Tag - Utility
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.
Usually when you say something is a niche product, you mean that even if it's superb, it's only ever going to be of use to a small group of people. In this case, though, a huge audience would benefit from TextSoap, but we'd bet money that it's a niche because only a small group of people realize they have the problem this solves. TextSoap 8.0.3 for OS X fixes issues some people don't notice, others put up with, and a small group of people have previously had to work hard to solve for themselves.
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.
There is a slim chance that you've never run nor heard of Apple's Disk Utility application. That chance decreases the longer you've had a Mac as this little app is the answer to so many issues. It's where you format new hard drives, create disk images, and where you used to be able to repair permissions if you needed to. If your Mac is doing something odd, you could run Disk Utility and have it poke about your hard drive, looking for possible problems, and often fixing them too. If you have many hard drives, such as in a RAID backup system, you lived in Disk Utility -- or you used to. Apple has radically remodelled Disk Utility in OS X El Capitan and that's got people steaming.
Perhaps you know a lot of people, perhaps you don't. Yet you can be pretty sure that most of the ones you do know have at least one email address, a cell phone, a work line, maybe even a fax if you remember those, plus a website and a Twitter address. Lots of people times lots of contact details means it can take ages to get to the person you want. The newly updated iAddressX 3.6.0 aims to fix all that by putting every detail into one icon on your OS X menubar.
This was not going to be a very praising review, and it was not going to be a recommendation -- but it it is becoming so. Namagic's first versions were not usable -- they simply did not work -- but Namagic 1.1 has fixed all the problems we found. It still has limitations and elements we're not keen on, but for us the question now is whether you need this type of application or not.
There's nothing better than checking out the state of your hard disk, and we've all spent many happy hours twiddling with a drive instead of getting on with our work. Yet those disks that we forget about will go wrong just about as certainly as they will fill up. Maybe they won't go wrong today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life. Usually that's the reason why you should have backups, and it still is, but it's now also a good reason to try out Disk Sensei. It's a quick and thorough utility that reports on the current health of your drives, as well as then taking steps to keep them running well.
You've got to really need to find something before you'll bother going away from Google, and you've really, really got to need to find it before you'll spend money on a search utility. Yet don't see this as a reason why DevonAgent Pro must be a niche product, or see it as telling that this app satisfies those most demanding searches and searchers. It's a $50 utility for your Mac that does just do searches, but it does them through an intelligent and supremely customizable set of tools.
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.
Back in the day, the first thing we learnt on Macs was to point and click. Then it was how to drag and drop. We've never gone back: even the most keyboard-obsessed of us still end up clicking on a file and clicking or dragging to do something with it. FilePane is a clever app that just watches for the click and drag before stepping in with options.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE