It’s been just over a week since OS X Mavericks was released, and yet our analytics show that over 40% of you have already upgraded to Mavericks. That’s quite the quick switch, but then, Mavericks being free made it an easy jump. Plus, it looks and works practically the same as Lion and Mountain Lion, on the surface anyhow, so there’s not really anything new to learn.
But there is a lot of new stuff under the hood — and even closer to the surface if you look around. There’s the new tags and tabs in Finder, iBooks, Maps, and a new version of Calendar and Contacts without all the leather. Power users will love the new multiple display support, and developers have all kinds of new API goodies to play with. There’s even new fonts, and AppleScript support for Reminders of all things.
But sometimes, the things we thought were most exciting don’t end up being what we use the most. I was terribly excited over Finder Tabs, then ended up not using them nearly as much as I thought I would. iBooks, on the other hand, is my new go-to place for some inspiration and down-time distraction, and I’ve loved having it around as much as I thought I would. Apple even seems to think it’s a pretty big addition, and is featuring iBooks on the first screenshot in Mavericks’ App Store page.
So how about you? What’s your favorite feature in Mavericks after spending some time in it? We’d love to hear how you’re using the new Mavericks features in your work and play!
Finder’s demise has long been foretold. It hasn’t received much love since Snow Leopard’s release, and the addition of iCloud seemed to spell doom for the way we’ve always managed files. And then, WWDC 2013 happened, and the lowly Finder was back in the spotlight (ahem).
Some of OS X Mavericks’ most exciting new features are in Finder and the ways it can help you find and manage your files more easily. There’s tabs in Finder at long last, along with tags that happen to make iCloud files more accessible to other apps of all things. It’s time to take a deep look at the essential underpinning app to the Mac: Finder.
Cloud storage is anything but a panacea for small SSDs. You might have 25Gb of iCloud storage, or 100Gb in Dropbox, but you’ll need that much space free on your Mac to take advantage of it. Run out of local storage, and cloud storage will stop working for you too. On a mobile device, sure, you can use Dropbox without it taking up tons of local space, but on your Mac or PC, it’s either store everything locally too, or resort to using cloud storage from your browser.
It’s the failure of cloud storage, one that’s surprisingly not talked about that much. Evernote, Dropbox, and iCloud — even your email if you use a native mail app — all take up local storage, something that can become quite an issue if you have a 11″ MacBook Air with a 64Gb SSD, or even the more spacious 128Gb SSD that’s rather standard across the board these days.
The freshly released ExpanDrive 3, though, is at least a partial solution to this problem. It lets you mount Dropbox and other online storage services, and treat them like an external HD. All the cloud storage goodness, without taking up extra local storage on your Mac.
About a year and a half ago Apple revealed iCloud — its cross device syncing solution. With iCloud we were supposed to be able to easily sync and edit documents on all of our devices. While iCloud has lived up to this promise in many regards, iCloud document syncing is different from other syncing solutions in that it does away with the traditional file / folder paradigm and stores documents “in the app.” While this approach works well most of the time, other times, it is nice to manage documents and folders outside of iCloud’s in app interface.
That is where Cloud Mate comes in. It’s well known that you can manage iCloud documents from the Mobile Documents folder hidden away in the Library folder, and there are also free options like Plain Cloud that clean up the messy file names you find in the Mobile Documents folder. So what does Cloud Mate add that theses other solutions don’t have? Read on to find out and see if Cloud Mate can solve your iCloud document management needs.
iCloud promises much. Apple build the service not only to store your content, but to ensure that content is available on whatever device you’re using at the time. It gives you an easy way to keep app settings and the documents you’re using synced between your devices using the same apps, but since iCloud syncs files specifically for each app, it makes it hard to use documents in other apps.
This can be frustrating to experienced users used to moving between apps for different elements of their work. Here, the simplicity of iCloud can frustrate more experienced users by hiding some of the complexity of cloud storage. Some apps allow ways to move files out of iCloud and to your local device, but it would be nice to be able to do this from Finder directly. Plain Cloud is a simple and free app that promises simple access to your iCloud in Finder. Let’s see if this is the solution we need to solve iCloud’s complexity.
Last month I looked at a couple of programs to improve the experience with Finder on your Mac. Several readers mentioned XtraFinder in the comments to that post. This program appeared to be very similar to TotalFinder so I decided to take a look at the program to see how it compares to the other Finder tools already examined.
Finder is the first element of the Mac OS you interact with after booting your computer. On a fresh Mac with nothing installed, it is the only program that starts automatically. It’s such a central component of the system that you can never close it, and only restart it. Finder lets you mange the files and documents stored on your Mac. It’s where you interact with files, disks, and network volumes and therefore the main way to find your files and documents for all users and how you keep things organized the way you like.
In spite of this ubiquity, Finder has rough edges. For the power user there are many lacking features that would save time and speed up common operations. Two programs look to extend Finder by adding additional features and functionality. TotalFinder expands the functionality of Finder while Path Finder provides a full alternative to Finder with many additional features and functions. How helpful can they be? Let’s see.
This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on July 7th, 2011.
The Finder and I go way back: from my family’s ’96 Performa to my MacBook Pro, I’ve used it to navigate my Mac for well over a decade. Since the initial transition from OS 9 to OS 10, I would argue that the way we use the Finder has changed very little, and a lot of what has changed is purely aesthetic. Though I now have the option to browse through my files with Cover Flow or create smart folders, I still use the Finder in pretty much the same way as I did 10 years ago.
I’ve been very disappointed to see that the Finder hasn’t seen any major improvements in recent versions of OS X, but that doesn’t mean 3rd party developers aren’t hard at work to continue where Apple has left off. Cocoatech’s Path Finder has been around for quite some time and ambitiously tries to replace the Finder altogether to create a more modern, usable means of navigating your computer. Find out if Path Finder successfully replaces the ubiquitous Finder after the jump!
Our Giveaway is now closed, and congrats to our winners! Stay tuned for more great giveaways we have coming up soon!
Earlier this year we reviewed Gemini, the duplicate finder, and came to the conclusion that it was a pretty great app. It worked incredibly well at finding any duplicated files on whatever disk you threw at it. That’s not to say it didn’t have its faults, but the folks at MacPaw have worked hard on flattening out the creases and have produced a great free update to their beautiful app.
Let’s take a look at the new features in Gemini, and see why it’s still one of the best ways to clean up duplicate files from your Mac. Plus, we’ve got 5 copies for our readers, so keep reading to see how to enter our giveaway!