John Voorhees

2056 posts on MacStories since November 2015

John, MacStories’ Managing Editor, has been writing about Apple and apps since joining the team in 2015. He also co-hosts MacStories’ podcasts, including AppStories, which explores of the world of apps, MacStories Unwind, a weekly recap of everything MacStories and more, and MacStories Unplugged, a behind-the-scenes, anything-goes show exclusively for Club MacStories members.

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Last Week, on Club MacStories: Road Trip Apps and Space-Saving Workspace Tips

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 327


Pestle 1.2: The MacStories Review

One of the greatest strengths of the App Store is its abundance of choice. For every app category, there are always multiple excellent options from which to pick. That’s never been more true for the recipe app category. Paprika was my long-time personal favorite until Mela came along, but there are other great options like Grocery and Crouton too. Another app that belongs on that list is Pestle, an iPhone and iPad app by Will Bishop.

At its core, Pestle is a recipe manager, but it also integrates with Reminders to create shopping lists, offers a way to discover new dishes, and integrates meal planning, making it a well-rounded solution. The app also features a modern design that works well in the kitchen and some clever details like hands-free voice control for moving between recipe steps while cooking, making it worth a closer look.

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MacStories Unwind: Only Murders In the Building and Loot

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This week on MacStories Unwind, Federico is enjoying season two of Only Murders In the Building, while John loves Loot.

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Federico’s Pick:

John’s Pick:


App Developers Can Apply to Use Third-Party Payment Processors in South Korea With Limitations

To comply with a recent amendment to South Korea’s Telecommunications Business Act, Apple is allowing developers to use third-party payment systems for the first time. However, the new App Store entitlement comes with substantial limitations.

Developers who want to use a third-party payment processor must apply to Apple for a StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement. Apps with the new entitlement can only be released in South Korea’s App Store, which means that developers will need to make a separate version of any app that uses the entitlement. As Apple explains, using the entitlement also means certain App Store features will be unavailable to users too:

If you’re considering using this entitlement, it’s important to understand that some App Store features, such as Ask to Buy and Family Sharing, will not be available to your users, in part because we cannot validate payments that take place outside of the App Store’s private and secure payment system. Apple will not be able to assist users with refunds, purchase history, subscription management, and other issues encountered when purchasing digital goods and services through an alternative purchasing method. You will be responsible for addressing such issues.

Third-party payment processing isn’t a way to get around Apple’s commission on purchases made by users:

 Apple will charge a 26% commission on the price paid by the user, gross of any value-added taxes. This is a reduced rate that excludes value related to payment processing and related activities.

Developers will need to handle the payment of any taxes to South Korean taxing authorities themselves too.

It’s hard to imagine that Apple’s new StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement will be attractive to many developers, given its limitations and the need to create a separate version of apps just for South Korea. I expect we’ll see this new StoreKit entitlement offered on a country-by-country basis as other countries follow South Korea’s lead, but I don’t expect it will lead to meaningful use of third-party payment processors unless and until apps are available outside the App Store via sideloading.

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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.

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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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