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Utilities

If your computer has a multitouch trackpad or you own an external one, you probably use two finger swipes to scroll down a page, show the Notification Center and flip through your photos. But why not put your powerful trackpad to some real use with customizable gestures?

Today we’ll be comparing three apps that build on the functionality of the multitouch trackpad and improve it: JiTouch, BetterTouchTool and MagicPrefs. Want to see which one is the best?
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I adore my Retina MacBook Pro. It’s powerful and fast, and that display is beautiful. As an early adopter, I’m well aware of some of the compromises I’ve had to make for this laptop. Early adopters are different than the rest of consumers — we don’t care if we need to adopt hacks or special utilities for our new toys. We already own the future.

But those hacks and utilities aren’t always easy to find. That’s why we’ve compiled some insanely useful apps for your shiny machine. It took me months to realize I needed some of these, but especially if you’re a developer, you’ll easily see why you need these tools. Here’s the best little utilities to make your retina display MacBook even better.

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If you like to read on your Mac, then Apple’s WWDC 2013 announcement of iBooks coming to the Mac with OS X Mavericks was a breath of fresh air. Macs have had a great PDF reader — Preview — built in for as long as we’ve had OS X, but for ePub eBooks, we’re left to forge for our own best reading app. There’s tons of contenders, but very, very few exceptionally good apps in the category.

Even if you have Mavericks Developer Preview today, though, you still can’t get iBooks just yet. If you want to read eBooks on your Mac today, you need another option. And if your Mac can’t run Mavericks, or you don’t want to upgrade when it comes out, you’ll still need something else then.

That’s why we’ve got though every major eBook app for the Mac, tried them out, and put together the very best for you. There’s two standout apps, that we really recommend, and then others that fill in other gaps.

Here’s to the readers!

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It’s the eve of WWDC 2013, and Apple’s cloud sync platform, iCloud, is one of the highest priorities in every developer’s mind. It’s been 603 days since iCloud‘s launch and exactly 1 year 5 months after the App Store burst onto the Mac scene, and yet both feel like they’ve hardly moved forward at all.

Sure, they’re both widely successful, and the App Store especially has change the way we approach buying apps. But the App Store has also made it tough for developers to make upgraded versions of apps economically feasible, leading them to add in-app purchases for new features, or add their own subscription-based services to make money. Of the two, though, iCloud has been the most problematic, leading developers like The Soulmen to have to rewrite major parts of iCloud sync code to get it to work in their apps (Ulysses III, in this case).

We’re all hoping Apple significantly improves iCloud this year, and perhaps there’ll be major announcements about both it and the App Store next week. But there’s also alternates now. Aside from just relying on Dropbox for sync, the Omni Group has built their own iCloud competitor, OmniPresence, and Paddle is making it simpler for indie devs to sell their own apps with in-app purchases, outside of the App Store. (more…)

Earlier this year, I made the move to a MacBook Pro being my primary machine after years of having a desktop with a supplemental laptop. This change really just acknowledged the way I already used my computer since I seldom sat down in front of my several year old desktop. Over time I’d moved to doing almost all my work on my MacBook. In fact, for much of the last six month before making the change, the most common way I accessed my desktop was by remoting to it from my laptop.

This change lets me be more mobile and that brings a lot of freedom when working, but also adds a few challenges with having a computer that’s meant to be on the go. Over the last couple of years while gradually making the switch from my laptop being a supporting machine to my primary computer, I’ve come to use several apps that help simply the job. Let’s look at a few of them.

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Alfred’s an amazing tool for increasing your productivity, but you can only make the most of it if you’re trying out all the awesome user-created workflows available for download. Sure, Alfred’s pretty sweet all on its own–Pedro Lobo thought it was pretty wonderful in the AppStorm review of Alfred 2 last month–but you need to put in a little elbow grease to get the best experience. Or, you can let other people put in all the effort and enjoy the fruits of their labor!

Since Alfred 2 was released, a ton of workflows have been uploaded and shared on the Alfred forums, GitHub, and elsewhere. I’ve gathered together sixteen great workflows to help you get more done with Alfred. (more…)

Whether you are at school, work, or home, locking your screen can help you keep your apps, documents, personal information, and passwords safe from unwanted intrusions. You can rather quickly lock your Mac screen by pressing Ctrl+Shift+eject (or power on newer MacBooks), but that’ll only turn off your screen and then let you see the login screen when you tap a key.

Today, we will look at Lock Screen Plus, a screen locking application that looks amazing when in use. But, is spending money for a feature your Mac already has worth it, even if the Mac’s implementation is basic? Let’s find out! (more…)

Did you know your MacBook Pro has a motion sensor? The hardware in your Mac – no matter which Mac you own – has some great features that you might have not even ever realized. We keep coming across fun apps that show some of the more unique ways you can use your Mac’s hardware, so we decided to put them together in a roundup.

Before we start though, we would like to point out that there are a couple handy articles throughout this roundup. These articles will help you enhance and customize the way you use some hardware features on your Mac. The rest of the roundup is filled with fun and useful apps that can make your Mac even more useful. With that, let’s begin!

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When you spend most of your work day in front of a Mac’s screen, you develop a system for being productive. Fortunately, there is an abundance of apps available for OS X that fill very specific needs and help keep you and your computer running efficiently. Some of the utilities that I use on a daily basis are rather expensive, such as 1Password.

However, I use dozens of utilities as part of my workflow that cost five bucks or less. Here are some of my favorites.

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A lot of us are going to make New Year’s resolutions this year, but most of us are going to find it hard to keep them. Whether we fall back into bad habits or don’t really commit to our resolutions in the first place, a lot of us end up feeling pretty disappointed in ourselves and more than a little disenchanted with the whole New Year’s resolution process.

But just like every year, the start of 2013 is a clean slate, a chance to start over. If you haven’t managed to keep your New Year’s resolutions in the past, you’re not alone, but with some help 2013 may be the year you succeed. We’ve gathered together some great apps to keep you on the path to resolution success, and with some planning and a bit of work on your part, 2013 may be the start of a whole new you.

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