The annoying, indispensable and game-changing app

Replay Apple’s October 18, 2021 Keynote and Other Videos

If you didn’t follow the live stream or announcements as they unfolded today, you can replay it on Apple’s Events site and catch the product videos on Apple’s YouTube channel.

The keynote video can be streamed here and on the Apple TV using the TV app. A high-quality version will also be available through Apple Podcasts as a video and audio podcast. There is also an American Sign Language version of the event, which is available here.

More videos after the break.

Read more

Apple Announces Availability of New HomePod mini Colors, AirPods, New MacBook Pros, and macOS Monterey

Apple announced the following pre-order and availability dates for the products announced today:

New Yellow, Orange, and Blue HomePod minis

  • Availability: November

AirPods (3rd Generation)

Pre-order: Today
Availability: October 26

14 and 16” MacBook Pros

Pre-order: Today
Availability: Tuesday, October 26

macOS Monterey

  • Release Date: Monday, October 25

You can follow all of our October Apple event coverage through our October 2021 event hub, or subscribe to the dedicated RSS feed.

I Made the Most Annoying App. And People Loved It. [Sponsor]

Annoying” is probably not a word a developer would like his app to be associated with.

I certainly don’t mind.

Thankfully, users have also thought of my app as “indispensable” and a “game changer.

Hi, I’m Junjie, and I made Due.

It has helped people living with ADHD and early dementia. It has saved marriages. And it seems to have even saved lives.

I’d love to say I had these noble goals in mind when I made Due.

The truth is, I created Due in 2010 for myself.

The first version tackled just one thing—quickly capture what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done.

When I realized it was easy to miss notifications, I added Auto Snooze. It repeatedly notifies me of overdue reminders until I act on them.

Often, I also needed to reschedule reminders. So I made it easy to postpone a reminder—even without launching the app.

Someone who had used Due for the past 9 years said the person who created Due knows his stuff.

I guess that’s because there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t use Due myself.

Learn more about what Due can do for you. Available on iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

Also available separately for Mac—on the Mac App Store and Setapp.

Our thanks to Due for sponsoring MacStories this week.

MacStories Unwind: Apple Frames 2.0, an Upcoming Apple Event, and a Safari Extension for iPad


Sponsored by: Discourse – A Powerful, Customizable Platform for Civilized Discussion

This week on MacStories Unwind:


Club MacStories

  • MacStories Weekly
    • Federico on Remind Me Faster
    • A Reminders tip for applying tags to tasks with Siri
    • John on the future of read-it-later apps
    • Apps, links, and more



AppStories, Episode 244 – iOS and iPadOS 15 Top Tips

This week on AppStories, we share a long list of iOS and iPadOS 15 tips, highlighting lesser-known features that we are using to get the most out of the latest versions of the OSes.

On AppStories+, John tries to convince Federico to try a robot vacuum cleaner and Federico explains the technique he’s using to bring localization to his popular Apple Frames shortcut.

We deliver AppStories+ to subscribers with bonus content, ad-free, and at a high bitrate early every week.

To learn more about the benefits included with an AppStories+ subscription, visit our Plans page, or read the AppStories+ FAQ.


Apple Announces October 18, 2021 Media Event

As tweeted by Greg Joswiak, Apple has announced an online media event for October 18, 2021, at 10:00 am Pacific.

Based on the latest speculation and rumors, Apple is likely to introduce new Apple silicon-based Macs. Apple has already replaced part of its Mac product line with models based on its own chip architecture, but it’s expected that the company is preparing to introduce new MacBook Pros and perhaps other models at the high end of its product line. Another product we could see introduced at the event is the long-rumored AirPods 3. With the winter holidays approaching, now seems like the perfect time to rekindle interest in AirPods.

Apple may also take the opportunity to announce a release date for macOS 12.0 Monterey. If last month’s Apple event and the timing of iOS and iPadOS are any indication, the final version of Monterey should be released to the public within days after the event.

Apple Frames 2.0: Faster, Lighter, and Featuring Support for iPhone 13, iPad mini, iPad 10.2”, iMac 24”, MacBook Air, and Multiple Languages

Apple Frames 2.0.

Apple Frames 2.0.

Today, I’m pleased to introduce Apple Frames 2.0, an all-new version of my popular shortcut to put screenshots inside physical device frames of Apple products. The new Apple Frames, which you can download at the end of this post or on the MacStories Shortcuts Archive, has been completely rewritten so it’s faster and lighter, comes with support for the latest iPhone 13 lineup and iPad mini, brings support for framing iMac and MacBook Air screenshots, and, at long last, is available internationally in seven different languages.

This is a massive update to Apple Frames, so let’s dive in.

Read more

Discourse: A Powerful, Customizable Platform for Civilized Discussion [Sponsor]

Discourse is a powerful, customizable, open-source platform designed to facilitate civilized discussion for your community. We’re reimagining what a modern discussion platform could be. Discourse is designed with the tools to create and scale a healthy, vibrant, and fun place to connect with your customers, superfans, or teammates online.

Toxicity and spam are two of the biggest problems for online communities, and we’ve developed features to help make your corner of the Internet a more civilized place. Discourse’s automatic trust system encourages new users to interact with your community in helpful, thoughtful ways – all while keeping spammers at bay. Plus, our built-in community-led moderation tools assist in keeping the trolls out and topics on track.

Wondering if your site will look just like every other community out there? We have you covered. Whether you’re a gaming community or a worldwide brand, you can customize Discourse to fit your company’s image with our extensive theming system. Additionally, our developer API and plugin ecosystem give you the ability to extend Discourse in a limitless number of ways.

Oh, and did we mention that you can trust your data with Discourse? Discourse never sells your data to advertisers, and you can download a full backup of your community at any time – no questions asked and no hidden fees.

Ready to try it out? MacStories readers can get a 60-day 100% free trial by using coupon code SHORTCUT when signing up. Start building your community today with Discourse.

Our thanks to Discourse for sponsoring MacStories this week.

ActiveTab Safari Extension Launched on iPad

Last week, I wrote about ActiveTab, a Safari extension that draws a colorful line beneath the active tab in Safari for Mac, which makes it far easier to identify the tab you’re viewing. However, the Mac isn’t the only platform where Safari’s tabs are problematic. As Federico explained in his iOS and iPadOS 15 review, it’s every bit as difficult to decypher which tab is active on the iPad.

Fortunately, ActiveTab is now available on the iPad too. The extension has the exact same features as the Mac version, making the active tab stand out by drawing a line across the top of the content view underneath the tab. If you haven’t installed a Safari extension on the iPhone or iPad yet, be sure to check out my story on iOS and iPadOS 15 Safari extensions for details on how to set them up.

ActiveTab has added new Blend Modes and custom colors to the app too.

ActiveTab has added new Blend Modes and custom colors to the app too.

Since I first wrote about ActiveTab, the app has been updated to allow you to add a custom color using RGBA values, in addition to the set of pre-defined options. The extension has added a Blend Mode option on both platforms too, which can help set the extension’s colored bar apart from its background in some circumstances.

If you haven’t checked out ActiveTab yet, it’s available on the App Store for $1.99.