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DaisyDisk Helps Keep Your Hard Drive Fresh
December 17, 2013
Since the dawn of personal computing, managing storage has been a persistent challenge. Certainly the pressure has eased up on the desktop with the proliferation of 1 TB hard drives, but for laptops and lightweight notebooks, the struggle continues. One of the problems with grappling with all the data on a hard drive is transparency. Eyeballing thousands of file names in the Finder is both tiresome and inefficient.
MacBooster Can Help Keep Your Mac Humming
November 26, 2013
Surf over to the Mac App Store, and you'll find plenty of utilities for keeping your Apple personal computer in tip-top shape. There are tools for freeing up RAM and cleaning files from disks and thoroughly uninstalling apps. Have you ever wished, however, that you had a an app to perform all those tasks under the same hood? IObit is doing that with MacBooster.
Apple Sheds Maps Humiliation and Gets the Last Laugh
November 14, 2013
Apple angered millions of iPhone users -- and baffled millions more -- when it ditched the generally functional built-in Google-based Maps app in favor of its own. That was last year, when it introduced iOS 6. Howls of anger rocketed across the Web, and fanboys of other platforms -- including some Apple enthusiasts -- started tracking Apple Maps fails.
Thunderbird Lets You Fly Through Your Email
November 12, 2013
Mail clients have lost their luster in recent times. Between social media fulfilling the messaging needs of many people and webmail's growing popularity, desktop email apps are beginning to look passť. Still, email clients have their adherents. I count myself among them. I like the idea of having all my email on my computer, not in someone's cloud where someone I don't know might peruse it.
iPhone Teaches Mac a Thing or Two
October 24, 2013
The Mac came first, but the iPhone and iPad are what rocketed Apple to the top of the consumer technology mountain. The thing is, while the iPhone is a great phone, the head-scratching success of Apple's mobile device sales is only partially due to the hardware and OS itself. Apple's success is all about how well Apple creates, connects and distributes its entire hardware and software ecosystem.
Apple Plays the Free Card
October 23, 2013
Apple threw down the gauntlet to the PC industry and aimed some veiled barbs at rival Microsoft at a Tuesday launch event to refresh its software and hardware lines. Apple announced new editions of its iWork and iLife suites, which will come free with any new iPad, iPhone or Mac. Further, all of its customers can upgrade to OS X Mavericks, the latest version of OS X, for free.
You've Got to Touch Apple's Airy New iPad to Believe It
October 22, 2013
In a flurry of presentations at its special media event on Tuesday, Apple introduced new iPads, MacBook Pros, the Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks -- available immediately, and free -- as well new generations of iWork and iLife app suites. The biggest buzz comes from Apple's brand new iPad, the iPad Air, which is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the fourth-generation iPad that it replaces.
Default Folder X Gives a Power Boost to Everyday Ops
October 22, 2013
How many times a day do we open and save files on our Macs? The operations are so common, we don't think twice about doing them. Fortunately, the folks at St. Clair Software have cooked up an app to improve them. Default Folder X is available from the company's website for $34.95, although you can try it free for 30 days. What DFX does is add features to Save and Open dialog boxes.
Cloud Mate Makes iCloud a Breeze
October 15, 2013
For a company that prides itself on creating intuitive applications, Apple stumbled when it created iCloud. As a Dropbox user, I found little in iCloud that I needed. In fact, finding iCloud on a Mac can be adventurous, although it has a nasty habit of showing up as a default save location when I want to save a file from an app to my hard drive. Cloud Mate aims to take some of the mystery out of iCloud. It gathers up everything in your iCloud and displays it in a single Finder-like window.
Shadow Puppet Makes You the Narrator of Your Life
October 07, 2013
Despite the nonperfect and confusing name, Shadow Puppet is the best new app I've seen in weeks. Basically, Shadow Puppet lets you select photos from your iPhone or iPad and then record audio as you talk over them in a slideshow that Shadow Puppet turns into a shareable video. Along the way, you can tap to highlight certain areas of a photo and, better still, you can zoom in and move the photo around.
Text Extractor Yanks Aching PDF Problem
October 01, 2013
Nobody likes shuffling through paper documents to do research on anything. Even if you have a big desk, its surface can get cluttered quickly. That's why PDFs are so alluring. Adobe's cross-platform file format provides a convenient way to turn paper documents into more manageable digital ones. There's a hangup, however. Some PDFs are more like picture files than word processing documents.
A Twist of Timelime Makes Time Tracking More Fun
August 20, 2013
Let's face it. No one likes keeping track of time spent working. If you're a professional like an attorney, you may be able to pass the task off to someone else. Most of us, though, have to go through the grind of keeping tabs on our work hours ourselves. Some of that grind can be reduced -- maybe even become more enjoyable -- with Timelime.
Arq Saves Your Data for a Rainy Day
August 13, 2013
There are lots of free places and free programs to back up data from your Mac so why would you want to pay $40 for software plus $0.095 a gigabyte monthly for storage? The answer to that question may be a no-brainer for you if you only have a few gigs of data that need backing up. For people with larger demands, though, the answer may not be so obvious.
Dialogue's Great if You Love the Sound of Your Own Voice
August 12, 2013
Dialogue is a new app in the Mac OS X App Store that lets you place and answer smartphone calls on your Mac. So why do you need to take calls on your Mac when an iPhone is already super portable? Sometimes your iPhone is stuck in a pocket or inside a backpack, bag or purse. I mean, not my purse -- I never put my iPhone in my purse. Still, the phone isn't always handy.
TotalFinder Adds Oomph to Apple's Adequate Native Navigator
August 06, 2013
Without a doubt, one of the most frequently used programs on a Mac is the Finder. That's because files remain the milk of personal computing interfaces, no matter how hard designers have tried to hide it. Finder performs basic navigation functions well. It will display files in several ways, let you move and copy files, compress files and archive them, and empty the trash.
iWork for iCloud Beta Gives a Tantalizing Hint of What's to Come
July 30, 2013
Google has Google Docs. Microsoft has Office 365. Now Apple has iOffice in iCloud -- almost. Apple has begun sending invitations to iCloud users to try out the new versions of the programs in its iWork productivity suite -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote. The editions of the iCloud programs are in beta, but you only have to work with them for a little while to get excited about their potential.
Ember for Mac May Fire Your Imagination
July 24, 2013
If you're the kind of person who finds visual inspiration on the Web, where photos and layouts and color schemes feed your soul and generate sparks of ideas, you may warm to Realmac Software's Ember for Mac, a digital scrapbook now available in the Mac App Store for $49.99. Ember lets you generate and store images from websites and then lets you organize and categorize them into collections.
Eternal Storms: A Little Flotsam and Jetsam With the Cool Stuff
July 23, 2013
Independent software makers are the backbone of any platform's ecosystem. They've made Apple's app stores exciting places. "There's an app for that," as Will Sonnett used to say, isn't brag -- just fact. One independent code warrior who recently caught our eye is Matthias Gansrigler, the principal of Eternal Storms Software. Gansrigler's apps for the Mac are narrowly focused but inventive.
Briefly Transforms Images of Your Life Into an Ecstatic Blur
July 22, 2013
Before now, it never even occurred to me to try to show 500 photos in under a minute -- or thousands of photos in just a few minutes. Briefly lets you do that. How? By quickly and easily converting gobs of photos into a "still motion video." Oh, and the per-photo slide duration is fast. Really fast. Sub-second fast. The feeling was all amped-up anticipation, but then boom, it was over.
Apple Taps Locationary to Get Maps in the Right Place
July 19, 2013
After suffering considerable backlash for the mapping technology it included in iOS 6, Apple has now brought in some expert help. Specifically, it has acquired Locationary, a startup that takes a crowdsourcing approach to map data. Locationary's Saturn technology uses Big Data to fill in the blanks in maps. In this case, the Big Data in question is provided by users.

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