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Jordan Merrick

I write for a number of Apple-related sites, including Sparsebundle and am the author of Backing Up Your Mac With Time Machine, a Made for iBooks book that explains everything about backing up your Mac. You can find me on both App.net and Twitter.

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Doxie's range of scanners have enjoyed immense popularity, especially amongst those (like me) who have moved towards a paperless workflow. Their award-winning mobile scanners provide a truly portable scanning solution that makes digitising letters, photos and documents amazingly simple. The Doxie One and Doxie Go are paper-feed scanners, much like how a fax machine (remember those?) works as you feed paper into it, one sheet at a time. This ability to continually feed page after page of content without constantly changing the page on a flatbed scanning surface makes it far easier to quickly scan documents, as well as dealing with multiple pages.

While the Doxie scanners are great for single page scans, anyone wanting to digitise notebooks, fragile photos, books or magazines were out of luck. That is, until now.

Doxie have now released the Doxie Flip, a portable flatbed Doxie scanner, squarely aimed at those wanting to digitise physical media that, otherwise, just won't fit into one of it's paper-feed siblings.

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With more Mac users than ever before using a portable Mac and Apple’s adoption of SSD storage, apps that specialise in finding ways to free up space and generally “tune-up” a Mac are becoming ever more popular.

The latest offering in this ever-increasing space is MacBooster, an all-in-one app that includes some additional features and functions that aren’t found in similar apps.

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Despite being the world’s largest software company, Microsoft has somewhat of a bad reputation when it comes to software for the Mac. Ask anyone who has ever to endure using Microsoft Entourage for any length of time and they’ll likely tell you its the only software package in existence that violates almost every human rights act there is.

Microsoft has had a remote connection app for Mac users to remotely access Windows workstations for some time, though it was so old and infrequently updated that system requirements even stated it was not for use with Mac OS X Lion or later.

Thankfully, Microsoft have been taking the Mac and iOS platforms a little more seriously and their latest remote access tool, Microsoft Remote Desktop, is not only a complete reworking of its ageing predecessor, it’s actually really good.

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There have been a number of tools and services to help make web development more efficient over the years, with CSS extensions such as Compass, LESS and SASS, that turn stylesheets into faux-programming languages, complete with variables. In addition to that, mobile is now the most popular way of accessing the internet, so it’s crucial to make website code and scripts as compact and efficient as possible.

CodeKit, by Incident 57, describes itself as “steroids for web developers” and, after using it for some time, I wholeheartedly agree.

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Despite the technological advances of fingerprint scanners and retina displays, iOS devices can still only print to a very limited number of printers that support AirPrint. While more and more printers are adding this feature (and some manufacturers, such as Canon, are even providing updates to certain models to add AirPrint functionality), buying a whole new printer for a feature you’ll likely not often use just cost effective.

Printopia is an app that’s best known for serving as a gateway between your iOS device and your printer, providing a way to print to any Mac-compatible printer directly from your iOS device, free from the restraints of AirPrint. While most may be content with only this functionality, Printopia offers so much more for both Mac and iOS devices alike, especially to those looking for a paperless workflow.

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It wasn’t so long ago that the majority of internet users would connect via dial-up modem. Back in those days, download managers were a necessity since there was nothing worse than spending days downloading a file, only for it to be interrupted because someone picked up the phone in another room. Nowadays, with widespread access to high-speed internet and the fact that browsers have become a lot smarter over the years in resuming unfinished downloads, download managers have all but faded into obscurity.

But the light hasn’t gone out completely for download managers and one such app, Folx, does more than simply download files. After spending a few days with it, I’ve found myself remembering why download managers were just so useful.

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Apple has always provided a means to back up your iPhone so that, should anything disastrous happen, you’re safe in the knowledge that you can easily restore your backup to a new one. At first, this was simply through iTunes but along came iCloud and now backups are performed directly to Apple’s servers, saving the burden of iTunes syncing.

While this protects our iPhone’s data from something such as loss, theft or damage, what happens if we inadvertently delete some information such as some notes, a voice recording or document within an app?

PhoneView is an app that provides a level of interaction with an iPhone (and iPad) that goes far beyond anything iTunes lets us do. Even without jailbreaking, we’re able to delve deep into the iPhone’s filesystem and directly access app data, messages, call logs and more so they can be easily archived and backed up – as well as recovered if the worst has happened.

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For IT departments and network administrators, keeping track of all the Macs on a local network can be a tricky business. Apple’s Remote Desktop app, one that hasn’t been updated in years, is showing its age. Keeping track of all the Macs on a local network, along with software they’re running, can often descend into a poorly-kept and rarely-updated spreadsheet.

Network Inventory Advisor provides some useful reporting tools to keep track of all the Macs on your local network. Combine its ease at which you can add new Macs to the app with some genuinely useful reporting tools, you’re left with an app that every network admin needs to check out.

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When it comes to music, I thoroughly enjoy listening to new music that I’ve never heard of before, especially when most of what makes up so-called popular music is X-Factor cast-offs or pop groups that have been so obviously manufactured you can still see the welding joints. Now, before you start throwing the F-word my way, by which I mean “flannel”, there are plenty of popular music acts that I enjoy listening to. Unfortunately, there’s only so many times I can enjoy the angelic tones of Miley Cyrus before I begin to crave something more, something different.

JamStation is a music discovery app for the online service Jamendo, providing a radio-like way of listening to new music. While basic, it delivers on its singular promise of providing you access to new artists.

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There are billions and billions of emails sent every single day and, while most of them are nothing more than lousy attempts at attempting to get access to our banking information, it’s still the most popular form of communication used today. If you’ve recently received an order confirmation from an online retailer or a weekly newsletter from your favourite coffee shop, it’s likely to have been very well designed and, in some cases, easy to read on a mobile device.

With Mail Designer Pro, it’s now possible to design great-looking email templates on your Mac that actually look really good and will work across many devices. While a little costly, the benefits and savings it provides make this an attractive alternative to dedicated design studios when it comes to jazzing up your email newsletters.

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