App Deals This Week

After attending too many Thanksgiving parties and gatherings in America, it’s time to settle down in you New Zealand home. (That’s assuming you have one. If you don’t, don’t read these app recommendations and go buy one.) When you lean back in your familiar desk chair for your morning cappuccino and enjoy the beautiful sunrise over the Shire’s green mountains, it’s time to start reading this week’s edition of app deals.

Because, of course, you are eager to get some shiny new software from the Mac App Store, whether it disrupts your bliss morning or not. This week is especially profuse in such bargains, and even Pixelmator has graced us with another appearance.

Fantastical

Who uses Apple’s built-in ephemeris when something like Fantastical exists? It’s been deemed “effective and beautiful” by our Tessa Thornton, has a solid 4.5-star rating in the Mac App Store, and simply aims to impress advanced planners. But what really makes it so good? The easy event creation that takes place right in the menu bar. All you have to do is click the Fantastical icon, type what you want (Lunch with Matt at the bistro at 6:00 tomorrow), and press return. It’ll be added to your calendar and you’re all set!

This app makes creating events simple, extremely fast, and much easier than going to the Calendar app. While opening Apple’s Calendar and then clicking the + button to create an event isn’t necessarily slow, it isn’t a quick menu bar-click away, nor is there a quick shortcut to open it. Modifying entries isn’t difficult either because Fantastical supports all the advanced functions that Calendar has. If you’re worried that it’s not going to sync with your other devices, put that out of your mind: it has iCloud synchronisation and simply runs through the Calendar app. Flexbits’ app is just an extension of Apple’s, and it makes your Calendar much better. It’s half-price for a limited time.

Price: $19.99 » $9.99
Requires: OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Flexbits Inc.

Pragmatic! ToDo

In the beginning, there was Things. When it became a well-used app, the executives at Apple decided it was time the company put out its own task management app, so Reminders was born. It’s not that users needed something other than iCal/Calendar, but rather that Apple wanted to provide them with its own alternative to things like Clear, the popular iPhone list and task manager. When that came to the Mac, all hope of competition was lost, but then a smaller app called Mochi looked to be promising. Now there’s another one called Pragmatic ToDo.

The basic concept of this app isn’t a whole lot different from its competition, though there’s one thing that makes it stand out: the app is available free for a limited time. Like any task manager, Pragmatic ToDo is simple, spends its life in the menu bar, and tries to make everything as user-friendly as possible. While there is no iCloud sync like with Reminders and Clear, it’s worth trying something a little smaller than those two. This one’s interface and lack of features might just fit your minimal needs.

Price: $4.99 » Free
Requires: OS X 10.7 or later with a 64-bit processor
Developer: Flux Forge

Disk Expert

It could be that Disk Utility did not live up to the expectations of the Nektony team. Or maybe they just wanted to sort things out on their Mac’s hard drive — literally. The reason being whatever it was, Disk Expert is one of the best apps available to find out what’s taking up so much space on that bijou solid state drive of yours. Even if it’s just an external drive, or a CD or DVD, this app can scan it to give you a full directory-readout that shows what’s taking up so much space — and what you don’t need.

The developer claims it’s “the fastest scan tool”, user friendly, will help you remove all that unneeded junk cluttering up your hard drive, and also aids you in discovering files that are gathering dust. It will then organise everything by size for you to decide what you don’t wish to keep. Enjoy a beautiful, pearl-white hard drive when you’re finished. All this is only $6.99 too.

Price: $9.99 » $6.99
Requires: OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Nektony

Words App

So you have a Readability account, do you? Or was it an Instapaper one? It surely couldn’t have been Pocket, since there’s an official Mac app available for that. If it was one of the first two read-it-later services, I’ve got a treat for you today. NewNet Soft’s Words App is on sale for $1.99. It’s that app that connects all your favourite read-it-later services together to give you a nice reading list right on your home computer, or your notebook if you feel so inclined.

Lean back and begin reading with this nice-looking client. It supports all three of the aforementioned services, though if you’re using Pocket you had better just stay with the official app. Everything appears in what the developer calls a “library”. Your content is ready to read whenever you are, and there are also some handy ways to find the article you’re looking for. Keywords pop up in the right sidebar and a search function is available to help you locate that important piece from Marco Arment, or AppStorm. At one-third of its normal price, this app is perfect for your daily reading.

Price: $5.99 » $1.99
Requires: OS X 10.7 or later with a 64-bit processor
Developer: NewNet Soft

iWriter

At this point in the weekly deals, I usually give my partially-revised rigmarole about how valuable the simple Markdown editors are and how there are too many. “Well forget that”, I said today as I threw those thoughts into the trash bin. How about we just get on to the functions of this week’s distraction-free editor? It’s called iWriter and it’s developed by Emad Ali.

Despite its slightly tacky name and the fact that it hasn’t been updated in nearly a year, the app is actually quite good. It has all the things you’re looking for in a distraction-free editor: nothing, really. There are three simple themes for the background (if white does not suffice), a “focus mode” that dims all text except the current paragraph, and a cursor that resembles iA Writer’s. Other than that, it’s not the most original idea ever and it doesn’t really have a lot going for it at the usual price of $9.99. At $2.99, however, it’s worth a try if you don’t already have a serene Markdown editor.

Price: $9.99 » $2.99
Requires: OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Emad Ali

Pixelmator, Other Apps, and The End

We’ve reached the end of yet another weekly deals roundup. Of course, there are a few great apps from last week and ohers that remain on sale. One of them is Pixelmator. It’s $14.99 for the current version (a new one will be released soon) and if you haven’t already downloaded it, now would be a good time. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is still $7.99 if you have the graphics card to support it; 1Password has been $34.99 for the past week; and MoneyWiz is still $19.99 if you need to manage your finances by spending some money.

If there are any other deals you enjoyed reading about this week, do let us know about them in the comments. If not, see you next time.


  • http://shortofstories.wordpress.com Phillip Gruneich

    Am i the only person in the world whom can’t get along with Fantastical?

    • http://www.thepapermail.com Jacob Penderworth

      No, but what’s your reason?

      • John

        Still over-priced for what it is imo

  • Jackob

    mmm… Disk Expert!

  • José David

    Hey guys, how did you possibly miss mobileRSS?
    I was about to buy it, and found out it’s free at the appstore, it doesn’t say if it’s forever or not, but I’ve just downloaded it, and it’s beautiful. Thanks, Nibirutech guys

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