BestPhotos Offers Streamlined Photo Management

BestPhotos, a photo management app from Chicago-based Windy Software that we’ve covered on Club MacStories before, was updated today with new features for quickly and efficiently organizing your photos. I take thousands of pictures each year and sometimes it feels like I take even more screenshots. Sifting through to find the best shots and discard old screenshots, duplicates, and just plain bad photos takes a lot of tapping and time in Apple’s Photos app. BestPhotos is a better solution that streamlines the whole process.

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Running a Mac from an iPad or iPhone with Remote Control for Mac

Evgeny Cherpak’s iOS app, Remote Control for Mac, has been updated with Siri shortcut support, which opens up some interesting ways to control a Mac with shortcuts. I’ve been using the app’s new Siri shortcuts for about a week and, as I covered on AppStories today, the shortcuts I’ve created that incorporate Remote’s functionality are already ones that I use every day.

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RECaf Review: Effortless Caffeine Tracking

RECaf is a brand-new caffeine-tracking app by Joe Cieplinski. The app does a remarkable job wringing the friction out of tracking caffeine, making it an excellent example of the benefits of using a narrowly-focused utility to get the best possible user experience.

Tracking anything is hard. It’s easy to forget to do and an interruption of the thing you’re trying to track. As a result, entering data is often sporadic or abandoned entirely. Cieplinski gets this and has built an app that is unusually sticky.

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Halide Introduces Smart RAW for iPhone XS, Joining a Host of Other Improvements

Since its debut Halide has been one of the best manual camera apps available on iPhone. The month of September brought a number of challenges to Halide’s team though, thanks to all the photography work Apple put into iOS 12 and the iPhone XS. And in response, within the span of a few weeks Halide has receive two major updates: version 1.9 on iOS 12’s release date, and releasing today is version 1.10 featuring Smart RAW.

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Review: Yoink Adds Support for Latest Mojave and iOS 12 Features

Yoink is the app I use on my Mac every day as a temporary spot to park files, snippets of text, images, and URLs. By itself, Yoink for Mac has been a fantastic time-saver. The latest updates to Yoink for iOS and the Mac, however, have been transformative. There’s more that can be done to support the cross-platform use of Yoink, but Handoff support, which makes it simple to move data between my Mac and iOS devices, and several other new features have already added a new dimension to the way I use the app and embedded it deeper into my day-to-day workflow than ever before.

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OmniFocus 3 for Mac: Multiple Tags, Enhanced Forecast, Powerful Perspectives

I, like probably many of you, struggle to remember essential things. I can remember that the fire alarm went off last Tuesday at 11:07 AM, but essential things like what I need to finish for the next episode of Automators don’t seem to stick in my head. Thankfully, I’m not alone! Many of us are on a constant quest, looking for the perfect task management system. Everyone has different requirements, and even if we did all use the same system, we’d use it differently.

Finding the perfect task management system can feel like a hunt for the mythical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – everyone has a different idea of how to get there, and lots of ideas for using the gold, but a solid plan and utilisation of the system

The sidebar in the tags view in OmniFocus 3.
A custom column view showing the task name, project, tags, defer and due dates, estimated time, notes, and flags.
The same tasks above, shown in fluid view.
The projects view in OmniFocus for Mac in light and dark mode.
Using colour in light mode.
Places tags in the sidebar.
Energy level and time of day tags.
The default toolbar in OmniFocus 3.
Tags in the inspector view.
Forecast view with interwoven events.
Showing the Forecast Tag.
An example Today perspective in OmniFocus.
Perspective filter rules showing nesting.
Tints and icons in OmniFocus 3 Custom Perspectives.
Showing the project view options in a custom perspective.
The settings for a perspective with combined tags.
How the perspective looks with these settings.
The Touch Bar in OmniFocus 3 for Mac.
Siri Shortcuts in OmniFocus 3.1 for iOS.
An example iOS perspective with 'Any' as the primary rule.

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OmniFocus 3 for Mac: Multiple Tags, Enhanced Forecast, Powerful Perspectives

I, like probably many of you, struggle to remember essential things. I can remember that the fire alarm went off last Tuesday at 11:07 AM, but essential things like what I need to finish for the next episode of Automators don’t seem to stick in my head. Thankfully, I’m not alone! Many of us are on a constant quest, looking for the perfect task management system. Everyone has different requirements, and even if we did all use the same system, we’d use it differently.

Finding the perfect task management system can feel like a hunt for the mythical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – everyone has a different idea of how to get there, and lots of ideas for using the gold, but a solid plan and utilisation of the system

The sidebar in the tags view in OmniFocus 3.
A custom column view showing the task name, project, tags, defer and due dates, estimated time, notes, and flags.
The same tasks above, shown in fluid view.
The projects view in OmniFocus for Mac in light and dark mode.
Using colour in light mode.
Places tags in the sidebar.
Energy level and time of day tags.
The default toolbar in OmniFocus 3.
Tags in the inspector view.
Forecast view with interwoven events.
Showing the Forecast Tag.
An example Today perspective in OmniFocus.
Perspective filter rules showing nesting.
Tints and icons in OmniFocus 3 Custom Perspectives.
Showing the project view options in a custom perspective.
The settings for a perspective with combined tags.
How the perspective looks with these settings.
The Touch Bar in OmniFocus 3 for Mac.
Siri Shortcuts in OmniFocus 3.1 for iOS.
An example iOS perspective with 'Any' as the primary rule.

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HomeCam 1.5 Adds Shortcuts to View Live HomeKit Camera Feeds in Siri, Search, and the Shortcuts App

I previously covered HomeCam, a HomeKit utility by indie developer Aaron Pearce, as a superior way to watch live video streams from multiple HomeKit cameras. In addition to a clean design and straightforward approach (your cameras are displayed in a grid), what set HomeCam apart was the ability to view information from other HomeKit accessories located in the same room of a camera and control nearby lights without leaving the camera UI. Compared to Apple’s approach to opening cameras in the clunky Home app, HomeCam is a nimble, must-have utility for anyone who owns multiple HomeKit cameras and wants to tune into their video feeds quickly. With the release of iOS 12, HomeCam is gaining one of the most impressive and useful implementations of Siri shortcuts I’ve seen on the platform yet.

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LookUp 5 Teaches Siri the Word of the Day and More via Shortcuts

We all know that it’s important to regularly learn new things, but often the busyness of life crowds out that learning and we settle into routines that make learning unnecessary. Fortunately, one of the things made possible by iOS 12 and the new Shortcuts app is that you can create your own custom “routines” of sorts with the help of Siri, and integrate daily learning into those routines.

In that vein, the excellent dictionary app LookUp was updated this week to version 5, which takes advantage of Siri shortcuts in iOS 12 to offer access to the word of the day via Siri. The update also brings a new Collections feature, additional shortcut options, and more.

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iPhone XS and XS Max Reviews: Not Dramatically Better Than iPhone X, Consider Waiting for iPhone XR

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max reviews have hit the web, three days before the smartphones are released in stores.



2018 is what is known as a “S” year—hence the XS branding—in which Apple retains the same physical design of the iPhone, for the most part, and instead focuses on internal improvements to the display, camera, performance, and so forth. Previous examples include the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 6s series.

Not only that, but Apple said last year’s iPhone X set the standard for the next decade of the smartphone, with its premium design and nearly edge-to-edge display, leaving the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max with big shoes to fill.

All that considered, let’s dive in and see how they stack up.

After nearly six days of trying out the devices, many media outlets agree that the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are “evolutionary, not

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1Password Extends into the iOS QuickType Keyboard with Password AutoFill

This year’s WWDC must have been a wild roller coaster ride for 1Password‘s developers, Agile Bits. Anxieties were surely at a high as Apple shared news of iCloud Keychain’s expanded capabilities in iOS 12 – the system now offers seamless new password creation, security code AutoFill, and more. Those segments seemed to signal Apple’s intent to make third-party apps like 1Password unnecessary for most users. Yet not long after Apple’s Keychain announcements, a new API was discovered that told an entirely different story. As I wrote in my iOS 12 overview earlier this summer:

One advantage Apple’s own iCloud Keychain has had over third-party password managers like 1Password is that it can populate relevant account info inside the QuickType keyboard. That level of convenience is hard to beat, no matter how much more full-featured third-party apps may be. Fortunately, in iOS 12 a new Password Manager API will enable Continue reading “1Password Extends into the iOS QuickType Keyboard with Password AutoFill”

Overcast 5: Redesigned Now Playing Screen, Search, Siri Media Shortcuts, and More

Overcast, Marco Arment’s popular podcast client for iPhone and iPad, received a major update today to version 5. While I’ve long praised Apple’s work on their built-in Podcasts app for iOS – particularly since getting three HomePods and leveraging Podcasts’ support for AirPlay 2 – I also recognize the appeal of Overcast’s advanced features and powerful audio effects. Sprinkled throughout Overcast’s release history are design details and enhancements big and small that make it a sophisticated, versatile client for podcast aficionados who don’t want to settle for a stock app. From this standpoint, despite welcome improvements to Podcasts in iOS 12, changes in Overcast 5 make it an even more attractive option that has caused me second-guess my decision to embrace Apple’s native app.

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tvOS 12: The MacStories Review

tvOS 12 is available today, the latest major software version for the Apple TV. tvOS releases are never as significant as those found on Apple’s other platforms, and that remains true this year; however, tvOS 12 does include a handful of new features that have the potential to truly improve the Apple TV experience on a daily basis. Improvements include upgrades to aerial screensavers, Dolby Atmos support, an easier way to enter passwords, and more. Let’s dive in.

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When CARROT Met Siri: Shortcuts and Siri Watch Face Support Added to CARROT Weather

One of the big themes of Apple’s software releases this fall is the opening up of Siri. With day one adoption of both Siri shortcuts and Siri face integration on the Apple Watch, CARROT Weather makes for a wonderful demonstration of how valuable this new, extended Siri can be in all its various forms. Finally, Siri can provide weather data from sources besides the first-party app, both through the standard voice interface and, to my delight, on the Siri watch face. And CARROT Weather takes great advantage of both new capabilities.

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Things 3.7 Brings Support for Shortcuts, Siri Watch Face, iPhone Landscape Mode, and More

Today Cultured Code launched the latest update to Things, version 3.7, on iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. The app’s headline feature is full support for Siri shortcuts, but it also brings welcome improvements in a few other areas: integration with the Apple Watch’s Siri face, landscape support on iPhone which includes the iPhone X, dynamic notifications, and more. Taken together, it’s a broad set of enhancements that takes full advantage of all the latest APIs Apple has to offer.

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Text Case Adds Siri Shortcut Support for Text Transformations

Not long ago, I reviewed an update to a new text transformation utility for iOS by Chris Hannah called Text Case. That update added support for title casing text according to popular style guides including the Chicago Manual of Style that we use here at MacStories. The app can do 13 other text transformations too like URL encoding and decoding, all caps, sentence capitalization, and many more.

I have the title casing rules of the style guide internalized for the most part, but every now and I want to check on a headline to be sure. In the past, I used an online service, which works well, but switching to a browser is an interruption. It’s a small interruption, but it’s one that may lead me to check another open tab or do something else that distracts me from completing an article. When I’m writing, I’d rather stay immersed in

Using Text Case with Siri and embedding it in a custom shortcut.

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Streaks 4 Adds iPad Support, Timed Tasks, HealthKit Improvements, and Siri Shortcuts

There are a lot of habit trackers on iOS, but Streaks was one of the first and remains the gold standard against which I measure all other trackers. Even as Crunchy Bagel has added new features and customization options, Streaks’ simple, elegant design has remained at the center of its user experience. That’s important because habit tracking only works if it’s easy to log events. Even the slightest friction makes it too easy to abandon your efforts.

I’ve reviewed Streaks 2 and last summer’s major 3.0 update before, so I won’t cover that ground again here. Instead, I’ll focus on what’s new: an all-new iPad app, timed tasks, improved health tasks, and Siri shortcuts.

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PCalc 3.8 Adds Support for iOS 12’s Siri Shortcuts, Including Powerful Clipboard Commands

PCalc, James Thomson’s advanced calculator for iPhone and iPad, has been updated this week to version 3.8. I’ve been testing PCalc 3.8 for the past couple of months on my devices running iOS 12, and it features one of the best implementations of Siri shortcuts I’ve seen from a third-party developer yet. Even more than the app’s excellent widget, shortcuts have enabled me to integrate PCalc features into different aspects of my daily workflow, including conversations with Siri via my HomePods.

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Text Case for iOS Adds Title Case Text Transformations Based on Popular Style Guides

Several weeks ago I mentioned Chris Hannah’s recently-released iOS text transformation utility Text Case in the Club MacStories weekly newsletter. The app has a simple, utilitarian design that uses the big, bold header text popularized by Apple apps like News and Music. Version 1.0 included a long list of built-in text transformations. Some, like URL encoding and decoding, are useful, and others, like ‘Mocking SpongeBob,’ are just for fun. By and large though, the transformations in version 1.0 were geared more towards developers than writers. That’s changed with version 1.2 of the app, which should make it appeal to a wider audience.

The latest update adds Title Case, which can transform headlines according to the style guides for the Associated Press, American Psychology Association, Modern Language Association, or Chicago Manual of Style. The update also adds sentence case and Pascal case.

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