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Apple products have long been hailed as great tools for education.  It hasn’t been too long since I was a student myself, and even since then some of my favorite Mac software has been apps aimed at students.  Because developers see the market for this, students have access to great apps like iProcrastinate for task management, Papers for project management, and even Schoolhouse for all-in-one student productivity.  If your academic app arsenal lacks a good note-taking app, Dear Panda aims to fill that gap with CourseNotes.

CourseNotes is a lightweight, yet robust note-taking app for students.  It is designed to eliminate the hassle of keeping track of your notes by organizing them into subjects and sessions, as well as making them fully searchable.  CourseNotes also has a companion iPad app that syncs with the Mac counterpart, but more on that later.
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Keeping files synced between different computers, servers and external drives isn’t the easiest task in the world. You constantly have to compare multiple versions to see which is the most recent and spend far too much time manually copying files from one location to another. This is especially true of web developers who work locally and then have to push those changes to the web for testing.

With FolderWatch, virtually all of the work is removed from this process. After a simple setup process, FolderWatch will keep an eye on the specified folders and sync any changes automatically.

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It seems like there is a sector of Mac software that can bring out the hidden enthusiast in any of us.  There are media player apps, productivity apps, finance apps, and even apps to organize and catalog all of your real-world belongings.  Sometimes, however, the most interesting apps are the ones that take an activity that we often don’t think about, and do something completely different.  Today, the app in question caters to our inner weather junkie.

Swackett touts itself as “a different kind of weather app,” a category into which it fits quite nicely.  Checking the weather before heading out for the day can be quite a time consuming task.  When you live in a place where the weather could change at a moments notice, a “Today’s High” isn’t enough to determine what outfit will be appropriate.  Swackett aims to remedy the tedium of climate calculation by presenting the day’s weather to you in terms of your wardrobe, rather than simply in degrees.
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In the five hundred years following Johann Gutenberg’s invention of the first practical printing press in 1447, the methods through which people have received and digested news saw little change. The story of man has been chronicled by newspapers for generations and the tangible product of paper and ink faithfully recorded revolutions, inventions, tragedies, and triumphs for countless people.

Fast-forward to a mature Internet age and things are most definitely different. Newspapers still have an important place in society, but the patience required for reading each page is slowly dwindling, in favor of news as it happens. The continued adoption of the Internet as a medium of reporting has made the press more free than ever before, but the trade-off has been a perceived loss of quality in the reading experience. Pulp aims to change this by delivering an RSS App that combines the pleasing user experience of Gutenberg’s venerable creation with the speed, portability, and breadth of content only available in the Internet age.

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There is quite a bit of screenshot functionality built right into OS X. Using global shortcuts, you can grab the entire screen, a specific area or even a specific window and place it either on your desktop or into your clipboard. Also, with QuickTime, you now have the ability to record everything on your screen to a simple movie.

Despite all this functionality, there is definitely room for improvement. Apps like LittleSnapper and Screenium give you tons of professional functionality, but will cost you a whopping $30. So where’s the happy medium of an affordable utility that still packs plenty of great features? Screeny attempts to do just that. Read on to see how it fares.

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I’ve been using Reeder since the very beginning, since back when it was just a wee little app with no subscription management or automatic refresh.

Since that first public beta, reeder has grown from a buggy iOS port to a fully-featured, beautiful Google Reader client. There’s no shortage of Mac RSS applications, and many have developed loyal fanbases across many niches. In this crowded market, can reeder really offer something new?

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To-do apps have such a big market, with new ones coming out almost every week. But what about a to-do app made specifically for students? Keeping up with assignments from all the different courses that you have as a student can be pretty difficult.

The app that we are reviewing today is called iHomework, and, as can likely be guessed by its name, its purpose is to help you keep up with your assignments.

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With the ever-increasing popularity of iPad apps such as Flipboard, and the impending decline of RSS, developers are becoming more and more aware that users want a new way to discover news online – Subscribing to feeds and trawling through thousands of stories is too time-consuming and isn’t a viable option in this modern world where time is everything. Users want to discover the news they want, and read it in an easy way.

This is where Mixtab comes in. Starting off as an iPad app, Mixtab has made the transition to Mac. Mixtab allows you to create tabs to browse news, based on what sort of news you’re looking for. There’s plenty of competition in this field, and I’m sure we’ll see even more in future years. So how does Mixtab compare? Read on to find out.

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There are already many options available to those of us who’re after simple writing tools. These apps encourage their users to focus in on the evolving text, minimizing distractions by cutting back both on visual clutter (I’m looking at you Microsoft Office) and on informational overload in the form of too many options and tweakable settings. We’ve previously reviewed Byword and Writeroom, as well as running a round-up that added a few alternatives. We also published a discussion piece on whether such apps are necessary, which got some interesting debate going in its comments.

Such apps abound on the iPad too, and on that platform one of the most popular choices has been iA Writer. Now Information Architects, the design firm that developed iA Writer for iPad has turned it into a Mac app, available for purchase on the Mac Appstore.

I’m going to settle down for a while, open up iA Writer for Mac, and walk you through its features.

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We all struggle with procrastination from time to time, especially when overwhelmed with the size or scope of a project. There have been a number of studies and books written lately about the benefits of working for shorter periods of time, with regular short breaks in between. In combination with setting specific small goals to accomplish, this technique is supposed to help you stay focused on the task without getting overwhelmed, and makes you less likely to procrastinate.

The developers of Vitamin-R aimed to create an unobtrusive menu-bar app to help you manage your “time slices” and breaks, while encouraging you to stay focused on small tasks. Vitamin-R integrates many of the ideas described by these new productivity techniques into its functionality, but can it really help you stay focused?

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