MacStories Team

160 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:

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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:

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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.


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. The app’s versatility starts with its extensive support of syntax highlighting for more than 80 programming and markup languages. Textastic handles highlighting for HTML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP, C, C++, Swift, Objective-C, Java, LaTeX, Python, Ruby, Perl, Lua, and dozens more.

Textastic is also a full-featured Markdown editor that includes a built-in web server and Safari support for previewing your work. The app is compatible with Sublime Text and Textmate syntax definitions too.

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 the most powerful code editor you’ll find anywhere with a long list of features, including support for the Files app, drag and drop, printing, iCloud Drive, Split View, and a whole lot more.

The app is regularly updated and maintained too. With the recent release of version 9, the app supports dark mode, multiwindowing, and context menus. Context menus are perfect for accessing a wide range of editing functions, managing multiple windows, and quickly grabbing a document’s file path.

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

Our thanks to Textastic for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Ulysses: The Ultimate Writing App for Mac, iPad and iPhone [Sponsor]

Ulysses is a powerful text editor for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone with unparalleled depth and an award-winning design that received an Apple Design Award. It’s a compelling combination that allows you to concentrate on your writing in a distraction-free environment with a full complement of cutting edge tools just a click or tap away. Ulysses works where and when you do too by offering iCloud sync between all of your devices, so your writing is always at your fingertips.

The flexibility of Ulysses’ deep toolset means you have all the functionality you need to manage writing projects of any size. The Library sidebar is brings order to your writing allowing you to organize it into groups that can be nested. The app also features powerful search and filtering options, keyword support, in-line images that can be stored locally or remotely on a server, and a whole lot more. Ulysses is updated all the time with new features to support the latest Apple technologies like dark mode, iPad multitasking, and context menus too.

Ulysses’ features go far beyond what other text editors offer. For instance, the app’s Goals feature lets you set character, word, and other types of writing goals that can be attached to a single document or entire group. Goals can be combined with deadlines too, which is a fantastic way to form good writing habits. You can learn more from Ulysses’ excellent tutorial.

When your writing is finished, Ulysses includes a wide variety of export and publishing options too. Your work can be exported as plain text, Markdown, TextBundle, rich text, DOCX, ePub, HTML, and PDF and published using WordPress, Medium, or Ghost. To learn more about Ulysses, visit ulysses.app.

Ulysses is a free download, so you can try it before deciding whether to subscribe for $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year. Students can subscribe for six months at a time for $10.99. The app offers a 14-day free trial, but MacStories readers can take advantage of a special extended three-month free trial right now. It’s a fantastic way to discover the app’s full capabilities, so be sure to check it out right away.

Our thanks to Ulysses for sponsoring MacStories this week.


MindNode: Delightful Mind Mapping [Sponsor]

Every great idea or project starts with a single thought. And another. And then a million more. MindNode is the most delightful mind mapping app for macOS, iPadOS, and iOS. It helps you capture your thoughts and create a clear picture of your idea.

When you’re in the middle of brainstorming, the last thing you want to worry about is how to use your tool of choice. MindNode excels at getting out of your way, letting you focus on what’s on your mind and exploring where your ideas take you.

Once your idea has formed, MindNode is ready to take it to its next phase. Feel free to rearrange your mind map and easily hide branches by folding them. Attach files, notes, images, links, and stickers to your thoughts and style them just as you wish, or take advantage of the built-in themes. Explore your idea as an outline or capture new thoughts instantly with Quick Entry.

MindNode’s discreetly powerful features let you fully take advantage of the mind mapping process. Add more context to your thoughts and make new connections with Visual Tags - a great way to prioritize ideas and discover groups of ideas that are otherwise not connected. When your thoughts are too distracting, put a spotlight on a single idea with Focus Mode and fade out all the rest.

Try mind mapping with MindNode by downloading it today and experience all of its features with a free 14-day trial.

Our thanks to MindNode for sponsoring MacStories this week.