Meet me at the corner
There’s a way to bring those meetings you can't avoid to order in this week’s Mac App roundup, alongside other great pieces of software that help you organize your business, crop your pictures, and keep your remote connections safe, secure, and looking great.
RealMac Software’s excellent scrapbooking software Ember (Mac App Store Link) has been updated to version 1.3, which introduces several new features, such as the ability to pixelate and blur portions of an image you want to keep confidential.
The $50 app now also comes with the option to back up your library—never a bad idea—and, of course, a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements.
Hotspot Shield 1.0.2
AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield (Mac App Store Link) tunnels your Internet connection through a secure private virtual network that allows you to protect your data from potential snoopers—and overcome any unwanted country- or provider-specific blocks and limitations you may be subject to.
Although the app is a free download, access to the secure network is provided as an in-app purchase, with a $5 monthly cost, or $30 for a whole year’s worth of service.
Jump Desktop 4.0.3
If you frequently connect to and manage remote Macs or Windows PCs, Phase Five Systems’s $30 Jump Desktop (Mac App Store Link) is the app you've been looking for. It supports both RDP and VNC protocols using a custom-made engine that is multicore-enabled and GPU-accelerated, which allow it to offer unparalleled performance.
The latest release introduces iCloud sync to keep all your connections up to date on multiple machines, audio streaming on supported operating systems, and even the ability to seamlessly map your OS X key shortcuts to their Windows equivalent.
Mail Designer Pro 2.1.2
Equinux’s $100 Mail Designer Pro (Mac App Store Link) helps you design professional-looking templates for your email communications with an easy-to-use WYSIWYG interface and plenty of samples to start from.
The latest revision of the app is designed to work with OS X Mavericks and features the ability to preview your templates in a variety of mobile environments, including the latest iOS handsets.
Meeting Pad 1.11
My personal philosophy is that a meeting with two people should be called a lunch, and a meeting with more than two people should be called a mistake. If you have no choice but to attend one, Sekala Software’s $7 Meeting Pad (Mac App Store Link) can help you take control of it and run it in as efficient a manner as possible.
The app allows you to schedule meetings, write down and distribute minutes and action items, manage the room's seating arrangements, and even record audio.
The app helps you categorize, convert, optimize, manipulate, and rename image files in large batches using a set of customizable rules. You can use it to add watermarks, resample, and resize a large number of files in one go—and it will even preserve all your metadata and timestamps.
Among the app's capabilities: resizing to fit a particular format, resolution, final byte size, and much more—including the ability to manipulate and convert batches of images in a single go.
Bits and bytes
Apalon’s $2 My Alarm Clock turns your computer—or, at least, a portion of your desktop—into a beautiful clock, with dozens of different designs and many options for every need … Developer Marcel Bresnik’s Battery Monitor is a great tool for monitoring the status and performance of your laptop’s battery, with graphs that show usage and charge history, and much more.
Urban Apps’s $3 Hourly News, which gives you access to the news right from your menu bar, has been updated to version 1.2.4, with a few bug fixes and better support for OS X Mavericks … Whimsical’s SimpleTimer, which, true to its word, gives you prompt access to an easy-to-use timer at the click of a mouse, has been bumped to version 2.1, which adds (much needed) support for OS X’s Notification Center and localization in German.