With the recent release of some of the most popular desktop web browsers for the Android and iOS platforms, users have been looking for ways to to efficiently manage browsing websites between desktops and mobile devices. We recently told you how you could send links from Safari in iOS to the Chrome app
that was recently made available, and quickly became one of the top apps in the App Store. Web2Go
is a free Mac app that works with a $0.99 iOS companion app and lets you send links you’re viewing on your Mac to your iOS device. The transition isn’t direct, i.e., the Web2Go iOS app acts as a mitigator and sends the link to the browser. The catch, or rather, the slight shortcoming, is that you cannot send links in bulk. The app only reads the current tab you are looking at, and sends it to your iDevice's Chrome app.
The introduction of Notification Center in iOS 5 really made widgets popular among users of jailbroken iDevices. There are many NC widgets available in the Cydia store, and tweaks like Dashboard X have gone one step further by bringing widgets to the iPhone Springboard. AnyLock
is not a competitor of Dashboard X, as it does not add widgets to the Springboard, but the functionality it offers is rather similar to Dashboard X. Users of this new tweak will be able to customize the lockscreen of their iPhone by placing any widget or app icon there. If that isn’t enough for you, you can even choose to remove a few stock features of the lock screen, in order to optimize it for the accommodation of more app shortcuts and widgets.
Both independent media players, and those that work with your iTunes library, focus on making it easier to listen to your music. Free apps that you find in this regard are functional, but the interface is rarely good, and when you pay for such an app, you will get a few more features and a shinier interface. MUSIC Pub
is a Mac app that is available in the Mac App Store for $4.99 (definitely on the pricier side) that is a music player built for your eyes. The app plays audio from music and video files in your iTunes library, and at the core, is an alternative controller for iTunes. Its interface, however, is what sells it. Unlike your typical player that rests in the Menu Bar or is a boring window, MUSIC Pub looks like a tall glass of foaming malt (or beer, or whatever). Shaped like a glass, the music player cleverly uses its aesthetics to incorporate its functions, which include a rating system, play/pause, next/previous song, volume, lyrics panel and Twitter controls.
Customizing your lock screen is something you’re more likely to do on your phone, but since desktop systems are also locked, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have fun customizing that particular area of the operating system. We’ve covered quite a few lock screen apps for Mac, like Screen Vault, which lets lock your screen behind an alphanumeric password or a drawn pattern
. The common thing among these apps is that they lock your screen, mimic the iOS lock screen and allow you to swipe and unlock your system, but they require you have a track pad. If you’re on a Mac Book, it’s no big deal, but for users who bought an iMac or Mac mini and didn’t go for a track pad, there is Lock Screen Plus -
a Mac app worth $1.99 that gives you pretty much the same features as other lock screen apps we’ve reviewed, with the added advantage of unlocking your screen via a swipe gesture across your keyboard. Like all good screen locking apps, Lock Screen Plus has a keyboard shortcut for quickly locking your screen. You can choose which input device (mouse or keyboard) will unlock your system, and skip setting a password if you like.
If you’re an Apple fan, a loyalist or just a believer in the concept that software companies should make their own hardware for better results, then it’s possible you own both a Mac and an iPhone. Both are superb devices, and their respective OSes work as well as you would expect. Like all software and hardware, there exists with Apple products a disparity between how a device works and the way you want it to work. Apple products follow a certain pattern, and while you may not always like how things get done, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with the product itself. Of the many things that Apple is rather adamant about, the method of moving files between a Mac (or a Windows PC) and an iPhone via iTunes is one of the more commonly known and faced constraints. iPhone owners don’t really have to care much for this, since there are many apps available for utilizing the space on an iPhone. Then, another rather annoying behavior (to some users) is that when you connect your iPhone to your Mac, Image Capture will always load and ask to import your pictures. If you disable it, you will have to use iTunes to sync photos, and that, too, gets complicated. If you’ve ever wanted to end your dependency on an app for transferring photos from your iPhone to your Mac, you need, ironically, another app for that. Air Snapshot
is a free Mac app that works with an iOS app of the same name (worth $1.99 in the the iTunes App Store). It is nothing complicated and requires both devices (iPhone/iPad and Mac) to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network in order to transfer pictures.
Hot Corners in Mac are one of the more convenient ways of launching common system features like the Screensaver or Launch Pad. While the feature itself is great, it might not be practical to assign a function to every single corner of your screen. Not only is it hard to remember which corner does what, but the choices for what you can do are limited. BIG Red Button
is a Mac app worth $2.99 in the Mac App Store that allows you to launch any five apps or run Apple Scripts. Unlike the default Hot Corners feature in OS X Lion, it gives you the freedom to choose which apps or scripts you want to run, and lets you set an app to run on default when you click in the bottom left corner.
AnimateLockscreen, the tweak that allows users to add custom animations to the lock screen
of their iOS device, was among the best Cydia releases of the past month. AnimateAll
is a tweak that was just waiting to happen ever since the launch of AnimateLockscreen, and who better to develop it other than the creator of the lockscreen animator? AnimateAll lets you add animated wallpapers to the lockscreen of your jailbroken iPhone or iPad, but it doesn’t stop there. Thanks to this neat tweak, you will be able to add the same custom animations to your device's Springboard and Notification Center as well! As AnimateAll is the next iteration of the AnimateLockscreen tweak, it is available as a free download for all the current users of AnimateLockscreen, and just like its predecessor, supports all bootlogo animations available in the Cydia store, in addition to the 3 offered within the tweak by default.
One thing that you’ll find in abundance across any platform – iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and even Web – is perhaps photo editors and manipulators, and within those, collage creators, to be more specific. These tools not only make it easy to produce astounding images that can awe your friends on social networks, but may also help if you’re a meme fan, as the panel-layout provides an easy base for creating your humorous masterpieces. The thing about smartphones is, they’ve put every sort of tool in the palms of our hands, and collage creators are no exception. iOS, in this regard, is rather well-endowed, as the platform boasts several capable apps for creating collages on the go. We have reviewed several of the kind before; Photo Wall, which lets you create collages graffiti style on iPhone/iPad
, or Nostalgio
, which impresses with its wide array of Frame templates, and my personal favorite, Frame Artist, which is arguably the most comprehensive collage maker for iOS
that I’d seen to date. Tiled
is a new entry in the same genre which packs a vast and handsome set of features, capable of rivaling the best in business while maintaining user friendliness.
The iPhone is easily one of the best things that Apple has ever made, but there are certain things you have to accept about an iPhone. One of them is that you cannot use the iPhone as a mass storage device. You literally have a considerable amount of storage on your phone that you will have to fill with audio, video and image files. iTunes does have a file sharing option, but since you can only authorize 5 systems to sync with your phone, it is far from a universal solution. There are, however, apps available to make this file transfer easier, and if you’re a Mac user, File Storage Companion
is an app that, coupled with its iOS client File Storage, lets you transfer files from your Mac to your iPhone over Wi-Fi. The Mac app is free and available in the Mac App Store, whereas the iOS counterpart costs $1.99. The iOS app isn’t just a means of transferring files, but is also a fairly good file viewer that can create directories (folders) and open zipped files.
A couple of months back, we reviewed Bluetooth Screen Lock (detailed here
). The app allows you to lock your screen whenever a specific Bluetooth device paired with your Mac goes out of range. It is one of the best ways of ensuring you never forget to lock your system when you leave. Bluetooth Proximity Tasker
is a Mac app worth $1.99 in the Mac App Store and developed by the same developer who made Bluetooth Screen Lock. The app works on the same principal, except that it allows you to run a AppleScript when a Bluetooth enabled device comes in or goes out of range. Unlike the previously covered app, this one allows you to perform different actions for when the device is in range and when it leaves range. You can run one or several scripts for each action. Although slightly pricier than the previous app, it offers more functionality.
iTunes is more than just a media player; it’s a media manager, lets you listen to and download podcasts, keeps your movies and music collection organized and backs up & transfers files to and from your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. TunesLinker
is a Mac app worth $1.99 that will help you get more out of iTunes than you would have thought possible. The app lets you create hyperlinks to any part within a song, a movie or podcast. While it doesn’t sound terribly useful if you only have music in your iTunes library, it provides a way for you to ‘bookmark’ portions in a podcast or a movie. These bookmarks, or hyperlinks, can be saved to any text editor and played from any app that supports the link format.
One of the very basic features of an image cropping tool should be to allow very precise control, i.e., users should be able to decide how many pixels they want to trim from any of the four sides. Such a crop tool is difficult to come by for Mac, and will likely have a bloated price tag. For users who need this specific functionality for screenshots, there is Precise Screenshot
. It is an excellent Mac app priced reasonably at $1.99 and available in the Mac App Store. The app comes with screenshot size presets, but also allows you to trim the screenshot area by the pixel. A red frame that you can position anywhere on your screen outlines the screenshot area, and you can choose to either use this frame or capture the full screen. Precise Screenshot also has a time delay feature for taking screenshots (both full screen and area specific), and once captured, they can be stored as files in PNG, TIFF or JPG formats, or copied to the clipboard for pasting. A number is appended to successive screenshot files, and they can be saved to any folder of your choice.
is a Mac app worth $2.99 in the Mac App Store that controls iTunes from the Menu Bar. When launched, it automatically starts iTunes in the background and adds a play icon to the Menu Bar, clicking which opens a search bar that allows you to query your iTunes library. Of course, this isn’t why you’re paying $2.99 for the app. Tracks has excellent and fully customizable universal shortcuts for controlling iTunes. You can play/pause, move to the next or previous track, increase/decrease volume and rating and open the current song in iTunes. It gives you Growl notifications when a new song is played or changed, and allows you to connect with your Last.fm account.
Color splash photography is a genre of photo editing that is not as complicated as some of the other fields, but the results you can get thanks to splash effects are certainly good enough to make your ordinary photos look like works of art. If you own a Mac, then Color Splash Studio
probably introduced you to this class of photo effects. The famous Mac photo editor has recently been released for iPhone, and now you can edit your iDevice’s photos in a beautiful touch-based environment. The app offers some pretty good photo filters (named Dramatic Effects
), and you can also choose individual objects in an image to apply these filters and other color splash effects to them. Another great aspect of the app is its sharing capabilities. Color Splash Studio comes with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr integration, and you can even get your images delivered to you (in real life) as postcards, thanks to the app’s collaboration with the Sincerely service
iOS was the first major smartphone platform to offer native screen capture capabilities to its users. Screenshots can prove to be a useful feature in a smartphone, and might save you from a lot of trouble in a number of scenarios. However, a still image can never be as detailed and revealing as a motion and audio-incorporating video. For instance, if you just want to boast about your great Temple Run score, a screenshot of the winning moment will suffice, but what if your friends ask you to teach them the game? In the latter. you will need to create a screencast by capturing your iPhone or iPad’s display in the form of a video. Until recently, only Cydia users had the option to record their iDevice’s screen (thanks to Ryan Petrich’s Display Recorder
app for jailbroken phones), but an app with the same name has been released in the App Store, and now any iOS user can create screencasts and video tutorials on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The app looks much more polished than the Cydia one, and you can add your own voice to the screencasts as well.
For organizing bookmarks and web material, bookmarks are the right thing, and it’s only too bad that there isn’t something similar in Mac for your files. While files are theoretically organized into folders, there is often the problem of distinguishing identical files that are, in fact, different versions. It isn’t just the file names that make it hard to find them again; often you forget what a file is called, or don’t have the time to add it to the right folder. Favorites
is a Mac app worth $4.99 in the Mac App Store that lets you rate files by their importance. It acts as an organizer for these rated files, and lets you create folders for the type of files you need to mark. Files can be filtered by their rating or searched for. The app also lets you quickly preview a file, or open it.
is a Mac app worth $1.99 in the Mac App Store that looks just like the stock iOS Notes app, even with the same features; you can add notes (the first line of a note becomes the title), long titles are shortened, notes can be searched and shared via email, exported as a text file, printed and copied to the clipboard. Even on the interface front, expect the buttons to be exactly where you find them on the iPhone app, with the only slight change being that the note background doesn’t look resemble a margined notebook page.
Controlling your devices via simple gestures that are read through your webcam might seem a futuristic idea, but as recently covered app Flutter showed (read full review here
), it isn’t that far away any more. If you think waving your hand infront of your webcam to trigger iTunes was cool, you’re going to love faceMe
. It’s a Mac app worth $1.99, and is, literally, worth every penny you pay. Like Flutter, it too is triggered by what the webcam sees; only, instead of being limited to a single app, faceMe lets you launch an audio file, a video or an app, quit an open app, open a file or speak predefined text when it detects a face. More on this marvellous app after the break.
is a Mac app worth $0.99 in the Mac App store and is completely different from other color picking tools available out there. It provides an easy way to catalog different color schemes you have created for multiple projects. Instead of opening your mock-ups and templates each time (in heavy-to-load apps like Photoshop) to look up a color, this light weight utility lets you record them, organize them into profiles and associate keywords with them. The tool saves RGB values and Hex codes for each color code. You can add as many profiles as you like and add as many colors to a single profile.
Looks like the Unfold Cydia tweak (reviewed here
) has started a really good epidemic. First, there was Unlockize (review
), a tweak that borrowed the main concept behind Unfold but with more diversity, and now, PaperLock
has arrived in the Cydia store. PaperLock is another collection of unlock animations for iPhone and iPod touch devices, and although it lacks the variety on offer in Unlockize, this new addition to Cydia brings a completely new flavor to lockscreen animations. The tweak has three animations (or themes, as it labels them) and all of them are designed to emulate some sort of paper. You can peel away the lockscreen of your device to reveal the Springboard or passcode screen. Read on for details regarding all the animations available in PaperLock.