Time management desktop app successfully improves concentration
We all feel it, especially those of us working from home -- there is never enough time to get stuff done. Or, perhaps more accurately, there is not enough time in a day to get everything done that you should ... while also procrastinating with endless sources of distraction an Internet-connected computer has to offer. Enter Vitamin-R 2, an app for OS X (and also available for iPhone) that asserts that it can promote the optimal conditions for your brain by structuring your work into short bursts of distraction-free, highly-focused activity alternating with opportunities for renewal, reflection and intuition.
Productivity app DropTask uses bubble-based Visual View of task assignments
Telecommuting is anything but rare these days, and for many people who have to work remotely on group tasks, it often becomes somewhat of a chore to try to stay in contact. Often, users are chained to computers or constant conference calls. DropTask by Think Productivity has a clever solution, allowing users to share a space within an app, where everyone is able to see the progress of the project from wherever they are.
Old-school time management technique timer, simply
There is virtually no limit to the amount of productivity apps in the App Store, and almost all of them are packed to the brim with bells and whistles that claim to increase productivity. However, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones. OneThing by developer BumbleBee Communications promises to help keep users focused and productive, without overwhelming them with needless features.
Seen as pushback against Microsoft's Surface ads, yet features Microsoft apps
Following on the heels of two new "Your Verse" iPad ads, Apple has begun emailing prospective buyers touting the iPad's "office" apps, including both its own "iWork" apps as well as Microsoft Office for iPad -- even though the campaign is seen as a pushback to Microsoft's recent ads for its failed Surface tablet in which it points out that the Surface's accompanying keypad cover and laptop-like OS as productivity selling points.
Repurposes Office domain for online productivity suite
One day after renaming its SkyDrive cloud storage to OneDrive, Microsoft has performed a second rebranding effort, this time on its online productivity suite. Office Web Apps is being renamed as "Office Online," and in an effort to make the service easier for users to discover and move away from Google Docs, Microsoft is now using the Office.com domain name for the web apps.
Realmac Software rectifies confusion with Clear by offering it free for limited time
Realmac has announced an upcoming, limited-time offer, making Clear free, as part of its consolidation process. A new version of productivity to-do list app Clear was released last year, called Clear+. Built as a universal app for iOS 7, Clear+ was structured as a paid upgrade, with the original version removed from the App Store. Clear customers, according to Dan Counsell of Realmac Software, reported confusion and frustration over the switch to charging for the update version, so Realmac updated the old version of Clear for iOS 7 and reintroduced it.
Said to save more than 500,000 sheets of paper per week, increase productivity
The Parliament of Kenya is set to follow in the footsteps of its neighbor Uganda and outfit its legislative representatives and staff with iPads to replace traditional (and frequently revised) paperwork, reports the country's Standard Digital News. While the overall cost of around $350,000 is considered high by Kenyan standards, the lawmakers said the expenditure is justified by decreasing paper use and gains in productivity among members.
MacUpdate's Winter app bundle offers a $400 value for $40
Mac-only software directory MacUpdate has released its latest app bundle for the winter holiday season. Containing 10 apps (with an addition two bonus apps for early buyers), the bundle is worth nearly $400 and sells for $39, a 90 percent savings. The Winter Bundle consists of primarily of productivity and office utility apps.
Real-time collaboration competes with Google
Microsoft has introduced a range of new features to its Office 365 web apps, strengthening the free productivity tools amid a growing rivalry with Apple's iWork suite. Real-time co-authoring is the focal point for the web-based utilities, enabling multiple users to simultaneously collaborate on the same project. The feature essentially catches up with the capabilities of iWork and Google Docs.
IFTTT introduces iOS Photos, Reminders compatibility
Productivity app IFTTT (pronounced like 'gift' without the 'g') has released its latest update, version 1.2. IFTTT allows users to enter formulaic commands (called 'Recipes') to complete tasks between apps and web services (called 'Channels'). Version 1.2 has introduced Actions for iOS Photos and Reminders, as well as a new Feedback button within Settings. The background syncing has been improved for iOS 7, and new swipe gestures have been added. IFTTT is available on iTunes for free download.
Latest Evernote includes home screen customization, map notes
The latest update of Evernote's mobile app for iOS and Android has been released, offering new features and improvements. Evernote is a productivity organizer that lets users sync notes, to-do lists and photos across devices, as well as share notes through social media tools. Version 7.1 on iOS features the addition of displaying notes on map, as well as the ability to now customize the home screen layout.
12 Mac productivity apps for $35
Software developers Raskin and Paddle have collaborated in their release of a Mac OS X app bundle, titled "Cheaper by the Dozen". From illustration technology to network management to social media consolidation and more, the $35 bundle features productivity-oriented software, both previously-released and debuting as standalone software for the first time, such as Marked 2. Available until October 10, the "Cheaper by the Dozen" Mac Bundle can be purchased from Paddle.
Bundle includes Parallels Desktop 8, MotionComposer 1.6, DiskAid 6
Today, MacUpdate has launched its annual Spring/Parallels bundle. The latest bundle includes 10 productivity, utility and creative packages for OS X, including 1,000 OpenType fonts, all for $49.99. The bundle includes five applications normally priced higher than the bundle itself, including virtualization solution Parallels Desktop 8 with a normal retail price of $80, and web animation generator MotionComposer 1.6, normally priced at $149.
Final week features cut-rate prices on various utility apps
Following two weeks of sales on various productivity and organizational programs, the Mac App Store has kicked off the final week of its "Get Stuff Done" promotion with a set of discounts on 10 utility apps, including Calendar helper Fantastical, password manager 1Password and Yoink, a "weigh station" to make dragging files between destinations easier. Apple had earlier discounted a set of "prioritizing" apps during the first week, and organizational programs during the second.
Unusual themed discount roundup on Mac App Store
In a rare move, Apple has started a three-week "productivity apps" sale called "Get Stuff Done" that offers discounted prices on eight "prioritizing" applications for the Mac on the Mac App Store. The second week will reveal sale prices on as-yet-unnamed organizing apps, and the final week will spotlight savings on utility apps. Sale prices currently ongoing include $3 off the normally $10 to-do app Clear; half-off pricing on Things 2, 2Do, Due, The Hit List and Taskpaper; 40 percent off BreakTime, and substantial savings on Todo.
Mac version gains keyboard shortcuts, web client also updated
Evernote has updated its self-titled cloud-based note and capture program for the Mac to version 3.3, adding a new Premium user feature, new keyboard commands, new user controls and the addition of optional LinkedIn sharing. The web version has also been given the LinkedIn support along with a new slideshow option for picture-oriented posts. The Mac App Store version also incorporates both the recent Activity Stream feature as well as Retina display support.
PDF viewer, multiple accounts now included
GoDocs, an iOS utility for working with Google Docs online, has expanded significantly in new version 3.0, available now on the App Store ($5). The new version adds a pro-level PDF viewer that supports even large PDF documents, PDF links and searching, as well as new folder-level document management and an ability to switch between accounts with a passcode lock. Push notifications for document changes has also now been incorporated.
Clear goes on sale to celebrate new release
Realmac Software has updated its popular to-do iPhone app Clear to version 1.1, adding in several user-requested features such as a better UI for alerts and a "shake to undo" feature. The update also adds support for new themes, some of which are hidden or must be "unlocked" through usage, and the app has now removed the character-count limit and added an option to show the iOS status bar, which was previously always hidden.
Paid update will overhaul launch manager
Productivity app developer Chronos today announced a new and renamed major upgrade of its nine-year-old F10 Launch Studio, now called LaunchMagic 4. The new version is said to be faster, more powerful and easier to use and offers more than a dozen major new features, including support for documents and folders rather than just applications, menu bar access, QuickLook previews with full path info, dock launching from the menu bar and more.
Additional file types supported also
CloudOn, a free iPad productivity tool that offers a cloud-hosted version of Microsoft Office has updated to version 2.0.3, adding support for cloud storage service Box as well as Dropbox. The company has also expanded the number of supported file types by integrating a PDF reader and file viewer that opens almost any file type, and have also built in e-mailing files to colleagues. The program relies on services like Dropbox and Box to handle file management.
Keeps relevant documents, webpages to hand
Productivity and research software maker Devon Technologies has launched two products that constantly analyze what user is working on and keep relevant documents, contacts, media, e-mails and other content in a quickly-accessible list for instant access. DevonSphere Express searches a user's Mac or webpages on the Internet, while DevonSphere Server brings Devon technology to the server level.
Uses 'heat index' for priority sorting
While iOS and the App Store have no shortage of ways to create and manage to-do lists, RealMac Software along with Impending are offering up Clear, a new to-do app now available for $1 for a limited time. Clear is a visually-oriented, iPhone-centric task and note app that offers basic features but done in an elegant way. Though the app is compatible with iPad, the company says an iPad-centric version is in the works.
ePillow gains five new designs
The Productive Mac Bundle is a collection of eight Mac tools designed to improve a user's productivity. The bundled applications include Fantastical, BusyCal, Home Inventory, NoteBook, Default Folder X, LaunchBar, Cashculator and Tags. The bundle is being sold for $40, however, anyone that recommend the package to three other customers will be refunded the entire cost. In addition, all customers will be automatically placed into a draw for licenses of Soulver, Printopia, Flow, and DesktopShelves.
New app posts reminders to stay on a task
Macoscope has released Focusbar 1.0 for Mac, a new productivity app that provides a small reminder bar for any activity the user enters. The bar then makes reappearances at random intervals, and when a user switches windows. It helps focus the user on a single task, and alerts the user when he or she is about to go off-task.
Conductor can launch Mac, PC apps, switch windows
Windows support has arrived for m3me's productivity app, Remote Conductor for iPad. The app wirelessly connects, via 256-bit AES encryption, to a Mac as a control center -- capable of application and window switching and remote program launching. It also allows users to work on the iPad as a wireless trackpad or a secure keyboard for the desktop Mac. The app requires the desktop machine to have Conductor Server software installed.
Safari Extension Gallery refresh
Plum Amazing has released new versions of three productivity tools, iKey, yType, and CopyPaste. iKey 2.5.1 is an automation utility that allows users to create shortcuts that can perform a number of common tasks. Users can select the command, a context in which it runs, and a launcher that defines how the shortcut is activated. yType 1.0 is a brand new application that can automatically enter a defined string of text when a selected snippet is entered. Finally, CopyPaste 3.1 provides a graphical interface to a user's clipboard, allowing them to edit, display, and archive clipboard content. iKey and yType are available through the Mac App Store for $30 and $10 respectively, while CopyPaste can be purchased online for $30.
Offers folder organization, encryption, more
Clippings is a new notepad and note-taking app for the Mac from Lagente Software that focuses on ease of use and elegance rather than an extended set of features. It does offer some advanced features such as encryption, quick search, formatting options and folder-based note organizing, but was created for users seeking a simple notepad app. It is now available worldwide in the Productivity category of the Mac App Store.
Now available on the Mac App Store
TimeTag, having established itself on the iOS platform as a convenient way to track a user's day by avoiding timers and spreadsheet-esque record-keeping in favor of simple "tagging" techniques, has debuted as a Mac app on the Mac App Store. The app automatically and intelligently groups hours by activity, when can then be broken down in to sub-categories or gathered together into meta-categories using natural-language, user-defined tags.
Software can access hidden Dock, Finder features
Nulana has launched a new productivity title, NuKit 1.0. The software provides a number of utilities for a variety of Mac OS X tasks. It can launch programs, edit shortcuts, move windows and run calculations. The Launcher offers a quick-search function, narrowing down choices as the user types the first few characters of the application title. NuKit gives users access to hidden Dock settings, Finder preferences and system settings, allowing appearance changes such as a 2D dock.
Productivity tool works with Things, OmniFocus
Publicspace.net has announced its new productivity tool, Vitamin-R. The software is a collection of tools designed to help organize large projects by breaking them down into manageable tasks. Tasks are reduced down to 10-30 minute slices, each focusing on one specific event or objective. The software also features a 'now and later board' that allows users to jot down ideas to work on later, aiding in keeping focus on the current objective.
KeyCue 4.3 ($27) helps users to make better use of keyboard shortcuts that different applications provide. After holding down the Command key for a set period of time KeyCue opens and displays a table of all currently available menu shortcuts. In the new release, the keyboard combination used for activating KeyCue can be defined by the user and a new double-tap option to activate KeyCue by pressing a modifier twice has been added. KeyCue 4.3 can also display menu shortcuts and Keyboard Maestro macros together in a single table. [Download - 0.98MB]
GroupWise 8 update ships
Novell has released GroupWise 8, an update to its productivity and collaboration software that adds a customizable dashboard and Web 2.0 workspaces. The new version's dashboard allows users to interact with e-mail, calendar, contacts and task lists in one location, and features Web 2.0 enabled team workspaces, blogs, RSS feeds and applications. All the features work through the dashboard, which also allows administrators easy access and control, working across all three major platforms, supporting Macs, Windows and Linux.
Keyboard Maestro 3.4
Stairways Software has announced Keyboard Maestro 3.4, the latest version of its 'productivity enhancer' for Mac OS X. This release includes a 'typed string' trigger, allowing the user to fire off macros when typing a matching string. Triggers can be created with easily remembered mnemonics. Appearance has been enhanced to look more like the default system program switcher. Import/export of the named clipboards has been improved for better sharing of macros.
IOnce 2.0 for iPhone
PageOnce says it has made significant upgrades to its free productivity app that helps iPhone users keep track of credit card, cell phone, MySpace and other online accounts. iOnce 2.0 features "significant security enhancements," and allows users to add and manage all of their online accounts directly from an IPhone or iPod touch by signing up for the company's online services. Also added is a "mobile destruct" feature that automatically deletes personal information if a user's mobile device is lost or stolen.
Keyboard Maestro updated
Stairways Software has announced Keyboard Maestro 3.3, an update to its productivity-enhancement software. Keyboard Maestro's macros allow users to control and enhance applications. Users can control windows or menus; insert text; open documents and more, with just a keystroke or mouse-click. The 3.3 release adds a status menu and status menu-triggered macros. Actions within complex macros can now be enabled/disabled individually as well. Version 3.3 also adds a Fast User Switch action and can preserve users clipboard history across user-logins. Cut, copy, paste and duplicate are now available for macros, triggers and actions; in addition, the software has a number of other enhancements and bug-fixes. Keyboard Maestro 3.3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher, and costs $36. There are volume discounts offered at five units (50% off) and twenty units (65% off).
LivePresets for Illustrato
Artlandia has released the third in a line of productivity plug-ins for Adobe creative software. The company says LivePresets works with two basic classes of static Adobe Illustrator objects -- symbols and swatches -- and makes them editable dynamically. The plug-in allows users to interactively edit multiple art objects from a single source.
SplashData iPhone Apps
SplashData, a company that has made a name for itself as the top seller of mobile productivity apps for smartphones, has announced that three of its apps, SplashID, SplashMoney and SplashShopper, will now be available on the iPhone. SplashID allows you to safely store your passwords and other important information in one convenient location.
Keyboard Maestro 3.2
Stairways Software on Wednesday announced Keyboard Maestro 3.2, the latest evolution of its productivity enhancing 'keyboard macro' application for OS X. The software allows users to design a custom action sequence with their own shortcuts and use them at any time - all by pressing simple keystrokes; version 3.2 brings a host of bug fixes and code-level enhancements, as well as a range of new features, including the ability to records macros for replay at a later date, new options for pre-recorded 'triggering' of macros and an improved user interface.
Slife 2.0 unveiled
Slife Labs has debuted Slife 2.0, the latest evolution of of its time and activity management software for Mac OS X. Released in conjunction with Slife Teams, a subscription-based collaborative web service, the Slife software package provides a solid platform for 'time-based' workers such as designers and consultants to keep track of productivity, eliminating reliance on time-sheets or spreadsheet applications.
Apps Glide MiLife ShoveBox
- TransMedia on Friday unveiled a new version of its integrated contact and email management interface, Glide, adding support for Ymail, Rocketmail, and Yahoo Mail, integrating with them the service's advanced security and file sharing features. Glide allows users on Mac, PC, Linux, the iPhone, and other mobile devices to have one-login access to multiple email accounts, as well as word processor-like file handling, and support for images and large attachments.
- BravoBug Software released MiLife 1.1 ($15), an update to its journaling and note-taking software, adding over a dozen improvements to the application. MiLife now supports rich-text, with simplified photo importing, and AES-128 bit encrypted passwords.
- Wonder Warp Software unveiled ShoveBox 1.2 ($25), adding a "Save PDF to ShoveBox" option and basic AppleScript support into its productivity application. Shovebox also features several other enhancements and bugfixes.
- Macware on Friday announced version 1.8.000 of Logo Design Studio Pro ($60), adding to the application support for SVG files, a new browser, over 1300 pre-designed SVG objects, the latest version of the Sparkle framework, as well as other minor bug fixes and enhancements.
- Toronto-based Agile Web Solutions introduced 1Password 2.6.5 ($35), featuring improved support for Firefox 3 and the Safari 4 Developer Preview. The update also offers functionality for DEVONagent 2.3.1, OmniWeb Sneaky Peaks, and Flock 2, as well as other stability improvements.
- Dejal unveiled Simon 2.4.1 ($30), an update to its site-monitoring tool, which tests web pages, FTP, DNS, local and remote ports or volumes, and other services for changes or failures. The update offers several important fixes for the Port service and notifier plug-in, among others.
ConceptDraw Office for Mac
CS Odessa on Tuesday unveiled its ConceptDraw Office business productivity software suite, offering users access to the company's key applications in one package. Included in the suite are ConceptDraw MINDMAP, ConceptDraw PROJECT, and ConceptDraw PRO, providing users with various flow chart, office graphic, and project planning capabilities. CS Odessa is selling ConceptDraw Office for $500, available from its online web store.
Spectasia HUD for Mac
Spectasia from MATT Services brings fighter pilot technology to the Mac OS Finder to provide intuitive file and folder navigation. The company says it's unique "ergonomic retrieval" 3D layout makes desktop icons easier to spot, increasing productivity. This "Head Up Display" is said to be similar to the screens used in advanced fighter jets and provides a "clearly distinguishable angle-of-view and also depth location for every item."
OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta
The OpenOffice.org Community this week released a public beta release of OpenOffice.org 3.0, the open-source productivity suite for Mac OS X as well as Windows and Linux. The beta release will be the first to run on Mac OS X without X11, but is primarily designed to allow a broad user base to test and evaluate the next major version of OpenOffice.org: it is not recommended for production use, according to notes on the project. Version 3.0b brings a new "Start Centre", fresh-looking icons, and a new zoom control in the status bar. Updated spreadsheet features include improved calculations with a new solver component; support for spreadsheet collaboration through workbook sharing; and an increase to 1024 columns per sheet.
Keyboard Maestro 3.0 ships
Stairways Software today announced Keyboard Maestro 3.0, a new version of its productivity enhancer for Mac OS X. Version 3 adds new ways to create macros, including recording, new ways to trigger macros, new actions, simplifications and an improved user interface. With Keyboard Maestro's macros, users can control applications, windows, or menus; insert text; open documents, applications or URLs; execute scripts; control the system or iTunes; and more using the touch of a key, click of the mouse, or as scheduled action. Users can also trigger macros when an application is launched or running and over the Internet using Keyboard Maestro's built-in web server.
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.
Native Aqua OpenOffice
The OpenOffice Mac porting team is reportedly working on a native Aqua version of its business productivity software suite, rather than simply porting the platform-independent Java version. The software is listed as being the third development snapshot, announcing a number of bug fixes and interface optimizations. OpenOffice says the newest version now uses a Mac OS X native print dialogue, and that extensions are installable through the improved GUI.
- Media Catalog 3.8.3 ($25) Indexes your removable media, such as Backup CDs and DVDs that you can quickly and easily find your files. In the 3.8.3 version of Media Catalog the most outstanding new feature is the option to automatically catalog and eject volumes, making it ideal for a setup on a headless Xserve. The improved quicksearch now behaves more intuitively and more precise. With the reduced memory footprint users of large catalogs will find a huge increase in responsiveness of the application. [Download - 444KB]
- DiscLabel 5.1.2 ($36) CD/DVD label design software for Mac OS X. It can import track lists from iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD, Finder, and Toast; import images from iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD and Finder; multiple layers, drawing tools and gradients for creating custom
designs; use more than 1300 clip art files via the DiscLabel Clip Art Browser and more. The new release adds various bug fixes and improvements. [Download - 11.8MB]
- Dupin v1.3 ($15) assists with locating, sorting, filtering, and deleting duplicate tracks in iTunes. You can quickly find all sets of duplicate iTunes tracks based on your choice of criteria and select the "Keeper" tracks from among a number of duplicates automatically using a variety of versatile filtering options. The new release includes these features: adds Newest/Oldest Date Modified options to Filter Controls; adds Largest/Smallest File Size options to Filter Controlsl displays Bit Rate Rounding status in Filter Controls window; bit Rate Rounding is applicable to bit rate options in Filter Controls. [Download - 1.8MB]
- Daylite 3.7.1 ($190) productivity management software. With a new option to customize small, regular and large font size from the general preference pane for the Daylite month calendar view and an optimized time display, users get a better overall feel of their month's work. In addition, the busy bar can be removed from the Daylite 3.7.1 calendar view - another feature highly requested by Daylite users. [Download - 46.2MB]
- iWatermark 3.1.1 ($20) allows users to secure, protect and get recognition for photos and artwork. Add your signature, url, email address or logtall your photos. iWatermark is integrated to work with Photoshop, ACDSee, iPhoto, Cumulus, Portfolio, PhotoStation, iView and other photo organizers. The latest version has dramatic speed, user interface and other improvements. [Download - 8.1MB]
ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5.3
CS Odessa today released ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5.3, an update to the mind mapping business productivity software for Mac OS X. The latest revision enables users to create visual eBooks based on mind maps, producing electronic books where all information is presented as a mind map rather than text paragraphs. ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5.3 is priced at $120 and $200 for the personal or professional edition, respectively (system requirements were unavailable).
MindManager 7 Mac, Leopard
Mindjet has released MindManager 7 Mac with Leopard support, adding compatibility for Quick Look to provide previews of maps without the need to open a file. The application is designed to optimize both individual and team productivity with Microsoft Office integration, easier browsing in a redesigned Microsoft fluent UI with logically grouped tabs, and saved queries as well as views. MindManager 7 Mac is available for $130, with upgrades priced at $70. MindManager 7 Mac requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Avaya one-X Mobile in '08
Avaya has announced plans to ship its Avaya one-X Mobile software for iPhone in the first quarter of next year. Avaya one-X Mobile builds on the functionality of Extension to Cellular by providing a family of mobile clients designed to further enhance the productivity of enterprise mobile workers, according to the company. The family of Avaya one-X Mobile clients provides quick access to office phone functionality via an intuitive graphical user interface, and supports a broad array of devices ranging from high-end smart phones to less expensive consumer-oriented phones.