MacBooster Review

A couple of years ago there were numerous system optimization tools that were designed to automate OSX maintenance operations. These applications were so popular that hackers often tried to integrate malware right into these applications, which is why many people are still having a hard time trusting these optimizations tools. This could be easily resolved by purchasing an application from the Mac App Store, but the thing is that the best tools can’t be approved by Apple since they dig deeply into the system, which violates some App Store policies.

In order to get the best possible OSX maintenance tool you’ll need to ask around to see what are the most popular tools at the moment, and of course there are reviews like this one. In many cases you’ll see that an application called CleanMyMac 2 has set the standard for maintenance and optimization tools, but this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t give a chance to newly released solutions.

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In this article we’ll take a look at an application named MacBooster, which is designed to help you take care of your Mac. As you can imagine, this application can’t be found in the Mac App Store, but you can download it from its official website. It’s priced at $60.

Once you open MacBooster for the first time you’ll see a standard looking OSX interface, which can be seen in numerous similar applications. It’s clear that designers tried to implement design solutions seen in CleanMyMac, but they also wanted to use the standard-looking generic interface. Since people are still having a hard time trusting these applications, I would go for an application that comes with unique and complex interface which will tell me that designers had put a lot of effort in it.

Still, there’s one very serious problem with design of this application. No matter which tool you’re going to use, you’ll only see a very brief explanation of what that particular feature is going to do to your Mac. Even if you get the results after finishing with maintenance tasks, they are going to be very short, scarce and sometimes completely missing.

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When it comes to functionality, MacBooster doesn’t bring anything new to the world of OSX maintenance tools. You’ll get to clear junk files (logs, caches, and language files), find large files, optimize internet security, uninstall files, check startup items, and similar. This means that you’ll get probably all the tools that you possibly need, but there’s one serious problem. I’ve found that many of these tools aren’t working, like internet security optimization, or duplicates finder. Even though MacBooster tells me that the problem is solved, I could still see that my settings in Safari are the same as before. When it comes to duplicates finder, this application simply failed to find them even though I’ve made duplicates right on my desktop.

When it comes to OSX maintenance tools, I can still recommend using CleanMyMac 2 (you can find its review right here on MacReview.com). Even though it promised a lot at the begging, MacBooster is very far from perfect and extremely overpriced.

Printopia Review

As you already know, your iOS device is able of printing documents via AirPrint feature. In order to use it, you need to have one of those AirPrint-ready printers, so in most cases you’re going to be forced into buying one. Luckily, there are some manufacturers (like Canon) who are able of creating updates which enable AirPrint protocols on selected printers, but once again it needs to be said that this is not a large volume of products.

You probably haven’t heard about a company called Ecamm, which made several interesting applications which are being sold outside the iOS and Mac App Stores, since they usually offer some kind of enhancements of built-it features. Tools made by Ecamm can be used to record calls, sync files between your iOS device and a Mac outside of iTunes, and similar software solutions. Continue reading and you’ll get to see how you can use AirPrint to print wirelessly, even if you don’t own one of those brand new printers.

In this article we’ll tell you more about an application named Printopia. This app is used to share your Mac’s printers with any iOS device on your own network, which means that you can use AirPrint to print a file from your iPhone on almost any printer. This application is priced at $20, and could be downloaded from its official website, where you can also download its 7-day trial.

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Once you download and install Printopia you’ll see that this isn’t a standalone application, since it exists as a preference pane, which could be found in System Preferences. The good news is that there’s no setup needed, in terms of adding new printers or downloading some additional plugins. Once you activate Printopia, all those printers that you already got installed within your OSX are going to work, and they are going to be shown in the AirPrint menu on your iOS device. Now you can simply use AirPrint with any standard printer.

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What’s also important to say about Printopia is that there are some other interesting features which are equally helpful and useful. First, you can setup a master password so you can protect the AirPrint connection in case several people are using the same network. Also, you can use Printopia in case you actually want to avoid printing, and go paperless. As it turns out you can set up this little app to “print” files from your iOS device to a specific folder on your Mac, or you can “print” directly into Dropbox and Evernote. By printing I mean sending a file, which is going to be converted into a PDF and placed inside the selected application. This can be done via AirPrint, and I believe these “paperless” features can be as helpful as those primary ones.

For the price of $20 this application provides you with a very reliable solution of wireless printing, even if you’ve got a traditional printer. During my trial period I never had any issues or problems, and printing worked like a charm every single time. That’s why I can strongly recommend this application.

Fast Toggles Review

Ever since the original iPhone was released, there was a very active community that didn’t like how closed its system was. That’s how the first attempt of jailbreak began, and up to this day the battle between Apple and hackers is pretty much active. The newest iPhone generation can’t be jailbroken just yet, but there are clear signs that this will happen soon.

In case you follow news from the iOS jailbreak community, that you’ve probably heard of numerous applications which are placing toggles somewhere within iOS which could be used to quickly activate/deactivate Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, adjust screen brightness, and similar simple actions. This is something that many iPhone users loved, so that’s why Apple officially introduced a version of these toggle controls within iOS7.

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In this article we are not going to talk about iOS, but I needed to make an introduction explaining how toggles appeared in order to bring you closer to a tool that we are just about to review. We are going to talk about Fast Toggles, which is an application designed to bring easily accessible toggle controls to your Mac.

Once you download and install Fast Toggles you’ll see that this is not actually an application, but a series of what looks like nicely packaged Automator actions. What this means is that you’ll see a series of nicely designed icons in your Dock, where one icon performs one action. For example, this is how you can easily turn off your computer.

When it comes to how functional this application is, I’ll explain what these icons are capable of. You’ll get to easily toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, lock your screen, eject all mounted drives, empty the Trash, restart and shut down your Mac, mute/unmute sound, open Downloads, open Dropbox, and several more very simple actions. It’s also important to note that there are several ways to organize these icons (since you’ll get a dozen of new ones in your Dock), so they can be as “invisible” as possible.

Even though I really like the idea behind this application, I am having a hard time understanding why someone would pay $10 for something this simple and non-essential. Actually, you can currently find Fast Toggles for $4, but even this seems overpriced as well. The main role of this time-saving solution is just that – to cut several seconds of those annoying repeated actions. So instead of clicking on the Apple icon and shutting down your Mac, you’ll need to click on the Fast Toggles group in the Dock and click on the “Shut Down” button. What I am trying to say is that this application simply gives you another way to do something that’s already very simple and effortless. In order to justify its price of $10, it needs to bring something innovative or at least interesting, and something that could easily solve some everyday problem, but that’s not the case.

Finally, I can give you one advice. In case you like Fast Toggles, or if you like only one of its actions, instead of paying $10 so you can create your own Automator action that will do the job. You can find numerous tutorials about Automator around the web.

CargoLifter Review

Sending large files as e-mail attachments can be a problem in more than one situation. Many people aren’t aware that every provider (like Gmail, Hotmail (Live), or Yahoo) has its own set of rules telling you how many files you can send, or if you can send large files without breaking the size limit. This is why many people are turning to cloud storage solutions, which are there to ease up file exchange without burdening e-mail messages with numerous attachments.

When it comes to using cloud storage as replacement for traditional e-mail attachments, there are several ways to combine these two technologies. Most people simply upload a certain file to a cloud, and then manually copy and paste generated download link. In this article we’ll show you not only a faster way to do this, but a more convenient one. We’re about to review the CargoLifter.

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CargoLifter is a simple utility which works as a Mail plug-in, which means that you’ll get a new set of settings in Mail’s Preferences window. Once you install this little app and open it for the first time, you’ll get a chance to see its settings window where you’ll need to set-up some basic options. This is where you’ll need to choose which cloud service CargoLifter is going to use and there are options like Dropbox, Box, YouSendIt, MediaFire, Google Drive, CloudApp, and Droplr. You can also use any standard FTP, SFTP, or even WebDAV server.

Now let’s explain how CargoLifter actually works. Well, in case you’d like to send a new e-mail message with some files, all you need to do is to drag and drop those files into the message window. In other words, you are going to follow the usual routine. Once you decide to send a message you’ll see a new drop-down window where CargoLifter asks you to upload attachments to the cloud, or to send the message the old way. In case you choose to use CargoLifter you’ll get to see a progress bar. After the upload is finished, CargoLifter will remove attachments from the message and replace them with the generated URLs. It will also append some text to the message, where it will be explained that files are available online, their size and names, and there are going to be the URLs as well. Now you’ll be able to send the message.

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What’s interesting to note is that you can make this whole process even more seamless by turning off the attachment prompt. This way CargoLifter will automatically upload the file, make all those changes that I’ve previously explained and the message will be automatically sent.

Finally, you can go to Preferences to set-up several interesting settings tied to CargoLifter. For example, you can set up a minimum attachment size, and you can choose if you’d like to automatically compress files into a single ZIP archive.

CargoLifter can be downloaded from its official website, and you’ll be able to use its trial period of 30 days. The license is priced at $10, which seems like a fair deal.

X-Mirage Review

Apple is known for keeping their ecosystem of applications and technology in a very closed manner, making is somewhat hard to play outside that circle. One example is usability of AirPlay feature, which enables easy mirroring between multiple Apple-made devices, but this functionality is very limited and tightly controlled by this company. For example, AirPlay and AirDrop could play crucial roles in communication between any iOS device and a desktop or portable Mac, but this feature isn’t enabled yet. Of course, you can use AirPlay to stream content from your iOS devices and Macs directly to Apple TV, or to exchange files using AirDrop but only between iOS devices or between Macs. This means that it will take some until Apple decides to fully unleash the potential of communication between your phone and a computer.

Luckily, you can download some very interesting apps which are designed to successfully bridge the gap between iOS and OSX. We already reviewed one of the most popular mirroring apps named AirServer, and we’re very impressed by its features and performance. Today we are going to take a look at another similar app, which comes with some innovative features that may be interesting for a broader range of users. This app is called X-Mirage.

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X-Mirage is designed to offer two main roles and those are AirPlay streaming and effortless recording of your iOS device screen. This app is priced at $16 and could be downloaded from its official website. You can’t expect to download an application like this from the Mac App Store, for obvious reasons.

Now, a few words on how this applications actually works. First you’ll need to open X-Mirage on your Mac in order to set-up the initial pieces of connection. You can choose which iOS device you’re mirroring, so you can use proper resolution and window size. Also, you can choose the AirPlay name and password. Now take your iOS device and make sure that AirPlay is enabled so you should be able to see the chosen AirPlay name of your computer, and with just one tap you’ll instantly see the screen of your iOS device on your Mac.

The first impression that I’ve got is that X-Mirage enables amazing AirPlay performance. It depends on your Wi-Fi speed, but in most cases you won’t notice any lag in transmission. You’ll also get to see AirPlay-enabled menu which enables recording, so you can tap an icon to record and simply use your iPhone as normal until you decide to stop the recording. You’ll get to choose the video format and quality, so you can automatically save it or upload it using QuickTime.

What’s interesting about X-Mirage is how useful it can be, and I believe that each one of us can find a suitable role for this application. For example, gamers can play iOS games (which now come with astonishing graphics) on a large screen, while developers can easily record their apps in action. Average home users can connect multiple iOS devices and simultaneously play games, show pictures and videos, or play movies and TV shows right from their phones.

Pixelmator 3.0 FX Review

When it comes to image editing on the OSX platform, Pixelmator has set the bar very high and is considered as one of the best applications of its kind in the Mac App Store. This certainly isn’t just another simplified image editor, since this is a full-featured application that could compete with Adobe Photoshop’s abilities in many areas. Just a few days ago Pixelmator brought a major new version named “Pixelmator 3.0 FX” which we are about to review.

Currently, you can find two reviews of this application on our website. We brought you articles about the first major overhaul of the original Pixelmator, and later on we took a look at version 2.2 of the popular image editor which came with some interesting additions. The newest version comes completely free of charge to existing users (who can update their apps through Mac App Store), and it’s priced at $30 for new users (compare that to Adobe Photoshop).

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In case you already know you way around Pixelmator’s interface, than you’ll be happy to hear that the new version didn’t change anything in this field. In fact, there was no need for change since this image editor was always known for easy to use UI and flexible workspace. Even though it looks the same as before, it works much better thanks to support for OSX Mavericks and some new core technologies. In theory this means that you should notice from 1.4 up to 2.0 times better performance. In practice this means that all of these changes are noticeable, but you’ll benefit more if you’re using the latest OSX in combination with a powerful Mac.

Version 3.0 of the image editor brings two new tools that that can become very powerful in combination with existing ones. One of those is the new Layer Styles tool. This one allows you to work more freely with your layers, just like you would do in Adobe Photoshop. For example, you’ll get to cast inner and outer shadows, use fill, stroke, and gradient, and you can also fine-tune reflections of a layer. Pixelmator also brings more than 20 presets in terms of layer styles palette, so you can also start working from there.

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Another new tool that I mentioned before is a set of four Liquify Tools. These are: Warp, Bump, Pinch, and Twirl. They are pretty much self-explanatory, and can produce great results. This is something that you can also do in Adobe Photoshop, but will require more skills and a great precision, so I guess that team behind Pixelmator did a great job with this one too.

As I’ve said in the introductory paragraph, Pixelmator is probably the best affordable image editor available for OSX. It comes with numerous easy to use features that you can read about in our previous two articles. The new version is a major upgrade, and with improved performance you’ll get to immerse yourself into those complex operations without suffering from common problems of other image editors.

In case you’ve used Pixelmator before or if you’ve got it installed on your Mac, upgrade right away. And if you’re still looking for an image editor, than I warmly suggest you to purchase Pixelmator. You will understand why it is a great alternative to Adobe Photoshop.

Washing Machine for OSX Review

When it comes to making sure that your Mac runs as smoothly as possible, you’ll need to be sure that there are no problems with its structure. What this means is that you’ll need to perform certain maintenance tasks like keeping your Finder as organized as possible, making sure you don’t have a lot of applications that you don’t need which are taking up storage and system resources, and there are also tasks like resolving issues with OSX permissions, and removing all kinds of digital clutter.

No matter what anyone tells you, the truth is that your OSX already comes equipped with all the tools you need to resolve all those previously mentioned issues, and to make sure that your computer is running at its top speed. The problem with these tools is that some of them are hidden and inaccessible to an average home user, or they might seem a bit too complex for someone who has never worked with OSX maintenance tools. This is why you can find some 3rd party applications that will automate these tasks and make them as user friendly as possible.

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In this article we’ll review an application named Washing Machine, made by Intego. This is an application that’s been around for a while, so it already has its own user base. Washing Machine allows you to do three basic things: to remove clutter from your hard drive, to find and remove duplicate files, and finally to organize parts of your system like Desktop and Dock. It’s priced at $30, and now let’s go through all of these features.

The first thing you’ll notice about Washing Machine is its nicely designed and polished interface. What I liked about it is the way it visually represents results, which can give you clear image on what type of files takes the most space on your hard drive. The first tool found in the top-positioned toolbar is named “Reclaim” and it helps you remove unwanted files like caches, downloads, language files, logs and trash. You can select which types you’d like to remove and also choose how aggressively these files need to be removed, which are all standard features for this application type.

Next, there’s “Duplicates” tab, which allows you to remove duplicate files. Once again, this is a standard tool that you can find in almost any system optimizer, and this one doesn’t bring anything new. The good news is that it’s nicely designed, so you can easily check which copy you’d like to keep on your computer.

Finally, there’s “Organize” tab which allows you to remove icons of unused applications from your Desktop and Dock, and to create Smart Folders as well.

To someone who is completely new to a world of OSX system optimizers, this application might look fantastic. It’s nicely designed and works well. The problem is that it doesn’t bring anything new with these standard tools, and yet it charges you $30 which is way too much. For example, you can find less expensive applications that offer the same functionality (like CleanMyMac 2). Or you can use CCleaner, which is completely free and comes with some amazing features. You can find reviews of all of these applications right here on MacReview.

Bits Review

When it comes to journaling apps, in most cases users fail to recognize their value. These applications are made to help you become more productive, by giving you tools to instantly capture your thoughts and ideas, so you can easily review them later. On the other hand, some users might be better off with those standard to-do applications which are more goal oriented.

During the last year you’ve had the chance of reading several reviews of digital journaling tools, and you can still find reviews of Day One, GoodDay, My Wonderful Days and so on. If you still haven’t found the right application, in today’s article you’ll get a chance to read about a small application named Bits.

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Just like its name says, Bits is a fairly small application and not just in its size. It comes with only one role, and that’s to allow you to keep track of your thoughts and write them down instantly. Its interface is also fairly small, and it resembles iChat’s vertical-oriented window. Even though I usually like minimalistic applications, there’s a certain feeling about Bits that it needs more work, or differently said – its interface seems unfinished. For example, once you open this journal for the first time, you’ll get a chance to choose where you’d like to store its archive file and you can even choose iCloud as yet another place to save a backup. Naturally, if there’s an export option you expect import option to be present as well, but this is not the case with Bits which is unable to import any existing file. People who like to use applications like this one tend to have a lot of already written entries, so by not having an import option this application is giving us a large obstacle right at the beginning.

Once you get to its main window, you’ll see a small vertical-oriented stack of entries (which is going to be empty at first), with a toolbar on the top. This is where you can choose to see all your entries, your tags, or to start writing a new note. The main window will also give you option to search, so you’ve basically got two ways to narrow down entries of interest.

When it comes to writing new entries, all you have to do is to click on a button which will make a new pop-up appear, which is where you can enter your note. You’ll be able to insert images simply by dropping them onto this pop-up, and Bits will also tell you that you can use some basic Markdown syntax. Even though I am using Markdown almost on a daily basis, I’ve had some issues with this kind of implementation, so I am not sure if this is a bug or some kind of very limited and basic Markdown which is poorly implemented.

In general, I can see an idea behind this application and I believe that this idea is very interesting and promising. However, final product is less than functional and seems very limited in many of its aspects. Also, it comes priced at $10 which is way too much for its current state.

Screenhero Review

By now you’ve probably experienced some of the benefits of Google Documents like collaborative workflow. With this service, this kind of sharing between users became something that other large companies tried to implement, because this is something that most users need in their everyday life and this can raise productivity quite a bit.

In case you haven’t tried Google Docs yet and if you don’t know what I am talking about, I’ll explain it briefly. This service is designed to allow team members to easily collaborate by using the same document and making changes to that document simultaneously. This way large teams can work on a single spreadsheet, for example, so all the information is easily viewable and you can see changes which are happening at the moment. This could be very helpful with other applications like CAD and 3D modelling software, Creative Suite apps, and in many other situations as well.

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In this article I am going to show you a way which enables you to work with someone in real-time by sharing a screen. This service is called Screenhero, and you can download the application and sign-up for free at the moment. As it turns out, Screenhero is currently in its public beta phase and everyone can join.

Once you download and sign-in to Screenhero, you’ll see an application that resembles iChat or Google Talk. You’ll need to add people to your list, and you can invite them by mail, so the process of putting together a team is very simple and effortless, even for someone who never worked with this kind of application. In order to start a new session, simply double-click on a username. You’ll get a chance to choose if you’d like to share your entire screen, just a portion of it, or a window of a specific application. Most screen sharing applications allow you to share your entire screen, which is not always a good idea. Having a focus on one window seems like a better solution, so I really liked this side of Screenhero.

Once you start a new session you’ll get to work with someone in real time, in almost any application. This means that both of you are able of editing documents and making changes live. For example, if you’re working on a new PowerPoint presentation, you’ll be able to change fonts and write text, while someone else can bring in the graphics and fine-tune animations at the same time.

During my test period I didn’t encounter any errors or glitches, so I am very happy with the performance. You should also know that some complex applications will need a faster internet connection, and you can work cross-platform as well.

The best thing about Screenhero is that you can use it with any application that you’ve got installed on your Mac. This way you can work with someone, solve someone’s technical problem, or even play a game with your friend. The possibilities are endless, so I warmly recommend Screenhero in case you need a reliable and capable screen-sharing service.

DropDMG Review

In case you’re a long-term Mac user, than you probably know all about DMG files and their possible uses. Before OSX App Store came into play, all OSX applications that you downloaded from the web came as DMG files, which are mountable images that open up and allow you to copy installation file(s) into your Applications folder. Even today there are many developers who are avoiding OSX App Store for some reasons, so if you download Skype or Dropbox (to give you a few nice examples) you’ll get to use their own nicely designed DMG files.

Even though average home users don’t have that much use from creating their own DMG files, most developers could greatly benefit from such an application. For many the first choice is OSX’s Disk Utility, which gives you a very tiresome process of creating a new DMG files and lacks some additional features that could be put to a good use. That’s why in this article you’ll get a chance to read about DropDMG, which is a third party DMG file creator.

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To give you an example of a nicely designed DMG mountable file, let’s say that you downloaded Dropbox for OSX and that you’ve mounted that file. What you’ll see is a nice blue background, with some interesting graphics and there’s Dropbox app in the middle of that window. Well, DropDMG can help you create all of this, even if don’t have any knowledge of advanced scripting or anything like that. Now let’s see how this application works.

Once you open DropDMG for the first time, you’ll be greeted with a fairly known interface. In its very basic functionality, this application will allow you drag-and-drop a bunch of folders and files, and simply generate a disk image. If you’re willing to make a bit more advanced and nicely designed image, than you can use Layouts feature, to open up a WYSIWYG editor. You’ll be able to choose how large that DMG window is going to be, and then you can add a background, text, icons positions, and similar stuff. It even allows you to create a license agreement in multiple languages.

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After you’ve spent a lot of time making sure that your future DMG image will look and behave a certain way, you can save all these settings as a New Configuration. This way, once you decide to post an update to your app (for example), you can easily create a new DMG with all those settings already there.

I’ve explained possibly the best feature that you can find in DropDMG, but there are many more to explore. For example, you can burn DMG files to CDs and DVDs, encrypt your DMG files with 128-bit and 245-bit AES encryption, or create a device image clone.

DropDMG can be downloaded from its official website, and you can try it for 30 days. After that, you’ll need to purchase a license that’s priced at $24, which still seems like a very good deal.