John Voorhees

Managing Editor

Twitter: @johnvoorheesEmail: 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.

App Debuts

APP DEBUTS

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

Craft

Craft, the winner of the 2021 MacStories Selects Readers Choice award, was updated with some excellent refinements this week. Last year, Craft added support for tables, a feature that had been requested by many users, but longer tables had to be scrolled internally within a document, which wasn’t ideal. The internal scrollbar has been removed with this week’s update. Starring your favorite documents is now an action that’s available from within a document. Also, backlinks can be ordered alphabetically, by creation date, which was already possible, and by the number of links. Another change that I appreciate a lot is the ability to switch the start of the week from Sunday to Monday.

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Interesting Links

Reevaluating the Mac Utilities I Use (Part 2)

MACSTORIES COLLECTIONS

Reevaluating the Mac Utilities I Use (Part 2)

Today, I’m going to wrap up my collection of Mac utilities I use with four more. A couple of things prompted this reevaluation. First, as I wrote about Bartender 4 for last year’s MacStories Selects awards, I realized that I wasn’t making the most of my menu bar, so I spent time not only reorganizing it but rethinking the kinds of apps I wanted to include in it. Second, I’m using Shortcuts for Mac, the Stream Deck, and BetterTouchTool more than ever, which led me to search for apps that fit better with those tools.

Any time you shift the fundamentals of how you work, I think this sort of survey of how apps fit into your process is valuable. With the exception of Forecast Bar, none of the apps below are completely new to me, but with my current setup, I’m getting a lot more out of all of them.

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App Debuts

APP DEBUTS

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

FitnessView

There’s a lot of useful data collected by the Apple Watch, but the visualizations found in the Fitness app only take you so far, which is where FitnessView comes in. The app by Funn Media, which makes WaterMinder, HabitMinder, and many other excellent apps, has a beautiful design that communicates an overview of your fitness data clearly and concisely.

To learn more about your activity, goals, and workouts, just tap any of them from the main screen for more details and graphs. The app’s Goals section is highly customizable, allowing you to pick from many different metrics. A Stats tab offers graphs of your progress over a single day, week, month or year. There’s also a tab that focuses solely on your workouts allowing you to review them by month and type. The app also includes a dedicated Stats screen that collects statistics about you monthly and all-time workouts. Finally, FitnessView comes with excellent widgets to track your fitness right on your Home Screen.

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Interesting Links

Tips

TIPS

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

Keyboard Shortcuts for Matter’s Safari Extension

Matter’s Safari extension.

Matter is a relatively new read-later service with iPhone and iPad apps, a semi-public web interface, and a Safari extension. The extension is simple but includes a nice touch that too few extension developers take advantage of: keyboard shortcuts.

With Matter’s Safari extension, you can enter Reader mode to read a story using Matter’s excellent text parser that cleans up cluttered sites or save an article to read later in Matter’s app. I know it’s not a monumental burden, but I don’t like clicking two places at the top of my Mac’s screen to save an article, which is why I was so glad to discover that Matter’s Reader mode and Save feature are available via ⌃R and ⌃M, respectively. A third keyboard shortcut ⌃D toggles between the extension’s light and dark modes. All three shortcuts are listed in the extension’s Preferences, which are found behind the three-dot menu in its UI.

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Reevaluating the Mac Utilities I Use (Part 1)

MACSTORIES COLLECTIONS

Reevaluating the Mac Utilities I Use (Part 1)

Over the course of the holiday season, I spent a lot of time rethinking many of my day-to-day workflows. As part of that process, I began reevaluating some of the apps I use, looking for new ones to fill specific roles, and revisiting underutilized ones that had begun to gather virtual dust. What I found was a long list of Mac utilities that I haven’t covered extensively before on MacStories, so I thought I’d mention some of my favorites and how I’m using them here.

TableFlip

TableFlip is easily my favorite app for creating and editing Markdown tables. Historically, I’ve only used this app a few times per year because I’ve always been more likely to organize and visualize structured information in a spreadsheet, but in 2022 I expect to use TableFlip more. A big part of that is Obsidian.

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Why Are Read-It-Later Apps Suddenly Hot?

Why Are Read-It-Later Apps Suddenly Hot?

2022 is shaping up to be the year read-it-later apps make a comeback, which is odd when you think about it. Read-it-later apps like Instapaper pre-date the App Store and were originally driven by a desire to have something to read when you didn’t have a mobile Internet connection.

An early version of Instapaper.

Early parsers stripped out everything but the text, making downloading stories over EDGE networks tolerable. As mobile networks matured and coverage improved, the original reason for read-it-later apps waned but was replaced by the desire to tame mobile advertising. With more bandwidth available on 3G and later networks, developers tuned their parsers to include the images from articles, leaving ads and other extraneous website elements behind.

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