Posts in reviews

Game Day: Shadowmatic

[Editor's Note: Game Day is a new weekly series on MacStories highlighting iOS games. Each Saturday, we will feature one classic or up-and-coming game just in time for a little weekend fun.]

Many of the best iOS games don't fight against iOS device hardware. Instead, they embrace the constraints of the touch interface, focusing on fun games based on simple touch interaction models. Touch lends itself particularly well to puzzle games and one of my favorites is Shadowmatic by Triada Studio Games.

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1Blocker Brings Content Blocking with iCloud Sync to the Mac

If you are familiar with 1Blocker for iOS, then you will have no trouble figuring out 1Blocker for Mac because the two are nearly identical. What Federico explained about 1Blocker for iOS in his iOS 9 review applies equally well to the Mac version:

1Blocker [is] an excellent all-in-one Content Blocker that can block ads, trackers, social widgets, Disqus comments, web fonts, adult sites, and that lets you create your own rules for URLs, cookies, and page elements to hide or block. 1Blocker is Universal and it comes with over 7000 built-in rules, which you can individually turn on and off.

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Metapho 2.0 Add New Photo Metadata Editing Tools

Metapho is an iOS photo utility for accessing, editing, and removing photo metadata. Whether you want to share a photo without the metadata associated with it for privacy reasons, make edits to that metadata, or add metadata such as a location to photos that have none, Metapho has you covered. With version 2.0, a free update to current customers, Metapho has added batch editing, date editing, a photo library filter, and file name display.

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Avian: Global Tweets Mapped on the Apple TV

Most of my time on the new Apple TV (probably around 90%) revolves around watching video (a combination of Plex, Netflix, Stan, iTunes or ABC iView). The final 10% is games and novelty apps like the hilarious GIFtv. The latest novelty app to catch my eye is Avian – a Twitter client.

But Avian is not a Twitter client like Tweetbot – that would be impractical for the Apple TV. Instead, Avian displays one tweet at a time, and literally places it on a map of the earth. You might be reading a tweet from the heart of New York City, and then Avian will surface a tweet from a user in Brazil, China, or New Zealand. As you transition from tweet to tweet, Avian zooms in and out, and rotates the map to the location of the tweet.

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Learn Swift Interactively with TapCoding

TapCoding is an iOS app that teaches Swift programming. In the two years since Swift was announced, it has seen a lot of change, but with the language starting to stabilize and mature, now is a good time to dive in and learn Swift. TapCoding breaks Swift down into bite-sized mini-lessons with a curriculum that spans difficulty levels from first-time novice to intermediate.

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Improve Your Speeches with Ummo

It’s a scene I’ve been a part of too many times: standing up in front of a group of people, I stumble through a speech while asking myself why I hadn’t prepared more. You may know how it feels – discomfort, regret, and even fear.

Ummo, described by the developer as “your personal speech coach,” is here to make the process significantly more comfortable by providing key data on your presentation. Paired with a feature that annoys you every time you use a filler word, the functionality of Ummo is enough to make you wish you had it sooner.

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Remind Me Makes Quick Work of Reminders Task Entry

Remind Me by Nick Leith is one of those apps borne out of frustration with a stock Apple app – in this case, Reminders. Reminders has some compelling features like iCloud syncing between iOS devices and with Macs, shared reminder lists, and the ability of some third-party apps like OmniFocus and 2Do to import reminders. Yet despite these benefits, Reminders can be tedious and frustrating when you want to enter a reminder with a due date. Remind Me is a handy lightweight iPhone utility dedicated to fast Reminders task entry.

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Swysh Review: Control Your Music with Gestures

My phone sat locked when "Clarity" by Zedd played through my headphones. But like on so many other occasions, I decided that I was done listening to the song far before its end. I picked up my phone and, with a quick flick to the right, moved to the next song.

The functionality comes from Swysh, a $0.99 app to completely alter the way you interact with your music. I've been listening to my music with Swysh for the past week, and what I've found leaves me satisfied, albeit with some caveats.

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Workflow 1.5: App Store Automation, Trello and Ulysses Actions, Audio Metadata, Safari View Controller, and More

In seven years of MacStories, few iOS apps fundamentally changed how I get work done as much as Workflow. Pythonista, Editorial, and Tweetbot are in that list, but Workflow, with its ongoing improvements and deep iOS integrations, continuously makes me question how I can optimize my setup further.

Nearly two years (and an Apple Design Award) later, Workflow is reaching version 1.5 today, an important milestone towards the road to 2.0. Unsurprisingly for the Workflow team, this release adds over 20 new actions and dozens of improvements. Some of them are new app actions based on URL schemes, while others introduce brand new system integrations (such as iTunes Store, App Store, and Safari View Controller) and web actions for the popular Trello team collaboration service. Workflow 1.5 is a packed release that is going to save heavy Workflow users a lot of time.

After testing and playing with Workflow 1.5 for the past month, I've been able to streamline key aspects of writing for MacStories and managing Club MacStories. With a bigger team and more Club responsibilities, we've been thinking about how to improve our shared tasks and creative process; Workflow 1.5 has played an essential role in it.

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