Category Archives: software

macOS New App Release – Achroma 1.1.1

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Product Announcement – einstein’s legacy v2.0, LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina has released Achroma 1.1.1, an image manipulation tool for macOS. Achroma lets you remove colors from your images by providing two conversion modes: select from a set of preset color ranges or create your own collection of user-defined color ranges for processing.

Achroma also lets you export images in a variety of formats, create interactive slideshows and share images using various internet services. This update improves support for displaying high-resolution images and provides new connectivity for social media interactions.

What’s new in this version?

  • Improved support for drawing high-resolution images
  • Enhanced connectivity to social media

Achroma 1.1.1 includes the following key features:

  • Interoperability
    Drag’n drop (or copy) high-resolution images directly from Achroma to your application or the Finder.
  • Simple Mode
    Choose from seven preset color ranges to control the hues that will be removed from your image.
  • Output Preview
    Toggle between the original and processed image to compare the differences between images.
  • Printing
    Print high-resolution source material as a single image, on a contact sheet or as image slices.
  • Exporting
    Create new images using a background process while you continue to work on other projects.
  • Advanced Mode
    Use hue-specific controls to create an array of color ranges to process your images.
  • Sharing
    Share images with local applications or Facebook, Twitter and other popular internet services.
  • Slide Shows
    Create an interactive slide show presentation using your processed output images.

For a quick video overview of Achroma, watch this video: https://youtu.be/f8kvMMGHQS8

System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.11 or later
  • 64-bit processor
  • 1.7 MB

Achroma 1.1.1 is available for $9.99 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide exclusively from the Mac App Store in the Photography category.

macOS New App Release – Data Shredder

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Product Announcement – ProtectStar of Miami, Florida has released Data Shredder for iOS 2017 – formerly iShredder – their data shredding utility that easily erases and wipes data on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Anyone can simply connect their iOS device to their Mac or Windows computer, and efficiently erase and overwrite all data from the iOS device.

Data Shredder for iOS 2017 uses data shredding techniques that go beyond international standards set by state and military organizations for secure data deletion. Data Shredder’s data erasing algorithms have been analyzed by government authorities and independent security organizations to ensure the app does exactly as advertised, destroy all personal data on the device beyond any hope of recovery.

Data Shredder for iOS 2017 is available in two versions, the Professional Edition offers 11 different data shredding methods, completely wiping all free space and overwriting the storage area, to completely shred all of the stored data. Data Shredder Military Edition offers 18 erasing algorithms in total, while also offering an integrated secure file explorer.

Data Shredder for iOS Professional Edition include:

  • Compatibility with all iPhone, iPad and iPod touch models
  • Compatible with all iOS versions
  • Securely erases the free space
  • Completely wipes all data on the device
  • Includes new ProtectStar(TM) Advanced Secure Deletion Algorithm (2017)
  • Includes 1 year of technical support and free upgrades
  • 24/7 support via e-Mail

Data Shredder Military Edition Includes the above features, plus:

  • Offers the ability to wipe data from Apple TV units
  • Additional military level deletion algorithms
  • Includes new ProtectStar(TM) Advanced Secure Deletion Algorithm (2017)
  • An integrated secure file explorer

Data Shredder for iOS Professional edition uses certified deletion algorithms, including: DoD 5220.22-M ECE, Peter Gutmann, DoD 5220.22-M, HMG Infosec No.5, US Army AR380-19 and more. The Data Shredder for iOS Military Edition uses those same shredding algorithms, plus makes use of enhanced military deletion methods like NATO standard, US Navy NAVSO P-5239-26 (MFM & RLL), USAF AFSSI-5020 and Canadian CSEC ITSG-06.

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.11 or later
  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher
  • Internet connection for activation and updates
  • 30MB Hard Drive space

Data Shredder for iOS 2017 Professional Edition is just $29.90 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available through the ProtectStar website. Data Shredder for iOS 2017 Military Edition is just $49.90 USD.

macOS New App Release – System Bar

Product Announcement – B-Eng of Fehraltorf, Switzerland has released System Bar, their new low impact system monitoring utility for macOS. System Bar shows the main system information at a glance in a single bar, that can be freely customized and positioned anywhere on the screen. Size and appearance can be freely adjusted according to users preferences.

B-Eng calls it a trimmed version of their other system monitoring tools, that was specifically created based on customer feedback as an addition to their range of other system utility for Mac.

System Bar appears – as the name implies – as a bar wherever the user wants it. Colors, size and fonts are freely adjustable. Being a trimmed down version of the System clock, it shows the time on an analog clock face, CPU usage, used memory and available disk space. Aright click reveals the top resource heavy CPU processes and grants direct access to the Activity Monitor.

Christian Schaffner adds: “It is really a simple tool that shows basic information at a glance, while granting a direct overview to the most resource eating processes with a simple right click. If one needs more detailed information it’s just another click to open the built-in activity monitor in macOS. I personally like it, just because I sometimes need a little more information without having to dig.”

System Requirements: macOS 10.12 or newer

System Bar can be purchased directly on the homepage of b-eng for $1.99 (USD).

macOS New Too Release – Monochrome 3.4.1

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Product Announcement einstein’s legacy v2.0, LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina has released Monochrome 3.4.1, a feature update to their popular post-processing application for OS X. Monochrome converts batches of images to grayscale, giving you control over the conversion and post-processing effects, to create a consistent set of output images that can be shared and printed in a variety of ways. Monochrome is an essential tool for photographers, editors and designers. The 3.4.1 update contains a collection of bug fixes, a new user interface and more than 2 dozen new image effects.

Monochrome 3.3.1 includes the following key features:

  • Grayscale Conversion – Convert using a RGB or HSL-based color mixer, selective color desaturation, or color re-mapping
  • Print Options – Print high-resolution source material as a single image, on a contact sheet or as image slices
  • Slide Shows – Create an interactive presentation using your converted and filtered images
  • Image Preview – Inspect and compare the original and final images using any of the six available preview modes
  • Image Effects – More than 40 built-in image effects are available to apply to items in the Monochrome Tray
  • Background Exports – Output images are created in the background, enabling you to continue working without waiting
  • Sharing – Drag’n’drop your images onto other applications or share with Facebook or other popular internet services

What’s new in version 3.4.1:

  • New Vibrant Dark user interface
  • New, more compact Tray with support for gesture-based actions
  • More than 2 dozen new image effects added to the existing library
  • Instant Export allows you to drag images to another application (or the Finder) for immediate use
  • Improved support for drawing high-resolution images
  • Enhanced connectivity to social media

System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) or later
  • 64-bit processor
  • 2.1 MB

Monochrome 3.4.1 is available for $19.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide exclusively from the Mac App Store in the Photography category.

macOS New App Release – iSMARTtrain 4.1

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Product Announcement – Yellow Field Technologies of Aberdeen, United Kingdom has released iSMARTtrain version 4.1, a major update to their macOS training journal application for multi-sport and endurance athletes. First developed by age-group triathlete Stuart Tevendale in 2001 in response to the lack of Mac-based training software, Stuart soon joined forces leading sports scientist, coach and writer Joe Beer. Joe provides valuable input to the software, both from a scientific and coaching aspect. Future releases will continue to benefit from his wealth of knowledge and experience.

The software is designed to allow endurance athletes to download training data, such as heart rate, cadence, speed and power, from a variety of heart rate monitors & power meters and analyse it in graph, table and list formats. Information about training sessions, for example duration, distance and speed can also be similarly reviewed. Any number of sports can be quickly and easily tracked, using either metric or imperial units for each sport. Commonly used routes and sessions can be stored and quickly recalled:

  • Download from market-leading GPS, Heart Rate Monitors & Power Systems from Garmin, PowerTap and SRM
  • Track and analyse training data
  • Easy to understand visual graphs
  • Analyse time in training zones for heart rate and power data
  • Track equipment usage
  • Add and track user-defined metrics such as weight and sleep
  • Total times, distances and number of sessions can be viewed per week, month or year

The latest release contains new data graphs, improved swim analysis and bug fixes, including support for more devices.

iSMARTtrain 4.1 is available new from its official website or the Mac App Store, priced at $49.95 (USD). A free demo version, limited to 20 entries, can be downloaded from our website.

macOS New App Release – MovieBriefs 3.0.1

movieBriefs

Product Announcement – einstein’s legacy v2.0, LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina has released MovieBriefs 3.0.1, an important feature update to their popular video transformation application for OS X. MovieBriefs creates a contact sheet that summarizes all or part of your movie. The resulting image can be inspected or shared. MovieBriefs is a great tool for videographers, writers and other editorial production staff. The 3.0.1 update introduces a new workflow for creating on-demand summaries, a new project format, better high-resolution drawing and improved social media connectivity.

MovieBriefs 3.0.1 includes the following key features:

  • Simple Segmentation – Create a contact sheet from all or part of a movie by adjusting the segment start and end handles
  • Retina Ready – Inspect, print and share high-resolution images created from your movie segments
  • Segment Info – Display information about the location of segments within a video track. Great for error checking
  • Interactive Display – Place the cursor over the contact sheet image and see the time associated with a particular frame
  • Detailed Image Mode – Double-click on any particular frame in the overview contact sheet and see that image at full size
  • Sharing – Drag’n’drop images unto another application or share using Facebook or other popular internet services

What’s new in this version?

  • New Vibrant Dark user interface with an always-viewable movie preview
  • Generate summaries on-demand
  • Save multiple summaries in a single document
  • Instant Export allows you to drag summaries to another application (or the Finder) for immediate use
  • Improved support when drawing high-resolution images
  • New Movie Information window
  • Enhanced social media connectivity

System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) or later
  • 64-bit processor
  • 1.6 MB

MovieBriefs 3.0.1 is available for $9.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide exclusively from the Mac App Store in the Video category.

macOS New App Release – Putty Squad 1.0.5

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Product Announcement – Virtual Programming Ltd of Bournemouth, United Kingdom, in collaboration with the UK’s most successful independent publisher System 3, has released Putty Squad 1.0.5, their new game title developed for Mac OS X. The stretchy blue blob is all set to go digital in high resolution by way of the critically acclaimed Putty Squad videogame. Cited by many gaming publications as one of the best games of its time, Putty Squad follows the story of unlikely hero Putty in an old-skool platform-adventuring quest for his kidnapped friends. Putty has the following abilities:

  • The Stretch: Putty can stretch left, right, up and down in order to reach items and drop down to areas below him
  • Lie Flat: What better way of avoiding enemies than simply lying flat against the ground
  • Absorb: Items can be absorbed and used at a later date
    * Attack: Think there’s nothing more shocking than a fist made of putty – Well, there is
  • Inflate: Everyone knows that if you pump putty full of hot air it rises
  • Putty can inflate himself in order to scale otherwise unreachable heights but he can only hold his breath for so long! Throughout the game Putty will be able to upgrade his attacks, which range from a simple punch through to electrifying prods and putty darts. Putty Squad also now has redrawn graphics with three times the graphical fidelity, which means that Putty Squad looks stunning on the big screen!

Game Features:

  • One of retro gaming’s most-loved heroes returns
  • Critically acclaimed platform-adventure
  • Gorgeous 1080p graphics
  • Plays even better than it did originally

Putty Squad has been given a complete overhaul in graphics to deliver a modern, immersive experience. Gameplay has been finely tuned to offer an accessible platform game for all fans. As Putty you can punch, inflate, morph, stretch, lie flat and absorb on his journey through a host of different levels.

System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.8 or later
  • 1.03 GB

Putty Squad 1.0.5 is $14.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Games category.

macOS New App Release – Bix 1.4.1

bix

Product Announcement – einstein’s legacy v2.0, LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina has released Bix 1.4.1, the update to their video playlist tool for fullscreen and multi-screen playback on the Mac. Bix helps users organize and configure fixed or dynamic playlists, trimming individual clips as needed. The 1.4.1 update includes a new dark user interface, an expanded range of valid movie types, and enhanced social media connectivity.

What’s new in this version?:

  • New vibrant dark user interface
  • Works with movie files that do not have a video track
  • Enhanced social media connectivity

Bix 1.4.1 includes the following key features:

  • Easy Organization:
    Drag’n’drop segments to position them in the order you desire for final playback.
  • Watch Folders:
    Use Watch Folders to dynamically change your playlist without needing to edit your Bix project.
  • Easy Integration:
    Use autostarted documents with iCal, AppleScript or as a Login Item to control scheduled playback.
  • Works with Airplay:
    Send the output of your playlist to any airplay compatible device connected to your network.
  • Multiscreen Playback:
    Send playback to any monitor attached to your Mac or combine all monitors as one continuous display.
  • Simple Segmentation:
    Include all or part of a movie in the output by adjusting the in-point and out-point handles.
  • Looping:
    Set playback looping to control whether your playlist plays just once or repeats indefinitely.

System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.11 or later
  • 64-bit processor
  • 3.5 MB

Bix 1.4.1 is available for $19.99 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide exclusively from the Mac App Store in the Video category.

Tech Tip – Private Browsing with StartPage

Product ReviewmacOS Toolkit – I don’t recall where I first saw StartPage, but I installed the extension into Safari a few weeks ago and have been using it on a regular basis.

So, what is StartPage? StartPage is a search engine company based in the Netherlands. The potential benefits of StartPage include:

  • it is outside the reach of US law enforcement agencies
  • it uses secure connections over HTTPS
  • it does not collect search information
  • it provides private click-throughs using a proxy

The basis of the search engine results is Google, so the results of the searches are as good as any when using StartPage. StartPage is provided by Ixquick “the world’s most private search engine. Ixquick has been third-party certified by EuroPriSe, a European Union privacy initiative.” If you visit the StartPage website, you will see the very prominent statement that “StartPage does not collect or share any personal information!“. Many have become concerned with this as some ISPs have begun to ‘harvest’ search history information from their clients.

Beyond the search anonymity, sites listed in the StartPage search results are accessed through a proxy service that “allows users to surf the web with complete privacy. The proxy lets users browse websites safely and anonymously, without passing on any private, personally identifiable information to the websites they view.

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A portion of a search using StartPage is shown above. In the list of search results will be links very similar to those seen in a Google search. If you click on a link there, you leave the protection of StartPage and are browsing just as if you had been using Google. There is a “proxy” button besides each link in the search list. If you click that link then the page is retrieved through a StartPage proxy making your website visit invisible. You will encounter slower page loading when going through the proxy. StartPage provides a full description of how their proxy works here.

I think that this will become a standard part of my macOS Toolbox. While I am using StartPage with Safari, it is compatible with most browsers. There is also a Ixquick Search App that provides anonymous searching on mobile (iOS and Android) devices.  If you are concerned with your web browsing privacy, this may be an option you want to look into.


See my other macOS articles


 

macOS New App Release – System Clock

Product Announcement – B-Eng of Fehraltorf, Switzerland has released System Clock, the company’s new system monitor and information app developed exclusively for macOS. System Clock displays various system information as well as general data on a configurable clock surface. The Design is that of an analog clock with additional hands for CPU load, battery state and memory usage.

Additional weather information and weather forecast are embedded at the bottom of the clock face, with easily to understand icon for the current day and for 3 days in advance. All Colors and fonts are freely configurable to match any users personal taste, and the clock face can be resized and freely positioned on the desktop.

System Requirements: macOS 10.12 or newer

System Clock is only $1.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and can be purchased from B-Eng online.