I try to spend a couple of hours each week expanding my horizons by looking for new, useful products and services for my Mac and other Apple devices. Some weeks are better than others, and last week I found a pair of products I consider helpful, unique, and reasonably priced.
Interactive Web Calculators with No Coding
The first one is called Grid, and it’s a web-based service to turn Excel or Google sheets documents into interactive web documents. Connect a saved spreadsheet to Grid with a couple of clicks, and you can add interactive elements so viewers can change values and observe the results in real-time.
Numerous display elements are available, such as bar, column, line charts, scatter plots, tables, and formula output. And there are even more interactive elements, such as buttons, checkboxes, sliders, input fields, dropdown menus, and others.
For example, you could whip up a mortgage calculator that lets viewers specify the loan amount, interest rate, and the number of years to pay, allowing the viewer to change the parameters and see the results instantly on a chart or graph.
I’m not a power user of spreadsheets or web pages, but I achieved dramatic results quickly and easily using Grid. I wouldn’t have even considered adding dynamic interactive content to a web page before, but with Grid, I’m pretty sure I could if I wanted to.
One last thing: Grid warns that editing is fully supported only in Google Chrome and maybe quirky in other browsers.
Grid is free to use (with a watermark) or $29 per month (with no watermark and custom branding) at grid. is.
Your MacBook Camera Sucks (and What To Do About It)
The second nifty product is called Camo, and it resolves a pet peeve I’ve had with Apple’s MacBook line since time immemorial. The peeve is MacBook models come with a lousy 720p FaceTime camera that’s inferior to most recent iPhone cameras. Before Camo, if you wanted to look decent while using your MacBook for FaceTime or Zoom chats, you had to buy a third-party webcam with a higher resolution, higher frame rate, and/or better low-light sensitivity. .
Camo lets you use the excellent camera on your iDevice running iOS 12 or later in place of the lousy built-in camera. I’m testing it with an iPhone 12 Pro Max, and my streaming videos have never looked better.
The free version provides a subset of camera options. Or, upgrade to Camo Pro ($4.99 per month) and choose the camera’s mode (Normal or Portrait), lens (wide, ultrawide, telephoto, or selfie), and resolution, plus the ability to adjust exposure, white balance, brightness, hue, saturation, and more.
Camo has worked flawlessly with every program I’ve tried it with, including Zoom, Final Cut Pro, and Photo Booth. So, if you’re tired of looking like a soft-serve ice cream emoji when you video chat (and you have an iPhone available), you’ll love Camo.