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Apple Serenades Musicians with New Logic Pro X
July 16, 2013
Apple on Tuesday unveiled Logic Pro X, an update to its Logic Pro line of music-mixing software complete with a new interface along with creative tools for musicians and an expanded collection of instruments and effects. Particularly notable about the new release is Logic Remote, a new feature that gives musicians the flexibility to create and mix their music from anywhere in the room.
You, Mixtab, Are No Google Reader
July 16, 2013
With Google Reader's demise, makers of software to subscribe to RSS feeds have hustled to fill the void. The biggest winner in the RSS sweepstakes so far has been Feedly, which attracted a large portion of Google Reader's orphans. Feedly has been so successful, in fact, that some RSS makers, like Reeder, are connecting to it, much as they plugged into Google Reader.
Ulysses III Banishes Word-Processing Bloat
July 2, 2013
During the fledgling era of word processing, developers divided into two camps over formatting documents. Software makers like Xywrite believed formatting and composition should be distinct. They designed their word crunchers to have two modes -- one for writing, another for formatting a document. Other programming outfits, like Microsoft, favored the "what you see is what you get" approach.
Opera Mail Sings but It's Sometimes Off-Key
June 25, 2013
At one time, all the major browsers had email programs cooked into them. The practice was largely discontinued as webmail became more robust. One holdout -- until recently -- was Opera. With the introduction of Opera Next, its next-generation browser based on Chromium, the Norwegian browser maker has stripped its email program from its Web navigator and given it legs of its own.
Airmail Flies Into Sparrow's Email Space
June 18, 2013
Two schools of thought have begun to emerge about email. One says the technology has passed its prime and needs to be replaced by some kind of social networking technology along the lines of Facebook. The other maintains that email can be saved by better software, like Airmail. Airmail is being compared to Sparrow, a popular email client that became too popular for its own survival.
Nothing Nutty About Acorn 4's Powerful, Affordable Image Editor
May 28, 2013
Acorn 4's tagline says all you need to know about the app. It's "The Image Editor for Humans." Image editors are like a new pair of shoes. You have to walk in them awhile before they get comfortable. With this latest version of Acorn -- the first major overhaul since 2011 -- author Gus Mueller keeps that comfort period short and sweet.
Stay and StatsBar Worthy Additions to a Mac's Utility Belt
May 21, 2013
Designers of operating systems can't think of everything that should be in their programs. Utilities are a testament to that. Utilities are software programs that do things that should have been included in an operating system, but weren't. They can help you keep your system performing at top speed or solve irritating problems.
WebStart's a Snore-Worthy Substitute for iGoogle's Snappy Style
May 14, 2013
With iGoogle scheduled to be axed in November, orphans of that offering will be looking at alternatives like uStart, Protopage, Netvibes and While those alternatives will meet the needs of many iGoogle users set adrift by the search company, some souls may want to create their own homepage substitutes for the versatile portal.
Easy, Elegant Scapple Brightens Mind Maps
May 7, 2013
Scapple isn't a spelling mistake for that Pennsylvania Dutch concoction made with pork scraps, corn meal, flour and spices. In fact, scapple is actually a word meaning to work roughly, or shape without finishing. It's also the name of a dynamite new mind mapping program from Literature and Latte, the folks who brought the Mac world Scrivner.
CallNote Dials Up Clean, Easy Skype Recordings
April 30, 2013
Recording phone calls has always been a gray area of the law. That's because there are both state and federal wiretapping laws that govern the practice. Federal law allows a conversation to be recorded if one party consents to it. Some states use that rule, too, but others require the consent of everyone on the call. Nevertheless, those uncertainties haven't deterred people from recording calls.
Reeder's a Comfy Refuge for Google's RSS Orphans
April 23, 2013
When Google announced it was killing its Reader app July 1, it not only annoyed hordes of users, it pulled the rug out from under app developers who built their livelihoods on the web software. One of those app makers is Silvio Rizzi, maker of Reeder. a free RSS program for iPhone, iPad and Mac. Like all the developers that plugged into Reader, Rizzi is facing extinction. However, he's not quite ready to go into that good night.
Cloud Drive May Stoke Amazon Fans - for Others It's 'Meh'
April 22, 2013
When Amazon updated its Cloud Drive earlier this month with file syncing built in -- along with its desktop app for the Mac -- the file storage service suddenly got a lot more interesting. Why? For long-term file storage, syncing isn't that big of a deal. However, if you want a place to dump files that you can access from another computer or via a Web browser, the no-brainer need is for automatic syncing.
aText - Your Friendly Keystroke Slasher
April 16, 2013
Few people like typing. Even fewer like typing the same things over and over again. That dislike is at the root of aText, which lets you create your own abbreviations to speed things along. For example, a typing shortcut, or snippet, such as "jpm" could become "by John P. Mello Jr." While simple text can be used to make substitutions, you can do much more than that, too.
Doo Doesn't Quite Do the Trick
April 9, 2013
We have entered the Golden Age of storage. At no time in the past have we had more freedom over where we can stash our digital stuff. We've got internal hard drives with a terabyte or more of storage space. We've got solid state drives that give us quick access to our data. We've got thumb drives with a gigabyte or more space, and we've got free cloud storage from multiple vendors.
Snagit's a Slick Screen Grabber
April 2, 2013
For many Mac users, screen grabbing tools provided by OS X are adequate for their needs. If you need to snatch a full screen, shift + command + 3 will suffice. If you want to carve out a section of your display, there's shift + command + 4. However, some Mac jockeys need to go beyond those simple grabbing techniques. For those users, there's Snagit 2.
pwSafe Cracks the Safe-Password Problem
March 26, 2013
Hardly a day goes by without a data breach making the news or a social media account being hacked. That kind of news can be unsettling to many of us and leave us wondering how we can better protect our online security. One way to address the problem is to beef up your first line of defense against hackers: the passwords to your online accounts.
Alfred Offers Bat-tastic Productivity for Mac Owners
March 19, 2013
We can't all have the riches of Bruce Wayne. Mac owners, however, can have a virtual version of his faithful servant, Alfred. Like Wayne's invaluable butler, this free productivity app is also named Alfred. Its latest version (2.0), released this month, is more useful than ever.
A Few Quirks Keep Mellel Lite From Being a Heavyweight
March 5, 2013
Word processors can be a matter of taste. Some writers feel that the more the word processor departs from the original word processor -- the typewriter -- the more it interferes with the actual act of writing. For those writers, there are bare bones word processors like Byword and iA Writer.
MindNode Makes Mind Mapping a Mind-Blower
February 12, 2013
Mind maps don't have anything to do with identifying the contours of your brain -- although they may give you an inkling about how your mind works. At the heart of a mind map is the idea that we don't think in rigid hierarchies. The old-fashioned tree outline with heads, subheads and so forth can nicely organize a theme, document or white paper, but it isn't how people think or the way the brain works.
Napkin Takes Visual Editing to a Higher Level
February 5, 2013
Aside from their intended purposes, napkins have been known to be used for such things as jotting down the next big idea at business lunches. It's that unintended purpose that inspired the folks at Aged and Distilled software to create their markup app called "Napkin." Napkin gives you a set of professional tools for visually editing content.
PopClip and Unclutter: Big Utility Comes in Small Packages
January 29, 2013
Size isn't always a measure of an app's usefulness. Sometimes you can get more utility from a small app than you'd get from larger one that you use only occasionally. Two such useful programs are PopClip and Unclutter. While PopClip can help you cut down your keystrokes during the day, Unclutter can keep you from losing your mind trying to rifle through the mess on a chaotic desktop.
Soulver Takes the Problem Out of Problem Solving
January 22, 2013
It's nigh impossible to avoid numbers in our daily lives. Whether it's preparing a household budget, doing a tax return, calculating travel expenses or divvying up a dinner tab, dealing with digits is inescapable. Necessity, however, doesn't make numbers any more interesting to many of us, especially those of us more comfortable with words.
New Parallels Aligns With Mountain Lion, Windows 8
August 31, 2012
Following the lead of competitor VMware last week, Parallels raised the curtain Thursday on a new release of its software for running Windows software on a Mac computer. Parallels Desktop for Mac 8 will run on the latest version of Apple's OS X operating system, 10.8 Mountain Lion, and supports the upcoming release of Microsoft's operating system, Windows 8.
Gesture App Flutter Flickers With Potential
August 27, 2012
I like to listen to music occasionally while I work, but I also end up pausing songs often -- there are phone calls to take, to make, and sometimes writing particular paragraphs requires all the brain power I have available. I usually just hit the Play/Pause button at the top of my Mac keyboard.
Sony Mobile Plans Exodus to Japan
August 23, 2012
Today in international tech news: Sony plans to move its headquarters and slash yet more staff. Also: An Israeli park designed to give visitors a taste of biblical times equips its donkeys with WiFi routers; Google heads to Canada to map the North Pole; Spotify launches in Canada; Google finally has some success in China.
Mint for OS X Provides Eagle-Eye Scrutiny for Personal Finances
August 20, 2012
Back in the days of coin and cash, you could see your money. You could hold in your hands, put it in your wallet, and hang onto it. When it was time to spend it, you could feel about how much was leaving you in exchange for something else. Was the transaction worth it? Maybe, maybe not.
Can Sparrow Teach Gmail to Sing?
July 23, 2012
Google has acquired Sparrow, the maker of an email client available for various platforms, including Apple's iOS and Mac OS X. The news comes one week after Sparrow announced that its product is ready for Mac OS X Mountain Lion and for Apple's Retina Display technology.
Apple Products See the Unpolished Side of Chrome
June 29, 2012
Mac owners have been having more than a few headaches with Google's Chrome browser. Owners of new Macbook Airs have been complaining for several days that their devices have been freezing or crashing when they use the Chrome browser. Google confirmed that the problem is a leak of graphics resources in the Chrome browser related to the drawing of plugins on Mac OS X.
Apple Draws Up Blueprint for iTunes Renovation
June 29, 2012
Apple's iTunes may be getting a facelift soon. The new iTunes Store will be rolled out later this year -- most likely along with the next generation of Apple's popular iPhone -- and sport improved discovery and sharing capabilities, as well as better iCloud integration, according to a report.
Ringer for OS X Sets Just the Right Ringtone
June 5, 2012
Tone overlap syndrome can be a stressful affliction, and it seems to affect iPhone users on a regular basis. It's a phenomenon in which someone with whom you live or work has the same kind of phone you do and they use one or more of the same built-in tones you use on yours. Left unchecked, tone overlap can lead to annoyance, acute irritation, and eventually madness.
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