Sketch, Note, Draw

BetterTouchTool: Introducing the Notch Bar [Sponsor]

BetterTouchTool is an indispensable Mac app that has stood the test of time. The app was one of the first covered by MacStories back in November 2009. In those early days, BetterTouchTool was a simple app for adding customizable gestures to MacBook trackpads and the Magic Mouse.

Nowadays, the app can configure gestures for the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad (1-3), it enables full Touch Bar customization, allows users to define keyboard shortcuts, including a powerful Hyper Key, bind the buttons of mice, create custom mouse gestures, customize the Siri Remote, and connect and configure MIDI devices. Also, it works great together with the new Shortcuts app on macOS Monterey.

BetterTouchTool’s developer, Andreas Hegenberg, recently introduced a new feature that is rapidly evolving: the “Notch Bar”. It is in an early development stage but already has quite a few fans, and now, Andreas would love to get your feedback on the feature to make it even better.

The Notch Bar is a customizable menu bar add-on that allows you to create completely custom bars with only the functions and widgets you regularly use. It works best on screens with a Notch, but can also be used on standard screens. It leaves your standard menu bar intact but hidden, so you can easily switch between standard and Notch Bar modes - e.g. by setting a keyboard shortcut to do so.

The Notch Bar comes with lots of default widgets, e.g. to show an emoji picker, calendar events, Shortcuts, weather, date/time, or your clipboard history. It can easily be extended using custom and third-party script widgets too. For example, the amazing Crypto Touch Bar app can now export crypto widgets for the Notch Bar.

For more info on the Notch Bar and a Quick Start Guide, please have a look at:

Here are a few examples of how Andreas is using the Notch Bar himself:

And soon, BetterTouchTool will introduce integration with the Stream Deck, so be on the lookout for an all-new way to use BetterTouchTool.

BetterTouchTool comes with a 45-day trial, after which you can choose between a license that includes all updates for 2 years and a lifetime license.

For a limited time, MacStories readers can purchase BetterTouchTool for 20% off by using the coupon code MACSTORIESBTT at checkout. So, don’t delay. Go to to learn more about this fantastic Mac app and take advantage of the special limited-time, 20% discount on BetterTouchTool.

Our thanks to BetterTouchTool for sponsoring MacStories this week.

MacStories Unwind: Strange Horticulture and Everything Everywhere All At Once


This week on MacStories Unwind, Federico plays Strange Horticulture and explores Final Fantasy: Crisis Core using the PPSSPP emulator on the Aya Neo and John recommends Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Federico’s Picks:

John’s Pick:

AppStories, Episode 282 – What WWDC 2022 Means for Apple’s Platforms

This week on AppStories, we take a step back to consider the future of WWDC and what this year’s announcements mean for each of Apple’s platforms.

Sponsored by:

  • Pillow – Sleeping better, made simple.
  • Sourcegraph – Universal Code Search. Move fast, even in big codebases. Try it now.
  • Instabug – Empower mobile teams to monitor, prioritize, and debug performance and stability issues and ship better mobile apps.
  • Memberful – Monetize your passion with membership

On AppStories+, we go behind the scenes of MacStories’ WWDC coverage and Federico explains the apps and approach he plans to take with his iOS and iPadOS 16 review this year.

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.


Last Week, on Club MacStories: AppStories Live, the New WWDC, Multitasking Questions, and Giveaways

Because Club MacStories now encompasses more than just newsletters, we’ve created a guide to the past week’s happenings along with a look at what’s coming up next:


  • Last week we held four live recordings of AppStories in the Club MacStories+ Discord community and took questions from listeners. Topics included:
    • Our first impressions of the WWDC keynote presentation
    • The new desktop-class features coming to iPadOS
    • Updates coming to Reminders
    • The M2 MacBook Air and macOS Ventura with special guest Myke Hurley
    • App Shortcuts, new Shortcuts actions, and our WWDC wishes that didn’t come true


  • We did daily app giveaways in the Club MacStories+ Discord, plus two more giveaways in MacStories Weekly 324

MacStories Weekly: Issue 324

Android Users Can Now Migrate Their WhatsApp Data to iPhone

WhatsApp announced beta support today for migrating the app’s data from Android devices to the iPhone using Apple’s Move to iOS app, which is available on the Google Play store. Move to iOS is an Android app that could already move contacts, messages, photos, videos, email accounts, and calendars.

With WhatsApp’s update, which is being released as a beta to a limited number of users to start, users with Android devices will be able to use Move to iOS to transfer their WhatsApp message history to iOS. Losing your message history in apps like WhatsApp has been one of the biggest downsides of jumping from one mobile device platform to another. By adding a way to migrate WhatsApp’s message history to iOS, it should be significantly easier for users of the messaging service to switch to iOS going forward.

WhatsApp has also added a support page to its website to walk users through the process of moving their message history from Android to iOS and a help document for anyone who has trouble with the process.

iA Writer 6 Adds Cross-Document Linking, Metadata, and More

iA Writer has long been one of the premier text editors on Apple’s platforms. The app’s design is top-notch, and it offers a feature set that makes it among the best options for writing in Markdown. Best of all, the app’s features stay out of your way while you’re writing. They’re easy to access, but they aren’t a distraction. That’s as true of iA Writer 6 today as it was with previous versions.

However, the Markdown text editor market is changing rapidly, with tools for creating interlinked notes and documents in a variety of ways that have quickly become table stakes for text editors and note-taking apps alike. iA Writer 6, which is available on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, is a response to those changes that fits comfortably with the app’s existing feature set and design. The update doesn’t go as far as an app like Obsidian when it comes to internal links. Nor is it extensible with plugins. However, for many users, I suspect iA Writer’s impeccable design and thoughtful features will outweigh its lack of certain power-user features.

Read more

TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino Interviews Craig Federighi About Stage Manager

Stage Manager is a very different approach to multitasking on the iPad and Mac for different reasons. TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino explored the design choices made by Apple on both platforms in an interview with Craig Federighi, the company’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering.

As Panzarino explains, Stage Manager feels very iPad-centric, but Federighi says it’s the result of the Mac and iPad teams meeting in the middle after developing similar approaches to a more streamlined version of multitasking:

“There were many of us who use the Mac every day who really wanted this kind of focused experience that gave us that balance. So we were on the Mac side, picking this idea up and saying we think that’s in reach, we want to make this happen. And separately on the iPad side we were thinking about [it]. And believe it or not two independent teams who are brainstorming and designing converge on almost the identical idea.”

In response to why Stage Manager is only supported by M1 iPads, Federighi pointed to memory, storage, and graphics as factors:

“It’s only the M1 iPads that combined the high DRAM capacity with very high capacity, high performance NAND that allows our virtual memory swap to be super fast,” Federighi says. “Now that we’re letting you have up to four apps on a panel plus another four – up to eight apps to be instantaneously responsive and have plenty of memory, we just don’t have that ability on the other systems.”

It was not purely the availability of memory that led Apple to limit Stage Manager to M1 iPads though.  

“We also view stage manager as a total experience that involves external display conductivity. And the IO on the M1 supports connectivity that our previous iPads don’t, it can drive 4k, 5k, 6k displays, it can drive them at scaled resolutions. We can’t do that on other iPads.”

There’s no doubt that Stage Manager takes some getting used to, and as Federighi acknowledges in the interview, it’s not finished, but I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen so far. Stage Manager has the potential to make the iPad a more productive device while serving as a bridge for users coming to the Mac from the iPad. That seems to be what Apple is going for, and with some refinements, and although the feature won’t be to everyone’s tastes, I think it could be a great solution for a lot of iPad and Mac users.


Mac-Savvy Businesses Love Daylite CRM [Sponsor]

For small businesses, it can be difficult to stay on top of clients, leads, and projects that are evolving every day. Here’s how Daylite can help supercharge your team to collaborate better, handle more clients, close more deals, and execute more projects. Designed for Mac, iPhone, and iPad exclusively.

Daylite is more than just a CRM app for small businesses. Its Productivity capability is what sets Daylite apart from other web-based competitors. 

Here are a few productivity-boosting power features that thousands of Mac-savvy businesses couldn’t do without:

Daylite Mail Assistant (DMA)

Direct Apple Mail integration allows you to take action from your inbox and be more productive. Instead of drowning in emails all day, you and your team can capture all email communication, clear out your inbox and stay on top of the next steps. Save emails related to clients, appointments, and tasks, so you have a full history of conversations in one place. Plus, you can create tasks in Daylite right from Apple Mail.


Its linking capability is what makes Daylite shine. You can link emails, notes, tasks, projects, appointments, and other records to existing contacts in Daylite. This enables teams to quickly and clearly view an organization’s structure and access the information they need in a unique way.

Daylite Calendar 

Daylite’s built-in calendar allows you to view your entire team’s schedule in one place. Set reminders for follow-ups and book meetings, so everyone stays in the loop and is always on top of their appointments. Set your calendar to “public” or “private”, so team members can only have access to the information they need.

CRM + Project Management

Daylite’s productivity-focused design helps you and your team get more done throughout the full customer lifecycle. From meeting prospects and winning business to managing the moving pieces on projects, all the way through to following up on referrals and repeat business, it’s all done in Daylite.

Daylite empowers small businesses by improving team efficiency and making collaboration easy—everything is organized, searchable, and accessible (even offline). You can easily access information and segment data tailored to your specific client’s history. 

If you live by the Mac, you’ll love Daylite. Start your free 14-day Daylite trial today!

Our thanks to Daylite for sponsoring MacStories this week.

Tech Radar Interviews Craig Federighi and Alan Dye About iOS 16’s Lock Screen Changes

Lance Ulanoff, writing for Tech Radar, has an in-depth look at the changes coming this fall to iOS 16. Ulanoff also interviewed Apple’s Apple SVP of Engineering Craig Federighi and Apple VP of Design Alan Dye for his story with the two executives providing a behind-the-scenes look at the technology and thinking behind the many changes coming this fall.

Regarding iOS 14’s Home Screen widgets, Federighi told Tech Radar:

We knew this was a multi-act play, and we knew our next venue would be the Lock Screen.

We saw a real opportunity to take that area that really has evolved slowly over time but has never seen this kind of massive step forward, and to do something really big – but something very Apple and very personal. So, this is an act of love this year,” he added.

The challenge for Dye’s design team was to create a system for customizing the Lock Screen that was simple, but also looked good:

From a Design Team perspective, our goal was to create something that felt almost more editorial, and to give the user the ability to create a Lock Screen that really… ends up looking like a great magazine cover or film poster but doing it in a way that’s hopefully really simple to create, very fun, and even with a lot of automation there,” said Dye.

Dye and Federighi also revealed that styles suggested for your Lock Screen wallpapers vary depending on the photo:

Dye told us that if the system doesn’t think the photo will look great, it won’t suggest it, a point of care and attention that helps guide the user towards more visually arresting Lock Screens.

“You get something so much more compelling than just laying a filter over the photo,” added Federighi.

Tech Radar’s story also covers the machine learning-based technology that allows iOS 16 to segment your photos so parts can overlap with the time, focus modes, and more. There’s a lot here and many interesting insights from Federighi and Dye worth digging into if you’re interested in design and how it’s implemented from an engineering standpoint.