Computers — the iPad, the Mac and anything else where a screen is the main form of interaction — are creativity killers. They distract, frustrate and get in the way of the flow that is essential to any creative work.
That’s not to say they don’t play an important part in art, music, photography or writing. It’s just that a lot of the time, there are much better tools for the job — and they’re getting more popular all the time.
The iPad has replaced many things — it’s a TV, it’s a games console, it’s a book, it’s a (huge) camera, and it’s even a typewriter. But until recently, it hasn’t made a very good alternative to paper. But thanks to the Apple Pencil, and to iOS 11, that has changed. Now you can write and draw a note without even unlocking your iPad, and you can search for anything you write, just as if it were text. Let’s check out lock-screen notes.
Did you ever have something to say that’s too long for a tweet, but too short for a blog post? And what if you don’t have a blog anyway? Then you need txt.fyi, “the dumbest publishing platform on the web.”
This week’s best new deals in the Cult of Mac Store include some futuristic goodies. From a wireless charging pad to ultra durable wireless earbuds. There’s also a powerful planning platform for iOS and a distraction-free writing app, all of it discounted by half off or more. Read on for more details:
Here at the Cult of Mac Store, we delight in finding great new deals on tools and tech every week. This go around, we’ve got a gravity-operated mobile car mount, and a super useful writing assistant. Additionally, we’ve got an app to guide you in meditating (really), and a phone plan year of unlimited talk and text. Discounts run from a third to as much as 90 percent off, red on for more details:
These days you can easily share data and collaborate on almost anything, from Rdio playlists to photo streams. But when it comes to plain old written text, your options are terrible. You’re pretty much caught between working on a shared file in Google Docs or shuttling versions of your work back and forth via email. Add more than one collaborator and this becomes a total nightmare.
Thankfully, tools exist to smooth the process of collaborating on writing projects. I’m currently editing the second draft of a novella, and I’m looking for a way to work with “beta” readers. I’m testing several pieces of software, and so far one called Draft is in the lead. Not only does it let you share a document with other people, it lets the team comment on any part of the source document and also allows them to edit a copy. Then, when they submit their versions, you can preview any changes before accepting or rejecting them.
Better still, because Draft can sync with a document in Dropbox (as well as several other cloud services), you can sync the edits from your beta team with a local app, like Scrivener. Here’s what you need to make the collaborative magic happen.
Outspoken ex-Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée has never been afraid to speak his mind, even when contradicting the most powerful Silicon Valley executives.
But even by Gassée’s usual standard, he doesn’t have kind words for Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella. Having read his recent “3,100 plodding word” essay sent out to 127,000 Microsoft employees to describe the Windows-maker’s new vision, Gassée calls Nadella a “repeat befuddler” who could learn a thing or two from Steve Jobs on how to express himself.
Write, the distraction-free note-taking tool that’s been a great success on iOS, is ready to make writing easier on your Mac.
Whether you’re a student, a blogger, a novelist, or simply too forgetful to remember what you need to pack your holiday, Write’s incredibly simple design and clutter-free user interface can make writing a more enjoyable experience. But don’t let its minimal beauty fool you — Write is packed with handy features.
Brett Terpstra’s Marked app started out as a quick way to preview any Markdown file as it would appear when rendered into rich text or HTML. It still does that as well as any of the apps that have their own built-in Markdown preview, but Marked is now arguably something else entirely. It analyzes your text and gives detailed statistics, as well as suggestions on how to improve your prose.
Wow, this is a surprise. StoryBuilder is a new browser-based web app from… Amazon. It’s a pretty great corkboard app for screenwriters to plan their screenplays, and because it’s browser based you can use it anywhere, on your Mac, iPad or iPhone.