OS X is already powerful by itself, and it’s packed with a lot of built-in apps that can help you accomplish everyday life tasks. However, it’s only when you’re using something like Alfred, LaunchBar or Quicksilver that you actually unleash the full potential of your machine. Things that are already simple on your Mac turn into lightening-fast tasks with these apps.
Though Quicksilver has been available for 10 years, it’s been kept a bit too much under the radar compared to its alternatives like Alfred. By popular demand, here’s our in-depth dive into the original app that puts “Mac OS X at your fingertips”. Let’s give this gem of an app the love it deserves.
When you’re a small business or freelancer, keeping track of invoices and estimates ensures an easier time for both you and the taxman. What’s more, poorly designed invoices can deter clients, both existing and potential, from future business. While Pages and Microsoft Word are certainly ways to create better looking invoices, there are more suitable apps available. One such app is Billings Pro, a tremendously popular app that takes invoicing to a whole other level. However, the app is subscription-based, something that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Enter GrandTotal, an app that offers much of the same functionality at a one-off cost. Despite its rather bland interface and seemingly overwhelming array of options, GrandTotal isn’t your traditional invoice generator. It’s a fully fledged invoice and client management app that not only creates some great looking paperwork but lets you keep track of payments and outstanding balances, as well as managing an inventory.
Minimalist writing apps have taken the App Store by storm, from the extreme of iA Writer’s entire lack of settings to full-featured writing environments like Ulysses III. It’s great to write without worrying on your final formatting, focusing instead on your actual words. Eventually, though, you’ll need to export your work to publish it on the web or in print. Your writing app likely includes a number of basic export tools, but for serious writers that want the best export options, Brett Terpstra’s Marked app is the best tool in town.
Today, it gets even better, with the just-released Marked 2. It’ll preview anything from a draft blog post in MarsEdit to a whole folder of Markdown documents, show you your overused phrases that’d be best cut out of your document, and give you the best exports with MultiMarkdown 4.2 support and the option to save in DOCX, paginated PDF, and much more.
Doo is an all-new document management app that promises to provide access to all your important files and documents within a single app, keeping everything organised. Think of it as Evernote just for your documents, allowing you to keep everything in sync across multiple devices with little to no effort required.
It’s latest version was recently released for the Mac, so we wanted to dive in and see how it holds up in today’s world filled with a mixture of computers and mobile devices. Here’s what we found.
We reviewed iDocument earlier this year and whilst it was a very capable app, some of our readers weren’t able to get on with it, whether it was due to the way it handed their documents or ongoing performance issues.
The developers, Icyblaze, seem to have been taking all the feedback on-board and have recently released iDocument 2 — a complete reworking of the original app. I’ve been taking it for a spin to see just how different iDocument 2 really is from its predecessor.
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.
For the past five years, I’ve been relying upon FileMaker’s Bento to manage structured data on my MacBook. Unfortunately, the Apple subsidiary recently announced that it was ending development of the friendly database application. The company will stop selling Bento after September 2013, and will end user support after July 2014.
It’s time for a new simple databasing app for the Mac. In this review, I’ll be looking at an indie database app called Tap Forms to see how it stacks up as a Bento replacement. It looks promising — and hopefully it can eventually take the Bento crown. (more…)
When I first started using a MacBook after years on PC laptops, I instantly noticed the better trackpad. After becoming used to gestures on iOS devices being able to bring some of them over to a laptop seemed a welcome idea. Scrolling by dragging two fingers on the trackpad worked much better than most other methods I’d seen on laptops before. It’s these subtle enhancements to getting around Mac OS that I really feel separate using the MacBook from other computers. Still, Mac OS X supports only a few gestures by default and it would be nice to have more options.
I find tools that speed the small things to be very beneficial. It may take only a few seconds to move and resize a window, but I could do that dozens of times a day which quickly adds up. So I always look for utilities that can ease this process and help me be more efficient when working on my computer.
Enter BetterTouchTool, an app that lets you create custom actions for gestures using your Magic Mouse, Macbook Trackpad and Magic Trackpad. We’ve mentioned it in roundups and more a number of times, but haven’t reviewed in depth by itself. Let’s correct this and take a look at this useful free tool.
In my constant search for new apps that are worthy of a review, I stumbled across a pretty minimalistic to-do app called Done in the Mac App Store. After a few weeks of trying it out, I’ve found myself using it almost everyday and preferring it over my usual to-do app, Wunderlist.
This got me thinking about similar minimal to-do apps like Clear, and where they might fit in a workflow. Are they really necessary? Are they just surrounded by hype? Why would you pay for a premium for an app like this?
Here at Mac.Appstorm, we love finding apps that can simplify our work — especially when it comes to Markdown writing apps that make it easier to craft our articles. We’ve looked at 35 unique Markdown apps for the Mac — a series of editors, previewers, and other categories where Markdown can be applied. Adding to the list is 9Muses’ Erato ($5.99). It’s a simple and minimalistic app designed for editing and viewing your Markdown documents side-by-side, following the split-screen concept adopted by apps like Mou and Markdown Pro.
Besides its beautiful and simple design, what sets Erato apart is how it offers additional support for Github-flavoured Markdown syntax and YAML front matter. But while these may be its unique selling points, Erato as a Markdown editor isn’t as powerful as Mou or other more robust editors. And after testing the app, I realised that it still has to iron out a few bugs, particularly with how it converts Markdown to HTML.
Let me walk you through the app to show you what I mean. (more…)