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.

[applink url=”https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/logic-pro-x/id634148309?mt=12, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mainstage-3/id634159523?mt=12, http://appshopper.com/music/logic-remote”]

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.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/utilities/appshopper-social”]

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!

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/reference/barefoot-world-atlas, http://appshopper.com/lifestyle/day-one-journal, http://appshopper.com/food-drink/how-to-cook-everything-for-ipad, http://appshopper.com/photography/over-textphotos, http://appshopper.com/music/traktor-dj-for-iphone, http://appshopper.com/music/traktor-dj, http://appshopper.com/games/badland, http://appshopper.com/games/infinity-blade-ii, http://appshopper.com/games/superbrothers-sword-sworcery-ep, http://appshopper.com/games/tiny-wings, http://appshopper.com/games/tiny-wings-hd, http://appshopper.com/games/wheres-my-water”]

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:

[applink url=”https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-elements/id658928893?mt=12″]

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.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/weather/weathertron-—-live-rain-snow-clouds-temperatures”]

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.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/photography/instagram”]

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.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/productivity/fantastical, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id435003921?mt=12″]

14 JUN

Microsoft Releases ‘Office Mobile’ for iPhone for Office 365 Subscribers

by Marianne Schultz

If you’ve had a hankering for an official Microsoft Office app, today is your day to celebrate. Microsoft released Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers for iPhone today in the App Store. It’s a free download but requires a paid subscription to Microsoft’s cloud storage and software service.

Office 365 debuted in 2011 and offers several subscription levels for home and business users. The least expensive subscription costs $9.99 per month or $99 per year and allows the use of its software and service on up to five computers and five mobile devices.

I don’t have an Office 365 subscription so can’t tell you whether or not it’s worth the money. But if you’re considering subscribing and this new iPhone app will be critical for you, Engadget took it for a test spin and included lots of screenshots for you to feast your eyes on. According to Engadget, Office Mobile offers basic editing capabilities only, lacking the ability to add rows or columns within Excel or add slide transitions in Powerpoint though it’s possible Microsoft will add features to the app in the future.

If you don’t  want or need a subscription to be able to create and edit Microsoft Office files on your iPhone, I recommend Daviz’s Documents to Go which will also work on the iPad, unlike Office Mobile in this current iteration.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/productivity/office-mobile-for-office-365-subscribers”]

12 JUN

Apple Announces 2013 Design Award Winners

by Marianne Schultz

After the keynote event on Monday where OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 were announced, Apple also divulged the winners of its annual Design Awards contest to recognize apps that “raise the bar in design, technology, and innovation.” As in previous years, winners receive a nifty cube-shaped trophy with a glowing Apple logo and other prizes.

Among the winning iOS apps was Letterpress, a word game that debuted in the App Store last year and was created by Loren Brichter, the developer of one of the most popular Twitter apps in the earlier days of the App Store. Other winning games included Frogmind’s Badland, a physics game where you shepherd strange creatures around dangerous obstacles (see the full review and an extended gameplay video over at TouchArcade), and Vlambeer’s Ridiculous Fishing in which you, well, fish. (It’s more fun than I make it sound – see the review and gameplay video with the game’s creators at TouchArcade.)

Here are all of the winning apps:

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/education/wwf-together, http://appshopper.com/entertainment/procreate, http://appshopper.com/games/badland, http://appshopper.com/weather/yahoo-weather, http://appshopper.com/games/letterpress-–-word-game, http://appshopper.com/games/ridiculous-fishing-a-tale-of-redemption, http://appshopper.com/games/sky-gamblers-storm-raiders, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sky-gamblers-storm-raiders/id575497998?mt=12, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coda-2/id499340368?mt=12, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/evernote/id406056744?mt=12, http://appshopper.com/productivity/evernote”]

In a special student category, the following two iOS apps were selected as winners:

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/productivity/finish-for-iphone-timeframe-focused-todo-list, http://appshopper.com/utilities/mosaicio”]

10 JUN

Apple Unveils iOS 7 with Redesigned Interface Hotness and New Features

by Marianne Schultz

Along with announcing the next major version of Mac OS X Mavericks at today’s keynote event, Apple also previewed iOS 7 and boy is it lovely.

iOS 7 gets a total design overhaul with a new color palette, typography, and “flatter” icons for the built-in apps. The multitasking tray now features a cards-like view of open apps and the new Control Center, which can be activated by sliding up from the bottom of the screen, reveals toggles to quickly change Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other settings.

Notification Center also gets the new look treatment and it will be accessible from the Lock Screen, which is a very welcome change for yours truly.

Click to enlarge

iOS 7 also gets AirDrop, a Wi-Fi sharing feature that first debuted in Mac OS X Mountain Lion to quickly send pictures and other files to other users nearby.

Safari gets a new tabs view, full-screen browsing, and easier access to bookmarks, your Reading List, and even links shared by people you follow on Twitter.

Camera hops on the filters wagon (surprise, surprise) and offers easy swipe-based navigation to switch between photo (full, square, and panoramic) and video modes.

There’s much more new stuff in iOS 7 and you can check out a video and more information on Apple’s site here.

A beta version of iOS 7 is available to developers today and it will be released to the public in the fall, presumably around the same time the next iPhone model is released. To use iOS 7, you’ll need an iPhone 4 or later, iPad 2 or later, iPad mini, or 5th-generation or later iPod touch. Apple’s press release notes that “Some features may not be available on all products” so be forewarned that you won’t get all of that iOS 7 hotness if you have an older device.