BusyCal gets a Big Upgrade and an iOS App, too

BusyCal is the go-to workhorse calendar app for the Mac, and now version 3 is out with new features like calculating travel time, an improved menubar view, and tasks tied to specific times. What’s even cooler is that BusyCal is finally available as an iPhone and iPad app, so you can use the same familiar views on all of your devices and get event and task alerts on your Apple Watch. We’ve been testing the Mac and iOS versions for a few weeks and are pretty impressed. BusyCal 3 requires OS X El Capitan and costs US$49.99, or $29.99 for upgrades. The iPhone and iPad version costs $4.99 and requires iOS 9.3 or later.

Reason 9 Shipping, Adds Pitch Editor and New MIDI Processing

Propellerhead shipped Reason 9 on Tuesday. The newest version of the digital audio workstation and sequencer adds two main features: Players automate and process MIDI input, and Pitch Edit, a pitch editor designed for vocals (think Melodyne or Auto-Tune). There are other new features, too, including Bounce In Place, new visual themes, and reverse MIDI clips. On the content side, Reason 9 adds more than 1,000 new “cutting-edge” sounds, and Pulsar dual channel LFO, a rack extension that was previously available only as a stand-alone $49 purchase. I love Reason, especially for sequencing. It’s powerful software, and Propellerhead makes it ever-more capable with each new release. Reason 9 is priced at €405/US$449, while upgrades from any previous version are €129/$129. Propellerhead also has a stripped down version called Reason Essentials 9 priced at €120/$129. The software shipped today and is available now.

Happy 20th Birthday to The Icon Factory!

I wanted to take a moment to wish The Icon Factory a happy 20th birthday! It’s an amazing accomplishment for any company to stay in business that long, but to transform yourself from an icon-designer to a major design firm, user interface consultant, and app maker is astounding. Icon Factory posted a company timeline/history that is a great walk down memory lane, especially for Mac users. I have a soft spot in my heart for this company because it was such a shining star in the Mac world when that company was at its nadir in 1996. Icon Factory made awesome icons that helped make my Mac more fun—it might sound like a small thing, but I remember it to this day. So thanks, Icon Factory, and happy birthday! May the next 20 years be even more interesting than the first. – Bryan

Lynktec Takes its Apex Fusion Electronic Stylus to the Next Level

Lynktec has continued to evolve the Apex line of electronic styluses. In late May, the company released a sleek, new version called the Apex Fusion. It’s slimmer, better looking, and is available in black, silver, gold and rose gold. It’s drop-dead gorgeous and features a fine point for accurate drawing and a rechargeable battery. John takes a close look and reports.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-06-21: Phone-free Concerts, Russia’s Anti-Encryption Bill

Going to an Alicia Keys concert will get your iPhone locked away, but not by the police. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on concert goers being forced to drop their smartphones in locked bags as a condition to see the show. They also take a look at Russia’s bill calling for backdoors into encrypted chat apps.