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MacStories Unwind: Pixelmator Pro and Ulysses Updates, Plus a HomeKit Camera

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This week, Federico and John celebrate World Emoji Day with big updates to Pixelmator Pro and Ulysses, a rundown of iOS 13.6 features, the Eve Cam, plus YouTube creator and movie Unwind picks.

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    • A porcupine story leads to bigger and better animal stories and Federico’s brush with the police for trespassing on an abandoned golf course. Plus, John provides an update on his macOS Big Sur review, including the apps he’s using as he finalizes his research and outlines the review.
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Unwind Picks


Ulysses 20 Review: New Dashboard Featuring Advanced Grammar and Style Check, Outline, and Much More

Ulysses 20 for iPad’s new dashboard.

Ulysses 20 for iPad’s new dashboard.

One of the promises regularly made by apps transitioning to a subscription model is that they’ll be able to deliver more regular, incremental updates rather than going untouched for extended periods of time, and they can also focus on adding functionality that existing users will appreciate rather than needing to build something entirely different to attract a new target market. Ulysses has been a subscription app for nearly three years already, and I believe it’s one of the apps doing the best job of delivering on both of those fronts.

A quick search on MacStories will show that I’ve covered Ulysses a lot, in part because it’s my primary Markdown editor, but also because there are consistently several updates per year that stand out as noteworthy and meriting a fresh review. Today’s version 20 is no exception, introducing an advanced grammar and style check ‘revision mode’ on the Mac (coming soon to iPad and iPhone) and a new dashboard view across all platforms. Both enhancements leave what was already great about Ulysses alone, while offering valuable new utility for writers sure to delight existing users and perhaps even draw a flock of new ones.

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Ulysses 19 Brings iPad Cursor Support, External Folders, Material Sheets, and More

The latest version of Ulysses, the excellent Markdown editor, is available now. Ulysses 19 offers enhancements in several different areas, from fully optimizing for the new iPadOS cursor, to supporting external folders for the first time, introducing a new ‘material’ designation for sheets, and adding keyword improvements, exportable backups, and even a new font. It’s a strong update, and one that continues to prove Ulysses the best app for my writing needs.

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Ulysses: The Ultimate Writing App for Mac, iPad and iPhone [Sponsor]

Ulysses is a powerful text editor for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone with unparalleled depth and an award-winning design that received an Apple Design Award. It’s a compelling combination that allows you to concentrate on your writing in a distraction-free environment with a full complement of cutting edge tools just a click or tap away. Ulysses works where and when you do too by offering iCloud sync between all of your devices, so your writing is always at your fingertips.

The flexibility of Ulysses’ deep toolset means you have all the functionality you need to manage writing projects of any size. The Library sidebar is brings order to your writing allowing you to organize it into groups that can be nested. The app also features powerful search and filtering options, keyword support, in-line images that can be stored locally or remotely on a server, and a whole lot more. Ulysses is updated all the time with new features to support the latest Apple technologies like dark mode, iPad multitasking, and context menus too.

Ulysses’ features go far beyond what other text editors offer. For instance, the app’s Goals feature lets you set character, word, and other types of writing goals that can be attached to a single document or entire group. Goals can be combined with deadlines too, which is a fantastic way to form good writing habits. You can learn more from Ulysses’ excellent tutorial.

When your writing is finished, Ulysses includes a wide variety of export and publishing options too. Your work can be exported as plain text, Markdown, TextBundle, rich text, DOCX, ePub, HTML, and PDF and published using WordPress, Medium, or Ghost. To learn more about Ulysses, visit ulysses.app.

Ulysses is a free download, so you can try it before deciding whether to subscribe for $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year. Students can subscribe for six months at a time for $10.99. The app offers a 14-day free trial, but MacStories readers can take advantage of a special extended three-month free trial right now. It’s a fantastic way to discover the app’s full capabilities, so be sure to check it out right away.

Our thanks to Ulysses for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Ulysses Adopts Multiwindow, iOS 13 Design Updates, and Modern Shortcuts

Earlier this year Ulysses debuted the best implementation I had seen of single-app split view on iPad, enabling working in two documents at once or editing a document while simultaneously seeing its export preview. In today’s Ulysses 18 release, that proprietary implementation has been replaced by iPadOS’ native multiwindow capabilities, bringing more power and flexibility than was previously available. Today’s update also integrates with iOS 13’s dark mode and other new design elements, makes automation easier than ever with Shortcuts parameters, and offers a gift to Dropbox users who have long had their Ulysses capabilities restricted.

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Ulysses: The Ultimate Writing App for Mac, iPad, and iPhone [Sponsor]

Ulysses is a powerful text editor for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone that packs an extraordinary depth of features beneath a simple and clean interface. The app’s Apple Design Award-winning UI allows you to concentrate on your writing distraction-free with the confidence that when you need them, Ulysses’ pro tools are just a click or tap away. Also, because Ulysses syncs using iCloud, you can get your writing done wherever you happen to be and whichever device you are using.

Under the hood, Ulysses has all the functionality needed to manage and produce all of your writing projects. The Library sidebar is perfect for organizing a large number of documents into groups that can be nested. The app also features writing goals, powerful search and filtering options, support for keywords, in-line images stored locally or remotely on a server, and much more. Ulysses is constantly being updated with new features too. Recently, the iPad version added a split view, which allows you to view and work on two documents at once. Publishing to a Ghost blog was also recently added, and you can export your final product in a wide variety of formats including, plain text, Markdown, TextBundle, rich text, DOCX, ePub, HTML, and PDF, or publish to a WordPress or Medium blog.

Ulysses is a free download on the App Store and Mac App Store, so you can try it before deciding whether to subscribe for $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year. Students can subscribe for six months at a time for $10.99. However, Ulysses has a special deal just for MacStories readers. For a limited time, use this link to learn more about Ulysses and get the first year of an annual subscription for $19.99, a 50% discount off the usual price.

Our thanks to Ulysses for sponsoring MacStories this week.



The Sweet Setup Launches Revised and Expanded ‘Learn Ulysses’ Course

In August 2017, The Sweet Setup introduced a video course designed to equip users to get the most out of Ulysses, the popular Markdown text editor. Today, that ‘Learn Ulysses’ course is being expanded and revised in a major way. Everything has been completely modernized with entirely new videos that replace the previous set, plus the addition of brand new videos, written tutorials, and setups covering a variety of in-depth topics.

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Ulysses 15 Review: Split View on the Mac, Remote Images, Improved iPad Multitasking, and More

When a productivity app feels like it’s reached maturity, it’s in a dangerous position: if active development is neglected, the app will start to stagnate amidst a changing world, but on the other hand, if change is pursued for its own sake, the app can easily become bloated and an inferior product overall.

Ulysses 15 for Mac and iOS deftly navigates those potential dangers by offering thoughtful enhancements to existing features, plus new features that truly serve to enhance the core task of writing. There are improvements to image previews, writing goals, export previews, and keywords, plus big upgrades to how the editor can be set up on both the Mac and iPad.

The core app remains largely the same, but it’s now more compelling than ever before.

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