Mar
5
2014

Your favorite customizable terminal app for the Mac is now available for iPhones and iPads, letting you wirelessly connect to any computer offering SSH access. The app gives you lots of control over its vintage look and feel, letting you change color, lighting, “shape,” and your choice of retro bitmap fonts. For iPad owners, the app supports Bluetooth keyboards, and works in both portrait and landscape orientation. Cathode supports multiple sessions and can automatically connect to nearby computers using Bonjour. For the geeks out there, Cathode costs a cool $5.99 from the App Store.

 

Jan
17
2014

GoodReader is the missing file manager for the iPhone[1]. It virtually eliminates the compromises you have to make on a mobile device by allowing you to download files from the web; view and arrange documents, photos, music, and video into folders; and connect to local servers over Wi-Fi or your Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, WebDAV, or FTP server on the web. Conveniently, you can connect to GoodReader over your local network to grab files by plugging in an IP address on your Mac or Windows box.

GoodReader’s most immediate change is their update interface, which puts all of the most used tools in a tab bar at the bottom of the display. The two tabs you’ll likely use the most are WiFi and Connect, which starts a WiFi transfer or lets you grab files from the web. Otherwise, a tools button in the top right of the file browser brings up the usual action sheet for selecting files, creating new text documents, creating folders, renaming files, opening files in other apps, etc. In short, everything’s a lot easier to find[2].

Tossing an album onto your iPhone? GoodReader finally lets you listen to audio in the background while you read or do other things on your iPhone.

Images copied in the clipboard can be pasted as a file in GoodReader[3]. Look in the second page of tools for the paste command when an image is copied to the clipboard. The opposite is true as well: you can copy images to the clipboard to paste into other apps like Mail. Images can now also be imported / exported directly into and out of GoodReader, so multiple photos can be saved to your camera roll at once for example. This can be incredibly useful for shuffling files from your iPhone between multiple online services, like Dropbox and a hosted web server.

Various improvements to PDFs have been added across the board, such as faster rendering for certain files and the ability to flatten (embed) annotations as they’re emailed prior to sending. And while GoodReader itself doesn’t require iOS 7, GoodReader will open iWork 2013 files for those that are running Apple’s the latest iOS.

The iPad and iPhone versions can be purchased separately on the App Store, each version costing $4.99. Links below:


  1. What I mainly use GoodReader for: if I purchase an eBook on the go, I can paste the download link into GoodReader, which will usually suck down a ZIP file since all the DRM free formats are there. I can unzip the archive, send the EPUB to iBooks, and send my other files to my computer or to a service. You don’t have to manage much on OS X if you use something like Hazel so MOBI files are automatically dropped into your Kindle the next time you plug it into your Mac. As a nice bonus: iTunes doesn’t mediate anything. And you can apply this system to a lot of things, such as music downloads if you make purchases on anything outside of iTunes or Amazon (i.e. Bandcamp) or even documents a friend might share with you from Dropbox or SendSpace.  ↩
  2. Remember when you had to visit that red web downloads folder to get files from the web?  ↩
  3. Part of the problem is that images are often linked to other web pages, and the Copy action in Safari copies the URL the image links to, not the actual image itself. Unless you can get to the root of the image on your iPhone or iPad, getting to images on mobile is not as easy as right clicking and selecting “view image” on a desktop browser.  ↩
Oct
7
2013

#MacStoriesDeals – Monday

Posted by at

If you’re still new to iOS 7 and want to check out or tips, previews, and news, check here. Here are some great #MacStoriesDeals today! You can find us as @MacStoriesDeals on Twitter.

(more…)

Sep
13
2013

#MacStoriesDeals – Friday

Posted by at

On the heals of iOS 7 and new iPhones, here are some great #MacStoriesDeals! You can find us as @MacStoriesDeals on Twitter.

(more…)

Sep
10
2013

During today’s media event at the Apple Campus in Cupertino, California, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, took the stage to announce the iPhone 5c. The iPhone 5c is Apple’s first plastic-bodied phone with a 4-inch screen, is shaped like the iPod touch, and is also Apple’s first iPhone that’s available in an array of bright colors. The 16 GB iPhone 5c starts at $99 on contract.

(more…)

Perhaps uniquely to me, radio is a social gathering, since the radio and not the television is the thing my family and I always convene around instead of the television. We’ll listen to terrible singles and complain through them, and we’ll joke about how every artist feels like they have to fill in dead air by shouting a repetitive string of “yeahs” or “oohs” or other provocative exclamations. Then the next night there’ll be a string of great songs, and maybe it’ll get a little quieter at the table as we listen in.

As a consequence I’m used to radio becoming the thing I have on in the background. You get to know all the songs, the loops they run on, the voices of the DJs and reporters, and it just becomes this sort of comforting noise machine. Why go to Starbucks and soak in the ambient noise[1] when you can turn on the radio?

Sometime in college, I happened across Radium, and I had this instantaneous attraction to it. Imagine my excitement when I discovered I could actually bring that comforting noise machine to my desktop! At the time it didn’t play what was locally airing over FM, but it did bring Internet radio to the desktop through a simple search bar and drop down menu. What made it stick for me was that instead of browsing by station, Radium let you browse by what you were into. It surfaced relevant stations that fit any number of queries from “90’s acoustic” or “covers.” And you’d actually find stations that fit those descriptions.

By the time I got an iPhone, I figured Radium would have made it onto iOS with a big shiny yellow icon, matching the style that pervaded it on the desktop. Not yet.

That was a couple years ago. Today, Radium has arrived on iOS, not with the classic radio I imagined it would be identified by, but by a chocolate drop that’s become Radium’s unusual characteristic since the launch of their updated Mac app earlier this year.

One might wonder how a menu bar app dependent on search would translate to the iPhone, yet CatPig Studios have pulled it off, drawing your attention to all the right places and making what should feel like a sparse list of radio stations feel like a traditional music player, alive and full of personality. It becomes immediately obvious that you should play something, with instructions limited to a lack of artwork and example queries that flash in the search bar. As you begin to search, cover art falls away, and the app searches and updates stations in realtime as you enter your query.

What you can listen to is virtually unlimited as far as Internet radio goes. Radium claims to support over 8,000 stations, which includes NPR and BBC radio. It supports ClearChannel stations, meaning that I can conveniently listen to a local radio stream without having to go through a Flash player on the web or download the iHeartRadio[2] app. If you’re a Sirius XM listener, you can plug in your account info and stream satellite radio straight to your iPhone over an Internet connection. The app also supports other providers such as CalmRadio for classical music and Digitally Imported for electronic music. It’s absolutely convenient and a hallmark of what made Radium such a great app on the Mac.

All of the great features that are found in the Mac app can also be found in the iOS app. Tapping on album artwork, provided there’s song data, lets you add the song to a wish list or view it on iTunes to purchase. There’s also a sharing button for copying track data or the station link so others can listen-in. And if you have a Last.fm account, you can plug in your account so you can scrobble and love tracks as you play them. The equalizer is also present, automatically choosing a preset based on what’s currently playing, which you can turn on or off by pressing the inconspicuous power button. Each station is accompanied by a glyph describing what kind of music it plays, and you can change that by tapping on the icon in your list.

Swiping on stations lets you love it so you can quickly find it later. If iCloud sync is turned on, those stations are also shared with Radium on the Mac so you can quickly tune-in from your desktop later.

The big difference between the iOS and Mac apps is that the iOS app is even more delicious.

There’s something gratifying about tugging at the artwork, pulling it down towards the bottom of the display and watching it snap back into place. On cue, the pause button quietly reappears with artist and track info, unwilling to wait for the animation to complete its preprogrammed bounces. Then you’ll flick the other direction and watch the artwork similarly bounce into place above the station listing, the pause button becoming the deciding anchor for the height of the now playing information at the top of the display. It’s possibly rubber band scrolling at its finest and it’s a detail only an app on the iPhone could pull off.

With iOS 7 on the horizon, one might wonder whether Radium is relevant given iTunes Radio, and the possible but unconfirmed inclusion of traditional Internet radio stations currently found in iTunes’ directory. My gut feeling says that Radium and iTunes aren’t competing on the same turf, with Radium’s obvious advantage being the Sirius XM and the ability to play back radio stations traditionally locked to particular content providers or apps. CatPig Studios are in the business of letting you tune-in to the rest of the world, while iTunes and others are in the business of generating personalized playlists labeled as radio.

Radium has been one of the apps I’ve always thought would be a good fit for the iPhone, and it’s finally here. It’s the same Radium you know and love, adapted to iOS and imbued with charming details that make themselves evident as you scroll, flick, and swipe across the interface. It’s Internet radio in your pocket, and it’s impressively inexpensive, regularly costing only $3.99 on the App Store. Until September 3rd, however, you can pick up the app for only $1.99 as part of an introductory promotion.


  1. I don’t have to share a table and I’ve got my own outlet! Two even!  ↩
  2. There’s nothing wrong with the iHeartRadio app, but I just don’t want to be asked to sign in with a Facebook account every time I want to listen to live radio.  ↩
Jul
8
2013

#MacStoriesDeals – Monday

Posted by at

On the heals of the App Store’s 5th birthday celebration, here are some great #MacStoriesDeals! You can find us as @MacStoriesDeals on Twitter.

(more…)

Jul
3
2013

Here are some great #MacStoriesDeals for 4th of July! We will be updating this post throughout the week so check back. You can find us as @MacStoriesDeals on Twitter.

(more…)

Jul
2
2013

#MacStoriesDeals – Tuesday

Posted by at

Here are some great #MacStoriesDeals so far this week! You can find us as @MacStoriesDeals on Twitter.

(more…)