Way back in the day, back when Apple and the Mac were mostly synonymous and the iPod had helped to save the company’s formerly cooked goose, Mac360 came along to help promote Mac apps that were worthy of consideration, but not likely to find their name in mainstream tech media.
That practice remains much the same nearly 13 years later, and I remain impressed that Mac app developers continue to come up with useful utilities that are worthy of consideration. Today I have two. One is very inexpensive; just a step on the other side of free. The other is free. Either or both will help to make your day just a bit easier.
Focus? Or, Goodbye?
Over the years we’ve reviewed thousands of Mac applications, ranging from Apple’s finest, but including an even larger number of utilities, apps, and tools that fit our basic philosophy and criteria, simple both. First, we only review apps that we would use ourselves, or that we would recommend to friends, family, and co-workers, knowing there’s always feedback and some measure of support that follows.
Blinkk – First on my list today is the cute little Blinkk utility. 99-cents gets you a mid-screen reminder that life is short and it’s important to take a moment to breathe, smell the roses, and protect our eyes.
Blinkk is a simple Mac app to remind you about eye breaks when working for extended periods at computer. It appears in the middle of the screen at regular intervals chosen by you and reminds you that eyes health is more important than anything and it suggests you ways of relaxing them. The decision to actually do it is yours, it does not interrupt your work.
Think good vision habits, and anything that can help us remove a little eye strain or brain stress is a good thing. You don’t need to do much. Blinkk does it.
Blinkk helps you avoid eye strain with a suggestion to relax from time to time. What would be nice is an option to change some of the recommendations to include thoughts like “Stop to smell the roses” or “Call your significant other to say hi.”
QuickSleep – This utility doesn’t put you to sleep, but makes it easy to put your Mac to sleep or start the screensaver with a password to get outsiders from getting in. QuickSleep does what the Mac already does but even easier, hence the price tag. Free.
- Effortlessly put your Mac in sleep mode – With QuickSleep, putting your Mac in sleep mode has never been easier – it only takes one click.
- Start your Mac’s screensaver quickly – If you don’t want to put your Mac in full sleep mode, you can simply start screensaver mode instead to keep unwanted intruders out of your account.
- Customizable keyboard shortcuts – QuickSleep allows you to set keyboard shortcuts to put your Mac to sleep and start screensaver mode, without having to trigger QuickSleep from the menu bar.
Everyone knows about the Mac’s ability to set hot corners to turn on Dashboard, bring the Screensaver up, put the display to sleep and so on. Open System Preferences, select the Desktop & Screensaver option, then select the Hot Corners… button. See? Options. The problem I have is remembering which option I assigned to which hot corner. QuickSleep makes it a single proposition. Just click the Menubar icon.
See? Simple, right?
QuickSleep has a keyboard shortcut which can be assigned, too, which helps you keep your hands where God intended for maximum efficiency– on the keyboard.
Both utilities– Blinkk and QuickSleep– are not necessary for a good Mac life, but they can help and they’re priced right.