It’s time for another “Ask the Editor” post today. A big thank you to everyone who sent in their questions – it’s great to have the chance to help you out with your Mac-related queries and quibbles.
Some of the topics covered this week include assessing the health of your MacBook battery, monitoring network traffic, pausing background applications, and picking a battery charger.
Read on for plenty of handy Mac knowledge!
Last summer, my MacBook was stolen. It had no protection, no password, no data encrypted, and the thief had access to all of my emails through Mail.app. I even found out that the thief, or the subsequent buyer of my beautiful Macbook, had been using my Instapaper account to bookmark his own webpages! (I have changed my password since).
After that horrible experience was over and I had my new Macbook, some of the first things that I did with it were increase its security, and look into theft-recovery apps.
Anti-theft apps, or theft-recovery apps, provide you with useful information, like location and IP address, once your computer gets lost or stolen. Some even give you access to your computer’s webcam, and a few take care of the whole recovery process of your Mac.
Keep on reading to see some of our favorite apps!
For many people, Christmas Day is a great opportunity to switch off completely. I always try to avoid using gadgets and technology, preferring to spend quality time with the people that I really care about. It sounds cliché, sure, but days like these are incredibly important from time to time.
We’re all permanently connected to the Internet, and our access to emails, social media, and the ongoing barrage of communication is no longer limited to “the office”. If you’re anything like me, it sometimes feels that your iPhone is physically attached to your body, following you around everywhere you go.
Sometimes, this is brilliant. Being in constant communication and always “plugged in”, gives us a connection to the world that people would never have dreamt of a few decades ago.
But it’s no way to live your life every day of the year.
Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, why not consider the 25th December a day to leave your MacBook lid firmly shut, turn off your iPhone, and just enjoy the day with family and friends? You never know – it might just be something you want to make a regular thing!
I think we’ve all been there. It just feels like its time for a new furniture configuration. The ideas are flowing. “I could move the chair over there and then the coffee table over here and then…”. Out comes the tape measure (maybe) and we start trying to figure out what would fit where and how it would all look.
You think you have it figured out, start moving furniture around and then realize that you’ve blocked half your doorway. Frustration ensues as you try to remedy your “design” and, after a while you end up back where you started and all you got out of it was a workout.
Maybe a little help is in order?
MyFourWalls is interior design and layout, modeling, and floor planning application. It’s basic function is to help you plan the interior design of your home, office, or any interior space. Without too much difficulty, you’re able to recreate the exact space and then play with different wall treatments, flooring, lighting and furniture layouts.
Sponsoring the site this week is a relatively new app from Realmac Software – Courier. This fantastic piece of software makes it easy to quickly share files, images, photos, movies, and more with all your favourite online services – including Flickr and Facebook.
It’s wrapped up in a functional and beautiful interface, capable of tracking where your file is sent around the world as it uploads. This is a great touch, and adds a physical element to the process of sharing content across your favourite social media sites.
Seven built-in plugins mean you’ll be able to start sharing in under 30 seconds – and with Amazon S3, Ember, Flickr, Facebook, FTP / SFTP, Vimeo and YouTube support, Courier has the most-requested services in the bag!
It’s rare that such an interesting new app graces the Mac software world, and I’d definitely recommend taking Courier for a spin if you haven’t already!
There are plenty of rumours surrounding how to take care of your batteries. I remember people used to say that whenever you buy a new product, you should leave it charging for at least a day, so that the battery gets “used” to having full charge. Some other people say that’s not necessary nowadays since new batteries are designed differently. The truth is, your battery will lose capacity over time; it’s inevitable. What you can change is how fast it deteriorates.
Today we’ll be giving you some tips on how to make your Mac’s battery stay in tip-top shape through a bunch of easy and fast actions like calibration. We’ll also be taking a look at some applications that can help you with this actions, including Watts and CoconutBattery.
Out of the box, your Mac will work absolutely perfectly—better than most other operating systems, in fact. It will also look wonderful, with teams of designers working hard to make sure your Mac experience looks just right.
And yet, there is even more to be got from OS X – whether it’s tweaking the design, or adjusting countless preferences, the Mac power user will always try to squeeze every last bit out of his computer. Developers know this, and there are a number of apps that make this an easy experience.
Refinery is one of these apps, developed by EZASoft. It focuses primarily on tweaking the appearance of your Mac, whether it’s the dock, Sidebar icons, your Login Window or your Dashboard, it tries to make everything look and work the way you want. Read on to see how it fares.
As another year draws to a close, it’s time for the inevitable “end of year bundles”! There are three to look out for this year – The Humble Indie Bundle, Fusion Ads Holiday Bundle, and MacUpdate’s December 2010 Bundle. Each of these offers some excellent software at a great price.
Read on for the lo-down on what’s available, an overview of how the (very unique) Humble Indie Bundle works, as well as a few links to our reviews of the software on offer!
Whether you are a freelancer or a working professional, screenshots have increasingly become a part of work. People who have used Microsoft Windows in the past should be familiar with Snagit. Snagit is a wildly popular screen capture tool developed by TechSmith, the development studio behind the famous screen recording and video capturing tool Camtasia Studio.
While Camtasia has been available for Mac users for a while now, Snagit has recently launched Snagit to compete in the ultra competitive Mac screen capture market. After the break, let’s take a look to see whether it could be your new favourite screen capture app…