Beautiful Pixels http://beautifulpixels.com An Unhealthy Lust for Design Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:30:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Micro Snitch http://beautifulpixels.com/mac/micro-snitch/ http://beautifulpixels.com/mac/micro-snitch/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:30:50 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=15437 microsnitch-mastheadIn today’s day and age, privacy has become a much talked about topic and it has become very critical to know when apps are tracking your usage or activity and exactly what information is being sent. Thanks to Apple’s efforts over the last few years, if you’re using an iOS device, you know exactly when an app requests permission to access your Microphone, Camera,...

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This article by Preshit Deorukhkar originally appeared on Beautiful Pixels.

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In today’s day and age, privacy has become a much talked about topic and it has become very critical to know when apps are tracking your usage or activity and exactly what information is being sent. Thanks to Apple’s efforts over the last few years, if you’re using an iOS device, you know exactly when an app requests permission to access your Microphone, Camera, Photos, Contacts, etc. Unfortunately, OS X on the Mac is a lot more open compared to iOS and hence, apps can and have had access to a variety of resources, at least before Apple introduced Sandboxing for apps on the App Store. For apps installed from 3rd party sources, you’re still unsure what the app is doing. Thankfully, now there’s Micro Snitch. Micro Snitch is a new product from the people at Objective Development, known for making two of my favorite apps — Launchbar and Little Snitch. Not just the apps, I also love the icons that Obdev chooses for their apps. Just take a look at the featured image above.

Once installed and running, Micro Snitch works behind the scenes and monitors the hardware activity on your Mac. As soon as any app starts using your Mac’s camera or Microphone, Micro Snitch quickly alerts you by highlighting the Menu Bar icon or using a Screen Overlay at the bottom right. Moreover, it also maintains a log of all the times the microphone or camera was used, so even if you’re away from your Mac, you can always know what your Mac was up to. It has a really simple premise and it works great. Best 4 dollars your could spend right now.

Micro Snitch is especially useful because even though the Camera on your Mac has a green light enabled when it’s being used, there’s nothing for the microphone. This becomes very evident when you’re using Google’s Chrome browser, that’s built to hear the “OK Google” voice command from you. Even if you launch an Incognito Window, Micro Snitch detects your microphone is being used.

There are a couple of important points to note about Micro Snitch.

  • Micro Snitch doesn’t know which app is using the hardware. This is from their FAQs.

Unfortunately, the underlying technologies in OS X that Micro Snitch builds on do not offer this information. We are in contact with Apple about this issue and hope that we can find a way to add this functionality in a future version of Micro Snitch.

  • Compatibility — There are some Macs and USB accessories that Micro Snitch has trouble working with and displays a warning to you.

That said, Micro Snitch is still something we highly recommended. It’s available at $3.99 on the Mac App Store or for €3.99 directly from their website. If you want to try the app out, there’s a Free Demo version available that works for 3 hours.

App Details:


Website | Download URL | Price: $3.99

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Book&Shop http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/bookshop/ http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/bookshop/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:00:51 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=15423 Book&Shop for iPhoneBook&Shop is a really simple iPhone app that’s designed to help you scan barcodes off books that you’re interested in purchasing or reading. It’s a single-purpose iPhone app that’s crafted well enough to find a place in one of the folders of your iPhone. When you first launch Book&Shop, it launches directly into the scan mode, so the camera is readily looking for a...

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Book&Shop is a really simple iPhone app that’s designed to help you scan barcodes off books that you’re interested in purchasing or reading. It’s a single-purpose iPhone app that’s crafted well enough to find a place in one of the folders of your iPhone.

When you first launch Book&Shop, it launches directly into the scan mode, so the camera is readily looking for a barcode. Two buttons at the bottom allow you to toggle the flash ON/OFF or manually type the Standard Book Numbering (SBN) code. As soon as it detects a barcode, it pulls up information about that particular book, powered by GoodReads. It displays information like the name of the book, it’s cover, and how many pages it has, along with how many people have added it to their wishlist, how many have Favorited it and how many are reading it. Additionally, you also get to know the book’s ratings and description, the author as well as related books.

Book&Shop is a great way to find out about a book that seems interesting, but one that you know nothing about. Since the information is powered by GoodReads, you know exactly what the community thinks of it. It also maintains a history of all the books you’ve scanned in a handy, easily-accessible list.

Book&Shop for iPhone is available for Free on the App Store, but there’s a really annoying banner that pops up every time you have scan a book. The only way to get rid of it is to watch an ad, which disables it for the next hour) or to opt for a $0.99 IAP, which is really not much if you’re an avid book reader.

App Details:


Website | Download URL | Price: Free

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Klok Is a Superb Timezone and World Clock Widget http://beautifulpixels.com/featured/klok-superb-timezone-world-clock-widget/ http://beautifulpixels.com/featured/klok-superb-timezone-world-clock-widget/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 16:09:07 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=15408 klok masthead bpWith the launch of iOS 8, we saw tons of apps get widgets for the Today section of the Notification Center. Many of them just added widgets for the heck of it, like Dropbox with their useless “recent files” widget while others did great things, like Evernote. Today, we see tons of great widgets for apps and even apps that solely exist as a...

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With the launch of iOS 8, we saw tons of apps get widgets for the Today section of the Notification Center. Many of them just added widgets for the heck of it, like Dropbox with their useless “recent files” widget while others did great things, like Evernote. Today, we see tons of great widgets for apps and even apps that solely exist as a configuration screen for widgets. Klok by buUuk is one such app and also one of the most useful widgets on my iPhone.

Globo has been the de-facto world clock app for iPhone, but what it lacks in a widget, Klok takes care of everything. Klok’s app view lets you add timezones and choose whether you want the widget to display an analog or digital clock for timezones in the widget. The app looks really nice with its elegant dark look. There’s also a small guide on how to add widgets to your Notification Center for the uninformed. The actual widget is interactive. It has an animated seconds hand in the analog form and you can tap on a particular timezone to reveal a slider below to adjust timezones and view the results right there across all the clocks. There’s even a lovely on-boarding experience on the widget when you use it for the first time. Subtle bounce animations are also at play when you tap different hours of the day.

If you work across timezones or need to keep track of them, this widget is what you have been waiting for. Klok is available for free on the App Store. An Apple Watch app is in the works as well.

App Details:


Website | Download URL | Price: Free

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Pio — Smart Recorder App for iPhone http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/pio-smart-recorder-app-for-iphone/ http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/pio-smart-recorder-app-for-iphone/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 19:26:34 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=15392 Pio Smart Recorder for iPhonePio is a slick audio recorder app for the iPhone that offers some very nifty advanced features. It is a great app to have when you’re looking to record interviews, lectures, meetings or similar moments when you not only want to record the audio, but you also want to remember specific moments in the recording for a later time. Pio has a really simple...

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Pio is a slick audio recorder app for the iPhone that offers some very nifty advanced features. It is a great app to have when you’re looking to record interviews, lectures, meetings or similar moments when you not only want to record the audio, but you also want to remember specific moments in the recording for a later time.

Pio has a really simple interface that lets you quickly start recording onto a file. The app allows you to neatly sort and save all your recordings into custom projects. When you begin a new recording, Pio assumeS it is an interview that you’re going to record and offers you a screen where you can enter the interviewee’s name, photo, age, gender, location and other additional information, if any. All these fields are optional though, and you can skip straight to the recording if you wish to, but I do wish there was an option to turn this off.

Pio offers the ability to add marks to your recordings. While the recording is in progress, a single tap on the screen starts the mark and another single tap ends a mark. If you’ve just missed an important moment while recording, you can quickly double-tap on the screen and Pio will smartly mark a few seconds of already recorded audio and end the mark a few seconds later, totaling 5 seconds. I found this feature really handy, but unfortunately, you have to be very careful with your taps as the iPhone’s microphones easily pick up the sounds of your taps. You can also manually add notes to your marks. Once the recording is complete, you can browse all the marked moments and play them one by one, skipping the unmarked bits altogether. Alternatively, you can also create new marks after a recording is complete. Once everything is ready, you can share your recorded files directly to Dropbox or Google Drive.

Pio is available for Free on the App Store and you can record any number of audio recordings and create up to 2 projects. To create additional projects, there’s a $0.99 IAP you need to purchase. Additionally, if you want to export your recordings as files to Dropbox or Google Drive, there’s a separate $0.99 IAP for it.

I’d love to see an update where Pio introduces an Apple Watch app. This will not only save you from creating unnecessary tap sounds in the recordings, but also give you the ability to keep the iPhone away from you, closer to the subject, while still being able to control the recording and creating marks when you want to.

App Details:


Website | Download URL | Price: Free

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Shotsgram is a Dribbble App for Apple Watch for iPhone http://beautifulpixels.com/apple-watch/shotsgram-is-a-dribbble-app-for-apple-watch-for-iphone/ http://beautifulpixels.com/apple-watch/shotsgram-is-a-dribbble-app-for-apple-watch-for-iphone/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 01:00:24 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=15383 shotsgram-mastheadThere’s no shortage of beautifully designed Dribbble clients for iOS on the App Store. There are some really well designed Dribbble apps out there, especially for the iPhone and Shotsgram, the new kid on the block, is a lovingly crafted, full-featured Dribbble app for iPhone and Apple Watch that offers a wonderful experience of browsing the ahem beautiful pixels being posted on Dribbble every...

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There’s no shortage of beautifully designed Dribbble clients for iOS on the App Store. There are some really well designed Dribbble apps out there, especially for the iPhone and Shotsgram, the new kid on the block, is a lovingly crafted, full-featured Dribbble app for iPhone and Apple Watch that offers a wonderful experience of browsing the ahem beautiful pixels being posted on Dribbble every day and is a great way to get inspired.

Unlike most other Dribbble apps out there that usually show a grid of thumbnails, Shotsgram makes use of a very familiar timeline of all the shots for a particular feed. There are four tabs at the bottom — Home, Search, Explore and Profile. The Home timeline displays a continuous scrolling vertical list of shots, with the title of the shot at the top, along with the user’s avatar and name. Below the image are buttons for liking, commenting and adding the shot to a bucket. The Search section displays a grid of shots and allows you to search by tags. I love the Explore view, that lets you browse shots under various genres, such as shots that are Popular or Recent, or under Teams, Debuts, Playoffs, Animated, Rebounds or Views. In the Profile view, you can log in with your Dribbble account.

You can view the profiles of any Dribbble user in the app in a beautiful layout, along with the last shot they’ve posted and the best shots from the last 20 shots. Every profile displays a score based on the shots they’ve posted, but it’s not clear how this score is calculated.

Shotsgram is a really nice Dribbble app for for the iPhone and the Apple watch app makes it an even better option. It is available for Free from the App Store, however you can only browse or search for shots in the app. To be able to login and like, comment or perform similar actions, you have to unlock a $0.99 IAP, which is well worth it.

App Details:


Website | Download URL | Price: Free

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Scanner Pro 6 for iOS http://beautifulpixels.com/ipad/scanner-pro-6-ios/ http://beautifulpixels.com/ipad/scanner-pro-6-ios/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:39:40 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=15374 scannerpro6-mastheadScanner Pro by Readdle received a major update today that brings it to version 6.0 on iOS. Scanner Pro is one of the best apps for getting work done on iOS and with the plethora of new features, it really should be on every iOS device out there. Scanner Pro now supports automatic scanning. You can point your camera to a document and it...

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Scanner Pro by Readdle received a major update today that brings it to version 6.0 on iOS. Scanner Pro is one of the best apps for getting work done on iOS and with the plethora of new features, it really should be on every iOS device out there.

Scanner Pro now supports automatic scanning. You can point your camera to a document and it automatically scans it using its advanced recognition technology. It wouldn’t be featured here without a great redesign and 6.0 sports a fresh coat of paint with a floating action button seen in Google’s new iOS apps. Another thing I really love about the update is the ability to edit your scans later. 6.0 lets you modify borders, change colours, and adjust other parameters long after you’re done scanning a document. The app now supports OneDrive and OneNote as well. Given Microsoft’s amazing pricing for OneDrive, a lot of people, including myself, have moved most large files to it. Being able to scan documents directly to OneDrive and set it as a favourite location within Scanner Pro is awesome.

At this point you should just launch the App Store by tapping the button below and get Scanner Pro for yourself. It is 50% off right now for a limited time for just $2.99.

App Details:


Website | Download URL | Price: $2.99

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