Maybe you’re going out of town for a while; maybe you live in a rough neighborhood; maybe you just wonder what your pets are up to all day. No matter the reason, the $50 Periscope Pro (Mac App Store link) from ZipZapMac can help you keep an eye on your domicile.
Periscope Pro’s a surveillance app that regularly takes video from your Mac’s camera, a connected webcam, or a third party IP-enabled camera—which doesn’t even have to be within your home. What triggers the recording is up to you: Periscope Pro can record continuously, or only when motion, sound, or some combination of both is detected. The video, in a frame rate and resolution of your choice, is stored on your computer’s drive, and it’s watchable either via the app itself, or simply by opening up the folder you choose.
If you’re a longtime user of OS X, you’re probably familiar with Apple’s Digital Color Meter (found in Applications > Utilities), a simple utility that magnifies the contents of the screen under the mouse pointer and lets you copy the RGB color components of the resulting pixel.
ColorSnapper (Mac App Store link) takes the concept a little further, providing a convenient way to instantly capture a specific color from your screen in a variety of formats. Once installed, the app becomes available in your menu bar, from where it can be invoked either via a mouse click or by using a global shortcut (the app defaults to Command-Control-C, which may interfere with the functionality provided by other apps, but you can change the shortcut).
There’s nothing sexy about font management. Designers often have hundreds of typesets to sort through, and keeping track of them all can be a big pain, especially when a deadline is looming. With an elegant WYSIWYG interface that focuses on organization rather than activation, Fonts opens up your suitcase wide enough to show you everything inside, and just might eliminate the pesky trial-and-error method.
If you’re looking for a replacement for Apple’s Font Book, however, you’re bound to be disappointed; in actuality, Fonts is more of a browser than a manager, but what it lacks in professional features it makes up for in usefulness. Each time it’s launched, the app quickly scans your designated folders for any new fonts, filling up its iOS-styled window with an alphabetical list of every typeface it finds.
I’ve done it, you know you’ve done it and that’s because it’s such an easy thing to do, but iBetterCharge has got your back. Your iPhone or iPad sits in your bag or on your desk, unplugged and not charging. Not a big deal, until you realize late in the day and right before you head out for the night, that you’ve got less that 20 percent of battery life left and and several hours ahead before you can charge your phone.
iBetterCharge uses iTunes Wi-Fi syncing to keep its finger on the pulse of your iOS device’s battery. You have four options for setting notification thresholds for the app. When your battery reaches 50, 20, 10, or 5 percent of its capacity you’ll receive a notification reminding you to plug your device in for a charge.
I’ve kept paper journals in the past, but never stuck with them. Filling those blank pages felt too much like a chore. Bloom Built’s superb Day One (Mac App Store link) makes keeping a journal easier than ever, thanks to smart features and a beautiful, welcoming interface.
At every turn, Day One does its best to get out of your way and let you write. The app offers helpful (if generic) prompts like “Do you have any favorite pets?” above each new entry window to get you going. These little nudges take away some of the pressure of the empty space below them. You can also fire off quick entries straight from an icon on your menubar, if opening the app itself is too much of a hassle. Day One can even gently remind you to write something; just tell it what time of day, and how often you wish it to prod you.
Unless you’ve spent a bundle to max out your Mac Pro with a couple pairs of 16GB RAM sticks, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced the occasional OS X slowdown. Even with Mavericks’ smart memory management, apps can still leak precious resources, causing all but the newest Macs to feel downright sluggish at times. Memory Diag won’t necessarily take away these issues, but it’ll help you pinpoint your trouble, contain the problem and get back to work.
Apple has always offered a way to track memory usage in Activity Monitor, but Memory Diag takes that data out of the app and puts it into the menu bar. A tiny thermometer icon gives you an approximation of how much RAM is being used by your system, and you’ll find a wealth of information after clicking on it, most notably a color-coded pie chart that breaks down your memory allotment and tells you which apps are doing the most damage. A second screen shows a summary of the available memory and the amount of RAM installed in each slot, though it would be more useful if it listed the type, too.
Cooking is as much a science as it is an art—both following a strict set of instructions or creating a new dish on the spur of the moment can yield excellent results (and full bellies). Even the most extemporaneous chef, however, has a stash of favorite recipes on hand—if not for anything else, then just to draw inspiration from when the next meals comes calling.
Recipes (Mac App Store link) gives chefs of all skill levels a digital box in which they can save, consult, and find their recipes. The app offers an elegant interface that captures all the essentials elements of a recipe: basic data like name, difficulty level, and cooking time are recorded alongside step-by-step instructions and an ingredient list. A separate grocery list is also available, although, unfortunately, there is no way to populate it with a recipe’s ingredients, or to sync it with the Reminders app.