Hello, and welcome to this month’s list of the best iOS apps and the best macOS apps. Wait a second…
It’s the first anniversary of this series! If you’ve been reading these posts since the beginning, you’ve now been here for a year. Pat yourself on the back!
During that time, we’ve covered 96 of the most creative, fun, and useful apps on iOS and macOS. And today, we’re going to pass the 100 mark!
For those who are new to this series, this is a monthly series where I track down the best apps available for iPhone and Mac devices. Unlike other “best of” lists, which just cobble together a trending list of App Store apps, I look for apps that are relatively unheard of and yet still pack a punch. This provides you with a constant selection of high-quality, original apps while also promoting smaller developers who deserve to be recognized.
As always, I am not sponsored by any of the apps or developers mentioned in this list. These are my genuine recommendations, and I do recommend that you give each of these apps a shot!
Alright, let’s get into it!
- The best iOS apps September 2021
- The best macOS apps of September 2021
- Become a pro user with the best iOS apps and the best macOS apps
The best iOS apps September 2021
1. Guriddo: A new take that sudoku fans will love
First on our list of the best iOS apps is Guriddo. Those who have been tuning into these posts for a while know that I love puzzle apps, and I have a particularly soft spot for sudoku.
Well, now I’m excited to bring you an app that offers an interesting twist on one of the world’s oldest games.
Guriddo adds extra layers of difficulty to sudoku through the use of black boxes. These boxes limit your options, making each puzzle more challenging than a standard sudoku level. New levels are added every day and you can compete with other players to get the best time.
In addition to being a lot of fun, Guriddo also looks great. The artwork is understated and easy on the eyes, making your newfound addiction a pleasant one.
Check it out!
2. FoodSwipr’: Tinder – but for food
We all hate Tinder, right? It’s a shallow objectification of individuals, making it a difficult way to find people you can connect with.
But would the Tinder formula work for food? Surprisingly, yes!
FoodSwipr’ takes the Tinder concept and applies it to finding your next bite to eat. You can set your dietary preferences, like gluten-free or vegan, and then start swiping left or right on restaurants that FoodSwipr’ shows you. It’s a fast and fun way to find a place to go for lunch.
Plus, it’s connected to Yelp! I know Yelp has a bit of a mixed reputation, but as a regular user, I have to say that it’s a great way to find excellent places to eat.
FoodSwipr’ is more or less an API mask for Yelp, so you get all of the features and information built into Yelp, but presented to you in a fun and engaging way.
That said, there is room for improvement! FoodSwipr’ is an indie app, and as such, it does have a few quirks and bugs. If you’re reading this developer, take notes!
- The animations are a little off. Swiping restaurants away happens a little too fast, making it easy to accidentally swipe away from something you wanted to look at.
- It needs a tutorial! When I first downloaded this app, I assumed swiping left would do one thing and right another, like Tinder. But swiping in either direction removes a restaurant – you have to give it a heart to save it. Needs to be more clear!
- There’s no way to get back to the main menu without quitting the app. This is a big one. I can’t review the restaurants I’ve hearted without quitting the app because that’s the only way to open the main menu. Just add a menu button in the top-right!
- Dark Mode messes with the graphics. Dark Mode integration isn’t great – I have to switch to Light Mode to read and view everything.
I realize those are significant criticisms, but the app is still usable and useful. I’ve already found several places in my area that I didn’t know were there by using it!
3. Season: Nature sounds to sleep and meditate with
Next on this month’s list of the best iOS apps is Season. Season is an app that brings the sounds of nature right to your iPhone. It’s an app that blends white noise with meditation, making it easier to catch a moment of peace than ever before.
There are a lot of apps on the App Store that play soothing nature sounds like the ocean and forest. But none have taken the concept as far as this app.
With this app, you can use peaceful sounds to guide your meditation session, fall asleep, or just release some stress. The app includes a mood tracker, so you can see how the app is or isn’t working for you.
I think this app is a great idea. I love having white noise playing while I sleep or read, and I’ve noticed that it helps me stay more present while meditating. Season unifies all of these features nicely!
4. Cogui: Keep track of your pet’s information with ease with one of the best iOS apps
In my friend group, I am known for being the Crazy Cat Person. I just adopted another cat a few days ago, and anytime someone finds a stray, they know that I’ll work to find them a home.
Having so many pets around, though, can be difficult! Not only is it a lot of work, but there’s a lot to remember, too. That’s where an app like Cogui can be a big help.
Cogui is an app for storing all of your pet data in one place. Medication, meals, grooming, vet visits, reminders, walks, weights, allergies, and more.
I don’t need to explain the benefits of this to pet owners. It’s difficult to keep track of all of the details associated with each of your pets, which can make it difficult to see new vets or just keep up with maintenance for your animals. For $2.99, Cogui can make all of this and more a lot easier!
The best macOS apps of September 2021
1. SigmaOS: A one-of-a-kind productivity browser that’s easily one of the best macOS apps
Now that we’ve covered the best iOS apps for September, it’s time to get into the best macOS apps.
Starting things off for us is SigmaOS. Despite the odd name (I’m not sure what is “Sigma” or “OS” about this app), this is an innovative browser alternative to Safari. If you’ve been looking for a Safari alternative and haven’t been satisfied with the likes of Chrome or Firefox, SigmaOS might be for you.
SigmaOS is a super modern internet browser. It has all sorts of features that make it feel more like an “app” than most browsers do.
This includes multitasking, which allows you to have two sites open in the same tab. It’s an in-app split-screen for your internet browser.
SigmaOS also has workspaces, which are similar to the tab groups that just launched in Safari 15. And if you’re worried about missing out on Safari’s seamless syncing features, don’t! SigmaOS syncs between all of your Apple devices, so you don’t miss a thing.
There are a few other cool features like sending links directly to your colleagues’ browsers, snoozing webpages so that they reopen after a certain amount of time, and the ability to navigate the web without touching your mouse.
SigmaOS is $10/month, but that’s because it doesn’t sell your data. That said, I do think this price pushes SigmaOS to the professional crowd. If you are a desk-bound professional, though, this is an innovative browser. It has a free trial, so give it a shot!
2. DuckDuckGo: A Google Search alternative that’s better in more ways than one
Regular AppleToolBox readers are no doubt tired of hearing me praise DuckDuckGo. I am trying to quit the habit, though I couldn’t help noticing that after a year of listing the best macOS apps, I had never mentioned DDG!
For those that don’t know, DuckDuckGo is a privacy-first search engine. It’s an alternative to Google Search (or Bing, if that’s your thing) that won’t take advantage of your data for marketing.
Instead, DuckDuckGo uses contextual marketing to show you ads and generate a profit. Contextual ads can show you relevant marketing without tracking your data in the way that Google does. All DDG looks at is your search keywords – and it doesn’t store or associate that data with you.
For instance, if you search “dog food” on DDG, you’ll see ads for dog food in that search. But you won’t suddenly see dog food ads across every website and video you watch for the next week, because as soon as you leave that page DDG “forgets” that you ever searched for it.
Sounds like how online advertising should work, huh?
DuckDuckGo also has cool features, like ‘bangs’. Bangs allow you to search on nearly any website just by typing “![site]” at the beginning or end of a search.
For instance, if I know I want to look up facts about Jordan Peele on Wikipedia, I can just type “Jordan Peele !w” on DuckDuckGo, and it’ll instantly open the Wikipedia page for that director. If I want to look for cream cheese on Target’s website, I can type “cream cheese !target”.
DuckDuckGo is also about to launch a free email hiding service (read here) and it offers a privacy browser for iPhone. You can make DuckDuckGo your default search engine on all of your devices by going to Settings, Safari, Search Engine, and then choosing DuckDuckGo.
3. Shortcat: Push your keyboard shortcuts to the next level
Shortcat is one of the best niche macOS apps I’ve come across. I found it while trying to create a Keyboard Maestro macro that could detect the position of the mouse cursor.
Unfortunately, this isn’t possible because Apple doesn’t make that kind of data available to third-party apps. For this feature to work, you need an alternative solution like Shortcat.
Shortcat allows you to control your mouse with the keyboard. You press a hotkey to activate it, and a search bar that resembles Spotlight appears. When you type, though, it will search for elements on the screen. For example, typing “Back” will select the back button in Safari. Then, just press return and you’ll click the back button. You can also double-click, right-click, and more.
This comes close to allowing you to completely control your Mac with just a keyboard. Unfortunately, Shortcat doesn’t support gestures (yet!). But if you’re already familiar with hotkeys, then you can probably do most gestures that way.
I’ve only just started using this app but can tell it’s going to be one of those things I miss to pieces when I’m using someone else’s computer.
4. PeakHour 4: Get detailed insights into your network usage
The last of the best macOS apps I am recommending this month is PeakHour 4. PeakHour is a network monitoring app, giving you rich insights into the performance, usage, and quality of your internet connection.
This app is built into the Menu Bar, so it’s always easy to access. You can install it on all of your Apple devices, too, so you could even consider it one of the best iOS apps.
If you’re someone who likes to have sophisticated, real-time insights into your network usage and performance, PeakHour 4 is one of the best apps for doing so!
Become a pro user with the best iOS apps and the best macOS apps
And that’s it! Those are my recommendations for the best iOS apps and the best macOS of September 2021. I hope you try some of these out (especially Shortcat and Cogui!). Thanks for sticking around over the last year, here’s to another!
For more lists, guides, and insights into all things Apple, be sure to check out the rest of the AppleToolBox blog.
See you next time!