One of the daily tasks that is not mentioned in my job description as a Mac and PC system administrator for a Chicago area school is the need to help teachers and students select apps which can be used on their computers.
That means I’m always on the lookout for new utilities which do something cool, something useful, or something to help out faculty and students. Here’s a quick look at one such Mac app which brings to the Dock something Apple already does in OS X. But this is easier.
Where’s That App?
One of the problems many Mac users have is finding an app or document that was recently used. It’s especially cumbersome if the Mac’s Dock is overcrowded and that requires a quick hunt for the app, but there’s an easier way. Actually two easier ways. One is free the other is, well, easier.
Click the Apple Menu in the Menubar and you’ll see a setting called Recent Items. That selection lists the recently opened applications at the top and recently opened documents in the bottom.
Simple enough, right?
The only negative with Recent Items is that it does not stare you in the face. Out of sight, out of mind, you know? What if you could move those Recent Items to the Mac’s Dock? That would make them more visible, easier to view, and still just a click away.
That’s what the RecentDock app does. Click the icon in the Dock and few the recent apps.
Easy peasy and worth a couple of bucks just for keeping the Recents visible.
Now, here’s the odd story with RecentDock. If you go to the developer’s site you’ll see a lengthy list of clever Mac apps– scripts, really– which perform simple but useful tasks, including RecentDock.
Click to download and try out? Nope. Clicking gets you sent to MacUpdate where there’s a description of RecentDock, a link to purchase (cheap), and a link to a Trial version. I downloaded the trial and attempted to install it and OS X told me the app was from an unidentified developer. Uh oh. It’s a few extra steps to install an app from an unidentified developer (a nice security extra in OS X) and the app opened with this error message.
So much for a try-before-you-buy option. You can either spend a few dollars to get similar Recent Items… in the Dock or just remember that the same functionality, minus the visual reminder, exists in the Mac’s Apple Menu in the Menubar.
Note to Mac app developers: Make it easy for potential customers to try your app and you might get more customers.