Whether you love it or hate it, the Mac App Store is here to stay. Many Mac users love it.
It’s hard to envision a black market for Mac apps, but at some point in the future the App Store might be the only way to buy Mac apps. Personally, I enjoy finding bargains. The store is new, competition is high, prices are, well, lower. Here’s my ever changing list of the Top 5 Good and Top 5 Not So Good utility apps.
What’s That Utility In The Window?
What defines a Mac utility? One Mac user’s utility is another Mac user’s tool which, to someone else, might be a killer app. For me, a utility is not a major app.
Let me step out on the infamous Kayhill Limb of Definitions™ for a moment.
A Mac utility app is useful, beneficial, handy, might do more than one thing, more functional than eye candy apps, but not a necessity.
In other words, it’s good to have, but won’t contribute to zits, juvenile delinquency, the fall of capitalism, or cause pregnancy if you don’t have it running 24/7 on your Mac.
The Mac App Store has plenty of single-purpose, one-trick-pony apps that don’t do much, but what they do do (I’m allowed to say that) is sufficiently worthy to write about, whether a new creation or a refurbished Mac app (with a price tag where one didn’t exist before).
The Needless 5
#5 – Erase Now: Sure, drag things to the Trash. Right click to send a file to the Trash. Even more fun is dragging a file to the Erase Now app’s icon in the Dock and letting an app do what you’re thinking. Delete. Yes, you pay for that extra privilege. I’m sure it’s part of some federal economic stimulus plan.
#4 – ToolsXSynchronizer: Got a folder that needs synchronized with another folder? There must be half a dozen free Mac apps that do just that. A dozen more that do that and more and justify their pricey price tags. ToolsXSynchronizer does it. The price is low. The need is probably a bit lower.
#3 – WorkTime: Got time? Track time? Mac users have a dozen time tracking apps, some free, some not so free. WorkTime isn’t quite free. You’ll get change left over after you spend a dollar. It tracks time spent on tasks and projects.
#2 – Calendario: Got iCal? Of course you do. Instead of using iCal to view your events, spend money, support the economic recovery, and let Calendario display your events. Or, save money, and Click To Bring iCal’s Events To Your Menubar for free.
#1 – HideMyDesktop: But why? That’s where all the clutter is. Exactly. HideMyDesktop lets you hide what’s on your desktop so it looks clean and neat, even when it’s not. Think of it as putting a digital sheet over your office desk. Choose a color or an image. It’s not much money because it doesn’t really do much, you know?
Apps Of Worthy Consideration
#5 – Smart Recorder: Mac users have many audio recording apps available. Smart Recorder is handier than most because it’s well organized and perfect for taking audio notes. It’s simple to use and a free version with limited features is available as a try out.
#4 – Mail Clips: If email is your life, then you may like Mail Clips. It’s a Menubar app that works with Mail. Select a bunch of related email messages, click on Mail Clips and select data from the email messages are collected and ready to be dumped into other apps.
Copy all headers, subjects, recipients, senders, content and more from each selected Mail.app message to the clipboard as a list of values to import into another app.
It sounds convoluted, but if you do plenty of email and need to hunt and scrounge around for the information, one message at a time, this is a real time saver.
#3 – Instant Fax Cover: Faxes? How quaint. Interestingly, despite email, and FTP, and Dropbox, and all the other ways to connect to each other via the internet, faxes still get used, still work. Instant Fax Cover does what you think. Fax cover sheets, almost instantly. It lets you create and store a bunch of different fax cover sheets (but doesn’t do the faxing).
#2 – MakeUPC: Here’s a way to make your own UPC codes. You know, those scanner bar codes you see on virtually every legal product in stores around the world. MakeUPC, well, makes the bar codes. Enter an 11 or 12 digit UPC bar code number and MakeUPC will generate printable bar code for you. Someone told me it would be perfect for switching labels on products at the grocery store.
#1 – ToDo Lists: This is basically Stickies with check off boxes. ToDo Lists won’t cost you as much as a trip to Starbucks (unless you’re just going there to steal their Wi-Fi) but is quite useful. A single click adds or deletes a task. Double-click and they roll out of the way. Even the reminder ToDo’s are configurable. Very nicely done. Very inexpensive.
Got a favorite Mac utility? Tell me about it.