| Cult of Mac

Make battery-hogging apps like Spotify better with DIY web apps


Web apps that don’t suck
Suck away battery life, that is.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

There are a bunch of not-great apps like Spotify and Slack that suck battery life, because they basically run a full copy of Google Chrome inside each window. Chrome is a notorious energy hog, and running multiple copies of its Blink engine inside four different apps can take unnecessary memory and resources.

But you can create your own, much better versions using web apps in the upcoming release of macOS Sonoma.

Web apps in Sonoma are easily made directly in Safari and live in your Mac’s Dock. For apps that you use every day, like Spotify, Discord and Slack, it’s easier to launch them from the Dock and move them around separately from your browser tabs.

Safari web apps won’t drain your battery and they’re incredibly easy to use. Although they can be launched and quit independently from Safari, they share the same system resources, so they barely make a splash on performance.

Let me show you how they work.

This flipbook app makes any PDF a real page-turner


Create interactive PDF booklets with this discounted subscription.
Create stunning PDF flipbooks in minutes with FlipBooklets.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

How you present information is often as important as what you present. Instead of relying on the same menu of tools every other professional uses, you can make yourself stand out with a clean, refined digital book.

FlipBooklets lets you create interactive PDF flip booklets that can be read on any device. And right now, the app’s on sale for $99 (regularly $360).

Turbocharge your productivity with this highly customizable web dashboard


Boost your productivity with this top-rated dashboard, less than $50 for life.
Manage your tasks better with this productivity dashboard deal.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

With custom web dashboard Start.Me, you can turn your web browser’s startup page into a highly customizable portal. You can add all the tools and data you need to get things done, making everyday tasks easy.

It’s a total game-changer for productivity. And right now, you can get a Start.Me Pro lifetime subscription for just $49. That’s more than half off the regular price of $100.

iOS 15.4 paves the way for web apps to deliver push notifications


2021 iPad mini packs 5G
A big improvement for mobile apps on the web.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s first iOS 15.4 beta, rolled out to registered developers last week, lays the groundwork for web apps to deliver push notifications.

The feature, long available in Safari for macOS, always stood out as a notable omission on iPhone and iPad. Fortunately for those who use mobile web apps frequently, that looks set to change in the near future.

This app lets you create user-friendly layouts for apps and websites


Make a better webspace with Zen Wireframe.
Zen Wireframe is like building blocks, but for web and software design.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

A lot of the work in web design is just figuring out where to put everything. You have the information, the visuals, the links, and everything else, but actually arranging it all in a pleasing way can take so much longer than creating the content itself.

Zen Wireframe Pro generates blueprints of websites, apps and more in an instant. And right now, you can get a lifetime subscription on sale for just $65 (regularly $1,080).

Free web music app imitates iPod Classic click wheel


Tanner Villarete's free music player web app simulates the classic iPod click wheel.
Tanner Villarete's free music player web app simulates the iPod Classic click wheel.
Photo: Tanner Villarete

The iPod’s iconic click wheel had a good run, launching in 2004 with the iPod mini. It joined the fourth-generation iPod’s design later that year. It even auditioned in the odd product concept over the years. Finally, in 2014, the company phased it out with the iPod Classic.

But nothing great is gone forever, as a free new web music player app shows.

Speedometer 2.0 lets you put your browser speed through its paces


A benchmark for modern web app responsiveness.
Photo: Apple

Apple has released Speedometer 2.0, a benchmark that lets you test your browser’s web app responsiveness. The tool is part of Apple’s contribution to WebKit, a collaboration between Apple, Adobe Systems, Google, KDE, and others.

Speedometer 2.0 works by simulating “user interactions.” Essentially, it runs 480 tasks and then measures how long it takes your browser’s speed in carrying these out, before providing you with a report.