Calendars don't have to be costly to be useful
You don't have to buy the big, powerful, and comparatively costly calendar apps like Fantastical 2 and BusyCal on OS X: you can get better than Apple's own offering with cheap, and even free, alternatives. Don't get us wrong: Fantastical, BusyCal and more are superb -- and you won't get their power with a free app. However, there is a middle ground between those and Apple's iOS Calendar that is rich and useful. We're going to recommend you take a gander at Horizon Calendar, for instance, and not because it's free.
Powerful and, frankly, beautiful calendar app for Mac
This was worth the wait. The Mac version of calendar app Fantastical has lagged behind its iOS counterparts for quite some time, but now they're the ones that need to catch up. Fantastical 2 for OS X is fast, very easy, very powerful, and hands down the best-looking calendar on the Mac. Other than that, it's fine.
Lion beta 11C55 turns on full iCloud
Apple gave developers a full view of iCloud integration in Mac OS X for the first time with an unusual Sunday release of a new Mac OS X 10.7.2 beta. The new 11C55 build already includes iCloud instead of requiring a separate install, like in earlier releases. No known bugs exist with the build, but users are expected to test both iCloud itself as well as Address Book, iCal, Mail, Safari, and legacy MobileMe support.
Resume may close unused apps
A variety of less publicized changes have been made in Mac OS X Lion, the developer preview shows. One of the most important is an overhauled Finder, sporting new buttons and a different sidebar. The file browser automatically sorts items by type, and is also described as more responsive.
Deeper app changes a mystery
Apple is making at least minor changes to Mail and iCal with Mac OS X Lion, a closer look at current press material is said to show. iCal, AppleInsider notes, is gaining a Year view, in addition to present Day, Week and Month options. Look and layout is now also closer to the iPad's Calendar app, and buttons for flipping pages have been moved away from the view commands to the upper right-hand corner.
Support also coming to Outlook
Apple appears to be moving to the open CalDAV standard for calendar content in the new MobileMe beta. Users can now add MobileMe as a new account type in iCal, however the interface presents an error with a CalDAV reference.
May be nearing release
Over the weekend, Apple began seeding a new test build of Mac OS X 10.6.3, developer sources say. Labeled 10D548, the build is said to be little different than 10D538, with similar emphasis on improving the security, compatibility and reliability of QuickTime X, as well as the performance of the Logic audio editing suite. Tweaks are also said to improve compatibility with printers, and apps based on the OpenGL rendering platform.
Two Now X modules ship
Now Software has released the first two modules for its newly released Now X, Now Up-To-Date X and Now Contact X. The contact and calendar clients are improvements on the calendar and contact management features originally created for Now Up-to-Date and Contact. The modules are used to manage a user's calendar and contacts and can import and sync information from iCal and Address Book. The application can additionally import data from iCalendar and vCard.
Dates to iCal 2.1 ($5) is a tool that can be used to sync information between iCal and Address Book. The software can retrieve dates from Address Book, such as birthdays and anniversaries, then automatically create events in iCal. Users can choose to add up to five alarms for each date and includes the option for selecting which groups in Address Book should be synced. The latest update also users to have separate calendars for birthdays and anniversary events and now syncs sub-groups from the Address Book as well as top level groups. Overall sync speed has also been improved and several small bugs have been addressed. [Download - 2.4MB]
Fanurio 2.1 ($60) is a time tracking and billing application designed for freelancers. The software allows users to organize work, track time and create invoices which can be generated into a text or html file using an invoice template. Users can also choose to export data as a CSV file which can then be imported into other applications such as Excel and Numbers. Version 2.1 allows users to change the time format used and includes support for printing documents from the Invoices table. Additionally, a new menu bar item has been added which displays the status of the timer and includes options for controlling the timer. The update has also been localized to German, Romanian, and Spanish, with several more translations in the works. [Download - 12.2MB]
Batch File Rename 1.6 ($14) allows users to rename multiple files simultaneously. A series of files can be dragged to the main window of the application and then select options for how to rename each files. Some options include, "Add Prefix", "Replace Text", and "Trim Characters from Start". This update has improved the softwares compatibility with older versions of Mac OS X. [Download - 0.05MB]
Snow Leopard UI changes
A number of minor but cumulatively important interface changes have been made in Mac OS X Snow Leopard, observes a Flickr user with access to the developer beta. Beyond some known tweaks, such as the addition of sliders for icon size, the software is also expected to warn users who have not created a password hint, and enable Quick Look within Open and Save dialogs, not just Finder. The System Preferences pane has meanwhile been rearranged, for instance splitting the Keyboard and Mouse sections, removing QuickTime, and moving Bluetooth under a new Internet & Wireless header.
Dream Capture 3.0 ($10) is a video recording utility that includes simple recording features and sharing options. The software can capture video from almost any camera connected to a Mac. The software also includes the ability to capture audio and video from different devices simultaneously. The 3.0 update now includes the ability to record 1080i and 1080p high definition video. The update also includes a new interface, a Preview function, and a higher quality audio capture function. [Download - 3.5MB]
Product Manager 1.3 ($30) is used to help companies manage their products, through the creation of an unlimited number of documents, which can further contain an unlimited number of products inside. All items stored in the program can also be organized into subdivisions and contain generic data fields, releases notes, press releases, bug lists and to-do lists. In version 1.3 the upper bar has been updated to display the selected products icon, family, and product name. The new version allows allows users to lock any element of a products and includes a bug fix for the Browse mode. [Download - 0.93MB]
AudioLobe 3.9 ($20) allows users to alter the playback speed and pitch rate of audio files, which can be helpful when attempting to learn a difficult section of a song. AudioLobe allows users to save the altered files meaning users can keep copies of tracks for practicing along with. Version 3.9 has added the ability to work with MPEG1-Muxed files. [Download - 2.1MB]
iDeskCal 2.0 released
HashBang Industries has released iDeskCal 2.0, a rebrand of Desktop Remind. The software embeds the user's iCal calendar to the computer desktop. The interface can be placed anywhere on the desktop, while remaining above the wallpaper and below icons and running applications.
AttendeesAlerter 1.3 ($15) is a utility that can send reminder e-mails to contacts listed within an iCal event. The application periodically checks through a user's iCal events, searches for assigned contacts and sends a reminder e-mail using Apple's Mail application. The update includes a fix for a minor bug. [Download - 5.4MB]
LottoCal for Mac
Bare Bones has introduced LottoCal, new software that adds lottery number forecasts to iCal on the Mac, and to the iPhone and iPod touch. The application creates a calendar which contains info on current and predicted winning lottery numbers in user-specified areas, that are chosen via the programs system preferences panel. Users choose the location based on city name or ZIP code. For use with the iPhone and iPod touch, the software can be synced with their calendar using either MobileMe or iTunes.
TimeTable, Safari 4 Buddy
VideoFlash Converter 2.4 ($40) allows the conversion of QuickTime compatible video files to either the Adobe Flash SWF or FLV format. The most popular formats are supported, including AVI, MOV, MPG, DivX and more. Version 2.4 includes a new Preview Pane that is displayed while flash movies are loaded from the web and a new rangebar style. [Download - 16.2MB]
Batch File Rename 1.4 ($14) allows users to rename multiple files simultaneously. A series of files can be dragged to the main window of the application and then select options for how to rename each files. Some options include, "Add Prefix", "Replace Text", and "Trim Characters from Start". Version 1.4 has added a new serialize rename option. [Download - 0.44MB]
TV Forecast, FitPlot
JABMenu 2.1 ($15) provides quick access to Address Book data such as phone numbers, emails, and postal addresses. It can display the content in large type, copy it to the clipboard, create a new email, dial a phone number, or display an address on a map using the Google Maps service. Version 2.1 has added support for selecting multiple groups for menu inclusion and has also improved the handling of instant messaging actions. [Download - 1.2MB]
WeatherCal for the Mac
Bare Bones has launched WeatherCal, an application that adds current weather conditions and four-day forecast to iCal and the iPhone/iPod touch. WeatherCal is designed to create calendars which contain info on current and predicted weather conditions, and provides a system preferences panel to enable users to choose their preferred U.S. and international locations. Each calendar made by the program contains five days of weather data, which displays that day's specific date, followed by the next four.
iPresent It 2.4 ($18) allows users to convert PowerPoint, PDF or Keynote presentations into slideshows that can then be synced with an iPod. The software optimizes shows for viewing on an iPod or Apple TV and can automatically detect the presentation resolution and ensure that the resulting formation is formatted properly. Version 2.4 has added additional support for the new Keynote '09 presentation file format. [Download - 0.9MB]
Hard Copy, CaliBrate
SmartBackup 2.3 ($22) is a tool for creating various types of backups, such as small daily data backups on network drives or full bootable clones of Mac OS X on a second hard drive. The update includes a new option that can automatically purge archived files after a defined time. It also includes several bugfixes and general improvements. [Download - 0.95MB]
iCal Dupe Deleter, Rename
Passport Photo Studio 1.3 ($9) allows users to create their own passport photos at home. It allows a user to choose a photo, then scale and position it based on passport standards. Currently the application features support for creating both US and UK passport photos. Version 1.3 has improved the way images are saved and now embeds the proper resolution within the JPEG file. The update also includes several bug fixes and has updated the copyright date to 2009. [Download - 4.3MB]
Google Calendar and iCal
Google has officially announced public support for the CalDAV protocol in Calendar, its online scheduling application. The update means that Mac owners can now integrate Calendar with iCal, which in turn should allow sync between the two programs, the ability to operate offline, and answer invitations from other users. It should also be possible to track the free/busy information of colleagues.
Sync 'Em 1.15 patch
Derman Enterprises has posted an update to its Sync 'Em, its Mac-based synchronization application. The program attempts to keep contact and calendar data consistent between multiple apps and user accounts; it does this by linking information from Exchange and Google with Mail, iCal and Address Book. The exact data shared varies however, as Sync 'Em does not yet, for example, support Google Calendar.
Vienna, Permanent Eraser
Today 1.5 ($15) provides users an option for managing and organizing their iCal task and events into one window. Users can assign a keyboard shortcut that will toggle Today's visibility allowing them to quickly bring up the window when they need it. With Today 1.5, users can now add custom alarms to notify them of upcoming events and tasks. The update has also added support for the Growl notification framework. [Download - 3MB]
iCalScreenSaver ($10) turns iCal appointments into a screensaver that helps remind users of upcoming events. There are four different themes users can choose from for customizing their screensaver, along with options for selecting which calendars to take events from, and the ability to set events as private. [Download - Purchase Required]
TimeTable 1.5 ($15) allows users to analyze and total the number of hours recorded in iCal. It can also find trends by searching the details of events and viewing the average, minimum and maximum times spend on projects. The update has added a new expandable to do drawer and an option for exporting "to do" information to text and CSV. The update has also fixed a problem that caused no-numeric characters in the hourly rate field to cause TimeTable to crash. [Download - 1.5MB]
Sync'Em v1.0 released
New software for syncing Exchange, Google and Apple contact and calendar information is said to have reached the end of beta testing. The completed release of Sync'Em has received support for syncing Google contacts, beyond those found in Exchange and/or Address Book. Support for syncing Google and iCal calendar events is still in development, but the developers say they hope to have this added by mid-November.
Fruux moves to public beta
A new option for syncing data across several Macs has recently moved into public beta. Fruux currently synchronizes Address Book files across each computer a user owns, but the app's developers hope that the next release will add iCal support. By the time the software finishes its beta stages, support for syncing bookmarks as well as system preferences is anticipated.
Sync'Em final beta
New software for syncing Exchange, Google and Apple contact and calendar information has moved into its final beta stages. In its current state, Sync'Em can sync Exchange contacts with Apple's Address Book, or across several Exchange accounts. A recent update added support for Mac OS X 10.4, as well as unidirectional syncing and extended status reporting. The update also added an on-demand "check for new version" feature.
Mac OS X 10.5.5 update
Apple is now distributing the latest upgrade to Mac OS X, v10.5.5, through Software Update. The patch addresses a considerable number of aspects in the operating system, such as Mail, MobileMe and Address Book, as well as some "general" concerns, according to Apple's support notes. Some of these include Spotlight indexing, the reliability of iPhone sync with both iCal and Address Book, and problems with Macs powering on involuntarily at the same time every day. The update is sized anywhere between 136 and 353MB, depending on the number of minor patches already installed.
Sync'Em public beta
A new solution for syncing Microsoft Exchange, Google and Apple contact and calendar information has surfaced, titled Sync'Em. Now available as a public beta Sync'Em, in its current state, can synchronize Exchange contacts with Apple's Address book or synchronize Exchange contacts across several Exchange accounts. The developer hopes to soon add functionality to allow users to sync Exchange calender events with iCal or across several Exchange accounts.
New Mac OS X 10.5.5 builds
Two new builds of Mac OS X 10.5.5 have been seeded to developers within the past week, accounts say. The first, 9F25, allegedly contained no significant changes, while the second has addressed only two issues, potentially signifying a wind-down to the update's production. Fixes in 9F29 include a remedy to a problem with Macs and previously-joined AirPort networks, and another described only as relating to a graphics framework. A single known bug remains, one which interferes with searching through messages in Mail.
iCal manager improved
Second Gear has announced Today 1.3, an update to its iCal task- and events-manager. The v1.3 update focuses on management of tasks in iCal. Tasks are now available over multiple days in v1.3 and new task-sorting options have been added. Today 1.3 costs $15 and requires Max OS X 10.5 and higher. A 10-day trial is available. Today offers a quick-view window, tracking an iCal user's daily events. It works with iCal open or closed, and its window can be toggled to disappear and reappear with a single keystroke.
Google Calendar & iCal
Google's web-based Calendar application should now support iCal integration, the company has announced. The feature comes by way of support for the CalDAV protocol, which in turn allows access to a calendar via WebDAV. Users of the Google app should now be able to edit a calendar in iCal and have it sync with their online schedule, as well as vice versa. Changes are applied whenever iCal is able to go online, or a person signs into Calendar.
You Control 1.7 released
You Software says it has released v1.7 of You Control, its utility for Mac OS X. The program lets people create custom menus in the operating system, which can be placed in locations such as the Menu Bar, a corner of the screen, or in the middle when triggered by a hotkey. Users can launch any file, folder or application present on their Mac.
Apple: critical updates
Apple on Wednesday released dozens of security updates part of its Mac OS X 10.5.3 update for Leopard and Security Update 2008-003(PPC Tiger client, Intel Tiger client, PPC Server, Universal Server) for Mac OS X Tiger, including critical bugs for remote shutdown, arbitrary code execution (multiple including JPG2000 issues), denial of service (via viewing PNG files), private information information disclosure (via SSL, Tiger Mail, Unicode, malicious BMP/GIF files and Image Capture) as well as a critical code execution bug for the continually updated Adobe Flash plugin. Apple also updated its Single Sign-On feature (CVE-ID: CVE-2008-1578) to prevent passwords from being supplied other local users.
Mac OS X 10.5.3
Apple has posted Mac OS X 10.5.3 to Software Update. This relatively major release addresses a number of issues extant in previous editions of Mac OS X 10.5.x, including problems with AirPort, Time Capsule, Mail, iChat, iCal and more. With regard to general fixes, the update a font issue that could result in Helvetica Narrow being used in applications instead of Helvetica and also addresses an issue with stuttering video and audio playback in certain USB devices. It also fixes an issue in which certain attached hard drives may not show up in the Finder.
iCal vulnerable to bad ics
A new vulnerability in iCal has been discovered that allows un-authenticated attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable systems with (and potentially without) the assistance from the end user of the application or to repeateadly execute a denial of service attack to crash the iCal application. Core Security writes that "the most serious of the three vulnerabilities is due to potential memory corruption resulting from an resource liberation bug that can be triggered with a malformed .ics calendar file specially crafted by a would-be attacker".
Calgoo iCal synching
Calgoo on Wednesday announced its cross-platform calendar sharing programs are now compatible with Apple's iCal application. The announcement affects Calgoo Hub, Calgoo Connect, and Calgoo Calendar, and will allow users to synchronize their iCal calendars with users of Google, Outlook, Sunbird, as well as a host of other cross-platform mail clients. Calgoo Connect and Calendar Pro annual subscriptions start at $30, with several licensing options available.
- ProjectForum 6.1 ($80) a wiki-based software application that supports collaboration within and between professional workgroups. Version 6.1 introduces a new "mail to wiki" feature, and improves support for outgoing email notifications. This version also includes many smaller enhancements and bug fixes. CourseForum 6.1, a version of the ProjectForum application targeted for online learning applications, was also released. [Download - 2.4MB]
- MacBreakZ 4.8 ($30) Personal Ergonomic Assistant designed tpromote healthy and productive computer use by reminding the user ttake a break. Based on your actual keyboard and mouse use and the time you have spent in front of the screen, MacBreakZ suggests rest and microbreaks at appropriate intervals. The new release adds Apple Help Book format documentation for mobile users. Previous versions relied exclusively on online documentation. [Download - 5.2MB]
- Agenda 4.0.2 ($40) an application that keeps track of your events and tasks, lets you enter your thoughts, and easily create calendar or journal websites. This update makes further improvements and fixes to the iCal import feature based on user feedback. [Download - 4.4MB]
- Today 1.0.1 ($15) a event and task management application for Mac OS X. Today shows you all the events and tasks that are stored in Apple's iCal in a small, easily navigable window. Today 1.0.1 is a maintenance release that addresses several minor issues reported users who downloaded the application since launch last week. Today 1.0.1 also adds the ability to create new tasks without a due date. [Download - 1.2MB]
- Vox 1.2 ($40) provides natural-sounding voices for multiple languages that work with virtually any Speech Manager compliant Mac OS X application. This release adds a pronunciation editor that allows users to add abbreviations or change the pronunciation of words. It also introduces a number of new voices and languages: Eliska and Sabrine for Czech, Ania for Polish, Snorri for Icelandic, Sanna for Finnish, Elin for Swedish, and Baris and Ceren for Turkish. The Czech, Polish, Icelandic and Turkish voices require Mac OS X 10.5. The other voices require 10.3.9 or later. [Download - form]
BusySync 2.0 released
BusySync on Friday released an update to its iCal sync utility. BusySync 2.0, a free upgrade for all existing customers, brings new Google Calendar syncing features and fixes many bugs. Users have the ability to sync iCal with Google Calendar, including the ability to map iCal Message alarms to Google pop-up, SMS or Email alarms as well as the option to filter out Alarms and To-Dos from subscribed calendars on your LAN. The developer says the update brings LAN/WAN synching improvements, VPN compatibility, IPv6 and Back to My Mac compatibility. In addition, version 2.0 features improved performance, fewer conflict resolver disputes, auto-repair of damaged iCal databases. Users can install the upgrade by opening the BusySync prefpane and clicking the Check Now button. For a limited time, BusySync 2.0 is available at an introductory price of $20 per computer (offer good until April 30, 2008 when the price will increase to $25).
- ImageWell 3.5 ($20) image editor for everyday simple editing and quickly sending images, screenshots, and other files tother users over the Internet. The tool includes upload support for Flickr, SmugMug and ImageShack, and is free. This latest release is Version 3.5, Build 327 and includes a new sharpness filter, two new shapes, the ability to double-click History items and open them in a browser, and fixes for bugs associated with Leopard. This is a free update to registered users. [Download - 964KB]
- PostgreSQL 8.3.1 Open Source project that leverages the Open Source PostgreSQL server and works to integrate the popular database engine into the Mac platform in as native a fashion as possible. This not only includes the creation of tools that are native to the Mac platform, but also the integration of Mac specific technologies like Automator, and publishing platform native toolkits like the PGSQLKit framework for Cocoa. The project is hosted, administered and developed by Druware Software Designs. [Download - 1.8MB]
- Avernum 5 1.0.4 ($28) enormous, epic fantasy role-playing adventure. "Wander a gigantic world, full of multitudes of characters, hundreds of side quests, and traps, tricks, and treasure in every corner. Take the part of a soldier for the all-powerful Empire, hunting for the foul assassin that struck down your Empress." The new update fixes a few errors that caused rare but irritating problems. [Download - 25.9MB]
- Cyndicate 1.2 ($30) RSS/Atom aggregator and content management application for Mac OS X. Enhancements in this release include: Performance has been greatly improved for some scenarios; Twitter support for sharing articles; Video enclosures can now be set to download separately from other enclosures; Feeds can now be set to never be checked; Fixed parsing feeds with use the Latin1 encoding and contain accented characters; Various bug fixes. [Download - 7.9MB]
- RapidWeaver 3.6.4 ($50) website creation application for Mac OS X. This release sees numerous improvements to the application including a significantly enhanced exporting process, along with a number of other minor fixes designed to improve the handling of QuickTime movies and images. In addition to feature fixes, the new version also offers preliminary support for the new Simplified Chinese localization. [Download - 24.6MB]
Studiometry 5.1, a new release of the organizational tool for Mac OS X, has been released. The new version adds over 50 updates, enhancements, features, and bug fixes. New in Studiometry 5.1 is the ability to sync to and from iCal. Previous versions of Studiometry could post calendars to iCal, but would not receive any changes made in iCal or other programs that modified iCal items. Now, editing an item in Studiometry or iCal will immediately sync the data to the other application, and Studiometry can even receive updates to tasks and events made on a PDA or mobile phone synced with iCal. Several other features have also been added to Studiometry 5.1. The developer says that users with Studiometry networks spanning multiple time zones will see greatly improved network syncing behaviors with the addition of relative Time Zone support. Studiometry will automatically calculate the difference between the client and server machines and adjust item times accordingly, giving a more consistent behavior for networks with computers connecting remotely over the internet.
SOHO Organizer and Notes
Chronos LC today unveiled SOHO Organizer 7 and SOHO Notes 7, updates to some of the company's business productivity applications, introducing a number of new features. SOHO Organizer 7, Chronos' alternative to iCal and Address Book, now can display recurring tasks, and allows tasks to show up directly in Day, Week, and Month views. Chronos is selling SOHO Organizer 7 starting at $50, with several different licensing options available.
GoBetween for Entourage
PocketMac has launched two new versions of its GoBetween sync software, for Microsoft's Entourage 2004 and 2008. GoBetween is used to improve on the support of Apple's iSync software, which does not always properly support all software and devices. The newest versions of GoBetween ensure that contact, calendar and task information is properly transferred from Entourage to iCal and Address Book, and from there to iSync and whatever devices may be connected.
Spanning Sync 1.2 update
Spanning Sync 1.2 – an app designed to sync Google Calendars with iCal – was unveiled today, offering several performance enhancements, bug fixes, and feature introductions. The developer says that the new version synchronizes up to five times faster than before, due to extensive optimizations of both client- and server-side engines. Spanning Sync is currently selling for new users at $25 for a one-year license, while an optional one-time purchase fee of $65 is also available.