After the excitement of the opening keynote at the annual WWDC, Apple always have something extra special for the best developers on OS X and iOS: the Apple Design Awards. Given to recognize apps that “raise the bar in design, technology, and innovation”, the Apple Design Awards typically go to beloved indie apps that are beautiful and go far beyond what other apps have before, especially with their UI. Letterpress winning a Design Award wasn’t much of a surprise, seeing as the game is already featured in ads and posters at Apple Stores. It, along with other popular iOS-only games and apps, seemed a shoo-in for the award.
What was, perhaps, more of a surprise was Evernote winning a Design Award for their Mac and iOS apps. Evernote’s hardly a new app, and is likely the most recognizable name for the public of all the apps that got a Design Award. But its apps today are so much better than before — speedier, beautiful design, and plenty of useful integrations — that it really shouldn’t be surprising that Evernote finally won an Apple Design Award. It’s been quite the journey for the notebook that’s so much more than just a notebook, one that’s cumulated with quite the amazing past half-year of app releases.
It’s been a big week for Apple fans. We’ve got betas of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, new iWork web apps and the promise of a new iWork and iLife this fall, the long-rumored iTunes Radio service, MacBook Airs with insanely long battery life … and best of all, a brand-new Mac Pro at long last. Cook, Ive, and the rest of the team have been hard at work cooking up the greatest-and-latest software and devices, and it seems they’ve done quite the good job.
iOS 7 is getting most of the headlines, but I was actually the most excited to see what’s new for the Mac with the next version of OS X. The name was quite the surprise, with Apple switching to location names in California rather than cat names. The feature lineup isn’t too bad, either, with a strong focus on decreasing power consumption, keeping ram free, and making networking simpler (both through AirDrop and with Windows networking). Finder got a long-needed overhaul, finally gaining tabs and tags, while Safari takes the lead again as the fastest and most integrated Mac browser.
But that’s not all. There’s brand new apps – Maps and iBooks – and Notifications have been simplified and improved. Best of all, there’s supposed to be unified notifications with iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, so you won’t have all your devices ringing with notifications at the same time.
So, from all that, what are you the most excited about? Looking forward to discussing everyone’s favorite parts of the next version of OS X in the comments below!
Even if you’re a genius, it’s impossible to remember everything possible about all the programming languages and libraries you need to know to build a successful app. Instead, you likely end up Googling answers as you go along, or have to dig though several different documentation sets in different apps at the same time. There’s no reason to waste time like that.
Just in time for WWDC, we’ve got a must-have tool for all developers sponsoring us this week: Dash. It’ll make your life easier by keeping all of the documentation you need right at your fingertips. Dash supports 80+ API documentation sets, ranging from Cocoa and Android to HTML and CSS, so regardless of what language or framework you’re using, Dash has you covered.
Alongside the beautifully crafted documentation sets, you’re also able to store your own snippets of code, with snippet expansion and variable placeholders that bring unparalleled flexibility to your code snippets. This combination of documentation and snippets makes Dash the go-to app for all your programming resources needs.
Dash integrates with your favorite IDEs and apps, from Sublime Text and Xcode to Alfred and Vim, so that you can convenientely search for what you need from wherever you want. Regardless of what your current workflow is, it should be easy to integrate Dash into it.
You can also easily generate your own documentation sets for your own projects. Pre-made generation tools are available for Objective-C, Python, Ruby or Java, as well as instructions on how to generate documentation sets for anything you need. Documentation sets generated by popular tools like Doxygen or Appledoc are also supported, as well as all the documentation sets available at CocoaDocs.
Get Your Copy of Dash Today!
Dash usually costs $19.99, but just for WWDC it’s on sale for just $7.99 this week. You can download Dash for free from the App Store to try it out, then purchase the full version for $7.99 this week only as an in-app purchase. That’s a small price to pay for the time it’ll save you in developing your next hit app!
Slicereader 0.2 is now on the App Store, with a bookmarklet to make it easier to add websites to read, support for Markdown, HTML, and plain text, and more.
It’s been an amazing past few years for writers. With full-screen distraction free writing environment pioneered by WriteRoom, Markdown formatting from Gruber, focused writing from iA Writer, the exporting wonders of Marked, the brand-new hidden Markdown formatting of Ulysses III, and more, it’s amazing how far we’ve come from the cluttered days of drafting our work in Word.
Reading apps, unfortunately, haven’t gotten much attention at all. Yes, there’s a number of apps for reading articles later on your Mac, some of which are even very nice (I’m particularly fond of the new ReadKit). But, sadly, none of them are totally new. They’re not changing the way we read on the Mac, the way iA Writer and Folding Text and others have changed the way we write on the Mac.
This weekend, that’s just changed with the brand-new beta app Slicereader. Designed by Mutahhir Ali Hayat, a programmer at Hog Bay Software that works on FoldingText and Oak Outliner, Slicereader is the most innovative reading app on the Mac yet. It’ll change how you read longform text. Here’s why.
Apple’s rumored to be releasing a new streaming music or perhaps internet radio service at WWDC next week. It could happen, of course, but then again, similar things have been rumored for years now, especially after Apple acquired Lala in late 2009.
There’s no need to wait, though, if you’re wanting a top-quality streaming music experience on your Mac today. There’s tons out there — even Google’s jumped into the fray now — but one of the best, Rdio, just got a major update to its apps this past week. It’s got a nicer design, has great new social integration that actually makes sense by letting you keep up with what’s popular among your friends. And it’s got a great music selection.
Our writer Nathan Snelgrove takes the redesigned Rdio for a spin over on Web.AppStorm, so jump over to the article there to see what’s great in the newest version of one of the best streaming music services online today.
It was a fateful Thursday late last July when Sparrow announced they’d been bought out by Google. The indie email app that’d taken the Mac by storm, Sparrow was a fast favorite of anyone who wanted a more modern email experience — one that was fast, minimalist, and integrated with cloud services. It hit all the right spots, soared in popularity, then nearly as quickly was taken from us. Sparrow still works, but it’s a zombie without much, if any, of a future.
The Sparrow-shaped gap on the App Store has yet to be filled. There’s tons of promises of new email apps, but few have made it onto the scene yet — at least on the Mac. There’s the old standby alternates like Outlook and Postbox, but they don’t replace the minimalist approach to email that Sparrow embraced. The iPhone can claim Mailbox, Triage, and numerous other new email apps, but on the Mac, most Sparrow fans have stuck with the aging app, while others have taken a look back at Apple’s admittedly nice Mail.app.
That’s changed this week, though, as Airmail was released to the App Store. We’d taken a look at it months back when it was still in beta, but now that it’s fully released, can it replace Sparrow for diehard fans?
It’s the eve of WWDC 2013, and Apple’s cloud sync platform, iCloud, is one of the highest priorities in every developer’s mind. It’s been 603 days since iCloud‘s launch and exactly 1 year 5 months after the App Store burst onto the Mac scene, and yet both feel like they’ve hardly moved forward at all.
Sure, they’re both widely successful, and the App Store especially has change the way we approach buying apps. But the App Store has also made it tough for developers to make upgraded versions of apps economically feasible, leading them to add in-app purchases for new features, or add their own subscription-based services to make money. Of the two, though, iCloud has been the most problematic, leading developers like The Soulmen to have to rewrite major parts of iCloud sync code to get it to work in their apps (Ulysses III, in this case).
We’re all hoping Apple significantly improves iCloud this year, and perhaps there’ll be major announcements about both it and the App Store next week. But there’s also alternates now. Aside from just relying on Dropbox for sync, the Omni Group has built their own iCloud competitor, OmniPresence, and Paddle is making it simpler for indie devs to sell their own apps with in-app purchases, outside of the App Store. (more…)
Adobe shocked the creative world by announcing last month that it’s abandoning its Creative Suite in lieu of Creative Cloud subscriptions. Rather than paying thousands of dollars for a complete set of Adobe creative apps, you’ll only pay $50/month for everything they sell. That little change has many Adobe users up in arms, ready to desert Adobe for alternate apps.
But Adobe’s not the only one making a subscription play this year. Microsoft’s now doing the same thing with Office 365, and Autocad, Mathematica, and other major developers have done the same for years. The difference is, Adobe’s making a subscription-only play: individual purchases are no more, and subscription is the only option.
That doesn’t have to be such a bad option, though. Here’s why.
If you were a pixel on the wall of our team’s Basecamp, listening to our conversations, you’d know that we’ve been looking for the perfect Markdown-powered Mac blogging app. There’s blogging apps for the Mac, but if you like writing in Markdown in apps like Byword and iA Writer (and we do), there’s none that fit your workflow perfectly.
So instead, we each have our favorite writing apps, export our text as HTML, and paste it into WordPress. It works, but it’s far from seamless.
That all changes today, with the hot-off-the-press Byword 2. It has built-in publishing to WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Scriptogram, and Evernote, and a handful of other improvements. If you need a focused Markdown writing app and a blogging app, it’s the one app you need. (more…)
Apple’s 2013 Worldwide Developer Conference starts on Monday, June 10th. By this time a week from now we’ll already have seen what Tim Cook and the rest of the Apple team have prepared to show the world. The whole world — not just techies this time — is anticipating iOS 7, but there should be a lot more interesting stuff.
There’s OS X, of course: it’d be tough to forget that here at Mac.AppStorm. Apple’s committed to a yearly upgrade cycle for OS X, and Mountain Lion was released at the end of July last year. That should mean that we’ll get word of the stuff coming to OS X v.NeXT.
There’s also Apple’s own apps, from iLife and iWork to their pro tools, all of which seem far overdue for a new version. There’s iCloud, which almost every developer would like to see improved. There’s also the iOS apps like iBooks that have never made their way to the Mac, even though they seem like perfect fits.
Then, there’s hardware. Apple hasn’t updated the Mac Pro in forever, and the rest of its lineup is likely due at least for a spec bump. And none of us would mind if Apple decided to release some brand-new, non-rumored hardware like a new addition to the Mac lineup.
We’d all like to see all of the above, I’m sure, but what do you want to see most? Is iOS mostly on your mind, or are you hoping for more Mac attention? We’d love to hear what you want to see at WWDC 2013 in the comments below.
And, stay tuned: our AppStorm team will be live-blogging the keynote speech, and we’ll have more to share about that later this week!