MacStories Team

215 posts on MacStories since July 2011

Articles by the MacStories team.

Founded by Federico Viticci in April 2009, MacStories attracts millions of readers every month thanks to in-depth, personal, and informed coverage that offers a balanced mix of Apple news, app reviews, and opinion.

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THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR:

MacStadium

The Developer Cloud for Mac


MacStadium: The Developer Cloud for Mac [Sponsor]

For nearly a decade, MacStadium has been solely focused on providing developers and Mac enthusiasts with customized Apple-centric solutions. MacStadium provides Mac infrastructure for everyone from solo developers to growing startups to Fortune 100 companies. Its solutions are trusted by iOS developers, mobile testing teams, and DevOps engineers around the world. In fact, MacStories has been running smoothly on MacStadium for years.

MacStadium provides solutions to fit every need. The company offers Intel-based Macs and the latest M1 Mac minis. The company has hundreds of those M1 minis in three different configurations in its data centers, ready for instant activation for your next project.

MacStadium is the only cloud provider to support and scale virtualization on Mac hardware. They can create private cloud environments with VMware, Veertu’s Anka, and their own Kubernetes-based Orka solution. With more teams working from home than ever, having a Mac build infrastructure in the cloud is the perfect way to ensure your app developers can work as efficiently as possible.

Recently, MacStadium announced a partnership with Teradici, the creator of PCoIP technology, to create high-performance remote access for the Mac. Working with Apple, the collaboration leverages MacStadium’s infrastructure to streamline and accelerate the delivery of Teradici CAS with PCoIP support for Mac customers around the world. Stay tuned because a product will be publicly available later this summer.

Whatever your Mac infrastructure needs, you owe it to yourself to give MacStadium a look today.

Our thanks to MacStadium for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Goodbye Spotlight. Hello Raycast. [WWDC Sponsor]

Raycast is a native Mac super tool that eclipses and extends Spotlight’s functionality. With a quick keyboard shortcut, Raycast launches apps and so much more:

  • Search for and access your files
  • Use third-party apps and services like Google Workspace, GitHub, Jira, Asana, Linear, and more
  • Check your schedule and join Zoom meetings with a single keystroke
  • Start, schedule, and join Zoom meetings
  • Access the clipboard
  • Set a reminder
  • Take a quick note 
  • Control system functions on your Mac
  • And a whole lot more

Raycast also supports Quicklinks that let you open files, folders, and URLs. Quicklinks even accept input, allowing you to use them to execute search queries right from Raycast.

The app has a snippets system now, too, eliminating repetitive typing. With just a few keystrokes in Raycast, you can send a canned email response, drop frequently-used code into your IDE, or grab your company’s brand colors.

Raycast is also extensible with scripts, with over 400 created by its active community of users, allowing you to control your favorite apps like Bear, CleanShot, Craft, and Things, use Apple Music and Spotify, set your Slack status, pick a color, and more.

See for yourself what you can do:

Because Raycast is native, it behaves exactly how you’d expect and is fast and responsive. The app is actively developed with new features shipping every couple of weeks, and it respects your privacy. There’s no login to use Raycast, so your data doesn’t leave your Mac, and your credentials for other services are safely stored in your Mac in Keychain.

Together, Raycast’s powerful features keep you focused on what’s most important to you. You avoid inefficient context switching and eliminate clutter, summoning what you need when you need it, so you can work smarter and more efficiently every day.

Download Raycast for free right now to give it a try and level up your productivity.

Our thanks to Raycast for sponsoring MacStories’ WWDC 2021 coverage.


Meet Daylite: The CRM with Apple Fans in Mind [Sponsor]

For small businesses trying to stay on top of clients, leads, and projects that are evolving every day, it can be tough, if not impossible, to manage everything with just the existing Apple apps in your repertoire. That’s where Daylite comes in clutch. Daylite is a native Mac CRM and business productivity app designed to help you and your team manage more clients, close more deals, and finish more projects.

Daylite is fully compatible with Big Sur and M1-powered Macs and works seamlessly with the Apple features you already use and love:

  • Integrate with Apple Mail on Mac
  • Share your Apple Contacts and iCal
  • Leverage Siri and Caller ID on your iPhone
  • FaceID and TouchID support
  • Create contracts and other documents by pulling Daylite data into Pages, Numbers, and Keynote

Unlike most Web-based CRMs that just focus on customer relationships and sales, Daylite’s productivity-focused design helps you and your team get more done throughout the full customer lifecycle. From meeting prospects and winning business, to managing the moving pieces on projects, all the way through to following up for referrals and repeat business, it’s all done in Daylite.

Whether you’re in a legal, design, consulting, or other professional services firm, Daylite can help you build stronger client relationships and scale your business. Daylite also offers complimentary onboarding support to help new customers get started.

Ready to do big things with your small business? Start your free 30-day Daylite trial today!

Our thanks to Daylite for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Genius Scan: A Scanner in Your Pocket [Sponsor]

Genius Scan makes scanning and managing documents with an iPhone or iPad simple, fast, and efficient, by working the way you do, with a flexible set of powerful, modern tools that are always with you. The app’s scanning engine is fast and accurate, delivering crisp, clear scans on the go using your device’s camera or by picking images from the app’s system file picker, your photo library, or as part of a custom shortcut.

The app works with a wide range of documents. From receipts to pages in books, Genius Scan has advanced edge detection that quickly recognizes a page from its background, automatically cropping it and gathering multiple scans into a single PDF for sharing or archiving. Rescanning is easy too. There’s no need to rescan an entire document from scratch because Genius Scan lets you delete or replace individual pages with a few taps. It’s a workflow that’s as intuitive as it is efficient.

Genius Scan features highly accurate optical character recognition, enabling full-text searching of your scans and the ability to copy the text for use elsewhere. The app also supports machine learning-based file naming, Shortcuts, extensive sharing options, Split View and Slide Over on the iPad, and much more.

Used by everyone from students to doctors and pilots, Genius Scan offers pricing to fit all needs. Genius Scan Basic is free and fully functional with no watermarks, scanning limits, third-party ads, or tracking. Genius Scan+ unlocks background uploading support to cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive, OCR, locking the app with Touch ID, PDF encryption, and smart document naming for just $7.99. Also, a Genius Cloud subscription adds document sync and backup for peace of mind for $2.99/month or $29.99/year.

So download Genius Scan today, to support these independent, honest, privacy-conscious developers and put the App Store’s best scanner in your pocket.

Our thanks to Genius Scan for sponsoring MacStories this week.


HabitMinder: Change Your Habits, Change Your Life [Sponsor]

It’s difficult to form a good habit, but if you do, it can change your life. Make it easy on yourself with HabitMinder the best way to get started and stick with new habits.

HabitMinder starts with its Today view, a comprehensive overview of all the habits you’re tracking, and access quick actions to log information with ease. With a tap of a habit, you can go straight to its dedicated Session screen to get more information on your progress. You can even personalize your habit by picking from dozens of colors and hundreds of icons. Also, to stay on track, set reminders for yourself, so you never forget about your new goal. There’s a dedicated statistics screen to track your progress too.

HabitMinder is built for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, which makes it easy to log and track your goals no matter which device you have with you. The app also works with Apple’s Health app, keeping your data private and secure. Everything syncs over iCloud and there’s a terrific pure black mode that looks great on OLED iPhone screens. There are even a bunch of pre-defined habits available to help you get started.

Habits are hard to form but whether it’s hydration, exercise, eating right, or something else, good habits can lead to meaningful change. So whatever your goal, download HabitMinder today to get started.

Our thanks got HabitMinder by Funn Media for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Bartender 4: Take Control of Your Menu Bar [Sponsor]

Bartender 4 is the premier app for bringing order to your Mac’s menu bar. With more apps adding items to your menu bar than ever before, it doesn’t take long for it to become a disorganized jumble of everything from standalone apps to shortcuts to your Mac’s settings. With Bartender 4, you can take control of your menu bar, saving space, eliminating distractions, and creating a system that fits with the way you work.

Bartender 4 puts you in complete control of everything in the menu bar. You can reorder items, hide what you don’t need, and even set them to only appear when their status changes. With the latest update, Bartender added Quick Reveal. Simply hover the pointer over your menu bar, and hidden items appear instantly in the menu bar or, if you prefer, in the Bartender Bar, a bar that appears just below your menu bar. Also, with Quick Search, you can find and activate menu bar items instantly using nothing but your keyboard. It’s a compelling new way to access menu bar items that you’ll love.

The app is also highly customizable. You can adjust the spacing between items, include dedicated spacers to separate them, rearrange them, assign keyboard shortcuts to them, and assign triggers that reveal a menu bar item based on changes, scripts, and other conditions. Of course, Bartender also supports AppleScript.

This week only, MacStories readers who are first-time purchasers of Bartender 4 can get an exclusive 20% discount on this fantastic app by using the code MACSTORIES20OFF at checkout. So, download Bartender today, give it a try, and be sure to take advantage of this special 1-week offer to take back control of your menu bar.

Our thanks to Bartender 4 for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Musens: The Beautiful Music Player [Sponsor]

Musens is a beautiful, customizable music player for the iPhone that brings your music collection and Apple Music’s entire catalog to life with stunning animated artwork. The app has been built from the ground up to take advantage of Apple’s latest Swift UI frameworks and modern features. Whether you’re playing your favorite albums from your own library or trying something new on Apple Music, Musens lets you do so in a simple, elegant way.

Musen’s Home tab is the perfect place to start listening with its thoughtfully organized sections that feature playlists, albums, recently played material, top charts, recommendations, and more. It’s a deep well of music tuned to your tastes that makes picking something fast and simple because all of Apple Music’s extensive selection of music is available to browse and add to your own library.

Outstanding design is what sets Musens apart. Tap an album, and it opens with a delightful animation that reveals a vinyl record emerging from the artwork. Start playback, and the album art on the now playing screen rotates, providing a fun, dynamic turntable-like experience. The playback view is completely customizable, allowing you to enjoy static square art and three different background options too.

Musens also makes great use of intuitive gestures, making it effortless to build your playback queue. Of course, the app has dedicated tabs for easy access to your and Apple Music’s playlists, artists, songs, and albums as well as support for dark mode. Together, the attractive design and deep feature set make Musens an outstanding way to enjoy your favorite music.

Musens is the creation of Alec Attie, an iOS developer and the founder of Cybertiks, who won a WWDC scholarship in 2018 and currently works as a backend developer making apps for big companies like Miniso and the SEP, which is a governmental branch in Mexico.

Download Musens today, and start enjoying your music collection and the millions of songs available on Apple Music for just $3.99.

Our thanks to Musens for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Inoreader: Take Back Control of Your News Feed [Sponsor]

Inoreader is the premier service for RSS power users. Not only does Inoreader let you fine-tune your RSS experience, but its capabilities extend well beyond RSS to monitoring email newsletters, Twitter, Facebook pages, and webpages that don’t even have an RSS feed. Stop visiting a long list of bookmarks every day and let Inoreader deliver the Internet to you through its web app, recently-redesigned mobile apps, and third-party apps that integrate with Inoreader too.

At its core, Inoreader is a highly configurable RSS service that makes it easy to import all the feeds you subscribe to using OPML. The service offers extensive search functionality to help you find new feeds and search your existing collection too. It even recommends new feeds based on your existing ones and helps you trim your list based on inactive or dead feeds.

However, RSS is only part of the Inoreader story. The service offers a unique email address that you can use to subscribe to email newsletters, so you can enjoy them just like RSS feeds and declutter your inbox. Inoreader can also monitor complex Twitter searches, so you never miss the latest about your favorite topics. You can even monitor changes on webpages that don’t have RSS feeds and Facebook pages, pushing the latest updates to Inoreader’s central hub. Most recently, Inoreader added an audio player that allows you to use it for audio content like podcasts too.

Inoreader’s service works on the web, its own iOS and Android apps, and with a long list of third-party RSS clients that have integrated with it. Inoreader is free to try, so you’ve got nothing to lose by going there now and signing up, and until June 3rd, MacStories readers can upgrade to a Pro plan for 20% off for the first year using the code MACSTRY1 at checkout. So go there today, and take back control of your news feed with Inoreader.

Our thanks to Inoreader for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Honeybadger: Your Secret Weapon for Exception, Uptime, and Cron Monitoring [Sponsor]

Honeybadger is your one-stop solution for error tracking that combines error monitoring, uptime monitoring, and cron monitoring into a single, simple-to-use platform. It’s the only service that combines all those elements into one elegant solution that has your back when you need it most.

If your production site goes down, the last thing you want is to hear about it first on Twitter or by email from unhappy customers. With Honeybadger, you know the instant a problem arises. The included uptime and cron monitoring also let you know when your external services are having issues or your background jobs go missing or silently fail.

What’s more, Honeybadger is easy to set up, taking just minutes, not hours. The service hooks into popular web frameworks, job systems, authentication libraries, and front-end JavaScript. Most installations are just a few lines of code. Honeybadger also includes a comprehensive online dashboard and context-rich reporting system that helps you diagnose and resolve issues quickly.

Honeybadger is a bootstrapped company built from the ground up to serve developers. They answer to you, not VCs, and their mission is straightforward: tame production and make you a better, more productive developer.

Honeybadger is used by tens of thousands of customers of all sizes, including eBay, DigitalOcean, heroku, thoughtbot, and even MacStories. Sign up for Honeybadger’s 15-day free trial today and join the growing list of companies whose developers swear by Honeybadger. There’s no credit card required to sign up, so you’ve got nothing to lose. Give Honeybadger a try and see how it feels to stop wasting time tailing logs and spend more time doing the development work you love.

Our thanks to Honeybadger for sponsoring MacStories this week.