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Club MacStories Sample: BetterTouchTool Tips, Vision Pro Shortcuts, a Task Manager Review, and the Effect of AI on the Internet

We often describe Club MacStories as more of the MacStories you know and love reading on this website. That’s an apt shorthand for the Club, but when you’re being asked to sign up and pay for something, it still helps to see what you’re buying. That’s why every now and then, we like to share samples of some of what the Club has to offer every week.

So today, we’ve made Issue 408 of MacStories Weekly from a couple of Saturdays ago available to everyone. Just use this link, and you’ll get the whole issue. You can also use the links in the excerpts below to read particular articles.

Everybody in the Club gets MacStories Weekly and our monthly newsletter called the Monthly Log, but there’s a lot more to the Club than just email newsletters. All members also get MacStories Unwind+, an ad-free version of the podcast that we publish a day early for Club members. All Club members also have access to a growing collection of downloadable perks like wallpapers and eBooks.

Club MacStories+ members get all of those perks along with exclusive columns that are published outside our newsletters, access to our Discord community, discounts on dozens of iOS, iPadOS, and Mac apps, and advanced search, filtering, and custom RSS feed creation of Club content. Club Premier builds on the first two tiers by adding AppStories+, the extended, ad-free version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered a day early, as well as full-text search of AppStories show notes, making it the all-access pass for everything we do at MacStories.

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Issue 408 of MacStories Weekly, which you can access here, starts with two excellent tips from Niléane on how to use BetterTouchTool to remap the Mac’s yellow and green ‘stoplight’ buttons. Like a lot of tips and workflows we share, Niléane’s was inspired by a similar technique Federico employed a couple of weeks before:

Two weeks ago, in Issue 406 of MacStories Weekly, Federico shared a tip for BetterTouchTool that resonated with me. Just like him, I am used to minimizing my windows instead of hiding them, which can be annoying since minimized windows no longer come up when you Command (⌘) + Tab to their app’s icon…

…after poking around in BetterTouchTool for a few minutes, I realized that the app allows you to change what the red, yellow, and green window buttons do. As a result, I was able to make it so that the yellow button will actually hide a window instead of minimizing it to the Dock.

Many of the stories we publish in our newsletters build on other work we publish here. In issue 408, Federico took advantage of a bug fix in visionOS 1.1 and Shortcut Buttons, which he reviewed last month, to build a system that allows him to launch multiple sets of apps on the Vision Pro at once, using Shortcuts. As he explained:

Given the lack of any real window management tools in the operating system right now, every little bit helps when it comes to speeding up the process of launching apps. There’s no better way to do that as of today than Shortcuts, and there’s no better way to run shortcuts in your workspace than the Shortcut Buttons app.

The newsletters are also an extension of our MacStories app coverage. Every issue of Weekly includes a dedicated App Debuts section for apps that have caught our eye over the past week, but we also use the newsletter for full reviews of apps. In Issue 408, Jonathan reviewed Today, a simple task manager he’s using for chores and other short tasks:

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has trouble figuring out when to do those tasks that are slightly random, too short to assign a time, or don’t really fit into a specific part of your day. The Today App has helped a lot with this, and it’s an enjoyable experience, too, with good design and nice haptics.

Finally, in addition to our weekly spotlight on highlights from the Club Discord, links to what we’re reading on other sites, and a preview of upcoming episodes of our podcasts, I wrote about AI and what it’s doing to the web:

What bothers me the most, though, is how AI companies have been built and the way they’re now jockeying to become the web’s gatekeepers.

I also took aim at The Browser Company’s Arc Search app and the suggestion of its CEO that it might make its AI summarization feature the browser’s default view, using Federico’s MacPad story as an example:

8200 words reduced to 4 unremarkable sentences.

8200 words reduced to 4 unremarkable sentences.

Think about what it would be like for that to be the default view in Arc. It’s not a MacStories.net webpage. It’s an auto-generated page that’s an answer to a question. It’s also a page that’s so far removed from the notion of browsing the web that I’m not sure Arc could even be called a web browser anymore if that were the default view. Instead, it’s a parallel, auto-generated web built on top of the existing web that acts as a gatekeeper to the source material.

Finally, in Issue 409 of Weekly, which was published last weekend, Federico took the wraps off of CAPS, which works with his MultiButton shortcut to allow the iPhone’s Action button to perform different actions depending on which app is being used. That makes now an especially good time to join Club MacStories under any plan.

I hope you enjoy the preview issue of MacStories Weekly and consider joining the Club. And, of course, thanks to all of our existing Club members. The Club is a big part of what makes what we do here at MacStories possible.

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Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

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