Since 2004, I’ve used Skype for free calls and instant messaging between friends, clients, and loved ones abroad. And because of brand loyalty, it took a while till I was convinced to try other communication apps, particularly mobile-based VoIP software like WhatsApp and Viber.
Between the two, I leaned towards Viber for its smooth user interface, the fact that it’s free to use with no ads lurking around, and how it works similarly to the way we’d call or SMS everyday. Unlike Skype’s mobile app, using Viber is like using a phone bumped with free calls and texts forever. And with over 200 million users and counting, it’s certainly becoming a strong contender against big names like Skype.
Well, that impression didn’t take long to seed as Viber announced its release of desktop versions (OS X and Windows) of the mobile app, both of which bring its best features to the desktop, along with video calling (still in beta) and call transfers from desktop to mobile. With this, Viber has taken another big step to becoming a potential alternative to Skype and many other desktop VoIP software. (more…)
Unit conversion has always been a task I would delegate to the web, since Google handles it so well. Whenever I need to convert kilometers to miles, inches to feet, and Philippine peso to any other currency, I would simply type the units in the search bar and wait for the results to appear.
There’s tons of unit conversion apps out there (we even have a roundup of calculators and converters for the Mac), but it didn’t seem like a necessity to buy or download one. I then came across Converto, one of FLIPLAB’s newer and free Mac utilities, and decided to give it a test run.
Could Converto finally break the ice and stand as the best unit converter for the Mac? Read on to find out.
It’s been three years since making the big switch to the Mac, and within those thirty-six months I’ve tried numerous apps that have significantly changed the way I work. I’ve gotten my hands dirty with a variety of productivity tools, finance software, utilities, and photo/image editing apps of various shapes, colors, and file sizes that it’s taken me a while to actually find the apps that I can settle down with.
I’ve pretty much filled up fifteen pages of purchase history, but I’ve managed to find a couple of apps that have become integral to my workflow as a writer and an avid user of the web. These apps have won my loyalty, and I’m glad to be able to shine the spotlight on them in this week’s The Apps We Use feature.
Have you ever wanted to share a link or a status update to more than one social networking account? You’d either have to copy and paste your message, or sign up for a social sharing app like Hootsuite or Buffer. I haven’t seen anything similar designed for the Mac until I came across a nifty menu bar app called Crosspost.
Similar to the simplistic Twitter app Wren with a little bit more to offer, Crosspost brings convenient sharing to users who’d post to multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts. It caters to the needs of the Mac social butterfly by enabling “cross-posting” to Twitter and Facebook profiles/pages from the comforts of the menu bar. Simple call out the app from the menu bar, type your message, select the accounts to share to, then click on the blue Post button.
Cute eyes, button nose, a sweet smile—I must admit that I was drawn to BlankDesk’s Noted and its adorable app icon. Officially launched just a couple of months back, it’s a “simple, yet powerful note taking app” that may just bring something interesting and useful to the round table of notes apps.
In spite of the fact that there are many (maybe even too many) notes apps for the Mac, I wondered if Noted could have something that other notes applications lacked. I’m sure you’re asking the same questions as you’re reading this: What new features does Noted bring to the table? Is it capable of doing all and more than what my existing notes app can do? And why does Noted look like the foster child of Evernote and Notational Velocity?
Let’s find out.
As a blogger, I’m always anticipating new apps that could take on a fresh approach to desktop blogging. Desktop blogging apps for the Mac are merely by the handful, leaving users with just a couple of blogging apps that can create and publish posts with ease. We’ve got MarsEdit 3, MacJournal, and Ecto as top recommendations, but the fact is we haven’t seen anything new in this sector of the app market for quite a while.
You can imagine my excitement then when I came across BlogEasy, a minimal desktop blogging app that publishes to WordPress blogs. Will this app finally break the silence and provide bloggers with something new and innovative to play with? Let’s find out.
Think of a typical task on your to-do list, and I’m sure there’s an app that can help you accomplish it. You’ve got Mac apps designed for a plethora of purposes, each designed to solve or complete different kinds of tasks in a number of unique ways. In fact, there are apps that are made to bring different standalone apps and services together to easily manage and keep track of. Off the top of my head are Words for save-for-later articles, MarsEdit for publishing to different blogging platforms, and Favs for all your social favorites.
For today’s review, I’ll be taking a look at Notesdeck for Mac, a relatively unique app that consolidates all of your iCloud, Dropbox, Simplenote, and Evernote notes into a single dashboard to view, edit, and sync in real time. Developed by Michael Petruzzo of Dark Heartfelt, it’s an app where notes—whichever service or note-taking app used—are editable and available at a click of a button.
With this concept in mind, can Notesdeck assist the everyday note-taking Mac user? How does Notesdeck fair in the productivity circle? Let’s find out.
Writing for the web has always been burdened by the need to format content in HTML. It isn’t enough to just write and publish content—you need to capture the reader’s attention as well.
You can’t simply write a blog post or a web page and slap it onto the site. Headers, bolding, emphasis, bullet lists, and numbering are necessary to hold down and guide your readers all the way to the last sentence. The process can be quite tedious, which is why the birth of Markdown is a huge breath of fresh air for content creators of all experience levels.
But Markdown isn’t just for those who work online. It’s a simple syntax that makes formatting and writing in plain text easier for everyone. With these writing apps, you’ll have an easier time putting your thoughts down on screen, whether you’re writing a note for yourself or a Markdown formatted file for publishing online.
Skitch received a major upgrade to version 2.0 last September, taking the Mac community by storm—in a bad way.
Personally, I’m pretty open-minded towards app upgrades. I almost always welcome changes made to an app’s design and functionality, giving it the benefit of testing out the changes first before making any judgments. So, you can imagine how curious I was when I saw how version 2.0 enraged so many of Skitch’s users just after it was released. Did Evernote really push out an update that broke Skitch, a fine application, and made it clunky and unusable? (more…)