With any computer, there are often some personal preferences in the way you work that make you think, “Wouldn’t it be great if only I could work differently in this one area.”
That, presumably, is what the developer of Switché thought about switching between applications. This inspired him to build a piece of software focused on enhancing and adding greater flexibility to the Command–Tab application switching method built into Mac OS X.
Switché introduces greater control to application switching and also presents a stylish Cover Flow view of the applications your computer is running. This review will show the immediate visual impact of using Switché, and also introduce the range of preferences that let you customize it to meet your particular needs.
I must be entirely honest – up until about two weeks ago, I was in the pretentious group of Mac users that never really maintained or “spring cleaned” their computer. Once or twice a year, this would catch up with me and I’d be occasionally fed up with Finder delays and general sluggishness (I blame my crazy tendencies to try dozens of new applications on a whim.)
About two weeks ago, as recommended by a half dozen of my friends (and the Mac.AppStorm review), I installed CleanMyMac. The application removed over 25GB worth of logs, universal binaries, drivers, multilingual support and caches. The amazing amount of space I got back, and the associated speed bump, was impressive.
However, paying money for cleaning services still seems very Windows-like to many Mac users. If you aren’t ready to install a shareware application, but want to take a look at cleaning out some of the cruft around your Mac, join me after the break to give OnyX a try!
If you’re an AppStorm reader, then there’s a good chance you are a Mac user. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you’re pretty happy with the experience. You’re probably wandering about this site, checking out a few cool Mac applications and maybe looking to learn a thing or two about your fancy machine.
The Terminal is the command line for your Mac and can be used, among other things, to really fine tune the Mac OS experience. Many are aware of this capability, but are a little scared to deal with the Terminal.
But what if there was a way to make all of those little system tweaks and changes while steering completely clear of Terminal? Well, read on to find out more about MacPilot!
An application launcher is something that a lot of Mac users won’t really worry about. After all, Apple was nice enough to include a handy little launcher (the Dock) with their OS. It’s pretty flexible and fairly feature rich. Why even look for an alternative? Because there are a lot of better alternatives out there. Let’s take a look at one.
Jump aims to solve some problems you probably didn’t know you even had. I have to say I thought I’d just grab the free version, check it out for a few days and be done with it in a week. That’s actually quite the opposite of what happened. Read on for the scoop.
When I first started this review of Afloat, I seriously wondered what on earth it was good for. An app that can let you keep windows stay on top of others or make them semi-transparent? Why? You see, I usually work on a 21″ iMac with an additional 24″ HD screen attached and – for work reasons – I am switching to a 27″ iMac. Screen estate really isn’t an issue for me!
But then I whipped out my 13″ Macbook I had an epiphany. All of a sudden, the ability to stack windows became useful. And then I discovered some more awesome features that I never suspected this little app could hold. Interested? Then keep on reading!
Have you ever wanted a fully featured command center for your Mac, allowing you to create a iCal event, control your iTunes library, or anything else? How about an application that lets you map all those commands to keyboard shortcuts, giving you access to them with only a few keystrokes?
Cockpit for Mac is all that and more. Cockpit is the perfect way to control all your applications and increase your productivity. Easily manage and add new commands with the built-in Actions builder, which uses Apple’s Automator style drag and drop to make both simple and complex actions.
“Tinker, v.: attempt to repair or improve something in a casual or desultory way, often to no useful effect.”
If I could get back just some of the time that I have spent tinkering with computers over the years, I think I might be able to extend my lifetime quite significantly. One of the great things about OS X is that it actually requires little tinkering (and yes, some systems do require quite a lot of it!).
If you simply hand over control to the operating system, things will generally run quite smoothly. This does, though, also mean giving up on some choice, and so some freedom.
There are many apps available that help you to change various aspects of your Mac’s appearance and the way it generally runs. One of the best, and widest known, is Marcel Bresink’s TinkerTool. Join us after the jump as we explore what this app can do for you.
Apple made a controversial change in Snow Leopard. It’s a fairly system-level one, though, so perhaps the majority of users will not have had any issues with it – but it’s made some experienced Mac users pretty unhappy. What’s changed is the way in which files open when double-clicked.
It used to be that OS X embedded what’s known as a Creator Code in new files, so that the system knew to open files within the applications that made them. Rob Griffiths published a discussion of this behaviour, and the changes in Snow Leopard, in Macworld back in September last year. Have a read of that piece, and the lengthy comments that accompany it, if you want to understand the issue better.
I haven’t been impacted by this change to a great degree, but one of the applications that comes up in discussion of ways of fixing the change, and giving back more control over what applications open files, caught my eye. Michel Fortin’s Magic Launch is a Preference Pane that lets you manipulate file-opening in ways that allow you a great deal of flexibility.
It solves the problem of Creator Codes being removed, but it also adds some excellent functionality, and that means it’s well worth a look even if you’re untroubled by the main issue it addresses.
Despite Apple having done a great job of streamlining the process of app switching on OS X, it’s easy to reach a point where having many applications open can become a jumbled mess. Making sense of a maddening scene full of application windows, open folders and several documents can make it difficult to get anything done.
Spaces was Apple’s answer to the chaos, but for those that don’t find it deep or intuitive enough, Many Tricks’ Witch may provide a way out. This is an app that promises to do a better job than Spaces, Expose and Command-Tab ever could in making switching through any open window elegantly easy.
And since Witch installs into System Preferences, the level of customization is pretty high, which can be a bonus for those looking to have maximum control of what’s open and where. Let’s take a look at how it works!