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:

  • $1999Buy Now
    Reference

    The Elements

    Last Changed:
    10 months ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (10)
    Version:
    1.0.6
    Mac OS

    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.

  • Weather

    Weathertron — Live Rain, Snow,...

    Last Changed:
    25 weeks ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (18)
    Version:
    1.0.6
    iOS Universal

    ** 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

    Last Changed:
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    Rating:
    4.50 (1748002)
    Version:
    6.1.1
    iOS iPhone

    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.

  • Productivity

    Fantastical

    Last Changed:
    12 months ago
    Rating:
    3.00 (107)
    Version:
    1.1.6
    iOS iPhone

    *** 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! *** ...

  • $1999Buy Now
    Productivity

    Fantastical - Calendar and...

    Last Changed:
    3 hours ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (1360)
    Version:
    1.3.17
    Mac OS

    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 it! Or type in that you need to...

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.

  • Productivity

    Microsoft Office Mobile

    Last Changed:
    5 weeks ago
    Rating:
    2.50 (48)
    Version:
    1.2
    iOS iPhone

    Microsoft Office Mobile is the official Office companion optimized for your iPhone. You can access, view and edit your Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint documents from...

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:

  • Education

    WWF Together

    Last Changed:
    9 months ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (133)
    Version:
    1.5.2
    iOS iPad

    ** 2013 Apple Design Award Winner ** ** 2013 App of the Year Runner-Up ** Experience the world’s most amazing and endangered animals in one app – together. This interactive experience brings you...

  • Entertainment

    Procreate – Sketch, paint,...

    Last Changed:
    8 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (316)
    Version:
    2.1
    iOS iPad

    Apple Design Award Winner 2013 Procreate is the most powerful and intuitive digital illustration App available for iPad®. It’s packed with features artists love, including 120 incredible brushes,...

  • Games

    BADLAND

    Last Changed:
    17 hours ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (14)
    Version:
    2.3
    iOS Universal

    Fly and survive through the Game of the Year -winning action adventure BADLAND. Now visually enhanced for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus! Over 15 MILLION players and counting! #1 GAME in 83...

  • Weather

    Yahoo Weather

    Last Changed:
    17 hours ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (126)
    Version:
    1.6.0
    iOS Universal

    Experience the weather | Apple Design Award, 2013 Prepare for your day with the most accurate hourly, 5-day, and 10-day forecasts. Stunning Flickr photos match your location, time of day, and...

  • Games

    Letterpress – Word Game

    Last Changed:
    12 months ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (2828)
    Version:
    1.5
    iOS Universal

    Find words, steal tiles, color the board! Letterpress is a fresh new word game for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Play against your friends using Game Center! The perfect blend of fun and strategy. ...

  • Games

    Ridiculous Fishing - A Tale of...

    Last Changed:
    10 months ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (2258)
    Version:
    1.31
    iOS Universal

    A handcrafted game about fishing with guns, chainsaws & toasters. Follow Billy as he tries to find redemption from his uncertain past. Chase your destiny on the high seas and embark on a...

  • Games

    Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders

    Last Changed:
    2 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (132)
    Version:
    1.4.0
    iOS Universal

    Apple Design Award 2013 Winner! Launched as Editor's choice on the AppStore! Slide To Play - 4 out of 4 AppSpy - 5 out of 5 PocketGamer - Gold Award Digitally Downloaded - 4.5 out of 5 iReviewT...

  • Games

    Sky Gamblers - Storm Raiders

    Last Changed:
    2 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (649)
    Version:
    1.4.0
    Mac OS

    Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders is an Apple Design Award winner! THIS IS THE ULTIMATE WWII AIR COMBAT GAME! You’ll participate in visceral dogfights, protect cities and fleets, bomb enemy structures...

  • $7499Buy Now
    Developer Tools

    Coda 2

    Last Changed:
    21 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (29)
    Version:
    2.0.14
    Mac OS

    The most innovative and incredible all-in-one editor for your web code. • #1 Top Grossing Mac Developer Tool • Named a Mac App Store Best of 2012 • Macworld 2012 Editors' Choice ** FOR A...

  • Productivity

    Evernote

    Last Changed:
    23 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (270)
    Version:
    5.5.1
    Mac OS

    Inducted into the Apple "App Hall of Fame", NY Times "Top 10 Must-Have Apps", Winner: TechCrunch Crunchies, Mashable Award and the Webbys. Evernote helps...

  • Productivity

    Evernote

    Last Changed:
    17 hours ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (77)
    Version:
    7.5.0
    iOS Universal

    Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve your productivity. Evernote lets you take notes,...

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

  • Productivity

    Finish. The to-do list for...

    Last Changed:
    17 hours ago
    Rating:
    1.50 (14)
    Version:
    2.3
    iOS iPhone

    **2013 Apple Design Award Winner!!!** ~~~ Overcome the clutches of procrastination with Finish, a busy iPhone user’s best friend. Unlike other to-do apps that are "clever" for...

  • Utilities

    mosaic.io

    Last Changed:
    17 months ago
    Rating:
    2.50 (129)
    Version:
    1.1
    iOS Universal

    As seen in TechCrunch, PopSci, and others! Mosaic magically connects multiple devices into one big display to view photos, share files, and more. To share a photo, just open the photo with Mosaic,...

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.

10 JUN

Apple Announces Mac OS X ‘Mavericks’ With Updated Finder, New iBooks and Maps Apps

by Marianne Schultz

At today’s WWDC keynote event, Apple unveiled the next major version of the Mac operating system, Mavericks, which offers over 200 new features including Finder and Safari enhancements and new iBooks and Maps apps.

In Mavericks Finder gets window tabs and tagging capabilities so that you can more easily view, categorize, and search your files. Maps comes to the Mac from iOS, offering search, integration with Mail, Contacts and Calendar, and even turn-by-turn directions which can be sent to an iOS device. During the keynote event, a demonstration showed that directions sent from a Mac to an iPhone will generate a push notification on the iPhone that will immediately take the user to the Maps app to display the directions.

iBooks will be able to access ebook content in the iTunes Store and offers reading features like bookmarks, day/night themes, and access to all of the iBooks content you’ve already purchased.

Keychain moves to iCloud in Mavericks, offering synchronization of passwords between Macs and iOS devices and integration with Safari and other apps to quickly enter saved passwords and credit card information. (The keynote demo was brief but it looks like iCloud Keychain could be a solid competitor to my current favorite password manager, 1Password for Mac and iPhone/iPad.)

With Mavericks, Apple is moving away from the big cat naming convention to focus on California locations. This version of Mac OS gets its name from a popular surfing area in northern California, not far from the company’s Cupertino headquarters.

Mavericks is available as a preview build today to developers and will be available to consumers in the fall though no pricing has been announced yet. You can check out Apple’s own preview site of Mavericks’s new features right here. If the last two versions of Mac OS X are any indication, Mavericks should be priced reasonably around $20. You can still download Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion today if you’d like though you should probably wait until Mavericks is available in a few months at this point.

  • $1999Buy Now
    Productivity

    OS X Mountain Lion

    Last Changed:
    13 months ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (60)
    Version:
    10.8.5
    Mac OS

    OS X Mountain Lion is the latest release of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system. Mountain Lion includes over 200 new features to update your Mac into the best computing experience...

10 JUN

Watch Apple’s WWDC Keynote Event Live Online

by Marianne Schultz

Apple kicks off its annual Worldwide Developer’s conference today with a keynote event at 10:00 am PDT (1:00 pm EDT) and if you’ve got a Mac or iOS device and an internet connection, you can watch it live online. Per a press release, you can watch it using the Safari web browser with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.2 or later or a Mac running OS X 10.6 or later. The live stream will be available through this dedicated page on Apple’s site.

If you have a second or third generation Apple TV with software 5.0.2 or later, you can also watch it through a special “app” available in the main menu.

Apple is expected to announce and preview the next major versions of iOS and Mac OS X today and some minor hardware updates may also be unveiled as well. I don’t know about you, but I am going to be glued to that live stream this afternoon. Here’s to hoping Apple will surprise and delight us today!

06 JUN

‘Analog’ for Mac Gets New Filters, Goes on Sale for Half Off Until June 10

by Marianne Schultz

Realmac Software has released an update for its Mac photo editing app, Analog, adding new filters and dropping the price from $9.99 to $4.99 through the end of the day on Sunday, June 9.

Analog’s eight new filters come from Analog Camera, Realmac’s new iPhone app (my review) that was released last week. The eight new filters (Camden, Superior, Marble Arch, Brunswick, Pavilion, Honeycomb, 1978, and Inky) join the 27 filters previously available along with several borders to gussy up your pictures.

Analog debuted in the Mac App Store in 2011 and offers very basic photo editing features to crop or rotate images only with the focus on applying filters and borders and then sharing your photographic masterpieces via email, CloudApp, Picasa, Facebook, Flickr, or Tumblr.

If Analog has been on your Wish List, now is the time to get it –– it hasn’t been priced this low very often and even peaked at $14.99 earlier this year.

  • Photography

    Analog

    Last Changed:
    11 weeks ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (135)
    Version:
    1.4.1
    Mac OS

    OS X Mavericks and Retina-Ready Analog makes it easy to improve your photos with a stunning selection of filters and borders. We built Analog to make it as fun and easy as possible to give your...