Merging screen shots on iOS with LongScreen

December 21, 2014

Merging screen shots on iOS with LongScreen → via @_patrickwelker

The iPhone is not a Mac. On my big fat desktop computer I have multiple the lovely ImageMagick to take care of all my image merging needs. If you’re desperate to script something, there’s a way to do it on iOS, too – it’s Dr. Drang’s infamous cleanbar script.

The strange thing with being a Mac guy is… sometimes I don’t want to overcomplicate the simplicity that iOS is (and should be)… (for me). In those cases I’m always glad when “there’s an app for that”.

One of those cases where I like it simple: image editing. More precisely, merging screen shots. Welcome to LongScreen.

For $0.99 you can…

  • merge images horizontally or vertically,
  • clean-up the mess behind you and delete the original shots,
  • clean the statusbar (Hi Federico!) and…
  • use the app with x-callback-url’s.

LongScreen makes use of the beauty that iOS 8 is or better - has brought to us: once you have created your newly merged screen shot, you’re only one tap away from passing it of to Transmit or Dropshare.

I haven’t tested the results in cleanbar, but when LongScreen cleans-up the statusbar there can be issues sometimes:


… like blur issues you see ↑ and ↓. It is iOS 8’s new transparency which provides a certain challenge.1


The app is relatively young, so I’m sure those issues will get ironed out over time. I’d also like to see more options, c.f. creating a tile like…

1 2      1 3
3 4      2 4

… having an optional resize option or choosing to fill the transparent padding in-between the images with a color.

The last pet peeve is that there should be a tiny bit more documentiation on the existing URL scheme. So far I figured out that longscreen:// will launch the app. Obvioulsy there’s also an auto-merge option since the developer is hinting at a parameter for the x-callback-url:

  • Set url parameter count=0 will now find the latest image sequence and merge them automatically.

UPDATE: Here is the LongScreen x-callback-url API documentation along with merge and copy/save actions for Launch Center Pro.

It would be nice to a have a small website along with the documentation. For now, you can get it touch with Shing Cheong Cheung via Twitter or

In the end I’m glad that I have another useful addition to my screen shot tool-belt on iOS. I even find LongScreen this useful that I ignored my personal rule of not purchasing something from a developer who doesn’t have a website.


PS: Another minor wish of mine is that the rather odd time of “9:41” get’s exchanged with something visually more appealing like 8:00 or 12:00. UPDATE: On the other end, I get it after reading this (Thanks @michaelj).

  1. 2Do adds a small blue line at the top of the screen. Obviously this screams for trouble when trying to clean the statusbar automagically.

Link List Special – November 28, 2014

November 28, 2014

Link List Special – November 28, 2014 → by → via @_patrickwelker

Notes are the alpha and the omega of my digital existence. Everythings starts with a few lines of text. Here are a my findings of the last couple of weeks which stood out:

Thimbleweed Park by LucasArts — A New Classic Point & Click Adventure!


LINK – Thimbleweed Park by LucasArts — A New Classic Point & Click Adventure! → via @_patrickwelker

Man, I love classic point and click adventures like no other gaming genre. It was the Monkey Island saga, Maniac Mansion and Sam’n’Max I grew up with.

Back then I teamed up with my best friend Alex and we bought the games together. We spend days if not weeks solving the trickier puzzles together. That was before the times of Whilst sometimes it felt a tinzy bit frustrating, this was an essential part of the game. The ultimate reward was longtime fun. Simply put: you had to suffer from time to time to enjoy a LucasArts adventure to its full extend.

Okay… strictly speaking this Kickstarter campaign isn’t by LucasArts, but Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick who are the masterminds behind Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island. But what gives? This is as good as it gets and I haven’t been this excited about a game since over decades.

As I wait for the final floppy disk to get shipped by Ron and Gary. I hold on to me beloved little LucasArts packaging collection (… Alex owns the other half… damn… I should go and check eBay).


If you don’t have your boxes anymore, here are some links to pass the time:

Markdown Task Manager Cheddar Goes Free

November 19, 2014

Markdown Task Manager Cheddar Goes Free - Cheddar, the task list manager with Markdown support is now free and under new ownership. → via @_patrickwelker

As a Markdown users and 99% plain-text guy I always wished there was a Markdown-driven task manager. Back in 2012 Sam Soffes (… who has worked on a ton of other cool apps) heard my cry of help and released Cheddar.

Cheddar is a super simple task list manager which supports Markdown. It also comes with a super fast sync - which was at this time the fastest I’ve ever seen - and a basic URL scheme.

I was a beta tester of his app, but what ultimately kept me from using Cheddar was that I couldn’ afford to pay the $20/year subscription since I already had my Simplenote subscription going and was still happy with OmniFocus at that point in time.

Things changed, Cheddar is now free and under new ownership. Still, it isn’t for me, but maybe it is for you: if you’re looking for a alternative with tags and Markdown support, I suggest you give it a try.


A Little History

On June 28th, 2012, Cheddar started out with a web app and iOS app. A couple of months after the launch Sam also released a Mac app.

2014-11-19-cheddar-old The old version of Cheddar. Still a beauty.

Regarding the pricing. Cheddar was a free download, but if you wan’t to use it without limitations (aka write more lists), you’d have to subscribe and fork over said $20 for one year of Cheddar.

Updates to the app weren’t as frequent as one wishes as a feature-hungry users. On January 6th, 2013, roughly after about one and a half years in the App Store, Sam made the decision to sell Cheddar:

I simply don’t have the time to give Cheddar the love it deserves. Lots of you have asked for tons of great features that I personally wish Cheddar had as well. I think it’s better for everyone if it moves on to a new home where some can give it the love it deserves. This makes me a little sad to see all of my hard work go to someone else. I’m excited really to see where they take it though! Sam Soffes on the Cheddar Blog

Fast forward. End of October 2014 the guys from Wide Open Technologies bought Cheddar and answered the question “who moved my cheese?”. After two weeks and some tweaks they released Cheddar Plus as a completely free successor of the original Cheddar (= no subscription needed anymore to go nuts with lists).

PS: if you’re interested in the source code, the old version is still open source and hosted on GitHub:

The Features

Cheddar has a solid API for all the hackers out there.

The iOS version of Cheddar has an in-app browser in which you can open a Markdown link. Inside the browser you can pass the URL to Safari, copy or email it to someone.

There’s also an URL scheme, but I couldn’t find any documentation on it — maybe it’s because the transition to a new team of developers takes some time to take care of all the little details. Let’s just hope it isn’t gone.

Talking iOS, the iPhone version isn’t yet optimized for the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus.


On the Mac there are a handful of keyboard shortcuts, but most of the ones listed on the website didn’t work for me. Basic support is there, but if Cheddar wants to appeal to more Mac users, the team behind it needs to kick it up a notch so that it is possible to swiftly navigate trough the minimalistic interface without using the mouse.

That’s about it for the device specific features. Here coem the global ones.

Cheddars tags work as filters inside of lists. So, if you’re a dude who is on the hunt for his #carpet and click on the #carpet tag you’ll see all the tasks which have it assigned inside the current list.

When it comes to tasks, adding them is easy; the “What do you have to do?” input field is always at the top of your screen.

On the other hand, deleting a task or list isn’t possible. The only option is to archive them. I guess this will be one of the top priorities Wide Open Technologies will fix. After all, if you accidentally enter a task, the only way to complete get rid of it is to rename it and convert it into an actual task.

Speaking of the archive, you can archive your tasks everywhere, but only the web app allows you to access the archive (where you can look at your old projects or unarchive tasks).

The most interesting new features are the offline mode and the option to share a list to somebody. Your invitee has to join Cheddar to use this collaboration feature. Currently there isn’t much detail about this new feature available. If you’re inclinded to find out more, the best thing is to subscribe to the official blog to get updates.

My résumé: Cheddar shines at simplicity. If you don’t need subtasks, notes and are happy with using your favorite Syntax for writing in a task/list manager which syncs instantly, then this app is made for you.

With a larger team behind the app I hope we hear more about Cheddar in the near future.