With the new year coming up, Mac AppStorm wants to make sure you get introduced to apps that will make you more productive in 2013. Mind mapping apps just may be the type of tool you need to boost your productivity in the upcoming year. From project management to presentations to brainstorming, mind mapping apps are flexible tools that assist users in storing and processing information of all types.
This review includes two apps that take a more minimalist, simplistic approach to mind mapping—MindNode and SimpleMind—and two apps that take a more power user approach—XMind and NovaMind. Read on to find out which app may best fit your needs.
There are tons of reasons you might need to make a photo collage. Maybe it’s for a work project, a presentation at school or you simply want a good way to cherish some special photos. You can always choose to print out the photos and glue them to a surface, but that’s so old-fashioned (and who even has a glue stick anymore?) If you’re looking for a digital alternative to sticky fingers and glue smudges, Choco is a newer collage making program that is perfect for a variety of uses.
In Choco you have a lot of options to choose from. You can take the easy way, importing your photos automatically into one of the more than 100 existing templates. You can work a bit more, adding images yourself and editing the basic template. For the most ambitious among us, you can even choose to make your own collage, entirely from scratch. I took Choco for a test-drive, so stick with me after the jump to learn more about the program and what kind of collages I was able to produce.
Looking for a new indie game to try out? Released this September, Subset Games’ FTL: Faster Than Light is an indie spaceship simulator/RPG that has garnered a lot of praise among the indie game community. FTL’s fresh take on old strategy games is finishing out the year at the top of several Best Of lists. Does the gameplay stand up to the hype? (more…)
“I didn’t think Macs got viruses.”
A friend told me that as I helped her clean off a spyware program from her Mac computer last year. While the Mac user has less to fear than a PC user when it comes to the dark side of the Internet, the days when a Mac user could just assume they had nothing to worry about from malware are over. It’s not just viruses causing damage and data loss to be concerned about, but also programs that want to steal your data or personal information. These applications send your info to someone with malicious intent, track what you do and where you go notifying you, and otherwise invade your privacy. Being careful about what you install can do a lot to protect you. Even then, security flaws in software can let software such as the Flashback Trojan that took advantage of a bug in Java to silently install and begin sending your personal information back to remote servers.
It’s just good to see for yourself what’s running on your computer and connecting out. Overall a program that shows you what your computer is doing will help you better understand what’s running and notice when something is amiss. Private Eye from Radio Silence is a free network monitor for the Mac that gives you a real time view into the network connections to and from your computer. Let’s see how well it works and if it can help keep you safe online. (more…)
Editing pictures can be such a hassle, especially if you rely on a professional image editing app. While applications like Photoshop are great, they can be overkill when I just want to share my weekend photos from the beach. Still, I want those pictures to look good, or better than they do now, so I need an image editor that’s just enough for social sharing.
Polarfox may be that app. With some great presets and fun filters, image editing is easy while still making some great pictures. Integrated sharing lets me put all those pictures on display, too. But is this tiny image editor enough or will I end up wanting more? (more…)
I’m just going to lay it out here: I’m a reformed PC-user. I had a lot of PCs for a long time, and though I’ve have my succession of Mac systems longer than I allowed PCs in my home, I do miss some of the customization I could do on a Windows machine. I could fiddle. Sure I got stuff wrong sometimes, but I could eventually fix anything I’d broken too badly.
A Mac doesn’t really give you that option. So many of the really cool settings are locked away from the lay user. Mountain Tweaks draws back the curtain, at last, and is giving all of us, not just Mountain Lion users, maybe the easiest way yet to get at some of the best OS X tweaks. (more…)
I try to automate as much as possible, both in the real world and on my computer, as I find myself staring at my screen for more that ten hours a day. My house lights turn themselves on and off, my outlets power down to save energy, and the files on my MacBook Pro are doing all sorts of things while I’m not looking.
Why, you ask? Because if not, my Downloads folder would take over my hard disk, all of my MP3s would be on my Desktop instead of in iTunes, and my MacBook Pro would be 73% cat gifs. I need something to automatically manage all of my files while I’m doing real work. Sorter is just such an application. It monitors folders for file changes and then takes the actions you want to keep your Mac fighting like a champ. (more…)
Think of a typical task on your to-do list, and I’m sure there’s an app that can help you accomplish it. You’ve got Mac apps designed for a plethora of purposes, each designed to solve or complete different kinds of tasks in a number of unique ways. In fact, there are apps that are made to bring different standalone apps and services together to easily manage and keep track of. Off the top of my head are Words for save-for-later articles, MarsEdit for publishing to different blogging platforms, and Favs for all your social favorites.
For today’s review, I’ll be taking a look at Notesdeck for Mac, a relatively unique app that consolidates all of your iCloud, Dropbox, Simplenote, and Evernote notes into a single dashboard to view, edit, and sync in real time. Developed by Michael Petruzzo of Dark Heartfelt, it’s an app where notes—whichever service or note-taking app used—are editable and available at a click of a button.
With this concept in mind, can Notesdeck assist the everyday note-taking Mac user? How does Notesdeck fair in the productivity circle? Let’s find out.