This week we check the weather, take a nap, edit photos on our Macs using Apple Pencil, and enjoy Catalina’s Catalyst apps.
Pixelmator Pro for Catalina
Photo editor Pixelmator Pro got a nice juicy update in time for macOS Catalina. The best new feature is support for Sidecar, the Catalina feature that lets you use your iPad as a wireless display for your Mac.
In PixelMator’s case, the image-editing app lets you use the Apple Pencil to draw and input anything else into the Mac app.
NapBot – Auto Sleep Tracker
NapBot is a neat take on the sleep tracker. This iPhone and Apple Watch app uses your watch’s data to track your sleep, but it adds a dose of Machine Learning to analyze the raw data. It works out how well you were sleeping, and it also correlates the Apple Watch’s new environmental noise-sensing data with the sleep data to see if your noisy surroundings are affecting your sleep. Neat.
Price: Free with in-app subscription
Download: NapBot – Auto Sleep Tracker from the App Store (iOS)
Weather Line 2
Weather Line is great app for iOS that has just made a transition. It’s a beautifully-designed visual representation of the weather, and may be one of the most glanceable weather apps ever. It just switched to a subscription, and I signed up right away. It costs $9.99 per month, and existing users get 50% off the first year.
Weather data costs the developer money, but the App Store has made our app price expectations unrealistic. You can’t pay a few dollars for an app and expect perpetual support and updates. With no upgrade pricing, subscriptions are pretty much the only way to go.
And the new features? There are tons of them. Check out the listing here.
Price: Free with in-app subscription.
Download: Weather Line from the App Store (iOS)
Fiery Feeds is the finest news and RSS reader on iOS, and — thanks to Mac Catalyst — it’s now on the Mac. The screenshots shows you that it looks and works just the the iOS version works, with custom themes, syncing, and all that.
But the accompanying blog post from developer Lukas Bergstaller shows just what a mess Catalyst still is:
[No] matter what, a single Apple ID can not subscribe more than once. If I wanted to do subscription syncing, I’d have to at least offer a separate (because it’s separate app) subscription in the Mac app (for people who do not use the iOS app), which means users might subscribe twice by accident (if they didn’t follow the steps to synchronise the subscription from the iOS app exactly step by step). Together with the fact that I can’t refund subscriptions (or purchases) even if I wanted to, that sounds like a support nightmare in the making.
So a shared subscription is out, at least until it’s properly supported by the App Store.
Catalyst seems half-finished at best.
Download: Fiery Feeds from the App Store (Mac)