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.

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The Upcoming Cross-OS Features I've Used Most This Summer

MACSTORIES COLLECTIONS

The Upcoming Cross-OS Features I've Used Most This Summer

Every year at WWDC, Apple introduces a long list of features coming in the fall. Some make for better demos than others, and there are always ‘sleeper’ features that are hard to show off but make a meaningful difference to many users.

This year, two of Apple’s splashiest WWDC announcements were SharePlay and Universal Control. SharePlay has been pushed off to a later OS update, and the Mac’s Universal Control is missing in action late in the beta cycle. We’ll see those features in due time, but in the meantime, I wanted to share some of the other features that I’ve been using the most during the summer because splashy or not, these are the features that have made the biggest impact on how I use my iPhone, iPad, and Mac day-to-day.

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Apple Event Day at MacStories

THE EXTENSION

Exploring topics beyond our day-to-day coverage.

Apple Event Day at MacStories

A few days ago, Anneleen asked in the Club MacStories+ Discord what an Apple event day is like for the MacStories team. The short answer is – an event day is a lot of fun, but exhausting, packing at least two days of writing into a single, long day. Over the five years that I’ve been covering Apple events, our approach to events has evolved into what is now a stable routine that starts with the announcement of the event itself.

When the announcement of the event happens, there’s always a scramble to post the news that the date has been set followed by some light planning. There’s not a lot that can be done in advance to get ready for an Apple event. For some events, more information is rumored in advance than other years, which spoils the surprise for us like everyone else, but it also makes getting ready easier. But even leading up to an event like the one next week, where there hasn’t been an unusual amount of information leaked, we have a pretty good idea of what we’ll see. From most likely to least likely, my guess is:

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Interesting Links

App Debuts

APP DEBUTS

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

Cibo

If you’ve ever found yourself in Italy and wanting to understand what’s written on a restaurant menu (okay fine, not just Italy, but let me have this), Cibo is a new app created by Jordi Bruin that lets you search for pictures of food by just pointing at the menu with your iPhone’s camera. Think of Cibo as Live Text meets Translate and Google Images: the camera scans the menu, recognizes text, and allows you to select the dish you want to see pictures for. I love this idea; just keep in mind that “fettuccine Alfredo” isn’t a thing and you should never get those.

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App Debuts

APP DEBUTS

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

Albums

The album-focused music player by Adam Linder, which we previously reviewed here, has received a substantial 4.2 update that introduced iCloud sync for your now playing queue, quick actions, tags, and other data. I’m not familiar with other third-party Apple Music players that sync your queue over iCloud, so this is pretty neat. (Alas, due to a bug in iOS 15, iCloud sync can’t be enabled on the beta at the moment.) Along with dozens of other tweaks, Albums now supports proper search for albums in your library or on the Apple Music catalog, lets you browse albums by record label, producer, or mixing engineer (I love this), and comes with new bulk actions to hide or tag multiple albums at once. As soon as iCloud sync gets fixed in the iOS 15 beta, I plan to take Albums for another spin since I’ve always appreciated its album-centric design.

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The Clock

MACSTORIES RECOMMENDS

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

The Clock

The Clock by Fabrice Leyne is the last world clock app you’ll ever need on your Mac. At first glance, the menu bar app looks incredibly simple. Behind the simple calendar and timezone list that drops down when you click on its menu bar icon is a wealth of customization options to suit a wide range of needs.

Time zones bite everyone at some point. I’ve worked with Federico for long enough that my brain works in hybrid Chicago/Rome mode most of the year, but I still get thrown off when Europe and the US are out of sync with daylight savings time. If that were the only complication, I’d probably be fine, but I still find myself needing to coordinate calls around the world, translating media embargoes into my local time, and keeping up with the local time in Dublin, Ireland and San Francisco, where my two oldest kids live. So, for those times when I’m not just adding seven to my local time to keep up with Federico, I turn to The Clock.

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Interesting Links

September 1, 2021

AV Club: Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

The Club MacStories+ Discord community has picked the book ‘Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life’ by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles as the first AV Club selection. We have tentatively set a first special AV Club Town Hall to be held live on Monday, September 20th at 10 PM CEST. Date is tentative and may change depending on the timing of any special events Apple holds in September.

If you’d like to read the book and join the ongoing conversation in AV Club Discord channel and the upcoming Town Hall, here are links where you can purchase the book:

If you’re interested in joining Club MacStories+ or Club Premier ot join in on the discussion of ‘Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life,’ you can subscribe using the buttons below.

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