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Search results for "Wordpress"

WordPress Updates Its iOS App with Video, Autosave, WordPress 3.0 Compatibility

Well finally, I would say: after a whole summer spent looking for a decent blogging app for iPad (and to an extent, for the iPhone as well) looks like we might just have a decent WordPress app here.

The latest 2.6 version that just became available in iTunes introduces support for video, a new autosave feature to go back to a previous version of a post, a brand new media library interface. The local drafts system has been completely overhauled (quite frankly, it sucked), tons of bug fixes and enhancements are in the update, together with full WordPress 3.0 compatibility (about time).

We’ll see how this will hold up to regular daily usage. In the meantime, you can go download the free universal app here, and take a look at the full changelog and screenshots after the break. Read more




MacStories Starter Pack: Introducing Obsidian Shortcut Launcher, A Free Plugin to Trigger Shortcuts from Obsidian

Obsidian Shortcut Launcher is a free plugin that works on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

Obsidian Shortcut Launcher is a free plugin that works on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

Editor’s Note: Obsidian Shortcut Launcher is part of the MacStories Starter Pack, a collection of ready-to-use shortcuts, apps, workflows, and more that we’ve created to help you get the most out of your Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, over the past year, Obsidian has become as essential to my workflow as Shortcuts. As I have been thoroughly documenting in the My Obsidian Setup series for Club MacStories members, Obsidian – which is the MacStories Selects 2021 App of the Year – is more than a text editor: it’s something more similar to an OS for writers that encompasses note-taking, Markdown writing, journaling, research, and more. At this point, just like I can’t imagine using Apple devices without Shortcuts, I can’t imagine taking notes or writing articles without Obsidian.

Which means that it shouldn’t surprise anyone either that I wanted to combine my two favorite apps and figure out a way to integrate Obsidian with Shortcuts.

Today, I’m thrilled to introduce Obsidian Shortcut Launcher, a free Obsidian plugin – available in the Community Plugins section of the app – that lets you trigger shortcuts as commands from Obsidian. With Obsidian Shortcut Launcher (or ‘OSL’), you’ll be able to trigger any shortcut you want from Obsidian, passing along values such as the text of the document you’re working on, its name, text selection, and more. Obsidian Shortcut Launcher is free to use and works on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

Obsidian Shortcut Launcher is the result of weeks of planning and work from me and Finn Voorhees, and it has created an entirely new dimension in how I use Obsidian and Shortcuts on a daily basis. Because OSL is available in Obsidian’s Community Plugins list, you can find its source code here. Read on below to find out how OSL works behind the scenes, how I’ve been using it for my setup, and how you can start using it yourself with Obsidian and your favorite shortcuts.

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Create, Edit, and Collaborate on Documents on Your Desktop and Mobile Devices with Your Free Office Suite by ONLYOFFICE [Sponsor]

ONLYOFFICE is the premier productivity suite for desktop and mobile that’s also open-source and free. The suite is a powerful choice for anyone who works across multiple devices, including Apple hardware and Windows and Linux devices. That means whatever device or system you’re using, you’ve got ONLYOFFICE close at hand to help you get things done. ONLYOFFICE is fully-compatible with M1 Macs too, where it’s blazingly fast.

ONLYOFFICE offers a complete set of word-processing, spreadsheet, and presentation tools that support all the file formats you’ll need, including DOCX, ODT, XLSX, ODS, CSV, PPTX, ODP, and more. What’s more, with its tabbed interface, ONLYOFFICE lets you work efficiently with multiple file types at one time. The suite also features a deep set of sophisticated tools for editing and formatting your documents, so your work always looks fantastic.

ONLYOFFICE is security and privacy-minded too. The suite includes password protection, digital signature support, watermarking, and more. They’re features that provide the peace of mind that your data is yours and only shared by you when and how you choose.

Collaboration and extensibility are core to ONLYOFFICE. The suite features a rich ecosystem of third-party plugins that support other services like Google Translate, YouTube, DocuSign, cloud storage providers, WordPress, and many more. With ONLYOFFICE Workspace, Nexcloud, ownCloud, or Seafile, you can collaborate with your colleagues on documents too, editing, commenting, and reviewing together in real-time.

If you haven’t checked out ONLYOFFICE yet, now is the time to do so. Visit ONLYOFFICE’s website today to learn more about how you can integrate this powerful and free suite of open-source applications into your workflow.

Our thanks to ONLYOFFICE for sponsoring MacStories this week.


macOS Monterey: The MacStories Review

OSes are never truly finished. macOS has been continuously evolving for decades, and it would be foolhardy to declare it ‘finished’ in any sense of the word. It’s not.

However, when you step back and look at macOS over time, trends and storylines emerge from the feature list minutiae of each release. For the past few years, no narrative thread has been more important to the Mac and its operating system than their realignment within Apple’s product lineup. It’s a fundamental transformation of both hardware and software that has taken shape over years, beginning publicly with Craig Federighi’s WWDC Sneak Peek in 2018.

The story begins with a Sneak Peek at the end of a WWDC keynote in 2018.

The story begins with a Sneak Peek at the end of a WWDC keynote in 2018.

A parallel story has been playing out with the iPad’s hardware and OS. The iPad’s trajectory has been different than the Mac’s, but today, we find ourselves with two distinct but more closely aligned platforms than ever before. To get there, the iPad has grown into a powerful, modular computer, while the latest Macs now run on the same processor architecture as the iPad Pro and no longer work differently in places just because that’s the way it’s always been.

The journey hasn’t always been easy, especially in the wake of questions about Apple’s commitment to the Mac. The company took those concerns head-on in an unusual meeting with a handful of tech writers in 2017. Still, it was only natural for users to question whether the direction macOS was heading was the correct one.

It didn’t help that those first Catalyst apps that were part of the 2018 Sneak Peek – Home, News, Stocks, and Voice Memos – were rough around the edges and a departure from long-held beliefs about what constitutes a great Mac app. The Mac’s apps had historically been held out as a shining example of the kind of user experiences and designs to which developers who cared about their apps could aspire. Unfortunately, many early Mac Catalyst apps weren’t very inspiring.

The realignment has been rocky for iPad users, too, especially for iPad Pro uses. The Pro’s hardware has been infrequently updated, and the performance of the Apple silicon processors they’ve run on has outpaced what the apps on the platform can do.

Users’ fears have also been fueled by Apple’s institutional secrecy and the multi-year scope of the company’s undertaking. Early communications about Mac Catalyst and SwiftUI left developers and observers confused about the role of each. The situation is more clear today, but at the same time, the question of how to approach building a Mac app is best answered with ‘it depends.’ That isn’t a very satisfying answer. Nor does it help that despite the added clarity, technologies like SwiftUI still have a long way to go to reach their full potential.

Catalina was full of promise, but the road ahead was unclear.

Catalina was full of promise, but the road ahead was unclear.

Yet despite the bumps along the road, macOS has made great strides since that 2018 Sneak Peek. With Catalina, we saw the first steps down a path that pointed the Mac in a new direction. Although sometimes messy, the promise of Catalina was exciting because, as I concluded in that review:

There’s no greater threat to the Mac than resistance to change that exists not because the change is worse, but because it’s different.

Catalina was a counter-strike against the sort of inertia that would have doomed macOS eventually, even though at the time, it was more a promise than a destination.

Big Sur's design changes brought the direction of macOS into sharper focus.

Big Sur’s design changes brought the direction of macOS into sharper focus.

Big Sur picked up where Catalina left off, adjusting course and clarifying where macOS was heading. The update continued the harmonization of user experiences across Apple’s entire lineup, creating a more natural continuum among the company’s products through new design language and updated system apps without abandoning what makes the Mac unique. I don’t mean to suggest that Catalina or Big Sur were unmitigated successes. They weren’t, and some of the missteps of those releases have yet to be addressed, but there was no mistaking where macOS was headed after the release of Big Sur.

Monterey harmonizes system app updates across all of Apple's platforms.

Monterey harmonizes system app updates across all of Apple’s platforms.

Monterey’s focus is all about system apps, a topic near and dear to me. With the technical building blocks in place and a refined design out of the way, Monterey is one of the most tangible, user-facing payoffs of the past three years of transition. More than ever before, Apple is advancing system apps across all of its platforms at the same time. Finally, everything is everywhere.

However, as much as it pleases me to see the groundwork laid in years past pay dividends in the form of new features being rolled out simultaneously on all platforms, Monterey’s payoff isn’t an unqualified success. Every OS release has its rough spots, but this year, Shortcuts is especially rough. As optimistic and excited as I remain for Shortcuts to be the future of automation on the Mac, it’s too frustrating to use at launch. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed any upside using Shortcuts on my Mac, and it has improved over the course of the beta period, but it still gets in my way more often than it should.

Alright, that’s enough looking back. Let’s dig in and see where things work, where they don’t, and what lies ahead when you install macOS Monterey.

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Building Calliope: A Technical Journey Through MacStories’ Big Software Project

Last week the MacStories team launched Project Calliope, an enormous new software project that we’ve been working on tirelessly for the last year. If you’ve been following along, you’ve heard us describe Calliope as a CMS; but from a software-engineering perspective, it’s actually a whole lot more. While we introduced Calliope as the foundation of our all-new Club MacStories and AppStories websites, we have much bigger plans for the new platform going forward. This is the foundation for the next generation of MacStories, from the website itself to many special projects in the future.

We’re extremely proud of what we’ve created here, and as the sole developer of Calliope, this post will be my deep dive into the more technical side of the project. Fair warning: this will be easier to follow if you’re a software developer (particularly a web or back-end developer), but I’ll be doing my best to give understandable explanations of the technologies involved. I also just want to talk about the journey we took to get here, the challenges we faced along the way, and the factors that drove us to this particular set of solutions.

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

Ulysses is an exceptional text editor for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone with an unrivaled set of advanced features and a beautiful design that is always being refined and improved. The winner of an Apple Design Award, Ulysses features a distinctive balance of power-user features that writers appreciate in a simple, elegant, distraction-free UI that makes the app a pleasure to use.

A terrific example of the power available in Ulysses is its publishing tools. Users can publish to the most popular blogging platforms from right inside Ulysses. The app includes deep integration with WordPress, Ghost, and Medium, allowing you to publish directly to them, complete with images, tags, and excerpts. Ulysses 22 was just released and added support for Micro.blog and the ability to update previously-published WordPress posts too.

Ulysses has built-in grammar and style checking for over 20 languages and a special dashboard in the sidebar that includes statistics, keywords, and footnotes. An outline of the headings in your writing provides a handy bird’s-eye view of your work and a way to navigate your document.

The app’s Library sidebar helps order your writing into groups that can be nested. Along with features like sync, powerful search and filtering options, keyword support, in-line images that can be stored locally or remotely on a server, and new customization options, Ulysses is as flexible as it is powerful.

You can also set character, word, and other types of writing goals that can be attached to a single document or entire group, which, combined with deadlines, is a fantastic way to form good writing habits. Then, when you’re finished writing, Ulysses has abundant export options, including plain text, Markdown, TextBundle, rich text, DOCX, ePub, HTML, and PDF. To learn more about Ulysses, visit ulysses.app.

Ulysses is free to try before deciding whether to subscribe for $4.99/month or $39.99/year. Students can subscribe for six months at a time for $10.99. MacStories readers can take advantage of a special extended three-month free trial for a limited time. It’s a terrific way to discover the app’s full capabilities, so be sure to check out Ulysses’ new features right away.

Our thanks to Ulysses for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Downloading YouTube Videos on iPad with youtube-dl and a-Shell

Greg Godwin, writing at NonProfit Workflows:

There are various apps for the Mac that’ll download YouTube videos, but there’s nothing comparable for the iPad. I discovered that it’s possible to download these videos using the iCab browser if you change the user agent, but I could never get this to work consistently. There is a command-line program you can run called youtube-dl that will download videos from YouTube (and other sites). The problem is, the iPad doesn’t ship with a Terminal app like the Mac does, so while I could do this on my Mac, I struggled to find a way to use this command on my iPad.

Greg has written an excellent tutorial on how to install the (recently reinstated) youtube-dl utility (which I’ve been using to download YouTube videos on my Mac mini for years) and use it on iPad via a-Shell. I followed their tutorial and was able to get youtube-dl up and running on my iPad Pro – with support for encoding files via ffmpeg – in literally two minutes. There’s probably less of a need for downloading YouTube videos on iPhone and iPad now that the YouTube app supports native 4K playback on Apple platforms, but I think it’s great to be able to download videos offline for research and archival purposes regardless. I always like to download the best possible version of a video in the WebM format, which plays beautifully at crisp 4K in the free VLC app for iPad.

One crisp Tyler.

One crisp Tyler.

Side note: I’ve been trying to use this shortcut to pass the URL of the current video from Safari/YouTube to a-Shell via the share sheet. Unless I’m missing something obvious, the a-Shell app launches but doesn’t run my command, which is passed as a ‘Text’ parameter to its Shortcuts action.

Update: Thanks to MacStories reader Jay, I was able to make a-Shell’s Shortcuts action work by switching from single- to double-quotes. I’ve made a shortcut that lets you pass a YouTube URL from either Safari or the YouTube app to a-Shell – which will start downloading it – so you don’t have to type the command (and related options) manually each time. You can find it below and in the MacStories Shortcuts Archive. Also, don’t miss this tip by Greg on navigating a-Shell’s local folder structure.

youtube-dl

Download a video from YouTube using youtube-dl and the a-Shell app for iPhone or iPad. The shortcut accepts any YouTube URLs passed from Safari or the YouTube app via the share sheet. Detailed instructions on how to set up youtube-dl and a-Shell can be found here.

Get the shortcut here.

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