Here’s a little app to sync data from a DynamoDB database to an iOS device. Includes the ability to search. Simply edit the constants file to link it to your source. Enjoy.
I keep looking for more and more ways to have my Apple Watch be really functional without having it talk to my phone when I need the function it’s performing. One of those can easily be looking at photos. One of these is to sync some photos to the watch so that if my battery dies or I leave my phone on my desk, I still have access to photos if I want to get to some. To sync pictures from your First, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Then tap on Photos in the list of apps under the default My Watch tab. From the Photos screen, choose to be notified of alerts. I leave this set to Mirror My iPhone. Then, set the Synced Album to any album on the phone that you’d like to sync to the watch. This might be Camera Roll, the default, or you can select any album that you’ve created. After I did this, I’ve created a new album call watch that syncs all the pictures I want on my watch. Tap on Photos Limit to configure how much space you allow the photo album to fill up on your watch. You can select 25, 100, 250 or 500 photos, which nets 5MB, 15MB, 40MB and 75MB respectively. Then tap Then wait. The photos will be sync’d to your Watch.
You waited. And you tapped your fingers on the desk. And you sat and waited some more, for the UPS person. You stared at your mailbox. And then, after all of that, UPS showed up. And you signed. And then you had that box in your hands. The cardboard box, when opened, gave way to a sweet white box. You opened it by pulling the little tag off, and then you pulled the watch out of the box. You tried on the two bands. And you picked the one that fit you the best. So now what? Turn on the watch by hitting the button on the side and watch that beautiful Apple logo light up the screen. But now you need to pair the watch with your phone for it to be useable. So what to do? Well, first of all, make sure your phone is updated to the latest and greatest version of iOS. From there, open the Apple Watch app on the iPhone. The app will prompt you to start pairing a watch with the phone. You can only pair one watch with an iPhone. Tap the Start Pairing button. When prompted, line up the screen on the watch with the image and the outline. Wait for the watch to complete pairing and then tap the Set Up Apple Watch button. You’ll then be prompted for which wrist to put the watch on. I used my dominant wrist, so right. You’ll then be prompted to accept the Terms and Conditions (aka license agreement) from Apple. Tap Agree. Tap Agree again. Next, when prompted for the Apple ID to use, if you’d like to use an Apple ID with the watch, provide the password for that Apple ID using the Enter Password button, or use the Skip This Step option to skip the Apple ID. At the Location Services screen, tap OK. This is really just informational to let you know that Location Services will be used. It’s kinda’ necessary to use the watch properly. At the Siri screen, again, you’re informed that Siri will be used. Tap OK. At the Diagnostics screen, same thing. You’re informed that diagnostics will be supplied to Apple. Tap OK. At the Apple Watch Passcode screen, choose whether you’d like to use a passcode on the watch. I’m not a fan of using a passcode on the watch; however, you will have to use one if you want to use Apple Pay on the watch. Tap Create a Passcode to set one up now and then provide the passcode you’d like to use. The Apple Watch will sync apps and show glances from apps that are on the phone. Tap Install All to go ahead and install any Apple Watch apps on the device. You can always turn them off later. Or you can tap Choose Later to go ahead and complete setup and wait until later to set up the watch and finish apps setup later. I’d recommend using Install All and then turn off the ones you don’t want later. Then the watch will start syncing with your devices. At the Apple Watch Is Syncing screen, wait. Don’t do anything else or get the watch too far from the phone or you’ll have to start over from scratch. The watch looks like this while it’s syncing. Once the watch is finished syncing, use the My Watch app to sync apps, show glances, setup Apple Pay and configure which built-in apps are shown on the device. The next and most important aspect of your new Apple Watch is to use it and love it. Go for a run, sync some apps, enjoy the hell out of your new watch. It’s great. Now, get to it!
ChronoSync is one of those tools that’s been in the Mac community for a long time (rightfully so). It’s been a little while since I got the chance to really tinker around with ChronoSync so I thought I’d do a little article on what I got to find during my tinkerations. To get started with ChronoSync, go to their website at http://www.econtechnologies.com/chronosync/overview.html. Next, we’re going to walk through the most basic of setups (and you can get all kinds of complicated from there if you’d like!). Once you’ve downloaded, ChronoSync, run the installer from the disk image that was downloaded. Then walk through the installer, basically following the defaults (unless you’d like to install to a volume other than your boot volume). Once the installer is finished, open the app and register the product. Once registered, you’ll see a nice screen giving you a few options. We’re going to create a single plan (synchronizer document) to backup a single source to a single target. To do so, click on the option to “Create a new synchronizer document”. At the Setup screen, you have a right and left column. When I used to do a lot of manual migrations, I would always always always line up my source on the left and my target on the right (or invariably you risk data loss by copying in the wrong direction), so the workflow in ChronoSync has always made sense to me. Because a lot of the data I use needs root access, I’m going to select “Local Volumes (Admin access)” in the “Connect to” field and then use the Choose button to select my actual source. Repeat that process in the Right Target section of the screen. The default action that will be performed is to backup from the left to the right targets (the term target referring to the folder, not that it’s a source or target in the backup operation). Click into the Operation field to bring up a list of the options that can be performed between your left and right targets. The option I’m selecting is “Synchronize Bidirectional” as this is an article about syncing data. The other options are pretty well defined in the manual, but it’s worth mentioning that the Bootable Mirror options are especially useful. Once you’ve set the type of sync, you can also use the Options menu to define some pretty granular settings for your sync. For the purposes of this sync, which brings over server shares, I’m going to leave Conflict resolution set to Ask User and use the custom option under the Special File/Folder Handling section to enable the “Verify copied data” option and “Preserve Comments” option. Note that if you’re doing this on servers and would like to stop a service (such as postgres) before a sync and start it after, you can use the scripts section of this screen. You can also configure notifications, sending emails when syncs have errors, or every time there’s a sync. Click Rules to build inclusion/exclusion rules (for example, I don’t often sync things like operating system and software installers since I can just go download them again, pretty easily). Click Archive in the sidebar if you’d like to remove files based on a trigger (e.g. if it’s been removed from the source, archive it, etc). Next, you can simply click Synchronize to run an immediate sync of the files and folders you’ve defined in your Sync Document. Or, you can click Add to Schedule to define when you’d like to run your Synchronization Documents. There, less than 5 minutes and we’ve got a pretty advanced sync going. Use the Log button to see how everything went. And remember, always verify that the archives and backups are running on a good schedule. For example, I like to have at least a weekly cadence to make sure that media one each side of a sync can still open. It helps me sleep better.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now. But just in case you hadn’t logged into iWork.com in awhile or let the to-do lapse, it’s just worth a reminder that iWork Public Beta, the site that you could upload Pages, Numbers and Keynotes to, is being deprecated. The end comes on today. In other words, if you have documents up on the site, you should download them immediately or you won’t be able to come August. Apple has even provided a document explaining how. The service that was being provided by the iWork public beta is replaced by iCloud. Using iCloud, you can sync your documents between all of your devices. When you configure iCloud in System Preferences, you are prompted to sync contacts, calendars and bookmarks, but iCloud also gets configured for file synchronization as well at that time. While iCloud doesn’t allow you to edit documents online, you can access them through the iCloud web portal and download them from any computer you like. The new iCloud integration also allows for seeing all your documents in each supported app, when first opened:
Google recently decided that it was time to force some other company to buy cloudy dispositioned upstarts, Dropbox and Box.net. Google also decided that Office365 represented Microsoft being a little too brazen in their attempts to counteract the inroads that Google has made into Microsoft territory. Therefor, Google thumped their chest and gave away 5GB of storage in Google Drive. Google then released a tool that synchronizes data stored on a Google Drive to Macs and Windows systems. Installing Google Drive is pretty easy. Just browse to Google Docs and Google will tell you that there’s this weird new Google Drive thing you should check out. Here, click on Download Google Drive for Mac (or Windows if you use Windows). Then agree to give your first born to Google (but don’t worry, they’d never collect on that debt ’cause they’re sworn to do no evil). Once downloaded, run the installer. You can link directly to your documents now using https://drive.google.com. The only real question the installer asks is whether you’d like to automatically sync your Google Drive to the computer. I said yes, but if you’ve got a smallish drive you might decide not to. Once the Google Drive application has been downloaded and installed, open it (by default it’s set to open at startup). You’ll then see a icon in the menu bar that looks a little like a recycling symbol. Here, click on Open Google Drive folder. The folder with your Google Docs then shows up on your desktop. Copy an item in there and it syncs up to Google. It can then easily be shared through the Google Apps web portal and accessed from other systems. While there are still a number of features that Box.net and Dropbox will give you due to the fact that they’re a bit more mature, I’d expect Google Drive to catch up fast. And given that I already have tons of documents in Google Docs, it is nice to have them saved down to my local system. I’m now faced with an interesting new challenge: where to draw the line in my workflow between Google Drive, Dropbox and Box.net. Not a bad problem to have, really! Given the frustrations of having things strewn all over the place I’ll want to minimize some of the haphazardness I’ve practiced with regards to why I put things in different places in the past. In some cases I need to be able to email to folders, have expiring links or to have extended attributes sync between services, so there are some aspects that are likely to be case-by-case… Overall though, I’m very happy with the version 1 release of Google Drive. I mean, who complains about free stuff!?!?!
I’d still like to have a better way to have a centralized iTunes media server. But in lieu of that I’m OK keeping multiple libraries in sync. One way to do this is to use a tool such as rsync to actually synchronize the files. But this isn’t going to keep the iTunes library updated on what files were added. For that consider TuneRanger. TuneRanger will keep iTunes for Windows or Mac in sync. More importantly it will update your playlists to accommodate for the new location of your media. TuneRanger also makes a nice addition to the switchers toolbelt. You can use it to synchronize media from a Windows to computer to a Mac (or vise versa) without having to rebuild all of your playlists. And it let’s you do so graphically without doing a find and replace in a file for paths, etc. Overall, it’s working nicely so far. I like the fact that I need to authorize all of the computers that will be playing purchased content. Makes me feel legit (and the library is 100% legal btw). Again I’d prefer a centralized repository that doesn’t force me to have all of the library sprawled across 3 different computers. But in lieu of that, synchronization is the next best thing…