The basic package of applications supplied with OS X is great for simple tasks and educational needs. However, when you’re using Macs as part of your business operations the basic package doesn’t quite hit the mark. This is perhaps a result of lack of features and Apple’s goal to make the software usable by anyone.
In this article I will propose SaaS alternatives to Numbers, Address Book, Calendar, AirDrop and FaceTime. These web-based alternatives offer an array of additional capabilities not found in your pre-installed OS X applications. Read on to find out more!
[Update] This post was originally posted on February 2nd 2012. It was updated on September 25th 2015 to add new business app alternatives.
OmniPlan is a popular and powerful productivity tool for Mac that helps you visualize, maintain, and simplify your projects. OmniPlan is a project management tool that lets you break down tasks, optimize use of resources, monitor costs and manage your project in a convenient overview of your plans.
Unlike browser-based project management tools such as Wrike, Mavenlink, or JIRA, OmniPlan runs straight off the desktop through the Mac app. It’s ideal for collaborating with colleagues whether it’s changes to schedules, project plans, or simply just to chat with them about something you’re working on.
As you would expect from professional project management software, OmniPlan includes Gantt charts, schedules, summaries, milestones, and critical path highlighting to give you complete control over your project. OmniPlan can be invaluable in helping you anticipate and eliminate problems by identifying bottlenecks, tracking budgets and distributing workloads amongst team members more fairly and efficiently.
How do you make teamwork on large projects easier and simpler? Slack is a productivity tool aimed at answering this question, by making collaboration simpler and more productive. Slack is all about increasing transparency and streamlining workflows on everything from small assignments to giant projects with multiple participants.
The Slack Mac app works by dividing projects into ‘Channels’. Each channel has it’s own searchable history, messages, comments, images, videos and rich link summaries. Channels can be integrated with activity on Twitter, Dropbox, and Google Drive all of which you can hook-up to Slack.
There are a lot of ways to manage how you interact with coworkers and people who are helping you with a project. Before the days of computers, you had to fax them a daily plan, call them up and discuss things, or even mail them a letter containing details. And if they lived next door, you could always walk over there. Now, however, things have been modernized and we have wonderful tools like Basecamp at our disposal. It was one of the best, until Kickoff 2.0 went into public beta.
Released in the first half of the month, the app is a completely revamped version of its collaboration predecessor. From the design to the features and way you do things, the app has been changed. We reviewed the original one back in 2011, but now design has become more important and developers are distinguishing their user interfaces from what Apple sets as a standard. The question you probably have is, what’s so different about this app that makes it worth upgrading?
Kickoff certainly had a bumpy launch a few weeks ago. The app got so many downloads that their server broke within a few hours of launching, and, as a result, many users where seeing problems with the app, such as crashing or no syncing between accounts. Then they got some unfortunate news that no developer would ever want to hear: Apple rejected the app when they tried to update it. The reason? It was a subscription service and was therefore not allowed in the App Store, despite being approved twice before.
This was surely an unfortunate time for Kickoff. Still, those guys wouldn’t take no for an answer. They have taken it all on the chin, as seen on their blog, and they now offer it as a direct download from their site.
So, has the team learned from their mistakes? Have they made the app more solid and robust to handle all of their traffic? Most importantly, should you invest your well earned money into their service? Read on after the break to find out.