Find Federico on MastodonFind John on MastodonFind Alex on MastodonFind Club MacStories on Mastodon

John Voorhees

Managing Editor

Mastodon: @johnvoorhees@macstories.netEmail: voorhees@macstories.net

John, MacStories’ Managing Editor, has been writing about Apple and apps since joining the team in 2015. He also co-hosts MacStories’ podcasts, including AppStories, which explores of the world of apps, MacStories Unwind, a weekly recap of everything MacStories and more, and MacStories Unplugged, a behind-the-scenes, anything-goes show exclusively for Club MacStories members.

Only Premier members can view this post on Club MacStories.

Already a Club Premier member? Sign in

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.

READ MORE

Interesting Links

John's iOS Game Picks

MACSTORIES RECOMMENDS

Great apps, accessories, gear, and media recommended by the MacStories team.

John's iOS Game Picks

Last week, when I linked to a couple of stories about the tenth anniversary of Monument Valley, I got feedback that the days of good mobile games on iOS are over. While I agree that iOS gaming has changed a lot since Monument Valley and its contemporaries were released, it goes too far to write off iOS as a videogame platform. So today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite games I’ve tried on iOS recently.

Peglin

A roguelike deckbuilder in the spirit of Slay the Spire combined with a Peggle-like game sounds bananas because it kind of is. But it’s also a lot of fun. Your mission is to recover the gold stolen from you by dragons. You’re confronted by increasingly tough enemies you defeat by collecting damage points via its Pachinko-style mechanic. Along the way, you collect orbs and relics that affect your ability to collect pegs and inflict damage. Peglin is in Early Access on Steam for the PC, so I expect the mobile version will improve over time as the PC version is refined, but you can download and play the first third of the game for free, with the rest available as a one-time purchase.

READ MORE

Only Premier members can view this post on Club MacStories.

Already a Club Premier member? Sign in

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.

READ MORE

A Pitch for an Apple Controller Pro

THE EXTENSION

Exploring topics beyond our day-to-day coverage.

A Pitch for an Apple Controller Pro

In my mind’s eye, an Apple Controller Pro looks something like 8BitDo’s Ultimate Controller.

Apple’s relationship to gaming is as fascinating as it is frustrating. This week, The Ringer had an excellent piece by Lewis Gordon that traced the decline of premium gaming experiences on iOS over the past decade, declaring the release of Monument Valley in 2014 the high water mark for iPhone gaming.

Every time I read a story like Gordon’s, I’m left wondering why Apple hasn’t moved to compete more directly with console or PC gaming. The pieces of the puzzle have been at Apple’s fingertips for years. However, despite some signs of life, like the release of Death Stranding and Resident Evil Village, the company doesn’t seem much closer to competing in the console and PC game arena than before.

READ MORE

My Updated Research and Writing Setup

My Updated Research and Writing Setup

I went into last weekend knowing I had a lot to do. The DOJ had filed a complex, 88-page antitrust complaint against Apple, I wanted to brush up on antitrust law, and I’d collected over 30 articles about the lawsuit. I’d need a way to digest all of that material efficiently so I would still have time left to write what I knew would be a lengthy story by my self-imposed Monday deadline.

This sort of project is different than most of the writing I do. For something like an app or product review, I typically have whatever I’m reviewing and a couple of other sources like an email from a developer and a website or two. Writing about the DOJ’s complaint is more like working on an OS review, but it has the potential to balloon into something much bigger over time because it’s likely to drag on for years.

READ MORE

Only Premier members can view this post on Club MacStories.

Already a Club Premier member? Sign in