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Remember when being able to use Apple’s iLife suite was almost enough to convince you to buy a Mac? Editing videos in iMovie with a simple user interface; uploading content to the Internet with iWeb; and instantly improving pictures of your friends with iPhoto. Those days have come and gone, but of those apps, iPhoto still had the biggest hold on me. That is, until I found Lyn, a photo library app for Mac.

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Taking down notes, whether by hand or on my computer, has always been an integral part of my workflow. Capturing information wherever and whenever, notes always in handy considering that I have such a short memory span to work with.

As such, note-taking apps like NotesTab are of great interest to me, and since version 3 of FIPLAB’s note-taking menu bar app is available for download, I thought I’d take a look at what has changed and what features were added since reviewing it a couple of months back. Likewise, the pro version offers several additional features to make the note-taking experience even better, which I will touch on later in the review. If you’re hesitant to spend an extra $4.99 for the upgrade, but would like to know what you’d receive if you do, read on.

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There are a lot of ways to manage how you interact with coworkers and people who are helping you with a project. Before the days of computers, you had to fax them a daily plan, call them up and discuss things, or even mail them a letter containing details. And if they lived next door, you could always walk over there. Now, however, things have been modernized and we have wonderful tools like Basecamp at our disposal. It was one of the best, until Kickoff 2.0 went into public beta.

Released in the first half of the month, the app is a completely revamped version of its collaboration predecessor. From the design to the features and way you do things, the app has been changed. We reviewed the original one back in 2011, but now design has become more important and developers are distinguishing their user interfaces from what Apple sets as a standard. The question you probably have is, what’s so different about this app that makes it worth upgrading?

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If you test anything on the internet, and you have to do it in multiple browsers, you know what a pain that can be. You have to have a couple of computers on hand or be running Windows on your Mac. There are tools that make it all a bit easier, but nothing makes it entirely painless.

Sauce is trying to take the edge off a bit by adding support for nearly 100 browsers right on your Mac. How can this be? Devilry? Magick with a K? Maybe. We’ll find out and see if it weighs the same as a duck.

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We’ve previously reviewed Miro Video Converter, but the people down at the Miro mines have recently released a big update, and we thought it was worth another look at this tiny powerhouse of a video conversion app. Not only did they give it a brand new image, but they’ve added a slew of new features to match and that serve to make this app more than just a pretty face.

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A few weeks ago I reviewed ScreenFlow, a superb app that’s marked out as one of the best screencasting apps available. Today I’m going to review the other app that stands out as one of the best, Camtasia 2.

Camtasia is more well-known as a powerful screencasting app for the PC, but Camtasia for Mac is its almost fully featured counterpart built to run seamlessly on OS X. If you’re looking for a professional screencasting app, hopefully I can help you choose the right one for you.

Let’s take a look at Camtasia!

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I already have Caffeine installed on my computer and it’s pretty great – no more computer going to sleep while I’m watching a movie or reading a long article. Unfortunately, the problem with Caffeine is that I always (ALWAYS) forget to turn it off. That means sometimes I leave my computer open for hours and it just never goes to sleep. That’s not too good, so I decided I definitely needed to check out an alternative.

I recently heard about this cool new Mac app called Should I Sleep. It does the same type of thing as programs like Caffeine (keeps your computer from going to sleep while you’re using it), but rather than always staying on until you manually turn it off, Should I Sleep uses different sensors to prevent your computer from going to sleep. The sensors do things like detect sound and movement, to make sure your computer stays on where you’re around, but automatically goes to sleep when you leave. It seemed like a pretty novel idea, so I decided to check it out.

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There are a lot of ways to extract archive files, but if you want to see what’s inside of them first, you’re options are going to become more limited. And if you want to see inside something like a RAR, the field is going to narrow considerably. There are plenty of ways to do it from a command line, but for those of us who want to preview archives with a GUI, we haven’t had a lot of choice. Now The Archive Browser, successor to the popular extraction application The Unarchiver, let’s you do all of that with just about any archive file you can name. Is this just a rehash of its predecessor app or can The Archive Browser hold its own?

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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.

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“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…)

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