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Author

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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Although the Mac App Store may be the first choice for many (including myself) to find and purchase apps from, many developers (such as Dropbox) offer their apps as more traditional download, and almost always in a DMG file.

Designing and building these DMGs can be very difficult, which is where DropDMG comes in. The app offers a complete suite of tools and aims to not only provide an easy way of creating disk images, but also to create fully customised DMGs that app developers can use to distribute apps. Here’s how DropDMG can help you out if you need to make disk images anytime soon for your projects.

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Typographic artwork is very popular at the moment with all sorts images being created, from maps to movie posters. They look really cool but don’t you just wish that you could do it yourself using any picture you want?

Wordify brings creating these types of graphics to your Mac in a very simple to use app that will convert any image you want into a typographic piece of art. It gives you beautiful results, and actually looks great doing so.

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The animated GIF has never been so prevalent. What was once a way to bring some motion to a very static internet has now become a hugely popular way to share short animated clips without the need for YouTube or other Flash-based video. Unlike internet video, animated GIFs work in most browsers, requires no plug-ins, and even instant messaging services such as iMessage support them.

Until recently, creating animated GIFs was a painstaking process, either using apps such as Photoshop to build them frame-by-frame or relying upon web services to convert videos with little control. Now there’s an app for Mac OS X called GIF Brewery which aims to make generating animated GIFs from video clips as easy as possible.

GIF Brewery works by converting video clips (such as MPEG–4) but providing you with controls over the finished GIF with options for as resolution, frame rate and even special effects. All of this lets you create truly customised animated GIFs that you have complete control over. (more…)

For freelancers, time tracking can be the bane of our existence. We know we need to keep track of all the time we spend on client work but, more often than not, we sometimes forget to start that timer or even can’t remember how much time we spent on that mockup. It’s an inconvenience we all wish we could avoid but when you’re in charge of your own time, keeping track of it should be a priority.

To make time tracking simpler, AppBieger have released an app called RealTime which — instead of just a simple timer — automatically tracks the time you spend within apps.

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File syncing services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive all have one thing in common: they provide a centrally hosted solution. Your files are stored not only on the devices you’re using but also on their servers. It’s an extremely useful feature as it means you can easily share files to other people without any complicated setup and you’ll always be able to access your files through a web browser. Whilst these services are extremely secure, there are those who are a little wary of having personal (or even confidential) information stored somewhere that they have no control over.

BitTorrent Sync is a new service that provides a decentralised file syncing solution with an emphasis on security and keeping your files off such servers. Is it a worthy alternative for the security conscious?

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Despite the prevalence of services such as Dropbox, Flickr and Photo Stream, email is still the most popular way of sending photos to friends and family. It’s something we take for granted, yet many of us don’t tend to save the photos once we’ve seen them in our mail app.

Lost Photos is a rather unique utility that searches through every single email you’ve sent or received and extracts any photos it finds, ready for you to archive and preserve. Does it work? Read on to find out.

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If you live in an apartment block or make a living in IT support, then you’ll know the pain and heartache that can happen when there are a number of neighboring WiFi networks all trying to compete with each other! It’s a common frustration shared by many and usually we just put up with it or, worse still, assume it’s either an internet connection issue or hardware fault.

WiFi Explorer, by Adrián Granados, aims to make the process of tweaking your wireless network as straightforward as possible by providing you with detailed information about all the wireless networks your Mac can detect. Does it succeed? Let’s find out.

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If you’re like me and are completely in love with your Doxie scanner, then you’ll no doubt be scanning almost anything you can get your hands on, whether it needs scanning or not! It’s a great first step towards de-cluttering your desk and making everything as easy to find as possible. And even if you don’t have a Doxie, there’s a ton of other great scanners out there that can quickly turn all of your paper into digital documents.

But once you’ve scanned all your paperwork, what do you actually do with it? That’s where iDocument comes in. Could it be the app your paperless workflow needs?

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If you’re in the tech support business or are even the designated “family tech support representative”, then you probably know how frustrating it can be to try and resolve a computer problem over the phone with a user who isn’t very computer literate.

Enter TeamViewer, a remote support tool that’s more than just simple screen sharing. It’s free, doesn’t require Java, and actually works great. Let’s take a look.

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App.net is an up and coming social network and microblogging service that’s proving to be a worthy competitor to Twitter, with features such as being completely ad-free and an increased character count (256 characters compared to Twitter’s 140). Instead of generating revenue via ads, App.net users pay a small subscription charge to use the service. App.net user numbers have increased dramatically over the last few weeks ever since it launched a free tier service, allowing these paid subscribers to send out invitations for others to join the service with limited accounts, free of charge. Essentially, App.net became a freemium service.

Although the network is still fairly new, there has been active development of App.net clients for the Mac and in this roundup we look at five of the best apps currently available. And if you’re not on App.net yet, keep reading for a shot at some free App.net accounts we have to giveaway! (more…)

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