Cloud storage is a great way to sync up content to access on multiple devices and platforms, and provides an offsite backup for important files. But if you’re like me, you’ve got numerous cloud accounts, with files scattered among them. Cloud Commander (Mac App Store link) decreases the insanity by letting you connect to your Dropbox, Box, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, SugarSync, Copy.com, Bitcasa, Picasa, and Flickr accounts in one place. It can also act as a WebDAV or FTP client.
Once you’ve connected your accounts, double-click one to open it in the Cloud Commander window. From there you can drag and drop files and folders to and from that service, either moving or copying the items, depending on how you’ve configured Cloud Commander’s preferences. Control- or right-click on a file or folder to rename, delete, or (for most services) get a sharable link for it. You can select an item and press the spacebar for a QuickLook preview. You can even open multiple Cloud Commander windows to, say, copy files from your Dropbox account to your OneDrive account.
As long as the Mac has stored files in virtual folders, those folders have been messy. So over the years, a variety of products have come along to help you clean those folders up. Hazel is perhaps the best known of these. But if Hazel is overkill for you, Folder Tidy (Mac App Store link) is worth a look.
OS X’s built-in Time Machine feature makes backing up your important data a relatively painless process: You just connect a drive to your Mac, tell the OS to use that drive for Time Machine, and then, to quote a famous Apple ad, “There is no Step 3.” As long as Time Machine doesn’t run into any problems, it works great.
But when Time Machine does experience a glitch, it’s not always clear what went wrong. The Time Machine pane of System Preferences provides a red Info (i) button that can sometimes fill you in on the details, but not always, and if Time Machine should face multiple issues, that button provides only the latest error message.
The info you really want is buried in OS X’s system logs...along with thousands of lines of information that has nothing to do with Time Machine. You could use the Console utility (in /Applications/Utilities) to try to uncover the relevant info, but Ron van Rens’s $2 LogViewer for Time Machine (Mac App Store link) is a better approach.
If there’s one constant across every Mac we’ve ever used, it’s the calculator. From System 1 to Yosemite, there’s always been a basic number cruncher baked right into the operating system, but for the most part, the calculators on our desktops still aren’t much smarter than the ones in our desk drawers.
Numi (Mac App Store link) breaks that mold. A calculator built for the iOS generation, the minimal utility eschews the traditional keypad in favor of casual, text-based equations that let you see exactly what’s been added and subtracted.
In spite of the criticism levied against it, I tend to give iTunes the benefit of the doubt. It’s there, it does a serviceable job of managing and playing my music, it functions as a device hub and it does a good job of it. Tim Murrison’s BitPerfect 2.0.1 (Mac App Store link) shows what iTunes music is capable of and is an audiophile’s dream. BitPerfect opens a world of clearer, more present sound that you never thought was possible from your Mac’s speakers.
BitPerfect is sleek, minimal, unobtrusive, and powerful. The program, which resides in your OS X menu bar, can be quickly enabled or disabled with a click of the mouse. Launch BitPerfect for the first time, designate which audio library you want it to use and it’ll quickly scan your iTunes library, inform you that it’s made changes to the library and is ready to begin working. Enable BitPerfect, run iTunes as you normally would and the sound difference is like night and day—BitPerfect upscales the audio sent to the output device. Add in a slew of preference and customization options and there’s enough to keep happy any audiophile within the vicinity .
The art of retouching photos has come a long way since the Soviet used crude cut-and-paste techniques to remove unwanted people from black and white shots in the Fifties. These days, even the most basic photo editing software is capable of performing sophisticated alterations on all kinds of images.
Snapheal 1.2 (Mac App Store link) is one such tool, but with a twist: it’s designed to allow users to selectively alter parts of an image by tweaking its technical parameters, adjusting exposure settings, and removing unwanted features.
Let’s start with the latter, which is a modern equivalent of the old Soviet edit jobs. Once you load an image in Snapheal, the app gives you three different tools for selecting a specific area, which can then be excised using several algorithms that replace it with content cloned from elsewhere in the photo. As you can imagine, this tends to work well when you try to remove subjects against a uniform or abstract background like the sky or a sandy beach. The app fares particularly well when it comes to removing overhead wires against the sky—a quick and easy way to greatly enhance the look of many photos.
Many of us here at Macworld are fans of Markdown, a nifty markup language that lets you write for the Web using plain text and a simple formatting syntax. We also frequently write in HTML. But one of the challenges in writing in these “languages,” if you will, is that it’s tough to see exactly how what you’re writing will look once it’s published on the Web.
A couple years back, I reviewed Marked, a fantastic utility that shows you a live preview of Markdown-, HTML-, and XML-formatted files. Even better, Marked can use custom CSS templates, so you can make those previews look almost exactly like your text will appear on your website or blog. Marked can even convert your code’s equivalent HTML for pasting into that blog or CMS, and it can export your preview to a number of document types, including PDF, RTF, and .doc.
I subsequently covered a big update to Marked that added additional preview styles, auto-scrolling your preview to the location of your latest edits, multi-file previews, custom file processors, and support for tables of contents, among other changes.