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.
Since the emergence of Dropbox, many cloud services have spawned all over the internet, and you probably use a few or all of them. From desktops and video games in the cloud to file-sharing, file-syncing cloud services, you are bound to have a membership to at least one – even if you didn’t intend to.
That isn’t a bad thing, though. As many of you may know, cloud services are extremely useful for school, work, or personal use, not to mention that the cloud will most likely be our future. Because of this, today we will cover the top cloud services and some applications that support them. (more…)
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.
Quickly and easily sharing information between Macs and iOS devices is something many of us need to do regularly. If you need to share a grocery list, link, phone number, library call number, or image file between a Mac and an iOS device, there are many options for getting the information on one device or the other. For example, you can email it to yourself, make a new note in one of the many cross-device syncing notes apps, or edit a Dropbox file.
But what if sharing that information were as easy as copying it to the system clipboard? The three apps included in this comparison review—CloudClipboard, CloudClip Manager, and Cloud Clip—all use iCloud to sync your clipboard between Mac and iOS devices. (Yes, it was hard to keep these straight for the review.) This can potentially make sharing that grocery list between devices much easier, but which app should you go with? Read on to find out our top choice.
What’s the best way to quickly annotate a picture or sketch out an idea graphically on your Mac? A couple years ago, most of us would have quickly responded “Skitch“, but after Evernote bought out the popular image annotating app and redesigned it last year, it’s not quite the exciting and useful app it used to be. There’s always Preview, but it’s a bit too structured (and limited) for free-form idea sketching.
Aged & Distilled has entered the fray with their new app Napkin. It’s a totally new way to communicate visually on your Mac – using the old metaphor of sketching an idea on a napkin – that’s good enough to already be listed as the Editor’s Choice in the App Store. (more…)
Last year, one of the newest features Apple announced for the iOS and iPhoto was Photo Stream, a simple way to get the pictures you take on the go on your Mac. If you have an iPhone and take pictures all the time, but want to keep them on your Mac, it’s a great service … provided you don’t take more than 1000 pictures before syncing with your Mac.
It’s an interesting way to keep your pictures synced along with the rest of your files with iCloud, but most of us have many different ways we sync data already. From Dropbox and other online storage apps to social networks where we usually share photos directly already, there’s a ton of ways to get your pictures off your phone without syncing or using Photo Stream.
More interesting, though, is that Photo Stream could work just between two Macs, or a Mac and a PC with iCloud installed. That way, your most recently imported photos are on all of your devices, even if you don’t have an iPhone.
So do you use Photo Stream on your Mac? Do you find it very useful, or could you just as easily use something else? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.
Think of a typical task on your to-do list, and I’m sure there’s an app that can help you accomplish it. You’ve got Mac apps designed for a plethora of purposes, each designed to solve or complete different kinds of tasks in a number of unique ways. In fact, there are apps that are made to bring different standalone apps and services together to easily manage and keep track of. Off the top of my head are Words for save-for-later articles, MarsEdit for publishing to different blogging platforms, and Favs for all your social favorites.
For today’s review, I’ll be taking a look at Notesdeck for Mac, a relatively unique app that consolidates all of your iCloud, Dropbox, Simplenote, and Evernote notes into a single dashboard to view, edit, and sync in real time. Developed by Michael Petruzzo of Dark Heartfelt, it’s an app where notes—whichever service or note-taking app used—are editable and available at a click of a button.
With this concept in mind, can Notesdeck assist the everyday note-taking Mac user? How does Notesdeck fair in the productivity circle? Let’s find out.
You’re probably aware of Tiny Tower, a tycoon and management-style game from developer NimbleBit that recieved strong reviews and some pretty strong attention when it seemed Zynga blatantly ripped them off. Earlier this year, they released a new game, Pocket Planes, for mobile platforms which also received critical acclaim (scoring a full 10/10 in our iPad review) and got me seriously addicted.
When browsing the Mac App Store recently, I came across an interesting discovery. NimbleBit has brought the insanely popular game to the Mac in a port that even boasts syncing with its iOS brother. Let’s take a look and see how it stacks up to the well-recieved experience on your iPhone and iPad. (more…)
It’s time for a friendly reminder because Apple’s online storage service for iWork documents, the iWork.com Public Beta, is closing up this Tuesday, July 31st. As of July 31st, you will not be able to access any of the documents you might have hosted on the site as part of Apple’s universal transition to iCloud.
For now, there isn’t an Apple-powered alternative to iWork.com as Apple is yet to integrate iCloud even into it’s own, Mac App Store-distributed office suite. There’s a potential that’s going to change in a rumoured-to-be-very-soon update to the iWork suite that will see such integration (Update: as expected, iWork has been updated to work with iCloud and Retina Displays, but it’s still not a full new version of iWork), but, for now, it’s time to backup anything you may have saved and start looking at alternatives.
While recently reviewing Justnotes, a minimal Simplenote client for Mac, I remembered that I still had some data stored in Notes for iOS. Those notes have been around since iOS 4 and sync with email accounts that are set up on the device. However, Apple has now added a native Notes app in Mountain Lion. It syncs with iCloud and will one day be available on the web version of this celestial service as well.
Hopping back and forth between the two note services, I wondered which one I should keep around for daily use. While Apple’s solution does well for basic noting, it’s not the best app out there for more advanced users that avail features like Markdown formatting. On the other hand, iCloud Notes does have well designed native apps, the area that Simplenote falls short in with third-party clients similar to the aforementioned Justnotes. In the end, which one wins me as a steady user? The two services go head-to-head after the break. (more…)