Tag Archives: Mac Apps

Monolingual Frees Up Space On Your Mac By Removing Unnecessary Language Files

After lusting over a MacBook Air for more than a few months, I recently purchased the 13″ MacBook Air with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD. While there is no denying the fact that SSDs are the future, they are still pretty pricey.

While Apple originally aimed the MBA as a light laptop replacement for many, it has become a desktop replacement for many including me. The only problem is that the 120.47GB of space does not cut it for me. After installing all my needed apps, backups, pictures and movies, I am not left with sufficient space for day-to-day work. Also, since it is not recommended to fill a SSD more than 50% of its actual capacity, I need to make sure that I always have around 60GB or more free space on my Air.

After hunting through the Internet searching for tips to free up space on my MacBook Air, I came across an app called Monolingual. The app allows you to remove all the unneeded language files, architecture files and Input keyboard layouts from all the installed apps on your Mac. I freed up more than 3GB of space on my MBA by using Monolingual, and removing all the unneeded language and architecture files.

Do keep in mind that once you remove any particular language, or architecture from your OS X installation, the only way to install it back is to do a complete re-installation of OS X, so proceed with caution.

Monolingual can be downloaded for free from here, and works on Mountion Lion as well.

 

Download Google Drive for Android, Windows and Mac

It was no secret that Google was working on a competitor to and SkyDrive and the official announcement came today. will provide users with 5GB of free space to all users. This is in line with Microsoft’s recent announcement to provide 7GB of free space for SkyDrive.

Google Drive

Google Drive will tightly integrate with and allow users to create and store documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files and more and collaborate with friends and family online.  Additionally, Google Drive will also provide users with apps for PC, Mac and .

Also Read: Google Drive vs Dropbox vs SkyDrive | Google Drive, Another Privacy Disaster

Google Drive will directly compete with the likes of Dropbox and SkyDrive on PCs and mobile devices. It will also be an answer to Microsoft’s SkyDrive on Windows Phone 7 and iOS devices which is not available for Android devices. Dropbox on the other end is available for all mobile devices and also supports Linux. However, their initial free space is only 2GB which might potentially go up now. Additionally, Dropbox also allows for 16GB additional space from referrals.

Also See: Get 50GB Free Space for Android from Box.net | 5 Best Ways to Keep Documents Online

Google Drive will also provide users with a search functionality which will also make use of OCR to search images and scanned documents thanks to their acquisition of reCaptcha. This is definitely a big plus for them.

You can download Google Drive for your computer or device by using the link below; an iOS app will be released soon:

*Please note that the Android app is a rebranding of the Google Docs app for Android.

‘Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition’ Coming to Mac

Last week, it was revealed that the popular 1998 role-playing game, Baldur’s Gate, is being remade by the original maker Overhaul games. Overhaul Games’s new version will be called Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition.

In addition, the company also announced that the new version will also be available for iPad and will be available in the summer of 2012. The company has now announced that the game will also be available for Mac in summer 2012 in the Mac App Store.

Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition™ runs on an upgraded and improved version of the Infinity Engine. It includes the entire Baldur’s Gate adventure, the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack, and never before seen content including a new adventure and a new party member.

The company also reports that there will be many Mac OS X specific features “including widescreen and iCloud support”.

Apple Releases Major Update and Free Trial for Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X

Apple released Final Cut Pro X exclusively on the Mac App Store  in June, but many users  criticized  the application for missing features and incompatibility with Final Cut Pro 7. Earlier this month, MacRumors reported that  Apple had put  the previous version of its Final Cut Studio video editing suite back on sale, possibly due to the mixed feedback on the new and completely redesigned Final Cut Pro X. Today, Apple has released version 10.0.1 (don’t let the version number fool you) of Final Cut Pro X. Version 10.0.1 is a major update and brings back requested features.

The update is available for free to all Final Cut Pro X owners. New features in the latest update include media stems export, Rich XML support, and projects and events on Xsan.

Jim Darlympe of The Loop has received word from Richard Townhill, senior director of applications marketing at Apple, that the  features were added after the company received feedback from its users (remember, Apple doesn’t care about its customers).  “We listened to the pros and have taken their top feature requests and put them in this update,” Townhill said.

In addition, Apple has promised another update  to bring multi cam editing and broadcast video output support, which is expected to launch early next year. Also, a new free trial of the software is now available on the Final Cut Pro X site, giving users the opportunity to test out the software before making a purchase.

This is what I love about Apple, when they screw up they usually fix it to most people’s satisfaction.

Apple Puts Final Cut Studio Back on Sale

Apple released Final Cut Pro X exclusively on the Mac App Store  in June, but many users  criticized the application for missing features and incompatibility with Final Cut Pro 7.    Today, MacRumors reports that Apple has put  the previous version of its Final Cut Studio video editing suite back on sale, possibly due to the mixed feedback on the new and completely redesigned Final Cut Pro X.

Final Cut Studio

MacRumors has confirmed with an Apple representative  that Final Cut Studio, part number MB642Z/A, is again available for $999 (and $899 for educational customers). Currently, the product is only available through the 800-number and is not available in Apple Retail Stores or on the Apple Online Store.

Final Cut Studio is a video editing packaging that includes Final Cut Pro 7, Motion 4, Soundtrack Pro 3, DVD Studio Pro 4, Color 1.5 and Compressor 3.5. After the launch of Final Cut Pro X, Apple discontinued the product.  Critics of the new product had complained that the abrupt discontinuation of the previous version of the software had made the transition more difficult. In addition, Apple had promised regular updates to Final Cut Pro X.

Update: The Loopt has received official word from an Apple spokesperson regarding their decision.

As we’ve done before with many end-of-life software products, we have a limited quantity of Final Cut Studio still available through Apple telesales to customers who need them for ongoing projects,an Apple spokesperson told The Loop.

 

Getting Started with GeekTool [Mac How-To]

A few days ago, I pointed out that GeekTool, one of the most powerful customization tools available for the Mac, is now available in the Mac App Store. I promised in that article that I would do a short write up on how to use GeekTool. I know that it can be a daunting task for those who are new to the application. That’s why I have decided to show you how to set up a simple geeklet.

The geeklet, which is what you get when you place a GeekTool script on your desktop, that I am going to show you is a simple clock. It will display the time in 12 or 24 hour format based on your clock settings. It is essentially a desktop clock that shows a mirror of what is on your internal clock. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Download and install GeekTool.
    geektool-mas.png
    That’s an easy one. You can grab it from the Mac App Store.
  2. Open GeekTool and select Shell.
    geektool-window.pngYou will see 3 different options when you open GeekTool. Click and drag ‘Shell’ to the desktop, and a new window will open.
  3. Type ”  date ‘+%I:%M:%S %p’ ” into the Command box.
    command-geektool.jpg
    So this window can be a little daunting. There are a ton of options that you don’t need to touch. For this step, simply copy and paste that code string into the Command Box.
  4. Set the Refresh rate to 1 second.
    refresh-geektool.jpgIf you want this clock to actually work correctly, then you need to set it’s refresh to 1 second. That option is right under the command.
  5. Optional: Change the Font Color and Size.
    font-geektool.jpgThis last step is optional, but it can make a world of difference. Towards the bottom of the Properties windows, you will see a bar that says ‘Click here to set font & color.’ Click that to do what it says.

If you did everything correctly, you will now have a working GeekTool clock on your desktop. You can move it around you desktop to wherever it works best for you. Mine is in a speech bubble in my Doctor Who comic desktop. I’ve seen them carefully placed behind image geeklets, as backgrounds and even made gigantic. The only limit is your creativity.

If you want to find more unique geeklets, I recommend you check out Mac OS X Tips. They have a great database of cool and unique uses for GeekTool. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a note in the comments below.

GeekTool Released for Free in the Mac App Store

For as long as I have been using computers, I have been obsessed with customization. I themed all my machines growing up, giving them looks that made my father crazy. I would turn my desktop into the control deck of a Sci-Fi space ship, or give it a pirate feel. When I first bought my Mac, I thought I would never be able to do anything like that again.

Boy was I wrong.

Quickly, I learned of a huge community of Mac customization fiends, and made myself one of them. I learned the tools of their trade, including BowTie and Photoshop. Then, I dove deeper into the scene and discovered GeekTool. Once I learned its secrets, I could make my Mac desktop much more personal than any Windows machine I had ever owned.

If you aren’t familiar with GeekTool, then you are probably missing out. It allows you to create simple bits of code or images that exist on your desktop. While that sounds a little boring, allow me to assure you that it isn’t. You can create working clocks, rolling tickers for stock information, and even constantly updating weather information. The possibilities are almost endless.

Now, I have some really good news for old and new GeekTool users. Tynsoe, the developer behind GeekTool, has released it into the Mac App Store. This means that you no longer have to hunt it down on the internet, install it manually, and then try to keep it updated by yourself. The Mac App Store will take care of all those messy parts for you, leaving you to play with your new customization toy. I know that many are wondering how to use GeekTool effectively, and I promise that I am working on a handful of posts on just that subject. Keep your eyes peeled and your tabs open to Techie Buzz to find out more. Until that happens, take a look at my GeekTooled desktop, featuring the great Sci-Fi series ‘Doctor Who’.

Skitch now Free for All Users, Coming Soon to a All Platforms

Skitch, which is arguably the best screen shot annotation app on the Mac, is now free to all users. Thanks to Evernote, who announced that they have acquired Skitch Thursday, the highly popular image capturing and annotating app is now available for free on the Mac App Store. It was previously available for $19.99.

Evernote is a fantastic free note taking and organization application that I have mentioned before. They currently have applications available on 14 different platforms, including iOS, Android, Mac, PC, and the Web. They are now planning on expanding their service by bringing Skitch to all of those platforms, giving users of Windows and Linux the ability to use one of my favorite blogging tools.

evernoteskitch.jpg

There has been full timeline released for Evernote’s release of Skitch across its platforms. They have said that their Android app is available now in the Android Market for absolutely nothing. They also said they are working on their iOS and Windows apps, and hope to have them out as soon as possible.

They also promised deeper integration of Skitch into Evernote. In their blog post, Evernote said that Skitch represented their fulfillment of a promise to users. That promise was to bring better image editing to Evernote, and Skitch fits that bill nicely. I am looking forward to trying it out with the next versions of Evernote.

If you are a Mac user and do any kind of image annotation or screen shot work, then Skitch is an app you should defiantly pick up. I recommended it when it was $20, and now that its free I think it should come preinstalled on all Macs. Grab it form the Mac App Store today.

5 Must Have Back to School Apps for Mac

As I said in my roundup of iPad apps  on Tuesday, the back to school season is upon us once again. As many begin to gather their supplies, they are also shopping for a new computer for this next year. While the PC remains dominate in many circles, it is quickly losing ground among students. That means that there are thousands of students trying to find the essential apps for education to run on their Macs.

Fear not! I am here to help, and I have brought a list of 5 of the most essential apps for Back To School 2011. This is list is going to cover note taking, organization, paper writing, time management, and even relaxation. All of these apps come from my experience as a university student, and they are all amazing. Without further ado, let’s get to that list.

1. NeoOffice (Free)

I think that its important to start with something that everyone can understand. That’s why the first app on my list is NeoOffice. Neo is a branch of the OpenOffice.org project that was rethought specifically for the Mac. I have been a user of OpenOffice/LibreOffice for a number of years now, and NeoOffice is a great version. It offers all the usual programs, including a word processor, spreadsheet program, and presentation editor.

neooffice-mac.png

Neo is completely free for certain versions. You get a complete office suite, much like Microsoft Office, for no money at all. However, I have donated $10 to them, and have access to their latest beta release. That version comes with Lion support, including versions and full-screen mode. That makes NeoOffice a fantastic addition to my machine, which runs like a top on Lion.

Overall, I think that the need for an office suite is obvious for the aerate student. You will write papers, analyze data and even create presentations throughout your educational career. If you are looking for a cheap alternative to Microsoft or Apple’s offerings, or if you want to support a good open source project, I can’t recommend NeoOffice enough.

Alternatives: OpenOffice (Free), LibreOffice (Free), iWork ($60 – Mac App Store), Microsoft Office ($85)

2. Evernote (Free)

Many students buy a light weight laptop, like the MacBook Air, with the hope of using it to take notes in class. While there are arguments that this is best done with a word processor (see number 1 on this list), there are just as many reasons as to why you should use a dedicated note taking app. In my opinion, there is no better app for taking notes then Evernote, which is completely free.

evernote-mac.png

Evernote, for those who aren’t aware, is a note taking and organization application from Evernote Software. They offer one of the best Mac apps I have come across in my search. It is feature rich and includes the ability to record audio, record video, link documents to notes, and even share notes with friends. It is also cross platform, with apps available to iOS, Android, Windows, and the web.

I really like Evernote. As I said in my iPad roundup, I use it to sync my handwritten notes with my Mac, and it works wonderfully. I also keep track of assignments, manage my PDF notes, and even use it in class occasionally. It’s free to use, and is probably the best note taking app around. Download it here.

Alternatives: Word Processor, Growly (Free), Nevernote (Free)

3. Caffeine (Free)

This probably the strangest app on my list of 5. Its going to seem like something incredibly simple, but it really is a lifesaver sometimes. The app is called Caffeine, and it allows you to prevent your Mac’s screen from going to sleep. I suspect that most college students will have MacBooks of some kind, be they Pros, Airs, or White Plastics. That means that they have a power save option that is one by default. This will turn your screen off after a given amount of time spent inactive.

caffeine-mac.png

While that may not sound like a big deal to many people, its a huge deal to students who are trying to take notes in class. Often, a professor will go off on a tangent, and you won’t type anything for 10 minutes. Then, they will tell you all the answers to the test in the next 2 minutes, and you don’t want to waste any time waking your machine back up. That’s where Caffeine comes in to play.

Caffeine will install a small coffee cup icon into your menu bar. You click it, and its activated. It’s that simple. It’s completely free, and you can pick it up in the Mac App Store.

Alternatives: None. It’s free. Go install it.

4. iProcrastinate (Free)

One of the biggest problems for the average student is time management and scheduling. I have tried multiple methods for handling this issue, and it was hard beat. I finally discovered iProcrastinate, which is a free Mac app that allows you to create a simple calendar with events and assignment due dates on it. While you can do that in iCal, iProcrastinate lets you take your organization to another level.

iprocrastinate-mac.png

iProcrastinate allows you to set up steps to a task, each with its own check mark. That way, you can set up a plan for researching your paper, writing the rough draft, proofreading it, and then writing your final draft. The calendar display is quite good, showing you all your tasks and their due dates for a given time period.

iProcrastinate is awesome for managing not only your school work, but all of your life. Be sure to use it to schedule some relaxation into your schedule. It will allow you to color code things, letting you see them easily in the calendar. It also gives you nice notifications reminding you of due dates. You can grab it for free in the Mac App Store.

Alternatives: Any To-Do App, Wunderlist (Free)

5. Steam (Free)

This last app is something that I think every Mac user who likes to play games should install. While the Mac isn’t known for having the best games on the market, that landscape is certainly changing. One driving force behind that is Steam, Valve’s digital distribution service, making its way over to the Mac. With that, they now offer a number of top notch titles.

steam-mac.png

You may be wondering why this is on the my Back to School app list. That’s because the most important thing you can do as a student is relax. If you try to do nothing but study, you will drive yourself mad. Steam will give you access to a ton of games, many of them for next to nothing or completely free. One game I recommend is Team Fortress 2, which is a great free shooter.

Like I said, this is a must have for students. I think the best time I spend in college is the time I set aside for gaming. It helps me forget that I have a heavy course load that requires so much of my time. However, it’s important to remember that you still need to study some of the time. That’s why you should use Steam in combination with iProcrastinate. Seriously. Do it. You can download Steam for free here.

Alternatives: Mac App Store? Seriously, just get Steam.

Get Downloading and Get Studying

So there you have it. 5 apps that every college student who uses a Mac should use. I know that I use these apps all the time. If I could add one more, I would recommend Dropbox, just because it’s so much better than carrying a flash drive. It’s a lifesaver most of the time. Also, even with Dropbox, all the apps on this list are Free, which is awesome for poor students like me.

What apps would be on your list? Do you think I missed something major? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

MixTab Brings Flipboard Style News Discovery to the Mac [Review]

I’ve mentioned before that blogging can sometimes mean reading a lot of news. However, it’s always possible that you will miss a big story because you weren’t looking in the right place. That’s why I think it’s important to have more than one path to news. While my primary sources are always RSS feeds and direct press releases, I often find interesting topics for posts in other places.

One such place is MixTab, an app that was ported from iOS to the Mac. MixTab reminds me a lot of Flipboard, the extremely popular iPad app that lets you see news feeds, Twitter, and Facebook in a magazine style presentation. However, what makes MixTab pretty special is that it includes user generated tabs of news.

mixtab-1.png

The user experience of MixTab is pretty nice. It has a nice looking interface with a few customization options. It gives you the option to control which tabs you subscribe to, and even create some of your own. It also supports the full screen mode introduced in OS X Lion, which is a nice touch.

The one real downside I see to the current revision of the MixTab interface is the way it handles full screen mode. While it will become an independent desktop like other apps, it doesn’t scale the content up. Instead, it simply makes the background behind the content bigger. That’s kind of upsetting, but not a huge deal.

mixtab-2.png

The content that is presented in MixTab is out of their control. However, I wish they would work on a system to filter languages of posts and sources. I subscribe to several different Technology tabs, and many of them have international sources. However, I only speak English fluently, with some minor understanding of Spanish. I want to be able to control the language of my tabs.

Overall, I like MixTab. I feel like they have brought sometime good from iOS and made is work well on the Mac. If they fixed the two major issues I pointed out above, this would be a must-have app for me. As it stands, it’s only a nice addition to my arsenal. Sometimes, it takes more work than it should to use it effectively. I give it 3.5/5 stars. You can grab it for Free in the Mac App Store.

App: MixTab for Mac
Developer: MixTab Inc.
Price: Free
Score: 3.5/5 Stars