Category Review

Screens 4 for iOS

Based upon the sheer number of apps I download on a daily basis, I’m often switching out my favorite apps for others I like more. There’s a few exceptions to this rule and one of those apps is Screens. The reason is simple – there is no better VNC app for iOS.

Today Edovia – the developer behind Screens – released version 4 which adds a bunch of great features to an already fantastic app.

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Airmail for iPad

When I first reviewed Airmail for iOS and Mac, I said:

If you’re growing tired of the Mail app within Mac/iOS, or you’re just looking for something more powerful, I’d highly recommend giving Airmail a try.

A few months after posting my review, I’m still using Airmail despite there being no native iPad support. This is why I was extremely excited when I heard Bloop had made the iOS app universal with full support for the iPad and several other new features.

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GoodNotes for iOS Review

One of the main reasons I decided to use an iPad again was for note-taking. As of recently, I had fallen out of love with paper notebooks and my inability to keep track of them and sort through my notes.

Naturally when I picked up the new 9.7 inch iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, I knew there would be a plethora of note-taking apps available, so I downloaded a good portion of them to find my favourite.

My favourite is GoodNotes.

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CARROT Weather for Mac Review

Being raised on a farm – the success of which was based upon the perfect mix of sunshine and rain – has made me sort of a weather nut. I check the forecast every day, watch the precipitation radar at lunch, and check the air pressure every couple hours.

Beyond farm life, knowing the forecast is important living in  Winnipeg, Canada. Our winters can be as cold as -40 degrees celsius and our summers can be a humid +30 degrees at times. When I’m leaving the house, I need to be sure of the weather so that I can dress appropriately.

I’ve long resorted to checking the weather forecast every morning on The Weather Network’s website, but when I was told by a reader about CARROT Weather,  I had to give it a shot.

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DaisyDisk for Mac Review

Due to the popularity of flash storage over traditional hard disk drives, many Mac users have been forced to either consolidate their data, or transfer large amounts of data to external drives.

When I first switched to a flash-based storage system in my iMac, I transferred all my media (photos, videos, music) to an external hard drive. It helped significantly with storage space, but I still found myself clamouring for more room in my internal flash drive. This was mostly because I still had a lot of files I either couldn’t remove – or I didn’t know I could delete.

When it comes to data storage on the Mac, it can be frustratingly difficult to find out what’s taking up room in your storage. Often I would look at ‘About This Mac’ and see this huge yellow column called ‘Other’ and wonder whether it was crucial data or if part of it could be deleted.

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DeskConnect for Mac/iOS Review

If you have multiple Apple devices, there’s a good chance you’ve been frustrated with how difficult it can be to transfer files between iOS and Mac. Apple surely saw this as an opportunity when they introduced AirDrop, but unfortunately for all of us, AirDrop isn’t flexible, fast or reliable.

DeskConnect is a great alternative if you frequently transfer files, photos or links from Mac to iOS. It was recently updated to version 1.2 which added: an all-new redesigned UI, share extension for quick sending from other apps, interactive notifications, 3D Touch support, and much more.

After installing the app on both your Mac and iOS device, you can easily transfer data between multiple different devices. It’s incredibly easy to open up a photo on your iPhone, click share, and have it sent to your Mac or iPad, for example. Contrary to my experience with AirDrop, every time I’ve sent a file using DeskConnect, it’s been a quick and painless process.

Despite innovative features such as AirDrop and Hand-Off, transferring files between Mac and iOS is still troublesome. Fortunately for us, DeskConnect is a great alternative.

You can download DeskConnect for iOS on the App Store for free – and the Mac version on the official website.

BetterTouchTool for Mac Review

I’ve spent a large amount of time lately writing about tools like Keyboard Maestro and TextExpander which allow you to take keyboard shortcuts and transform them into a macro or expand them into a block of text. After publishing these reviews, a common question I’m asked is: how do I remember all these keyboard shortcuts?

It’s a valid question – and the answer is I don’t.

I’ve memorized most of the basic keyboard shortcuts, but for the complicated shortcuts, I rely on BetterTouchTool (or BTT as it’s often referred to). BTT doesn’t make it easier for you to memorize these shortcuts, but instead allows you to replace them with gestures on your Magic Trackpad – which are easier to both use and remember.

Upon opening BTT, you’re presented with a view where you can create system-wide gestures capable of simulating everything from keyboard shortcuts to system actions. These gestures range from: taps, swipes, clicks, press and hold, force clicks, and much more. You can also create gestures which only work in specific applications, adding another layer of flexibility.

Without diving too far into the capabilities of BTT, let me tell you a few ways I use it.

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PDF Expert for Mac Review

Working with PDF files is something many of us do on a daily basis, whether it’s for work or leisure. For this reason, it’s important to have a capable PDF program which is not only powerful, but intuitive. That app is called PDF Expert.

I’ve been a long time user of PDF Expert for iOS, so I was excited when Readdle (the developer behind PDF Expert) announced the app was being released on Mac. Simply put, PDF Expert is the most powerful program for reading, managing and editing PDFs on your desktop.

PDF Expert has a beautiful, clean interface that feels right at home on the Mac. It features a slick Safari-esque tab system for working with multiple files at once, and a moveable toolbar for the editing tools.

Speaking of editing features, PDF Expert is packed with everything you could possibly need. This includes: highlighting, drawing, text placement, shapes, notes and digital signature support. Whether you’re marking up a proposal or signing a contract, PDF Expert has you covered.

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Ulysses for iPhone Review

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Ulysses for Mac. Every article posted to The H&F starts with a new sheet in Ulysses and goes through numerous edits before eventually making its way online.

It should come as no surprise how excited I am to have the power of Ulysses on-the-go with my iPhone. The best news is not that Ulysses is now available on the iPhone, but that it’s just as powerful as its desktop equivalent. This isn’t a stripped down version of Ulysses. This is the real deal.

My Go-To Text Editor

I’ve said it before – any serious writer should be using Ulysses – and I still stand by that statement. Ulysses is a powerful text editor with a wonderful file management system, powerful editing tools and a clean UI that makes it easy to convert your thoughts into words. The best part of Ulysses isn’t, however, what features it has, but what it doesn’t have. Put simply, Ulysses has everything you need and nothing you don’t.

A Universal App

Though Ulysses added iPhone support yesterday, it’s been available on the iPad for a while now. I don’t currently have an iPad, but if I did, I would have Ulysses installed on it. With this update, Ulysses is now a universal app for iOS, which makes it an even more attractive purchase for those of you with multiple iOS devices.

This Review Was Edited On iOS

When Ulysses for iPhone became available on the App Store, I knew this was going to be the easiest app review I’ve ever written. It’s incredibly simple – if you’re a serious writer, student, author or blogger – you should be using Ulysses for the Mac, iPhone and iPad.

Ulysses is available as a universal app for iPhone and iPad for $27.99. You can also get the Mac version for $62.99. Do yourself a favour and jump on this limited-time pricing.