Happy new year! And welcome back to another post containing the best iOS apps and the best macOS apps. For those who are new here, this is a monthly series where we collect the best apps on Mac and iPhone. And unlike other “Best Of” lists, which just show you the same ten apps you already have downloaded to your phone, we do our best to bring up apps that you probably haven’t heard of.
As always, I am not affiliated with any of these apps in any way. The opinions expressed in this post are my own, honest thoughts and feelings.
The best iOS apps of January 2023
1. SuperPlanner: An excellent planner app for your iPhone is one of the best iOS apps
First up on our list of the best iOS apps is SuperPlanner. The start of the year is a great time to begin using a planner. It’s a great tool for keeping to a schedule as well as remembering how you’ve spent your time.
There are a few things that make SuperPlanner a great tool for budgeting your time. For starters, it’s free, so you can try it out at no risk.
SuperPlanner also has the benefit of being on your smartphone. So wherever you go, you’ll be able to quickly access it and see what’s on the schedule.
Beyond these basics, though, SuperPlanner provides a rich interface that keeps track of your tasks, appointments, events, accomplishments, and time spent on each of these things. Give it a go if you’re looking to be more organized in 2023!
2. Movie Tracker: Never forget what you want to watch (or what you have watched)
I don’t know about you, but I have a list on my iPhone where I keep track of my favorite movies, my recently watched movies, and movies that I plan on watching. Unfortunately, I’m managing all of this in the Reminders app, so it’s not very organized or convenient.
Fortunately, Movie Tracker can change that. It’s an app designed to help you keep track of what you want to watch, what you have watched, and when/how you want to watch various movies and shows.
For instance, you can create a list of movies that you want to watch with your partner. Then you can create another list for watching with your friends, and another for watching at your favorite movie theater.
Additionally, Movie Tracker brings in metadata from the movies you add to it. So you can see things like movie thumbnails, ratings, and more. This is another free app with a great and simple design, so check it out!
3. Legends of Runeterra: A fun and challenging way to pass the time with one of the best iOS apps
Alright, the next app on our list of the best iOS apps admittedly breaks the rules a bit. Legends of Runeterra is far from a lesser-known app. In fact, it’s one of the most popular card games on the App Store.
So why am I bringing it up this month? Honestly, just because I’ve gotten back into the game recently and I realized I’ve never recommended it here at AppleToolBox.
For those that have no idea what modern card games are, they’re basically like Pokémon or Magic The Gathering. You have a customized deck of cards filled with characters and spells, and you use that deck to battle someone else’s deck of cards.
What makes Legends of Runeterra so great is that it’s completely free. Yes, you can pay for cosmetics and specific cards, if you want. But if you play often enough, you’ll start to unlock better cards and build better decks in no time.
This game takes place in the same universe as League of Legends, so you’ll find many of the same characters and abilities present in Legends of Runeterra.
Also, don’t worry if you don’t know anything about this type of game! It walks you through things pretty clearly, and you can tap on any card and keyword in the game to learn more about what it means. Before long, you’ll be a pro. So check it out!
4. Clocking: Don’t waste your free time anymore
Last but not least on our list of the best iOS apps is Clocking. Whether you work from home or at an office, Clocking will help you start managing your time a bit better.
It’s not uncommon in today’s work environment to find yourself working longer hours than you’re supposed to. Even an extra fifteen minutes here and there can quickly start to add up, taking time away from your passions and loved ones.
Clocking automatically “clocks in” when you arrive at your workplace, so you can keep track of exactly how long you spend at work. If the app notices you’re spending more time at work than you should, it’ll keep track of it and let you know.
This allows you to get insights into exactly how much extra time you’re spending away from home. It’s not totally free, but the time you’ll save by using this app is worth it. Give it a look!
The best macOS apps of January 2023
1. Hammerspoon: Mac automation for the coders with one of the best macOS apps
Now that we’ve covered the best iOS apps, it’s time to look at the best macOS apps. And what better way to start things off than by covering an app I’ve been absolutely obsessed with over the last week.
Hammerspoon isn’t necessarily unique when compared to a lot of the Mac apps I’ve covered on this list. It’s designed to help you build automated routines on your Mac and custom hotkeys. This allows you to work faster and more efficiently, along the lines of an app like Keyboard Maestro.
What sets Hammerspoon apart is the fact that it’s code-based. Unlike apps like Keyboard Maestro, which have you dragging and dropping actions into a sequence, Hammerspoon gives you a blank text document. You then write code in this document using the Lua programming language. And that’s about all of the guidance that this app gives you!
To be fair, there is documentation and a bit of community support, but for the most part, you’re going to be on your own.
What makes Hammerspoon a bit more powerful than an app like Keyboard Maestro is that you can build it yourself. In other macro apps, you’re usually working with preset actions and functions. But Hammerspoon allows you to write these yourself. So it’s a bit harder to get started, but once you start to fill up your document with variables, functions, and routines, you’ll start to sail past these other apps.
Hammerspoon is completely free and is a great way to automate your Mac and hone your programming skills. If I had one complaint, it’s that the community is crazy small. Unlike Keyboard Maestro, which has a large a vibrant community, Hammerspoon has stayed small over the years. So it can be difficult to find the answer to a specific question. And it’s written in Lua, which also has a pretty small community of users.
That said, if you’re persistent, you can get just about anything to work!
2. TapTab: Upgrade your tabs in Safari
That brings us to the next app on our list of the best macOS apps, TapTab. In all honesty, this is not necessarily an app that I find myself needing. But if you’re someone who is switching to Safari from Chrome, or just someone who uses a lot of tabs in their browser, then TapTab is here to help.
Essentially, this is an app that gives your tab management in Safari a boost. It allows you to quickly switch between tabs, search for a specific tab, pin tabs, and otherwise control your tab management with your keyboard.
Also, TapTab supports multiple monitors and windows, so you can organize your tabs across screens with ease. Seriously, if you’re someone whose Safari is cluttered with tabs, TapTab will be a major help. Give it a shot!
3. Freeform: Apple’s latest app is a success
The third item on our list of the best macOS apps is one that you may have already heard of. If you have, feel free to skip it! But for those who aren’t aware, Apple recently launched a new app for most of its devices called Freeform.
Freeform is a free app that will automatically install on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad when you update it to the latest version. This app is used for sketching out ideas, taking notes, and just generally keeping track of whatever you want.
I wouldn’t really call it an illustrator app, even though it kind of seems like one. Instead, it’s more like a basic illustration app that anyone can use without being overwhelmed.
Whether you’re taking notes in class, sketching out the plot to a novel or DND campaign, or leading a meeting at work, this app will help you communicate and record everything that’s being thought or said. Play with it if you haven’t yet!
4. Lasso: One of the most innovative tools for windows management
Last but not least on our list of the best macOS apps is Lasso. This is seriously one of the most innovative and downright weird apps I’ve mentioned in this series so far, and I’m pretty excited by it.
For those not familiar with window management apps, these are apps that allow you to snap windows to various positions on your screen. Some do it automatically – you just drag an app to a section of your screen, and it snaps in place. Others use mouse gestures, allowing you to swipe things into position.
Lasso probably has the most creative approach. I honestly don’t even know how to describe it over text, so please, click on its link and see it in action for yourself.
But for those who don’t feel like clicking the link, Lasso basically allows you control the location and size of an app at the same time. You divide your screen into quadrants, then move your mouse over a quadrant, then click and drag to decide how many quadrants a window takes up. Again, if that doesn’t make sense, you’ll just need to see it in action for yourself. It’s super weird and very awesome.
Start using the best iOS apps and the best macOS apps today
And that’s it! Those are our picks for the best iOS apps and the best macOS apps for January 2023. As always, it’s hard to pick favorites, but if I had to, it would be Hammerspoon, Legends of Runeterra, and Lasso. Let me know what your favorites are this month in the comments below.
For more insights, news, and guides on all things Apple, check out the rest of the AppleToolBox blog.
See you next time!