I sincerely believe that one of the reasons for the slow descent of information managers, or anything buckets, has been the absence of modernization. Opening an application of this sort is often a strike from the past. A visit to old design trends and a user experience that didn’t catch up with the evolution. We ended up with powerful applications with plenty of features, without a reasonable way to manage them.
Among them all, Together stood up on their previous versions, overcoming as one of the better thought-out information managers for the average user. Yet it held its share of issues. The new version is a wave of change that came out of nowhere to improve our data library organizations. This refreshing update covers several disabilities and lights up the path to the use of iCloud sync, a long expected getaway card from the Evernote servers.
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.
You do a lot of searching. You can’t even try to front that you don’t, because we’re all searching all the time. Even simple calculations and unit conversions are getting done in a search engine. But you could be doing it better. The folks who made search utility Phlo knew that and wanted to make internet searching awesome.
Did they succeed? We’ll test this tiny searchbox app and find out! (more…)
It’s old news now that Google Reader is being shut down on July 1st. It’s also old news that finding the perfect news reading apps for your Mac and iPhone is a bit harder than you’d think at first. There’s a ton of options, but if you just want an easy way to get your news fix and keep your read status and subscriptions synced between your devices, it’s not so simple.
Most of the best options today are new web apps, some of which sync with native iOS apps but few of which have native Mac apps. Stalwart Mac RSS apps like NetNewsWire and Reeder are working on their own syncing solutions which will hopefully come before the July 1st deadline.
But NewsBar, a simple Mac and iOS RSS reader, has its own native RSS engine and can keep your subscriptions, read state, and favorited articles synced between your Macs and iOS devices via iCloud. Today. We’ve looked at NewsBar before, but let’s take another look and see what a year — and iCloud sync — has brought to the equation.
It seems we’re always looking for ways to keep our hands on our keyboards and away from the mouse. From application launchers to apps that create extra productivity shortcuts, there’s a big market for tools that help us use our computers more efficiently.
Shortcat is just such an app, giving every element within an application window its own shortcut. I’ll take a look at Shortcat and see how good of a job it does at keeping my hands on my keyboard and me on task. (more…)
Long a favorite on iOS, Instacast is now in beta release on the Mac. More than just a complement to the version you’ve got on your iPhone or iPad, Instacast for Mac is a fully-functional podcast app built with usability in mind.
But will it be able to supplant iTunes as your go-to iTunes podcast app? We’ll see if the Mac app stands up to its iOS predecessor. (more…)
When I get into the flow of working I often lose track of time. I find that my best work often comes in these periods when time seems to almost disappear. Much of the time this poses no problem, but sometimes I need to be reminded of something no matter how engrossed I am in my work. There are also times when I start something that will take a long time to finish, but I want to be able to work on something else and still be reminded when it’s complete. Either way, I need something to remind me what’s going on.
For events that take place at a specific time, the calendar works well. A reminder for a meeting at 10 A.M. or to meet someone for dinner at 7 P.M. does the job simply. It doesn’t work as well for things that are less tied to the clock. When I start laundry I just want to be reminded to check on it in thirty minutes. When I start a backup I want to be reminded to check on the status in an hour.
Timebar is an app in the Mac App Store that provides a simple countdown timer in your menu bar. This lets you keep an eye on the timer while keeping it out of your way. Let’s see how well it works.
All right all you note taking app aficionados, there’s a new plain text note taker on the block: Just Type. You may be familiar with its iOS counterpart, which has been out for a while, but this popular iOS note taker just recently hit the Mac App Store.
This app is definitely worth a look, but is it worth switching to? Can it replace Simplenote? Read on to find out.
For freelancers, time tracking can be the bane of our existence. We know we need to keep track of all the time we spend on client work but, more often than not, we sometimes forget to start that timer or even can’t remember how much time we spent on that mockup. It’s an inconvenience we all wish we could avoid but when you’re in charge of your own time, keeping track of it should be a priority.
To make time tracking simpler, AppBieger have released an app called RealTime which — instead of just a simple timer — automatically tracks the time you spend within apps.
AirPlay Mirroring was one useful new feature Mountain Lion added to Mac OS. AirPlay Mirroring allows sending the screen of your Mac to display on a TV connected through an Apple TV. The usefulness for presentations is obvious, but I’ve found it most useful as a way to share a video to the room. While iTunes allows sending to an Apple TV, its limited in usefulness. AirPlay Mirroring let’s anything that can be displayed on your Mac to appear on an Apple TV. Instead of huddling around your MacBook display or the monitor on your iMac, everyone can watch it on the larger television screen your Apple TV connects to.
It’s not a perfect solution as the quality isn’t always great with stutters and pauses in the video a common problem. It also ties up your Mac when the display is mirrored. This works fine when watching short videos off YouTube or other online sites, but sometimes you don’t want to give up your computer for an hour or more to watch a longer video or move. Perhaps your roommate or significant other wants to watch a movie, but you’d just as soon catch up on email or finish a presentation.
Beamer offers a solution. It promises to send a video file to your Apple TV without having to completely give your Mac over to showing video. You can play any video from your Mac on your Apple TV. Since it’s an application the video can play while you continue doing other things. Let’s see how well it meets the promise.