Tag - Productivity
One person's essential Mac app is another person's waste of time and there is software that you cannot work without yet nobody else you know has tried it. However, this might be the one example where not enough people have even heard of it, yet it is software that should be an essential for everyone. If we were Apple, we'd want it included with OS X -- and that was back when we were on the old, ancient, dark days of version 3. Now Hazel 4.0.1 for Mac is out and it is much improved.
We'd like to say that having any To Do app is better than not, but there are some that are so bad that they test this idea to its limits. Still, the To Do list is a remarkable thing, and so much so that simply having it on an app can be enough to make you like these lists, instead of hate and avoid them.
Ignore that headline: there is versions of this task manager for iOS, but we're going to concentrate on the Mac one. That's partly because this is a serious trio of productivity apps, and we'll be stress-testing them all together for some time. However, it's also because Things 2.8.3 for OS X is the classiest To Do app we've seen.
This even looks like the kind of thing you'd have used in the Filofax era. The Parker Planner company says it began by making productivity tools on paper, and that the move to iOS was obvious. Yes. If they still sell any paper, the Parker Planner 1.7.7 app for iPhone is better.
If you've got a Mac and an iPad, think about the last time you did a lot of work on them. The odds are that you were more focused, that you concentrated better, and that you had fewer interruptions when you were on the iPad. That's because for all its new multitasking features, the iPad is meant to be used for one thing at a time. Those new features, and the fact that you tend to work on your iPad on the move, mean that focusing can be hard, though, and that's what Focus Productivity Timer 1.4 aims to fix.
On Thursday, Apple updated its iOS App Store to offer a special sale on productivity apps, taking 50 percent off highly-rated programs such as to-do list Clear, package tracker Deliveries, and a utility that turns an iPad into a wired second monitor for a Mac called Duet Display. Corresponding Mac versions of the apps are on sale as well, such as task manager Things. The sale, which is expected to last for a week, is a repeat of an earlier promotion along similar lines called "Get Productive."
So, with OS X El Capitan, you can now have half of your screen devoted to one app and the other half to another. It has been unexpectedly excellent for our productivity: somehow even more than just dragging two windows next to each other like we used to. However, if you don't know how to do it, it isn't obvious.. Plus, some of the things it does really aren't obvious either. Although some apps play nice with it and some don't even let you try, there is a surprising third class of apps that say they work Split Screen yet you'd never know because they need careful handling.
This is you. On your Mac. Countless apps open, endless windows, you have to dig through to find what you're doing next -- and then as you work, your eyes flick to that Facebook window over to the left, or that email inbox to the right. HazeOver: Distraction Dimmer 1.5 for OS X focuses you by making the document you're working on be clear and vivid, while the rest of your desktop is darker, dimmed, almost greyed out.
A standalone version of Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac has been released, on the same day Microsoft launches Office 2016 for Windows. Already available to download for Mac users since July as part of Office 365 suite, today's release is the first time the most recent version of Office is being offered for purchase on Mac without requiring the subscription, with both Office Home & Student 2016 and Office Home & Business 2016 versions being offered.
It's a big job, Getting Things Done. David Allen's clever system takes effort but it actually works and despite all the work you have to put into it, you do tend find yourself feeling lighter than you used to. Fewer things are pressing on your mind because you're handling them all. If the hardest part of GTD is keeping at it then we'd say the second hardest part is understanding Allen's corporate language. Hopefully we've dealt with translating that all week – including yesterday's coverage of the single most vital part of GTD – but now we want you to go do things. We want you to do them with our recommendations of specific Apple technologies and software.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives