Two expensive apps, both alike in dignity
We have had rubbish smackdowns before. Really rubbish ones where if we didn't end up recommending every single thing in the fight, it was very close to every single one. It's not that we're too nice, though: it's that we pick excellent hardware and software for these smackdowns. This time, it's one on one. Mano a mano between two apps that have a lot in common and of which neither is so cheap that you'd buy them on a whim. It's Keyboard Maestro 7.0 versus TextExpander 5, both for OS X.
Use Hazel, TextExpander, Mail and a friend to help
You're rubbish with money, and that's one reason we feel a personal bond with you. However, you and we are also Mac users, and there is a way to get OS X to help us. It won't earn us anything, it won't save us anything, but if we work this right, then it will automate how we record our finances. That's a bigger thing than it sounds, because always knowing where you stand means always knowing whether you can afford that iPad Pro.
Small but revolutionary update
Once again, this app has had the tiniest of point number updates from 1.2 to become Workflow 1.3 but what it's added is hugely significant. Previously we've reviewed this and we've tried it out and we have completely understood that it is a marvel of automation for your iPhone and iPad. Intellectually, we understood that it meant you could speed up things, make a single button that launched complicated sequences involving different apps. We understood all this intellectually â€“ but now because of just one of the new features, we get it.
Fine update to a hidden gem
Keyboard Maestro 7.0 is not a showy app. Like every version before it, this new one has ever more power, ever more useful features, but exactly the same problem: it is genuinely so good you forget you're using it. This is a tool for making certain tasks easier to do on your Mac, to make a long chain of jobs be done with just a keystroke or two. It does that, it does that very well, but whatever keystrokes you added immediately seem to be what the Mac should always have done.
Disconcerting text editor gets even more powerful
If you've already used Editorial, just go get this update: we've nothing to tell you you don't know better than us. For you're the expert, and we're at the stage of comprehending -- and maybe even appreciating -- what this text editor is capable of, but not yet being able to exploit it. Editorial 1.2 is an excellent evolution for the app's fans, but perhaps it's also a prod for the rest of us to take another look at it and see what the fuss is about.
Microsoft HomeOS now deployed in 12 test homes
Microsoft has published a new white paper (pdf) on its Microsoft Research site detailing how its HomeOS would work to make home-automation a reality. To explain its concept, Microsoft’s researchers frame the HomeOS as being a ‘PC-like abstraction’ for in-home devices. In this paradigm, consoles, routers, PCs, printers, smartphones, air conditioners and light, for example, would all appear to the HomeOS as peripherals connected to a central interface.