January 13, 2017
| feature of the week
When you’re using your iPad, iOS keeps track of how often you touch the screen and puts the device to sleep if it thinks you might not be looking at it anymore. This helps save power and gives the iPad its impressive battery life. This feature is called Auto-lock, and it can be configured globally in the Settings app to kick in after 2, 5, 10, or 15 minutes, or to never interfere and leave your screen on until you explicitly turn it off.
In some cases, though, auto-lock doesn’t make sense even though you may not want to disable it everywhere. When you’re watching a video, for instance, you’re not touching the screen for long periods of time—but you still want the video to keep playing and the screen to stay on. For this, Apple supplies developers with the ability to temporarily override the system setting and keep the screen on indefinitely. This override can apply to a specific action (like watching a video), or it can simply kick in whenever the app is open and revert to the system’s setting when it closes.
In forScore’s settings panel, an app-level option lets you decide how this should work. If auto-lock is enabled here, as it is by default, forScore won’t interfere at all and your standard system setting will apply. If you prefer to keep the screen lit as long as you’re using forScore, disable this option instead.
When you’re not playing music or annotating your scores, much of your time in forScore is likely spent working with menus that let you access and edit your scores, bookmarks, and setlists. These menus float above your score in the top left-hand corner of the screen, in what Apple calls Popovers. These popovers make sure you always know what you’re looking at and where it comes from, which is why they have arrows pointing to the button you tapped to open them. They also keep the rest of the control bar visible so you an do things like switch from the score menu over to the setlist menu with just one tap.
Popovers can be dismissed by tapping outside of them; this behavior works for most but some people find that they occasionally dismiss these menus accidentally. And, while most titles are short enough to fit into the default size of these menus, you may prefer to see as much information as possible and avoid unnecessary truncation. That’s why we’ve included an option called “fullscreen menus” in the “accessibility” section of forScore’s settings panel. If you enable it, these menus will take up the whole screen, preventing accidental dismissal and giving you the biggest possible view of your library and setlists.
December 30, 2016
| feature of the week
2017 is almost here, and tomorrow lots of people will be starting things out right by rededicating themselves to those habits that are important but hard to form. Like backing up your files.
If you’ve spent time scanning, organizing, and annotating your scores, then you should also know how to back them up—and you should do so regularly! We recommend backing up before any update to iOS or major update to forScore, and especially if you’ve made a lot of recent changes to your library. Our knowledge base article on the subject includes detailed instructions on how to back up your files:
Backing up your data to your computer
For those who got their hands on a shiny new iPad this holiday season, the instructions for transferring your library are similar. Of course, the best way to move everything to a new iPad is to restore it from an iTunes or iCloud backup. If that’s not possible, or if something goes wrong, it’s easy to move these files over manually. Here’s how:
Transferring your forScore library to another device
Don’t risk losing all of your hard work this year, back up regularly and turn a good practice into a smart habit. Happy new year!
December 23, 2016
| feature of the week
We love simple, clear designs, and we strive to make forScore as approachable as possible so that everyone can get started using it as quickly and naturally as possible. For some, that leaves the mistaken impression that forScore is a shallow app, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. That’s why we created this series, the Feature of the Week, and we’ve covered a lot of ground over the past twenty months.
This holiday week, we wanted to take a moment to recap all of the many features we’ve written and give our readers a chance to catch up on any they may have missed. So without further ado, here’s every feature we discussed in 2016:
And if that’s not enough reading material to keep your holiday travels lively, here’s everything from last year as well:
Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!
December 16, 2016
| feature of the week
Over the past two weeks we’ve taken a look at forScore’s Stamps tool. We began with a quick overview, then explored tinting to give you more flexibility and expressiveness. Finally, today we’ll take a look at forScore’s powerful stamp editor and the ability to create your own custom stamps.
From within the Stamps palette, tap the + button in the bottom toolbar to create a new stamp. Here, you can use the large canvas to draw small, detailed annotations and reuse them whenever you need to. Use the hue, saturation, transparency, brightness, and size sliders to adjust your drawing style, and use the undo or redo buttons when necessary. You can also use the eyedropper tool to reuse any color on the canvas (tap once to activate the tool, then tap on a colored portion of the stamp to use that color).
Once you’ve drawn your stamp and it looks correct in the small, medium, and large preview areas, tap Save to add it to your stamp collection. You can delete any stamp by selecting it in the Stamps palette and then tapping the trash can icon. You can also edit any existing stamp by selecting it and tapping the action icon (the box with the upward arrow). This opens the same stamp editor we just discussed, but with the selected stamp already on the canvas so you can refine it as needed.
Along the standard draw, erase, and clear tools in this editor, you’ll also see two additional options: import and revert. Reverting can be useful when editing an existing stamp: if you make some changes and decide that they’re not right, you can reset back to the saved version of your stamp and try again.
Which brings us to the important “Import” function. While drawing your shapes by hand works well in some cases and is a quick and easy way to design your own stamps, sometimes an image works better. If you add a PNG image to your forScore library using iTunes’ File Sharing panel, you’ll be able to select that image here and place it on the canvas. For best results, your image should be 144 pixels wide and tall, and should use a transparent background instead of a white one (so you don’t cover up your sheet music unnecessarily). Once imported, you can draw or erase to refine your stamp even further and tap Save when you’re done.
Stamps are incredibly useful, and the ability to create your own takes this feature from a nice add-on to an exhaustive and powerful tool that can service many different needs. If you haven’t used it yet, now is a great time to get started.
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