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Jonathan Reed

Contributor

Mastodon: @jonathanreed@techhub.socialEmail: jonathan@macstories.net

Jonathan is a graphic designer at DesignStudio. As well as being a long-time Apple user he is a huge film and television aficionado and is very interested in the intersection between the two mediums and technology. He lives in London with his wife and daughter and is writing his bio in the third person.

Some CAPS Inspiration

THE EXTENSION

Exploring topics beyond our day-to-day coverage.

Some CAPS Inspiration

It’s been a few weeks since Federico introduced his Contextual Apps Plugin System (CAPS) in Issue 409 of MacStories Weekly , and I detailed last week how I tried to replicate the functionality on my Mac. This week, I’m returning to the OG CAPS on iPhone with some examples of contextual shortcuts I’ve been launching from various apps and how you might be able to use them or their overall ideas to enhance your iPhone Action Button. Before you dive in, be sure to read Federico’s articles on MultiButton and CAPS.

Music

Adding the currently playing song to a playlist in Music (left) and adding the current song’s album to MusicBox (right).

I’m still trying to listen to more albums this year. Sometimes, though, it’s tough to triage songs I like from auto-generated radio stations and curated playlists on Apple Music. And even though MusicBox is an excellent utility for saving albums to listen to later, all the tapping involved can sometimes make me not bother (which is really a ‘me problem’, not a MusicBox problem).

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Mac MultiButton: An Action Button for the Mac

MACSTORIES EXTRAS

More stories for Club members.

Mac MultiButton: An Action Button for the Mac

I know I’m far from the only one, but ever since the Action Button was introduced with the iPhone 15 Pro, I’ve been a little obsessed with playing around with its functionality. First, I started using it with quick action menus, taking my previously created ‘Lock Screen Launcher’ and moving it to the Action Button. This worked great, but I still wanted more advanced functionality.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, that ‘more functionality’ came from Federico when he introduced his MultiButton shortcut, which allowed for a second shortcut to be triggered with an additional press of the Action Button. Federico recently updated this shortcut to integrate with a new tool he created: Contextual Apps Plugin System (CAPS). You can read all about CAPS in Issue 409 of MacStories Weekly, but the TL;DR is that CAPS allows you to alter which shortcut runs when you press the Action Button depending on the app you currently have open.

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A Love Letter to SF Symbols

THE EXTENSION

Exploring topics beyond our day-to-day coverage.

A Love Letter to SF Symbols

I’ve always loved collections of small, useful icons and symbols. The charm or utility that can be gained from something as small as 32x32 pixels is often extraordinary. So it goes without saying that I really love Apple’s SF Symbols. I frequently spend time at my job putting together icons on grids, and there’s something hugely admirable about the beautiful craft and diversity on show among the over 5,300 symbols in the collection.

I’m sure everyone reading this is aware of SF Symbols, but have you ever looked through them all before? Honestly, the design team at Apple that created them should all be given a pay rise – or at least a substantial Apple Gift Card. The collection is extensive, and I love that there are so many alternatives for symbols of the same type.

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Using Omnivore’s Excellent Text-to-Speech Feature with Custom Text

MACSTORIES EXTRAS

More stories for Club members.

Using Omnivore’s Excellent Text-to-Speech Feature with Custom Text

As John covered in the Plus segment of this week’s AppStories, there are many text-to-speech apps and services out there, and they all vary in price and quality. While I feel it should be the law that we hear all of John’s articles in the voice of Snoop Dogg on Speechify, many people — myself included — find the cadence and quality of the voices in Omnivore’s app to be the most superior.

There is one problem here: text-to-speech only works in the Omnivore iOS app for RSS-saved articles or webpages imported via the share sheet. While you can import other files, such as PDFs, into Omnivore, the app doesn’t allow you to use the text-to-speech feature with them.

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Extracting Data from Notion to Reminders

MACSTORIES EXTRAS

More stories for Club members.

Extracting Data from Notion to Reminders

I’ve long been a fan of Notion. There are lots of similar platforms and apps out there, but there’s something about the aesthetic of Notion, along with its excellent branding and visual identity, that I’ve always enjoyed. It’s also very powerful while maintaining a low barrier of entry. If you want to try out some power-user functions, you can, but it doesn’t feel like you’re losing out if you don’t.

I’ve been using it personally for years, and over the last couple of years, I’ve started using it for work. I’ve created databases for everyone in our studio to access brand assets, details about our printers, and explainers on print techniques for the less aware. Notion is perfect for these: it lets you store lots of information in an appealing way that’s easy to access.

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