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.