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There’s Google Drive and Dropbox and iCloud for storing your personal files, and CloudApp and Droplr for drop-dead simple file sharing from your menubar. But just when those seemed like enough, Minbox took the world by storm several months ago by privately sending files of any size instantly to your colleagues.

It turns out that even that isn’t enough. The brand-new Cloudup — an online file-sharing service that our Web.Appstorm review called a slick and elegant file-sharing service — has raised the bar with its Mac app. It’s the best of Droplr’s menubar file sharing with Minbox’ approach of instantly sharing without waiting for the upload to finish, combined with an intuitive way to share multiple files at once. For a beta app, it’s giving the existing simple file sharing tools a run for their money.

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I do some professional photography work when it’s called for (engagements, product shoots and sometimes event work), but I feel the need to clear the air even before it starts. I am as absolutely sick of terrible photo apps as you are. I hate all the photography apps that claim to be “the next big thing.” There’s a special place of disdain in my heart for photography apps that don’t do what they claim to do, or are, in effect, more time-consuming than doing similar work in Photoshop.

It is with this negative attitude that I apprehensively downloaded Beautune, a photography app meant to make cleaning up portrait shots as simple as possible. I expected to hate it. At the end of the day, I ended up falling in love with this app. Beautune is singlehandedly one of the best options I’ve ever seen for professional portrait retouching. Read on to find out what makes Beautune so, so good.

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I believe in the saying “A penny saved is a penny earned”. That’s because it has worked well for me in the past. Way back in 2010 I was making a decent amount money, but at the end of every month I’ll end up wondering where it all went. I don’t usually splurge on clothes, electronics and I‘m not someone who buys stuff on an impulse.

Yet, there was a big gaping hole in my bank account by the last week of every month. Frustrated, I decided to keep track of all my spending and see what eats into my earnings. Thankfully, I bought an iPhone 3GS at that time and the awesome Moneybook app helped me track every penny and reign in my spending.

It’s my opinion that a mobile app is the best way to keep track of your expenses rather than a desktop or web app. You always have the mobile phone with you and there is very little chance that you forget to add an expense while on the go. However, using a desktop app can have its own merits besides offering a bigger screen real estate.

Direct connection to banks, better organization, advanced reports are some things worth mentioning. That’s exactly what Koku 2 promises to deliver. Let us see if it outweighs the experience of using of my trusted companion Moneybook!
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The epitome of a businessperson always used to be an employee of a Venture Capital company on Wall Street. When someone spoke about this sort of individual, you’d imagine them with short hair, always wearing a suit and tie, typically taking a taxi to the workplace each day, and maybe going out for nightly cocktails with equally important people at the karaoke bar a few blocks from work. This would be the typical stockbroker.

In his set of tools, the aforementioned person would typically have two displays at his desk always keeping an eye on the industries he’s responsible for. In the movie version of his life, at least, the stock app would look beautiful — but in real life, they usually look more like the LED ticker boards in use on Wall Street. There’s never really been a native Mac app dedicated to making stock market monitoring an effortless — and may we say, tastefully designed — task. At least, that used to be the issue. Visible Market, the developer of StockTouch for iPad, has recently brought its popular iOS Stocks app alternative to the Mac. It’s pretty, yes, but does it do the job?
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The RSS reader market was fully dominated by Google Reader for years, and the best native apps for RSS were all designed to sync with Google Reader. There just wasn’t any other way to compete. In that market, Reeder quickly won most of us over with its beautiful UI, something that other apps rushed to copy.

Then, Google announced that it was closing down Google Reader, and we all rushed to find another way to read our feeds. There’s great Mac-only RSS apps, like the new NetNewsWire 4 beta and the just-released Leaf 2, but that’s going to keep you from reading your feeds on the go. You’ll still get your feeds, but will have lost the ability to read your feeds from anywhere that you had with Google Reader.

Syncing’s tough, of course, and there’s so many popular services now you’d need to support. To that challenge, one unlikely app has risen to be the best-in-class app that’s the one app any serious RSS user on the Mac should buy: ReadKit. Now with the customizable sharing options you’d have expected from Reeder, it’s the one RSS reader to beat.

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Apple undoubtedly make some of the best keyboards, mice and trackpads that money can buy. Their Magic Trackpad is perhaps more a work of art than it is an input device. For those of us who, for one reason or another, prefer to use devices from companies other than Apple then you may find your options limited due to poor driver support or lack of customisation.

USB Overdrive has been around since the days of Mac OS X Jaguar, over ten years ago, and provides a whole suite of controls for customising your input devices. I spend some time with the app to see just how much we can tame our USB input devices.

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In the past few months, RSS has gone through a dramatic transformation from being a one-man show to becoming a free-for-all with many players in the fold. I know a lot of people on Feedly, but I ended up going with Feed Wrangler to get things done. I think the transition to privately owned content, instead of Google’s focus on ad-serving, is highly beneficial.

But that being said, some services have been replaced by apps who operate independently of any free or paid RSS service. These are app-dependent RSS feeds that operate independently of cross-platform services. The most popular of these is probably NetNewsWire, but with version 2.0 of Leaf RSS Reader, Leaf enters the fold as a prime contender. I imported my Feed Wrangler feeds to the service to give it a whirl.

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The least enjoyable part of setting up new computers is installing apps, for me anyhow. The Mac App Store makes this a lot easier, but many essential and valuable Mac apps are not present in the App Store either by choice from the vendor or due to the limitations placed on apps located in the store. Instead, you have to find the installer, download it, install it, then rinse/repeat a dozen times.

In the Windows ecosystem, Ninite offered a way around this problem. It allows you to install a number of popular apps from their library by running a single application. It’s simple and convenient, and made setting up a new PC or reinstalling Windows a little bit less annoying.

While you need to reinstall OS X far less often than Windows, it’s can still be a time consuming task when needed. Plus, you still need to setup apps anytime you get a new Mac. That’s where Get Mac Apps comes in. Their home page says “It’s like Ninite for mac!”, so let’s take it at its word and see how well it works. (more…)

I’ve been using Mac for years, but sometimes there are apps that everybody else swears by that I’ve never used. One of those apps is Yojimbo, which has a long history on the platform and is something many popular bloggers completely swear by.

Recently, Yojimbo was upgraded to version 4.0, which brings with it a new syncing option and — well, not much else. But in today’s day and age, is a service like Yojimbo still relevant when our Macs aren’t our sole tool anymore and we’re all using iPads and smartphones everywhere we go? Read on to find out what my thoughts are on the state of Yojimbo in 2013.

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Quick access to a reliable forecast is important for reasons beyond simply having some fall-back material during lulls in everyday conversation. Knowing what the weather has in store for your location can guide wardrobe decisions and help you decide on whether that picnic should be postponed to a drier day.

There are plenty of websites that offer accurate forecasts, and even Google can give you a quick-look at your location’s weather with a simple search query. Living Earth HD for Mac aims to keep you up-to-date on weather conditions without having to open your browser. Is it ready to replace your local weatherman?

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