Automating Task and Meeting Creation with Drafts and Fantastical for iPad

Fantastical and Drafts

After reviewing Fantastical for iPad, I’ve decided to have a go of making it my control center for all tasks and meetings. I don’t like creating tasks by tapping on various fields and categories, so Fantastical’s natural language parsing really is the ultimate solution for me. There’s nothing wrong with Fantastical’s UI for this purpose, but I prefer to use Drafts for creating all of my tasks, simply because it loads so quickly. It took me a little while to understand URL schemes, but this iOS automation guide from @The_Axx and the Fantastical FAQ really helped me out.

Setting this sequence up requires setting up two “URL Actions” in Drafts. You can find this menu by entering Drafts -> Settings -> URL Actions and creating the following actions:

Meeting - fantastical2://parse?sentence=[[title]]&notes=[[body]]

Task - fantastical2://parse?sentence=[[title]]&notes=[[body]]&reminder=1

The process starts like this: I load up Drafts, type in one line of text that describes the meeting/task and due date, and an optional second line of text for a note. If you look at the URL schemes above, the [[title]] tags correspond to a ?sentence value in Fantastical, and the [[body]] tag corresponds to the %notes field in Fantastical.

The only difference in each of these URL schemes is that the %reminder=1 line added to the Task action. This forces Fantastical to create a task, without my having to specify with keywords like “Remind” or “task”.

These URL schemes are set up in Drafts as actions, so that I can type in names, dates, and details, and tap on one button to send the meeting or task to Fantastical. I could go even further by adding add=1 to the end of each URL scheme, which would instruct Fantastical to auto-create the meeting or task (eliminating even the need to press the ”Add” button within Fantastical).

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iOS 7.1.1 Released: Bug Fixes, Security Improvements, and New Labels for Apps with In-App Purchases

App Store In-App Purchases

Apple released iOS 7.1.1 yesterday, the latest update to the iPad and iPhone operating system. This update to iOS brings bug fixes and some security enhancements. It also has improvements to the Touch ID feature for iPhone – which is expected to come to this year’s iPad models.

Another interesting addition in this update, spotted by MacRumors, is a new label on apps with In-App purchases – in the Top Charts listings pages. It’s a fairly tiny bit of text just underneath the Free button in the apps listing.

Given all the controversy around ‘Freemium’ games with sometimes very large In-App purchases (I’ve seen up to $99) and horror stories of kids running up bills into the thousands of dollars, any extra labeling of these apps is a good idea. I’d love to see the label text be a little larger and more prominent.

iOS 7.1.1 is available now as an over-the air update via Settings > General > Software Update.

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5 Under $5 iPad Games

Hey everyone! Beth Elderkin from iPad Insight here, checking out some interesting games for this week’s “5 Under $5.” If you want to see more about Hitman Go, fellow reviewer Thomas Wong will be doing a review soon. Be on the lookout for that!

**Note: In the review, I wrote the first game as “The Amazing Spiderman 2,” when it’s actually “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

Disclosure: These games were independently observed or purchased by the post’s author. For more information on our site’s review policies, visit the About page.

Games Featured This Week:

[click to continue reading…]

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Red Herring: Another Simple but Addictive iPad Game from the Makers of 7 Little Words

Red Herring is a soon-to-be-released new iPad game from the makers of the excellent 7 Little Words game. Here is the developers’ short introduction to the game:

Red Herring containing word game, logic puzzle and trivia challenge elements – is about organizing words into categories while keeping an eye out for sneaky “red herring” words that are only in the puzzle to confuse you.

They promise that the game is simple and addictive – two words that perfectly describe their 7 Little Words game. I did a review of 7 Little Words for iPad here last year, and it remains one of my all-time favorite iPad word games. The developers were kind enough to let me try out Red Herring prior to its pending release – and I can tell you it is a uniquely challenging and fun game. I’m already hooked.

Check out the trailer video above and look out for Red Herring hitting the App Store very soon.

 

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Refurbished Retina iPad mini Available Now at Apple Online Store

Refurbished_iPad_-_Apple_Certified__1-Year_Warranty_-_Apple_Store__U_S__

Refurbished Retina iPad minis are available now, and for the first time, at the Apple online store. This morning there are just two models available – the 32GB WiFi only model at $419 ($80 off the new price) and the 64GB Wifi only model at $509 ($90 off new).

The refurbished section is updated often though, so I imagine we’ll see 16GB and WiFi + Cellular models of the Retina iPad mini available soon too.

Apple ‘s refurbished line has quite a good reputation – all their refurbished products are tested and certified and come with a one year warranty. Refurb iPad models also come with a new battery and outer shell.

You can check out the refurbished Retina iPad mini deals at this Apple online store page.

Happy iPad shopping.

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iPad Art: Watercolor Tiger

Today’s featured iPad art is this beautiful watercolor style painting of a tiger. It was created by Flickr member whytnie2006, who offers these details on it: Tiger watercolor painting. Used artrage, nomad brush I’ve always thought big cats, and tigers in particular, are among the most magnificent looking creatures on the planet – and I [...]

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Cool Things: Evernote Business Notebook by Moleskine

This Evernote Business Notebook by Moleskine really looks impressive, from the concept through to the slick set of features. It’s not for me because after years of pounding away on mobile and full-sized keyboards my handwriting is shockingly terrible and all but unreadable. For anyone with even barely legible handwriting this might be well worth [...]

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NBA Game Time for iPad Updated for the Playoffs

NBA Game Time for iPad 2013-2014 was updated yesterday, to Version 5.3. This update is specifically for the NBA Playoffs, which tip off today. Here are the changes in this update: It’s that time of year again, NBA Game Time has been updated for the 2014 NBA Playoffs. We’ve added a live playoff bracket showing [...]

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