Spring may not be the best time to learn a new habit, but our new habit may help kickstart your new routine before you or your kids start summer vacation. If you’re looking to figure out what apps are eating up your Mac, we’ve got an app that will help. Finally, we have a beloved actor’s debut in the App Store.
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Coach.me – iOS(Universal)
It may not be correctly attributed to Jerry Seinfeld, but the “don’t break the chain” productivity method has worked for a lot of people to build up a habit. It’s simple, do something every day and check off each day you do it. Coach.me allows you to set reminders for yourself when to complete your daily tasks.
You can share out your chains with your friends, as well as viewing their progress. This would be a nice app to coordinate a writer’s group or an exercise program between friends. You can set up as many different goals as you want, and schedule out your reminders at any time of day.
The app works pretty well, but to see the calendar with your progress is actually in an odd place inside each task under your profile. This takes a bit of digging to find. Considering the app draws form the idea of making X’s on a calendar this is a weird design choice.
What’s Good: Easy to set up goals and set reminders.
What Sucks: The history of tasks is a buried a few menus deep.
Buy it?: If you’re looking for something to get you over the hump of a new exercise or writing routine, check out Coach.me. Pick it up for free on the App Store.
WhoDoYou – iPhone
WhoDoYou wants to use Facebook to turn your friends into Angie’s List. I suppose that your Cousin’s brother in law might have a concrete guy, but a lot of WhoDoYou’s recommendations seem to come from people who don’t get Facebook privacy settings. That may just be my experience with searches on WhoDoYou. I assume if you have a bunch of people who share a bunch of tips about home improvement, then it might work s lot better for you.
WhoDoYou wants to try to recreate Yelp for professional services. The idea to create built in review and recommendations via Facebook was clever, but not necessarily successful. As I said, your impression of WhoDoYou is going to be based on how much traffic your Facebook has in talking about the services you’re investigating.
What’s Good: Easy to use interface, blends in Facebook.
What Sucks: Relies on you Facebook to populate reviews, which means blank categories, etc.
Buy it?: WhoDoYou is a free app, so there’s no risk in checking it out. Just don’t expect much. Download it free on the app store.
Memory Monitor – Mac
OS X has gotten a lot better at automatically managing memory. Though from time to time you’ll still have a system that’s crawling, and there’s not an easy way to diagnose what’s eating up your memory. Memory Monitor turns your current memory usage into a nice doughnut chart broken out by the type of usage. Since Memory Monitor lives in the menu bar, it’s a lot quicker to access than Activity Monitor.
You can also quick Optimize in Memory Monitor to have the app do a quick clean up of apps and files in memory that you’re no longer using. This means that they will take longer to reopen, but especially on the Air, that’s not much of a wait. Most apps are pretty well behaved when it comes to OS X built in memory management, but this is a good app to clean up behind the bad actors.
What’s Good: Easy to use
What Sucks: You may not need this in most cases.
Buy it?: If you’re worried about your RAM use, grab Memory Monitor. It’s free on the Mac App Store.
Doge Weather – Web
Doge Weather is the kind of web app that you just have to love. I get that it may be a bit late to the meme party, but that stupid looking dog still makes me laugh every time. (I still love Maru videos, so I might just be getting old.) So when I saw that you could get your daily weather forecast in the form of Doge, I was in.
There isn’t going to be much more than your current temp and conditions, but that’s all right. What it lacks in radar and extended forecasts it makes up for in simply being hilarious. Would you like to know it’s humid, or that there is “Much Sweating”? Would prefer it’s raining, or “Much Soak”? If you said no to either one of those, you might be missing the point.
What’s Good: Fun way to learn the current weather.
What Sucks: Missing forecast and more detailed weather info.
Buy it?: If you just want a placeholder home page, or just some simple weather info check out Doge Weather. It’s a free web app.
Hanx Writer – iPad
I don’t know if you can replicate a typewriter on an iPad, but Oscar winner and typewriter enthusiast Tom Hanks decided to hire some developers to try. The result is Hanx Writer, which out of the box gives you a revamped iPad keyboard that brings the same sounds and experience of writing on the typewriter.
It is a novel idea, one that is executed well. Auto-correct, shortcuts, alternate keyboards, as well as other iOS features are all disabled. It took me some time to reprogram my hands to stop thinking that two spaces make a period. The paper moves along keeping the text centered above the keyboard, which really does feel like a typewriter. The sound effects are faithful as well, typing in Hanx will make your room sound like a newsroom in an old movie. You can still work with text, moving the cursor around, and the in-line spell check. If you are feeling hyper-nostalgia, you can replace backspace with XXXX over your words.
The app is free which gives you one typewriter emulator, and only one document to work with at a time. You can unlock two additional typewriters, document handling, and different colored text for $4.99. This is neat little app, and a fun way to write. Though I would recommend against using it to take notes in a meeting lest the tic tack of the typewriter annoy your co-workers. I don’t like that I can’t listen to music while I write, as I like the sound effects. But don’t want to sacrifice my only audio for it.
What’s Good: Fun App, different type writers have slightly different fonts, keyboard design is excellent.
What Sucks: Sound effects take over all audio, disables some useful features in iOS typing.
Buy it?: If you like the classic feel of typewriters, check out Hanx Writer. Grab it for free on the App Store.