MacStories Team

154 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.




Where Ideas Take Shape

The Future of the iPad

It’s been an eventful decade for the iPad. But what’s next?

This week’s iPad at 10 celebration has centered primarily on the past. We’ve explored the device’s influence in accessibility and education, heard developers’ stories, outlined some of the most impactful apps from the decade, considered one of the most overlooked iPad models, and more. But as the week closes out, we turn our attention from the past and present to what lies ahead.

For the longest time, the iPhone’s shadow loomed large over the iPad. The iPad Pro began to change that, iPadOS solidified that shift, and now the device is forging its own path as a modular computer.

There’s never been a more exciting time to use the iPad. Yet as far as the device has come, we remain optimistic that its best days are still ahead.

Before wrapping up this anniversary week, we have to consider the future of the iPad.

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Exploring the Most Impactful iPad Apps of the Decade

John: It’s hard to understate the importance of the iPad’s large screen. Early critics dismissed the device as a big iPhone, but that criticism revealed a fundamental misunderstanding of the product.

By jumping from the iPhone’s small 3.5-inch display to one that approached 10 inches, the iPad delivered a canvas that allowed Apple and third-party developers to rethink not just the concept of mobile apps, but of apps altogether. The additional screen real estate allowed developers to flatten and spread UIs in a way that made new uses possible. That, in turn, led to richer, deeper experiences for everything from reading a comic book to managing complex projects and automating repetitive tasks, allowing users to interact directly with the software beneath their fingers.

After years of using the very best apps developers have to offer on the iPad, it was remarkably easy for Federico, Ryan, and I to come up with a list of the iPad apps that have been the most impactful for us during the past decade. There’s a lot of factors at play in arriving at these apps. Some forged a path by adopting the latest Apple technologies in a unique way that set an example for apps that followed. Others are apps that define a category that takes unique advantage of the iPad’s hardware. These are also apps that work on the iPhone or Mac too, but are most at home on the iPad’s unique platform.

Although there is no single formula for which iPad apps have been the most impactful, one thing each app in this collection shares is a rich, personal experience. These are apps inspired by and reflected in the image of Steve Jobs sitting onstage in a comfortable black leather chair swiping through photos. The iPad and the apps that run on it have come a long way since then, but the intimacy of directly manipulating apps that transform a slab of glass into anything a developer can imagine hasn’t changed, and remains what makes the iPad so special.

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Concepts: Where Ideas Take Shape [Sponsor]

Concepts is a powerful creative ally to help you think, explore, and sketch your ideas. Stretch your mind past the limits on an infinite canvas, using fluid pens and brushes in designer COPIC colors. Used by creative professionals for note-taking, mind mapping, drawing, storyboarding, graphic design, product iteration, and architectural planning, Concepts lets you sketch, communicate and present your ideas with a flexible, customizable workflow.

Built from the ground up for iPad’s touch sensitivity, Concepts combines vectors with natural finger gestures to maximize your creativity. Everything you draw can be edited, moved, and reorganized, allowing you to interact with your ideas at a deeper level. Drag+drop images and objects for fast ideating and mood boards, use layers, and grid layouts to organize your work and apply shape guides, measurement, and scale features for more precision drawing.

Concepts comes with a free, built-in presentation mode that lets you connect via AirPlay or cable to a large display for graphic discussion and sharing during events. It works with apps like Zoom or Reflector for instant virtual whiteboarding. Once final, export and share multiple file types (JPG, PNG, SVG, PDF, DXF, PSD) for flexible work between teams and apps.

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. Sketch, explore, and share your ideas infinitely with Concepts.

Download Concepts today for free and give it a try. To learn more about how Concepts can help you explore your ideas, visit

Our thanks to Concepts for sponsoring MacStories and the iPad at 10 series this week.

AppStories, Episode 155 – Stuck at Home

This week on AppStories, we talk about how the global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we relax, work, and approach their days.

Sponsored by:

  • Linode – Cloud Hosting & Linux Servers. Get a $20 credit.
  • Metrical – Build habits, stay productive, be in charge! Use the code APPSTORIES in the app to try Metrical’s pro features free for 30 days.

Pushcut: The Powerful Companion for Shortcuts and Home Automation [Sponsor]

Pushcut is a one-of-a-kind utility that extends the power of Apple’s Shortcuts app with a smart notification system that supercharges your shortcuts and home automations.

Pushcut includes an easy-to-use but sophisticated notification editor that lets users set up push notifications based on factors like location and time. The notifications are feature-rich allowing users to pick from multiple choices and perform several actions from a single notification.

The app includes a powerful web API too, which allows you to extend the functionality of Apple’s Home app, for example. Home includes an automation component, but it’s limited. However, with Pushcut, controlling a HomeKit device can trigger a notification on your iOS device that prompts you to run a shortcut that couldn’t be run in Home.

Pushcut is being updated all the time and just added a feature that lets users run a personal Automation Server on an iOS device they keep at home. Trigger your shortcuts from IFTTT, Zapier, Integromat, or HomeKit automations, run Home scenes automatically when leaving from or arriving at a location, and even run shortcuts on a schedule without user interaction. It’s a powerful way to take Shortcuts to an all-new level.

If you’ve ever been frustrated by some of the limitations of Shortcuts, you need to try Pushcut today. Whether you want to extend Home’s automations, enhance how location and iBeacons integrate with Shortcuts, schedule shortcuts, or kick off shortcuts from your Apple Watch, Pushcut is the powerful companion you need.

Download Pushcut from the App Store now and give it a try. You won’t believe how much you can accomplish with the help of Pushcuts.

Our thanks to Pushcut for sponsoring MacStories this week.

Downie - Easily Download Videos From YouTube and Thousands of Different Sites [Sponsor]

Downie for Mac simplifies the process of downloading videos from YouTube and over one thousand other sites. Just drag a URL from your browser into Downie or onto its dock icon from sites like YouTube, Youku, Bilibili, and Vimeo to immediately download a video. You can even copy text containing video URLs and paste it into Downie to start a download.

Downie is efficient and organized. Instead of downloading now, queue downloads for later. It’s a great way to process dozens of videos while you sleep and aren’t using your Internet connection for something else. Downloads can be organized automatically into folders too based on source and playlist, saving you the hassle of organizing them yourself.

When you use Downie, you also know you’re getting the best version of a video that’s available. For example, unlike many other download apps, Downie can download the 4K version of a video from YouTube if one is available. It’s that sort of attention to detail, combined with attentive support, frequent updates, and localization that makes Downie a great choice for video downloads.

Downie 4 was just released with a redesigned UI and great new features that make the app better than ever. Now, you can control Downie from the menu bar and hide the dock icon if you’d like. Downie is also up to six times faster than before, saving you a lot of time when downloading and processing large numbers of videos. Metadata is written to a JSON file now too, making it easy to process later.

For a limited time, Downie has a special 25% discount just for MacStories readers. All you need to do is use this link to purchase the app. You can use the coupon code D1B766ED at checkout to get the discount too.

Expand your video collection the easy way today, with Downie.

Our thanks to Downie for sponsoring MacStories this week.

iMazing: Manage and Transfer iPhone Photos Like a Pro! [Sponsor]

iMazing is the must-have backup and file acces tool for the Mac that provides unparalleled access to everything on your iOS devices. The app works over both WiFi and USB, allowing you to take control of your iOS data. With it, you can make Time Machine-style backups, easily transfer documents, media, and content, and dig into system files, access device and battery diagnostics, and a whole lot more.

With the recent release of version 2.11, iMazing has greatly expanded its photo support. Now, you can manage and transfer even the largest iPhone and iPad photo libraries quickly and seamlessly using your Mac.

Your photos and videos are all available in high-resolution and can even be viewed full-screen before importing them to your Mac. You can also browse extensive metadata about each image like its file name, size, and format, number of views, location, shutter speed, focal length, ISO, and more.

When you decide to export photos, you have a wide range of options and control over exactly what gets exported too. Combined with iMazing’s excellent backup features, the new photos features allow you to easily browse and recover items that have been removed from devices and iCloud.

Version 2.11 is a fantastic update to iMazing that provides the power and flexibility that pro users demand with the ease of use and flexible export features that casual users will love. The update is free to all iMazing 2 license holders, and if you aren’t already an iMazing user, you can download and try it for free.

From March 9-16, 2020 only, MacStories readers can purchase iMazing for 30% off. This is a terrific deal, so don’t wait. Download iMazing today, and take advantage of this deal and start managing and transferring your iPhone photos like a pro.

Our thanks to iMazing for sponsoring MacStories this week.

CleanMyMac X: Your Mac, as Good as New [Sponsor]

CleanMyMac X by MacPaw is your complete Mac maintenance solution. With an award-winning, beautiful design, CleanMyMac X frees up wasted storage space, protects against malware, optimizes your Mac’s performance, and a whole lot more.

It all starts with Smart Scan, the all-in-one center for analyzing, optimizing, and protecting your Mac. Here you’ll find Space Lens an intuitive tool for cleaning up unwanted, large files and System Junk. CleanMyMac also scans for malware, protecting your Mac against malicious third-party code and vulnerabilities. Better yet, the app’s Malware Monitor can scan for threats in the background, in real-time, catching and notifying you of malware before it takes hold. There’s an optimization section that can free up RAM and manage login items, launch agents, and memory-hungry apps too.

CleanMyMac X includes an app update module that scans your installed apps for available updates too. It’s a fantastic, centralized way to see all the apps on your Mac that have updates whether or not you bought them on the Mac App Store. When you want to uninstall an app, CleanMyMac X is there to help, deleting hidden files and any other cruft that an app would otherwise leave behind.

CleanMyMac X is a fantastic investment to get an older Mac running as good as new and to ensure that more modern Macs keep running smoothly and safely with enough storage to get your work done. The app is notarized by Apple, too, meaning you can download it with confidence.

So, don’t wait, check out CleanMyMac X today. There’s a free trial waiting to help you make your Mac as good as new.

Our thanks to CleanMyMac X for sponsoring MacStories this week.

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.