Don't-Miss Utility software Stories

Gem Update: FreeSpace 1.1 improves drive monitoring and management

FreeSpace is a handy menu-bar utility for keeping an eye on your free drive space, as well as for quickly accessing and unmounting volumes. Version 1.1 provides a number of improvements that make it even more useful.

App Guide: Measuring and conversion apps for iOS

macworld.com

Whether you need to take a measurement or convert the measurements you already have, these apps can speed up your calculations.

Clean Text helps you clean up messy text

Clean Text is a useful tool for cleaning up messy text. It doesn't have as many features as the best text-cleaning offerings, but it provides many of the most-common options for a reasonable price.

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.