MacStories Team

264 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:

SaneBox

Organize Your Inbox and Never Waste Time on Email Again


Collections: A Powerful Database with iCloud Sync [Sponsor]

Collections Database is the premier personal database app for organizing anything and everything on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

The app features more than 20 field types, linkable sub-databases, reusable lists, and a robust customization system. It’s a powerful and flexible solution that makes Collections easy to get started with for beginners, while meeting the needs of advanced users too.

Collections provides essential templates to get started, including Expenses, Contacts, Subscriptions, Books and more. However, you’re always free to start from scratch by building your own custom templates.

A long, complete list of field types is available for your databases too. The set includes everything you’d expect from a modern database app, including Text, Number, Date, Picture - even Barcode fields. Collections can also import spreadsheets from other apps, using its powerful CSV import functionality. Collections also offers quick filters, sorting, password protection, smart text-based search, and more.

Collections is free to try, but by upgrading to the Pro version via In-App Purchase, you’ll gain access to an unlimited number of database entries and files, plus advanced filters. The Pro version also includes a unique visual formula editor the makes building complex formulas intuitive and easy.

The app is a universal purchase, so your purchase will be available on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. At the same time, though, Collections has been carefully optimized to each Apple platform for the best experience on every platform.

Collections is regularly updated to take advantage of the latest Apple technologies and is privacy-minded. Your data isn’t collected or sent anywhere else.

To learn more, and download Collections Database visit the App Store today.

Our thanks to Collections Database for sponsoring MacStores this week.


Textastic: Code Editor and SFTP Client for iPad and iPhone [Sponsor]

Textastic is the most comprehensive and versatile text and code editor available for iPad and iPhone.

This starts with syntax highlighting support for more than 80 programming and markup languages: Textastic handles highlighting for C, C++, Swift, Objective-C, Rust, Go, Java, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP, Python, Ruby, Perl, Lua, Markdown, LaTeX, YAML, JSON, and many more. If your favorite language is not yet included in the extensive list, you can add your own syntax definitions and themes compatible with Sublime Text and TextMate.

With clients for SFTP, FTP, WebDAV, Dropbox, and Google Drive, as well as the integrated SSH terminal, however, Textastic goes well beyond the functionality of a traditional text editor. Since Textastic supports tabs, you can have multiple files and SSH terminals open at the same time, and, on iPad, in multiple windows side by side.

Whether you want to create web pages and check them with the built-in web preview, edit configuration files on your server, or perform code reviews, Textastic is the perfect tool for your mobile workflow.

Customizable keyboard shortcuts, wide-ranging configuration options, support for Git repositories using the Git client Working Copy, and robust find and replace, turn this app into the most powerful code editor for iPad you’ll find.

The long list of features also includes support for iCloud Drive, the Files app, drag and drop, trackpad and mouse, printing, Split View, multiwindowing, and a whole lot more.

The app is, of course, regularly updated and maintained as well. With the recently released version 9.8, for example, Textastic got the ability to search the contents of files in a folder and its subfolders for text or regular expressions, allowing you to stay on top of large projects and quickly find what you’re looking for.

And if you ever get stuck, the in-depth manual, which describes every part of the app in detail and is illustrated with nearly 150 screenshots, will help you out.

To learn more about Textastic and what it can do for your iPad and iPhone code editing needs, visit textasticapp.com, and download a copy today.

Our thanks to Textastic for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Take Your Business Out Of The Dark With Daylite [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 shine brighter, handle more clients, close more deals, and execute more projects. Designed for Mac, iPhone, and iPad exclusively.

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. You can manage and share everyone’s schedules, project status, and next steps. 

Seamless Apple Integration

Daylite is the only Mac CRM and productivity app that integrates with Apple devices and most of the built-in Apple apps and features, like direct Apple Mail integration. You and your team can capture all email communication in one place and create opportunities, appointments, and tasks right from your 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. 

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. 

If you live by the Mac, you’ll love Daylite. Start your free 30-day Daylite trial today!

Our thanks to Daylite for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Prizmo: Pro Scanner App with OCR, Pencil Annotation, PDF & DOCX Export [Sponsor]

Prizmo is a fully-featured scanner app for iOS and Mac that lets you capture documents and receipts, turning them into professional PDFs that you can share, archive, annotate, fill out as forms, or sign with the Apple Pencil or your finger. The app is perfect for scanning business cards to add people to your contacts too.

The capture workflow on iOS has been streamlined in Prizmo’s latest release as a tap-free multi-page scanning process with the ability to review pages as you scan. Text recognition starts immediately in the background, and the PDF is auto-uploaded into your shared folder immediately without any user action.

Prizmo also offers some of the deepest editing tools available in any scanning app, such as page curvature flattening, edge repair, background cleanup, user-editable OCR layout, and much more. Prizmo edits are non-destructive, meaning you can reverse any operation at any time without the need of rescanning, so even your Apple Pencil annotations from a week ago can be edited at any time.

Among Prizmo’s output formats, PDF gets many customizable options, including image compression level and a JBIG2 encoder for extremely lightweight black and white scans of just 40KB per page, useful for archiving large amounts of data. It also comes with image and text exports and can create fully-formatted DOCX documents that you can edit further in Apple Pages or Microsoft Word.

Prizmo offers not one but three OCR engines to handle the variety of languages and document styles too. And its most advanced one, Cloud OCR, is about to get an important update in the coming weeks with new, breakthrough capabilities.

Prizmo is localized in many languages, and it offers specific accessibility features for blind and vision-impaired users, including VoiceOver support and a dedicated text reader.

Through Sunday, March 6th, Prizmo’s Premium Pack, which is a one-time payment, is 30% off on the App Store, so be sure to download it today for just $/€13.99. Prizmo for Mac is on sale, too, for 33% off ($/€39.99) on the Mac App Store.

Our thanks to Prizmo by Creaceed for sponsoring MacStories this week.


UpNote: A Clean and Powerful Note-Taking App Across Platforms [Sponsor]

UpNote packs extraordinary power into a clean, delightful design that makes it a pleasure to take notes. Crafted to make focused note-taking effortless wherever you are, UpNote combines its beautiful, streamlined interface with powerful tools that use the latest technologies on every platform to deliver a superior experience.

The app works on iOS, Android, the Mac, and Windows, making it an excellent solution for anyone who needs access to their notes across multiple platforms thanks to the app’s fast, reliable sync. Plus, UpNote works however you want and wherever you are with themes, dark mode, a wide font selection, focus and typewriter modes, and the ability to work online and off.

Notes can be organized into notebooks and sub-notebooks too. Hashtags, note pinning, and bookmarking add even more ways to quickly access your notes. It’s a structure that’s supplemented by powerful search and sorting to make navigating even the largest collections of notes simple.

UpNote has all of your note-taking needs covered. Rich text formatting like tables, code blocks, attachments, images, bi-directional links, to-do lists, and more. Of course, the app supports Markdown syntax as well.

To handle your research needs, UpNote has a web clipper extension, so you can quickly save links and content as you browse the web. There’s even a great solution for longer notes: a table of contents feature that makes navigating long notes a breeze. The app can also be locked, which makes it perfect for journaling.

Switching to UpNote is easy, with powerful import functionality that can handle Evernote, Markdown, and other formats. The app handles backups automatically and includes a version history too. And, when you need to use your notes elsewhere, you can export them as Markdown text, HTML, or PDFs.

Now is the perfect time to try UpNote. The app includes subscription and lifetime upgrade options, and for a limited time, MacStories readers can purchase UpNote’s lifetime premium upgrade for 30% off. This is an amazing deal, so be sure to check it out today.

Our thanks to UpNote for sponsoring MacStories this week.


TextSniper: Capture Any Uncopyable Text [Sponsor]

If you’ve ever been frustrated by text you come across that you can’t copy, you need TextSniper, the premier Mac utility for copying the uncopyable.

Whether you’re working with photos, screenshots, apps, videos, or materials from webinars or online meetings that include uncopyable text, TextSniper has you covered. The app is the fastest and easiest way to extract that text no matter where you come across it.

TextSniper runs in the background and can be summoned with a single keystroke, so you can select the area of your display from which you want to extract text. A friendly thumbs-up lets you know that the text has been copied and placed on your Mac’s clipboard, ready for pasting elsewhere. You can use an iPhone or iPad to capture text directly to your Mac too.

The app is fast, accurate, includes customizable keyboard shortcuts, and works with multiple languages, including English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Chinese. TexSniper also works with QR codes and barcodes, simplifying the process of accessing URLs, text, and numbers embedded in them. It can even read onscreen text aloud, a big plus for people who are visually impaired, have dyslexia, or prefer listening to reading.

Of course, TextSniper is privacy-focused too. The app doesn’t collect, store, or share any user data. Text recognition happens locally on your Mac and doesn’t require an Internet connection.

If you work with text – and who doesn’t really? – you owe it to yourself to download TextSniper today. The app requires macOS Catalina or later and is fully compatible with Apple silicon Macs.

Also, for a limited time, MacStories readers can purchase TextSniper for 25% off by using the code MACSTORIES at checkout. So, take advantage of this great deal today and start copying the uncopyable with TextSniper.

Our thanks to TextSniper for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Genius Scan: A Scanner in Your Pocket [Sponsor]

Genius Scan makes scanning and managing documents with an iPhone or iPad simple, fast, and efficient. The app works the way you do and includes a flexible set of powerful, modern tools that are always with you. Its scanning engine is fast and accurate, delivering crisp, clear scans on the go, using your device’s camera or by picking images from the app’s system file picker, your photo library, or as part of a custom shortcut.

Just place a document in front of your device’s camera. Genius Scan has advanced edge detection that quickly picks out the page against its background, using powerful AI and cropping multiple scans and gathering them into a single PDF for sharing or archiving. The app’s scanning algorithms also clean up artifacts, shadows, and unclean edges, to give you fantastic results every time.

Rescanning is easy too. There’s no need to rescan an entire document from scratch because Genius Scan lets you delete or replace individual pages with a few taps. It’s a workflow that’s as intuitive as it is efficient.

Genius Scan features highly accurate optical character recognition, enabling full-text searching of your scans and the ability to copy the text for use elsewhere. The app also supports machine learning-based file naming, Shortcuts, extensive sharing options, Split View and Slide Over on the iPad, and much more. There’s a big update coming soon too!

Used by everyone from students to doctors and pilots, Genius Scan offers pricing to fit all needs. Genius Scan Basic is free and fully functional with no watermarks, scanning limits, third-party ads, or tracking. Genius Scan+ unlocks background uploading support to cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive, OCR, locking the app with Touch ID, PDF encryption, and smart document naming for just $7.99. Also, a Genius Cloud subscription adds document sync and backup for peace of mind for $2.99/month or $29.99/year.

So download Genius Scan today, to support these independent, honest, privacy-conscious developers and put the App Store’s best scanner in your pocket.

Our thanks to Genius Scan for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Unite 4: Turn Websites into Apps on Your Mac [Sponsor]

Unite 4 for macOS can turn any website into an app for your Mac. The app uses a lightweight, WebKit-powered browser as a backend, allowing you to easily create isolated, customizable apps from any site. It’s a terrific way to get those sites you visit every day out of a tab and into a dedicated, standalone app.

Unite 4 has dozens of features and customization options that make it a terrific alternative to resource-hogging Electron apps or uninspired Mac Catalyst implementations. The apps you create are easy to set up, fast, and only limited by your imagination:

  • Create dedicated apps for your favorite streaming services like Netflix and Disney+
  • Save your laptop’s battery by using Unite for Slack, Discord, and WhatsApp with full notification support
  • Listen to music services like Apple Music or Spotify
  • Enjoy podcasts with Overcast
  • Organize your notes in a dedicated Roam Research app
  • Never again lose your Figma design work among a sea of Safari tabs
  • Limit the ability of apps like Facebook to track you across sites
  • Check your Instagram feed
  • Track your finances with Robinhood

No matter which sites you use, Unite can turn them into apps for your Mac with customizable colors, an icon that fits the version of macOS you use, dark mode, support for the macOS Keychain, floating windows, and even menu bar-based apps that appear with a single click.

This week only, MacStories readers can get 20% off when you purchase Unite 4 at bzgapps.com/macstories or by using the promo code ‘MacStories’ at checkout.

Unite is free to try for 14 days and is available as part of a Setapp subscription too.

Download Unite 4 today and turn your favorite websites into your favorite apps too.

Our thanks to Unite 4 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 don’t forget to send Andreas your feedback and ideas how to improve the Notch Bar.


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.