Tag Archive | Review

Postbox, unique email client for both OS X and Windows

Yes, you read good, I sad both OS X and Windows, something that it’s quite hard to find right now because many apps are built exclusively only on one platform. Postbox represents a truly replace to the integrated Apple Mail app and Windows Live Mail.

Postbox behind its simple and friendly window, has powerful features. First of all, supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts in order to recognize your contacts and show them in the inspector sidebar, with links and social profiles. Not to mention Dropbox integration for sending large files and Evernote to save emails. All of these are ready to be used by setting up an account from the Preferences pane.

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iPad mini: the full review about the new Apple’s 7,9″ device

The iPad mini was introduced a few weeks ago, and today we’re featuring a complete, in-depth review about the new 7,9″ device “designed by Apple in California”.

Unboxing

When we open the white box of the iPad mini, you will find an iPad mini (really?!), Lightning connector, power adapter and the quick start guide. In this review, we’re going to use a White, 32GB, WiFi model.

Dimensions

Here you see a comparison against the big brother iPad with Retina Display and the iPhone 4S. The difference between the iPad Retina and the iPad mini is only 1,8″, but it’s dimensions are considerably smaller because of the borders which are more shallow than the first one.

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RapidWeaver 5, creating websites for everyone

PHP, HTML… Programming languages which are widely used when creating a website, but if you don’t know them, you have to use the so called WYSIWYG editor (“What You See Is What You Get, so they’re visual). Or, you know them, but don’t want to stay for hours on your desk writing code.
Today we’re going to talk about RapidWeaver 5, a fantastic application for Mac users which creates rich and beautiful websites in just minutes.

Let’s start saying that RapidWeaver can handle HTML, so if you know a bit of code, you can use it as well.

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We have several kinds of pages template, each one with different properties and made specifically for a reason: Blog, Contact form, File sharing, iFrame, Sitemap and more.

Then we have the resources area, where you can store every kind of file and then import it in the website with a drag and drop. Not to mention that there is automatic integration with Google Analytics, adding all the required code when exporting the project to a FTP Server in order to monitor statistics from your Google account. If you don’t like it, you can use GoSquared either.

One of the key features of RapidWeaver 5 are FTP Bookmarks, which stores all the servers you use frequently to have a quick access to them when you have to publish changes. Just insert the username, password and file path, and you’re ready to go.

Then we have the snippets. They are generated lines of code, and integrated into a web page to show a particular content. For example, if you want to get the button to follow your profile on Twitter or like a page on Facebook, you have to get them and paste on your website. While you extend your website these might increase, and the snippets windows helps you to organize them for a future access.

There are also a variety of themes, (47 by default) which can be applied in seconds to change the overall look of the site. Two of them are made specifically for the iPhone, so there won’t we any problems when seeing it from a 4″ screen.

Addons and tutorials
A common limit of WYSIWYG editors are that you can’t have an total control of the site, because you don’t have the tool to do it. RapidWeaver features a complete Addons Store, third-party plugins which extends the capabilities of RapidWeaver. There are thousands of them, going from theme to layout control and even e-commerce (yes, I mean Online Stores) and in-app photo editing.
Then we have the tutorials, but, something that should be something good, it’s actually the worst. In fact, there is an official site for learning RapidWeaver, but in order to see the entire video library, you have to get a monthly subscription. If not, you can only see the beginner level ones. Though on the web there are a lot of them to make your way in RapidWeaver.

Publishing and hints
Ready for your site to go up and running? Head over to the Publish button and wait for RapidWeaver to export all the pages and then send everything to a server. Want to see a website made entirely with RapidWeaver? Head over to MYD and see how great it is.

Before ending, there are some hints about how to apply further editing to a published website. Since your website is hosted on an FTP server, you can access to the remote folder which hosts your website and then edit directly the .css files, which controls the page styles. in order to do this, you must have a client, for example FileZilla. If you need help, feel free to ask in the comments.

RapidWeaver can be purchased from the Mac App Store or directly from the Realmac website, where you can also download a trial.

 

In Italiano

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iDraw, a perfect substitute to Illustrator for Mac and iPad

Illustrator is The application for vector graphics. Though we are not going to talk about it, because we are going to speak about iDraw, an extremely powerful application for creating vector graphics available for both Mac and iPad. Let’s start with the first one.

The UI is oriented to a grey color, with the toolbar on the right, layers and attributes on the right. Finally at the top we have a tab with all the currently opened files. All the commands are extremely intuitive, and the application itself is stable and works fluidly even when you have a high zoom.

Projects, Tools and more

iDraw supports the integration with iCloud, making the sharing with iPad fast and convenient. Plus files are perfectly readable on both, so what you do on a devices it will be the same on the other one. Layers can blended, adding some effects when overlapping multiple ones, there’s also the opacity control as well. Tools instead are very intuitive to use, allowing to create complex projects within minutes. Then we have Properties, Appearance, Shape Library and Styles. The Properties manages shape and dimension of an object, as well as the alignment on the canvas. Appearance instead edits the overall aspect, such as color, brushes, text. Styles can be applied to shapes in order to give them a particular property. For instance, you can apply to a line the the Style which measures the length of it based on the document dimensions. Finally we have Shape Library. These are pre-made shapes which can be used by a drag and drop without the need to create them on your own. The default ones are Floorplans shapes, iPhone UI (yes, and they’re a lot), numbers and general Symbols.

Other welcome features are the Share option and export to extensions PDF, SVG, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, GIF if you need one different from the .idraw one.

The iPad works the same way, the only difference is that you create using the touch.

On the right we have the same tools as the Mac version. As you see nothing changed in the document, and the UI is similar to the one above, along with the same power. Obviously you have to learn a bit of it, but it won’t take more than 5 minutes.

iDraw can be downloaded from the Mac App Store from the following link, or from the iOS App Store here. Believe me, don’t look further.

Things, a complete, full-fledged GTD app for OS X

Staying organized is never easy, especially if you have the “Reminders” app completely full. Here’s when comes Things, a complete, easy to use yet powerful task management app for OS X (and iOS if you want) developed by Cultured Code, available on the Mac App Store.

Things works in a nested way. First of all, there is an Inbox, where stores general To Dos without a specific criteria. Then there is a Focus section, which works like a filter. The first one shows To Dos with due date set to the current day and the Daily Review, a yellow box which shows ToDos that you may want to complete.

Then there are Next (ToDos near to the due date), Scheduled (ToDos with a specific due date), Someday (ToDos that we’re gonna to complete in the future) and Projects.

Projects, Areas and Contacts

Other than simply store what to do, Things allows to organize To Dos in Projects and Areas. You may use a Project when you need to organize something like a workflow, because you create multiple To Dos in order to complete it. It’s really useful if you have something to do under a due date. Areas instead are like folders, where you manually organize To Dos under your criteria (Work, School, Home etc.); you can also file Projects in Areas as well to keep them organized. At last there are Contacts. These are taken from the Address Book, and works like Areas, allowing to put multiple To Dos under them.

The Logbook finally stores all you completed tasks which you don’t want to delete, like an History.

Things Cloud

Things has a built-in cloud sync service, rightfully named Things Cloud, and works like a charm. every single change you do on Things, is immediately sent to servers in a blazing fast timing, less than 3 seconds, without the need to worry about an up-to-date sync like many other applications. You just simply create an account in the Preferences and you’re all set, you don’t need to anything else, just relax.

Quick Entry and Automatic Fill

The Quick Entry can be used with a keyboard shortcut (see the app Preferences), allowing to create new To Dos without the need to switch to Things to create it. Using another one, you can toggle the Quick Entry with Automatic Fill, creating a To Do which is ready to be saved.

iCloud Reminders import

Things also has support to Reminders native app import. So if you have any To Dos in the Reminders app, you can easily import them within the Inbox view.

Interested? Things is available on the Mac App Store at 45,99€ and can be downloaded from here.

In Italiano

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