Don't-Miss Utility software Stories

Lion Designer lets you tweak the look of Lion

If you've ever wanted to tweak OS X's backgrounds and appearance, Lion Designer makes it relatively easy.

Airtoggle saves menu-bar space, toggles Wi-Fi from the keyboard

Airtoggle is a nifty utility that lets you toggle Wi-Fi from the keyboard and frees up some menu-bar space.

Promising Prospect: ReSpaceApp brings Spaces to Lion

ReSpaceApp is a new utility, currently in beta, that brings Spaces (Snow Leopard's implementation of virtual workspaces) to Lion's Mission Control.

Retrospect 9.0: powerful backup for professionals, organizations

Retrospect 9.0 is a powerful, reliable backup for organizations that require more than simple desktop-grade solutions. But it might take a system administrator to see the beauty beneath its flawed interface.

AccessMenuBarApps lets you see hidden menu-bar icons

If you've got too many menu-bar apps and menu extras, they can get crowded out by application menus. AccessMenuBarApps gives you a number of options for quickly revealing those icons.

Cloak secures your Internet traffic without the hassle

Connecting to public Wi-Fi networks can be risky. Cloak gives you the benefits of a virtual private network (VPN) without the usual setup, configuration, and activation hassles.

Sparrow for iPhone

The iOS version of this email client features a well-designed interface that packs in a good deal of functionality, though it's missing one key feature at this stage.

Hazel, the standout file organizer, gets even smarter

Hazel was already a Mac Gem, but the new version's nested conditionals, new actions, and interface tweaks have made a great utility even better.

App Guide: Essential iOS utilities

macworld.com

If you're a new iPhone or iPad owner, we recommend these utilities for expanding the capabilities of your iOS device.

Clear for iPhone

This task management app employs some nonconventional iOS interface elements, which are cleverly implemented and fun to use. But the app's simplicity may hamper its overall effectiveness at helping you get things done.

My Living Desktop uses video for your Mac's desktop

My Living Desktop is unlike any other application on your Mac. It is a hybrid live wallpaper and screen saver, a Zen moment in the midst of the cluttered folders of your computer.

Pacifist makes you the boss of file archives and packages

Pacifist lets you examine, and even extract files from, installer packages and file archives. It also provides a number of troubleshooting tools.

Noteshelf for iPad

Noteshelf for iPad offers a lot of note-taking functionality. You can use the app to combine handwritten and text notes, photos, icons, and more. And it works pretty well.