SLIDESHOW

The Week in Mac apps: Better, faster, stronger

In this edition of Mac-app updates and releases, we've got solutions for faster typing, quicker finding, better coding, easier listening, and Visio Viewing. And that's just the first five new apps.

Better, faster, stronger

In this edition of Mac-app updates and releases, we've got solutions for faster typing, quicker finding, better coding, easier listening, and Visio Viewing. And that's just the first five new apps.

Typinator 5.6

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when you can trigger it as a text snippet. Ergonis’s Typinator 5.6 adds the capability to include images in plain-text expansions. Great for those animated GIF fans, right? The update, which also prepares the software for use with OS X Mavericks, runs €25, but upgrade pricing is also available.

InfoClick 1.1

Nisus Software’s $15 email-search tool InfoClick (Mac App Store link) has been updated to version 1.1. New features included searching by Apple Mail accounts, mailboxes, and folders; the capability to search for items that don’t contain a specific term; and searching for deleted messages.

BBEdit 10.5.5

Bare Bones Software’s bulletproof text editors, the $50 BBEdit (Mac App Store link) and the free TextWrangler (Mac App Store link), have both received maintenance updates. While the patches primarily fix reported bugs, both apps now let you discard the existing auto-save state by holding down Command, Control, and Shift at launch.

Vox

Those fed up with iTunes—either its interface or its lack of support for niche audio formats—should take a look at Coppertino’s free Vox. This minimalist app supports most audio formats, including Apple Lossless, FLAC, AAC, MP3, and OGG; can play custom playlists or your existing iTunes playlists; and connects with LastFM to keep your listening stats.

The app also supports standard audio-player features, including compatibility with Apple’s keyboard media keys, the Apple Remote, and inline headphone remote; a customizable equalizer; AirPlay; and Notification Center. A $5 in-app purchase enables the Premium Radio Feature, which lets you listen to over 3,000 Internet-radio stations from within the app.

Visio Viewer for Mac

If your job involves viewing Microsoft Visio files, you may not need to drop into Boot Camp or a virtual machine to do so anymore thanks to Enolsoft’s $29 Visio Viewer for Mac. The app lets you view .vsd Visio drawings, as well as perform basic image manipulations such as zooming and rotating; you can also search text. The app uses a tabbed interface for viewing multiple files at once, and it also makes it easy to convert Visio drawings to PDF for distribution to people who don’t have Visio or Visio Viewer.

Logic Pro X 10.0.3

Calling all audio editors: Apple’s Logic Pro X (Mac App Store link pro-level audio-editing software has been revamped, with a new, more streamlined interface, Smart Controls, tools for bass players and drummers, a companion iPad app, and a $200 price tag. The latest update fixes a bug related to bypassing a multi-output instrument plug-in. For more, check out our full review.

BusyCal 2.5

The popular Calendar/iCal alternative received a nice feature bump in BusyCal 2.5. The biggest new feature is extensive support for Microsoft’s Exchange calendering system: BusyCal now supports Exchange 2007, 2010, and 2013, as well as Office 365. You can also now sync tasks via Exchange and share tasks with other BusyCal users.

BusyCal 2.5 is $30 for new users; it’s a free update for existing users.

iGlasses 3.4

Back in 2007, iGlasses 2.0 was a Mac Gem. Since then, Ecamm’s $20 utility for tweaking your Mac’s built-in camera has seen numerous updates, and iGlasses 3.4 is one of the biggest. The latest version lets you manually adjust and lock white balance for better images in bad lighting conditions, and to keep exposure constant across a particular shot. (iGlasses also lets you push your camera beyond its standard auto-exposure capabilities in dark lighting.)

iGlasses 3.4 also gains AppleScript support, and you can now use your Mac’s Apple Remote to control digital pan, tilt, and zoom.

Back-In-Time 3

Tri-Edre’s alternative interface for OS X’s Time Machine backup feature has received a major update in the form of Back-In-Time 3 ($30; $10 upgrade from version 2). When we reviewed an earlier version, we liked that Back-In-Time makes it much easier to view and retrieve backed-up versions of files. Version 3 brings a revamped user interface and better search and backup-navigation features.

Even better, the company has added a feature for indexing Time Machine and Time Capsule disks so that you can search and browse the contents of those backups even when the drives are not mounted.

Ember 1.1

Realmac Software’s image cataloging app, born from the ashes of LittleSnapper, has been renamed to Ember (Mac App Store link). Version 1.1 of the $50 program improves the annotation features, lets you drag and drop images from the Finder, improves support for GIFs, and more. Check out our in-depth hands on for more.