2015 OS X App Recommendations
Almost halfway through the year, and I realized I haven't posted anything about what I've been tinkering with on my Mac. Here's what I've been using/poking around at this year:
Flashlight is a really cool free plugin system for Spotlight. Spotlight on Steriods.
If you aren’t already using an ‘App Launcher’ like LaunchBar, Quicksilver, or my personal favorite, Alfred 2. Flashlight is a great way to dip your toes into the launcher ecosystem and it’s pretty damn powerful in its own right.
Paste is a clipboard manager that adds some visual flair that most other clipboard managers lack, and makes it fast and easy to find historical clipboard info and drop it in where you need it. You can blacklist specific apps (like, say 1Password) so it doesn’t copy entries from there. I have noticed some unusual behavior in Paste since I use TextExpander I can end up with duplicate info in my clipboard history.
Skynet is still in beta on OS X (and alpha on Windows) but it’s showing a lot of promise. On it’s face, it’s yet another chat platform, but it adds some cool features for sharing links, images, and more. The big draw for me, however, is that it’s a native Google Hangouts client, something sorely lacking on both PC and Mac.
Encrypto by MacPaw is an awesome little utility they’ve created to encrypt files. It works on Mac and PC. When you encrypt and password protect a file, you can even include a password hint that only you and the recipient might know. Encrypto hooks into OS X’s Share Extensions, which makes it really easy to share an encrypted file over Mail, Droplr, or even Twitter and Facebook. Did I mention it’s 100% free?
Alternote is an interesting alternative to Evernote on OS X. It still uses Evernote as a backend (meaning they never host or “touch” any of your notes) but offers a major visual change over Evernote “ALL THE THINGS ARE GREEN" aesthetic. It offers “distraction free” modes that trigger the UI to fade away as you get into the groove of keying stuff in. I use Evernote mostly as a digital filing cabinet so the writing aspects aren’t as important, but it’s still got enough features to keep me interested. More details at alternoteapp.com.
MacID for iOS is a recent addition, and is currently replacing Knock [link] to make it easy to secure my MacBook Air. After downloading and installing the Mac app from macid.co you pair your MacBook to your phone via Bluetooth. At that point, you have a number of different options for locking and unlocking your Mac. The app can use your proximity to your laptop to automatically lock and unlock your laptop, or use TouchID on your iPhone to unlock your Mac, no password required.
Sookasa is a new one for me. I previously used a service/app called SafeMonk. SafeMonk provided a folder within my Dropbox. Any files I added to my SafeMonk folder would automatically be encrypted, so even if someone gained access to my Dropbox (online or on a PC) any file in there would still be inacessible. All that said, SafeMonk’s team has “sunsetted” the service, and recommended their customers check out Sookasa as a replacement.
So far, it’s been a mostly 1:1 replacement, though Sookasa’s got a few extra features; namely you get a public URL that you can share with friends, clients, etc. They can upload files through the URL and they’ll land, encrypted, into your Sookasa folder in Dropbox. Through some domain trickery, I’ve set up dropbox.dancatchpole.com to forward to this URL, so it’s easy to share with people.
1Password. If you’ve bothered reading anything on my site, you’ve probably figured out I’m a big fan of this password manager. As it happens, they’re running a major sale for 1Password, across all platforms: Mac, PC (the non-App Store Mac version is here too, and you can save even more using promo code MACPOWERUSERS), iOS, and Android. Now is as good a time as any to get serious about passwords.