I’m seldom an impulsive shopper, especially when it comes to real products – though apps often get me to drop a dollar or five without nearly as much thought. At $35, though, the Chromecast seemed tempting enough to be worth a shot. I write about web apps for a living, but have never owned a Chrome device, so this seemed like the perfect chance to give the Chrome device ecosystem a shot.
There’s a tiny twist, though: I’m an American living in Thailand, and the Chromecast was solidly a product aimed at the American market. But surely it could be the perfect cheap dongle to turn any TV into a smart TV with your smartphone as the controller, no?
After doubling my initial investment in postage and waiting several weeks, I finally had a Chromecast in the back of my LG 42″ LED non-smart TV in my living room in Bangkok. It was both magical and frustrating. Here’s why.
We were all expecting iWork news on Tuesday. Apple’s Roger Rosner had taken a considerable amount of time at this year’s WWDC to showcase their new iWork web apps and then briefly mentioned that new versions of the native iWork apps would be coming this fall.
What we got instead, though, was the surprising claim that iWork is the best selling suite of mobile productivity applications (which, I suppose, isn’t actually that surprising since “mobile” wouldn’t include Microsoft Office on laptops) followed by the announcement that iWork and iLife apps would all be free with new iOS devices going forward. Combine that with the free online iWork apps in iCloud, and Microsoft Office has the stiffest competition it’s faced in well over a decade.
Google can boast businesses that have gone Google, but Apple has its best shot ever at convincing the rest of us that its beautiful documents, spreadsheets, and presentations apps are more than enough to leave Office Home & Student behind.
Ever since Steve Jobs returned to Apple in the late ’90′s, Apple enthusiasts have anxiously waited for One More Thing announcements at the end of Apple’s keynotes. Jobs would save something special — sometimes something he really wanted to show off, and other times something small that couldn’t fit into the wider keynote — that he’d show off at the end, just as it would otherwise seem that the show was over.
It’s been several years now since we’ve seen a One More Thing announcement in an Apple keynote, since Steve Jobs passed on, but we can still hope against hope for something extra. The Mac Pro announcement at WWDC this summer felt like a One More Thing announcement, even though it was right in the middle of the presentation, because it was so unexpected. But what’s left to surprise us now?
After months without any solid Apple leaks, lately it seems that every possible thing Apple could have thought to announce has already been leaked. In a few hours, we’re expecting Apple to announce a new iPhone (or perhaps iPhones, if the rumors are right that we’ll see a 5S and a cheaper 5C released today). iOS 7 is also likely to be released, or at least have its launch date announced — and thanks to the long beta, most of us already know what it’s going to look and feel like. There’s OS X Mavericks and the Mac Pro, along with a much hoped for iWork refresh to release, but somehow it doesn’t seem that likely that they’ll be released today.
So what could be hidden in a One More Thing today? A TV? A Watch? A flying car? A clone of Steve Jobs? Let us know what you’ll be anxiously looking for in the comments below!
Back in July, we wrote an extensive overview of the fully revamped DaisyDisk 3, and found it a very welcome update to the most original way to clean up your Mac’s HDD. It took a bit longer for the new version to get released, but it’s finally here and better than ever.
The new DaisyDisk is faster than ever, taking only 22 seconds to scan my MacBook Air’s internal SSD, and works with the latest Mac tech including Thunderbolt drives and Retina displays. But it’s not just about a slicker UI; it also lets you dig deeper than before, so you can see the biggest files inside bundled files (such as apps), and is smart enough to warn you before letting you delete a file that is crucial to your Mac’s operation.
The Mac App Store version of DaisyDisk 3 is slightly less powerful than its stand-alone version this time, though, due to sandboxing restrictions. You’ll still be able to scan your whole disk and external disks with a Mac App Store copy of DaisyDisk 3, but won’t be able to scan as administrator or dig into hidden file space with it. For the latter, you’ll need a stand-alone copy of DaisyDisk from the DaisyDisk store.
If you already own a stand-alone or App Store version of DaisyDisk, v3.0 is a free update that you’ll want to install and take for a spin immediately. Otherwise, you can pickup your own copy from the Mac App Store or the DaisyDisk Store for $9.99 — definitely not bad for one of the most beautifully designed apps in the App Store that’ll help you save precious space on your internal SSD.
Most of us already keep own files synced in Dropbox, and use it to share folders with colleagues. So why not take advantage of your Dropbox space to share one-off files online, too? That’s exactly what ShareMate, our sponsor this week, lets you do.
ShareMate lets you upload any file to Dropbox for sharing in seconds by just right-clicking on the file and selecting the ShareMate option, or uploading it from the menubar app. Once it’s uploaded, you can copy a db.tt short URL to the file from ShareMate and share your file publicly or directly with a colleague.
ShareMate will keep a record of every file you’ve shared and will sync uploads between all of your Macs, so you can easily copy the share link from anywhere and share the file again. It’s the simplest way to keep up with the files you share from your Dropbox.
Try ShareMate Out This Week!
Best of all, you can try out ShareMate for free first to see if it’s the sharing tool you’ve been waiting for. The full-featured trial will let you share files up to 2Mb in size for as long as you want. Then, you can get your own copy from the Mac App Store or the ZipZapMac Store for just $2.99.
We’d like to say a special Thank you! to our weekly sponsors from August for sponsoring our site and for the great apps they make. If you would like to feature your app on our site with an advertisement, be sure to check out our available slots on BuySellAds or register for a weekly sponsorship for your app.
If you haven’t already checked out our the great apps that sponsored our site last month, be sure to check them out now!
Snapheal is the fastest, easiest software available to help pro and amateur photographers remove unwanted objects, heal skin blemishes, and fix common imperfections such as scratches in photos. Just mark what you want removed, and then click one button — Snapheal will do the rest. Restore old photos, heal skin blemishes and remove wires, people, pets, signs, watermarks and more – anything that distracts from your favorite photos. Finish your images before sharing them on your favorite social networks by adjusting exposure, toning, sharpening or blurring details. With 20 handy tools in all, it’s got everything you need to make your photos pop.
Radium is the Mac app for serious internet radio listeners. It’s beautifully designed, simple to use, and filled with over 8,000 stations of every genre so you’ll always have something to listen to. Just search for the type of music you feel like listening to, and get back to what you’re doing. Radium will stream the music, let you easily see what’s playing in your menubar, and keep a list of your favorites so you can buy them from iTunes later. It’s great.
MacX Video Converter Pro can convert video to and from over 320 different formats, so you can make sure your media will play back perfectly on any device. You can get your videos exported in the perfect formats for your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, Playstation Portable, or any other device you have. It’ll also make it easy to trim or crop your videos, merge multiple videos together, and add subtitles and watermarks to any of your videos so they’ll look just like you want.
iExplorer is the utility you need to access anything on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. It can help you intelligently transfer music to your devices, or export every single SMS, MMS, or iMessage you’ve sent and received from your iPhone. It can export your voicemails, calendars, contacts, call history reminders, notes, web history, and more from your devices in the formats you want. It’ll even let you browse the contents of your iPhone or iPad from your Mac or PC, so you can copy out files you’ve created in apps, backup your photos, or even look into the contents of an old iTunes backup.
And a special thanks to you, our Mac.AppStorm.net readers, for reading and sharing our articles. We couldn’t do it without you!
There’s Google Drive and Dropbox and iCloud for storing your personal files, and CloudApp and Droplr for drop-dead simple file sharing from your menubar. But just when those seemed like enough, Minbox took the world by storm several months ago by privately sending files of any size instantly to your colleagues.
It turns out that even that isn’t enough. The brand-new Cloudup — an online file-sharing service that our Web.Appstorm review called a slick and elegant file-sharing service — has raised the bar with its Mac app. It’s the best of Droplr’s menubar file sharing with Minbox’ approach of instantly sharing without waiting for the upload to finish, combined with an intuitive way to share multiple files at once. For a beta app, it’s giving the existing simple file sharing tools a run for their money.
Apple started out OS X with annual releases of new versions, but then settled into an upgrade every two years up until the release of Mountain Lion almost exactly one year after Lion came out. Here we stand, a bit over a year later, expectantly waiting for OS X Mavericks to come out. Everyone’s not waiting, though, and both the VMware Fusion and Parallels teams have just released their latest virtualization offerings for the Mac that both feature Mavericks support among other new features.
Parallels has released an annual upgrade ever year since it was released, but VMware tended more towards the 2 year mark between major releases. Now, though, both companies are releasing new versions in lockstep with new versions of OS X, and if you are serious about running Linux or Windows on your Mac, you’ll be upgrading both OS X and your virtualization tool of choice each year. And this year, you’ve got more choices than ever as both apps are trying harder to appeal to casual users and the more advanced needs of IT teams.