The Week in Mac Apps: Nota bene

This week's Mac app roundup brings you a number of apps that take notes--some with text, some with media, and some with a way to map that jumble of ideas that keeps swirling around your head.

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Nota bene

This week's Mac app roundup brings you a number of apps that take notes—some with text, some with media, and some with a way to map that jumble of ideas that keeps swirling around your head.

We also have a drawing app that comes with everything you need to be a master artist (except, possibly, for the talent), a way to turn AirPlay on its head, and an interesting way to try out new apps without breaking the bank.


AirServer 5.0

Ever wished Apple's AirPlay protocol were more of a two-way affair? That way, you could, say, mirror your iPhone to your Mac in order to record a tutorial that you could then send your friends and colleagues.

If you did, App Dynamic's $12 AirServer is the app you've been looking for. It turns your Mac into an AirPlay receiver, and even lets you record the screen of the devices you're mirroring.



Though not strictly an app, Appenly aims provides a “book of the month”-type service to its customers. For a monthly $12 fee, the service promises to deliver, gratis, two to three normally paid apps to its subscribers every week.

This week's offer includes Escape Motions's Flame Painter, VanIsland's SecureSend, and Shiny Frog's Delibar. Given that these apps alone are worth $50, this looks like a potentially interesting service.


Desktop Calendar Plus 1.2.4

Tired of fumbling for a quick calendar view when you need it? 3flab's $7 Desktop Calendar Plus drops one right on your desktop, where it sits just above your background and is accessible at any time.

The app allows you to set up multiple layouts, as well as customize the appearance of your calendars by changing their fonts and colors.


iPastels 1.3.0

Norbyte's $8 iPastels (Mac App Store Link) brings the beauty of pastel drawing directly to your Mac.

The app supports full-screen painting, zooming, variable pressure, and practically everything you need to unleash your inner Degas.


MindNode 1.10.6

IdeasOnCanvas's $20 MindNode Pro (Mac App Store Link) helps you make sense of the jumble in your head by mapping them for you in a convenient format.

Adding new nodes during brainstorms is easy as clicking on the app's canvas, and connections are managed through a simple drag-and-drop interface.


NoteFile 2.0

Junecloud's $5 Notefile (Mac App Store Link) lets you take and organize notes directly from your Mac's menu; it supports easy synchronization with its companion iOS app—either through iCloud or through the company's own service—and provides numerous advanced functions, like the ability to perform calculations right in your notes.

The app was just updated to version 2.0, which includes enhancements in everything from security to OS support—as well as a healthy dose of bug fixes.


ProjectTracker 2.1.4

VanPro's $4 ProjectTracker keeps track of your activities all day long, maintaining a separate timer for each of them. It supports unlimited projects, each with its custom color coding and charge rate.

The latest update offers several bug fixes, a quicker way to terminate the app, and a handful other improvements.


Soulver 2.4.5

Calculators are a dime a dozen, but Acqualia's $12 Soulver (Mac App Store Link) is in a class of its own. It allows you to string together a series of calculations into a coherent narrative, understands expressions written in plain English, and can deal with all sorts of different units of measurements, currencies, and other data that it can pick directly from the Internet.

The app's latest release includes support for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, the ability to copy your work's total to the pasteboard, and a host of bug fixes, including some former crashers.

zzz glowlynotes

Bits and bytes

GrowlyBird's $5 Growly Notes has been updated to version 2.0.2, which despite the minor version number bump, comes with a couple dozen new features and fixes, including the ability to store audio and video outside your notebook and automatically creation of tables of contents from your notes.

Lemke Software's $40 GraphicConverter is now at version 9.1—a new release that brings over thirty new features, such as new effects, support for more file formats, color profile conversion, and much, much more.

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