Today I came across this app called Scratch Track. The app lets you record song ideas and easily share them with bandmates to foster collaboration and keep everything in one spot. Here’s the founder on Medium talking about the app:
The concept for Scratch Track came from years of playing in DIY/punk bands, where musicians are always adapting to the latest, cheapest recording tools for capturing basic ideas. In recent years, we’ve found ourselves and many others relying heavily on the Voice Memo app (a simple recording tool that comes pre-installed on the iPhone). Capturing new ideas with Voice Memo was incredibly easy, but unfortunately, everything after that was a struggle.
You can watch a quick trailer here. The group sharing/collaboration feature is pretty great. I think being able to add notes and tags to the song clips would help with searching and sorting. This is definitely an app I’ll be keeping an eye on.
Pre-orders are now up for the game Alto’s Odyssey. This is the sequel to one of my favorite iOS games of all time, Alto’s Adventure.
Letterboxd, an app for tracking movies that I’ve talked a bit about before, has launched version 2.0:
In the 22 months since the launch of our iPhone app, we’ve consistently received the same feedback: please make this work on my iPad! We’re pleased to announce that today we’ve shipped Letterboxd 2.0 for iOS, a universal app with native iPad support that brings the richness of our community to the larger form factor.
You can follow me here if you’re interested.
Pixelmator, one of my favorite image editors on the Mac, has released Pixelmator Pro:
The Pixelmator Team today released Pixelmator Pro, a brand new Mac app that redefines image editing on the Mac, providing professional-grade editing tools in an incredibly intuitive and accessible design. Pixelmator Pro 1.0, codenamed Whirlwind, includes a modern single-window interface, nondestructive, GPU-powered image editing tools, machine learning-enhanced editing features, and more.
MacStories has a good review:
The decision of whether to move to Pixelmator Pro won’t be a clear one for everyone given the price differential. That’s exacerbated by a small, but real learning curve associated with the Pro version because many of the tools have moved and the menus have changed. In addition, Pixelmator remains a solid app that includes many of the features that Pixelmator Pro has. That said, Pixelmator Pro has been built from the ground up with Apple’s current technologies, which I expect will mean that in time, Pixelmator will be left behind its Pro sibling, gaining fewer and fewer of the Pro version’s features.
Marco Arment, the developer behind my favorite podcast app Overcast, has released a public beta for his new tool for podcast producers called Forecast. This tool lets you create podcast chapters, encode your podcast, and is pitched as a time saver for the final steps in podcast creation.
Flexibits, the creators of my favorite calendar app Fantastical, have launched their new contacts app, Cardhop.
MacStories has a good run down:
Cardhop is based on a single text field that sometimes acts as a search field and other times is a text input field. Clicking on Cardhop’s icon in your menu bar opens a detachable drop-down window with a cursor blinking in an empty field. Below that is a column of contact groups on the left, which are the same ones you’d find if you open Apple’s Contacts app, and a list of recently contacted people and upcoming birthdays on the right. If you want to see all your contacts though, they are just one button click away. You can also hide the groups panel with a button at the bottom of the Cardhop window, which reduces Cardhop to its most minimal UI, which is how I prefer to use it because I don’t usually organize contacts into groups.
I think it looks really good, but I don’t have much of a usage for something like this. It sure is pretty though.
Twitterrific, the long running Twitter client, has released a new Mac version today:
Twitterrific for macOS features a clean, uncluttered timeline displaying just the content you care about. There are no advertisements, promoted tweets, or “while you were away” updates getting in the way of the stuff you care about most. In addition, tweets are presented in chronological order and other people’s likes aren’t cluttering up your timeline.
It looks like a solid release. I still prefer Tweetbot, but the customization options offered here are really nice. I hope this inspires Tweetbot to keep pushing forward and improving their version.
Rogue Amoeba is having a 15-year anniversary sale on a bunch of their fantastic audio software. I record the Encore podcast each week using Audio Hijack, and it comes highly recommended:
We want to celebrate with savings for customers both new and old. For a limited time, we’re matching our 15 years in business with 15% off all our apps! But it gets better: Scratch the card below to save even more! The savings boost you uncover will multiply your discount, with a lucky few saving as much as 60%!
Faviconographer asks Safari.app for a list of all visible tabs (and their positions) in the current window, and for the URLs of those tabs.
It then uses that information to fetch the corresponding icons from Safari’s Favicon cache (WebpageIcons.db), and draws them above the Safari window.
It’s a “hack” — the cleanest solution would be Apple implementing Favicons in Safari — but it works surprisingly well.
Note: Faviconographer does not “hack” your system. It does not inject code into other apps or manipulate system files. In fact, it doesn’t even require Administrator access!
I’ve gotten used to not having favicons in tabs, but I know a lot of people live by them.
After reading the MacStories review of the Streaks app, I decided to give it a shot:
Streaks helps you set personal goals and stick to them using a combination of reminders and tracking. One of the hallmarks of the app, and what undoubtedly won it an Apple Design Award in 2016, is its obsessive attention to ease-of-use. By the very nature of its mission, Streaks is an app in which you shouldn’t spend a lot of time. Whether it’s in the main app, widget, or Apple Watch app, Streaks is designed to remove the friction of turning goals into habits by tracking tasks in a way that doesn’t become tedious, which makes it important to be able to mark items as completed quickly and easily.
I’ve only been using it for three days so far, but I think this will be something I stick with for a while. I like the idea of having a few (currently only four) streaks set up to help form some habits I’ve been having trouble with.
Things 3 was recently released. MacStories has a good run-down:
An app’s visual design is, in many ways, a matter of preference. But as far as I’m concerned, you would be hard-pressed to find a better looking to-do app than Things. The first time I opened it on my iPad, I couldn’t help but pause a few moments to admire it. And while that initial sense of awe wore off after a few days of use, its residual impact can be judged by the way Things has ruined other apps for me. Things 2 looks archaic by comparison, and even more modern task managers like Todoist and 2Do appear dated after using Things 3. The only task manager I’ve come across that feels like it’s from the same design era is Microsoft’s successor to Wunderlist, To-Do.
This is the to-do/task manager app I most recommend. I, personally, still use Omnifocus, but that’s because I’m a crazy person and have pretty specific way I manage tasks. But, for most people … Things 3 is the way to go.
Jacob Kastrenakes, writing for The Verge:
1Password received a handy new feature last week that allows the app to temporarily remove all passwords, credit cards, and other stored data from a user’s devices. The feature is called Travel Mode, and it was created to protect users worried about running into trouble with security agents while traveling.
Increasingly, people are being asked to turn over and unlock their phones at the border, and doing that can expose a huge amount of data. Add in an app like 1Password — a central repository for a ton of private data — and it’s easy to see why someone would be worried about having to hand over their phone.
I can’t believe we need something like this … but we do.
My favorite podcast client, Overcast, has had a big update for 3.0:
Overcast 3 is now available, and it’s a huge update, mostly in the design and flow of the interface. I’ve been working on it since last summer, informed by over two years of testing, usage, and customer feedback.
MacStories has as great review (and I don’t just say that because there’s a nice screenshot of Encore in it):
The most notable visual and practical change in Overcast 3.0, however, is the new episode action tray. Inspired by Tweetbot’s tap-to-reveal action drawer in the timeline, Overcast’s action bar groups and simplifies actions that were previously hidden behind swipe gestures or other menus nested in an episode’s page. Upon tapping an episode in a list, Overcast will display buttons to share, star, play, add to queue, and delete the selected item.
I spent all of yesterday listening to my favorite shows in the new version of the app, and it’s still by far my favorite way to listen to podcasts.
Rogue Amoeba has released their new Mac app SoundSource:
From SoundSource’s menu bar icon, you can instantly configure the audio devices your Mac uses for Input, Output and Sound Effects. In seconds, you can adjust the volume for each of your audio devices or switch between connected devices. SoundSource can also enable the soft play-thru of audio from input devices. Use the Play-Thru window to monitor any connected input, such as a microphone, right through your headphones or other output.
When I learned about Nomorobo from readers and saw how creepy it wasn’t, I deleted Truecaller immediately and subscribed to Nomorobo, and it works great.
A few days ago, after a 100% success rate for a couple of weeks — every spam call (and zero non-spam calls) identified before I answer — I enabled the option to send spam calls directly to voicemail.
Now, from my point of view, I just don’t get spam calls anymore.
To me, that’s $2/month very well spent.
I must have been put on some list somewhere because I’ve been getting one or two robocalls a day for the past month.1 I finally signed up for Nomorobo after hearing Marco talk about it on the latest episode of ATP and it’s been money well spent.
Tooth Fairy is for macOS:
Single click away from your favorite bluetooth device. Tooth Fairy helps you to switch connection of a selected bluetooth device, for example, AirPods, directly from menu bar or even global hotkey. You can do it with the system bluetooth menu bar but Tooth Fairy can save you a few clicks.
Recommended: Control + ESC to quickly connect your AirPods.
I’ve been playing around with this new app called Record Bird that lets you select a bunch of your favorite bands and make sure you’re notified when they release new music.
Record Bird informs you about new and upcoming music releases of your favorite artists and genres. Always be the first to know about a new album or single by your favorite bands and musicians.
It’s missing some of the more indie artists at the moment, but it’s a pretty cool app. Worth giving a look.
Spark, an email client I’ve often recommended on iOS, has come to the Mac today. MacStories has a good review of the app:
It’s good to see Spark come to the Mac and I’m sure fans of the iOS app will be pleased that Readdle brought many features of the iOS version to macOS. Despite some rough edges and quirks in version 1.0, Spark’s clean design, email management tools, and ability sync with the iOS version using iCloud make it a solid choice, especially for users of Spark for iOS.
I haven’t given it a spin yet, but the screenshots look good.
Chordify is a new app that purports to give you the chords to almost any song. I haven’t given it a try yet, but I’ve seen it getting pretty decent reviews from a few people I trust.