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Make Your iPhone More Efficient with Launch Center Pro [Review]

Make Your iPhone More Efficient with Launch Center Pro [Review]


    One of the best things about the more recent iterations of iOS is the ability to place apps into folders. But while this allows for better organization of apps, it doesn’t make them all that more accessible. Yes, you can swipe left on the home screen and then search for the app you’re looking for, but having an app like LaunchBar or Alfred available on iOS would improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the device. That’s why when Launch Center by App Cubby arrived, I jumped on board straight away.

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    I’ve watched as more and more apps and actions were able to be used by Launch Center, especially as it gained notoriety. The thing about Launch Center is that it makes many of my regularly-used apps accessible with just a couple of touches. Now with the arrival of Launch Center Pro, those touches have become even more robust, taking better advantage of the iOS user interface. (David Barnard of App Cubby even addressed some of the limitations that Launch Center had in a recent blog post.)

    The new look of Launch Center Pro is the first thing that caught my attention. Rather than a linear list of things that I can do within the app, it has more of a button-based design. This allows for deeper layers of activity, such as when you press the preset App button it then dives down into whatever app you’ve placed inside (as seen below).

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      One of the really great presets is the Toggle button at the top of the main screen. I find that digging into the Settings on my iPhone to make my brightness dim a chore, but with this preset I can do it with the touch of a button. And when I want to resume my brightness level, I simply touch the button again. A simple and thoughtful addition to the app that further shows a thoughtful approach to making the app.

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      Predetermined actions such as Bookmarks and Flashlight are very handy, especially for those of us that don’t keep Safari or the Flashlight app in a commonly-accessed area. Some of the bookmarks have predetermined logos attached (sadly, Lifehack isn’t one of them), which I think is a neat touch and shows the care that the App Cubby team has put into Launch Center Pro.

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        There has been an increase in the apps that can be used with Launch Center Pro versus what Launch Center had readily available, and I’ve already reached out to several developers to see if they are willing (and able) to use URL schemes to make this happen. App Cubby has provided such developers a resource to help them out, and while I realize that using the developer’s own Timer app as a default app is a smart move, I’d love to see task and time management such as 30/30 and Asana step up to the plate and allow users like myself to use Launch Center Pro to access them quickly and easily. That said, there are plenty of these types of apps to choose from so far, and as with Launch Center, more will likely join the fold as time goes on.

        It’s not a matter of if you should grab this time-saving app; it’s a matter of what you’re going to move off of your Dock so you can replace it with this productivity savior.

        Launch Center Pro is $2.99 in the iTunes App Store, and it is worth every penny. After all, time is money – and the time you’ll save now (and in the future) using this app means the app will pay for itself in short order. If you’re trying to be more productive on your iPhone, then do yourself a favour and pick up Launch Center Pro…today.

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        Mike Vardy

        A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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        Last Updated on May 14, 2019

        8 Replacements for Google Notebook

        8 Replacements for Google Notebook

        Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

        1. Zoho Notebook
          If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
        2. Evernote
          The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
        3. Net Notes
          If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
        4. i-Lighter
          You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
        5. Clipmarks
          For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
        6. UberNote
          If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
        7. iLeonardo
          iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
        8. Zotero
          Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

        I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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        In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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