MacStories Team

52 posts on MacStories since July 2011

The MacStories team.

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This week's sponsor

MacStadium

The worldwide Mac hosting authority


iOS 11: The MacStories Overview

At this year's WWDC keynote event, Tim Cook took the stage in San Jose to reveal the eleventh major version of Apple's flagship mobile operating system. iOS 11 includes a number of improvements across the board, but with significant emphasis placed on increasing productivity for the iPad.

Alongside the storm of iPad-specific features, the next version of iOS will also bring advancements to the Lock screen and Control Center interfaces. Built-in apps and services such as Maps, App Store, Notes, Messages, Podcasts, Music, Siri, and more received individual updates — some more comprehensive than others. The new ARKit and Core ML frameworks were announced as well, giving us our first tangible examples of Apple's investments in AR and developer-friendly machine learning.

Despite a decade in the wild, in many ways iOS is still a young operating system. It's good to see Apple not resting on its laurels, but instead continuing to reevaluate and redesign the areas of the OS that need it — such as iPad productivity features and the App Store. The ground-breaking potential for iPad users in iOS 11 shows just how much that aspect of the system has been neglected, but many of the other changes show how Apple's slow refinements over years are paying off.

Below you'll find a detailed look at what Apple is unabashedly calling "turning iOS up to 11."

Read more


MacStories Sponsorship Changes for 2017

Many readers may not know this, but for the past few years, MacStories sponsorships were sold by a third party. The arrangement worked well, but for a variety of reasons, it makes sense to manage sponsorships internally now. So, starting today, MacStories.net sponsorships will be handled in-house by MacStories contributor John Voorhees.

As in the past, we will offer exclusive, week-long sponsorships that highlight a sponsor’s product in a sponsored post on MacStories.net. However, we have instituted a new two-tier sponsorship structure. Most of the features of previous MacStories sponsorships are now included in our Basic Sponsorship package. A second tier called the Plus Sponsorship incorporates additional features, including some not previously offered as part of any MacStories sponsorship.

The Basic Sponsorship package includes:

  • A sponsored post at the beginning of the week published on MacStories' homepage and to its RSS feed describing the sponsor’s product and including an image. The post copy can be provided by the sponsor or written by us if the sponsor prefers.
  • A link to the sponsor’s website at the top of every page of MacStories.net, throughout the week.
  • A thank-you tweet from the MacStories Twitter account sent at the beginning and end of the week.

The Plus Sponsorship package includes:

  • A sponsored post like the Basic package, but with the option to add an embedded video in the post.
  • The option to include a banner image and link at the top of every page of MacStories.net, throughout the week.
  • Thank-you tweets from the MacStories, Club MacStories, MacStories Deals, and Federico sent at the beginning and end of the week.

If you are interested in sponsoring MacStories, please contact John Voorhees for rates and to check availability.


In connection with bringing sponsorship sales in-house, we have created a sponsorship policy for MacStories.net. Our readers’ trust is something we work hard to earn and maintain every day, so we feel we owe it to them and to our future sponsors to articulate how we will handle sponsorships.

The full policy and additional background are accessible from the ‘Advertise’ section of the site but, in summary, the policy is as follows:

  • We only accept sponsorships for products that we are comfortable recommending to our readers.
  • Product reviews are not for sale. A sponsorship of MacStories is not an agreement to review a product.
  • The decision of whether to review a product is made separately from whether to accept a sponsorship.
  • MacStories retains the final say over the content of sponsored posts, banner images, and any other content that appears on MacStories.net, its social media accounts, and its other publication channels.
  • To minimize actual and perceived conflicts of interest, we will not accept sponsorships from app developers, hardware makers, or online services for two weeks following the launch of a major new product or update covered by a MacStories review.

We hope you appreciate that we take the trust of MacStories readers seriously and will continue to do our best to honor it with every editorial and business decision we make. If you ever have any questions or concerns about these policies, feel free to get in touch.


#MacStoriesDeals – ‘Get Productive’ Sale

We've collected the best #MacStoriesDeals for January 28, 2015, so be quick and get them! Today, a lot of productivity-related iOS and OS X apps went on sale in what appears to be an organized promotion across the App Store. If new deals become available, we'll include them at the top of each section.

For more deals, you can find us as @MacStoriesDeals on Twitter.

Update, January 29: Apple has confirmed the App Store sale with a special section called 'Get Productive'.

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Aptonic – Dropzone 3 [Sponsor]

Dropzone is a productivity tool that enhances drag and drop on your Mac. Drag files onto the menu item and a beautifully designed and animated grid of all your actions opens. Share with services such as AirDrop, Imgur, FTP, Amazon S3, Facebook, Twitter and many others. Move and copy files, launch applications and even develop your own actions using the powerful Ruby based scripting API.

Dropzone 3 is a huge update to the app that takes Dropzone to a whole new level. You can now add actions to your grid faster thanks to the new quick add menu or by dropping folders or apps onto the 'Add to Grid' area. Quickly reorganise your actions using drag and drop and delete them by holding the option key. The new in-grid progress bars let you keep track of task progress. Also see how tasks are progressing at a glance in the new animated menu item.

Drop Bar is another great new feature - Drag files you know you'll need later onto the Drop Bar area of the grid to stash them tempororily. Drag stacks on top of each other to combine them. You can even drag a stack onto another Dropzone action.

In Dropzone 3, the developer API has undergone a major overhaul. You can now duplicate existing actions and tweak them to your liking. A new bundle system lets you distribute needed libraries or tools along with your action. Actions can now be auto-updated as they are improved. With a little Ruby knowledge you'll be thinking of your own uses in no time - check out the developer documentation here.

Our thanks to Aptonic for sponsoring MacStories this week.

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Manage Your Day-to-Day Tasks with Igloo [Sponsor]

You’ve heard that task management is coming to Igloo with their next release – but how is another task management system actually going to help get work done?

Think about all the tasks you do that aren’t part of a specific project: updating a graphic in a presentation, requesting text get corrected in a Word document, or delegating to-do’s after a meeting. Igloo makes this easy by keeping these tasks with your content.

When you view a document, blog, event, forum, or wiki inside your Igloo, you can add a task right there. You don’t need a project or list (but you can use those, too). These tasks show up on your content, informing your team if document needs edits or if it’s ready to go to the client. Content tasks are particularly great for recurring meetings; when you view tasks assigned in last week’s meeting, it’s easy to see what was completed and what wasn’t.

And when you’re the one assigned tasks? Whether it’s on a project list, on content, or a personal task, all of your tasks show up in one view. It’s the easiest way to manage your day-to-day work. Tasks are a free for all Igloo customers, coming this summer as part of Igloo’s latest update, Unicorn.

Our thanks to Igloo for sponsoring MacStories this week.

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Igloo Introduces Social Task Management

Igloo, the intranet you’ll actually like, is about to get better.

Igloo’s next release, Unicorn, is coming this summer. With it comes social task management, a brand new feature fully integrated throughout the Igloo platform, providing the perfect balance between project management and getting your day-to-day work done.

You can manage projects with task lists, optimized for large groups of people; assign tasks from any piece of content, like requesting changes be made on a document; and you can create personal tasks that are assigned to you or another person. And you can see all your tasks in one unified view.

Learn more at Igloo’s Unicorn landing page. Or come see Unicorn in person – Igloo is hosting an event in Toronto on June 12, with customer presentations by Hulu and Nextel International. Register today as seating is limited.

Our thanks to Igloo for sponsoring MacStories this week.

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WriteRight and Tag Journal

Our thanks to WriteRight and Tag Journal for sponsoring MacStories this week. WriteRight and Tag Journal are two excellent apps for writers who want to enhance their writing workflows on iOS.

WriteRight is a unique text editor with synonyms, antonyms and phraseology. With support for Markdown and full iCloud and Dropbox integration, WriteRight lets you easily select words and expressions to check for synonyms/antonyms, choosing from a set of A4, Letter, and Manuscript previews with colored folders.

You can find out more about WriteRight for iPhone/iPad here.

Tag Journal is a complete diary to record your thoughts and ideas with photos, videos and sound recordings. Tag Journal supports Markdown for fast text entry and formatting, and you can add multiple photos per entry. Entry/note merging helps and speeds up your writing workflow, and notes can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, iMessages, Mail, or as PDF.

You can find out more about Tag Journal for iPhone/iPad here.

Federico's note: I personally use WriteRight (which was developed in Italy and the US) when I write on my iPad, and I truly enjoy the app's feature set for synonyms and antonyms that lets me quickly replace an active selection in the text editor with other words.

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Docsforce

Our thanks to Docsforce for sponsoring MacStories this week. Docsforce is a new service that delivers electronic statements and invoices from companies (providers) to their clients (consumers) securely and privately.

Businesses -- Tired of sending paper invoices to your customers or maintaining a download site? Use Docsforce to deliver electronic statements to your customers. We offer a secure download site private to your business. Keep using your PDF statements, invoices and accounting system. Sign up for a free trial, invite your customers. It takes just minutes.

Are you a service provider preparing statements? Whether you are a cloud company with lots of consumers, or a provider of accounting solutions, we can integrate Docsforce into your organization and turn your business into a magnet for growth.

Consumers -- tired of dozens of websites and receiving paper statements? Automatically receive all your Docsforce statements in one place, no manual downloading from every provider. Our consumer apps or a browser let you view and export. We keep your statements stored in a super-secure cloud.

Visit docsforce.com and start living your paperless future today.

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Apple Q1 2014 Results: $57.6 Billion Revenue, 51 Million iPhones, 26 Million iPads Sold

 

Apple has published their Q1 2014 financial results for the quarter that ended on December 28, 2013. The company posted revenue of $57.6 billion. The company sold 26 million iPads, 51 million iPhones, and 4.8 million Macs, earning a quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion.

We are really happy with our record iPhone and iPad sales, the strong performance of our Mac products and the continued growth of iTunes, Software and Services,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We love having the most satisfied, loyal and engaged customers, and are continuing to invest heavily in our future to make their experiences with our products and services even better.

The quarter sets a new record for Apple: before today's results, the company's record was $54.5 billion revenue reported for Q1 2013. Read more