While Photos is streamlined and zippy compared to iPhoto, its stripped-down approach can be confusing. PowerPhotos takes some of the shock out of Photos for OS X by helping bridge the gap between old and new. Fat Cat Software’s app offers assistance in migrating iPhoto libraries, managing multiple Photos libraries, and a different way of viewing images and videos. It’s more flexible, to be sure.
When launched, PowerPhotos shows—under an Operations listing—Migrate iPhoto Libraries, which can also be selected later from the File menu. This lists all iPhoto libraries that it can find via Spotlight; you can add others manually.
The migrate operation lets you manage creating Photos-compatible libraries without babysitting the Photos app, and shows progress and errors. It can also migrate several libraries from the same interface instead of requiring multiple iterations of quitting and launching Photos with the right key held down.
First, the obvious: Unicorns has the best Mac app icon. Who doesn’t love unicorns? How can you hate on a unicorn Mac icon?
OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the app itself. Unicorns are magical mythical animals, and what the Unicorns app does could be considered magical: On a Mac, it allows you to view a stream of the screen of a connected iOS device, with no need to install any iOS software. Not only can you view the stream on your Mac, but you can also broadcast it over the Internet so others can watch. And Unicorns does all of this for free.
So you’ve been using Spotify for a while, and you’ve got a sidebar full of playlists, with songs and albums you’ve been saving. That’s quite a digital collection you’ve got there.
But now Apple Music has come on the scene, and you want to switch. Spotify won’t help you—you can’t export your playlists, at least not in any usable format—and iTunes has no way of importing your music.
What do you do? Go through each and every song on Spotify and search for it on Apple Music? Nah, that’d take too long; you want to listen to music, not fuss around. Fortunately, the $5 Move to Apple Music can help you out. Working with both Spotify and Rdio, this app makes a pipeline between your accounts, finding what you’ve stored on the former services, and adding them to your Apple Music library.
It’s hard to pinpoint when it happened, but email has turned from a modern, convenient form of communication into an awful nuisance. It’s not just spam and unwanted solicitations; without strict attention, emails that actually need to be dealt with will pile up and important ones will inadvertently get pushed to the bottom of your inbox.
What we need is a better way to communicate. Where text messages and tweets encourage short, rapid-fire conversations, emails tend to be lengthier—and therein lies the problem. We put off responding because emails inherently require more time; even when a simple answer is all that’s needed, we tend to labor over what we write.
With the untimely demise of iPhoto earlier this year, Apple appears to have finally abandoned the last vestiges of the iLife concept introduced in 2002, leaving iMovie and GarageBand as the sole remnants of a once-great legacy of whimsical creative applications for average folks.
Many third-party developers are keeping this storied tradition alive in an unofficial capacity with spiritual successors to iLife, treading new ground with inspired Mac software that retains the familiar, user-friendly look and feel of Cupertino’s classic consumer software.
The best solutions are often the simplest. Time after time, Apple has unveiled revolutionary new input methods that seem obvious in retrospect but are ingenious in their simplicity; things like the mouse, the click wheel, and multitouch are so deceptively simple they have instantly changed the way we approach the respective interfaces they control, bringing faster and more efficient interactions with the various elements on the screen.
That’s precisely why menu bar apps are my favorite kind of utility. Over the years I’ve probably used hundreds of them, and as you can see in the screenshots below, there are no less than a dozen of them at the top of my screen at any given time (not counting the ones Apple lets me put there). Their beauty lies in their innate simplicity, putting important bits of information and controls in my line of sight and cutting down on the time I need to spend navigating complex interfaces.
Our iPhones have made it so we’re never more than a few seconds away from a weather forecast. Whether we’re querying Siri or glancing at a widget, there are myriad ways to quickly check the temperature and conditions around us.
But it’s different on OS X. Numerous apps that can turn our desktops into veritable weather stations, but the quickness of iOS is often lost under a mountain of features and statistics.