AppStories, Episode 112 – Behind the Scenes of Federico’s iPad Story


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On this week’s episode of AppStories, we discuss the process of creating Federico’s story, Beyond the Tablet: Seven Years of iPad as My Main Computer and some of the topics from the story; later, we are joined by Brian King who worked with Federico on the introductory animation and 3D-rendered images throughout the story.

Sponsored by:

  • Luna Display: The only hardware solution that turns your iPad into a wireless display for your Mac. Use promo code STORIES at checkout for 10% off.
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→ Source: appstories.net

Panic Reveals Plans to Sell a Handheld Gaming System Called the Playdate in 2020


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Panic, well-known for its thoughtfully-designed Mac and iOS apps, has announced that it’s entering the hardware market with a portable gaming system called the Playdate, which will ship in early 2020 and cost $149. This isn’t Panic’s first foray into the game industry. With the release of the hit indie game Firewatch in 2016, the company became a game publisher. Later this year, Panic will publish the highly-anticipated Untitled Goose Game on the Nintendo Switch. Still, creating hardware is something altogether different for Panic.

The Playdate is a diminutive handheld device with hardware and software features that distinguish it from any other handheld on the market. The bright yellow handheld system is just 74mm  ×  76mm  ×  9mm, which is roughly three inches square and a little thicker than an iPhone XS.

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Apple Updates WWDC App in Advance of Conference


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On the heels of sending invitations to the press for the 2019 WWDC keynote that will be held beginning June 3rd, Apple has updated the WWDC app.

Much of the app’s UI is similar to the version released around this time last year, but now, the app’s icon can be changed between eight neon-themed Apple logo icons. There are also fourteen new animated iMessage stickers included many drawn from the artwork the company used for the initial WWDC announcement and the invitations sent earlier today. In years past, pins were distributed to attendees at check-in for the conference and during sessions that resembled stickers from the app.

The WWDC app can be downloaded for free from the App Store.


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Apple Sends Press Invitations and Confirms June 3rd WWDC Keynote


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In mid-March Apple announced that WWDC 2019 would take place the first week in June, and today the company confirmed that, following past tradition, the keynote for that conference will take place on June 3 at 10:00 am Pacific.

Apple is expected to unveil the latest versions of its major operating systems at WWDC, including iOS 13, watchOS 6, and macOS 10.15. We may also see hardware products announced too, like the long-anticipated modular Mac Pro. A live stream for the keynote has not yet been confirmed, but it remains likely since WWDC is one of the prime Apple events of the year.


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Apple Updates Its MacBook Pro Line with Faster CPUs and New Keyboard Mechanisms


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Apple updated its MacBook Pros today with new, faster processors and changes to the notebook line’s keyboard mechanism. According to an Apple press release:

The 15-inch MacBook Pro now features faster 6- and 8-core Intel Core processors, delivering Turbo Boost speeds up to 5.0 GHz, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar features faster quad-core processors with Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.7 GHz.

Apple says that the new 15-inch MacBook Pro with an 8-core processor is up to two times faster than the previous top-end quad-core model. To put that performance in perspective, Apple claims that:

Beyond the Tablet Extras: eBook, Special Episode of AppStories, and Making Of Essays


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Today, Federico published Beyond the Tablet: Seven Years of iPad as My Main Computer, a comprehensive evaluation of the advantages and shortcomings he’s experienced using an iPad as his primary computer. Weighing in at around 50,000 words, Beyond the Tablet rivals Federico’s annual iOS reviews in scope and depth of coverage. As a result, it felt appropriate to release the same sort of extras for this story that we’ve provided for iOS reviews.

Continue reading “Beyond the Tablet Extras: eBook, Special Episode of AppStories, and Making Of Essays”

Timery for Toggl: The MacStories Review


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I have a long, rocky relationship with time tracking. For years I tracked my time because I had to; clients were billed by the hour. I hated the tedium of it. A big part of that was because I didn’t have access to time tracking apps. Instead, I kept track of my time in a notebook or a plain-text document. When I left that job, I celebrated, figuring that I’d left time tracking in my wake. I was very wrong.

No sooner had I started writing and podcasting full-time than I found myself tracking every minute that I work again. There was a difference this time though. I was doing it for myself to ensure I spent my time wisely; no longer was I just feeding the back-end to an invoicing system.

Time tracking helps me weigh the value of the time I spend on every project, identify inefficiencies in

Toggl running as a Fluid browser app.
Timery adopts the modern iOS look with big, bold headers for each tab.
Timery's timer start button sits above its tabs and displays different information depending on whether a timer is running and whether Show Tag Names is turned on in Settings.
Starting a new timer can be done from scratch, using recent timers, or saved timers.
Starting, editing, and deleting timers is available with a swipe too.
Three 'Assemble Weekly' timers consolidated in Toggl's web app (left) and scattered throughout Timery's Time Entries tab.
Projects, Tasks, and Tags are managed from Timery's Settings.
Tasks can be managed in the Projects section of Timery's Settings (left) and added to a new time entry or saved timer (right).
Timery's implementation of Toggl's paid tasks feature.
Timery's many dark mode options.
Timery's widget.
Timery Siri shortcuts.
First, tap the Siri shortcut you want to set up in Timery, then go to the Settings app where it will be suggested and you can record a trigger phrase.
Timery's Siri shortcut can start, stop, and report on elapsed time tracked.

Continue reading “Timery for Toggl: The MacStories Review”

Perfect Tempo Brings Tempo Control to Apple Music Tracks


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Nearly 11 years into the App Store, it isn’t often that an app surfaces that does something unexpected which no one else seems to be doing, but Perfect Tempo by developer Open Planet does precisely that. The app is a simple utility designed for musicians and dancers who want to slow down or speed up music without affecting its pitch and loop it as they learn a song. Other apps have similar functionality that I’ve covered before, but what makes Perfect Tempo unique is that it can slow down and speed up streamed Apple Music tracks, which other apps can’t do.

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AppStories, Episode 111 – iOS 13 App Rumors and Wishes


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On this week’s episode of AppStories, we share our thoughts on the latest iOS 13 app rumors reported by Mark Gurman and 9to5Mac and other features and updates we’d like to see Apple implement this year.

Sponsored by:

  • Luna Display – The only hardware solution that turns your iPad into a wireless display for your Mac. Use promo code STORIES at checkout for 10% off.
  • Moo – Custom business printing and design. Use promo code PRINT15 for 15% off.

→ Source: appstories.net

Snapthread 2.0 Adds a Refined UI, an Improved iPad Experience, and New Tools


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When I first covered Snapthread early last year, you could tell where it was headed. The app was conceived initially by developer Becky Hansmeyer as a way to combine Snapchat videos. By last January though, the app had evolved into a general-purpose solution for quickly and easily stitching together Live Photos, still photos, and short videos that could be shared on any social network or directly with friends and family. With version 2.0, which is out today, Hansmeyer has refined the existing user experience, added useful new functionality without complicating the app, and leveraged the iPad to create a more versatile video creation tool that works equally well for quickly sharing your creations on social networks as it does with small groups of friends and family.

The core functionality of Snapthread hasn’t changed, so if you’d like to learn more about how to combine Live Photos, still images, and

Changes to Snapthread's UI give it a more expansive feel and places users' focus on their video project.
Snapthread includes a large set of keyboard shortcuts on the iPad.
Snapthread's looping and filter tools.

Continue reading “Snapthread 2.0 Adds a Refined UI, an Improved iPad Experience, and New Tools”

An Interview with Khoi Vinh, Principal Designer at Adobe


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Earlier this week I had the opportunity to sit down with Khoi Vinh, Principal Designer at Adobe who leads its Design Practices group and author of Subtraction.com. Vihn, who was in Chicago to speak at the HOW Design Live conference, talks about how Adobe is using Adobe XD to integrate UX and UI design and prototyping into the product creation process for everyone from freelancers to big companies. He also discusses designers’ role in addressing the problems social media is facing, how artificial intelligence is beginning to play a role in design, and his podcast, Wireframe.

(The following has been condensed and edited for readability.)

Tell me a little bit about what you’re working on at Adobe these days.

Adobe XD is one of the main priorities at Adobe. We’re really passionate about the experience design space; really passionate about how product designers, UX/UI designers, they’re Continue reading “An Interview with Khoi Vinh, Principal Designer at Adobe”

Bringing iOS Apps to the Mac Will Entail More Than Flipping a Switch


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Craig Hockenberry of The Iconfactory has an in-depth look at the challenges developers, designers, and marketers will face bringing their iOS apps to the Mac. Although Marzipan may make it possible to simply flip a switch in Xcode to build Mac and iOS versions of an app simultaneously, it’s unlikely to be that simple in practice. As Hockenberry notes:

that build setting is just the first step on a long and complicated road. Good interaction doesn’t come for free.

That’s because user interactions are different between iOS devices and Macs and driven by multiple factors including differing input devices, screen sizes, and individual UI elements.

One of the many examples of design challenges that Hockenberry covers is moving from iOS device screen sizes to Mac screens:

The most obvious design element that will change as you move from iOS to macOS is the screen. If you’ve designed for the Continue reading “Bringing iOS Apps to the Mac Will Entail More Than Flipping a Switch”

StopTheNews Forces Apple News Links to Open in Safari


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Developer Jeff Johnson, the maker of StopTheMadness, has released a free Mac utility called StopTheNews that forces Apple News links to open in Safari instead of the News app.

The app works with Safari and Safari Technology Preview by registering itself as the default handler for the Apple News URL scheme. As Johnson explains on his website:

When StopTheNews gets an Apple News URL from Safari, it loads the page invisibly, finds the URL of the original article, and then opens the original article URL in Safari.

For example, this Apple News URL – https://apple.news/APIpuWVOoQQCi6gCg7H8zQg – opens a link on National Geographic’s website instead of in the News app. In my limited testing, StopTheNews works as advertised, opening Apple News links in Safari quickly. I don’t know if it’s possible, but I’d love to see StopTheNews also prevent Safari from asking if you want to open an

Instead of opening Apple News (left), StopTheNews forces Apple News URLs to open in Safari (right).

Continue reading “StopTheNews Forces Apple News Links to Open in Safari”