App of the Week: Five Interesting Mac Apps Worth Checking Out

 

 

By Juli Clover of MacRumors

Apps created for the Mac don’t receive as much attention as apps made for iOS devices, so we have a bi-monthly series here at MacRumors that’s designed to highlight useful and interesting Mac apps that are worth checking out and potentially investing in.

This week’s picks include apps for streamlining your email, focusing on tasks, checking the weather, cleaning up your Mac, and managing all of your messaging services. Many of our highlighted apps this week were chosen by MacRumors forum members.

Focus (Free with in-app purchases) – Focus is a time management app and monitoring service that’s designed to help you keep track of your time so you can stay on task. It encourages users to work in focus sessions, which are 25 minute blocks of time for working accompanied by a 15 to 20 minute break. There’s an included task manager so you can stay on top of tasks, along with detailed statistics so you can see how you’ve spent your day. Focus is free to download, but it costs $4.99 per month or $39.99 for year to use across all of your devices.

Carrot Weather ($11.99) – Carrot Weather is a well-known weather app that delivers weather information with a little bit of attitude to make checking outdoor conditions more fun. It has different dialogue and graphics for various weather conditions, and what comes up is always a surprise. Carrot Weather uses data from Dark Sky so it’s super accurate and it offers up tons of data like 7-day forecasts, rain and snow predictions, weather maps, and a time machine so you can see past weather conditions.

Dr. Cleaner (Free) – Dr. Cleaner from TrendMicro is an app that offers a Disk Clean Map so you can see what’s taking up space on your Mac, a memory cleanup feature for freeing up memory, a scanner for large files, and a junk file cleaner that’s designed to get rid of temporary files, trash, and other unwanted items taking up disk space. Dr. Cleaner is free from the Mac App Store, but there is a $19.99 Pro version that finds and eliminates duplicate files, shreds deleted files, and uninstalls apps.

Canary Mail ($19.99) – Those who previously used the now-eliminated Newton Mail might be looking for a new mail app, and Canary could fit the bill. Canary Mail offers one-click encryption, natural language search, smart filters, read notifications, snooze options, email templates, one-click unsubscribe, and more.

All-in-One Messenger (Free) – This is technically a Chrome extension rather than a Mac app, so it’s limited to Chrome users. All-in-One Messenger is designed to combine all of your chat and messenger services into one convenient web app so you can keep up with all of your chats in a single spot. It works with a wide range of messaging apps, like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Telegram, Slack, Discord, Google Hangouts, and more.

Many of this month’s app picks came directly from recommendations from MacRumors forum members, and it’s these recommendations that have helped make this series useful.

What are you’re favorite Mac Apps? Sound off in the comments below!!!

 

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App of the Week: Google Chrome

11 Chrome features you’ll wish you’d known all along

 

 

By Matt Elliot of CNet

Do you consider yourself a Chrome ninja? If not, these tips can help you navigate the web with deadly efficiency.

Pin tabs

I spend much of my day using Gmail and Google Drive, and with Chrome’s tab-pinning feature, I can keep those tabs parked to the left of all of my many open tabs. It’s a great way to keep the tabs you’re constantly visiting and revisiting within an arm’s reach. To pin a tab, just right-click it and select Pin Tab. It will move to the left of your tabs where it will stay readily available. Better yet, the size of the tab shrinks to give you more room to juggle the rest of your open tabs.

Mute tabs

Where is that sound coming from? Chrome identifies which tabs are playing audio by placing a little speaking icon on the tabs making noise. If a video starts playing on one of your background tabs, look for the little speaker icon. To mute its audio, right-click the tab and hit Mute Tab. You’ll mute the offending tab without leaving your current tab.

Block autoplay videos

If you find yourself constantly muting tabs, why not just put a stop to autoplay videos altogether? Type chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy into Chrome’s URL bar, which will open Chrome’s list of features Google is testing out, but have yet to make it into the official release. For the autoplay policy, select Document user activation is required and then click the Relaunch Now button.

Block notification requests

After autoplay videos, my least favorite part about browsing the web are the constant requests from sites asking me if I’ll let them show me notifications. My answer is always “block.” Thankfully, there is a way to tell Chrome to stop sites from asking. Open Settings and scroll down to the bottom and click Advanced. In the Privacy and security section, click Content Settings. Next, click Notifications and then click the toggle switch so it goes from Ask before sending to Blocked.

Quickest way to a Google search

You probably know that you can use Chrome’s URL bar to do a quick Google search, but that’s not the fastest way. If you come across a word you want to look up, just right-click it and select Search Google for “_____” from the contextual menu and a new tab will open with Google search results for the word. You can also look up a phrase the same way by first highlighting the whole phrase and then right-clicking.

Zoom out to normal view

Frequently, my MacBook’s ($1,249.00 at Amazon.com) touchpad misreads a swipe or gesture and wildly zooms in on the page I’m reading. So I memorized the Command-0 (zero, that is) keyboard shortcut, which returns Chrome to the regular zoom level. (That’s Ctrl-0 for you Windows users.)

Select multiple tabs

If your open tabs have reached the point where you want to break off a bunch and move them into their own window, you can select multiple tabs by holding down Command (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows) and clicking the tabs you want to move. You’ll see that the tabs are highlighted in a lighter shade from your other tabs. With your tabs selected, you can release the Command or Ctrl button and then drag the tabs from the current window and they’ll all open in a new window of their own.

Reopen a closed tab

Accidentally closed a tab? You can bring it back by hitting Command-Shift-T on a Mac or Ctrl-Shift-T on a PC.

Start where you left off

Did you know you can tell Chrome to restart not with a blank page but where you left off, with all of your many tabs. I like to shut down my MacBook from time to time to keep it running smoothly, and I like to be able to pick up right where I left off in Chrome after a reboot. To do this, go to Chrome’s Settings, scroll down to the On startup area and select Continue where you left off.

See what’s slowing you down

Is Chrome acting sluggish? You can see if there is a particular tab that’s causing the slowdown by using Chrome’s built-in Task Manager. It shows which tabs are using the most CPU and memory resources. To open Chrome’s Task Manager, click the triple-dot button in the top right and go to More Tools > Task Manager. The small Task Manager window shows fluctuating percentages for each open tab and extension you have running in terms of CPU and memory usage. Highlight a tab or an extension and click the End Process to kill any egregious resource hog and reclaim some CPU and memory overhead.

Save time with autofill

Tired of entering your address or credit card info on web forms? You can save this information and have Chrome enter it for you. Go to Settings > Advanced > Passwords and forms > Autofill settings to save address and payment information with Chrome. When you come to a web form, you just need to enter the first letter or your name or first number of your credit card and Chrome will offer to fill out the appropriate boxes for you.


Do you have a favorite feature of Chrome? Tell us about it in the comments below!