MacStories Team

276 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:

Kolide

The fleet visibility solution for Mac, Windows, and Linux that can help you securely scale your business


Kolide: The Fleet Visibility Solution for Mac, Windows, and Linux That Can Help You Securely Scale Your Business [Sponsor]

Device security is a lot like Mount Everest: it’s tough to scale.

When you’re a small company dominated by engineers, you can keep up with fleet management with nothing more than trust and a spreadsheet. But once you start to hire marketers, designers, and the rest, the number of laptops balloons and the line between “work” and “personal” devices gets fuzzy. 

But fuzzy isn’t going to cut it. You have to prove you’ve got device security under control to close deals with customers, pass a third-party audit, and prove you’re ready for acquisition or an IPO. 

At this point, you start looking for a tool that will give you visibility across all these devices. And you have two options. 

Option one is an MDM, which acts as the puppet master for your whole fleet, forcing compliance through intrusive agents. But for all an MDM’s power, it still can’t answer your most nuanced questions. And when it comes to Linux devices? Good luck with that.

Your other option is Kolide. 

Kolide is an endpoint security solution that gives IT teams a single dashboard for all devices, regardless of their operating system.

Kolide can answer questions MDMs can’t. Questions like:

  • Do you have production data being stored on devices?
  • Are all your developers’ SSH keys encrypted?

  • And a host of other data points you’d otherwise have to write a custom shell script to learn about.

Want to see how it works for yourself? Click here for a free trial, no credit card required, and let us show you what we’re all about.

Our thanks to Kolide for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Kolide: Nail Third-Party Audits and Compliance Goals with Endpoint Security for Your Entire Fleet [Sponsor]

Do you know the old thought experiment about the AI designed to make paper clips that quickly decides that it will have to eliminate all the humans to maximize paper clips?

Many security teams have a similar idea when meeting compliance goals: it would be much simpler if it weren’t for all the pesky users.

That way of thinking has brought us to the current state of endpoint security, dominated by MDMs that hamper device performance and turn every laptop into Big Brother. This approach to security is bad for culture and morale; moreover, it doesn’t actually work. If it did, no company with an MDM and annual security training would have a data breach.

Kolide is endpoint security and fleet management that takes a different approach. They help their customers meet their compliance goals–whether for auditors, customers, or leadership–by enlisting the support of end users.

Kolide works by notifying your employees of security issues via Slack, educating them on why they’re important, and giving them step-by-step instructions to resolve them themselves.

For IT admins, Kolide helps you prove compliance via a single dashboard. From there, you can monitor the security of your entire fleet, whether they’re running on Mac, Windows, or Linux. (You read that right; Kolide can finally provide visibility into your Linux users.)

If you’ve read this far, it’s because you’re intrigued by an approach to endpoint security that gets end users involved. Click here to learn more about how it works. If you like what you see, you can sign up for a free trial; no credit card required.

Our thanks to Kolide for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Remote Mouse & Keyboard: Control your Mac with All Your Devices [Sponsor]

Remote Mouse & Keyboard is the perfect solution for controlling your Mac from other devices on your home network. The app works with the iPhone, iPad, another Mac, the Apple Watch, and even the Apple TV, enabling a wide variety of new uses for your Mac. Whether you’re running a Mac as a media center, want to launch or quit apps remotely, or control your Mac’s system settings while doing something else, Remote Control for Mac can handle it all.

Remote Mouse & Keyboard works with AirPlay for screen and sound mirroring and Siri so that you can control your Mac with your voice from anywhere on your network. The app’s AirPlay controls are a fantastic way to integrate your Mac with an Apple TV without having to sit down at your Mac to AirPlay its screen or audio. Instead, with Remote Mouse & Keyboard, you can use whichever device is available to you.

What’s more, Remote Mouse & Keyboard’s customizable keypads and keypad store let you benefit from its huge collection of keypads for controlling the most popular apps and make your own keypads. Paired with the app’s Shortcuts integration, the opportunities for automating your smart home and controlling and leveraging the power of your Mac alongside your other devices in new and unique ways are virtually limitless.

Remote Mouse & Keyboard has a special giveaway just for MacStories readers. The first 100 readers who visit this link will get a free copy of the app.

Take control of your Mac today. Download Remote Mouse & Keyboard from the App Store now.

Our thanks to Remote Mouse & Keyboard for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Organize Your Inbox (and Never Waste Time on Email Again) with SaneBox [Sponsor]

SaneBox is your personal email assistant that automatically organizes your inbox, saving you loads of valuable time. SaneBox works with your existing email service, so your most important messages always reach your inbox. The rest of your messages are carefully organized into designated folders like SaneLater and SaneNews for later. You can snooze emails, too, setting them aside to deal with when you have the time.

Better yet, if there’s something you never want to see again, drag in into the SaneBlackHole folder. It’s far easier than the hit or miss process of unsubscribing from email lists.

SaneBox has a built-in reminders system too. SaneReminders are a terrific way to stay on task. Send yourself a reminder to do something later, or get a reminder when someone hasn’t responded to one of your messages. For example, bcc: 3days@sanebox.com and the message will show up back in your inbox only if the recipient doesn’t reply within three days. SaneReminders is perfect for making sure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Also, because SaneBox works with your existing email setup, there’s no app to download or new email account to set up. You can use any email service and client you want.

Sign up today for a free 14-day SaneBox trial to take back control of your email. You’ll see big benefits immediately as the message count in your inbox drops, and you’ll be able to maintain control going forward with SaneBox’s help. MacStories readers can receive a special $25 credit automatically by using this link to sign up.

Our thanks to SaneBox for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Backblaze: Astonishingly Easy And Unlimited Cloud Backup [Sponsor]

Backblaze offers unlimited computer backup for Macs and PCs for just $7 a month. Backblaze will backup your music, photos, videos, drawings, projects, and all the other data you have, so it’s safe and secure.

If you need to restore a file, that’s simple too. You can restore files from anywhere by downloading them directly from the web or Backblaze’s excellent mobile apps for iOS and Android. You can even have a backup shipped to you on a hard drive or flash key.

Backblaze offers a Restore Return Refund Program too. Buy a hard drive to restore your data, send the hard drive back to Backblaze within 30 days, and get a full refund on the drive’s price. It’s the perfect solution for restoring large sets of data.

If you’ve ever worried about deleting a version of an important project file, Backblaze has you covered. For just $2/month more, Backblaze will extend your file retention history to a full year. If you need to roll back to a previous version of a file, Backblaze makes it as easy as picking a date in the calendar.

Recently listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange under BLZE, Backblaze is committed more than ever to bringing easy and affordable data storage that you can trust. Over the years, the company has restored over 55 billion files for customers and is recommended by The New York Times, Inc, Macworld, PCWorld, Lifewire, Wired, Tom’s Guide, 9to5mac, and more, so you can rest assured that Backblaze has you covered.

Start a fully-featured free 15-day Backblaze trial with no credit card required today by going to Backblaze.com/macstories. Once you give it a try, you’ll see why so many users swear by Backblaze to protect their data.

Our thanks to Backblaze for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Concepts: An Infinite Sketching App for iPad [Sponsor]

Sketch, explore and share endless ideas with Concepts’ infinite canvas for iPad. Used by creators for visual thinking, note-taking, team communication, and design, Concepts lets you sketch and share your ideas wherever you go.

In Concepts, you can draw with liquid pens and brushes all over the endless canvas, in designer Copic colors. Since everything you draw is a flexible vector, you can move your ideas around like a visual playground to help you see the bigger picture. Organize notes, images, and PDFs into visual moodboards and sketch your ideas on top. Use grids to help you lay out designs, and apply real-world scale for professional projects.

With Concepts, you can whiteboard virtually with teams and clients using apps like Zoom. A built-in Presentation Mode helps you connect with others for live sharing and graphic discussion.

The app comes free as a basic sketching tool, with the ability to unlock 200+ libraries of brushes, objects and services via subscription or one-time purchase. To learn more about Concepts, visit their website.

MacStories readers – Enjoy a special 3-month extended free trial when you sign up for an annual subscription. Get three months of infinite creativity before you are billed.

Our thanks to Concepts for its support of MacStories and our Summer OS Preview series.


Kolide: Endpoint Security for Teams That Slack - Try Kolide for Free Today! [Sponsor]

At Kolide, we believe the supposedly Average Person is the key to unlocking a new class of security detection, compliance, and threat remediation. So do the hundreds of organizations that send important security notifications to employees from Kolide’s Slack app.  

Collectively, we know that organizations can dramatically lower the actual risks they will likely face with a structured, message-based approach. More importantly, they’ll be able to engage end-users to fix nuanced problems that can’t be automated.

Try Kolide for 14 days free; no credit card required.

Honest.Security is one part guide and another-part manifesto that defines a user-first approach to security and IT compliance. It’s not just Kolide’s north star but also an aspirational roadmap. It’s our positive contribution to counterbalance the worrying upward trend of human-hostile cyber security, device management, and workplace surveillance philosophies that we’ve seen reach a fever pitch as organizations adapt to the long-term term prospects of remote work.

Our thanks to Kolide for sponsoring MacStories this week.


BetterTouchTool: Introducing the Notch Bar [Sponsor]

BetterTouchTool is an indispensable Mac app that has stood the test of time. The app was one of the first covered by MacStories back in November 2009. In those early days, BetterTouchTool was a simple app for adding customizable gestures to MacBook trackpads and the Magic Mouse.

Nowadays, the app can configure gestures for the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad (1-3), it enables full Touch Bar customization, allows users to define keyboard shortcuts, including a powerful Hyper Key, bind the buttons of mice, create custom mouse gestures, customize the Siri Remote, and connect and configure MIDI devices. Also, it works great together with the new Shortcuts app on macOS Monterey.


BetterTouchTool’s developer, Andreas Hegenberg, recently introduced a new feature that is rapidly evolving: the “Notch Bar”. It is in an early development stage but already has quite a few fans, and now, Andreas would love to get your feedback on the feature to make it even better.

The Notch Bar is a customizable menu bar add-on that allows you to create completely custom bars with only the functions and widgets you regularly use. It works best on screens with a Notch, but can also be used on standard screens. It leaves your standard menu bar intact but hidden, so you can easily switch between standard and Notch Bar modes - e.g. by setting a keyboard shortcut to do so.

The Notch Bar comes with lots of default widgets, e.g. to show an emoji picker, calendar events, Shortcuts, weather, date/time, or your clipboard history. It can easily be extended using custom and third-party script widgets too. For example, the amazing Crypto Touch Bar app can now export crypto widgets for the Notch Bar.

For more info on the Notch Bar and a Quick Start Guide, please have a look at:

Here are a few examples of how Andreas is using the Notch Bar himself:

And soon, BetterTouchTool will introduce integration with the Stream Deck, so be on the lookout for an all-new way to use BetterTouchTool.


BetterTouchTool comes with a 45-day trial, after which you can choose between a license that includes all updates for 2 years and a lifetime license.

For a limited time, MacStories readers can purchase BetterTouchTool for 20% off by using the coupon code MACSTORIESBTT at checkout. So, don’t delay. Go to folivora.ai to learn more about this fantastic Mac app and take advantage of the special limited-time, 20% discount on BetterTouchTool.

Our thanks to BetterTouchTool for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Mac-Savvy Businesses Love Daylite CRM [Sponsor]

For small businesses, it can be difficult to stay on top of clients, leads, and projects that are evolving every day. Here’s how Daylite can help supercharge your team to collaborate better, handle more clients, close more deals, and execute more projects. Designed for Mac, iPhone, and iPad exclusively.

Daylite is more than just a CRM app for small businesses. Its Productivity capability is what sets Daylite apart from other web-based competitors. 

Here are a few productivity-boosting power features that thousands of Mac-savvy businesses couldn’t do without:

Daylite Mail Assistant (DMA)

Direct Apple Mail integration allows you to take action from your inbox and be more productive. Instead of drowning in emails all day, you and your team can capture all email communication, clear out your inbox and stay on top of the next steps. Save emails related to clients, appointments, and tasks, so you have a full history of conversations in one place. Plus, you can create tasks in Daylite right from Apple Mail.

Linking

Its linking capability is what makes Daylite shine. You can link emails, notes, tasks, projects, appointments, and other records to existing contacts in Daylite. This enables teams to quickly and clearly view an organization’s structure and access the information they need in a unique way.

Daylite Calendar 

Daylite’s built-in calendar allows you to view your entire team’s schedule in one place. Set reminders for follow-ups and book meetings, so everyone stays in the loop and is always on top of their appointments. Set your calendar to “public” or “private”, so team members can only have access to the information they need.

CRM + Project Management

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 on referrals and repeat business, it’s all done in Daylite.

Daylite empowers small businesses by improving team efficiency and making collaboration easy—everything is organized, searchable, and accessible (even offline). You can easily access information and segment data tailored to your specific client’s history. 

If you live by the Mac, you’ll love Daylite. Start your free 14-day Daylite trial today!

Our thanks to Daylite for sponsoring MacStories this week.