Best New and Updated Apps 2023

Cron: Collaboration at the core, a modern calendar tool from Notion
OS: iOS/Windows/macOS

Cron is a calendar app born with a golden key: Cron received $3.5 million in seed funding after being incubated at Y Combinator in the winter of 2020; in 2021, Cron was voted the best efficiency app of the year by ProductHunt; and in June this year, Notion acquired Cron before its official launch.

So, what is the magic of this calendar app that makes all kinds of capital and ordinary users rush to it? I think the answer lies under the keyword “collaboration”. In the era of epidemic, working from home and remote collaboration has become the main theme, and calendar as the most basic time management tool also needs to ride on this train. cron builds its core functions around “collaboration”, so naturally it receives the favor of remote workers.

The first main feature of Cron is called “available time sharing”. First, you can click “Share availability” on the right sidebar of the main interface or directly press the keyboard key S to trigger this feature; then, you can set your available time slots on the calendar timeline by “clicking the mouse, holding it down and dragging it”; finally, calendar collaborators or users who share links for collaboration can directly make appointments in my available Finally, calendar collaborators or users who share links to collaborate can make appointments directly within my available time slots, and all collaborators can see how many appointments are occupied in this available time slot.

The second main feature of Cron is called “Team Coverage”. This feature can be triggered by the “Meet with” button or keyboard key F. After completing the invitation, all the shared calendars of the other party can be seen by me, and you can also see the “available time slots” of the other party and complete the appointment. Based on the “Team Override” feature, Cron also introduces calendar blocking, event blocking, and automatic event merging to optimize the experience of using this collaboration feature.

The third main feature of Cron is called “Multi-Time Zone Synchronization”. In Cron, each event can be assigned a time zone, but the display on the timeline will be converted based on the time zone the creator is currently in. On the left side of the main Cron screen, you can add timelines for multiple time zones, so that you can see the time of the event in different time zones. The timelines for all time zones can be dragged and sorted, with the time zone placed on the far right being set as the primary time zone.

The fourth main feature of Cron is called “video conferencing access”. In remote work, video conferencing is a tool that can’t be bypassed, and Cron brings all the major video tools on the market directly into the app, so you can invite collaborators to join the video conference directly in any event. Currently, Cron supports Google Meet, Zooom, Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans, Whereby, Around, Skype, and Google Duo.

Cron is currently supported on both macOS and Windows desktop platforms, and the iOS mobile version is now available on the App Store. all users can apply early bird via the official website, and it is expected to be approved within 24 hours.

DaVinci Resolve for iPad: Professional Video Processing Tools for iPad
DaVinci Resolve has always been known on the desktop for its ease of editing, mixing, and effects processing at the same time, as well as being a free app, but it wasn’t until the new iPad Pro launch this September, when DaVinci Resolve for iPad was introduced at a high level of specification close to a first-party app, that plans to release an iPad version were unveiled. It finally hit the App Store in December.

As the killer app that was highlighted at Apple’s launch event, DaVinci Resolve for iPad was advertised as being tailored for the M1/M2 series of iPads, with even more optimizations for the M2 chip version of the iPad Pro 2022: Blackmagic Design says in its changelog that the new iPad Pro M2 offers up to four times faster processing of UHD ProRes material; other similar processing optimizations apply to the M1 chip iPad as well.

Of course, earlier A-series iPads still have a taste of DaVinci Resolve for iPad, but they’ll have to wait a bit longer for the performance limitations of the material — Blackmagic Design says the iPad version is now compatible with iPadOS devices after the A12 chip, so that’s pretty extensive coverage.

In addition to being optimized for iPad Pro, the iPad version of DaVinci Resolve is one of the few desktop versions that has been ported to mobile with little to no reduction in functionality for the iPadOS ecosystem, thanks in large part to the fact that the M2 chip is mature enough to support such a “full-featured” flagship application in iPadOS.

At the same time, Blackmagic Design has added a feature to the iPad version that is exclusive to the iPadOS version: by using the Apple Pencil to select the subject directly on the screen, DaVinci Resolve for iPad can automatically identify the area of the screen where the subject is painted by the Apple Pencil and separate it from the background content for separate editing by the creator.

Of course, the iPad version also includes some improvements for the most common touch controls on the iPad, as well as the Apple Pencil hover operation that was mentioned at the launch, which can be used when quickly previewing video footage.

But overall, DaVinci Resolve for iPad is still a tool that relies heavily on the keyboard: almost all of the familiar keyboard shortcuts from the desktop have been ported to the iPadOS version, and without the keyboard, the experience of relying on Apple Pencil + touch is still greatly diminished.

DaVinci Resolve for iPad also supports direct editing of material on an external solid state drive, as well as linking to an expanded screen to display a preview – in addition to direct wired connection to an external monitor, it also supports AirPlay projection to a TV, but currently only supports up to 4K resolution.

You can find a lot of complaints from users about DaVinci Resolve iPad flashing in the app ratings, but we can only hope that Blackmagic Design will fix this problem soon.

Cloak: Hide your app
Cell phones have become one of the most inseparable tools in daily work life, carrying a lot of personal privacy information, some of which cannot be shown to objects, some to leaders, some to workmates, and some to competitors …… But sometimes the phone will be “forcibly requisitioned” by others, and this time Cloak can quickly Cloak can quickly help you hide certain applications to ensure that your information is not leaked.

Cloak’s hiding feature is based on the system’s content and privacy access, and when you first use it, you need to allow the app to access “screen time”. Next, you can create as many groups as you want in Cloak, and check the apps you want to hide under the corresponding groups. When you click the “Hide” button below the group, the apps will immediately disappear, whether it’s a global search, a notification push, or a URL scheme jump. Clicking the button again will bring the apps back, but since it’s a “curveball”, they won’t revert to their original position, but will be automatically arranged in an empty space at the end of the screen. If you choose to remove the icons from the home screen before hiding them, they will also revert to the end of the screen after you unhide them. Therefore, it is recommended that you place applications that you often need to hide directly at the end of the screen to avoid disrupting the daily home screen sorting.

For emergencies, Cloak also comes with two shortcut commands, which can be used to hide/restore apps more quickly by using shortcut commands with assisted touch or operating widgets, provided that the grouping is set up.

In addition, Cloak supports auto-hide based on geographic location. You can set up an e-fence on demand by tapping the + sign in the upper right corner of the safe zone screen. When you leave this area, Cloak will automatically hide the relevant apps based on the group you specify.

Cloak does not support hiding itself, so there is a possibility of being unblocked by others “by mistake”, and the app provides a double password to avoid this. Of course. Of course, if the other party knows the application area very well, these measures may still be immediately broken.

Pepper Music: a brilliantly designed and powerful local music player
I remember when the Internet was not developed, we would sneak to the Internet cafe, download songs while playing games, and then copy them to the phone to listen. In the age of streaming, we’ve accepted the same old clients on music platforms and forgotten that local players had their moments. But it seems that Pepper Music wants to continue this glory and make users remember that local players can be so good.

The design of Pepper Music is very simple, entering the application is the list of songs, click to play, users do not need to “go through the eighteen bends of the mountain”, even if the cold start can be quickly immersed. The design of the music playback interface is also very good, in addition to the two sets of default interface coloring, light and dark, Pepper Salt Music also provides a background style switch called “dynamic flow”. When turned on, the background of the player will become dynamic, just like the name of the feature is like watching a light show through a layer of glass.

Swiping to the right on the playback screen will bring you to the lyrics screen, and the landscape screen will activate the large screen mode, with album art and dynamic lyrics on the left and right, which is a very nice touch. If you have an unused tablet at home, you can even use Pepperidge Music to turn your old device into a beautiful and functional desktop ornament.

In terms of application features, Pepperidge Music supports common audio formats, including Apple Lossless audio, and the details of the playback page can show specific information about the current audio. As an independent work, Pepperidge Music still has a good character of following the Android development specification, and it was first adapted to Android 13 media cards, which can provide the best view on the non-magic system.

It’s worth noting that while Pepper Music offers a premium purchase option, it’s more of a “coffee on the house” gentleman’s agreement, and the premium features can be turned on manually without verification of payment. If you think Pretzel Music is excellent, you can buy the premium version to support developers and then use the premium features.

Pixelmator Photo 2.2: Make your photos more realistic
Photos taken directly with the native camera will have more or less the so-called “flaws” – such as overexposure, lack of brightness of the screen display, etc., but in modern post-production software, we can completely make up for these small problems, and even through the tools to make the picture look clearer and more textured.

In the recent update to Pixelmator Photo, we can now adjust sharpness and texture for different images, and achieve a high level of detail in high brightness and shadows. First, sharpness, which can be changed separately for small and medium-sized photos and large objects, can be adjusted to change the brightness and color of a photo to make it look sharper than before.

Of course, in some scenarios, we may not want to affect the entire photo when adjusting sharpness and textures, but only want to adjust the sharpness of some areas of the image, so we can use Pixelmator Photo’s new Selective Sharpness adjustment feature. We can even use Selective Clarity by simply dragging the photo area. In practice, we can use this feature to make adjustments to certain parts of the photo.

Pixelmator Photo 2.2 also brings updates to the highlights and shadows adjustments, which can reproduce previously imperceptible details in the image, including color and texture. However, if your project file was previously processed using the highlights and shadows adjustments in the old Pixelmator Photo, it will now be rendered open in the new version using the previous implementation, or you can reset any adjustments and render them with the more detailed highlights and shadows adjustments.

WindowBlinds (Windows): Updated to v11.0.1, this update adds Windows Classic skins that will make your Windows 10/11 look just like Windows 95/98. Also added a new workaround for the Fences UI issue.

Spark (iOS): Updated to v3.2.1 with a number of new lock screen widgets that allow you to preview your latest emails, view unread messages, or see the number of to-do items without unlocking your iPhone, as well as foreground scheduling for iPad that allows you to open multiple apps at once and quickly switch between tasks.

App Uninstaller: The go-to macOS app uninstaller, upgraded to App Uninstaller 2023, which is developed by the renown App Uninstaller has been highly rated and reviewed by review sites and pros as the best app removal utility and the upgraded version will consolidate it as the leading app removal solution provider.

Alfred: The macOS productivity launcher has recently launched its official workflows collection page, Alfred Gallery.

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