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!
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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!
After years as Windows only user, I came to the Mac shortly before Lion was released last summer. I was still so new to Mac OS at that time that I failed to notice many of the changes from Snow Leopard to Lion. I did notice the removal color from the icons in the Finder sidebar, however. Like many, I found the loss of color made it more difficult for me to quickly find the icon I wanted. The icons just blended in together more than they did before.
The color is still there. If you look under the Go Menu in Finder, the icons still show in full color. Apple described the change as designed was to reduce emphasis on the interface in favor of content. While effective for that, the loss of contrast didn’t seem worth the tradeoff. As usual, developers stepped in to restore what they saw as lost functionality. SideEffects restores color to the icons Finder Sidebar. How well does it work? Let’s see. (more…)
We all love our Macs, otherwise we would have opted for a different hardware/OS combo. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t great alternatives to some of Apple’s apps which are worth considering. The Finder, for example, is great for beginners, but for advanced or power users, it lacks.
Since we are fortunate enough to live in a world filled with creative and imaginative developers, there is an alternative, of course. Many, actually, but one of the best is Path Finder, now available in version 6 and it takes the Finder concept to a whole new level. Read on to find out how.