MacStories Team

146 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:

Airmail Pro

Your Mail on All Your Devices, iPhone, iPad and Mac


Airmail Pro – Your Mail on All Your Devices, iPhone, iPad and Mac [Sponsor]

Airmail Pro is the Apple Design Award-winning email client for iOS, the iPad, the Apple Watch, and the Mac that combines elegant design with rich, customizable features that tame your inbox with a single subscription for all your devices.

Everyone’s email workflow is a little different. With Airmail’s extensive customizations, unique actions, and deep integration with other apps and services, the app works for you instead of against you.

The app can handle every major email service and standard. It’s smart, unified inbox filters out less critical messages like newsletters too. Sending and managing messages is just as powerful too. You can snooze messages until later and set them up to be sent in the future. There’s even a privacy mode that processes all the data locally on your device, blocks tracking pixels, and prevents images from loading automatically. On the iPad, Airmail Pro shines with Split View support, drag and drop, keyboard shortcuts, an iPad-optimized layout, and a lot more.

Airmail Pro was just updated across every platform, adding terrific new and updated features for Pro subscribers like a brand new design, revamped search functionality, new themes, and custom actions. There’s also support for dark mode, interactive notifications so you can delete, archive, or reply to messages from inside a notification, bulk message management, tons of sorting and filtering options, and message templates.

Take control of your email across all of Apple’s platforms today by downloading Airmail for the Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch now.

Airmail Pro is free to try without multiple account support and with other limitations. If you’re an Airmail Pro subscriber on iOS or bought Airmail 3 after January 1, 2019, the full, unlocked versions of Airmail are available for no extra charge. Other users can still use earlier versions of the app by going to Preferences → General → Airmail Legacy.

Our thanks to Airmail Pro for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Textastic: The Code Editor for Your iPad and iPhone [Sponsor]

Textastic is the most complete and versatile code editor available for your iPad and iPhone. The app’s versatility starts with its extensive support of syntax highlighting for more than 80 programming and markup languages. Textastic handles highlighting for HTML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP, C, C++, Swift, Objective-C, Java, LaTeX, Python, Ruby, Perl, Lua, and dozens more.

Textastic is also a full-featured Markdown editor that includes a built-in web server and Safari support for previewing your work. The app is compatible with Sublime Text and Textmate syntax definitions too.

Textastic goes well beyond the features of a classic editor, though. You can manage remote file transfers with FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Dropbox, and Google Drive and there’s a terrific, full-featured SSH terminal built right into the app. Because Textastic supports tabs, you can even have multiple files and SSH terminals open simultaneously.

With robust search and replace that supports regular expressions, keyboard shortcuts that are customizable, and support for Git repositories using Working Copy, it’s the most powerful code editor you’ll find anywhere with a long list of features, including support for the Files app, drag and drop, printing, iCloud Drive, Split View, and a whole lot more.

The app is regularly updated and maintained too. With the recent release of version 9, the app supports dark mode, multiwindowing, and context menus. Context menus are perfect for accessing a wide range of editing functions, managing multiple windows, and quickly grabbing a document’s file path.

To learn more about Textastic and what it can do for your code editing needs on the iPhone and iPad, visit textasticapp.com, then download a copy today. You’re going to love it.

Our thanks to Textastic for sponsoring MacStories this week.


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.


MindNode: Delightful Mind Mapping [Sponsor]

Every great idea or project starts with a single thought. And another. And then a million more. MindNode is the most delightful mind mapping app for macOS, iPadOS, and iOS. It helps you capture your thoughts and create a clear picture of your idea.

When you’re in the middle of brainstorming, the last thing you want to worry about is how to use your tool of choice. MindNode excels at getting out of your way, letting you focus on what’s on your mind and exploring where your ideas take you.

Once your idea has formed, MindNode is ready to take it to its next phase. Feel free to rearrange your mind map and easily hide branches by folding them. Attach files, notes, images, links, and stickers to your thoughts and style them just as you wish, or take advantage of the built-in themes. Explore your idea as an outline or capture new thoughts instantly with Quick Entry.

MindNode’s discreetly powerful features let you fully take advantage of the mind mapping process. Add more context to your thoughts and make new connections with Visual Tags - a great way to prioritize ideas and discover groups of ideas that are otherwise not connected. When your thoughts are too distracting, put a spotlight on a single idea with Focus Mode and fade out all the rest.

Try mind mapping with MindNode by downloading it today and experience all of its features with a free 14-day trial.

Our thanks to MindNode for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Re:Schedule: A Calendar that Will Change the Way You Work [Sponsor]

Re:Schedule is a new kind of calendar for busy professionals and team leaders that fuses time management, team collaboration, and meetings into a comprehensive package that will help you work more efficiently than ever before.

The power of Re:Schedule starts with its Day View, a unique take on managing the two competing demands on your time: meetings and tasks. By combining them side-by-side, you can allocate your time better than ever before. For example, you can drag tasks to your calendar to block off time to ensure they get finished or review a meeting’s agenda and its open action items all at once.

Organizing collaboration with Re:Schedule is a more natural way to work with others too. Information is organized by time, eliminating the overhead of managing folders, projects, teams, and permissions. The week and month views are perfect for managing tasks and understanding what needs your attention now.

Meeting workspaces bring every aspect of a meeting together in an easy-to-use interface that keeps your meetings on track and productive. Just tap on a meeting, and its workspace opens, allowing you to organize notes by agenda item and assign tasks to meeting participants who can follow along with the agenda during the meeting. When your meeting is finished, Re:Schedule automatically shares your notes with each participant. Even your team members who don’t use Re:Schedule can benefit from it thanks to email notifications.

Re:Schedule is fantastic for recurring meetings too. The app tracks a meeting’s history, organizing notes chronologically to help track past decisions and progress. Re:Schedule also enables you to see open tasks from past meetings and syncs with your Google Calendar account.

Transform the way you work in 2020 by signing up for Re:Schedule’s 30-day free trial today.

Our thanks to Re:Schedule for sponsoring MacStories this week.



Toggl: Simple Time Tracking Combined with Powerful Reporting [Sponsor]

Toggl brings together simple time tracking with powerful reporting. It’s a combination that allows you to account for your time effortlessly and gain valuable insights, and now is a terrific time to sign up for a paid annual plan. That’s because to celebrate the new year, Toggl is offering 20% off its annual plans if you sign up before January 17th!

With iOS, Mac, and web apps, it’s easy to start and stop timers whenever and wherever you’re working. All it takes is a single click or tap and you’re up and running with your time entries syncing seamlessly in the background. Each app is free and designed for the hardware on which it runs. For example, on iOS, Toggl works with Siri and Shortcuts. There’s an Apple Watch app too.

On the Mac, Toggl has been redesigned to more closely resemble the company’s web app. The update added dark mode, simplified adding of clients and projects, streamlined time tracking visualizations, and improved offline support.

There’s also a fantastic new timeline view on the Mac for quickly pinpointing the gaps in your day. Toggl can also privately monitor the apps you use on your Mac to help remind you of how you spent your time. The app can even set Pomodoro timers to remind you to take breaks, and for Macs with a Touch Bar, there’s a handy Global Toggl Button for starting timers that’s always visible when Toggl is running.

Tracking only gets you so far though. That’s why Toggl generates powerful, professional reports that provide valuable insights and make bookkeeping a breeze.

Simplify your time tracking. Download Toggl today for the Mac and iOS and be sure to take advantage of the 20% discount on paid annual plans by signing up before January 17th.

Our thanks to Toggl for sponsoring MacStories this week.


2019 Winter Festival of Artisanal Software [Sponsor]

The 2019 Artisanal Software Festival is a fantastic collection of carefully-crafted apps for writing, research, thinking, and more at terrific prices. As in past years, software artisans from around the globe come together to offer fair discounts direct to you from the workshop door.

The 17 apps span a wide spectrum that will assist you with everyday knowledge work. There are apps to plan your next big project, conduct research, organize your research, edit images, manage email, write, and more:

  • Tinderbox – Visualize and organize ideas and plans.
  • Panorama X – Collect, organize, and understand your data.
  • Nisus Writer Pro – The powerful word processor for the Mac.
  • DEVONthink 3 - Your paperless Mac office.
  • Aeon Timeline 2 – The timeline tool for creative thinking.
  • TextExpander – Recall your best words. Instantly, repeatedly.
  • Spam Sieve – powerful email spam filtering
  • Storyspace – Serious hypertext narrative.
  • Bookends – The reference manager you’ve been looking for.
  • Trickster – Your recently used files, at your fingertips.
  • PDFpen – Powerful PDF editing.
  • HoudahSpot – Powerful file search for Mac.
  • HoudahGeo – Photo geotagging.
  • DEVONagent Pro – Your smart (re)search assistant.
  • BBEdit – Power tool for text.
  • ImageFramer Pro – Your art. Showcased.
  • Hook – Work smarter.

Tools with attitude: no gimmicks, no bundles, no gotchas – just saving of hundreds of dollars on these fine tools for a limited time. Visit the WinterFest website now for links to amazing deals each of these fantastic apps and to learn more.

Our thanks to the 2019 Artisanal Software Festival for sponsoring MacStories this week.


MacStories Selects 2019: Recognizing the Best Apps of the Year

John: The process of picking the MacStories Selects awards is simple. During the past year as we used and reviewed hundreds of apps, Federico, Ryan, and I kept a shared note in Apple Notes with a list of the apps that struck us as potential candidates for one of our 2019 awards. Not long ago, each of us revisited that list and refined it. Then, we convened in the MacStories Slack and hashed out the winners and runners up.

Today, we are pleased to announce the winners of the second annual MacStories Selects awards. As we explained when we introduced the inaugural Selects awards, we expected that we would expand and evolve them in 2019, which is precisely what we’ve done.

This year, the Selects Awards feature four new awards:

  • Best New Feature
  • Best Watch App
  • Best Mac App
  • Readers’ Choice Award

Best New Feature recognizes a new app feature that stands out for its impact. We also added an award for the Best New Watch app; in a year that saw Watch apps gain independence from the iPhone, this is an award that felt like an obvious and natural addition to Selects. With Apple’s renewed focus on Mac hardware and apps, we also wanted to recognize the 2019 Mac app that we feel represents the best that macOS has to offer.

Finally, for 2019 we are debuting a Readers’ Choice award selected by members of Club MacStories. All of our readers care about the apps they use, or they wouldn’t be reading MacStories in the first place. However, Club members’ interest and dedication to discovering and using the very best apps available rises to an entirely different level, so we felt it would be fitting to tap into their refined tastes with this special award.

When we looked back on our 2018 Selects picks, we couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. The awards were well-received by readers and developers alike, but they lacked a sense of permanence and concreteness found in other awards ceremonies. So, we’re very pleased and excited to announce that this year, we have commissioned custom, hand-made awards that we will be sending to each Selects award recipient later this week. From New Zealand to Texas and many points in between, each of the eight MacStories Selects awards will be in the hands of winners soon.

Congratulations from the entire MacStories team to the winners and runners up this year. Every one of these apps represents the best the App Stores have to offer. Thanks too to the developers of all the apps we use and love; your hard work doesn’t go unseen. 2019 has been a fantastic year for apps, and we can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2020. Also, thanks to the Club MacStories members who participated in the Readers’ Choice award voting. The Club is an important part of MacStories, so it was great to find a way to involve its members.

With that, let’s get on with the 2019 MacStories Selects awards.

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