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Posts in reviews

Marvis Review: The Ultra-Customizable Apple Music Client

Marvis is a music player that launched on iPhone just two months ago, yet in a 3.0 update today expands its usefulness immensely thanks to a major new feature: full Apple Music integration. With today's release, Marvis joins the growing list of third-party apps that use Apple's MusicKit API to offer access to and control of your Apple Music library.

Marvis follows in the footsteps of Soor, which Federico reviewed earlier this year, in prioritizing layout customization as one of its hallmark advantages over Apple's first-party Music app. Pushing beyond what even Soor accomplished though, in Marvis customization is taken to a whole new level, with fine-grained design options that no other app can compare with.

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MindNode 6 Review: Refined Mind Mapping

When MindNode debuted its last major version, it brought a major revamping and modernization of the core app experience. The update was a resounding success in my view: adopting the document browser, an adjustable panel system, and drag and drop made MindNode a shining example of modern iOS design; at the same time, additions like quick entry mode and a slate of new, easy to decipher iconography made MindNode more accessible to the mind mapping novice.

Where MindNode 5 brought major evolution and a fresh foundation, today's version 6 for iOS and the Mac is able to build on that foundation with refinements and advancements that make the app more versatile and expand existing features in new ways. I've grouped those improvements into two categories: focus aids and efficiency aids.

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Review: Touchtype Pro Offers an Ingenious All-in-One Solution for iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard Users

The Touchtype Pro is a clever new accessory created by Salman Sajid that aims to combine the iPad Pro with Apple's Magic Keyboard using a flexible cover case and magnets. Sajid launched a campaign for the product earlier this month on Kickstarter, where you can check out more details about pricing and the design process of the Touchtype Pro. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early production unit before the Kickstarter went live and I've been using the Touchtype Pro with my 2018 12.9" iPad Pro for the past few weeks. After sharing some first impressions on Connected, I wanted to post a few more thoughts here, along with some photos.

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CalZones Review

I've always struggled to find apps that understand how people work across multiple time zones. In the 10 years I've been writing MacStories, I've come across dozens of time zone conversion utilities (and I even created my own with Shortcuts), but as someone who works remotely with people all over the globe, I know there's more to time zone management than just performing a quick conversion. Perhaps you're planning a Skype call with three more people, each living in a different time zone; maybe you have to coordinate a product launch and need to know at a glance what "3 PM GMT" means for your customers in New York, San Francisco, Rome, and Sydney. CalZones, the latest app by _David Smith, is the first iOS app I've ever used that fundamentally gets how people work and schedule events across multiple time zones. It's almost like CalZones was made specifically for me, and it's an app that speaks directly to my heart.

CalZones, available today on the App Store as a Universal app, is based on a simple, ingenious concept that, to the best of my knowledge, has never been done on the App Store before: the app combines a time zone viewer with a calendar client, enabling you to compare times across multiple cities as well as view and create calendar events that display start/end times in multiple formats. By fusing time zone comparisons and calendar events into one product, Smith was able to create an app that is greater than the sum of its parts because it solves a problem that neither traditional world clocks nor calendar clients could fix before.

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‘Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level’ Is an Insightful Look at the Values that Guide the Company’s CEO

Leander Kahney, who has previously published books about Steve Jobs and Jony Ive, takes on the ascent of Apple’s current CEO in a new book titled Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level. When Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, many people doubted that Tim Cook, an operations expert, was up to the job of CEO. As Kahney summarizes in his book’s introduction titled ‘Killing It,’ the numbers have proven the doubters wrong. By exploring Cook’s early influences and how they have affected his leadership of Apple, Kahney sheds light on the values and other qualities that have led to Cook’s success. The result is an interesting look at Cook’s background growing up in Alabama and his career before joining Apple, about which little has been previously written, but the book's recounting of Cook’s Apple years may be less informative to close observers of the company.

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Calory Review: Simple, Convenient Calorie Tracking

In my estimation, there are two types of nutrition-tracking apps on the App Store: those for users who want full control of all nitty-gritty details regarding what they consume, and those for people like me who just want to do simple calorie-tracking. Calory, a new iOS app from the makers of WaterMinder, HealthView, and HabitMinder, falls strictly in the latter category. While you can optionally track certain statistics like fat, carbs, and protein, the primary purpose of Calory is convenient calorie tracking – and the app excels at that.

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Game Day: Rolando Rolls Back Onto the App Store

Today, HandCircus, the creator of Rolando, has released an excellent remastered version of the classic iOS game called Rolando: Royal Edition.

If you were playing iOS games in the early days of the App Store, you are probably familiar with Rolando. The game wasn’t on the Store day one but came a few months later at the end of 2008.

Rolando was one of the early break-out hits on the App Store. The game was downloaded by millions of fans worldwide who loved its colorful, round characters. Rolando was also one of the first games to incorporate the iPhone’s accelerometer into its gameplay in a way that was tightly integrated with the game instead of feeling gimmicky.

However, the original game was a victim of Apple’s 2017 transition to a 64-bit architecture. Although many cherished classics were updated in time, a large number of games fell by the wayside. Until today, one of the most beloved of those titles was Rolando.

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