5 Major New Features In OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2

The iOS-ification of OS X in Mountain Lion has entered the next stage - syncing over iCloud. Apple has released the stable version of Mountain Lion 10.8.2 alongside the final version of iOS 6. iCloud graduated from beta just recently, and came out with two new apps, Reminders and Notes, which are the iOS apps of the same name ported to the web. This new release of OS X is centered around syncing to iCloud with iOS 6-powered devices now being able to sync that data back. Additionally, when Mountain Lion was first released, only Twitter integration was added, and Facebook integration was scheduled for Autumn. With the release of OS X 10.8.2, you can now post to Facebook that you’re going to crunch leaves, since Facebook integration has arrived (and the leaves have, indeed, started falling). Other features that will be significant for end users are the addition of shared lists in Reminders, Safari’s ability to restore previous sessions, Messages being able to receive iMessages and FaceTime calls made to your Apple ID, and Game Center providing friends’ suggestions from Facebook, as well as acting as a platform to challenge your friends to a game. Read More

Vienna: RSS Feed Reader With Integrated Browser & Social Sharing [Mac]

RSS feed readers aren't confined to just working in your web browser, and if you look at the feed reading apps available for Mac, you will find a lot of creative ways to follow a single or multiple RSS feeds. Vienna is a free RSS feed reader for Mac that imports feeds from your Google account, has a built in web browser (does not support Flash) and allows you to share items you find interesting on Buffer, Twitter, Evernote, Delicious and Facebook from within the app. Vienna is simple; there aren't a whole lot of features, but as far as RSS readers go, it works well and allows you to customize the appearance of text. Articles can be sorted by date, author or title. The built-in browser supports tabs and the app’s search feature supports Google Images, Twitter, Wikipedia and Google in addition to allowing you to search a single or all feeds. Read More

Crop, Stretch & Set A Single Background Across Multiple Mac Displays With Multi Monitor Wallpaper

Working with multiple monitors on Mac OS X takes a little adjusting to; managing windows and having the taskbar and dock on only one display are just some things that need getting used to. While working with multiple displays involves window management tools and perhaps a more efficient app launcher and switcher, one aspect that is often ignored, is the wallpaper. OS X does not split or divide the wallpaper across the two (or more) screens you’re using; rather, it adds the wallpaper separately as a separate image to each one. Multi Monitor Wallpaper is a Mac App worth $1.99 in the Mac App store that lets you cut an image and set it as a wallpaper that spans over both screens. The app lets you use an image on your hard disk or search your Flickr stream for something widescreen and suitable. Read More

View Facebook Account Activity In Mac OS X Notification Center With Glow for FB

Fall isn’t too far away now, and that means Facebook integration will be arriving soon to OS X Mountain Lion. For those who can’t wait or haven’t upgraded to Mountain Lion because an older version of OS X seems better, you might still be interested in having easy access to your Facebook notifications. Facebook integration, like Twitter counterpart, is something that you aren’t likely to realize the utility of unless you experience it the way it is in Mountain Lion. However, if you'd take our word for it, it’s pretty amazing. Glow for FB is a Mac app worth $0.99 in the Mac App Store that emulates what it would be like to have Notification Center alerts for your Facebook activity. While it doesn't offer the system wide integration that will be offered in Mountain Lion, it still lets you stay up to date with your Facebook notifications without having to open them in your browser. The benefit here is two fold; on one hand, you get your notifications easily, and on the other, you won’t end up wasting more time than you meant to by getting caught up with your feed. Read More

Get RSS Feed Alerts In Mountain Lion Notification Center With News Notifications

News Notifications
OS X Mountain Lion's Notification Center is largely dependent on other apps supporting it, and since not many do, we’ve seen an influx of apps that redirect Growl notifications to Notification Center. The Notification Center presents a lot of opportunity for app development and for users it is an excellent feature that they would likely want to put more creative uses. Since there is nothing wrong with Growl and a new version of the app for Mountain Lion has recently been submitted to the Mac App Store, you can rest assured it isn’t going anywhere. That leaves you with Notification Center and a world of possibilities. Demonstrating just one of the many uses you can put Notification Center to is News Notifications, a Mac app worth $0.99 in the Mac App Store that lets you put RSS feeds in the Notification Center. Read More

Retinizer: Make Mac Apps Display Text In Retina Resolution

When Apple unveiled the MacBook Pro with retina display, it meant two things. One, that your eyes might just bleed on the sharpness of images rendered and two, that there might just be a problem with apps that didn’t support it. Some users of course assumed that developers would upgrade their apps within a matter of weeks in order to present the best possible image to Mac users. This was widely inaccurate; although many apps were upgraded, a larger portion of them do not support retina display and they appear pixelated on the retina MacBook Pro. Retinizer is a free Mac app that offers a solution for some of these apps. Retina display translates into sharper pictures and text that is crispier and much easier to read. So what Retinizer does is ‘retinize’ the text in these apps to make them appear crispier as if they were optimized for the retina screen. Read More

Amelita: Use Context Menu Options From The Mac Menu Bar

Right-click context menu shows the app-related settings and options in a menu, and that's why the options we see vary accordingly. Some options in the context menu are recurring, but being the context menu, it needs to be called separately in each app. Amelita is a free Mac app that runs in the menu bar and consolidates context menu options. It includes several of its own functions that allow you to send a command from one app to the other without having to launch the applications. A very common example of this would be text copied to your clipboard. You can paste this text to a number of apps, and Amelita makes it easier to do so. Pasting is of course an option you have available in the system context menus; Amelita also adds additional options that can be used with different apps. Read More

Jotta: Cloud Storage That Lets You Recover Accidentally Deleted Data

Backing up your important files is more important than most people think. For instance, one's Outlook can crash anytime, media files can go missing in an instant and those confidential documents always ask for some place safer. One of the most common things most people do whenever doing backups, is to store the data on local storage medium. However, the fact is that cloud services are not only safer, but often cheaper, too. No longer you need to carry thumb drives, optical media or moving plates to keep tabs on backup copies, when you can already store data to online locations with instantaneous remote access. Jotta is a cloud based online backup service that might help you in keeping your personal files safe and secure. Akin to most cloud services, such as Dropbox or SkyDrive, Jotta offers multiple subscription plans, including a free user account with 5GB of cloud storage. The service’s client application is available for both desktop and mobile platforms, as well as a Web API. Read More

Factura: Organize Files On Mac By Copying/Moving Them To Subfolders

Of the many things people procrastinate about and like to put off until there’s no choice left but to do it, organizing files is probably somewhere in the top ten. For the most part, files are moved to a folder that isn’t in the way and gives you a hint of what kind of files might be in it. Over time, it is filled with just about every kind of file there is, until you can barely tell what the folder was first created for. If you think finding files in a folder like this is difficult, try organizing that data and you will realize just how big a mess you’ve created. Factura is a free Mac app available in the Mac App Store that helps streamline organizing files. It is slightly redundant, but makes moving/copying files from one location to another and renaming them somewhat easier. The app provides a quick view option as well, so that you don’t have to open them separately in Preview. Read More

Disk Scope: Scan Mac Hard Disk & System Libraries For Memory Usage [Mac]

Disk space fills up as time passes and while this is to be expected, cleaning it out isn’t easy. It’s hard to track down which folder is consuming the most space. To help determine memory usage on a Mac, there are tools like DaisyDisk and DiskScanner, both of which present a graphical view of space consumption by folder. What both these apps have in common is that they drill memory usage down to the folder, but some users consume more space in the system libraries, i.e., the downloads, documents, Applications, Pictures, Music etc. If you would prefer a simpler breakdown of memory consumption for these folders only, Disk Scope is a free Mac app that does the trick. It scans a hard drive and displays memory consumed both graphically and numerically, additionally letting you clear your Mac’s cache. Read More

Growly Write: Free Text Editor That Retains Formatting Of Imported Files [Mac]

Text editors, for the most part, have to be feature rich, or at the very least, provide a minimum number of features to make themselves useful. Too many features, and users might have trouble figuring everything out. It can also lead to a huge clutter of controls that you will never use. The default text editor in Mac, TextEdit, supports some very basic features, and many users still opt to find other text editing tools because this default app doesn’t meet their requirements. If, for any reason, you aren’t satisfied with TextEdit, Growly Write is a free Mac app that is a text editing tool with a very reasonable number of features, sans a gorgeous UI. The app’s features cover the basics for editing text, and allow you to open most common formats like RTF, DOC, DOCX etc, without losing the document’s original formatting. Read More

Notee: Synchronize Text Notes Between Windows, Mac And The Cloud

Note-taking is a highly productive activity, and when it comes to jotting down your notes and appointments, Evernote is simply an unparalleled contender (okay, there’s also OneNote, but then again, it’s not available for free). Evernote has flourished the concept of how we can annotate and synchronize our work across different devices, making it at our disposal wherever we go. We have covered plentiful alternative note management applications for all major platforms as well, such as CintaNotes, which syncs notes in real-time via Dropbox. Today, we have another one for you called Notee. Akin to Evernote, the application effectively syncs your notes and other agenda between Windows and Mac machines (no Android or iOS love yet). Along with that, it provides remote storage access through the web browser, for which you’d obviously need a Notee user account first. Read More

FixIt II: Remove Unnecessary Characters & Spaces From Forwarded Emails

Forwarded emails, or just very very long threads of them, get ridiculous at one point. You are rarely going to go and scroll through an entire conversation, and even if you do need to check back on what was previously said, it would help if you didn’t have to deal with the formatting that is added when emails are forwarded or replied to, i.e., the long lines along the left or the “>” characters. FixIt II is a free little app for Mac that helps you clean up some of the formatting that’s added to these chain messages and long conversations. It allows you to choose what you want to clean, and once your message has been reformatted, it is automatically copied to your clipboard for pasting. Read More

Grandview Is A Writing Pad For The Easily Distracted

Distractions during work are normal, but there are some tasks that fall prey to procrastination more easily than others, and writing is at the top of the list. When you’re writing, it’s just you and your thoughts, and a text editor. In times like these everything from organizing the mess of icons on your desktop to adjusting your screen so that there is minimum glare seems like an extremely important task that should be done before you’re comfortable enough to start writing. Grandview is a free Mac app that gives you a distraction-free writing space. The ‘space’ is basically a big blank white void on your screen where you write; you can write such that you see a whole sentence once it’s complete or you can see the sentence as you type it. Read More

Hot Mouse Flower Is A Hotkey-Triggered Virtual Keyboard For OS X

Working productively is not just a careful balance of how many times you’re going to check Facebook and look at cats between getting some actual work done. It also involves finding a comfortable arrangement to work with your mouse and keyboard. Not that this is difficult for the average user who can easily switch between using a mouse and keyboard without trouble. Conversely, if you use programs that require you to switch between the two devices very frequently (perhaps in Photoshop) it gets frustrating after a while particularly if you’re working with additional programs. Hot Mouse Flower is a free Mac app that puts a virtual keypad triggered by a hotkey on your screen. The keypad is arranged in a disc and the keys listed are the Function keys, a few letter keys and additional characters. Read More

Simple ShutDown Timer: Schedule Mac Shutdown, Restart & Sleep

Mountain Lion’s new features have earned a lot of attention and plenty of detailed coverage online. As far as new features go, Mountain Lion is one kitty that loves to nap, so much so that you need a Terminal command to stop Mountain Lion from going to sleep. If you aren’t that crazy about going to Terminal and then calculating the exact number of seconds needed to delay your system going to sleep, you will be glad to know there’s an app for that. Simple ShutDown Timer is a Mac app worth $0.99 that not only lets you schedule what time your system goes to sleep, but also allows you to schedule a system shutdown and restart. You have the option to choose both the date and time to set up a system sleep or shutdown schedule. Additionally, it requires your account password to create a schedule, preventing guest users from scheduling the system sleep and shutdown task. The app is available on a trial that allows you to run the app for only ten times before you have to buy a license. Read More

Shade: Hide Desktop Clutter For Better Screenshots & Cleaner Work Area

There are lots of ways to manage desktop clutter; besides actually cleaning things up, you can use apps like Folder Tidy and Desktop Tidy to sort and move files on your desktop by file type. You can also do something that’s much much easier: sweep it under the rug, i.e., hide it all behind a nice wallpaper so you don’t have to look at it while you work. Shade is a free Mac app available in the Mac App Store that adds a second wallpaper in front of all your desktop icons and hides them from view. App windows stay visible on top of this second wallpaper that is superficially imposed on top of the original one, and allows you to take a nice clean screenshot if you like or just work more easily without being distracted by the many items littering your desktop. Read More

Sticky Notifications Lets You Pin Reminders To The OS X Notification Center

The human brain is a funny thing; it has the ability to remember the most horrific and embarrassing things about your life but will immediately forget something important and crucial. To deal with this behavior, people do everything from setting up reminders to using sticky notes and even tying strings around their fingers. What’s common among most reminder apps is that they are meant to remind you something at a defined time but forgetfulness doesn’t always give you a date. You might be working on something and perhaps you have a great idea that you need to get down on paper but get called away from your desk before you can. Sticky Notifications is a free Mac app (with a paid version available for $3) that is a reminder app for the present. The app is for recording an idea that you can easily view via the Notification Center the second you return to your desk. The free variant has no ads but will remind you occasionally to buy the full version. Read More

‘Shutdown When Downloads Complete’ Arrives In uTorrent For Mac

uTorrent is one of the most popular torrent clients out there and lots of people use it daily. For anyone who routinely uses uTorrent to download files, one practice is common; leaving the client running all night to let a download complete. There is sound logic behind this; the app can use maximum bandwidth, and since a watched torrent never downloads, this is the best way to stop yourself from constantly encouraging the download progress bar. While most users leave uTorrent running all night, only PC users had the option to shut down their systems once the download is completed. That option has now been added to the uTorrent for Mac. Read More

Syncbox: Make Your Own Personal Cloud Storage Network On Your Hard Disk

Syncbox Server Control Panel_thumb
When I talk to people about cloud storage, I usually get skeptical glances. Some people don’t use it because they simply don’t need it, while others remain silent, probably because they don’t have a clue of what I’m talking about. And then a few keep complaining about limited free cloud space at disposal and that companies should find a way to provide them with more. Bigger is always better, they say. Obviously, you can opt for paid subscriptions if free account doesn’t satiate your storage appetite, and all the major cloud services, including Dropbox, SkyDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive or Google Drive, offer paid storage plans. However, if you own a large hard drive and just want to access files placed on that drive from any place with internet connectivity, then Syncbox is a feasible solution. Contrary to other cloud services, it lets you create your own cloud – a server or central computer from where you are able to access and sync content using your notebook, Mac, Android or iOS devices. The procedure to setup the server and client is also straightforward, and the application provides two way syncing, as well. Read More