Soulver 3 for Mac: The MacStories Review


This post is by John Voorhees from MacStories


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The strength of Soulver lies in its flexibility. Full-fledged spreadsheet apps like Numbers and Excel have their place. However, day-to-day life requires calculations that don’t demand that level of horsepower and benefit from contextualizing numbers with text. It’s the kind of math that happens in notebooks and on the back of envelopes. By combining elements of a text editor, spreadsheet, and plain English syntax, Soulver commits those easily-lost notebook scribblings to a format that allows for greater experimentation and easier sharing.

During WWDC last week, Acqualia Software released a major update to the app. Soulver 3 for Mac features an updated design and substantial new functionality that I love. The app has never been easier to use, and its implementation of a sidebar to corral sheets is fantastic.

However, unlike its predecessor, version 3‘s file format is incompatible with the iOS version of the app and earlier Mac versions. Soulver

Light and dark modes.
Date and time calculations.
Subtotals in action.
Setting up and using a global variable in Soulver.
Using line references to do the final calculation.
Alfred integration.

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Twitterrific 6 Brings Media Enhancements, New Themes and Display Customizations, and More


This post is by Ryan Christoffel from MacStories


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It’s been nearly seven years since Twitterrific 5 launched on the App Store, and so much about Twitter has changed since then. One major shift is the seismic increase in media shared on the platform; as our devices and data speeds have gotten faster, so too have the amount of GIFs, images, and videos we share online grown. While Twitterrific has certainly done its fair share of adapting for the times in previous updates, adding improved media controls and the like, today Twitterrific 6 introduces the most significant updates for the app’s media experience to date. There’s a new GIPHY integration, autoplaying videos and GIFs in the timeline, and a lot more. Added to that, users can now customize their Twitterrific experience in fresh ways thanks to additional themes, icons, and a new font.

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Review: Amazon’s Good Omens is every bit as entertaining as the original novel


This post is by Jennifer Ouellette from Ars Technica


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Michael Sheen and David Tennant star in Amazon Prime's TV adaptation of the 1990 novel <em>Good Omens</em>.

Enlarge / Michael Sheen and David Tennant star in Amazon Prime’s TV adaptation of the 1990 novel Good Omens. (credit: Amazon Prime)

Heaven and Hell prepare to face off in the long-planned battle of Armageddon, but an angel, a demon, and a rebellious Antichrist aren’t enthusiastic about the prospect in Good Omens. The six-part limited series is based on the original 1990 novel by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett, and it’s every bit as entertaining as the source material.

(Some spoilers for the book and series below.)

Confession: I am an uber-fan, having read the book multiple times over the last 19 years. I’ll likely read it several more times before I kick off this mortal coil, so I’m very much in the target audience for the series. Good Omens is the story of an angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and a demon Crowley (David Tennant) who

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OWC Review Roundup – May 2019


This post is by MacSales.com Newsfeed from Other World Computing Blog


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This isn’t something we often do at Rocket Yard, but since we are part of the OWC family we thought we’d throw together a handful of reviews from this May for any gear-heads out there!

Review: OWC Aura N and Aura Pro X2 MacBook Pro Upgrade Kits
“The OWC low-cost Aura N series and the higher-performance, slightly more-costly Pro X2 are the best known and, really, the only logical solutions on the market today for increasing the onboard storage capacity of pre-2016 MacBook Pros.”
• Read more at studiodaily.com
Best Mac Accessories in 2019
“Every port you could want: OWC 12-port Thunderbolt 3 Dock”
• Read more at imore.com
Get the new OWC Aura Pro X2 SSDs for Mac now
“OWC recently launched its brand new Aura Pro X2 SSD upgrade kits up to 2TB, allowing MacBook, Mac mini and Mac Pro users to upgrade their SSD

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OmniFocus for Web Review: Access Your Tasks Everywhere


This post is by Rosemary Orchard from MacStories


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The best task manager you can have is the one that’s always with you, no matter which device you’re using. Many people started with paper notebooks or index cards, and nowadays we have iPhones and iPads that can go with us everywhere, and even Apple Watches that can be independent devices if we need them to be.

The web is a ubiquitous platform – it’s everywhere, the framework behind much of what we interact with, and something we nearly always have access to. OmniFocus for the Web is a brand new product that makes the most of the web platform to allow you to manage your tasks on any computer – be that Windows, Linux, or a Mac.

OmniFocus for the Web is intended as a companion product; you need either the Mac or iOS version of OmniFocus 3 in order to use it. You can either pay for access

The flagged view, grouped by tags.
The tag, task, and project inspectors in OmniFocus for the Web.
Forecast View in OmniFocus for the Web (Beta).
OmniFocus for the Web on iOS and Android.
Choosing a plan on the web.

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Ulysses 16 Adds Powerful Split View Editing on iPad, Plus Ghost Publishing


This post is by Ryan Christoffel from MacStories


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Earlier this spring, in its last major update, Ulysses added Split View editing on the Mac, a feature that was thoughtfully implemented and which I immediately wished existed on iPad. Today, in version 16 of the app, Ulysses on iPad gains its own powerful split view editor, plus adds a new native publishing option: Ghost joins the existing WordPress and Medium integrations.

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GIFwrapped 2 Offers Redesigned, Streamlined GIF Management with Universal Search and iCloud Drive


This post is by Ryan Christoffel from MacStories


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GIFwrapped has long been one of the best ways to store and access your GIF collection on iOS. Five years after our initial review of the app, developer Daniel Farrelly’s GIF utility has received a big update today: version 2.0. GIFwrapped 2 completely rethinks the app’s UI, streamlining it from tab-based to panel-based, while also adding support for two key new features: universal search and iCloud sync.

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Vignette: Easily Update Your Contact Photos Without Sacrificing Privacy


This post is by Ryan Christoffel from MacStories


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I’m the type of person who tries to add a photo to each of my iPhone’s contact listings. I can’t stand having grey, initial-laden photo bubbles in Messages; while contact photos can be disabled in Messages’ settings, I’ve never done that because once photos are added, it gives the app so much extra beauty and utility. For years I’ve done the manual work of choosing contact photos from my own photo library or, more often, finding images for contacts online via social media, then adding them to my contacts from there.

Based on the times I’ve peeked at someone else’s Messages app, most people never bother to go through the trouble of manually configuring contact photos; I don’t blame them, because it’s a nuisance. However, a new app called Vignette, from developer Casey Liss, aims to eliminate the pain of adding contact images by sourcing the web and Continue reading “Vignette: Easily Update Your Contact Photos Without Sacrificing Privacy”

CARROT Weather Enables Notifications for Storm Cells, Precipitation, Lightning Strikes, Government Alerts, and More


This post is by Ryan Christoffel from MacStories


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The latest update to CARROT Weather was released today, version 4.11, which is centered entirely around notifications. Though the types of notifications available depend on your subscription plan due to the different costs associated with each data source, in total there are a ton of options available to satisfy anyone’s needs. Whether you simply want to avoid getting caught in the rain without an umbrella, or finding yourself outdoors when a storm hits, or one of many other weather situations, CARROT Weather can now keep you informed with timely notifications for a variety of weather events.

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Fiery Feeds Adds iCloud Accounts, Three-Pane iPad View, New Customization Tools, and More


This post is by Ryan Christoffel from MacStories


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Fiery Feeds, the modern, flexible RSS client for iOS, was updated today with a variety of new features that take the app to new heights: enabling iCloud-based accounts for RSS and Read Later so you don’t need third-party services, adding a three-pane layout on iPad, offering new, configurable methods for navigation, and a lot more. There’s something for everyone, from users who may be new to RSS to Fiery Feeds veterans who will appreciate the additional power offered here.

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Perfect Tempo Brings Tempo Control to Apple Music Tracks


This post is by John Voorhees from MacStories


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


This post is by John Voorhees from MacStories


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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.

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LookUp 5.2 Brings New Watch App, Handoff Support, and Instant Search


This post is by Ryan Christoffel from MacStories


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Today my favorite dictionary app, LookUp, was updated to version 5.2 on iOS and watchOS. The update centers around a new, modernized Watch app with a feature I’m really excited about: Siri face support for the word of the day. The Watch app isn’t the only noteworthy improvement though, as LookUp has also added Handoff support and search improvements on iOS.

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Kernel Review: Modern Movie Tracking


This post is by Ryan Christoffel from MacStories


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Most of the apps I cover for MacStories relate in some way to productivity, a theme that extends to the apps normally dominating my iPhone’s home screen. Writing and note-taking apps, task managers, communication apps, and tools like Shortcuts all help me get things done each day. However, sometimes what I want from my phone isn’t a productivity tool, but an app that specializes in something related less to work and more to fun. For example, a movie tracker. Kernel is a new app that does just that.

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HomeRun Launches Advanced Daily Routine Feature for Complications and Siri Face


This post is by Ryan Christoffel from MacStories


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HomeRun 1.2 was released today from developer Aaron Pearce, the latest evolution of the Apple Watch app for controlling HomeKit scenes from your wrist. Its last big update introduced the ability to create custom complications on the Watch, which was a fantastic addition because it enabled users to implement the complications that work best for them personally. Today’s update extends the theme of user customization and programmability, but takes it to a whole new level – exceeding anything I’ve seen from another Watch app before now.

Version 1.2 of HomeRun revolves around one main feature – daily routines – which takes a couple different forms. In each manifestation, however, daily routines equip users to program which actions the app surfaces on their wrist during the course of a normal day.

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The Orville proves it’s one of the best sci-fi shows on TV with S2 finale


This post is by Jennifer Ouellette from Ars Technica


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The crew of the USS Orville stands ready for new adventures in season 2 of <em>The Orville</em>.

Enlarge / The crew of the USS Orville stands ready for new adventures in season 2 of The Orville. (credit: Fox Broadcasting)

Fox’s sci-fi series The Orville closed out a terrific second season with an ambitious finale that showcased all the elements that make this such an intellectually and emotionally satisfying show.

(Some spoilers below.)

Season 1 of The Orville admittedly had a rocky start, at least in terms of critical reception, garnering just a 19 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes when it debuted. Viewers begged to differ: they gave the freshman series a 91 percent favorable rating, won over by its skillful mix of humor and drama. That’s a tough balance to pull off, but The Orville succeeds admirably. Season 2 won even more fans. This is a smart series that combines humor and witty dialogue with cutting-edge science, ethical musings, the occasional literary reference, and genuine

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Overcast Adds Simple Podcast Video Clip Sharing


This post is by John Voorhees from MacStories


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Today, Marco Arment released an update to Overcast with a new podcast clip sharing feature. Arment explains why he created the new feature on Marco.org:

Podcast sharing has been limited to audio and links, but today’s social networks are more reliant on images and video, especially Instagram. Podcasts need video clips to be shared more easily today.

I’ve seen some video clips from tools specific to certain podcast networks or hosts, but they were never available to everyone, or for every show. So people mostly just haven’t shared podcast clips, understandably, because it has been too hard.

He’s right. I created a Final Cut Pro template project for making sharable video clips for AppStories, the show I do with Federico. I’ve shared those clips on Instagram and Twitter in the past, but even with a template, the process was more cumbersome and time-consuming than it was worth,

Video clips can be shared in portrait, landscape, or square formats.
Overcast's updated clip landing pages include links to Apple Podcasts, Castro, Pocket Casts, and the show's RSS feed.

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Marvis Review: The Ultra-Customizable Apple Music Client


This post is by Ryan Christoffel from MacStories


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Marvis is a music player that launched on iPhone just two months ago, yet in a 3.0 update today expands its usefulness immensely thanks to a major new feature: full Apple Music integration. With today’s release, Marvis joins the growing list of third-party apps that use Apple’s MusicKit API to offer access to and control of your Apple Music library.

Marvis follows in the footsteps of Soor, which Federico reviewed earlier this year, in prioritizing layout customization as one of its hallmark advantages over Apple’s first-party Music app. Pushing beyond what even Soor accomplished though, in Marvis customization is taken to a whole new level, with fine-grained design options that no other app can compare with.

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Juice Consolidates the Mac’s Bluetooth Functionality into a Single, Handy Utility


This post is by John Voorhees from MacStories


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Juice is a Bluetooth device manager for the Mac styled to look like Apple’s Home app. I didn’t expect to like the utility much because I don’t like the Home app’s design. It turns out though that for an app like Juice, Home’s mostly monochrome tile UI works and the app does an excellent job consolidating useful bits of Bluetooth functionality that are scattered throughout macOS.

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MindNode 6 Review: Refined Mind Mapping


This post is by Ryan Christoffel from MacStories


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When MindNode debuted its last major version, it brought a major revamping and modernization of the core app experience. The update was a resounding success in my view: adopting the document browser, an adjustable panel system, and drag and drop made MindNode a shining example of modern iOS design; at the same time, additions like quick entry mode and a slate of new, easy to decipher iconography made MindNode more accessible to the mind mapping novice.

Where MindNode 5 brought major evolution and a fresh foundation, today’s version 6 for iOS and the Mac is able to build on that foundation with refinements and advancements that make the app more versatile and expand existing features in new ways. I’ve grouped those improvements into two categories: focus aids and efficiency aids.

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