Introduced in January, iToner 3 by Ambrosia Software is an all-in-one application for creating and managing ringtones and text tones on the Mac. Available for only $2.99 on the Mac App Store, iToner includes a library of hand picked ringtones in addition to an advanced editor for creating ringtones from your own music. A few stand out features include a Ringtone Library for collecting created ringtones, ClearTone™ for optimizing ringtones for the iPhone’s speakers, and a variety of fade types and extra controls that can be used in the waveform editor.
Keyboard Maestro 6.0 Adds Syncing, Browser Actions, Device Triggers, And More
TextExpander Touch 2.0 Brings Fill-In Snippets, Formatted Text To iOS
#MacStoriesDeals – Monday
Google Launches “Hangouts” Messaging Service for iOS, Android, and Web
Pixelmator 2.2 Blueberry
Redesigned from the ground up, Twitterrific launched last December with a fresh design that pleasantly surprised long time fans of the app. Breaking ground on the original iPhone, Twitterrific has relatively stayed the same for years, subtracting unnecessary features and focusing on delivering a robust core experience. Today, people expect more from their Twitter clients, such as the ability to mute hashtags and receive push notifications for follows and replies. The Iconfactory addressed the former through their last update with muffling, a simple way to shush users, hashtags, and domains on the timeline. Yesterday, The Iconfactory began addressing the latter by introducing push notifications in Twitterrific 5.2.
Orchestra, the company originally behind Mailbox, set out to redesign the traditional mobile email app by transforming the inbox into a to-do list. Recently acquired by Dropbox to the tune of $100 million, Mailbox has been making waves in the media on the promise of helping people act-on their email more quickly and efficiently. Anticipation for the free email app began late 2012 and came to boil over as the app launched in February, thanks to an incredible amount of press attention and clever marketing through Twitter.
Questionably, Mailbox launched with a reservation system to cope with demand. Available on a first come, first served basis, Mailbox was initially only available to those who signed up for the service early-on. So far, over a million people have signed up to use the app, and the company has filled over 500,000 reservations according to a recent TechCrunch interview with Mailbox founder Gentry Underwood.
Mailbox has had its fair share of both praise and criticism. Understandably there’s a healthy amount of skepticism over whether Mailbox actually helps you deal with the bulk of email people receive in their inboxes.
I gave Mailbox my phone number before much of the recent press, leaving me with a reservation somewhere in the early 20,000s. My reservation was filled relatively quickly. As I downloaded the app, I decided I’d pass on early impressions to get a good feel for whether Mailbox could be my daily driver on the iPhone.
As Mailbox is structured around the principles of Inbox Zero, the actions that can be performed are built on top of making quick decisions about what’s necessary to keep. With mobile in mind, Mailbox is designed to help people quickly archive, delete, snooze, or put email in a “do someday” list. People are always checking their phones throughout the day, so why not give people an easier way to weed out the things that don’t matter?
Justnotes 1.3 Syncs Twice as Fast
It’s been a little while since we’ve talked about Justnotes, but the developer has been progressively adding features and polishing the app in order to capture what makes Simplenote such a pleasure to use. Boiled down to just the essentials, Justnotes replicates Simplenote’s web experience in favor of a polished desktop app, providing more flexibility such as importing notes in OS X Mountain Lion or exporting simple text files.
Justnotes 1.3 is updated with Simplenote’s new syncing API, which is estimated to be over twice as fast as before. Shawn Blanc notes an additional useful feature that lets you hide the modification date thanks to a simple command that can be run in the Terminal.
When The Iconfactory launched Twitterrific 5, they launched an app that reflected a specific vision of what a Twitter client should be. Twitterrific certainly hasn’t lost its charm since it launched back in December. Setting itself apart with a modern interface and clever gestures, Twitterrific started anew with a clean slate and plenty of room to add features thanks to feedback from their fans. Throughout the last few months, The Iconfactory has been progressively iterating Twitterrific, leading up to the first major update which launched yesterday evening.
The most notable feature in Twitterrific 5.1 is muffling. It’s muting made simple.
Out of habit I tend to reach for my media keys when playing music and videos. While Rdio has certainly spoiled me with its compatibility I’ve yet to learn that the rest of the world, the web mainly, doesn’t work with the three most useful keys on my keyboard. While trying to pause YouTube videos with the play / pause key can lead to some egregious overdubs, it’s always a little frustrating when it doesn’t just work.
Enter Tube Controller, a free app from the Mac App Store for anyone running Snow Leopard and beyond. Interfacing with Chrome and Safari, Tube Controller sits in the menubar and enables your Mac’s media keys to fast forward, rewind, and pause videos on YouTube. It’s simple and convenient. You can’t hide the menubar icon, but you can tuck it away with Bartender if you’d like.
Tube Controller does a few clever things. Rewinding and fast forwarding YouTube videos is interesting because it always feels like it works perfectly. That is to say in just the right increments. It isn’t an exact amount, but Tube Controller seems rewind and fast forward in roughly 3.5-percent increments based on some quick math and plentiful watching of various length videos. Some more complicated algorithm looks at the duration of the video and slightly adjusts where needed.
The app is also aware of iTunes and what it’s doing. If it’s in the background, Tube Controller will keep eyes on YouTube, letting you play and pause the video even when you’re browsing other tabs or jumping into different apps. Once iTunes comes into the foreground or you close whatever tab your YouTube video is playing in, Tube Controller directs the media keys to control iTunes instead. Apps that implement their own media key solutions like Rdio will override the controls.
Without the Flash Player installed, I’ve found Tube Controller doesn’t work with the YouTube 5 extension I have enabled on Safari. Others, in the app’s review section and on Twitter, have noted that Tube Controller also doesn’t work in a full screen view. I’ve personally had success with Chrome and both its full screen and presentation modes, as well as YouTube’s full screen video player in that browser.
I don’t know why you would watch two YouTube videos at once, but if you do, Tube Controller handles it pretty well. The last video you viewed takes precedence over the other. It doesn’t work on web pages with embedded YouTube videos, however.
Tube Controller offers to launch when you log on and there’s a few other settings such as keeping your Mac awake while YouTube is playing (although I don’t think my Mac has ever gone to sleep while YouTube is playing) and changing the color of the menubar icon from black to red. You can enable and disable its functionality manually if you’d like.
I’m keeping Tube Controller running in the background (it uses up a measly amount of memory) for the convenience of using my media keys with YouTube. It’s certainly recommended if your play / pause reflexes are anything like mine. Download it from the Mac App Store.
Instacast 3 is both iterative and something different. No longer divided into separate iPhone and iPad apps, Instacast 3 is universal, also eschewing the in-app purchase model introduced with Instacast 2. And at its core, iCloud sync has been gutted and replaced with Vemedio’s own syncing solution that’s faster and less error prone (an in-house solution that works with WebDAV.). On the iPad, Vemedio has completely redesigned their Twitter-for-iPad inspired interface in favor of a more parallel experience with the iPhone. Just as Apple makes small iterations to their hardware, Vemedio has made small iterations to their software.
Twitterrific 5. It’s been fun to watch Twitter’s reaction to an app that I, and other writers, wanted to surprise the world with. Alas, it was bound to leak, unsurprisingly by Apple’s Japanese App Store. The Iconfactory’s latest iteration of their famed Twitter client is shockingly different isn’t it? The same gut reactions I watched unfold on Twitter could not better describe the same gut reactions I had when I first saw just how striking the new interface is.
Sharing the first pic of Twitterrific 5 with my coworkers resulted in an immediate, “Wow.” After a few more screenshots, “That looks like a Windows 8 app. Like Track 8.” It’s an absolutely fair assessment. And it’s one I’ve seen echoed on Twitter as I watched the tweets scroll by. Thankfully, Twitterrific 5 is as much of an iOS app as it ever was. No text hangs off the screen — no “CTURES” as Federico and I will joke.
Twitterrific 5 presents itself dressed in black with Helvetica accents and familiar shades of orange and blue for mentions and messages. It’s both instantly recognizable and obviously different. In contrast to colored entries and standard rectangular iOS elements, it is typography, floating buttons, and rounded corners that are pervasive in the new Twitterrific.
I’ve certainly seen my fair share of complaints on Twitter, but QR Codes have their place. It’s unnecessary in advertising and definitely silly on T-Shirts, but I’ve found QR Codes save me heaps of time for things like importing contact information from business cards. Like it or not, these bit-by-bit squares of data are likely here to stay.
The QR Code itself necessarily isn’t the problem. It’s convenient shorthand for linking something physical to something digital. (I’d rather scan than open a web browser and type in a short URL.) The biggest point of friction, in my opinion, is the tool used to scan these codes. Likely, it’s an app on a smartphone. As I’ve said before, these scanners need to be effortless to use. Results have to be instant.
Last August, Scan earned my pick as the App Store’s best scanner. Over a year later, I’ll say it still holds that title. Starting with a remarkably easy to use iOS app, Scan is now a complete web service. Scan offers businesses a way to generate and manage codes and get analytics. QR Codes can be generated that instantly Like something on Facebook or Follow a business on Twitter (with your permission of course). And Scan makes available Scan Pages, which hosts a short bio and links to your various online profiles. For the rest of us, Scan’s app alone fulfills the simple role of getting scanning codes quickly. No longer just a simple scanner, Scan is a complete service that goes beyond the QR Code. There’s something for everyone.