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Matthew Guay

Writer. Former Mac and Web AppStorm Editor, now Tuts+ Software Training Editor. Brainstormer-in-chief. @maguay | Techinch.com

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Are you the kind of person that wears out the CMD, C, and V keys on your keyboard before anything else? Then perhaps you need a clipboard manager, an app that can help you get more out of copying and pasting on your Mac. That’s exactly what our sponsor this week, ClipBuddy, is designed for. And best of all, you can get ClipBuddy for free this week!

ClipBuddy remembers everything you’ve saved to your clipboard: text, images, and more. It then lets you quickly go back through everything you’ve copied, and paste exactly what you want into your apps. You can search through your clip history to find what you want, complete with info about when and where you copied from, so you’ll never lose anything even if you forget to paste it into your notes app. Then, there’s hotkeys and more to let you paste what you’ve copied easily.

The Ondesoft team continues improving ClipBuddy with updates, new features, and more. It’s recently gotten Dropbox sync, import and export options, settings to hide the dock icon, and more.

Go Get It!

ClipBuddy usually costs $29.95 from Ondesoft’s online store, but for this week’s sponsorship, we have a special deal. You can get a free copy of ClipBuddy just for liking it on Facebook or sharing it on Twitter. Head over to the Ondesoft ClipBuddy giveaway site for the info you need to get a free copy of ClipBuddy.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

One of the many new additions to OS X in Lion was AirDrop, a simple way to share files between Macs over WiFi. It sounded like a great solution, but turned out to be a bit more complicated than it seemed at first.

For one thing, the Macs would have to be on the same network, and without tweaking, AirDrop only works over WiFi. You’ll have to head over to terminal and do some tweaking to get AirDrop working over Ethernet. Then, it doesn’t work between OS X and iOS, making it only useful for sharing files between Macs on the same network — which in all likelihood means you already have another file sharing system in place.

There’s apps that one-up AirDrop’s functionality, such as Instashare, which hope to take the idea to the next level by bringing cross-platform sharing and more to the idea behind AirDrop. And there’s always the hope that Apple will do more with AirDrop in future versions of OS X (and perhaps iOS).

But as it is right now, have you used AirDrop? Is it something you use all the time, or did you just try it out for the novelty of it, and then quit using it soon after? We’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Hey, it’s Matthew, the editor here and on Web.AppStorm. Ever wondered which apps I use to get my work done each day?

For the past few weeks, we’ve been running a series of articles about the Apps We Use, letting you get a peek into the workflow of each of the writers on our team. I’m up this week, and here’s the apps that are most important to me — the apps I require to get work done, productively, on my Mac.

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If you’ve ever written or edited code from your iPhone or iPad, chances are you’ve used Textastic, or at the very least heard of it. Textastic is a popular text editor for iOS that brings the best of code editing to Apple’s mobile platform in an app that is reminiscent of TextMate. With its built-in FTP integration, it’s one of the best ways to write or edit code on the go, and is the way I personally publish to my Kirby-powered blog from my iPhone.

Alexander Blach, the developer behind Textastic, has now brought the venerable code editor to the Mac, and it’s currently in the App Store for the low price of $2.99. I knew I had to try it out as soon as I saw it available, and I’ve come away impressed. Here’s why.

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Spotlight is one of your Mac’s best built-in tools, letting you find apps, files, emails, and more in seconds. Once you try to dig deeper, though, you’ll quickly find Spotlight’s interface to be limiting. That’s where Disklens, our sponsor this week, comes in. Disklens builds on Spotlight’s powerful search engine, adding a convenient user interface on top that’s aimed at maximum efficiency in the daily routine of locating information on your Mac.

At first glance, Disklens looks and feels very similar to Spotlight. Disklens performs a much more extensive search, however, delivering several thousand search results in a matter of seconds. You can dig through them all by selecting search categories, if you’re looking for items of a specific kind. Then, mouse-over an item to get more info about it, including file size, creation date, and a link to it in Finder, or tap space to see a Quick Look preview of the file. Then, you can drag-and-drop search results anywhere so you can use what you find.

Disklens includes all of the Spotlight features you love, but makes them even better. If you’ve looked for a search alternate but didn’t want anything too different, then this is the app for you. You’ll feel at home, this time, though, with more power at your fingertips. Disklens doesn’t try to get too fancy feature-wise. It just focuses on providing a simple, convenient, and streamlined approach to locating information on your Mac.

Go Get It!

Ready to get more out of searching on your Mac? Disklens is a great way to do it without spending much at all. You can download a free trial of Disklens to make sure it does everything you need, then get your own copy for just $3.99 from their online store. If it’ll make you even a bit more productive, that’s a small price to pay for the time you’ll save!

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

Ever need to work with Microsoft Office files, but don’t want to pay for a full copy of Office? Or do you use iWork by default, but want to make sure your converted documents will look fine on your boss’ Windows computer?

Microsoft has just the thing for you: the Office Web Apps. We’ve just tried out the latest Office Web Apps over at Web.AppStorm, and it turns out, they work quite good.

So what’s the catch? Nothing, really. You get stripped-down versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote that run in your browser, and you can sync the real files back to your Mac using the SkyDrive for Mac app. And you could then continue using those files on your Mac, say in iWork, just fine.

Sound like just what you need for a basic Office solution? Then head over to Web.AppStorm for the full scoop on the Office Web Apps.

Continue reading at Web.AppStorm.net…

Imagine you’re walking out of the Apple Store with a brand new MacBook under your arm, or perhaps you’re carting out one of the brand-new wall mounted iMacs (yes, we’re wishing we had one of those — say, the top-speced 27″ one — too). You plug in your Mac, savor the familiar-yet-new startup ding, then connect to the internet. You’re ready to start loading up your Mac with the best apps, and you can’t wait to get it feeling like a productive machine.

Only this time, there’s a twist: you can only install 5 apps. That’s right: you can install anything you want from the net or the App Store, but you’re limited to using the built-in apps and up to 5 more apps you install. What apps would make the cut?

The past few weeks, we’ve been featuring roundups of our team’s favorite apps in the Apps We Use series, and we’ve got a ton more workflows to feature over the upcoming weeks. Some of us have extremely streamlined workflows consisting of only a few apps, while others have a ton of apps they use to get their work done.

If I could only install 5 apps on my Mac, I’d install:

  • Dropbox, since all my files live in it
  • 1Password, since I wouldn’t be able to login to almost any site without it
  • OmniFocus, which holds almost everything I need to do
  • Sublime Text for writing, since it’s great for plain-text writing as well as coding
  • Transmit for FTP, to publish articles to my site (which uses the flat-file CMS Kirby)

There’s a ton more apps I use daily and that I’d want to use, but these would be the minimum I’d need to keep working. Now, how about you? What 5 apps would you install if you could only have 5 apps on your Mac? Let us know in the comments below!

Do you find yourself looking for calming music or background sounds to make your day at work less stressful? Magic Mind, our sponsor this week, is an app that can help you out. It’s designed to help anyone who undergoes stressful situations at work, has trouble falling asleep, or wants to meditate.

No matter if you are looking for a lunch brake relax or a deep stress relief, this application has you covered. You can choose from 28 background sounds, including thunder, crickets, birds and more, to help you relax while tuning out other background noises. You can custom mix sounds and adjust the volume of each individual sound to get it sounding just like you want. Then, there’s 40 unique sessions with a predefined music track, which can be changed to any of 48 available different melodies.

Magic Mind includes:

  • 48 Music Tracks, all of which work as endless loops
  • 28 Background Sounds that you can custom mix
  • Custom Timer settings to control fade-out time and more
  • SoundScapes to save your favorite sound combinations

Go Get It!

If you’ve been wanting a way to get some calming background noise to help your workday be a bit more peaceful, Magic Mind might be just what you’ve been looking for. You can get your own copy of Magic Mind for $4.99 from the App Store. At half the price of a music album, it’s a cheap way to get your own calming soundtrack for your work life.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

If you’re subscribing to Mac.AppStorm or any other sites via RSS, chances are you’re using Google Reader. Even if you’re using a Mac app like NetNewsWire, Reeder, or any of the newer news apps that have popped up in recent years, you’re likely using Google Reader to do the heavy lifting of syncing your RSS feeds. That’s all going to come to an end this July, as Google just announced that they’re shutting down Google Reader.

There’s a few options you’ve got. First, NetNewsWire can sync RSS feeds standalone already, so it can work without Google Reader integration, only you’ll lose the syncing options. Then, the Reeder team has announced on Twitter that Reeder won’t die, though it’s yet to be seen how it will continue syncing RSS feeds. On the Mac, Reeder only works with Google Reader, though on the iPhone it already works with Fever, a self-hosted online feed reader.

Then, if you used Google Reader online, you’ll just need to find a new app to subscribe to RSS feeds. Plus, you’ll need to export your Google Reader data, no matter what app you’re switching to. Over on Web.AppStorm, we’ve put together the tips and apps you need to make the leap from Google Reader. I personally switched to Fever, but there’s a number of options that’ll work no matter what your needs.

Now, would anyone like to predict what app Google will shutdown next?

Continue Reading on Web.AppStorm…

If you love reading online articles, but don’t usually have time to read them in full when you’re using your browser, then you’re like a heavy user of a reading later service. There’s three popular web apps to help you save articles to read anytime: Pocket, Readability, and Instapaper. While all these services have native apps for your iPhone and more, only Pocket has a native Mac app (one that used to be the best Instapaper app for the Mac).

So what’s an Instapaper or Readability user to do, if they want to read their articles on the Mac? There’s two new apps that are great options: ReadKit and Words App. We’d looked at Words before, but found its interface rather lacking for a full reading app. Their dev team went back to the drawing board, though, and their newly released Words 2 is easily one of the nicest ways to read longform articles on your Mac. If you didn’t try it out the first time around, you should definitely take a look at Words 2.

Here’s why.

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