12 Things Out Of The Box Macs Can Do That PCs Can’t

Before we begin, a disclaimer. Even though I write mostly about Macs and this post's title is inherently antagonistic, please know that the content is created strictly for comparison. We are not living in a fanboy delusion on the subject of Macs vs PCs. We know full well that no matter what we try, Macs do not stack up to PCs when it comes to gaming. We also know that even after the decline in sales, PCs still command nearly 90% of the computing market. None of that information is alien to us. With that in mind, we approach the subject of things Macs can do and PCs can't, objectively and with zero resentment. Read More

Run Multiple Instances Of Any App On Your Mac With An AppleScript

Two heads are better than one and perhaps, so are two apps. The only thing that’s better than a good app is perhaps two good apps. Given that you already have a really great app for a specific function, and you would like to run multiple instances of it, you might have your work cut out for you if the app doesn’t support it and you’re on a Mac. Running multiple instances of any app on a Mac may sound difficult but it’s surprisingly easy. You need only use a simple script and you can run as many instance of an app as you like. The multiple instances run in isolation of each other and each one is represented by the app’s respective icon in the Dock. 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

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

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

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

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

Cut with Drag & Drop: Mac OS X Dock Shortcut For Moving Files & Folders

We’ve previously covered two apps for Mac, Droppy and DragonDrop, both of which make it convenient to drag & drop files or folders between desktop spaces. Both apps carry a price tag, and while their interface is excellent and they work without any glitches whatsoever, there is still the fact that you have to pay for a very basic sort of functionality. Cut with Drag & Drop is a free Mac app that is somewhat similar to both the former apps. It won't help you move files between desktop spaces; rather, it provides a docking station for moving a file or folder to a new location. Read More

AppyDays: Discover Free & Discounted Apps For Mac, iPhone & iPad [Mac]

The Mac App Store that debuted in Snow Leopard and reached 10,000 apps early this year not only gives developers an excellent platform for distributing their work, but also  provides users with a single place for finding apps. The Mac App Store, like its iTunes conuterpart, has just about everything you would need to find a good app, and there is little reason for anyone to develop an alternative. AppyDays is a free Mac App that finds free and discounted apps. The program is no an alternative to the Mac App Store, nor is it a repository for other Mac apps; rather, it is a search tool for them. You can search apps by category and then narrow the search down by rating and price. Apps for Mac, iPhone and iPad can be searched for, with a special filter for finding free apps. Read More

Favorites: Rate Files By Importance To Better Organize Them [Mac]

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. Read More

PDF Toolkit: Compress PDFs, Extract Text And Images In Different Sizes [Mac]

Feature rich free PDF tools and/or editors are hard to come by. PDF is one of the most common formats for viewing image rich documents on a slew of devices and that leaves you with little choice except to pay up for a halfway decent PDF tool or use several free alternative apps instead of a single one. PDF Toolkit is a PDF editing app for Mac that normally costs $4.99 but is free this month (makes you love Summer, doesn’t it?). PDF Toolkit isn’t for editing a PDF file i.e., you cannot add or remove text and images from a file. What you can do is merge multiple PDFs into a single file. Unlike free tools that only let you merge 2 files into one, PDF Toolkit gives you the freedom to merge as many files as you want. It can extract pages from a file, either in order or as per user specifications and create a new PDF from the extracted pages. Additionally, you can extract text and images from a file and compress it on four different standards to reduce the size. Note that this compression does not mean adding it to a zipped file, compression with PDF Toolkit is different and discussed in detail below. Read More

The Easy Way To Change Hidden iTunes Preferences In Mac OS X

Apps and tweaks for iTunes aren’t rare to come by. Most iTunes apps allow you to control Mac's native music player from the Menu bar, while other, more advanced ones, let you access your library and even create playlists. These apps exist because it’s often annoying to have to switch app windows to change which song is being played, and also because iTunes itself is pretty heavy on system resources. As far as tweaks for iTunes are concerned, they are mostly for hidden preferences, i.e., things iTunes can do, but in Apple’s wisdom, should not be done, or something like that. The iTunes defaults are set to disable these hidden preferences, and to get them to work, you normally have to poke around in Terminal. Change Hidden iTunes Preferences is an excellent script for iTunes that is free to download and provides a GUI for managing some common hidden preferences, like enabling half-star ratings for songs, enabling Option+click for the mini player, globally setting the song/album view for all tabs, hide ‘Ping’ (which is now near extinction anyway), and more. The script does nothing more than modify existing options in iTunes, and doesn’t install additional apps. Read More

Typ-O: Mac OS X Text Editor With Grammar Check & Next Word Prediction

Spell check, as we’ve often said before, is a life saver in many situations, and perhaps that's why it exists universally in Mac OS X. Another equally useful feature, though not natively present in OS X, is grammar check. Normally, what you have to work with is a spell check and auto-correct feature that will correct those little typos you make, but can seriously alter the meaning of a sentence if it doesn’t predict a word correctly. Typ-O is a three-in-one Mac app with a text editor that creates and saves files in RTF format, a spelling and grammar checker, and a quick typing tool that allows you to insert a word via the function keys on your keyboard, so that you don’t have to type them out. Typ-O supports both American and UK English, and German. It adjusts its suggestions and the degree of corrections it needs to make, based on your language skills. Read More

Dunno Helps You Research Any Topic With Related Blogs, Images, Videos, Wikipedia Results & More

In many instances, a cursory Google search is enough to familiarize you with any topic, but there are cases when you want to know everything there is to know about your object of interest. For such thorough researches, you have to browse through Wikipedia, YouTube, images, and a lot of other sources related to the subject. Dunno is an app that saves you all this trouble by researching anything for you! All you have to do is define a keyword or phrase, and then leave Dunno to do its job. The app integrates information from all the most important resources around the web, and you can view all this accumulated data at your own leisure. Read on if you want to know more about this really helpful iOS and Mac app. Read More

8 Useful iPhoto Tips You Probably Don’t Know About [Mac OS X]

iPhoto is the iTunes equivalent for managing photos, and comes pre-installed on Mac OS X Lion 10.7. The app is meant to make it easier to transfer and organize photos between your iPhone and Mac, your camera and, generally, all your images. However, iPhoto isn’t just a photo organizer; it is feature rich and can be used to do a lot more. The application's key feature remains, of course, its library, which, like that of iTunes, is excellent. For beginners to even average users, iPhoto does take some time getting used to, and there are quite a few common problems that beginners face. This post addresses all those issues for iPhoto ‘11, version 9.2.1. To check which version you have, go to About iPhoto in the iPhoto menu. Read More

Inbox Classic: Task Management For Email, Reminders, Apps & Files [Mac]

We’ve reviewed to-do list and task managers in abundance, each with its own way of managing lists and its own flow of things. A common feature among these kinds of apps is that they break away from the existing ones that you use, and have you re-create new tasks, projects and reminders from scratch. Most will sync items from Mac Calendar, but that is pretty much as far as it will go. Inbox Classic is a free Mac app that is a careful balance between the existing tools you use to keep track of important tasks, and the need to order them differently. Inbox Classic takes items from Mail, Calendar, and your hard disk, and is like a consolidated inbox for all incoming tasks; once emails, projects, reminders, and any other documents you might be working on, are ‘collected,’ the app lets you add timers and tasks to track your progress. In addition to the tasks, processes and projects you add, the app also lets you add agendas, research items or any other task or file you may be waiting for or plan on doing. Read More

iClapper: Clap To Control iTunes Or Trigger Any Action In Mac OS X

We reviewed faceMe last week, an excellent app that triggered actions on your Mac when it detected someone was sitting in front of it. Flutter (full review) is a similar app, in that it, too, takes visual cues from the webcam and allows you to control iTunes, Spotify etc. iClapper is a Mac app, free for a limited time, that takes audio clues and uses them to trigger actions. These audio clues are simple clap sequences, and the number of times you clap tells iClapper which action to trigger. By default, the app comes with pre-added actions for running iTunes, playing/pausing it, skipping to the next song and starting the screensaver. You can add additional actions via an AppleScript and record custom clap sequences. Natively, the app recognizes single, double and three claps. Read More

Site Collector: Take Periodic Screenshots Of Entire Web Pages [Mac]

The need to take screenshots isn’t just confined to your desktop. For many intents and purposes, screenshots of web pages are also required. For longer pages, this can be a challenge, since you will have to scroll several times to see the full page. There are browser extensions and add-ons built to do this, but they don’t always work for all types of sites, or ‘break’ after a while. For Mac users, there is a simple solution; Site Collector is a free Mac app that not only takes screenshots of entire webpages, but also allows you to schedule your captures by a predefined time interval. Site Collector is something of a screenshot aggregation tool for multiple websites. It allows you to enter several websites and select how frequently the app should capture a full page screenshot of each one. The screenshots are free of the browser window, although the preview is always shown in Safari. Read More

Pixen Is A Simple Mac OS X Paint Tool With Supports For Layers

Preview, the default image viewer in Mac, supports some very basic image editing functionality. There isn’t, however, any native Mac app that lets you extensively edit or even create an image with simple brush or shape tools, and that’s why you will see lots of apps vying for the spot. For those who love something that is visually pleasing to use as well as feature-rich, PaintBrush (read review here) is one option. For those looking for layer support and would like to do more with the image itself, there is Pixen, a free Mac app that lets you paint in layers. It allows you to create and edit layers on an image and has all the usual selection, shape and paint tools you find on regular image editors. Read More

NoteBar Is An iPhone-Inspired Note Taking App For Mac OS X

NoteBar 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. Read More