Mac Apps

Apple releases $199 education bundle: FCP X, Logic Pro, Motion, Compressor & MainStage

If you’re a teacher, college student, faculty member or staff, or a K12 or higher education institution, you can now buy a bundle of Apple’s pro video and audio editing apps for Mac. As reported by The Loop, the Pro Apps Bundle for Education includes Final Cut Pro X ($300), Logic Pro X ($200), Motion 5 ($50), Compressor 4 ($50) and MainStage 3 ($30).

The bundle is priced at just $199, a $430 savings versus the apps’ combined retail price.

Chrome 56 for Mac released with lower power consumption, performance boost & more

Google on Friday released Chrome 56 for Mac, Windows and Linux following a period of beta testing which began about a month and a half ago. In addition to various security enhancements, Chrome 56 offers nearly up to one-third faster webpage reloading times with 60 percent less validation requests. Google’s desktop browser will now warn you when a website requests confidential information over an insecure connection. It also blocks Flash content, supports Web Bluetooth API and more. Chrome 56 for iOS should follow soon.

Setapp launches publicly: get unlimited access to 60+ paid Mac apps for a flat monthly fee

Developer MacPaw’s new Netflix-like subscription service for prime Mac apps has been in invite-only beta since December 2016. Beginning today, Setapp is available to everyone in exchange for a flat monthly fee of $9.99. An alternative to Apple’s Mac App Store, Setapp gives you unlimited access to 61 Mac apps, with more to be added as additional developers join the service. These are fully functional apps that update automatically and contain no In-App Purchases, paid upgrades or ads.

How to add music to your iPhone without iTunes using WALTR

Transferring music files to your iOS hardware is not for the faint-hearted, let alone for novice users, but I suppose you don’t need me to tell you that. Because third-party apps are not permitted to save songs to the music library on your device, the process officially sanctioned by Apple requires syncing your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with the bloated mess that is desktop iTunes.

Thankfully, specialized apps such as Softorino’s excellent WALTR 2 (free trial available – or $39.95) let you simply drag and drop media files on WALTR’s drop zone and rest assured they’ll be transcoded into iOS-friendly formats and saved into appropriate apps. In this brief tutorial, we’ll lay out the process of adding music to iPhone without iTunes, using the WALTR app.

Apple updates GarageBand and Logic Pro X with pro-level features, including Touch Bar support

Apple today updated its GarageBand and Logic Pro X apps with new features designed to support music makers “from enthusiasts to pros.” GarageBand for iOS 2.2 now provides the creative synthesizer Alchemy and has a new browser for easier searching through instruments and patches.

Logic Pro X 10.3 has been refreshed with a modern interface and now includes features for pro audio production and support for Touch Bar shortcuts on the new MacBook Pro.

Chrome 56 adds support for FLAC codec, “Not Secure” HTTP warning, web Bluetooth & more

Chrome 56 for Mac and other platforms has entered Google’s beta channel. When released to the general public, the browser will bring native support for the FLAC audio codec within the browser and other perks. This should come in handy because macOS does not support the FLAC file format out of the box so users often must use a third-party converter or video player to play these files. With Chrome 56, Mac users will be able to play FLAC-encoded audio files embedded in web pages or local files drag and dropped onto the browser window.

Video converter Handbrake exits beta after 13 years

In a better-late-than-never move, the free cross-platform video converter Handbrake has finally hit version 1.0. The app had been languishing in beta for more than thirteen years. Handbrake 1.0, a free download for Mac, Windows, Ubuntu and other platforms, lets you convert videos easily from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. With subtitle support, capable transcoding engine and built-in presets for devices like Apple TV, iPhone and iPad, Handbrake makes it easy to optimize videos for your specific hardware.

Spotify for Mac gains Touch Bar shortcuts

Spotify for Mac was updated this morning with support for Touch Bar shortcuts on the new MacBook Pro models, German outlet Giga.de reported. A few handy music-playback controls are now available in Spotify’s Mac app directly from the Touch Bar, including common controls such as transport and search, as well as persistent Now Playing buttons like play, pause, shuffle, repeat and the volume slider.

Email client Spark for Mac adds a bunch of new productivity features in latest update

Less than a month ago, Ukrainian developer Readdle launched Spark for Mac with Touch Bar support and many advanced features to help you achieve Inbox Zero Nirvana. Last evening, the app received a bunch of new features in the new 1.1 update. You can now assign a different color to each email account so it’s easier to distinguish in the account list. Multiple messages can now be marked as spam at once, IMAP folders can be created directly from the sidebar, contacts now sync with your address book and more.

Deliveries for Mac gains full Sierra compatibility, Touch Bar shortcuts & other new features

After refreshing Deliveries for iOS with full iOS 10 and watchOS 3 support and other nice-to-haves four days ago, Deliveries for Mac was updated on the Mac App Store with full support for macOS Sierra, Touch Bar shortcuts on the new MacBook Pro and more.

Touch Bar shortcuts can be customized for features like shipping company suggestions when you add a delivery, auto-complete for email addresses, a 1Password button when it’s appropriate and more.

Holiday Mac bundle: choose 10 apps for only $19.99

Here is an offer you can’t refuse this holiday season. The folks at Bundle Hunt have put together their last deal of the year: the Holiday Mac Bundle, where you can pick any 10 out of 54 premium apps for $19.99 only. And you’d better hurry to check it out because this deal is ending soon!

The concept is pretty simple. Go over to Bundle Hunt’s website and browse through the list of 54 top-rated apps they have as part of the deal. Mix and match 10 of them, and pay one single price of $19.99 for all of them.

Convert and push media into any Apple device with WALTR 2, no jailbreak or iTunes needed

Softorino, a purely European crew packed with talented developers, recently released WALTR 2 as a successor to the original app that’s captured more than 500,000 downloads worldwide in just under 20 months since its debut.

A well-deserved success, if you ask me, because WALTR made it super easy to convert audio and video files encoded in “foreign” formats, such as DivX/MKV movies with subtitles and FLAC audio files, without requiring a jailbreak.

I raved about WALTR in my review, underscoring how its drag-and-drop simplicity allows just about anyone to bypass the mess that is iTunes. And boy, does it fly: in my tests, WALTR transcoded a 2.64-gigabyte MKV file on my 1.3 GHz Intel Core i5 mid-2013 MacBook Air into an iOS-friendly format and sent it over USB to my iPhone 6 in under two minutes.

Building on this remarkable engine, WALTR 2 is now available with new features like support for more than two-dozen legacy iPod models and other devices starting from iOS 5. It uses automatic metadata recognition that works perfectly, gives you the ability to transfer media to your device wirelessly, supports PDF and ePUB file formats and much, much more.