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Day One 2 Review

Day One, the well-known journaling app by Bloom Built, was an unmistakable success. On both iOS and Mac, it amassed multiple awards for both its design and quality of the experience. Through positive reviews and loyal users, Day One rose to the top of the charts and received recognition from Apple's App Store team.

Although one might think that Bloom Built would be content to sit back and let the success continue, Day One 2 shows that this assumption is far from the truth. Through some added features and fresh coat of paint, Day One 2, launching today, is definitely an improvement – but with today's App Store littered with text editors, can Day One still hold its place and purpose?

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Airmail for iPhone Review: Power User Email

If you want to drive an average tech nerd crazy, try to talk about email clients.

Over the course of (almost) seven years of writing for MacStories, I've seen email pronounced dead (multiple times), reinvented, redesigned, and, most recently, made smarter with machine learning and cloud services. Email has been deemed unfixable, unmanageable, and unhealthy. And yet, for better or worse, we keep using it.

Despite its archaic nature and stale protocols, email works – it's the closest thing to a common standard for digital communication we have. Messaging services may rise and grow and fall and shut down, but email will always be there, humbly humming along, hoarding thousands of unread messages in your inbox. You have to believe that, if this planet were to end tomorrow, cockroaches and IMAP would survive it.

I have written my fair share of email client reviews since 2009, and I've made my stance on what I'm looking for abundantly clear. I like my email client to bear the speed and polish of Microsoft's Outlook, the clever touches and integrations of Dispatch, and, if possible, the smart options of Inbox and Spark. The fact that, eight years into the App Store, I'm still cherry-picking my ideal set of features for an email client says a lot about the landscape. Every time a new email client is released, you will find users who are perfectly content with it, others who prefer the built-in app on their devices, and some who are intrigued, but still unhappily waiting for the email client of their dreams to be made.

In case you're wondering, I'm that guy in the last group, assembling yet another email client review, making a list of ideal email features for an iOS app.

And I actually love it, because the past 12 months have brought a ton of interesting changes in the email market for iPhone and iPad. Perhaps most notably, Microsoft surprised iOS users with a solid client, evolved from an acquisition and quickly improved to accommodate fast search and notifications, calendar integration, and full iOS 9 support. Outlook – a runner-up to my App of the Year in 2015 – is the email app I recommend to anyone who wants to try something different than Mail. Spark, launched by Readdle last year, has received a series of improvements with the promise of future Mac and iPad versions. The power-user oriented Dispatch has also continued to grow, with an eye for iPad users adopting iOS 9. And, reinvigorated by the demise of Mailbox, dozens of other developers have tried (or have kept trying) their hand at improving email on iOS. There was a time when Apple didn't even accept third-party email clients on the App Store; today, you can find hundreds of similar and drastically different takes on email on the Store.

Developed by Italian indie studio Bloop, Airmail was first released on OS X in early 2013, capitalizing on the shutdown of Sparrow with a design reminiscent of that popular client acquired by Google (which, in turn, borrowed heavily from Loren Brichter's Tweetie, the grandfather of those kinds of interfaces). Through the years, Airmail has become one of the most powerful email apps for the Mac, with support for multiple accounts, keyboard shortcuts, and a long list of preferences to tweak the app to your needs. Airmail is up there with MailMate in the club of desktop email clients that allow you to configure and fiddle with settings to make email as welcoming as it could possibly be.

Bloop is hoping to replicate its desktop success with Airmail for iPhone, launching today on the App Store at $4.99. I've been trying Airmail for the past couple of months, and it brings some unique features and options to the table, but, as usual, the road ahead is going to be long.

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Carbo: Digital Storage and Editing for Handwritten Notes

"Handwriting in the digital age." It was such a claim, along with its feature in Apple's productivity sale, that drew my attention to Carbo. From reading the app's description, developers Creaceed seemed confident in the app's handwriting altering and organization. After spending some time with Carbo and thoroughly enjoying the experience, I now understand their confidence.

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MailButler Adds New Tools to Apple Mail

Like many of Apple's stock Mac apps, Mail gets the job done without many bells and whistles. That leaves gaps for third-party developers to fill with their own apps and plugins. MailButler does just that – it's a plugin for Apple Mail from Berlin-based Feingeist Software that adds six tools to Mail that are especially useful if you send a lot of email.

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Timepage: A Beautiful and Clever Calendar App

Although I'm sure Moleskine has crossed your radar once or twice in the past, it most likely was for its collection of notebooks, diaries, or pencils. But you may be unfamiliar with Moleskine Timepage, a calendar app that is a step away from the traditional Moleskine image. Through some interesting features and a beautiful interface, there's a good chance that you'll be keeping Moleskine's app development division on your radar.

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Remote Buddy Display: Control Your Mac From Your Apple TV Using The Siri Remote

It's still the very early days for tvOS and the App Store on the new Apple TV, but we're starting to see some really neat apps for the new platform. Some of my early favorites (aside from the obvious content-delivery apps like Netflix and HBO Now) include Plex, VLC, GIFtv, and now Remote Buddy Display.

Remote Buddy Display is an app that enables you to wirelessly mirror your Mac onto your TV. What differentiates it from AirPlay Mirroring, built into OS X, is that you can also control your Mac, using just the Apple TV's Siri Remote. Provided you have installed Remote Buddy onto your Mac, you can take control of your Mac via your Apple TV simply by launching the Remote Buddy Display app on your Apple TV.

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Focus: Productivity Through Tasks and Time

When examining apps such as Wunderlist or even 2Do, you'll see software that takes in tasks and inserts them into collections – ones that can span projects, weeks, and interests. Undoubtedly, entering in your todos is an important part of getting things done; however, working through these tasks in a productive way can prove difficult.

Enter Focus, a task manager fused with a work timer. By setting a timer for you to take on certain tasks, developer Laser Focused aims to make you just that – laser focused. And, in an interesting way, it succeeds.

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