MacStories Team

193 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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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.


GoodTask: Better Widgets for Reminders and Calendars on iOS 14 [Sponsor]

GoodTask is a powerful, customizable task manager for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac that’s built on top of Apple’s Reminders app and integrates with your calendars. It’s a solid foundation that GoodTask extends with fast, reliable syncing, Siri and Shortcuts support, and many other features.

The hallmark of GoodTask is customization, which extends throughout the app’s feature set. With the latest update on the iPhone and iPad, GoodTask added widgets allowing users to place task lists, calendars, and favorites on their Home Screens. Among other things, the List widget lets you pick the list displayed, the size, whether a calendar is shown, and the density of information shown. There’s also a Favorites widget allows you to do things, like create template tasks for more quickly entering recurring reminders.

Of course, the look of the widgets is highly customizable, too, just like the app. You can pick a style and color all your own that works with your other widgets. You can also theme the app and pick from a long list of icons to suit your tastes.

GoodTask includes powerful filters for creating Smart Lists that let you create a list of a subset of your tasks based on a wide assortment of conditions. The app has innovative Quick Actions too. By defining a grid of information to add to tasks with a single tap from the Quick Actions view, you can save time by eliminating the need to repeatedly type common information.

Take charge of task management today by visiting GoodTask’s website or YouTube channel 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.


Shake: Easy, Effective Bug Reporting for Your Mobile App [Sponsor]

Shake eliminates the headaches and hassles of processing bug reports in your mobile app. Tracking down bugs and fixing them is critical to your app’s success, but too often, identifying and resolving them is an inefficient mess. With Shake, you can streamline the process and get better data, allowing you to resolve more issues quickly and effectively.

Just add Shake’s API to your app, and your users can submit a comprehensive bug report in seconds simply by shaking their device. Shake eliminates incomplete, vague bug reports so often submitted over email, social media, and word of mouth. With Shake, your users not only can communicate problems with screenshots but with screen recordings and markup tools, all presented inside your app.

Bug reports are supplemented with a ton of useful data automatically that’s delivered instantly to a beautifully designed web dashboard that lets your team chat about the reported bugs, assign priorities, and tag them. Shake also integrates seamlessly with the other tools you already use, like Jira, Slack, Azure, and Trello. Developers can customize Shake to suit their particular needs delivering any variable value they want from users’ devices too. It’s a powerful set of tools that will help you debug issues in your apps 50 times faster than before.

Shake is free to try without any time limitations on its standard features, and you can upgrade to a premium plan any time to add more attachments and tags per bug report, unlimited viewing and searching of bugs, and full activity history. Try Shake today to learn how fast, efficient bug reporting and tracking can accelerate your app development process.

Our thanks to Shake for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Sketch: The Design Platform Trusted by Over One Million People [Sponsor]

Sketch is a design platform that combines an award-winning native Mac app with powerful, cloud-based collaboration tools. Since it first launched in 2010, Sketch has become the go-to toolkit for over one million people — from freelancers and solo app developers, to the world’s largest design teams.

From the very beginning, Sketch have proudly called the Mac their home — and it shows with their app. It combines thoughtful features, an intuitive interface, and the best of native macOS technologies.

With Sketch, you get all the things you’d expect from a great Mac app — from a native UI with dark mode support, to custom shortcuts and great integration with Apple’s hardware.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or a long-time Mac user, Sketch feels instantly familiar. Controls and tools work just the way you’d expect them to, making it easy to turn your ideas into fully-polished designs and prototypes.

When you’re working with others, you can save designs to Sketch’s Cloud platform and share them with a link. Collaborators and teammates can view them and leave feedback in any web browser, on any platform. Developers can even inspect files and download production-ready assets when it’s time for handoff, all at no extra cost.

Sketch have some exciting updates coming up too — with an all-new UI for macOS Big Sur and real-time collaboration with other designers, right inside the Mac app. And with a 30-day free trial to get you started, there’s never been a better time to check it out.

Our thanks to Sketch for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Organize Your Inbox (and Never Waste Time on Email Again) With SaneBox [Sponsor]

SaneBox is your personal email assistant that automatically organizes your inbox, saving you valuable time. SaneBox works on top of your existing email service, making sure that only the most important messages reach your inbox. The rest of your messages are carefully tucked away in designated folders like SaneLater and SaneNews for reviewing later. You can snooze emails, too, setting them aside to deal with when you have more time.

Better yet, if there’s something you never want to see again, drag in into the SaneBlackHole folder. It’s far easier than the hit or miss process of unsubscribing from email lists.

SaneBox has a built-in reminders system too. SaneReminders are a great way to keep on top of tasks. Send yourself a reminder to do something later or get a reminder that someone hasn’t responded to a message. For example, bcc: 3days@sanebox.com and the message will show up back in your inbox only if the recipient doesn’t reply within three days. With SaneReminders, nothing falls through the cracks.

Also, because SaneBox works on top of your existing email setup, there’s no app to download or a new email account to set up. You can use any email client you want.

Sign up today for a free 14-day SaneBox trial to take back control of your email. You’ll see substantial benefits immediately as the message count in your inbox drops, and you’ll be able to maintain control going forward with SaneBox’s help. MacStories readers can receive a special $25 credit automatically by using this link to sign up.

Our thanks to SaneBox for sponsoring MacStories this week.


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

Ulysses is an extraordinary text editor for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone with an unparalleled set of advanced features and a beautiful design that received an Apple Design Award. What sets Ulysses apart from the pack is a carefully balanced set of advanced tools that writers appreciate in a refined, elegant, distraction-free UI that makes writing a pleasure.

No matter whether you’re writing at home, the office, or on-the-go, Ulysses is always there to help. The app includes fast and reliable sync, so you’ve always got what you need with you.

With the latest update, Ulysses has added grammar and style checking for over 20 languages, offering suggested changes for all sorts of issues. There’s also a special dashboard in the sidebar that includes statistics, keywords, footnotes, and an outline of the headings in your writing that provides a bird’s-eye view of your work and a way to navigate your document.

Ulysses’ Library sidebar brings order to your writing too, allowing you to organize it into groups that can be nested. The app also features powerful search and filtering options, keyword support, and in-line images that can be stored locally or remotely on a server.

Ulysses 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.

When you’re finished writing, Ulysses has lots 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 and try before deciding whether to subscribe for $4.99/month or $39.99/year. Students can subscribe for six months at a time for $10.99. MacStories readers can take advantage of a special extended three-month free trial for a limited time. It’s a terrific way to discover the app’s full capabilities, so be sure to check out Ulysses’ new features right away.

Our thanks to Ulysses for sponsoring MacStories this week.


CardioBot: Heart Rate and Activity Tracker [Sponsor]

CardioBot is a heart rate and activity tracker built from the ground up to help you lead a healthier life. The app is based on the latest studies by the American Heart Association and Mayo Clinic, and with the release of version 5, CardioBot is better than ever.

CardioBot uses a simple Heart Points system to help you keep track of whether you’re getting the recommended amount of aerobic exercise every day. There’s even an iOS 14 widget to help you track your points right on your Home Screen, and a heart rate widget for get a quick update throughout your day.

The app also tracks your resting heart rate and lets you know if you experience any significant changes. If you’ve got the latest Apple Watch Series 6, CardioBot can monitor your blood oxygen levels too, an important measurement of overall wellness. Of course, as with past versions, CardioBot also tracks your workouts to make sure you’re hitting your target heart rate and whether you’re getting enough sleep.

All of these advanced features are packed into a beautiful and recently-updated iPhone UI that makes it simple to understand your heart data and track your fitness progress using variety of graphs and trend analysis. CardioBot also includes an elegantly-designed Apple Watch app.

Download CardioBot from the App Store and start tracking your heart rate and activity today.

Our thanks to CardioBot for sponsoring MacStories this week.


YOUMAKER: Maximum Protection, Minimum Bulk [Sponsor]

Protect your iPhone with maximum protection and minimal bulk with YOUMAKER cases. Working out with your iPhone is a great way to get in shape while enjoying music, podcasts, and the latest health and fitness apps. But it’s also a common way phones are dropped, smashing screens or worse.

With a YOUMAKER case, you can exercise and participate in your favorite sports worry-free. YOUMAKER is dedicated to protecting your phone. Its cases are slim and tough, meeting MIL-STD drop tests so that you can enjoy the outdoors.

YOUMAKER has a case for every taste and style. The Round Edge model protects every surface of your iPhone with a stylish, comfortable rounded-edge design that’s easy to grip while working out. Another great choice is the Aegis, which features a beautiful, dual-layer transparent design, a built-in screen protector, raised edges to protect your iPhone’s camera, and works with wireless charging.

Another terrific choice is the MNS case, which features an innovative built-in kickstand that can prop your iPhone up horizontally or vertically. Whether you want to watch video hands-free or shoot video without a tripod, the MNS has you covered, protecting your iPhone while expanding its functionality.

Right now, MacStories readers can get 20% off YOUMAKER’s entire store with the discount code XX6KKEWD. Visit YOUMAKER’s store today, because this discount will be available for a limited time only.

Our thanks to YOUMAKER for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Tara AI: A Smart and Free Jira Alternative [Sponsor]

Project management software should work for you, not against you. Tara AI eliminates the configuration nightmares and lack of support for cross-functional teams that can make getting up and running with project management apps a headache. It’s the solution for teams that value their time and are looking for a tool that works with their existing Git workflow.

With Tara AI, engineering teams can reclaim valuable time and effort that would otherwise be wasted sifting through a bottomless pit of tickets. Tara accomplishes that through a simple, modern design that gets out of the way, allowing teams to move quickly and efficiently, delivering releases on schedule. The app combines sprint planning with a unified task view to provide a clear, bird’s eye view of your project and priorities, all synced to Git, so everyone from engineering to sales knows what’s happening and when.

From the time you sign up and create a workspace through every phase of your project, it’s the design of the entire process that sets Tara apart from the pack. Tara is loaded with thoughtfully-considered features like quick stats that show the progress you’re making during sprints with daily and weekly progress insights alongside commits and pull requests. Modern teams move fast and expect their tools to just work. Tara AI 1.0 delivers with no user or task limits, completely free of charge.

To learn more and signup to try Tara AI for free today, visit tara.ai now.

Our thanks to Tara AI for sponsoring MacStories this week.