MacStories Team

129 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

Remote Control for Mac

Turn Your Mac into a Home Media Center


Remote Control for Mac: Turn Your Mac into a Home Media Center [Sponsor]

Remote Control for Mac is a powerful app for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch that works with a helper app on your Mac to free you from your desk, so you can enjoy your Mac anywhere on your network. Whether you’re running a Mac as a media center, want to launch apps remotely, or control your Mac’s system settings while doing something else, Remote Control for Mac can handle it all.

A Mac makes a fantastic media center. However, balancing a mouse or trackpad and a keyboard from the couch or in bed isn’t ideal, which is where Remote Control for Mac comes in. With it, you can control the apps on your Mac from your iOS devices or with the brand new Apple Watch app, which offers keypads, mouse interactions, and system commands. It’s an incredibly flexible combination that opens up amazing new options.

On top of that, the app’s AirPlay controls are a fantastic way to send the screen of your Mac or it’s audio to your Apple TV. You can also control the apps on your Mac with Remote Control for Mac and even use system commands to put your Mac to sleep, turn its display on and off, and even restart it. There is Shortcuts integration too. Add the app’s actions to Siri, so you can run them by voice or as part of a custom shortcut. They’re perfect for combining with HomeKit accessory actions in a smart home environment.

Remote Control for Mac has a special giveaway just for MacStories readers. The first 50 readers who visit this link will get a free copy of the app.

Take control of your Mac today. Download Remote Control for Mac from the App Store now.

Our thanks to Remote Control for Mac for supporting MacStories this week.


iOS and iPadOS 13 App Roundup: Multiwindow, Dark Mode, Shortcuts, and More

iOS and iPadOS 13 have been in users’ hands for several weeks now, and with the abundance of new capabilities those releases brought has come a wealth of third-party app updates. System dark mode has been adopted not just by indie developers, but also major social media apps; multiwindow has empowered users to work more flexibly on the iPad; context menus have introduced a new layer of functionality to both iPhone and iPad; and of course, Shortcuts is now simultaneously more powerful and more user friendly in iOS 13, unlocking possibilities that are only beginning to be explored.

We’ve covered a lot of the best app updates for iOS and iPadOS 13 in individual articles and through our Club MacStories newsletter, but today the MacStories team has a roundup to share of several other noteworthy app debuts and updates of late.

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TickTick: Your Lightweight All-In-One Task Manager [Sponsor]

TickTick is an all-in-one task management tool with a focus on simplicity. The app is available for more than ten platforms, including iOS, Mac, and Apple Watch.

Time is at the heart of TickTick. The app includes everything from a Pomodoro timer and habit tracker, to calendar views. It’s a to-do list, planner, reminder, as well as a calendar, which eliminates switching between apps, saving you time and effort.

At the same time though, TickTick is lightweight. The app’s workflows are carefully designed and optimized. For example, you can start by adding tasks and setting reminders. Later, you could use the Pomodoro timer to help you stay focused as you work on those same tasks, or you could punch in daily to develop a task into a habit. TickTick puts you in full control letting you choose to show or hide each of these features in the Tab Bar so you always have exactly what you need, no more, no less.

Another essential part of the app is TickTick’s simple clean-cut design. From List to Subtask, each interface is clean and tidy. Unlike to-do apps that are littered with checkboxes, TickTick makes managing tasks a breeze that feels as natural as note-taking.

All-in-one is not only about features, but also the seamless sync across multiple platforms, including iOS, Mac and Apple Watch. TickTick’s R&D team develops each and every application to fit its many platforms. There are even web and Windows versions of the app, which users love. Getting things done on every platform you work on has never been so easy.

TickTick free version for iOS (Apple Watch included) and Mac is perfect for daily use and includes Siri, Shortcuts, and URL scheme support. Premium features, like Custom Smart Lists, Reminders for Sub-tasks, and adding up to 299 lists, 999 tasks per list, and 199 sub-tasks per task, are available for just $2.99 monthly or $27.99 annually.

Visit the TickTick website today to learn more.

Our thanks to TickTick for sponsoring MacStories this week.


NotePlan: The All-in-One Calendar, To-Dos and Notes App [Sponsor]

Every day is full of appointments, tasks, and meetings. Managing it all is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. With NotePlan for the Mac and iOS, you can manage your calendar, to-dos, and notes in one place so you can concentrate on getting your work done instead.

NotePlan helps you effortlessly capture all the bits of data that inundate you every day: dates, times, phone calls, meetings, follow-up tasks, and more. Nobody wants to spend their day on managing those things. By focusing on getting the information out of your head and into NotePlan in plain text, NotePlan helps you recapture your time and focus on being creative.

The app integrates with Apple’s Calendar and Reminders app, which handles keeping all your devices in sync via iCloud. There are weekly and monthly calendars to give you a bird’s eye view of your workload, which will help prevent you from becoming overwhelmed. Reviewing and managing open tasks and deadlines is trivially easy with NotePlan too. On top of that, notes are perfect for brainstorming, saving links, taking meeting notes, or storing reference materials. NotePlan is highly-customizable too with handsome light and dark themes as well as tagging for organizing and wiki-style linking between notes.

Visit NotePlan’s website today to learn more and start getting serious work done. NotePlan has a special deal just for MacStories readers too. Use this link for 10% off when you purchase NotePlan for Mac directly.

Our thanks to NotePlan 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. To start with, the app has syntax highlighting for more than 80 programming and markup languages. There’s everything from C to Objective-C, Swift, JavaScript, Python, YAML, HTML, CSS, and dozens more languages.

Of course, Textastic is also compatible with Markdown. Not only can you write in Markdown, but you can preview Markdown with the app’s built in web server or Safari. Textastic is compatible with Sublime Text and Textmate syntax definitions too. You can even create your very own.

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 one of the most powerful code editors you’ll find anywhere. Textastic is a great iOS citizen too, supporting the Files app, drag and drop, printing, iCloud Drive, Split View, and a whole lot more. Add to that a long history of development and support, and Textastic is an app you can use with confidence.

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

Our thanks to Textastic for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Grocery: The Smart Shopping List App That Puts Your List in Order [Sponsor]

Grocery is the powerful iOS shopping list app that not only makes grocery shopping a breeze, but helps with meal planning and recipe management too.

Grocery is built on top of Apple’s Reminders app, so it integrates with your other task lists and features rock-solid Siri support. It happens all the time: you’re making a meal and discover you need to add something to your grocery list, but unlocking your iPhone would be a hassle. Instead, with a quick “Hey Siri” to a nearby iOS device or HomePod, or by raising your Apple Watch, you can add items to your shopping list before you forget them.

When your hands aren’t full, Grocery is just as easy to use. There’s a big ‘Add Item’ button at the bottom of the screen. Grocery also sorts your items automatically based on the order you check them off. The app can even suggest items to add to your list based on past shopping trips. Then, when you arrive at the store, Grocery’s Apple Watch app makes it easy to check off items without digging out your iPhone.

Earlier this year, Grocery added a meal planning and recipe solution that makes it simple to plan your week and add items to your list as needed. The latest update adds iCloud syncing of store, meal plan, and settings data across all devices. Also, the iPad version of the app now includes a split view layout for recipes on the iPad. There’s a new CleanUp feature that can automatically format recipes by separating their title and notes using CoreML too. On top of that, Grocery supports Siri Shortcuts for creating recipes and interacting with grocery lists, and the app has a wide variety of handsome themes and app icons to customize the app to your tastes.

Grocery is free to download and try so head to the App Store now and download it now. Themes, alternative app icons, ad removal, and iCloud syncing are all available for an annual $7.99 subscription, which is a bargain for an app this smart.

Our thanks to Grocery for sponsoring MacStories this week.


MacUpdater: Keep All Your Apps Up-to-Date Effortlessly [Sponsor]

Updating apps is a hassle. It would be great if all of your apps came from the Mac App Store and were automatically updated, but they probably don’t and, therefore, aren’t. That’s where MacUpdater comes in. Open MacUpdater, and in a matter of seconds, it will report back with all the apps you need to update on your Mac and walk you through the process.

With just one click, you can update most apps, and if an app requires its own updater app like Adobe Creative Suite, MacUpdater can start it up with a single click too. MacUpdater also has a built in notification system, so that as soon as an app requires updating it can let you know. It’s a fantastic, seamless way to be sure you’re enjoying the latest features of your favorite apps and staying on top of the latest security patches.

MacUpdater’s pricing is as straightforward as the app itself at just $9.99, after a free trial that allows you to update ten apps, and for a limited time, MacStories readers can purchase MacUpdater for 10% off using the coupon code MACUPDATER-MACSTORIES. To learn more, check out MacRumors’ video on MacUpdater on YouTube and download the free trial today to give it a try yourself. Use MacUpdater and stop wondering whether or not your apps are up to date.

Our thanks to MacUpdater for sponsoring MacStories this week.


GoodTask: A Powerful Task Manager Based on Apple’s Reminders App [Sponsor]

GoodTask is a powerful task manager for iOS and the Mac that’s built on top of Apple’s Reminders app. By leveraging Reminders, GoodTask syncs to all your iOS devices and Macs, supports Exchange, and works seamlessly with Siri shortcuts. But that’s just the start.

Tasks can be filtered using GoodTask’s Smart List feature. Smart Lists act like saved searches allowing you to view subsets of your tasks. For example, maybe you want to find all of your un-dated tasks with a certain tag. With Smart Lists, that’s incredibly simple to set up.

Another powerful feature of GoodTask is Quick Actions. You define a grid of information to add to tasks with a single tap from the Quick Actions view. Maybe you have a project, tag, day of the week, time, or other bits of data you add to tasks over an over. With Quick Actions, the repetition of typing that information over and over is eliminated. The app also includes a Smart Button on iOS to quickly move between frequently-used lists.

Interactive notifications with Quick Actions allow users to do things like auto-snooze tasks right from a notification without opening the app. There’s also a feature-rich Apple Watch app from which you can manage existing tasks and add new ones. Add to that a handy Today widget and GoodTask excels at being available no matter the device or context. The app’s iOS icons are customizable and you can switch between a variety of themes or make them yourself to set GoodTask up exactly the way you want too.

Take charge of task management today by visiting GoodTask’s website to learn more about its Mac, iOS, and Watch apps and discover the power of the premier task manager based on Apple’s Reminders app.

Our thanks to GoodTask for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Pocket Lists: The Friendliest To-Do List App for Families [Sponsor]

Earlier this month, Pocket Lists got a massive update, which made it the first to-do list app designed specifically for family collaboration. That’s a big deal because far too many to-do apps are designed for your work life, but completely ignore the needs of you and your family.

Pocket Lists includes a brand new ‘Family’ tab that integrates real-time collaboration and to-do list sharing, so up to 6 family members can work together efficiently and productively. The new Family tab makes it super easy to share to-do lists with everyone in your family, view your family’s activity log, and assign tasks to one another.

By focusing on families instead of businesses, Pocket Lists makes the collaboration process truly friendly and easy to understand. The app is designed from the ground up to seamlessly combine all of the new family collaboration features with the ability to keep some lists and tasks private too.

Pocket Lists also looks great. There are over 400 icons to make your lists stand out, over 70 built-in and custom cover images, and color-coding. The app has all the other features you’d expect from a top-notch task manager too like natural language support for setting due dates and times in all ten languages that the app supports. Reminders can be set based on dates, times, and locations and can repeat. There is even support for hashtags, subtasks, an Apple Watch app, an iMessage app, and dark mode. On top of that, Pocket Lists integrates with Apple’s Reminders and Calendar apps.

If you’re looking to get your household tasks in order for your whole family, check out Pocket Lists today on their website and download it the App Store. It’s the friendliest to-do list app for families.

Our thanks to Pocket Lists for sponsoring MacStories this week.