who wish to purchase Mac App Store versions, special pricing will be offered for the first 48 hours. PDFpen will be $29.99 and PDFpenPro will be $39.99 for this very limited time. The special pricing expires on March 20 at midnight PDT.
To further complicate things, Apple restricts iCloud access to apps purchased on the Mac App Store. If you need iCloud support, you must purchase PDFpen 6 or PDFpenPro 6 from the Mac App Store. (Support for Dropbox cloud storage and syncing is available in both the Mac App Store version and the Smile Store version.)
So, here it is, in a nutshell:
Upgrade Pricing - Mac App Store (First 48 hours only)
Includes iCloud support
Upgrade Pricing - Smile direct purchase
PDFpen to PDFpenPro: $40
Does not include iCloud support
Customers who purchased on or after October 15, 2012 are entitled to free upgrades to the Smile Store version. We have no means to offer free upgrades in the Mac App Store.
After the 48 hour special is over, Smile's standard upgrade pricing will continue to be available directly.
We are really proud of the work we've done to make PDFpen 6.0 a worthy upgrade. Your feedback and suggestions help us make PDFpen the best PDF editing tool for Mac and iOS. If you have any questions, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org are ready to help!
Posted 01/30/2013 by Jean
It's Macworld Eve! Tomorrow, we'll be demoing great Smile apps at our 10th Macworld Expo.
Today's photos are from last year's show. 2012 was an exciting year for us. We launched PDFpen for iPad, which won Best of Show from Macworld, The Mac Observer, and Beatweek Magazine. We had a great team at the booth. Two new faces in this photo: Éric (far left) and Colin (far right), both super-talented developers who work with us to make PDFpen the very best!
Our 2012 team, left to right: Éric, Philip, Jean, Angel, Maia, Greg, Edward, Brian, Colin. Below, Greg, Philip and I finally get a moment together to smile ourselves at the end a crazy busy Macworld!
Please come see us this year, January 31 to February 2, in the Moscone West Expo Hall. We'll be on the far right side of the Appalooza section of the floor, showing off the new PDFpen for iPhone!
Today's the final day of our Countdown to Macworld celebration of Smile's 10th anniversary. As promised, today's winners (one on Twitter, one on Facebook) get a bundle with all the prizes we've given away over the last nine days:
PDFpen for iPad
PDFpen for iPhone
TextExpander for Mac
TextExpander water bottle
Smile special 10th anniversary screen cloth
Remember to tweet your birthday greetings (tagged #smile10) and/or share them via Facebook comments. We'll pick the winners randomly from the comments we receive!