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Federico Viticci

Editor-in-chief

Mastodon: @viticci@macstories.netEmail: viticci@macstories.net

Federico is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of MacStories, where he writes about Apple with a focus on apps, developers, iPad, and iOS productivity. He founded MacStories in April 2009 and has been writing about Apple since. Federico is also the co-host of AppStories, a weekly podcast exploring the world of apps, and Dialog, a show where creativity meets technology.

He can also be found on his two other podcasts on Relay FM – Connected and Remaster.

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App Debuts

APP DEBUTS

Noteworthy new app releases and updates, handpicked by the MacStories team.

File Widgets

I love this app idea: as the name suggests, File Widgets brings the functionality of the Files widget from iOS and iPadOS to macOS, where Finder doesn’t offer a similar widget to quickly see recent files from a folder. To use the app, you pick which folders you want to monitor in widgets, then you add some widgets to your Mac desktop and edit them to point at previously-selected folders. That’s it. You can then click on files inside widgets to open them in their default app, click on sub-folders to view them in Finder, or click the widget’s name to open the original folder in the Finder app. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple Sherlocks File Widgets later this year.

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Three Mac Tips I Recently Implemented in My MacPad Workflow

TIPS

Tips and tricks to master your apps and be more productive.

Three Mac Tips I Recently Implemented in My MacPad Workflow

As I continue using the MacPad as my main convertible computer and further cementing my belief that I created the best Apple device the company never officially made, I regularly run across new apps and strategies that I want to incorporate in my workflow. This week, I’m going to run down a few things I recently learned about working on the Mac that I hope will be useful to non-MacPad owners as well.

Pin Obsidian Notes to a Sidebar

I guess this feature isn’t necessarily exclusive to macOS, but I think it works better on the Mac thanks to larger screens and Obsidian’s superior performance on desktop. I recently learned that Obsidian lets you drag a tab to the left sidebar, and once there, you can open it in a compact sidebar-only layout that’s perfect for keeping a note always available for quick reference. Like this:

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Interesting Links

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App Debuts

APP DEBUTS

Noteworthy new app releases and updates, handpicked by the MacStories team.

Riveo

I haven’t used Riveo a lot, but it’s an app that I’ve kept my eye on for a long time because it’s part of a growing category of iPhone-first video editing apps that offers a more interesting set of filters and effects than its competitors. This week, version 3 was released with support for Shortcuts and Siri commands. Riveo’s four Shortcuts actions can open the app’s camera feature, create an image or video with an existing Riveo template, or send media to Riveo for further editing. In my experience, it’s unusual for apps like Riveo to offer Shortcuts support, so it’s great to see the app adding a new way for its users to automate their creations.

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ActiveTask: A Shortcut to Turn an Obsidian Document into a Deep-Linked Task in Things

SHORTCUTS CORNER

Get help and suggestions for your iOS shortcuts and productivity apps.

Shortcuts Essentials

ActiveTask: A Shortcut to Turn an Obsidian Document into a Deep-Linked Task in Things

Earlier this week, we released version 1.1 of Obsidian Shortcut Launcher, our free plugin that lets you trigger shortcuts in Apple’s Shortcuts app using Obsidian commands and input data from the document you’re working on. If you missed the announcement, check out the details and examples on MacStories, which I won’t rehash here.

In the story, I teased a shortcut to turn an Obsidian document containing a specific property into a task in the Things app with a deep-link to the original document in Obsidian. The shortcut is called ActiveTask, and it is what I’m sharing today in MacStories Weekly.

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Getting the Name of the Frontmost App on macOS Using Shortcuts

TIPS

Tips and tricks to master your apps and be more productive.

Getting the Name of the Frontmost App on macOS Using Shortcuts

I was recently debugging one of my old shortcuts that integrated with macOS to get the name of the frontmost app using AppleScript and noticed that, at some point over the past two years, that script had stopped working. I tried fixing the AppleScript myself, but after five minutes spent trying random and outdated code snippets found on StackOverflow, it hit me: there was probably a way to do this using native Shortcuts actions, without having to rely on old scripting techniques at all. And I was right.

This realization goes to show that, sometimes, it’s useful not to think about Mac automation within the context of old scripting languages and legacy integrations. On the Mac, Shortcuts offers a ‘Find Windows’ action that returns a list of all the windows currently open on the system. This action contains some filters, too: specifically, there’s a way to sort windows by their window index and limit results to a specific number of windows. I remembered from my AppleScript days that the frontmost window has an index of 1, so I figured that if I sorted windows by index with the smallest value first then limited results to one window only, I’d be able to get the Window variable for the window in front of me.

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