Delicious. No, I haven’t just finished a meal. I’m recalling a time, not so very long ago, when we all used bookmarking services to keep track of our favourite parts of the web. It seems strange, then, that most of us have moved on. It is undoubtedly the case that we still save plenty of bookmarks. Equally, the link capturing tools at our disposal have barely changed in the nine years since Delicious stepped onto Yahoo’s slippery, corporately-greased slope.
Of course, Delicious wasn’t the only option back then — there were native bookmark library apps available, too. With the advent of modern-day cloud syncing, the concept of keeping bookmarks somewhere other than in your browser seems weird. For folks who make a lot of bookmarks, however, the abysmal bookmark organization tools with which browsers are still lumbered is a problem which a third party app can solve.
So, it would appear that there’s still a place for apps like Pins — a native OS X bookmark manager priced at $14.99 in the App Store. It offers to attach tags and notes to your links, it provides cloud syncing, and it even captures page previews, but can Pins really provide a compelling, Utopian alternative to your browser’s in-built bookmarks manager?
Want to make beautiful vector graphics from your Mac without having to spend a fortune — and without having to use an app that’s confusing and cluttered? Then you should give iDraw, our sponsor this week, a try.
iDraw is a feature-packed vector illustrations app that’s been on the Mac for years, but with its latest 2.3 upgrade it’s better than ever. In addition to its already great vector drawing tools, grid and alignment options, vector brushes, stylized text, and more, it now lets you import and export complete Photoshop files, including shape layers and layer styles. You’ll also find all new blend modes to use iDraw with your photos as well, and smart image masking to help you extract just what you want from an image. There’s even dimensioning tools to help you create scale diagrams in iDraw.
If you work from your Mac and iPad, iDraw is the graphics companion you’ve been waiting for. Your files will sync via iCloud between your devices automatically, so you can pick up what you’re working on wherever you are. Then, it’ll be easy to get started with iDraw thanks to their catalogue of detailed iDraw Tutorials for free. No more buying expensive books to learn how to use your graphics app — iDraw is easy to use, and has the tutorials you need included.
Switch to iDraw Today!
There’s a lot more to vector drawing than Adobe Illustrator in iDraw, all for less than the price of 1 month of Creative Cloud. So why not pick up a copy of iDraw for Mac from the App Store for just $24.99, and get a companion copy of iDraw for iPad for just $8.99. iDraw gives you the power of amazing desktop vector graphics with the portability of iPad creativity for an insanely powerful duo.
Email’s a tough thing to innovate, because — regardless of how much we complain about it — email is still the simplest way to send messages of any size to anyone on earth. It works. And so, we continue to use it with the apps we have, hoping that favorite apps like Sparrow will live to see another day.
Regardless of how the rest of our digital lives change, email seems destined to mostly stay the same. The best we can hope for, it seems, is tricks that make Mail.app a better email tool, and newer apps like Airmail that attempt to recapture Sparrow’s magic.
There’s one app, though, that’s trying a new approach to email: Unibox. Instead of being about your messages and reaching inbox zero, it’s about the people behind your messages. And now, it’s in public beta so everyone can try it out.
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.
I don’t spend much time in coffee shops when at home, probably because until recently there really wasn’t a good coffee shop near my home. Whenever I’m away from home whether for the day or on a longer trip, however, I find a coffee shop a nice place to catch up on the world and get some work done between more enjoyable activities. I can work in a quiet hotel room for a while, but I often find a little time in the lobby a more productive environment than the traditional quiet hotel room or office.
I’ve always found working in complete silence to be more distracting than having sound in the background. Even just a television or radio turned on in the background can give me enough noise to feel more comfortable. Research also supports a moderate level of background noise prompts more creative thought. The problem with these is the chance of a movie, show, or song pulling you in and distracting you from what you’re working on. Luckily I’m not the only person that prefers something in the background at work and there are plenty of apps and websites built to provide nice background sound. Let’s look at a few.
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.