We all expected to see iOS 7 at the WWDC keynote. That one was a given. The next version of OS X was also practically a given, but didn’t seem nearly as anticipated. New Macs were a nice extra, that both weren’t surprising to see but none of us would have been that surprised if they hadn’t been included. A new version of iWork and iLife were hoped for, but again, we’d almost given up hope that Apple would have time for anything besides iOS 7.
But practically no one was expecting that Apple would spend a serious amount of time during the keynote talking about web apps. And yet they did. Apple, the company that almost entirely makes software just for its own devices took the time to show us how great their new iWork for iCloud apps worked in Chrome on Windows 8. iWork has always been seen as a distant runner-up to Microsoft Office, the 900lb gorilla in the room whenever you talk about apps for word processing, presentations, and spreadsheets. The very fact that the iPad doesn’t have Office has been used as an advertisement point for Microsoft’s Surface ads. But we all thought the discussion was long-since beyond Office, and we’ve all learned to get along very well without it, thank you very much.
Apple isn’t in the business of leaving well enough alone, though, and they’re taking their own Office competitor directly to Microsoft’s homefront. If you’ve stuck with Office simply because others won’t be able to preview your files if you use iWork — or if you’ve stayed away since you occasionally need to edit from a PC — here’s why iWork for iCloud just might be the best thing to happen to iWork yet. It’s a bold foray into Microsoft’s territory, just as Microsoft launches its own Office apps on the iPhone. (more…)
Having all your tasks written down is enough for many. However, that still doesn’t mean they’ll be accomplished. We’re so accustomed to red badges overlaying our apps that we ignore them as if they were ads banners. Some people even develop an OCD to iron out these commitments, but when the goals becomes to clean up your icons instead of cross out your duties, something is not well and we often intervene in a unproductive way against our to-dos.
This nuisance is even more discernible to those who are always engulfed by long-term projects. They land in our task managers and constantly discourage us when we ponder on their duration. Several techniques have been developed to improve our focus, such as the Pomodoro technique; however, some people just can’t be productive through a premeditated method. They demand something else.
As any business owner will tell you, keeping track of your sales leads is one of the most important ways to sustain revenue. Yet this really is no easy task and requires an awful lot of maintenance and reporting, especially when the company is quite large. One company I worked for in Germany kept track of everything through a giant Excel spreadsheet, and keeping this up-to-date was an absolute nightmare, especially as only one person could view and edit it at any one moment in time (and yes, I did get shouted at quite a lot for not maintaining it!).
Never again should a great company fail because of a lack of sales.
Close.io may not be the cheapest offering on the market (plans start from $59 per user monthly) but if it helps a company keep track of all its sales targets, then I think this is a small price to pay for such a useful service. Let’s dive straight in and see what it has to offer.
One of my favourite things about App.net, apart from its fantastic user core, is its wide open API. The folks at ADN are genuinely interested in ensuring that third-party developers can make great products using the site’s features, and sometimes, there are apps that come along that are so genuinely interesting they make me question how I ever doubted the social network in the first place.
One of the other great features of ADN lies in its storage capabilities. Each free account gets 500MB of storage with a 10MB file-size limit, while each paid account gets 10GB of storage with a 100MB file-size limit. I think that even the free account’s offering is really generous. Combine ADN’s open API with its storage capabilities, and you end up with ingenious little Mac gems like Swing. (more…)
Slicereader 0.2 is now on the App Store, with a bookmarklet to make it easier to add websites to read, support for Markdown, HTML, and plain text, and more.
It’s been an amazing past few years for writers. With full-screen distraction free writing environment pioneered by WriteRoom, Markdown formatting from Gruber, focused writing from iA Writer, the exporting wonders of Marked, the brand-new hidden Markdown formatting of Ulysses III, and more, it’s amazing how far we’ve come from the cluttered days of drafting our work in Word.
Reading apps, unfortunately, haven’t gotten much attention at all. Yes, there’s a number of apps for reading articles later on your Mac, some of which are even very nice (I’m particularly fond of the new ReadKit). But, sadly, none of them are totally new. They’re not changing the way we read on the Mac, the way iA Writer and Folding Text and others have changed the way we write on the Mac.
This weekend, that’s just changed with the brand-new beta app Slicereader. Designed by Mutahhir Ali Hayat, a programmer at Hog Bay Software that works on FoldingText and Oak Outliner, Slicereader is the most innovative reading app on the Mac yet. It’ll change how you read longform text. Here’s why.
It was a fateful Thursday late last July when Sparrow announced they’d been bought out by Google. The indie email app that’d taken the Mac by storm, Sparrow was a fast favorite of anyone who wanted a more modern email experience — one that was fast, minimalist, and integrated with cloud services. It hit all the right spots, soared in popularity, then nearly as quickly was taken from us. Sparrow still works, but it’s a zombie without much, if any, of a future.
The Sparrow-shaped gap on the App Store has yet to be filled. There’s tons of promises of new email apps, but few have made it onto the scene yet — at least on the Mac. There’s the old standby alternates like Outlook and Postbox, but they don’t replace the minimalist approach to email that Sparrow embraced. The iPhone can claim Mailbox, Triage, and numerous other new email apps, but on the Mac, most Sparrow fans have stuck with the aging app, while others have taken a look back at Apple’s admittedly nice Mail.app.
That’s changed this week, though, as Airmail was released to the App Store. We’d taken a look at it months back when it was still in beta, but now that it’s fully released, can it replace Sparrow for diehard fans?
Mobile Computing is becoming more and more common these days, with Apple leading from the forefront. With the MacBook Air and Retina Display MacBook Pros being the headline Macs these days, it’s extremely comfortable to own a portable computing device rather than a desktop. Security becomes a paramount concern with such devices as they are prone to loss or theft when carrying around.
Even when using an iMac, data security is vital to keep sensitive information private. Using Filevault for encryption is one way to go, but it encrypts the entire drive. If you plan to secure only certain folders, you’ll have to look at third party alternatives. And there are quite a few free and premium apps that help solve this problem.
If you were a pixel on the wall of our team’s Basecamp, listening to our conversations, you’d know that we’ve been looking for the perfect Markdown-powered Mac blogging app. There’s blogging apps for the Mac, but if you like writing in Markdown in apps like Byword and iA Writer (and we do), there’s none that fit your workflow perfectly.
So instead, we each have our favorite writing apps, export our text as HTML, and paste it into WordPress. It works, but it’s far from seamless.
That all changes today, with the hot-off-the-press Byword 2. It has built-in publishing to WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Scriptogram, and Evernote, and a handful of other improvements. If you need a focused Markdown writing app and a blogging app, it’s the one app you need. (more…)
For sole enterprises, keeping a good set of books is probably one of the most essential tasks. It helps keep all your paperwork in order and it makes it far easier when it comes to the end of the year and that massive tax bill is due. Unfortunately, though, Mac users are slightly neglected when it comes to this, and although OS X has slowly but surely clawed some of the market share away from Microsoft, when it comes to business-related apps, Windows rules the roost.
Not wanting to be outdone, Austrian-based developers Teischl, the team behind Employment:app (which we reviewed last year) have developed book’n’keep – a simple accounting software designed for sole enterprises. Unlike other accounting software, which can often run into the hundreds of dollars and require an extensive set of licences, book’n’keep is available on the App Store for a mere $29.99. Let’s take a look at it and see if it’s a worthwhile purchase for sole enterprises.
Oh, another application for screenwriters. Before you wonder about niche-dedicated applications, think about that day you had an epiphany that would be an awesome movie. One of those you would pay twice to watch, like you did with Avatar. Then you looked for an application to write a screenplay only to find out it would cost you more than what you’d expect it to sell for. So you opened your everyday word processor and began typing your story. As you’re finished, you sent to a few movie agents.
You never got a reply, even after your mother got high hopes that her child would become famous. That’s because writing a great story is not enough. The screenwriting business also requires your script to to follow a strict presentation style, which those expensive apps help achieving. Fountain changed the table, allowing regular Jacks to write screenplays in plain text. Slugline takes the game to the next level.