Dropbox is nothing short of incredible. When the whole world thought file sharing had to be complex and kludgy, a MIT student who forgot his flash drive showed us all that file sharing could be simple enough that we’d all want to do it. You’ve got to trust it with your data, and be willing to pay to store more than several gigs of data, but beyond that, there’s little to make you question using Dropbox. It’s ubiquitous for good reason.
That doesn’t mean it’s the be all and end all of file syncing. There’s Google Drive, Microsoft’s Skydrive, and Amazon’s new Cloud Drive sync. But one new competitor, AeroFS, is taking on Dropbox directly with its own private sync solution, in an app that might be the absolute closest competitor Dropbox has seen yet. It’s fresh out of beta for individuals and teams, so let’s take a look. (more…)
A computer network exists to ease the transfer of data from one computer to another. Before networks became common in homes and offices, moving even a small file would require transferring the file to some temporary medium, often a floppy disk, taking that temporary storage to the other location, and then copying the file onto the new destination computer. It took more time and effort and moving a file to a computer in another building or location required someone to walk or drive the disk there. Now with the ubiquity of networks this task has become an almost transparent action. We routinely move files around our local networks with little more difficultt than moving files within on our computer.
This easy transfer still only holds in when the source and destination are two computers on a local network. Once you need to transfer a file over the Internet, that is to a computer somewhere else, things get more complicated. This is such a common need and over time several dedicated protocols such as FTP and SFTP arose for this task. Unlike the seemingly transparent transfers on the local network, transfers with these protocols require a specialized client such as Cyberduck or FileZilla to move files between the remote location and your local computer.
The ExpanDrive app seeks to bring the convenience of a local drive to remote storage normally accessed through FTP, SFTP, and on Amazon’s S3 service. It makes a FTP, SFTP, or Amazon S3 connection appear like a USB drive plugged into your computer and transfers to these remote systems as simple as moving a file to an external hard drive. Let’s look at how well it works. (more…)
You’ve likely used word processors like Word, TextEdit, and Pages, as well as plain-text writing apps like iA Writer and Byword. If you’re a serious writer, you’ve likely used or at least looked at advanced writing apps like Scrivener or the original Ulysses.
But you’ve never seen anything like Ulysses III. It’s a totally new take on an advanced writing app, bringing the best of Markdown-focused plain text editors together with a multi-document management system that makes sense. Throw in HUDs that make Markdown formatting easier to use than rich editing in Word, and you’ve got one serious writing app. One that must be seen to be believed.
I love to see new games move to the Mac, but I’m primarily a console gamer. The difference for me is the console controller, and while I could invest in a Mac gaming controller, there’s some cost involved there, and, well, I already have my consoles for games like that.
That doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes want a game controller for my Mac, but I can’t exactly plug my DualShock 3 into my USB port. My hopes haven’t been far off, though, because WJoy is a tiny app that will connect your Wii Remote and Mac, allowing you to use it as a controller for Mac games. We’ll see if it works as advertised. (more…)
We’ve all had to carry over text between different places, and it’s really annoying having your text pasted with all sorts of different weird formatting styles and other things that don’t carry over so well like bullet points, which then double your work as you have to correct and re-format what you’ve pasted to make it coincide with the rest of your text.
The app we are reviewing today is called TextScrub, and as its name implies, it can help you tidy up the text that’s in your clipboard so that it’s more easily transferred over. Sound interesting?
If you need to work with different computers and devices throughout your day, then you are most likely familiar with all the cloud services that are around, like Dropbox, that allow you to keep your documents everywhere, always ready to be downloaded and uploaded again.
But then we’ve all been in those situations where we just forget to switch a file we are working on to our cloud folder so that it gets synced. Wouldn’t it be cool to have an app that automatically uploaded everything recent for you, regardless of its location on your computer? That’s what Quicksand’s all about. Let’s check it out!
Phone calls and voicemail are things of the past. Now we have Skype, text messaging, Twitter, and Facebook. In all their popularity, though, these services don’t manage to modernize voicemail, they just eliminate it. That makes sense: most people don’t even care about that feature of their phones anyway.
If you’re a devotee of Login Items, you may have begun to feel a certain heaviness in your Mac’s startup. Login Items tells OS X what it should launch when you turn your computer on, and I’ve been known to throw just about everything I’m going to need for the day in there. Too much, though, and you may begin to notice a lag.
Holding off on launching all of those applications would go a long way to helping, but I’m the impatient type. It seems Delay Start, a tiny app with one function, will do the waiting for me, though, so I can stagger how my apps are opened and stop bogging down my Login Items quite so much. We’ll see how much of a difference this uni-tasker can make. (more…)
There are plenty of screen capture apps, but they all seem to do too much or too little. If you haven’t found an app for creating and editing screen shots beyond what comes standard in Mac OS X, it’s likely because what’s available either gets in your way or doesn’t have enough features to make it worth a switch.
I’m right there in the same camp as you. I take a lot of screen captures and have tried a handful of different apps, but nothing’s ever stuck. Maybe Monosnap, a tiny screen capture app with a pile of features, will change all that. We’ll take a look at Monosnap and see if it has the chops to make me switch from the default OS X tools. (more…)
Managing a team of people, often from around the world, is no easy task. But these days, it’s become a reality for many. To help with this problem, group chat tools like Campfire or Hipchat have become popular options, but they’re not without their limitations. Namely, there’s a lack of good applications that interface with them.
Into that void, the developers of Kickoff stepped in to create a Mac and iOS app with the intention to give teams an elegant solution to their collaboration problems that goes beyond basic group chat. So, could Kickoff change the way your team works? Read on and find out! (more…)