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AppStories, Episode 284 – Mac App Spotlight

This week on AppStories, we share some of our favorite Mac apps, including new discoveries and old favorites.

Sponsored by:

  • Sourcegraph – Universal Code Search. Move fast, even in big codebases. Try it now.
  • Memberful – Monetize your passion with membership
  • Instabug – Empower mobile teams to monitor, prioritize, and debug performance and stability issues and ship better mobile apps
  • LinkedIn – Rethink your B2B marketing with a $100 credit on your next campaign

On AppStories+, Federico investigates displays that work well with the Mac, iPad, and gaming PCs, and I share my spartan, furniture-free recording setup.

We deliver AppStories+ to subscribers with bonus content, ad-free, and at a high bitrate early every week.

To learn more about the benefits included with an AppStories+ subscription, visit our Plans page, or read the AppStories+ FAQ.

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Apple Tells The Verge That iPads Will Continue to Work as Home Hubs When iPadOS 16 Is Released

Last week, MacRumors reported that beginning with iPadOS 16, the iPad would no longer be able to serve as a hub for your HomeKit accessories. MacRumors’ story was based on strings found in the iPadOS beta and was picked up by other websites, including The Verge.

However, it seems that’s not quite right. According to Apple spokesperson Catherine Franklin who contacted The Verge, the iPad will retain its current ability to operate as a home hub, but won’t be compatible with the Home app’s upcoming new architecture. That’s a shame, but at least users who rely solely on an iPad as their home hub won’t lose the features they currently have.

Here’s Apple’s full statement made to The Verge:

Alongside these releases, the Home app will introduce a new architecture for an even more efficient and reliable experience. Because iPad will not be supported as a home hub with the new architecture, users who rely on iPad for that purpose do not need to update the Home architecture and can continue enjoying all existing features.

Franklin also said that the upgrade to the Home app’s new architecture will be available in the app’s settings in a later iPadOS 16 update. No details on the new architecture were provided, although, during the WWDC keynote, a presenter mentioned that it is more efficient and reliable, allowing the Home app to handle many more accessories than before.

One aspect of what is going on with the Home app’s mysterious new architecture is undoubtedly the upcoming Matter standard. Matter, which incorporates Thread’s mesh network protocol to improve device connectivity and support over 250 devices at once, is slated to be released this fall. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple is building functionality on top of Matter for HomeKit devices too, but whether that’s the case and what it might entail remains to be seen.

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Last Week, on Club MacStories: Put the Weather in Your Menu Bar, Get More from Matter, and a Reader Setup

Because Club MacStories now encompasses more than just newsletters, we’ve created a guide to the past week’s happenings along with a look at what’s coming up next:

MacStories Weekly: Issue 326


First Look: PDF Expert for Mac 3 Gets a Design Refresh, OCR Support, New Export Options, and Changes to Its Business Model

PDF Expert by Readdle has been a leading PDF utility since the early days of the App Store, offering the kind of pro-level features that are critical to users whose work depends on managing and editing PDFs. With today’s update to version 3, PDF Expert for Mac debuts a new look, optical character recognition support, new export formats, and changes to its business model across all platforms. We’ve covered the core features of PDF Expert many times in the past, so let’s focus on the changes you can expect from today’s update.

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Our thanks to Kolide for sponsoring MacStories this week.



AppStories, Episode 283 – App Grab Bag

This week on AppStories, we reach into the App Grab Bag and pull out five recommendations for listeners to try.

Sponsored by:

  • Instabug – Empower mobile teams to monitor, prioritize, and debug performance and stability issues and ship better mobile apps.
  • RevenueCat – Subscription management built for mobile apps.
  • Pillow – Sleeping better, made simple.
  • Sourcegraph – Universal Code Search. Move fast, even in big codebases. Try it now.

On AppStories+, John has some personal news with a tech angle.

We deliver AppStories+ to subscribers with bonus content, ad-free, and at a high bitrate early every week.

To learn more about the benefits included with an AppStories+ subscription, visit our Plans page, or read the AppStories+ FAQ.

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Warp: A Simple, Keyboard-Driven Mac Utility for Saving Window Setups

One of the cornerstone features coming to macOS Ventura this fall is Stage Manager, which lets you create sets of multiple apps, decluttering your desktop without a lot of fiddling. In my limited use so far, I’m optimistic about Stage Manager’s future as a way to manage apps, but it’s not for everyone, which is fine because there are so many other ways to manage windows on a Mac.

There are other utilities available for arranging windows on your desktop and saving those configurations. For window placement, I use Magnet. I love that the app can be driven entirely by keyboard shortcuts but is also always available in my Mac’s menu bar.

However, for some reason, utilities for saving the window configurations I create with Magnet have never stuck as part of my workflow. With Stage Manager on my mind recently, though, I thought I’d give a new app called Warp a try.

I like the way Warp previews layouts in its preferences.

I like the way Warp previews layouts in its preferences.

Warp is the creation of Mike Choi, who released Juice, a macOS Bluetooth device manager that I covered in 2019. I’ve only been using Warp for a few days, but it has already fit neatly into my Mac workflow because it’s a simple, keyboard-driven utility that scratches the same sort of itch as Magnet.

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Last Week, on Club MacStories: Safari Extensions, Upcoming Mail Updates, and Lesser-Known iOS 16 Features

Because Club MacStories now encompasses more than just newsletters, we’ve created a guide to the past week’s happenings along with a look at what’s coming up next:

MacStories Weekly: Issue 325

Mail's Send Later Feature coming this fall

Mail’s Send Later Feature coming this fall