THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR:

MenuBar Stats

Advanced System Monitoring


Nudget Review: Budgeting Made Simple

Nudget1 is a budgeting app designed to streamline the daily input of expenses. Developer Sawyer Blatz created a gorgeous and extremely efficient interface to make budgeting feel light and fun. With my beloved bank Simple closing this year, I’ve been looking for new solutions for keeping track of my finances. Over the last couple weeks I’ve worked with Nudget full-time, and the experience has been rewarding.

Getting Started

As is the case with any budgeting app, you’ll need to put in a bit of work up front to get started with Nudget. When you first open the app it will prompt you to input your after-tax income and recurring expenses. Nudget uses this data to craft a simplified budget for you. Budget-wise, the app isn’t doing anything too fancy. Each budget consists of three categories: recurring expenses, spending money, and savings. These categories are shown as large cards in Nudget’s ‘Budget’ tab, and you can tap each one to edit it.

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Spotify Announces It Will Offer a New CD-Quality, Lossless Streaming Music Tier Later This Year

At its Stream On event today, Spotify announced that it is adding a new CD-quality lossless tier to its music streaming service later this year. Spotify says the high-resolution streaming is one of its users’ most-requested features and that it is working with speaker manufacturers to ensure there are Spotify Connect devices at launch that take advantage of the new tier.

There are no details on pricing or other aspects of the new service yet, which will be called Spotify HiFi. In a not-so-subtle jab at Apple Music, which has worked closely with Billie Eilish and heavily promoted her music, Spotify coupled today’s announcement with a short video of Eilish and her brother Finneas discussing the importance of high fidelity audio.

It will be interesting to see how Apple Music responds. As competing music streaming services have grown more alike than different, high-resolution audio is being used by several services to try to differentiate themselves from competitors and support higher prices.

Apple has had a ‘Mastered for iTunes’ program since 2013 to ensure that the highest-quality source material is available. However, the music the company streams to Apple Music subscribers is compressed. With the introduction of the HomePod and AirPods Max, high-resolution audio already seemed like a natural next step to expand Apple’s services business. I wouldn’t be surprised if Spotify’s announcement today pushes Apple to announce high-fidelity streaming this year too.

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Genius Scan 6.0: A Sophisticated iPhone and iPad Scanning App for All Kinds of Users

My scanning needs are modest. I occasionally need to scan a receipt or document for personal or work reasons, but the frequency with which I do that has steadily declined over the years. I have a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner, which is excellent, but if it broke, I wouldn’t replace it. That’s because iPhone and iPad scanning apps have improved just as steadily as my scanning needs have declined.

These days, the ScanSnap sits in a drawer, demoted from taking up valuable desktop space that I need for the tools I use every day. I still set it up from time to time when I’m working at my desk, but more and more often, I’ve found it to be more trouble than it’s worth to set up.

Instead, I’ve been experimenting with a variety of iPhone and iPad scanning apps, including Genius Scan 6, which was released today. The app has a long list of features, but at its core, what I like most about Genius Scan is its fast, flexible scanning workflow and business model that fits with a wide range of user needs from someone like me who doesn’t scan documents very often to people for whom scanning is essential to their daily tasks.

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MenuBar Stats: Advanced System Monitoring [Sponsor]

MenuBar Stats is a suite of 9 menu bar modules for monitoring your Mac that has been developed over the course of 8 years of listening carefully to its users. The app tracks your Mac’s:

  • Battery
  • Bluetooth devices
  • CPU
  • GPU
  • Storage
  • Memory
  • Network connection
  • And, with a helper app, your Mac’s temperature and fan speed

The app, which is highly customizable, provides essential details, with even more extensive information just a click away. Modules can be combined into a single window, displayed as individual windows, and anchored to always be visible. The stats monitored are available as a collection of more than 10 widgets too, and the app has been extensively tested on and tuned for Apple’s latest M1-based Macs.

MenuBar Stats goes beyond monitoring and reporting with the ability to set up notifications to alert you of the details that matter most to you. Whether that’s when your battery reaches a certain level or when there’s a process that is monopolizing your CPU, MenBar Stats can alert you, so you’ll know the moment your Mac needs your attention.

Acting on those notifications couldn’t be simpler. MenuBar Stats can take you to a long list of Mac system utilities from your menu bar or using global keyboard shortcuts that you define. There’s also backup and restore functionality, so you can recreate your carefully-crafted setup anywhere.

It’s easy to see why MenuBar Stats has an average rating of 4.5 stars worldwide. Download MenuBar Stats today to see for yourself why so many people rely on it to monitor their Macs.

Our thanks to MenuBar Stats for sponsoring MacStories this week.


MacStories Unwind: A Crazy Word Game from Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal, Logitech’s New HomeKit Doorbell, A For All Mankind Podcast and New Emoji are Coming

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Sponsored by: UpNote – The Best App for Notes Writing and Organizing

This week on MacStories Unwind:

MacStories

Club MacStories

  • MacStories Weekly
    • Spotify Stations
    • A collection of diagramming and mind map apps
    • A detailed look at John’s task management setup in GoodTask

AppStories

Unwind


Apple Updates Its Platform Security User Guide

Yesterday, Apple updated its Platform Security User Guide to cover new hardware and software features on its platforms. The guide is broken down into hardware security, system security, encryption and data protection, app security, services security, network security, development kit security, and secure device management sections that cover every aspect of Apple’s platforms.

Many of the latest updates to the guide hinge on aspects of Apple silicon as the introduction to the user guide explains:

Apple continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in security and privacy. This year Apple devices with Apple SoC’s across the product lineup from Apple Watch to iPhone and iPad, and now Mac, utilize custom silicon to power not only efficient computation, but also security. Apple silicon forms the foundation for secure boot, Touch ID and Face ID, and Data Protection, as well as system integrity features never before featured on the Mac including Kernel Integrity Protection, Pointer Authentication Codes, and Fast Permission Restrictions. These integrity features help prevent common attack techniques that target memory, manipulate instructions, and use javascript on the web. They combine to help make sure that even if attacker code somehow executes, the damage it can do is dramatically reduced.

There are new materials spread throughout the guide that add security details about items like the company’s new M1 chips, the boot process of the M1 Macs, the new iOS car key feature, Safari’s password monitoring feature that lets you know when a password you use has been compromised, among many others. To review a full list of what has been added to and changed in the Platform Security User Guide, the guide includes a comprehensive revision history. If you’ve ever wondered about how the security of an Apple platform feature is implemented, the Platform Security User Guide is an excellent place to start your research.

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Logitech Circle View Doorbell Offers Superior Camera Hardware with the Benefits of HomeKit Secure Video

For nearly a year, I had a Logitech Circle View camera perched above the front door of my house, which allowed me to keep an eye out for visitors and deliveries. The wide-angle lens was able to capture my front stoop as well as my yard, providing an excellent perspective on what was happening outside.

That setup worked extremely well. In fact, my two Circle View cameras are so reliable that I had begun thinking about replacing a second outdoor camera from Canary that I was using in the back yard. That’s why when Logitech got in touch to see if I wanted to try its new Circle View Doorbell, I jumped at the chance. I figured that if it worked out, I could migrate the Circle View to the back yard. I was also intrigued by some unique features of Logitech’s doorbell and eager to see how well they worked in practice. I haven’t been disappointed.

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