23 JUL

Realmac Software Releases ‘Ember’ for Mac

by Marianne Schultz

ember for mac iconRealmac Software, one of the developers of the popular list app Clear for iPhone and Mac, has released Ember for Mac. Ember is a digital scrapbooking app that lets you save, organize, and share images from the web or just about any other source. Ember is the new version of LittleSnapper, an app with similar functionality that originally debuted in the Mac App Store in early 2011.

If you were a LittleSnapper user, you can import that library right into Ember so you won’t lose anything you’d collected or worked on before. You can save images from the web or another application from your Mac. Realmac offers extensions for Chrome and Safari to make saving images to Ember even easier without leaving your web browser. You can even save screenshots and Ember will automatically recognize and sort those captured on your iPhone or iPad.

You can tag and group your saved images into Collections for easier reference later and you can even do basic editing to annotate, rotate, and crop saved images. Say you’re looking for a perfect outfit for a special occasion and you’ve come across several possibilities online – with Ember you can save images of all of them, add notes on where you found them or accessories you have in mind, and group them into a single category to keep them all in one place. Think of Ember as similar to Pinterest but more powerful and less public (unless you choose to share your collected images via Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other built-in sharing options).

Here’s a promotional video showing Ember in action:

I got a chance to check out Ember before its release and it’s dead simple to save images and tag and organize them. I don’t consider myself a fashionista but I do come across clothing and shoes (mostly boots, which are my weakness) online that I’d like to save and Ember is perfect for this. My only wish is for some sort of cloud synchronization to save your Ember library between multiple Macs automatically, though I imagine this could get unwieldy when large images are involved.

Ember is available now in the Mac App Store for $49.99. If you’re a designer or creative professional or simply into digital scrapbooking, Ember is a great way to save and organize your digital images.

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    Graphics & Design

    Ember - Screenshot, Annotate and...

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    *** Mac App Store Best of 2013 *** “Ember is powerful, sexy, smart, and worth every penny.” — MacStories “An uncomplicated app that’s a joy to use” — GigaOm “Ember is an extremely...

18 JUL

7-Minute Workouts? There Are (Many) Apps for That!

by Marianne Schultz

uovo 7 minute workout iconA couple of months ago I read a New York Times article on the 7-Minute Workout and how it appears that even very short (but intense) workouts can be as physically beneficial as longer workouts. The New York Times refers to an article in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal that advocates an intense 7-minute regimen of exercises that alternately targets the major muscle groups of your upper body and legs with short breaks in between. Using just your body weight, a chair, and a wall, you can lose body fat, improve your overall fitness, and more according to recent research.

These seven minutes aren’t meant to be pleasant but they apparently can be very effective. But staying on track during this short but intense workout can be a challenge and developers saw fit to give you the guidance and motivation you needed to get through them with iPhone apps. There are a bunch of 7-minute workout apps in the App Store now and a few of the paid ones just went free recently.

The main screens of each app described below, in order

Ivory Consulting’s 7 Minute Workout – With Voice Prompts debuted in the App Store just last week at $.99 and its price just dropped to free yesterday. It will guide you vocally through all of the exercises with 20-second and 10-second countdown notices and announcements of the next exercise you need to complete. It includes links to videos showing each exercise but doesn’t include any text descriptions. It has basic calendar and reminder functions to track your workout completion over the past 30 days and remind you to do the workout again tomorrow.

  • Healthcare & Fitness

    7 Minute Workout (A Seven Minute...

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    Requires iOS7 12 high intensity workouts using only your own bodyweight. 30 seconds per exercise with 10 seconds of rest in between. View your progress over the last 30 days to keep you motivated....

Bytesize’s 7 Minute Workout hit the App Store in May at $.99 and went free last month. It also guides you through all of the exercises vocally with announcements of what’s next but doesn’t give you any vocal countdowns as you complete each one. If you want to track the workouts you’ve completed or customize the order or duration of the exercises, you’ll need to pony up $1.99 via in-app purchase to get a “Pro” version of the app.

  • Healthcare & Fitness

    7 Minute Workout

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    Join almost 2 million others with the best 7 Minute Workout app. #1 fitness app in 127 countries. User reviews : "Beautiful, simple, perfect." & "Useful and...

UOVO’s The 7 Minute Workout provides vocal guidance through all of the exercises along with countdowns and announcements of the next exercise you need to do. You can access both written descriptions and video overviews of the each exercise easily but it lacks any tracking or reminder functionality. It was released in the App Store in May for $.99 but just dropped to free earlier this month.

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    The 7 Minute Workout - Get fit...

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    The BEST 7 Minute Workout App on the market. "If you're into the 7 Minute Workout thing, I've tried a bunch of the apps, and this one is the best" (Dan Franks, Macworld editor) #1...

It’s not clear if these apps will remain free for good or if these are only temporary price drops so act quickly if this 7-minute workout phenomenon has piqued your interest. Out of these three apps, I’ll be keeping UOVO’S The 7 Minute Workout on my iPhone since it has the best vocal countdowns, which are important to me with intense, maximum effort exercises like these.

Before you try this or any type of workout, please see your doctor to make sure you’re physically able to do these without injuring yourself. And if you’re in an area suffering through the current heat wave, stay cool!

17 JUL

‘Google Maps’ Gets Enhanced Search and Navigation Features, iPad Compatibility

by Marianne Schultz

google maps iconGoogle Maps for iOS got a major update yesterday that makes the popular mapping app compatible with the iPad and adds several new navigation features. The 2.0 update hit the App Store last night and is free to download.

Here’s the full list of what’s new in this version:

  • New design for iPad
  • Enhanced navigation including live traffic updates and incident reports
  • Explore: A new way to browse and discover popular local places to eat, drink, shop, play and sleep
  • Simple 5-star ratings and reviews from friends, plus expert Zagat content
  • Great deals from your favorite brands with Google Offers
  • Indoor maps with walking directions for malls, transit stations, airports and more

This update makes Google Maps a compelling alternative to Apple’s own Maps app for iPad users. With the furor over the errors in Apple’s Maps app last year (many of which haven’t been corrected yet in my personal experience), Google is certainly keen on keeping iOS users invested in its own map data and related services. If you haven’t yet downloaded Google Maps, it’s definitely worth a go if you’ve been unimpressed or even led astray by Maps.

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    Google Maps

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    The Google Maps app for iPhone and iPad makes navigating your world faster and easier. Find the best spots in town and the information you need to get there. • Comprehensive, accurate maps in 220...

16 JUL

Apple Releases ‘Logic Pro X’ and ‘MainStage 3′ for Mac

by Marianne Schultz

logic pro xApple announced this morning the release of Logic Pro X, the next major version of its profesional audio recording and editing Mac app. Apple also released Logic Pro X companion apps MainStage 3 for Mac and Logic Remote for iPad today.

Logic Pro X lets users create music using a wide range of virtual instruments included with the app or audio imported from other sources or live recordings. Notably, Logic Pro X includes a new Drummer feature that acts a virtual player to automatically add percussion to your music. Another new feature is Flex Pitch that lets users fix out-of-tune vocals.

Logic Pro X is our most powerful version yet, with advanced tools and a modern new interface designed to streamline the process of creating professional quality music,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Musicians are going to love creative new features like Drummer, Flex Pitch, Track Stacks and the Arpeggiator.

Companion app MainStage 3 turns your Mac into a digital rig for live music performances, acting as a control system for connected instruments and virtual instruments and previously-recorded tracks and effects. The new Logic Remote iPad app lets users play Logic Pro X instruments remotely and perform basic project editing and mixing tasks.


logic pro x mac and ipad

Logic Pro X and MainStage 3 are both available in the Mac App Store now for $199.99 and $29.99, respectively. Logic Remote for iPad is also available now in the App Store and is free to download.

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    Logic Pro X

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    Logic Pro X is the most advanced version of Logic ever. Sophisticated new tools for professional songwriting, editing, and mixing are built around a modern interface that’s designed to get creative...

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    MainStage 3

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    MainStage 3 lets you take your Mac to the stage with a full-screen interface optimized for live performance, flexible hardware control, and a massive collection of plug-ins and sounds that are fully...

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    Logic Remote

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    Logic Remote is an iPad companion app for Logic Pro X, MainStage 3 and GarageBand on the Mac. Designed to take full advantage of Multi-Touch on iPad, Logic Remote offers new ways to record, mix, and...

10 JUL

‘AppShopper Social’ Updated with Sharing and Bug Fixes

by Marianne Schultz

appshopper social iconVersion 1.0.1 of our own official app, AppShopper Social, has just hit the App Store. This update includes fixes for sharing via Facebook and email, a crashing issue for iPad users running iOS 5, performance issues for iPhone 4 users, and other bug fixes.

AppShopper Social first debuted in the App Store in April after Apple had removed the original AppShopper app last year due to a conflict with some new App Store rules. The release of this 1.0.1 update to fix some glaring problems was delayed thanks to some issues out of our control but we hope that those are behind us now and look forward to releasing future updates with additional fixes and new features more regularly in the future.

Still on our list is a universal version to add iPad compatibility. Also, we still plan to add the ability to view your friends’ lists and easier methods to discover new friends and their recommended apps.

Of course, AppShopper Social is still free to download and will automatically notify you when apps on your Wish List go on sale (see this article for an overview of how to use our Wish List feature). Following the user appshopper will show you the most popular apps among our users as well as apps featured on our blog.

(If you’re looking for new friends, my AppShopper user name is Marianne and the site’s founder’s user name is arn. Our sister sites are under the user names macrumors and toucharcade.)

If you like AppShopper, please recommend AppShopper Social to your friends to help support future updates and new features.

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    AppShopper Social

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    AppShopper Social lets you share your app interests with your friends and see what apps your friends are interested in. Or add any of your personal AppShopper friends to see their app interests. ...

08 JUL

Apple Celebrates App Store’s Fifth Year with 10 Free Apps

by Marianne Schultz

Apple’s App Store turns five years old this week and Apple is celebrating by dropping the prices of several apps all the way to $0 for a limited time. These featured apps include the popular Over that lets you add custom captions and text to your photos as well as a number of games, like Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP and Infinity Blade II, which have never been free before.

From the 500 apps available at launch in 2008 to the more than 900,000 at your fingertips today, it’s been a remarkably prolific five years for the App Store. To celebrate, we’re giving everyone five landmark games and five groundbreaking apps for a limited time.

Below is the full list of what’s currently free. Click those Buy Now buttons to get them before the prices go back up!

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    Barefoot World Atlas

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    Barefoot World Atlas puts the world at your children’s fingertips! With this incredible app, anyone can fly around the magical, interactive 3D globe and discover the rich wonders of our planet. ...

  • Lifestyle

    Day One (Journal / Diary)

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    2014 Mac Apple Design Award Winner, 2012 Mac App of the Year, Award-winning journaling app for iPhone, iPad, and Mac: 2011 #1 Best Apps of Mac App Store, and Jan 2012 App Store App of the Week. ...

  • Food & Drink

    How to Cook Everything

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    iOS Universal

    This first-of-its-kind app of the bestselling cookbook—How to Cook Everything® from New York Times columnist Mark Bittman—has 2,000 recipes, 400 how-to illustrations, and a host of features that...

  • Photography

    Over

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    Limited time price as part of the App Store's Amazing Apps & Games Sale promotion! — “This is a fantastic idea!” —Jason Fried of Basecamp "We’re obsessed."...

  • Music

    Traktor DJ for iPhone

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    The world’s #1 pro DJ software brings high-impact DJing to iPhone. Touch your tracks and create stunning mixes in seconds. "Incredibly well designed and packed with great...

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    Traktor DJ

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    The world’s #1 pro DJ software brings high-impact DJing to iPad. Touch your tracks and create stunning mixes in seconds. "Incredibly well designed and packed with great...

  • Games

    BADLAND

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    Fly and survive through the Game of the Year -winning action adventure BADLAND. Over 15 MILLION players and counting! #1 GAME in 83 countries! App Store iPad GAME OF THE YEAR 2013! WINNER of the...

  • Games

    Infinity Blade II

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    Rating:
    4.50 (55062)
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    1.3.2
    iOS Universal

    **2011 IGN "Mobile Game of the Year"** **2012 AIAS "Mobile Game of the Year"** **Winner of the IMGA "Excellence in Gameplay" and "Grand...

  • Games

    Superbrothers: Sword &...

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    iOS Universal

    Selected as a "landmark title" by Apple to celebrate Five Years of the App Store! *****UNIVERSAL VERSION. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is an exploratory action...

  • Games

    Tiny Wings

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    4.50 (324)
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    You have always dreamed of flying - but your wings are tiny. Luckily the world is full of beautiful hills. Use the hills as jumps - slide down, flap your wings and fly! At least for a moment - until...

  • Games

    Tiny Wings HD

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    Version:
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    iOS iPad

    You have always dreamed of flying - but your wings are tiny. Luckily the world is full of beautiful hills. Use the hills as jumps - slide down, flap your wings and fly! At least for a moment - until...

  • Games

    Where's My Water?

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    Get the GAME OF THE YEAR award-winning puzzler! Help Swampy by guiding water to his broken shower. Each level is a challenging physics-based puzzle with amazing life-like mechanics. Cut through dirt...

The App Store made its debut on July 10, 2008. (In case you’re wondering, AppShopper went live just a few months later on October 10, 2008.) There’s no question that Apple changed the smartphone landscape with the App Store and we look forward to the next five years!

03 JUL

‘The Elements’ Interactive Ebook Debuts for Mac

by Marianne Schultz

The Elements: A Visual Exploration, an interactive periodic table reference app based on the hardcover book by Theodore Gray, debuted for the iPad in 2010 to much acclaim and Touch Press has just released a version of the app for the Mac. The Elements hit the Mac App Store today and is available for $28.99.

The iPad version currently costs $13.99 and has been downloaded more than 850,000 times to date. The new Mac edition includes the same content but also features “live video demonstrations and experiments” according to the description.

Here’s a promotional video for the newly-available Mac version:

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    Reference

    The Elements

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    The Elements is a special OS X edition of the highly acclaimed award-winning iPad app now downloaded over 850,000 times. It is based on the best-selling book by Theodore Gray, Popular Science...

27 JUN

‘Weathertron’ for iPhone Gives Minute-by-Minute Weather Information

by Marianne Schultz

I feel like I’ve tried about a hundred different weather apps since the App Store opened in 2008. For whatever reason, I haven’t come across an app that meets all of my weather information needs. I don’t think my forecast needs are complex but always I keep an eye on the Weather app category, hoping to find The One.

Today a new app caught my eye. Weathertron by Keming Labs just debuted in the App Store and it lets you easily find out the predicted conditions for a specific time of the day using weather data from 16 different sources.

The main view in Weathertron is broken into three sections. The top section shows the current temperature, time, and a general weather description (tapping on this section toggles to display sunrise and sunset times). The next section shows you the predicted precipitation in the form of a bar graph. The bottom section shows the temperature in a line graph. Sliding your finger left and right will scroll through the time so you can peek ahead a few hours or all the way to tomorrow to see what the predicted precipitation and temperature will be at a specific time.

Say you’re planning to take the dog for a walk in the evening and want to know what the weather will be like around 6:30 when you’re planning on going. You can easily slide to that time and get an exact snapshot of the forecast to find out if you’ll need an umbrella or sunscreen.

A virtual button that looks like a bar chart in the bottom right corner reveals the forecast for the next week. Tapping on the virtual button in the left bottom corner takes you to the settings where you can change the temperature scale and clock format.

Here’s a demo video showing Weathertron in action:

Weathertron is all about local and immediate weather information so it doesn’t offer quick access to weather in multiple cities like with the built-in Weather app or Clear Day or Yahoo! Weather. Also, it doesn’t offer any radar views so if you like to see live views of cloud and storm coverage, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Weathertron is a universal app so it will work on both the iPhone and iPad if you like to keep track of the weather on multiple devices.

I’m going to give Weathertron a shot as my primary weather app for a little while, bumping Today Weather to another screen in the meantime. Right off the bat, I do wish Weathertron could show me the current local temperature via a push notification badge and alert me when it’s going to rain soon like Dark Sky (my review). But I think it will still serve me well to plan daily outings with the dog and find the best times to work on my tan in the temperamental New England summer weather.

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    Weathertron — Live Rain, Snow,...

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    ** Featured by Apple, New York Times, Wired, Fast Company, and more! ** Weathertron is a live infographic of the entire day’s weather. See exactly what to expect from every hour of the day —...

20 JUN

‘Instagram’ Gets Video Recording Capability

by Marianne Schultz

Facebook held a press event today to announce the addition of video recording and sharing to Instagram, the photo sharing social networking service it acquired last year. Videos of up to 15 seconds in duration can now be captured with the latest versions of the app for iOS and Android devices. Several new filters are also available explicitly for editing captured videos.

Version 4.0 of Instagram for the iPhone is live now in the App Store and can be downloaded for free. A new video recording button is accessible in the capture screen and similar to Twitter’s Vine app, you press and hold this button to record. You can record a single continuous video or stop and start as you please to capture different scenes or angles within the same video using either the rear or front-facing camera.

When it comes to editing your videos, you can delete clips on the capture screen. Once you’ve captured the clips you want to keep in your video, you can apply one of 13 available filters and smooth out movement with the press of a virtual button that does some image stabilization magic. Before sharing a video, you can select a single scene that will act as the cover frame in the Instagram stream.

Here’s a promo video showcasing the new features:

Instagram for iPhone debuted in 2010 and it’s been a regular in the Top 200 Free iPhone Apps list since then. Earlier this year, the service surpassed 100 million users and the addition of video puts it up against Twitter’s own Vine video recording and sharing app that allows users to share up to six seconds of video.

  • Photography

    Instagram

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    Instagram Over 200 million users love Instagram! It's a simple way to capture and share the world's moments on your iPhone. Customize your photos and videos with one of several gorgeous and custom...

18 JUN

‘Chatology’ for Mac Lets You Search Your Messaging History Easily

by Marianne Schultz

If you’ve ever tried to search Messages or iChat on your Mac to look for a link or picture a friend shared with you, you’ve probably ended up empty-handed and frustrated. Fortunately, there’s now an alternative to the nearly-useless search feature within Apple’s Messages app. Flexibitis, the developer of the excellent Fantastical for iPhone and Mac, has just released Chatology, a Mac app explicitly for searching your messaging history quickly and easily.

Chatology accesses the saved chat logs on your Mac so you can search for specific words or look for images and links. You can search your entire chat history or narrow the search timeframe down to today, or the last week, month, or year. Chatology can even be set to open automatically when you press ⌘F to initiate a search within Messages.

We made Chatology because we were so frustrated searching for our messages,” said Michael Simmons, Co-Founder of Flexibits. “There were no solutions to fix this so we created one, and we think all Messages and iChat users are going to love Chatology as much as we do.

Here’s a video showing how Chatology works:

Chatology isn’t available in the Mac App Store and can only be downloaded directly from the Flexibits Store here. A free download is available that lets you use Chatology without restrictions for 14 days. If you want to buy it outright or after the trial period is over, it will cost you $19.99. You’ll need Mac OS X 10.7 or higher to use Chatology.

If you’re not already familiar with the other apps made by Flexibits, check out Fantastical for iPhone (my review) or the Mac version. I use both versions of Fantastical every single day and I’ve found that Flexibits makes great software.

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    Fantastical

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    *** Fantastical 2 for iPhone (iOS 7 only) is coming soon and will be a separate purchase. If you use iOS 6, this is your last chance to get Fantastical 1 at a special price before it’s gone! *** ...

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    Fantastical - Calendar and...

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    *** 50% OFF - FOR A LIMITED TIME *** Presenting the calendar app you'll actually enjoy using. Type in that you have "Lunch with John on Friday at 1pm" and Fantastical will schedule...