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On a fine summer day this year, I stood in front of my MacBook Air — yes, sitting had become tiresome — thinking of a way to make my process of reviewing apps better. Sure, there are lots of ways my workflow could be improved, but I had one element in particular that kept me from being a pedant: the unobtainable icons for iOS apps. I could review whatever I wanted, but how was I to get a quality 200 x 200 pixel image? I thought about it a bit and to no avail, then pushed on to another task that needed attention.

A few weeks following the transpiration of said events, I happened upon Retina Mac Apps, my new favorite place to discover quality Mac apps. Among the collection of beautiful icons was Pragmatic Code’s Crunch, an app that stood out by having an icon closely resembling the well-known home button found on iOS devices. I wondered, why would a Mac app have such an icon? After a bit of reading, I realized that this was the very app I had been searching for weeks before. So I downloaded it and have been using it regularly. If the idea of this app sounds like something you see yourself using, keep reading for a assiduous appraisal of the app and its worth. (more…)

I tend to just take quick glances at my calendar, checking the dates of events coming up or looking to see if I can fit something new in. Sometimes it’s a huge pain to open the app on my phone or computer, so I end up guessing whether I have anything on a particular date — which is a recipe for disaster.

What I need, I realized a few weeks ago, is a good menubar calendar that I can call on at a moment’s notice with a simple click of the mouse or tap of the keyboard. Qbix’s Calendar Plus fits the bill, and to sweeten the deal it includes great customization options. Let’s check it out. (more…)

When it comes to choosing a personal finance app for your Mac, you’ve got quite a range to choose from. We even did a roundup of 15 of the best candidates a couple of months back and picking one can be quite difficult owing to all the different range of features in each one.

Well, we can’t look at all 15 individually (otherwise we’d be here until the end of the year!) but instead we’re going to look at three of the most popular in a bit more detail, Moneywiz, iBank and Money, comparing the features and, most importantly, which out of these three is the best personal finance app for you.


Apple has been moving towards a more “mobile feel” with Mac OS for a while now. Lion introduced a few features like the Launchpad, Mission Control, and even some multi-touch gestures to make your Mac feel much more like an iPad or an iPhone.

The recently released Mountain Lion builds on that, by providing even more snappy goodies to the OS like increased compatibility with mobile devices through iCloud, a Game Center, social network integration, and, most notably, a newly introduced notification system called, quite fittingly, “Notification Center”.

How does it work? Where is it moving towards? What’s gonna happen to other apps, like Growl, that have done the same thing for quite a while now? Let’s take a look.


Ever wanted to search through a user’s old tweets? Or maybe you’ve thought about archiving your timeline (for posterity, vanity, or perhaps future analysis). Problem is, there’s no easy way to do it. Twitter provides no such tools to its users (not directly, anyway). Thankfully, there are plenty of third-party services and apps for archiving and searching both your tweets and other public timelines.

Tweet Cabinet is the first app of its kind that I’ve seen for Mac. It keeps a local archive of as many users’ public timeline as you desire, allows advanced searching within this archive, and does not require authentication — you don’t even need a Twitter account to use it. But it feels underdone, with a poor user interface and limited non-search filtering options. Let’s take a look at whether there’s enough here to make the app worth your while.

Some apps just don’t make sense at first. Grandview was definitely one of those for me. I love writing apps, and own almost every one available for the Mac. Yet, I could never wrap my head around the reason for Grandview.

Until I tried it out today, since its free right now in the App Store. To my amazement, it clicked for me. I’d still say it’s not for everyone, but here’s what I like about Grandview, and why I just wrote this article in it.


There have been many takes on Mac antivirus software over the years. Some people still refuse to believe that Apple’s prized computers can get infected, but the reality is that the Apple world is less secure than you might wish. ClamXav is a great app if you’re looking for some extra protections from the dangers out there, and it really works its hardest to keep your Mac safe. Our own Jorge Rodriguez reviewed this fine app at the beginning of this year, saying that “it feels trustworthy”.

But aren’t there some other worthy competitors to Mark Allan’s minimal virus protection approach? Why yes, and I think the most notable one comes from Symantec. It’s called iAntivirus. That’s right, the developer of Norton also made a Mac antivirus app that’s nothing you should overlook. It’s an extremely minimal approach with only four menu options, but there’s still a lot of protection offered. Let’s take a deeper look, shall we? (more…)

Typing has become as essential to life as writing and reading. It’d be impossible to use most tech products today without any typing skills, and if you use computers for any extended period, you’d better be fast while typing or you’ll quickly get left behind. Accuracy and speed are still crucial skills, even with AutoCorrect and speech detection built into OS X today.

Keys is an app that aims to get you typing faster than ever and to help you improve the accuracy of your typing. The average person can type around 50-70 words per minute, but with Key, you’ll hopefully be typing like the pros at 150 words per minute in no time. It might be the perfect app for back-to-school season, getting you ready to type up essays, or for any of us IT pros that want to speed up our typing. Let’s take a look and see if this is the app you need to make your typing more efficient on the world’s best OS for writing. (more…)

Bills are an inevitability of life, but spending a lot of time trying to keep track of them isn’t. It’s not unlikely that, throughout your life, you’ll have to pay mortgage payments, phone service contracts, credit card repayments, etc, and all at different intervals, costs, and dates. It can be a confusing financial landscape, but staying on top of things is something you have to do.

Enter Chronicle, a bill management software now in it’s fifth version that eases the process of keeping track of your due payments, and ones past. With the app, you can add payments of all sorts, be reminded when they’re due and log them once they’re paid. It’s on sell for just $9.99 to celebrate the new launch, and it’s a pretty nice, all-in-one solution, so let’s take a look. (more…)

Macs may be used by everyone from NASA to the White House, but they can’t shake the perception that they’re designer goods. People readily accept that Macs are good for creatives, but not for real business work, no matter how many times they’ve been proven to simply be great computers for anyone that cares about a good computing experience.

But maybe it’s because Macs are really just so good for creatives. There’s so many little things in OS X that make it great for writing, for one thing, that I think you can easily say it’s the best OS for writers. (more…)

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