We think the apps in our June issue’s cover story, “20 Killer Mac Apps Under $20,” (coming soon to MacLife.com!) are all great deals. But there’s no better deal than zero. These 10 fun and useful apps are all free in the Mac App Store -- without big “for a limited time!” callouts in their descriptions -- but developers are free to raise the prices anytime they like. So get ‘em quick.
Live streams, made popular by sites like Justin.tv, have become ubiquitous in the post Web 2.0, socially-connected world. Now, Ustream hopes to change the way people interact with live streams by allowing you to place a live stream on, where else, your Facebook page. If you're itching to share your "All Bacon, All the Time" cooking show with your Facebook friends, we're here to help you.
It was a big week for app sales and for a few chairs being shuffled around on the tech deck. What'd you think of Microsoft buying up Skype? Did you sign up for Google Music Beta yet? We possibly end the backpack versus messenger bag debate for all time, and other juicy little tidbits, in case you missed it.
Do you plug in your iPhone or iPad to sync with your Mac (or PC, you poor soul), then groan in dismay as the progress bar crawls toward the finish line? You don’t have to grin and bear it—with a few simple tweaks, you can reduce the time it takes to sync your iDevices with your computer. For starters, store as few photos as possible on the iPhone or iPad itself—in addition to freeing up valuable storage space, this speeds up syncing by trimming fat from the backup that iTunes makes before each sync.
Apple’s totally earned that whole “it just works” thing…except when it comes to getting photos on and off your iDevices. Quite frankly, it doesn’t work well at all unless you know your way around a less-than-obvious app or two. Fortunately, they’re super-easy to use, and once you get acquainted with them, you’ll wonder why you mucked around with anything else.
Ever been out, about, and away from your Mac’s music library when a song’s stuck in your head? If you want to stop being tempted to give iTunes another $1.29 to redownload it, the solution is an SFTP client on your iPad or iPhone that connects to your Mac back home to download the song to your iOS device. The best part of a setup like this is that you can keep using iTunes to manage your music without interrupting streaming to your Apple TV. You’ll also be able to stream any tunes that are DRM-free to your iOS devices over the internet with a 3G or EDGE connection, and you can access many other Mac-based files as well.
One of Apple’s bigger oversights with the design of iOS devices has to be the hassle we all undergo to get files from Mac to gadget and vice versa. To continue working on a Pages document on a different platform, you have to connect your device to iTunes and sync before the file will be transferred. This oversight leaves most of us spamming our own email accounts with files we need to quickly move around…until now. Enter DropCopy—the ultimate file-sharing tool for both Macs and iOS devices. Here’s how to use it to achieve file-sharing nirvana.
The Magic Trackpad is an amazing tool for bringing Multi-Touch controls to a desktop Mac, but if you have an iPad, you can get the same great effect for five bucks. All you need is an iOS app called TouchPad ($4.99) that gives you the ability to use your iPad just like a Magic Trackpad.
Sure, using an iPad as a second Mac display is old hat, and yes, Air Display ($9.99) is the ultimate tool for connecting your iPad to your Mac for that. But did you know that this app can also be used to interface with your Mac by using your iPad as a touchscreen?
The often-maligned Adobe Flash Player may not be Steve Jobs’ best friend anymore, but the developer still wants to be your neighbor -- and with the final release of version 10.3, the player now finds a new home in your Mac System Preferences.