Social media catfights! Wall Street boneheads or Apple's got a problem? Dude, Where's My App Store? All these tantalizing teasers are just a hint of the news of the week from the handy dandy staff of Mac|Life.
There's no perfect formula for crafting a novel. In fact, some of the best tales that withstand the tests of time are the ones that break the rules and invent a new narrative. The simplest of ideas can blow up into 100,000 words of masterfully crafted storytelling with proper development. While the words are the most important part of any novel, what is a craftsperson without his or her tools? We've collected eight apps that will help you turn aspirations into novelizations. These come just in time to join the scribbling scribes participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so grab them and embrace your craving to compose some prose.
From The Odyssey to The Avengers, stories hinge on good characters. Without heroes to care about and believable villains to vex them, plot is just a bunch of stuff that happens. Persona aims to help writers organize information about their characters while using archetypes to discover what makes them tick –– and how they can interact in dramatically juicy ways. But like a well-meaning tragic hero, Persona is undone by glaring flaws.
While stage and screenwriters can now pen their latest opus using a laptop at any Starbucks instead of being chained to a desk, the creators of Final Draft are trying to modernize the experience even further by empowering a new generation of scribes armed with only an iPad. Final Draft Writer expands on the company’s earlier Reader app, a read-only offering that disappointed many screenwriters and playwrights. With Writer, words can now flow straight out of a writer’s head and into the iPad while remaining fully compatible with Mac and PC versions.
By now, you probably know that we love Markdown -- the simple and easy to use HTML editor. While there are many other capable tools out there, we recently ran across an app called Valletta that not only creates Markdown (.md) documents, but also lets you export your work to HTML, PDF, and Microsoft Word documents.
Read on to learn how you can use the Valletta app to create automatically-formatted PDFs and Word Documents.
Conducting research online has changed the way we peruse information, but it's not exactly conducive to multitasking when you're flipping between windows. Between the word processor and the page you're citing, sometimes things can get a little convoluted. Fortunately, the folks at Google Docs have come up with a nifty way to do all of your research in the same window that you're typing in.
Clibe is an interesting note-taking app, as it strives to combine this basic concept with social media, by letting you share your notebooks with anyone on the web. Notebooks are saved online and accessible via iPad or Clibe's website, and can be shared with the wider user base, just a few friends, or nobody at all. Images, text, and backgrounds can be easily added to the digital pages, plus you can write and draw with your finger or stylus as desired.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to iOS apps: textured, skeuomorphic designs that try (often too hard) to create a level of real-world familiarity for the user, or clean, sleek interfaces with modern flourishes and a heavy emphasis on functionality. Paper by FiftyThree is iPad minimalism at its finest. With a compete emphasis on the digital experience, Paper pays little attention to mimicking its real-world inspiration, resulting in a slick approach that puts the focus where it should be – on the art you create.
Planning on writing a book this summer? Or perhaps you want to take a stab at that movie idea that's been percolating in your head for a few years now. Your Mac is the best tool for composition, and there's an arsenal of software that can help you get started. Whether you want to utilize a free app or can spring the cash for something chock full of features, there's an app that can faciliate your writing needs.
Big news last week was Mountain Lion's sneaking out the gate without a big hoopedy doo Keynote. There's been little news on that front since then, but there are a few pieces to the puzzle, along with iCloud follies, and a few Apple TV tips (which might just be Apple's next big thing). Let's see what's cookin' in the hot stories this week.