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Posts in reviews

AltStore’s Clip Is the Best Clipboard Manager on iOS Yet

Last month, AltStore was finally made available on iOS for everyone living in the European Union. Not only does the first alternative app marketplace on iOS ship with the great Delta videogame emulator, but it also lets you install Clip, a clipboard manager unlike any other on the iPhone.

The app’s uniqueness resides in the sole fact that it’s the first ever clipboard manager on the iPhone that can actually run in the background and continuously monitor your clipboard, regardless of the app you’re in. And despite the fact that the app is pretty bare-bones right now, this core ability alone makes a huge difference in usage, enough to crown Clip the best clipboard manager to ever ship on iOS.

Let’s check it out.

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Screens 5.2 Adds Support for the Vision Pro and Other Features

Screens by Edovia is a screen-sharing app that lets you control your computer from another device, and today, version 5.2 is out with an excellent set of updates that improve the app’s performance and usability. However, the biggest change is that Screens now works on the Vision Pro, which is a big deal for anyone managing computers remotely.

I’m a longtime Screens user, but I was initially skeptical about using it with the Vision Pro. How useful or easy-to-use would Screens be when running on the device? The answer is ‘very.’ The Vision Pro version of Screens is a terrific addition to the previously-released iPhone, iPad, and Mac versions, and combined with the other changes in version 5.2, this is a bigger update than the point release might suggest.

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Sofa 4.0: A Customizable Downtime Tracker Without Compromises

I’ve written about media-tracking apps a lot in the past, and they tend to fall into one of two categories: there are ‘generalist apps’ that cover multiple types of media, and there are ‘specialist apps’ that go much deeper into one particular kind. The benefit of the former is having a one-stop destination for all your media tracking, while the latter usually goes further, focusing on the unique characteristics of one media type. There are advantages to each approach, but they’re serving two different kinds of users, so it’s not that surprising that apps don’t try to do both.

That’s why I was intrigued when I heard about Sofa 4.0 and its custom Categories and Ingredients features, which launch today. Sofa has always been one of my favorite apps for tracking multiple types of media, but as soon as I saw custom Categories and Ingredients, I knew the app had the potential to transcend the media tracker category by letting users have a greater say in how it’s used. That’s exactly what its developer, Shawn Hickman, has done, and the results are fantastic.

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Ketchup: The Only Pokémon Companion App You’ll Ever Need

As any Pokémon fan knows, the series is all about data – lots and lots of data. So much data that entire websites and apps are dedicated to helping players keep track of it all. That’s a big design challenge for any app developer, which is why I was so glad to see it taken on by Ben McCarthy, whose apps, including the camera app Obscura, are some of the best designed on the App Store.

Ben’s new app is called Ketchup, and it’s a comprehensive compendium of every generation of Pokémon that incorporates powerful search, caught and favorite Pokémon tracking, a battle match-up utility, and a quiz game all in one app. But what makes it special and sets the app apart from others I’ve tried over the years is the design, which makes it easy to find what you’re looking for and presents it in a coherent, understandable, and modern interface.

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Soulver 3 for iOS: Acqualia Software’s Unique Approach to Calculations Lands on the iPhone

Five years ago, Soulver 3, the sheet-based app that serves as a notepad for calculations, launched on the Mac with a long list of new features. In the years since, Acqualia Software launched an iPadOS version of the app and, today, an iOS version.

As I said in my review of the Mac app:

The strength of Soulver lies in its flexibility. Full-fledged spreadsheet apps like Numbers and Excel have their place. However, day-to-day life requires calculations that don’t demand that level of horsepower and benefit from contextualizing numbers with text. It’s the kind of math that happens in notebooks and on the back of envelopes. By combining elements of a text editor, spreadsheet, and plain English syntax, Soulver commits those easily-lost notebook scribblings to a format that allows for greater experimentation and easier sharing.

That’s as true of the iPhone version of Soulver as it was of the app’s other versions, perhaps more so. That’s because many people are more likely to have their iPhone with them than a Mac. With Soulver on iOS for the first time in a long time, it’s easier than ever to explore numerical ‘what-ifs.’ For example, what would my payment be if I refinanced my mortgage? How close am I to spending my budget for that party I’m planning? The possibilities go on and on.

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Vision Pro App Spotlight: Seasons Weaves Immersive Conditions Into a Comprehensive Weather App

Seasons is the sort of weather app I’d hoped for ever since I ordered my Vision Pro. It’s a unique mix of detailed forecast data combined with an immersive spatial computing experience. There’s a gee-whiz, proof-of-concept aspect to the app, but at its core, Seasons is a serious weather app and a spatial widget that’s a pleasure to incorporate into an everyday Vision Pro workflow.

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Transit Is Still the Best-Designed Transit App on the iPhone in 2024

I like trains. I like them so much that, despite being 27 years old now, I still don’t have a driving license. I travel by train and use public transit exclusively to get around in my daily life. The island where I grew up had none of that, and it has made the car a fundamental necessity for most inhabitants there. But I’m fortunate enough to live in continental France now, in a city where I can get anywhere pretty quickly by hopping on a bus, tram, train, or even a high-speed train.

The result is that I spend a lot of time on my phone on a daily basis looking up transit itineraries and glancing at waiting times. Like in most places in the world where public transit is a thing, you can use the transit authority’s first-party application or website to do this. There is a universal truth about those apps and sites, though: they are almost always really bad. They’re slow, confusing, and often bloated with useless information. This is why, for so many years now – since I first arrived in France in 2014 – I’ve been a huge fan of Transit.

Transit is an amazing app that lets you look up transit itineraries and will even guide you along as you travel to your destination. The app has been around for a long time, but my mission today is simple: I want to tell you why I believe Transit is still the best-designed transit app available on the iPhone right now.

Let’s get into it.

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Logitech’s Casa Pop-Up Desk Elevates Your MacBook for More Comfortable Computing

When I’m sitting at home in my office, the ergonomics are perfect. I have a comfortable chair with plenty of back support, my keyboard is at the right height, and my Studio Display is at eye level. The trouble is, that’s not the only place I work or want to work. As a result, I spend time almost daily using a laptop in less-than-ideal conditions. That’s why I was eager to try the Logitech’s Casa Pop-Up Desk that debuted in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand last summer and is now available in North America, too.

Logitech sent me the Casa to test, and I’ve been using it on and off throughout the past 10 days as I work at home, away from my desk, and in various other locations. No portable desktop setup is going to rival the ergonomics of my home office, but despite a few downsides, I’ve been impressed with the Casa. By making it more comfortable to use my laptop anywhere, the Casa has enabled me to get away from my desk more often, which has been wonderful as the weather begins to warm up.

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Vision Pro App Spotlight: GameTrack Updated with Built-In Cloud Streaming

Late last week, Joe Kimberlin released GameTrack 5.4, an update to the iOS, iPadOS, and visionOS versions of the app that enables new ways to access your favorite games and navigate the app’s UI. Of course, the Vision Pro version of GameTrack is completely new since the last time I wrote about the app, too. So, let’s take a closer look at the latest iOS and iPadOS updates, as well as the visionOS version, which has become one of my favorite media management apps for Apple’s headset.

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