Tag - Utilities
Behind every product Apple ever releases at WWDC, there are shortcuts. Little steps you can take to speed up how you work with them: methods to do things faster, to skip steps you don't need. They never get mentioned, except for now: our favorite tips are now in the new MacNN Pointers: Work Smarter with Shortcuts e-book, now available on Kindle and iBooks.
Back before we were all so hip and called everything an app, there were software applications, and there were utilities. An application was serious stuff that did serious work, and a utility was something that did just the one little-but-useful function. You could guess what happened next: the applications took on these functions, and utilities added the ability to do more serious work. This is where we are with GraphicConverter 10, which is the little utility that could -- and did.
You will never read a Hands On review that does not include the price. Of course you won't, but usually price is the least significant part: whether something is expensive or not, good software and hardware is worth anything because it is so very, very useful and you use it so very, very much. TextExpander 6 is very, very good. Yet this might as well be a Hands On review of the price, and the software's shift to subscription.
The library of Pointers e-books just keeps on growing: now there's a guide to those little extras that transform your Mac, iPhone and iPad. They're the little utilities Apple include, and they're the small applications that have earned a place in the hearts of so many of us. In every case, they are lesser-known, little written about, and yet also genuinely change everything. Now Pointers: Work Better with Utilities shows you what you've missed out on.
Nobody can teach you how to write and nobody can tell you the best way to do it, but that doesn't stop everybody trying. Including us. Blame editor Charles Martin, though, as he set out last week to show how you can use Apple hardware and a lot of software to create your own writing best practices but then specifically asked me to disagree.
Nobody writes the way you do. Just looking at the end result, at the words you choose to use and the sequence you write them in, plus the very topics that you decide to cover or explore, that is inevitably and distinctively you and nobody else. Then, the ways you get to that end result is probably unique: you'd think there are only so many ways of getting words down on Macs or iOS, but you'd be surprisingly wrong there.
This is a rubbish smackdown. Where's the drama? Where's the bit where one of these backup utilities gets voted off the island? Here's the thing, though: over the last month or so, we've reviewed three very powerful applications that broadly do the same thing. They all back up your data to external hard disks, and they all create ways that you can startup your Mac again even if your internal drive dies on you. Carbon Copy Cloner, SuperDuper, and ChronoSync are surely the leading applications in this, and they are certainly needed. We just wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't pitch them against each other to help you pick one.
Senators, Internet companies and citizens aren't the only groups issuing letters to the Federal Communications Commission over proposed changes to net neutrality. CEOs of major telecommunication companies have stepped in, issuing a letter to Chairman Tom Wheeler and the FCC commissioners, asking that changes in policy stay away from the concept of possible reclassification of broadband as public utilities.
Controls+, an app for OS X, is available at an introductory sale price since its launch at the beginning of the month. Priced at 80 percent off until Friday, Controls+ offers the features of iOS 7's Control Center, which includes quick access to commonly used utilities via a menubar icon. Controls+ presently includes brightness controls, a flashlight mode (white screen), screen saver locking, iTunes controls, and a timer. Its user interface emulates the visual aesthetic of iOS 7, with a compact drop-down menu for accessing all features. Currently available for download for $1, Controls+ can be purchased on iTunes.
Stellar Data Recovery, makers of Stellar Phoenix and other utility tools for Mac, has updated its Stellar Drive Toolbox to version 2.0, offering 12 "vastly improved utilities that have been made 30 percent more efficient, as well as a new bonus tool, says the company. The various tools in the kit include utilities to handle disk defragmenting, drive cloning, a raw data editor and others, now including a bonus "Data Encryptor" that lets users secure selected files.