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Computers should be so smart today, and yet, it feels like we have to babysit them, performing menial tasks, instead of putting the computer’s own power to work. We’re blown away by voice command apps like Siri, and yet our MacBooks that are far faster take more effort to use. There should be a way to automate it more.

ControlPlane is an open-source context-sensitive automation application. In short, what this means is actions can be triggered based on where you are, what you’re doing or when you’re doing it. There’s a vast number of ways you could put it to use, and it’s limited only by your imagination. So if your curiosity is already piqued, read on while I take you on a small tour.


Markdown is kind of a big deal right now. It’s one of the most popular ways to turn plain text into formatted text, and it’s showing up everywhere from blogging tools to note apps to comments online. The App Store is filled with text editors built around Markdown, each priding itself on having a minimalist interface that makes it easy to write in plain text. It’s hard to know the best one to use.

We’ve covered more then a few markdown apps in the past, and the list of Markdown apps is constantly growing. In this stage of the game, app authors need to create an app that stands above the pack to be competitive. Is Markdown Pro one of those, or just another editor in the pack? (more…)

The old days of Mac OS 8 and 9 are now far behind us, but there are certain features I — and many of my fellow veteran Mac users — still miss. Besides the fabled WindowShade, and Finder windows that behaved predictably, I long for the flexibility and power of the Control Strip, Launcher, and Application Menu. These have all been replicated in OS X to some degree, but sometimes the Dock and the new Apple Menu just don’t cut it.

Speedy resembles the old Control Strip, with a narrow bar of icons that each contain a separate menu, but it functions more like a Launcher and Application Menu combined. It offers a list of all running apps and open windows, quick access to your favorite files, folders, or recent/favorite web pages, clipboard snippets, workflows handling, and more. I’ve fallen in love with it. Allow me to explain why. (more…)

It’s really hard for me to find a personal finance app that draws me in, as I think it probably is for most sane people. So when our previous articles about popular personal finance apps were overrun with comments about You Need a Budget (commonly shortened to YNAB), I knew I definitely had to give it a try. The love that Appstorm users have for YNAB was overwhelming … and boy am I glad I gave it a try!

YNAB is a fantastic app which helps you to create, track and maintain a budget based upon their four simple rules of saving and spending. The software, which syncs between the computer and mobile apps, is wonderfully designed and incredibly intuitive. If you buy into the premise of the app, you can see incredible results. The constant reader plugs for YNAB now make complete sense to me – stick with me after the jump to learn why.


There is no shortage of so-called ‘distraction free writing’ apps for our beloved Mac platform, a trend that started with the excellent WriteRoom from Jesse Grosjean’s Hog Bay Software in 2008. WriteRoom was the original full-screen minimalist text editor that inspired many similar writing apps that fill the App Store today. The company later followed up with a plain text to-do list app, TaskPaper, and also released QuickCursor, a simple app to edit text from any text field in your favorite text editor. Hog Bay Software not only made it nice to write plain text, but made it simple to do so whenever you want for whatever you want.

After creating the genre, the little company now re-invents it with FoldingText, an incredibly easy-to-use combination of plain text based tools. Geeks, nerds, writers, productivity gurus, rejoice: a new plain text productivity platform is born.


If your day looks anything like mine, you probably spend a fair amount of time requiring some sort of time-sensitive response. Perhaps you need a file for work, an rsvp for an invitation or any myriad of responses. The problem, of course, is that once you hit send it’s qutie easy to forget about the message. An app to track replies to the message, then, is a great idea – and that’s where RSVP comes in.

RSVP is a unique Mac app. It integrates with Apple’s mail app via a menu-bar application and allows you to set reminders. The reminders track any responses to an email within a given time-frame, and send you a reminder at the end of the time frame if no one has responded to the message. It’s a simple app, but quite an ingenious idea. Stick with me after the jump to learn more about how the app works and what I thought of it.


For a lot of applications that save data, it’s difficult to accidentally quit; there’s going to be a prompt that stops us from making a huge mistake, but I’ve blown past that prompt to save when I was in a hurry more times that I’d like to remember. It’s possible to turn some of those prompts off, too, if you’ve gotten a bit cocky. You may be able to recover some of that, but it’s going to pull you out of whatever you were doing if you have to start even an internet browsing session over.

Helping prevent some of that accidental quitting is CommandQ. Never again will you attempt to select all (Command+A) and quit an important application with a rogue Command+Q keystroke. CommandQ makes it just a little more difficult to go for that shortcut, but does it really make a difference? (more…)

Students and professionals have a revolving door relationship with task and note taking applications. Very rarely is there one application that fits every need a user might have. SideNote was sent to us by developer Daniel Wee as a contender in this complex market. Contenders like Apple’s own Stickies – or powerhouse Evernote – make this a difficult space to succeed in.

Does SideNote have a place in today’s information collection station? Let’s take a look.


Remote desktop application Royal TS is one of the most powerful and feature complete RDP client managers for the Windows environment, and has just made its way to OS X. For IT administrators this is a huge boon for folks who prefer using OS X but had to previously rely on CoRD to handle our RDP sessions.

CoRD, the current de facto RDP client, does a more than adequate job with RDP sessions, so is Royal TSX worth taking a look in to and eventually paying the €20 when it’s out of beta? Read on to find out.


When it comes to keeping your internal hard disc drive clean, I think we can all agree that the most widely popular alternative for the Mac out there is CleanMyMac, an app that can help you free up disk space by find files that aren’t useful anymore

Today we are reviewing an app from the CleanMyMac developers that brings the awesome disc cleaning that made their main app famous to your external disc drives. It’s a small simple app that’s very fittingly called “CleanMyDrive“. Want to check it out?

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