Where art thou File Sharing? iTunes 12.7

If you’re like me and jump into the latest and greatest ocean of software without first checking to see how deep it is or if there’s wana in the shallows you can get hurt.

I updated my Mac’s iTunes to the latest and greatest v12.7 yesterday on its release without first checking to see if anyone had issues with it.

The first thing I noticed was that Apple ripped-out all the iOS App stuff. There’s some good and bad as noted in this post online but what concerned me most was the loss of the File Manager which allows easy sharing of files from my Mac into the sandboxed apps of my iPhone.

File Sharing is especially useful if you’re a photographer than needs to SFTP images to a server from location. So I hastily posted a warning on facebook for people to wait until September 19, 2017 for the release of iOS 11 and the new File app which will allow deeper file access to iOS. I also re-wrote my tutorial on how to create an ad-hock network on the Mac (and linked to the crazy steps for Windows) so others can learn how to transfer files to an FTP app.

All was for naught as Apple was nice enough to retain File Sharing in the iTunes sidebar menu for connected devices. So yet another update and you can see how to get it done here.

It’s still a useful tutorial, it just needed this crisis push to get updated.

The next big challenge is when MacOS High Sierra is released. Users will have the option to convert their storage structure for hard/SSD drives to APFS (Apple File System) for optimized performance. The problem is that if you own something like Paragon HFS+ to access Mac files from Windows you’ll be out of luck as it won’t read APFS volumes. Also I’m not sure how NAS/RAID units will fare or file sharing drives attached to routers.

Hopefully I won’t just jump in this time without checking to see what’s below the surface of this new software.

Push notifications solution for custom Twitter searches

I follow several Twitter accounts and like to be notified if they tweet something important with specific hashtags. None of the twitter desktop apps I’ve seen can push out notifications for a custom search. I’ve heard you can do it with Hootsuite if you pay their monthly subscription. I haven’t seen an iOS or Android app to do this either for free. There are several online services which start at about $9/month.

Old Solution

My workaround for Twitter search notifications has been to use an IFTTT applet to play watchdog on specific Twitter accounts and to watch for a certain hashtag then it would send me a text message via an SMS gateway. A Rube Goldberg type of set-up for notifications.

The cons to using IFTTT are:

  • IFTTT applets only perform actions every 15 minutes
  • The set-up can be buggy, I’ve had notifications sent to me hours late

New Solution

TwitPush is a new app in the iOS App Store so I can’t really blame myself for not using it before. It was originally released on January 20, 2017 and was updated on February 7, 2017. This is a good sign amongst so many apps that have been abandoned in the App Store. It looks like the developer is in/from Brazil as they have an app for public transportation, maybe they can do one for Hawaii County but maybe not in Portuguese.

TwitPush is very easy to set-up, is free (there’s an in-app purchase to get rid of ads when viewing your custom search logs) and it works great.

I set-up my custom search following a Twitter account and a specific hashtag and waited to see who would win the notification race between IFTTT and TwitPush. Upon every posting that fell under my custom search TwitPush sent me a notification within about a minute. Notifications were pushed to both my iPhone and my Pebble Time watch and it did this even with TwitPush running in the background on the iPhone.

Quake tweets by USGS
Quake tweets by USGS

If you’re a social media professional and need to get notifications from custom searches then get TwitPush. Let’s say you follow Hawaii 24/7 on Twitter and only want to get notifications when we tweet the hashtags #HItsunami or maybe #hiwx you can do that. Or maybe you follow DC and want a notification as soon as he tweets a BRAINBUSTER you can do it!

Get the app, make your life easier, pay the $0.99 to get the Pro ad-free version to encourage the developer on their great work. I don’t know how long this great app will work as Twitter sometimes cracks down on the usage of their API unless this app is somehow scraping feeds without the API.

If you’re an Android user and know of a good Android solution post something in the comments below and I’ll check it out and update this post.

Here are some screenshots below from the iOS AppStore.

Keeping it weird in Hilo

Had my phone set-up as a dashcam while driving in Hilo as a test, which is why half of the video below is just my dashboard. In the middle of my lane was some guy talking to someone on the opposite sidewalk. I couldn’t tell if he was trying to cross the street, was drunk or what he was going to do or even if he was aware cars were headed his way. I slowed way down and check-out the video to see what message he gave the guy across the street.