Tag Archives: Software

macOS New App Release – Haste


Product Announcements – Plastic Software Inc. Akashi, Hyogo, Japan, an indie software maker, has released the public beta of a macOS utility app named Haste, hoping that it helps us all Mac users power to search the web faster. Main Characteristics of Haste are as follows:

  • Search on your favorite sites with customized configurations instantly: Double-hit the command() key to open the Haste Search Window anywhere, anytime. Enter your search text and select a Custom Search to open the results pages in the web browser.
  • Find & Select your Custom Search with Hotkeys: Assign up to 3 Hotkeys to a Custom Search. Once you have entered your search text, hit the Hotkeys to reduce the Custom Searches to the one you want.
  • Auto Search-Text Insertion:
    1. “Copy and Haste” – Copy text into the clipboard and open the Search Window within 5 seconds. The text will be in the search field.
    2. Drag and Drop – Select text and start dragging it, the Haste icon will show up. Dropping the text onto the icon will open the Search Window with the text.
    3. On Safari, just select text and go – If you have enabled the Haste Safari Extension, just select text on Safari and open the Search Window.
    4. Right-click via Services – Select text and right-click on it. Then select “Search with Haste” under the Services.

Other Useful Features:

  • Add/Edit/Export your Custom Searches
  • Light/Dark Appearances
  • Sync Custom Searches across different Macs
  • Works with your favorite browser

The public beta can be downloaded from the Haste product site now. Haste supports Mac OSX 10.11 or above). The dev team is planning to submit the app to Mac App Store within a few weeks. They are looking for anyone who would be interested in beta-testing the app. Any comments/suggestions/bug reports would be very much appreciated.

macOS New App Release – DriveDx 1.6.0


Product Announcements – BinaryFruit of San Francisco, California has released DriveDx 1.6.0, its latest solution for SSD and HDD health diagnostics and monitoring. As macOS does not have a comprehensive drive health indicator, DriveDx fills a critical role in measuring the overall health of both SSD and HDD drives. Because DriveDx tracks more indicators of impending failure than any other product on the market, users will get an advanced warning before their drives fail. This will allow them to take action to avert the failure and save themselves from resulting data loss and downtime.

Unlike many other drive health diagnostics utilities that simply check built-in S.M.A.R.T. status, DriveDx performs overall drive health diagnostics using drive health indicators (like SSD wear out / endurance, reallocated bad sectors, offline bad sectors, pending sectors, I/O errors, and more) that most closely correlate with drive failures according to the statistics reported in the latest researches focused on identifying drive failure trends. This gives a user a comprehensive picture of a current drive health status and enables foreseeing potential problems with drive failure and loss of sensitive data. Moreover, DriveDx shows this information on a user-friendly Mac-style interface in an easy-to-understand format.

“Here’s a DriveDx triumph. DriveDx showed my just out of AppleCare iMac with two pre-fail conditions for the hard drive. Made appointment and took it to Genius Bar yesterday. Tech looked at DriveDx and was very impressed. Even though out of warranty – they replaced the drive without question,” said Michael Sidoric, CapMac User Group Treasurer, ex-Vice President of CapMac.org. “God knows how many dollars and troubles DriveDx saved me since I had several vital FinalCut projects on it.”

DriveDx is a combined drive health analysis and forecasting tool. It monitors and analyzes changes to S.M.A.R.T. attributes in order to continuously evaluate drive health status and predict drive failures. In addition to “Failed” and “OK” drive statutes DriveDx supports “Warning” and “Failing” statuses indicating that a drive is in a pre-failure status and backup of sensitive data is highly recommended.

DriveDx performs both SSD and HDD health diagnostics. Moreover, it uses a separate set of indicators for SSD and HDD to monitor drive health status. This is particularly important as SSD works different from HDD, and requires a different algorithm to check its health status. Also, SSDs typically are more dependent on firmware than HDDs, and DriveDx has been programmed to support many versions of firmware (please see our website for a complete list of supported firmware).

DriveDx allows configuring the delivery of customized drive status and free space reports by e-mail and therefore does not require user presence to inform about drive status changes. In addition, DriveDx can launch built-in drive diagnostics self-tests. Drive self-tests will help to quickly identify if the drive is faulty.

DriveDx is the first utility of its kind to have a real user-friendly Mac-style interface. It is organized in a way that allows a user to view and understand drive status and its performance at a glance. User can switch between different view modes to drill up or down data related to drive health, including S.M.A.R.T. indicators and attributes, drive statistics and errors.

What’s New in DriveDx 1.6.0:

  • Improved SSD and HDD health diagnostic algorithms
  • Added clipboard support (user can copy drive related info)
  • Improved support of macOS High Sierra (10.13)
  • Improved support for Apple SSDs
  • Improved support for Samsung SSDs
  • Improved support for Crucial/Micron SSDs
  • Added support for recent Intel SSDs
  • Improved support for Kingston SSDs
  • Improved support of recent Seagate HDDs
  • Improved support of recent Western Digital HDDs
  • Added support for HP Enterprise (Intel-based) SSDs
  • Many stability improvements
  • Many cosmetics tweaks and fixes

DriveDx feature highlights:

  • Support of modern SSDs and HDDs
  • SSD lifetime left indicator
  • Different routines for SSD and HDD health evaluation and diagnostics
  • Real-time SSD & HDD health status monitoring
  • User-friendly and intuitive UI
  • Multi-tier warning system that will inform the user about deviations from the normal state of drive attributes
  • Diagnostic Knowledge Base online auto-updating
  • Drive overall health rating
  • Drive overall performance rating (if drive supports this subset of indicators)
  • Device statistics
  • I/O errors monitoring
  • Drive free space monitoring
  • Support of drive short and full (extended) self-tests
  • Sending a warning whenever a problem with a drive firmware exists
  • Saving detailed drive status reports to a file
  • Warning a user with pop-up notifications about errors and failures
  • Displaying drive status on a macOS status bar
  • Runs natively on macOS

System Requirements:

  • macOS 10.6.8 or newer

Pricing and Availability – DriveDx 1.6.0 has 4 types of licenses that are currently being offered on promotion:

  • Personal License – $19.99 (USD)
  • Family License – $39.99
  • Business License – starting from $99.99
  • IT-Consultant License – starting from $49.99

DriveDx can be purchased from the BinaryFruit website. A fully functional 15-day trial version is available for download at our website.

macOS New App Release – SuperTab 3.0

Product Announcements – SpriTec Software of San Diego, California has released SuperTab 3.0 for Mac. SuperTab 3.0’s feature has been driven entirely by user request, resulting in both the most powerful and popular release to date. The most requested features that have been added include:

  • Item Name Overlays – Users can choose to overlay the names of their files, folders and other items, making them easily identifiable.
  • Calendar Items – Users can now instantly see their current and upcoming events within the App Switcher.
  • Multiple Monitor Support – Users can now bring up the SuperTab’s enhanced App Switcher on any Monitor connected to their Mac.
  • Dropbox Share Links – Users can now create Share Links to items in their Dropbox from within the App Switcher.
  • Application Windows – Users can now access Application Windows in order of recent use, or in sets per Application.
  • Application Badging – SuperTab now displays Application Badges just like the original App Switcher.
  • Improved Performance – SuperTab is now fine-tuned to be instantly responsive and yet to consume fewer system resources than ever.

SuperTab Overview:

“The App that does what Apple should have Done!” SuperTab allows users to fully customize the Mac’s built-in Command-Tab App Switcher to provide them with instant access to much more than just their Active Apps. For example, SuperTab extends the Mac’s App Switcher to let users quickly access their:

  • Active Apps
  • Recent Apps
  • Recent Documents
  • Dock Contents
  • Folder Contents
  • Dropbox Contents
  • Any Files, Folders or Apps
  • Calendar Events
  • Application Windows
  • Clipboard History
  • Multiple Clipboards
  • Web Site Bookmarks
  • Snagit Captures
  • Tagged Items
  • Finder Sidebar Items
  • Screen Shots
  • Saved Spotlight Searches
  • Saved Display Configurations

SuperTab 3.0 builds on the two previous generations of SuperTab by adding the features that have been most requested by its users.

* Item Name Overlays – With SuperTab’s ability to display folders, files and many other items in the App Switcher, it has become difficult to easily identify identical looking items. By adding the option to overlay the names of these items directly atop their icons, SuperTab 3.0 has now made identifying and working with these items much more intuitive and simple.

“We are beyond excited to *finally* give our users this new Item Name Overlay feature,” explained Ando Sonenblick, owner of SpriTec Software. “It has been by far the most-requested feature since day one and our users have told us that now having it finally rounds out SuperTab to be one of their top-tier products.”

* Calendar Events – SuperTab 3.0 also makes viewing upcoming Calendar Events as easy and instant as activating the App Switcher. Users can configure the Date Range to display, choose which Calendars to include Events from, and can hover the mouse over any Event to see its full details:

  • Title
  • Start and End Time
  • Organizer
  • Location
  • Associated URL
  • Status
  • Host Calendar
  • All Attendees
  • Notes

Right-clicking on an Event lets users open or remove the event from their Calendar, or to directly email the Organizer or all Attendees. User can even easily open any URL mentioned in the Event or email any address listed in the event.

* Multiple Monitor Support – This latest SuperTab release has full support for Multiple Monitors, also a oft-requested feature. This lets users bring up SuperTab’s enhanced version of the App Switcher on any monitor connected to their Macs.

And by adding the other most-requested features – Application Badging, greatly improved performance, new ways to access open Windows, the ability to create Dropbox Share Links and more – SuperTab 3.0 now offers users the most powerful App Switcher ever.

And at 50%-off its regular price, this release offers users the most “Bang for their Buck” of any version of SuperTab.

SuperTab 3.0 is compatible with the following versions of macOS:

  • “Sierra” (10.12)
  • “El Capitan” (10.11)
  • “Yosemite” (10.10)
  • “Mavericks” (10.9)
  • “Mountain Lion” (10.8)

SuperTab 3.0 is free to download and install and is fully-functional for 30 days. After 30 days, it remains fully-functional but will occasionally ask users to register. Users can take advantage of a special 50%-off sale price of only $10 (USD), which is good now through September 30, 2017. Users of earlier versions of SuperTab can upgrade to 3.0 for $2.99 (USD).

macOS New App Release – M4V Converter Plus 4.3.4

Product Announcements – M4V Converter Plus Inc. of Cortaro, Arizona has released M4V Converter Plus for Mac 4.3.4, an important update to their iTunes Movie Converter for macOS. With this new version, users can remove DRM protection easily with the iTunes new version installed. It also fixed the signature problem, which allow you to convert iTunes protected videos without any limitations.

An all-in-one iTunes DRM Removal software:
M4V Converter Plus for Mac is a professional iTunes DRM removal software as well as iTunes Movie Converter for Mac users. With it, users can convert DRM protected iTunes purchased M4V movies (including iTunes Extras) and iTunes Rentals before they are expired to unprotected video formats including MP4, AVI, MOV, FLV, VOB, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, 3GP, WMV and any other video formats.

In addition, anyone can also convert and play any iTunes videos on iPhone 7, iPad, iPod, Apple TV and other Apple devices, Samsung Galaxy series and tablets, game consoles like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One, and smart TVs like the LG Smart TV, and other brands.

Users can convert iTunes movies, TV Shows and music videos to common video files with 30X faster conversion speed, at the same time, AC3 Dolby 5.1 audio, multilingual subtitles and audio tracks (including audio descriptions) of iTunes videos will be preserved.

The app is compatible with Mac OS X 10.8, 10.9, 10.10 OS X 10.11 EI Capitan and 10.12 Sierra.

M4V Converter Plus for Mac 4.3.4 is just $44.95. and is available worldwide exclusively through the M4V Converter Plus website. New users can download M4V Converter Plus free from the website. It offers a free trial version, which allows users to convert one minute for each iTunes video file. Users can get the full version by purchasing it on their website. Previous users can “Check for Update” in the app to get the new version. For more information, please visit the M4V Converter Plus website.

macOS New App Release – myTracks 3.1.2


Product Announcements – Independent developer, Dirk Stichling of Paderborn, Germany has released myTracks 3.1.2, an important update to his photo geotagging app for macOS. myTracks allows anyone to quickly and easily organize GPS tracks from photos stored in JPEG or RAW formats.

Version 3.1.2 of myTracks brings the ability to easily geotag photos that are stored in the macOS “Photos” app. With just a few clicks of the mouse, anyone can geotag their photos that are stored in the app. There is no need to update anything in the Photos app itself. Once the process is complete, users can easily view the location of the photos using the “Places” feature of the Photos app.

“I created myTracks to be the Swiss Army Knife for organizing your GPS tracks. They can be loaded from a broad range of devices, and the app organizes them into an easily accessibly library,” says the creator of the myTracks app, Dirk Stichling. “Plus, the new version of the app allows users to select photos stored in the macOS ‘Photos’ app that don’t have GPS information, and quickly geotag them using myTracks.”

Geotagging “Photos” images with myTracks works as follows:

  1. Select the images in the Photos app that do not have GPS information.
  2. Open the ‘myTracks’ app and select “Import from ‘Photos’ app” in the “File” menu.
  3. myTracks will display the locations the photos were taken, based on GPS tracks in the myTracks app.
  4. Geotagging can be added to each image photo-by-photo or by using myTracks’ batch processing feature.

In addition to the macOS “Photos” app, myTracks can be used with numerous other photo organizing applications, including Aperture, Adobe Lightroom, GraphicConverter, or even the macOS Finder. myTracks handles the JPEG and RAW photos formats. GPS tracks can be exported in the GPX, KML or KMZ file formats, and can be used with Google Earth.


  • Works great with the macOS “Photos” app
  • 1-click, drag-and-drop geotagging of JPEG and RAW photo files
  • Offers more than 50 presets for downloading GPS tracks
  • Import, export, and edit tracks in GPX and KML formats. Export in KMZ formats
  • Ability to display tracks on a variety of maps, both online and offline
  • Compatible with Adobe Lightroom, macOS Photos, Aperture, GraphicConverter or macOS Finder
  • Upload to Flickr
  • iCloud support
  • Free iOS app to track recording and sync with macOS app

In addition to using myTracks for macOS with dedicated GPS loggers, app developer Stichling also offers a free iPhone app, “myTracks – The GPS logger” to record GPS tracks. Users can synchronize all of their tracks between their iOS and macOS devices via iCloud. The iPhone app is available worldwide through the App Store.

Device Requirements:

  • OS X 10.8.0 or later
  • 64-bit processor
  • 45.1 MB

myTracks 3.1.2 is only $14.99 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Travel category. “myTracks – The GPS-Logger” for iOS is also available for free through the App Store.

macOS New App Release – PubCoder 3


Product Announcements – PubCoder of Torino, Italy has released PubCoder 3, a major release of the software, in beta version, available for Mac users only. PubCoder is a desktop application that allows users to design and distribute interactive content for mobile in any digital format, such as iOS and Android Apps, EPUB and KF8 ebooks, as well as HTML5 interactive widgets. PubCoder is a preferred digital publishing tool for creatives and designers. The beta, free to download and test for 30 days, contains a new user interface, presents more than a dozen new features and introduces its companion mobile free app PubReader.

“We decided to take a step back and use what we learned in the last 3 years to redesign the software from the ground up,” says Paolo Albert, PubCoder CEO and Founder. “We added many new features, but we also took some bold choices that led to drastically change some of the existing features, simplifying and hiding complexity where necessary. We think that PubCoder 3 will boost designers’ ability to create interactive contents for mobile like never before. We expect feedbacks from the community on this beta for Mac before taking the Windows version to the same level.”

PubCoder 3 beta version includes the following key features and improvements:

  • From Workspaces to Renditions:
    Export directly content to all available formats: iOS app, Android app, EPUB, KF8, HTML5, XPUB without having to create a workspace for each format. Use renditions to adapt content for different platforms and languages where needed.
  • PubReader and XPUB:
    Live preview content via Wi-Fi and share it with your colleagues and customers: export your project in XPUB, a new open format for digital publications, and load it on PubReader, the newly free companion app available for free on App Store and Google Play. PubReader fully supports interactivity, multiple renditions and localizations created through PubCoder.
  • On-stage Text Editor:
    Edit text directly on-stage. No more double-clicking to open the text editor in a new window, edit your text and see the result directly on the layout.
  • Improved Code Editor based on Ace:
    Code your own through the newly code editor based on the widely adopted Ace. The editor features syntax highlighting for HTML, XML, Javascript and CSS, powerful find/replace with regular expressions and many other options to manage code at best.
  • Google Open Images and Unsplash API integration for Creative Commons images:
    Browse and use directly in your project thousands of images through Google’s Open Images database, which exploits machine learning technology to search for objects inside those images. In addition, integration with Unsplash APIs allows searching their great catalog of free quality photos to be used in the project.
  • Google Zopfli integration for improved compression:
    Optimize image quality and file size of your output using a new option which takes advantage of Google’s Zopfli lossless compression algorithm.
  • App-friendly UX:
    Preview content fastly as native app iOS or Android without the need to define app code signing identities, provisioning profiles and keystores. At time of submitting your app, PubCoder will help by filtering installed signing identities and profiles and checking that all metadata are correct.
  • 64-BIT
    Takes full advantage of all the RAM memory on your computer and is ready for the future.

System Requirements (Pubcoder 3 Beta): macOS 10.9 or later

PubCoder, free to test for 30 days, is available at a subscription license fee of Euro 99 per year. Discount price (Euro 49 per year) for educators, students and teachers. License can be purchased only via the official Pubcoderwebsite.

macOS New app Release – Data Shredder for Mac 2017


Product Announcements – ProtectStar of Miami, Florida  has released Data Shredder for Mac 2017, their new military grade data deletion tool for macOS. The app allows users to drag-and-drop files, folders, hard drives, (even external drives) to the app’s shredding area and securely erase the data with just a click of the “Shred” button.

Using the same data shredding techniques as their popular Data Shredder for iOS app, ProtectStar’s Data Shredder for Mac securely and efficiently deletes data using methods that meet and exceed government, military, and industry standards. The app eliminates any chance for data reconstruction, even by government agencies.

“Many users believe that when they delete files from their Mac’s hard drive, that they’re gone for good. The truth is, the files can be recovered using any one of a number of macOS disk utilities. That’s due to the way computers ‘delete’ files. They don’t really remove the data, they simply mark the files as deleted,” says Chris Bohn, CEO of ProtectStar. “Files aren’t really gone forever until that storage space is overwritten using secure deletion algorithms. Data Shredder for Mac securely overwrites the ‘deleted’ files using patented security standards, making it impossible to recover any deleted data.”

Data Shredder for Mac 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. The Data Shredder Military Edition offers 18 erasing methods in total, while also offering advanced deletion reports.

Data Shredder Professional Edition Features Include:

  • Compatible with all Mac models
  • Deletes files, folders, hard drives, external drives, USB Sticks, SD cards, and more
  • Secure data deletion up to the top-secret security standard level
  • A detailed deletion report provides evidence of deletion
  • Compatible with Solid State Drives (SSD) and Flash memory
  • Full Drag & Drop support
  • Includes 1 year of technical support and free upgrades
  • 24/7 support via e-Mail
  • Data Shredder Military Edition Includes the above features, plus:
  • Advanced deletion reports
  • Enhanced military deletion methods

Data Shredder for Mac Professional uses certified deletion algorithms, including: DoD 5220.22-M ECE, Peter Gutmann, DoD 5220.22-M, HMG Infosec No.5, German BSI-2011-VS, US Army AR380-19 and more. Data Shredder for Mac Military Edition uses those same algorithms. Plus, it makes use of enhanced military deletion methods like NATO standard, US Navy NAVSO P-5239-26 (MFM & RLL), USAF AFSSI-5020, BSI TL-03423 and CSEC ITSG-06. Each algorithm has been analyzed by independent authorities and organizations to ensure it really does what it promises, which is destroy data beyond any hope of restoration.

Both editions have integrated the high-secure Advanced Secure Deletion Algorithm developed by ProtectStar Inc. in 2017. The new deletion method also encrypts the blocks completely using the 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Algorithm) and uses high-quality random numbers generated based on Feder Information Processing Standards (FIPS).

Data Shredder for Mac 2017 is one of the easiest to use, yet most secure ways available to completely erase files from any Mac drive, allowing users to remain secure in the knowledge their data can never be recovered by anyone. Drag-and-drop, and press a button. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS 10.11 or higher
  • Supports macOS 10.13 macOS High Sierra
  • 64-bit processor
  • 50 MB
  • Internet connection for activation and updates

Data Shredder for Mac 2017 Professional Edition is just $19.90 and is available worldwide exclusively through the ProtectStar website. Data Shredder for Mac 2017 Military Edition is just $29.90 and is also available worldwide exclusively through the ProtectStar website.

macOS New App Release – GraphicConverter 10.4.3


Product Announcements – Longtime Macintosh developer and publisher, Lemke Software GmbH of Peine, Germany has released GraphicConverter 10.4.3, a significant update to its award-winning image utility for Mac OS X. Described as the equivalent of a “Swiss Army Knife,” GraphicConverter is a universal image editing program that features image conversion from more than 200 graphic file formats into almost 80 different file formats.

GraphicConverter has over 1.5 million users all over the world. The app makes it easy to work with almost any graphics format, from almost any source. GraphicConverter also fully supports macOS 10.12 Sierra and the upcoming macOS 10.13 High Sierra, offering compatibility with the latest Macs.

Feature Highlights:

  • Ability to open files in 200 graphics formats
  • Ability to export in almost 80 different formats
  • Import directly from camera (also RAW)
  • Catalog generation (web, print, picture)
  •  TWAIN and image capture interface for scanners
  • Direct support of the photo services Google , Flickr, and locr
  • Graphical file and picture browser
  • Slide show functions
  • Powerful batch processor feature
  • Support for Applescript
  • Express picture enhancement function
  • Powerful functions for editing pictures
  • Advanced effects and filters
  • Plug-in architecture
  • Color management with ColorSync and ICC profiles
  • 3D image support
  • Supports the latest technologies of the different Mac OS versions
  • Multilingual (12 available languages)
  • Image verifier
  • Ability to browse local copies on cloud services like Dropbox, SkyDrive, Amazon Cloud and Google Drive

Version 10.4.3 has incorporated several new features to increase the power and improve the functionality of GraphicConverter including:

  • Import and export of heic/heif (on 10.13 or later)
  • Import of djvu with helper tool DJView.app
  • Autosave in second format for GraphicConverter image documents
  • Optional postprocessing during saving files with ImageOptim
  • Optional autolevel of 16 bit grayscale files (useful for microscope images)
  • Quick access submenu for convert&modify functions
  • Option to hide/show selection frame

In addition to its broad number of new options, GraphicConverter has made several significant updates to existing features within its popular image utility app. They are:

  • Support for tags 2:60, 2:62 and 2:63 inside IPTC records
  • Option to limit HPGL import size
  • More file filters in the browser
  • Improved windows ICO export

“With over 1.5 million users worldwide, GraphicConverter is one of the most utilized professional programs on the market,” says Thorsten Lemke, founder of Lemke Software GmbH. “Both amateur photographers and professional designers love its quality, vast array of features, and ease of use. They also appreciate that GraphicConverter is available on a trial basis with few restrictions and at your leisure until you decide to purchase. Version 10.4.3 is even a free update to Version 10.x customers. GraphicConverter has even impressed Apple, who included GraphicConverter as a pre-installed application on many of their computers. Our newest version continues the tradition of making GraphicConverter the best image utility tool for Macs.”

Language Support: English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Portuguese

System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.9 or later
  • 64 bit processor

Pricing and Availability:
GraphicConverter 10.4.3 is only $39.95 (USD) and available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Photography category. It can also be directly purchased online from the Lemkesoft website. GraphicConverter 10.4.3 is a free update for all customers of version 10.x. Upgrades from older versions of GraphicConverter are available for $25.95 (USD).

macOS New app Release – Ortelius 2

Product Announcements – US-Australia-based developer Mapdiva of Indianapolis, Indiana  has released Ortelius 2 creative map design software for the Mac. This unique professional creativity app is a hybrid that lies somewhere between a vector drawing program, such as Illustrator(TM) and a geographic information system (though it’s decidedly not GIS). Ortelius adds tailored functionality for cartography, such as connectable track tools, powerful style engine, library of expert styles and map symbols, and robust templates.

If you’ve ever tried making a map in a standard vector drawing program, you know how tedious it can be. Or, perhaps you’ve lamented how difficult it is to make publication-quality map graphics in a GIS. Ortelius automates many of the tedious tasks in manual cartography with a clear eye towards high-quality graphics, so you can focus your creative energy on content and design.

Ortelius offers three workflows for map-making:

  1. Design hand-crafted maps using expert styles, symbols, and special cartography drawing tools.
  2. Create maps from beautifully designed world, regional and country templates to customize and make your own.
  3. For advanced users, build maps from shapefiles as a starting point for your next creation.

“We’ve modernized Ortelius top to bottom,” say geographer and co-founder, Dr. Jill Saligoe-Simmel, “from under-the-hood performance to forward-facing features like connectable tracks and automatic junctions.” For Mapdiva’s more advanced users, Ortelius 2 includes the highly-requested ability to align layers when importing georeferenced shapefile map data.

Ortelius uses layers to organize your map’s content. Draw roads on a roads layer, rivers on another layer, points of interest on another, and view them all stacked together. Layers are expandable and can be easily reorganized.

From cased (think double-line) roads to patterned fills, Ortelius’ powerful style engine lets you build expert stacked styles which can be as simple or complex as you desire. It comes with a library of over 1800 pre-built styles and map symbols, and these can be copied or cloned to use as a starting point for your own creations. Since it’s a full-fledged vector drawing program, you can even create your own graphics and map symbols, and save them to your user library to use again with future projects. Ortelius’ workflows are thoughtful and efficient, and features like ‘Global Styles’ let you quickly make changes across multiple objects at once.

Importantly, Ortelius lets you draw to scale. For example, 1-inch on your drawing canvas can equal 1-ft or 1-mile/km on the ground. That’s perfect for maps, landscape plans, floorplans and even technical drawings. Beyond crisp maps and graphics, it also has the ability to import and edit raster images. You can export vector PDF and a variety of image formats at a multiple scales and resolutions. Export your entire map, portions of the map in “slices”, individual layers, or selected objects.

Ortelius 2 is available today from Mapdiva.com for $149.99 (USD)/yr annual license or $399 (USD) perpetual license from their website. It is made exclusively for MacOS. A free trial, get started videos, tutorials and multi-lingual user guide are available on their website.

macOS New App Release – Firetask Pro

Product Announcements – Elemental Tools of Eggersdorf/Graz, Austria  has released Firetask Pro, the next generation of Firetask, the leading project-oriented GTD(R) task management app for Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. The new app provides tons of new features based on end user feedback including project portfolios, actions for subdividing tasks, iCloud syncing, a new iOS Today widget, and Apple Watch support. Firetask Pro is available immediately from the iTunes and Mac App Store.

“With Firetask Pro we are raising the bar for project-oriented task management apps,” said Gerald Aquila, CEO of Elemental Tools. “By keeping what our users love and optimizing the Firetask workflows based on years of end user feedback we strongly believe that we have created an exceptional GTD task management experience.”

Enhanced Focus Through Optimized Workflows:
The new app provides significant improvements to the collect and focus workflows. “Today” now focuses really on tasks that are marked as starred, or are due today (or already overdue). Upcoming due tasks in the next days as well as next tasks per project are summarized in a new “Next” view. In addition, “Waiting For” has been moved into the “Focus” area and provides a much improved view of your delegated tasks grouped by assignee.

The new “Collect” area groups “Inbox”, “Someday”, and “Scratchpad” together and now supports free reordering of tasks providing you with a more natural way of collecting and organizing thoughts and ideas.

More Order via Portfolios and Actions:
Portfolios allow users to group projects together in order to provide more order for your active projects. Actions provide a simple, but powerful way to subdivide your tasks into individual steps that have to be done before a task can be completed.

Consistent Experience Across Platforms:
Firetask Pro brings much more functionality from the Mac to iOS as well as from the iPad to the iPhone. For instance, all previously Mac-only overviews such as “Priorities” and “Starred” are now also available on iOS. In addition, the new universal iOS app brings “Kanban” and “Dates” views to the iPhone for the very first time enabling you to perform more effective GTD reviews also on the go.

Additional Improvements and Availability:
Additional improvements include a new, improved Today widget on iOS, a very focused Apple Watch app providing quick access to Inbox, Today, Next, and Waiting For lists, Contacts, Calendar and Reminders integrations, and easy to set up syncing via iCloud.

Firetask Pro for iOS and macOS are available from the iTunes and Mac App Store respectively and require iOS 10 and macOS Sierra 10.12. For more information or a free 15 day trial of the Mac version please visit the Firetask website.