We reviewed an app called Characters back in August. It gives you quick access to a large number of special characters, making it an indispensable tool for web developers, technical writers, and anyone else who needs to go beyond the standard ASCII fare on a regular basis.
But I think the best tool for the job is PopChar X, not Characters, nor OS X’s built-in character viewer (and not any of the many web-based alternatives, either). It nestles itself in the top-left (or right) corner of your menubar, and it has everything you could need. Allow me to explain.
It used to be that if you needed to capture your screen — be it movies or static images — Snapz Pro X was the only option worth considering. But the screen capture field is a competitive one these days, with the likes of ScreenFlow and Camtasia raising the bar on the video side while LittleSnapper and its many alternatives doing the same for screenshots.
Does Ambrosia’s star utility still shine brightest? Let’s take a look.
Pictures capture moments, videos capture time. The former is valuable, yes, but the latter is its parent. Sadly, it’s not realistic for the average person to capture a beautiful sunrise in video that’s as high resolution as a photograph. That’s because not everyone has a Red camera. (For good reason: they’re priced in the tens of thousands, far out of the price range of the average consumer.) However, you can always make a time-lapse: a series of images taken seconds (2–30) apart and then merged to form a beautiful moving picture.
Time-lapses are a fascinating concept, and also one of the best ways to show someone what a scene looks like because you can get a larger aperture and use fancy 10mm lenses. Since it’s captured differently than a video — there are less frames per second — you are able to get a much higher resolution, so you can edit and crop things to your liking. Time-lapses are perfect for constellation movements and you’ve probably seen a lot of them around Vimeo. If you’ve ever wanted to make your own, Sequence may just be the best app for that. (more…)
Cute eyes, button nose, a sweet smile—I must admit that I was drawn to BlankDesk’s Noted and its adorable app icon. Officially launched just a couple of months back, it’s a “simple, yet powerful note taking app” that may just bring something interesting and useful to the round table of notes apps.
In spite of the fact that there are many (maybe even too many) notes apps for the Mac, I wondered if Noted could have something that other notes applications lacked. I’m sure you’re asking the same questions as you’re reading this: What new features does Noted bring to the table? Is it capable of doing all and more than what my existing notes app can do? And why does Noted look like the foster child of Evernote and Notational Velocity?
Let’s find out.
Like many writers out there, I have a book in the works. And also like many writers, my great American novel is still a bit of a rough draft. Or I suppose “idea” is a more accurate description of my book. Alright, fine, I want to write a novel and I haven’t put down a word yet.
What any great story needs is amazing characters, and to do that you really need to get inside their heads. You have to take your time and craft an amazing story full of people who you want to love, as well as those you want to hate. It’s a lot of pressure. Fortunately, there’s Mariner Persona.
After email, the PDF file format is the one that many users complain about, a lot. The file format is now ubiquitous and each one of us end up having a handful of them for either personal or professional use. PDF files are extremely light weight, keep the document structure intact and in most cases can be accessed even without a specific app installed.
The locked down nature of the PDF format is a major bottleneck though. It’s tough to add notes, annotations or to search the contents of the PDF files in your hard drive. But, it might not be a problem going forward. Turn your collection PDFs into a functional and searchable PDF library with the help of FingerPDF. After the break let us see how exactly to do that!
When Pocket hired the developer of Read Later — my favorite ‘save for later’ client for Mac — in October 2012, support for Michael Schneider’s brainchild was dropped in favour of developing Pocket’s own app. As a user of both Pocket and Instapaper this left me in quite the predicament as the latter is unsurprisingly not supported by Pocket. That was until I heard about ReadKit.
ReadKit provides the same offline reading function as the Instapaper, Pocket, and Readability mobile apps; however, if you use multiple services, it also allows you to combine all of your accounts right in one app. Join me after the break to find out how it sets itself apart from the crowd.
Timeline apps make teaching and learning so much fun. When I say teaching and learning, I am not just referring to a classroom environment. Timelines come in handy whenever you plan to transfer knowledge – sales presentations, reunions, board meetings, family gatherings etc.
Earlier, I had the opportunity to review a timeline app and I was thoroughly impressed by the concept as well as the app. Aeon Timeline is a similar tool for creative and analytical thinking. It claims to be different from the rest of the crowd by equipping you with tools to create more than just one dimensional timelines. Time to check it out!
I know what many of you are probably thinking. Another notes app? Really? But Notebooks is truly a unique take on a notes app, enough to pay attention to. Notebooks started out as a powerful note taking / task management / file storage app on iOS. Demand for a desktop version with similar features prompted the Notebooks team to put out beta versions of Notebooks for Mac and PC.
I have had my eye on the iOS version of this app for a while now and jumped at the chance to test out the beta version for Mac. Comparing Notebooks to two of its main competitors, Evernote and Simplenote, I would say it is more Evernote than Simplenote, but still very distinct. Read on to find out more about this compelling note app.
There are two ways I get a job done: I keep copious notes from start to finish and do really well, or I don’t take any notes and I fail miserably. This means I’m utterly dependent on some sort of notes editor at all times, and if it has syncing, well, that’s even better.
I’m always on the lookout for a better way to do what I do, including keeping notes, so I was happy to give Moccanote a spin. With an uncluttered interface and iCloud sync with the companion iPhone app, Moccanote is definitely a contender. Can Moccanote’s notetaking and organization features cause me to jump ship? (more…)