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.
You’ve got a lot of things to write down, but you want to keep them safe. Sure, there are a lot of notes apps to choose from, but how secure are they? Bluenote not only keeps your notes secure with AES-256 encryption, but it will also manage your passwords for you, too.
We’ll take a look at all Bluenote has to offer! (more…)
File syncing services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive all have one thing in common: they provide a centrally hosted solution. Your files are stored not only on the devices you’re using but also on their servers. It’s an extremely useful feature as it means you can easily share files to other people without any complicated setup and you’ll always be able to access your files through a web browser. Whilst these services are extremely secure, there are those who are a little wary of having personal (or even confidential) information stored somewhere that they have no control over.
BitTorrent Sync is a new service that provides a decentralised file syncing solution with an emphasis on security and keeping your files off such servers. Is it a worthy alternative for the security conscious?
If you’ve got a job that requires invoicing the time you worked on certain tasks, it can become quite a chore to keep up the tracking of each of them, hence the justification for project managing and time tracking apps. They lend a helpful hand if you want to track your work time or simply if you want to know more about where your time is going.
The downside is that most of these apps tend to be pricy and overcomplicated. It’s refreshing to see an app that takes a more simplistic approach to the task of time tracking. Chronos is one of them, and we’ll be checking it out today.
I love making videos, but I don’t love editing them together. I always have the best of intentions at holidays and birthdays and family gatherings, but it all falls apart once I’ve gotten the footage onto my Mac. I just never seem to do anything with it, and I’m the first to admit that a big part of my problem is my video editor.
I recently tried out Shotcut, a free and open source video editor. I’m no video professional, but then, most of us aren’t. Let’s see how it works out for a layperson just trying to put together some family videos without pulling out her hair. (more…)
Productivity apps and methods are perhaps among the most abundant Mac apps out there, but they all take the same kind of approach to getting things done: they only help you accomplish tasks, without really lending a hand in choosing what’s really important. You can get a dozen tasks crossed off by the end of your day, but if they’re mundane and unimportant, what good is that?
Today we’ll be talking about an app called Eisenpower, that incorporates a method to help you prioritize and classify your tasks, in order to realize what’s really important and what isn’t. Interested?