May 2014 Report: Fantastical, Flash, Numbers & Paym

At this meeting Robert gave a short presentation on managing Adobe Flash in your web browser. Flash is regularly subject to security issues (which are patched by Adobe) and now few popular sites require it. Robert showed how Flash can be disabled in browsers by default and then enabled only for the sites where it’s really needed. He’s written this up as a separate post, Tips & Tricks: Managing Flash.

DavidK gave a number of short demonstrations:

Paym is a new mobile payments service from UK banks that allows you to pay someone knowing only their mobile phone number. David explained how the service works and how you set it up with your bank. Once configured, payments can be made from your bank’s iOS app.

David then showed Fantastical, an iOS app (a Mac OS version is also available but has different functionality) that gives a combined view of the built-in reminders and calendar. Fantastical also lets you create calendar entries and reminders by entering the details in a natural way, either typed or spoken. For example you could enter “Lunch with Elon in Palo Alto on Friday” or “todo buy milk at 5pm” and the app will work out the time, date, location and subject and set-up the calendar entry or reminder.

In Numbers for iOS, the mobile version of Apple’s spreadsheet application, David discovered that you can create a data entry form to make filling in a table easier. To do this you tap the + button to create a new sheet but instead select New Form. Here all the columns for one row of the table are shown as entry boxes as if on a form. This makes it easier to fill out the required information. if you choose to add a new entry via the form a new row will automatically be added to the table. David noted that this feature is not available on the Mac OS version of Numbers. Details of this feature can be found in Apple’s Numbers for iPad help, in the Enter Data Using Forms section.

We also discussed the month’s Apple news, the main topics were: