The Week in Mac Apps: Meet HotKey App, the latest shortcut-based launching tool

This week's roundup of new Mac Apps introduces us to HotKey App, a tool that lets you program keyboard shortcuts and gives you a cheat-sheet in your menu bar.

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New Mac apps of the week

This week’s roundup of new Mac Apps introduces us to HotKey App, a tool that lets you program keyboard shortcuts and gives you a cheat-sheet in your menu bar. Plus, tools for keeping your Internet browsing private, blocking tracking cookies, monitoring your computer’s health, and much more.


1Blocker - Block ads, tracking scripts, anything 1.0

Salavat Khanov’s $5 1Blocker improves your browsing experience by blocking unwanted ads and tracking cookies.

The app has several blocking options, including specific URLs, social widgets, and “adult websites.” It then works in the background to block intrusive content right on your browser; it also comes with a dedicated Safari extension to allow additional tweaks.


Affinity Photo 1.4.2

Serif Lab’s $50 Affinity Photo (Mac App Store Link) lets you tweak your photos and images with a set of professional editing tools.

Affinity Photo makes quick work of common tasks (like red-eye correction), comes with a set of great filters and painting tools, and supports a wide range of output file formats.


HotKey App 1.2.3

Peter Vorwieger’s $1 HotKey App allows you to launch applications and perform useful tasks using keyboard shortcuts. Just designate keys to execute certain commands—like opening folders and revealing the contents of your pasteboard—and you’re good to go. If you forget what keys you assigned, you can access your master list straight from your menu bar.


iconStiX 3.4.1

Make your folders stand out with Trollin’s $9 iconStiX (Mac App Store Link), an app for creating folder icons. You can use your own existing images and spruce them up by adding special effects and text to create a unique look. Once finished, you can export your files to common image formats.


MarginNote Pro - Highlight, Organize, Review and Sync Daily Notes & Annotations Easily 2.2

Sun Min’s $33 MarginNote Pro (Mac App Store Link) turns your basic ebooks into an interactive reading experience. You can highlight text or add comments, sketches, and margin notes with a few simple steps; the app even allows you to turn these notes into flashcards for quick reference at a later time. To help with your studies, it also provides a mindmapping tool with which you can intuitively organize your data, and supports syncing across multiple devices via iCloud and Dropbox.


Organize:Me - To-Do List & Personal Task Manager 3.5.2

Never miss a deadline again with Taskfabric’s $30 Organize:Me (Mac App Store Link), a handy tool that keeps tabs of all your tasks. The app lets you arrange your tasks based by multiple projects and categories, and allows you to decorate each to-do in your lists with images, URLs, tags, locations, and color codes for quick reference. Organize:Me also includes different interface themes and colors, password protection to secure your data, and fully syncs with all your devices via iCloud.


Suggester 4.1.3

Mathieu Routhier’s $12 Suggester (Mac App Store Link) helps you compose your own songs by automatically generating chords and notes to accompany your tunes.

The app allows you to specify a scale and time, and then pick a set of chord progressions. Suggester then builds a song based on your specifications, plays it using your choice of three different instruments, and lets you rearrange things until you’re happy with the end result.


Vital Signs 2.26

Creational’s Vital Signs is a fully-customizable widget that keeps an eye on important information about your Mac’s system resources.

During setup, the app lets you pick which information to monitor among a number of options like CPU temperature, fan speed, and memory usage. This info lives in Notification Center, so you can easily find out what’s going on with your system at any time. 


VPN for Mac

SaferVPN’s VPN for Mac helps you browse the Internet away from prying eyes by connecting your Mac to a secure network.

The app features 256-bit encryption for military-grade security, can be accessed from your menu bar, and offers unlimited bandwidth. After a complimentary 14-day trial, you can continue to take advantage of its functionality for as little as $5 per month.

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