The best news, design and music apps anywhere in the world this week

By

News! Music! Design! Productivity!!
News! Music! Design! Productivity!!
Photo: Cult of Mac

This week we turn photos into vector images with Vectornator X, compose amazing ’80s synth pop with FM Player 2, check out a new beta of an old favorite with NetNewsWire 5.0, and way more.

Vectornator X

With Vectornator X, it's all done with vectors.
It’s all done with vectors.
Photo: Vectornator

Vectornator is the iOS answer to Adobe’s Illustrator, only it’s way less confusing to use. And it just got a big redesign, adding a new card-based document manager, plus a really fantastic new feature — auto trace. Just point Vectornator X at a photo, and it will turn it into a vector illustration, ready to be edited. No tedious, endless tracing by hand necessary.

Price: Free

Download: Vectornator X from the App Store (iOS)

FM Player 2

FM Player 2, the sound of '80s pop, and lots more.
FM Player 2.
Photo: AudioKit

Regular readers will know about AudioKit’s synthesizer apps. They’re amazing, open source apps with great design — and even greater power. The latest update to the FM Player adds a ridiculous number of features, including audio unit support, new filters, a new vintage arpeggiator, and way, way more. This is the sound of synth history in a slick, beautifully produced package.

Price: $4.99

Download: FM Player 2 from the App Store (iOS)

PDF Expert 7: PDF Editor

With PDF Expert 7, a great PDF editor just got even better.
A great app just got even better.
Photo: Readdle

Readdle’s PDF Expert was already the best PDF reader app on iOS (and maybe even on the Mac), but this update makes it even better. Its PDF engine now runs on Metal, and the whole app got a redesign, adding proper support for the iOS Files browser and generally making the app easier to understand.

There’s also a new pro subscription, which lets you reduce the size of PDFs, customize the app toolbar, redact and edit text and add images, and convert other documents to PDFs.

Price: Free, with a pro subscription to add features

Download: PDF Expert 7: PDF Editor from the App Store (iOS)

NetNewsWire 5.0 beta

NetNewsWire 5.0 beta. It's back!
It’s back!
Photo: Ranchero

NetNewsWire is the OG RSS reader, and now it’s back. The rights to the app name reverted to the original developer, Brent Simmons, and he’s been working on the new Mac version ever since. And it’s beautiful.

NetNewsWire has everything — a Safari extension, dark mode, sharing, AppleScript support (!), direct subscription or syncing via Feedbin, and plenty more. If you read RSS on the Mac, you should check it out.

Price: Free

Download: NetNewsWire 5.0 beta (macOS)