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Best Reddit Apps for iOS

I spend entirely too much time on Reddit. It’s the first thing I check in the morning and the last night I check at night. And, frustratingly, most of the Reddit apps for iOS are just badly designed. Here’s our take on the top Reddit apps for iOS.

Narwhal

reddit apps for ios narwhal

 

A good Reddit client should make it easy to quickly scroll through content, viewing a wide variety of media while upvoting and downvoting easily. It’s a complex development task, but Narwhal handles it well. I love that you can swipe on posts to upvote and downvote them, and the user interface is well-designed and easy to understand. The app also includes a lot of features borrowed from Reddit Enhancement Suite, like hiding posts, which is invaluable. And a “hide read” contextual button that pops up periodically makes it easy to “archive” viewed post and get them out of your feed. A media view allows you to see photos without opening posts, which is great for anyone that enjoys following a lot of media-heavy subreddits.

Narwhal isn’t perfect, though. Posting isn’t fun, and you’ll need to type out the subreddit’s name perfectly to post to it. Very large images (greater than 10,000px) can cause the app to instantly crash in media view, and if you’ve got one of those in your feed, the app is basically unusable until the post disappears. GIFs also don’t autoplay, meaning you have to view the post to get the GIF to go. This might be a plus for some users, but I found it to be a chore.

The ad supported version includes annoying, clickbait ads permanently pinned to the bottom of your screen, as well as infrequent but intrusive, full-screen pop-up ads that probably violate the App Store’s guidelines. But overall, it’s a highly functional app for Reddit that’s a pleasure to use, and it’s the Reddit app for iOS that I use the most.

Beam

reddit apps for ios beam

Beam is one of the better Reddit clients tested for this post, but as a free client, it’s not all that much to write home about. The best features are hidden behind paid expansion packs. There’s the $1.99 Display Pack, which includes must-have features like media view, night mode and automatically playing GIFS. The $1.99 Identity Pack enables private browsing, multiple accounts, PIN-code access and more. There’s also a forthcoming Discovery Pack, which helps content discovery, but there’s no word on what sort of features that will contain.

With the additional content packs, Beam is one of the best Reddit apps for iOS. Without those content packs, it’s a well-designed but ultimately less-exciting app.

Redditor

reddit apps for ios redditor

Redditor is a straight-forward and easy-to-use Reddit client for those most interested in browsing Reddit. It load content quickly and scrolls responsively, with a built-in media view, auto-playing GIFs, and multiple color schemes, including night mode. There’s some rare features as well: you can change the display font from the default Helvetica Neue to a wide variety of other options and use Readability to access web links from within the app.

The app still needs a little work, however. The app design has little room for content hierarchy, making it hard to visually separate posts from one another, or comments from post titles. The swipe-based navigational interface can be a little hard to navigate, and there are few clues to guide the user. For example, the first time you open a gallery of images, it’s hard to know how to dismiss them (swipe up or down). And when you’re viewing a media post, it’s not immediately obvious how to close it (swipe down). And adding the a comment to a post is non-intuitive. The reply button is buried in an “other options” menu can that only be access by swiping the post you want to reply to across nearly the full width of your device’s screen. If development continues, however, Redditor has the skeleton of an excellent Reddit app.

Reddit Official App

reddit apps for ios reddit

The official Reddit app for iOS gets a lot of flack, and after using it for months, that’s not shocking. It’s broadly functional, but rife with problems. Its infinite scrolling feature frequently breaks, and it doesn’t include all the excellent features provided by third-party apps. You can’t save individual comments, which is frequently irritating, requiring you to upvote to save a comment for later. Scrolling is jerky and uneven, making the app feel unresponsive and slow. It offers autoplaying GIFs, but many GIFs just won’t play at all, and the much-vaunted multi-user options are clunky and buggy. The official Reddit app is serviceable and attractive, but there are better options available.

Conclusion

As of right now, Narwhal is the best of the free Reddit apps for iOS, but it still doesn’t include everything we’d expect from a killer Reddit app. If you’re willing to drop $2 for the Display Pack, Beam is an awesome paid option.

You might also like:

Top 3 Time-Killing iPhone Apps You Should Download Today

The Weirdest iPhone Apps Ever

The post Best Reddit Apps for iOS appeared first on Apple Gazette.

Free iOS Apps Today: Download Paid Apps for Free, April 24, 2017

Here is your weekly dose of free iOS apps you can download.

Note: These apps are free as of this writing; they will go back to their regular price anytime.)

Paid apps gone free

Lendromat

paid apps gone free

Lendromat is your little helper to keep track of borrowed things. Books, DVDs, games, gadgets or money – just add it to your list and be sure to never forget about them again. Get organized easily, share and enjoy!

FEATURES
– Keep track of your and your friends’ items
– Displays when items are due
– Remind your friends to return items via SMS or Email with templates
– Stores a history of items which makes it easy to borrow and lend again
– Use your iPhone camera to take pictures of the items, or choose pictures from your iPhone/iPod’s library.
– Send new library entries via email to your friend’s Lendromat
– Export and import your library as XML. View exports as a webpage in your favorite browser.

cut.

free ios apps

** FREE for a limited time **

• Creative Arts
30 unique levels based on one line art

• Cut the Art Into Equal Parts as Possible
Give direction the colored balls by clicking on the screen. Some of the balls are connected to line but some aren’t. Some of them can cut the line but some can’t. Some of them have friction but some don’t. The objective is simple; divide the line into as equal parts as possible. Collect points and open new levels.

• Competition
30 challenging levels 30 different leaderboards

• Haptic Feedback
Feel the cut in your hand

• 3D Touch Shortcut
Reach last played level via 3D Touch Shortcut

• From the creator of rop, hocus., VOI and pocus.

Vizzywig 2014 – Video Editor Multi Camera

paid apps gone free

***FREE TODAY ONLY (Reg. $29.99)***
On sale to celebrate the the NEW Vizzywig 2017 4K version (sold separately on the AppStore for $99.99). Please support our development efforts and buy the new version with over 40 additional features today. (Just read the version history of Vizzywig 2017 on the App Store to follow all the upgrades we’ve made to this amazing app since 2014.)

The world’s first all-in-one, movie-making application for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that lets you record, edit, and preview in real time! You can even connect multiple cameras.

VISIT: Vizzywig.com/support/
(For YouTube Tutorials and our Quick Start Guide PDF)

Import clips, add transitions, overlay snapshots and titles, set in/out points, split clips and set background music while you capture the event. When the event is over, simply tap DONE and your finished movie is rendered in minutes complete with a studio intro, titles, transitions and even Hollywood-style scrolling credits.

Sneakaboo for Snapchat – Edit Snap & Save for Send

free apps

The best way to edit photos and clip videos from your Camera Roll for uploading to anywhere!

It couldn’t be simpler by steps below:
1. Select photos or videos from your photo library.
2. Add text or emoji to your photos.
3. Add Stick and draw on your photos.
4. Save to your camera roll.
5. Upload anywhere.

Blinq: Simple Expense Tracker Spendings Analytics

free ios apps

Blinq allows you to keep track of your expenses easily and quickly. It’s an entry point to money saving, the easiest way to keep your home budget balanced.

The app combines pragmatic approach to personal finances and an intuitive UI to help you keep track of your personal finances without struggle. Every time, everywhere, in a blink of an eye.

Blinq is a personal finance journal for a busy people.

Thanks to Apple Watch companion app an build-in force touch options it enables you to save an expense in literally 5 seconds straight from your springboard or wrist.

The post Free iOS Apps Today: Download Paid Apps for Free, April 24, 2017 appeared first on Apple Gazette.

50 “Tracking Apps” That May or May Not Make Your Life Better

It’s undeniable that mobile phones are becoming increasingly integral in our lives. They are almost extensions of many of us, and let’s face it, a lot of us would struggle without our electronic friends there to help us communicate, check social media, news, travel arrangement and so on.

It is the huge array of apps that have been designed that make smart phones so, well, smart – and a whole load of life-tracker give us the ability to keep an eye on pretty much every area of our lives, from daily tasks and appointments to health, fitness and finances. Vouchercloud recently created this guide to 50 apps that let you track just about everything. But is this a great way to take control of your life or technological micromanagement?

Take a look at these 50 tracking apps.

tracking apps

Bio: Ashley Fleming loves and hates technology and is intrigued by the relationships that we have with machines. His work can be found at the Vouchercloud blog.

Need Mac apps? Check this out: Top 5 Mac To-Do Apps in 2017

The post 50 “Tracking Apps” That May or May Not Make Your Life Better appeared first on Apple Gazette.

Create Your Own Netflix and Spotify With Plex for macOS

Plex for macOS is a free open-source video-streaming application that shares your digital media library over home and remote networks. It’s an easy way to watch downloaded videos or stream music between devices, creating your own streaming media library. And with a little setup, you can access your Plex library from the road and share it with other users, building your own personal Spotify and Netflix.

Installing Plex for macOS

To get started with Plex for macOS, you’ll need to install the Plex Server software on one Mac. This will be your dedicated server computer, and your library will only be accessible when the device is on and connected to the Internet. If you have a Mac desktop or an old Mac Mini, this would be an ideal task for that machine.

1. Download Plex Media Server from plex.tv. Plex Media Server is the application that will be in charge of managing your media library and making it available to stream to Plex client devices.

plex for macOS download

2. Drag the Plex Media Server application into your Applications folder.

plex for macOS install

3. Launch the application from your Applications folder. After a moment, a small chevron appear in your status bar and the application will open up a browser tab. This browser tab is your main interface for your Plex media server: there’s no “native” macOS app, though you can make one with Fluid.

plex for macOS status bar icon

plex for macOS log in screen

4. Click Sign Up and create a Plex account, if you don’t already have one. Then use those credentials to log in.

plex for macOS sign up

5. Once you’ve logged in, you can name your Plex server! Only you’ll see this name, so feel free to be as boring or as interesting as you want.

plex for macOS name server

6. If you think you’ll want to access Plex from outside your home network, leave Allow me to access my media outside my home ticked. Then, Plex will automatically attempt to configure a remote connection.

plex for macOS remote access

Of course, there is some security risk in having an open port. But for most folks, the convenience outweighs the risk.

7. Plex stores media in libraries, which are just ways to collect and display similar types of media. To create our Movie library, click the Add Library button.

plex for macOS add library

8. Select the Movies library type. You can also give the library a cute name, if you want. When you’re done, click Next.

plex for macOS library type

8. To add media to your new library, click the Browse for Media Folder button. Plex won’t move your media, so this should be the folder where all your movies are already stored.

plex for macOS

9. Once you’ve selected the folder in Finder, click Add Library to complete the library creation process.

plex for macOS

10. You can add as many libraries as you like for music, photos, TV shows and more. Once you’ve added all the libraries you want to add for now, click Next. Keep in mind you can always add new libraries later.

plex for macOS

11. Now we’ve finally reached the Plex main screen! Plex will take a few minutes to import all your media, so for now it won’t look like much. But once all your media is imported and automatically connected to the correct thumbnails, you’l have an attractive little digital media cabinet.

plex for macOS

Run Plex for macOS at launch

To be useful, Plex should be running as often as possible. It takes minimal CPU resources, and the app is miles more useful if it’s always on. You can set the application to run as soon as you log in to get as much uptime as possible.

1. Click on the Plex status bar icon.

plex for macOS

2. Select Open at Login from the dropdown menu to enable Plex launching at login.

Using Plex for macOS on your home network

Plex is easiest to use on your home network. Your media library is stored on your Mac, and content can be sent to nearly any device with a screen. You just need to have your Plex server open an active, and install the Plex app on the receiving device.

1. Check to make sure Plex Media Server is operational. Look for the chevron icon in your status bar. If you don’t see if there, launch the app from your Applications folder.

2. Open a browser window and access your Plex library at its local IP address: 127.0.0.1:32400. That’s the internal IP address and port number for Plex. Alternatively, you can also use plex.tv/web, but the login screen will look slightly different and requires a few more clicks.

3. Log in with your Plex account.

4. Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be dropped at the Plex main screen. You can click on any of your media icons to see more details, or double-click to play immediately.

Plex automatically associates movies with IMDb records, screenshots, star ratings and movie posters, so you’ll get an attractive media library whether or not you set it up yourself.

Set Up Plex Remote Access

You might think that setting up remote access for Plex is challenging, but there’s an awesome shortcut. If your router was built in the last couple years and supports UPnP or NAT-PMP, Plex can probably automatically configure a remote connection.

1. Log in to Plex on your local network through a web browser at 127.0.0.1:32400.

2. Click through top to “Settings -> Server -> Remote Access.”

3. Click the “Enable Remote Access” button.

4. If Plex can enable remote access, you’ll see a success screen take the place of the red text from the above screenshot. If Plex can’t automatically enable a remote connection, you’ll need to dive into your router settings and start opening ports.

5. If the configuration was successful, you can now access your Plex library from anywhere. Just navigate to https://plex.tv/web, enter your login credentials, and you’ll be connected.

Remember, all your media files are still stored on your Mac’s hard drive, so you’ll need to have the Mac powered on and connected to the Internet – with the Plex app running, of course – in order to stream remotely.

Accessing Plex From Other Devices

You can access your Plex library from any device with a web browser. Just use the plex.tv/web link, and you’ll be able to connect wherever you are. However, you might get faster performance with a dedicated app for your device.

Of course iOS and Android have their own Plex apps, but so do dozens of other platforms. Most smart TVs have their own Plex apps, and TiVo, Sonos, Alexa, Playstation and Xbox even have apps available.

The exact appearance of the app, and its ease of use, will vary from platform to platform. However, once you log in with your Plex account, the application will automatically connect to your server, whether you’re at home or on a remote network.

Conclusion

You can set up Plex in a few minutes, and it provides everything you need to stream your media inside or outside your home network. If you rip all your DVDs, you’ll have your own free streaming content library that’s accessible from any device with a screen and an Internet connection.

You might also like:

Getting Started with macOS Server

The Best Mac Backup Strategies You Should Use Today

The post Create Your Own Netflix and Spotify With Plex for macOS appeared first on Apple Gazette.

Getting Started with Terminal: Using Grep to Search Files

We’ve covered getting up and running with Terminal, and addressed some basic Terminal commands. Now, we can start digging into more useful Terminal techniques.

What is grep?

grep is a command line utility that searches plain text. It takes whatever input you provide and searches for a specific search term, or “string.” And because it supports regular expressions, those strings can get extremely complicated—and extremely powerful. When used correctly, it can search faster than Spotlight, with more control and more exact results.

The utilities somewhat unusual name comes from its origin. In an old command line utility called ed, the command g/re/p would print all lines matching a previously defined search string. That functionality was then built into its own utility, but retained the same cryptic name. Today, the command is so popular that grep is often used as a verb, as in the phrase, “You can’t grep dead trees.”

Using grep

A grep command has three parts: the command, the search string, and the search target. If no search target is specified, grep will search the “standard input,” or whatever is currently displayed on the command line.

macos terminal grep syntax

By default, grep will return a list of all the matches within a specific file.

macos terminal grep results

grep also matches partial strings by default. For example, searching for "Au" instead of "Austin" will return Austin, as well as all the other cities with "Au" in the name. And because grep is case-sensitive by default, I’ll only see results that include a capital A followed by a lower-case U.

macos terminal grep results 2

Sending Input to grep with Pipes

You can send input to grep using the pipe character ( ), found above the Enter key on your keyboard. As we covered earlier, this command sends the output one of command to the input of another command.

For example, if I want to search a directory for a specific file, I could pipe the output of ls to grep using the command below:

ls -l | grep filename

Of course, I could accomplish this task with grep alone, but this way might seem more fluid to some users.

grep and Regular Expressions

Properly formatting your search terms is a major part of using grep successfully. The command uses regular expressions, also called regex, to format search terms. Regex is a methodology for defining a sequence of characters as a search term, using special strings called “control characters” to make searching more powerful. If your familiar with Boolean search terms, it’s a similar concept, but much more advanced.

Regular expressions can take months to master, but here’s a guide for the most useful control characters:

  • .: the period character is a wildcard, meaning that any character (except for a newline) will match it.
  • ^: the caret indicates a match must occur at the start of a word boundary. Use this at the start of your search string.
  • $: the dollar sign indicates a match must occur at the end of a word boundary. Use this at the end of your search string.
  • *: repeat the previous character as many times as necessary to get a match. For example, 0* would match one or more zeros.
  • \d: match any digit.
  • \w: match any alphanumeric character.
  • {n}: repeat the previous character exactly n times. For example, w{3} would match the string www but not ww.

If you want to dig into all regular expressions can do, Princeton has a thorough guide. You can also get a quick regular expressions introduction here.

grep doesn’t use perfectly normal regular expressions, however. For example, regular expressions can technically contain spaces, but grep gets confused by them. If you need to search for two words separated by spaces, for example, try and put the whole search string in quotes.

grep Flags

grep also includes a number of essential flags. The following are the most important:

  • -i: ignore case when matching. For example, grep -i unix would return Unix, UNIX, unix, uNIX and more.
  • -r: search recursively, examining each file in the provided directory.
  • -w: use “whole word” matches. Words, in grep’s definition, are text strings surrounded by whitespace. For example, if you use grep -w book foo.txt, “booklet” would not be a valid match.
  • -x: like word matches, but for entire lines instead of words.
  • -l: returns only the names of files containing a valid match
  • -v: returns all terms that don’t match the search string.
  • -n: list the line number for each match.
  • -e: indicates that the following text is a search term formatted as a regular expression. Is most useful for specifying more than one simultaneous search string, or for regular expressions that start with a dash.

grep Code Examples

$ grep boo pass.txt

Search pass.txt file for the search term boo

$ grep -r boo /etc/

Search each file in directory /etc/ for boo

$ grep -w "Star" movienames.txt

Search movienames.txt for the string “Star” bounded by whitespace, matching “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” but ignoring “Stargate.”

$ grep -l "main" *.c

List the filenames only of any file with the extension .c with the search term “main” inside the file.

$ grep -w -e "Saint" -e "St." cities.txt

Search cities.txt for entries that include the full word “Saint” or “St.” in the name. If I want to search for two terms simultaneously, I can use the -e flag to indicate that the following string should be considered a regular expression. By doing that twice, I can get grep to use two search terms at once.

$ grep -e ^"(\d{3}) \d{3}-\d{4}"$ contactlist.csv

Search contactlist.csv for any properly formatted phone number. This search looks for three digits inside parentheses, a space, three more digits, a dash, and finally four digits. This matches the standard formatting for U.S. phone numbers: (123) 456-7890

grep -e ^\w*@\w*.\w{3}$ contactlist.csv > emails.txt

Search contactlist.csv for all email addresses with standard top-level domains and send them to a new text file named emails.txt.

Conclusion

Even at the most basic usage, grep is a powerful and useful command. But as your grepping skills grow, you’ll see more and more uses for this flexible utility. It’s a great example of the power of the command line.

You might also like:

Getting Started with Terminal: Must-Know macOS Terminal Commands

Getting Started with Terminal: An Introduction

The post Getting Started with Terminal: Using Grep to Search Files appeared first on Apple Gazette.

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