Software bundles have always been a great way of building up a collection of useful applications, and the massively discounted price means you only need a couple of top class apps to make the price a bargain. There are several software bundles available for Macintosh users right now, offering a range of applications for prices between $9.99 and $63. Unfortunately there’s nothing currently available from Macheist or MacUpdate. The bundles are listed here in increasing price, with the second price in brackets a pound/dollar conversion at the current exchange rate (on 6th December 2010).
Macbasket.com – 7 apps for $9.99 (£6.36), ending 9th December 2010:
- NuKit – Finder productivity enhancer
- Money³ – Financial Management
- rooSwitch – profiles for your applications
- Radium – Internet radio player
- Healthnut – Diet/health tracker
- Chronicle 3 – Manage your bills
- Tracks -Play/browse music from the menubar
MacbundlePro – 7 apps for $19.95 (£12.69), ending 31st December 2010:
- AirRadar 2 – Wireless network scanner
- Inpaint – Remove objects from your images
- MacHider – Hide private data
- TranslateIt – Language translation
- ManPower – Man page GUI
- PacketStream – network monitoring tool
- DVDsnap 2 – capture screen shots from Apple DVD player
Mac Bundle Box – 12 apps for $29 (£18.45), ending 23rd December 2010:
- Compartments – Home inventory
- QuickScale – Batch image resizing
- Semonto – Web server monitoring for 6 months
- Radium – Internet radio player
- iCollage – Image scrapbook
- AllMyTube – Download/convert FLV video
- DVD Ripper – Convert DVD’s to other formats
- PDF Converter – PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, EPUB, Text and HTML
- Photo Recovery – recover lost, deleted or formatted photos, videos and music files
- iMedia Converter – DVD ripping and video conversion
- TinyGrab – Screenshot utility
- Caboodle – Snippet machine
BundlesForMac – 12 apps for $49.99 (£31.80), ending 15th December 2010:
- skEdit – Text/html editor
- Yummy FTP – FTP client
- MyStuff – home inventory
- BlogAssist – blog/website editor
- AlienDestroyer – Secure erase sensitive data
- Involer – Invoicing app
- Deliver – File delivery to local and remote destinations
- ProfCast – Lecture recording app
- PDF to Word – Document converter
- iCash – Personal finance
- PDF to Epub – Document converter
- GadgetTrak – Laptop theft recovery
MacPromo.com – 10 apps for £39.99 ($63), ending 31st December 2010:
- TypeIt4Me – Text expander
- PathFinder 5 – Finder replacement
- DragThing – document, folder, and application and URL dock
- Name Mangler 2 – Batch file renamer
- Personal Antispam 10.6 – Antispam component of Intego Internet Security Barrier
- MacFreelance 2 – Invoice management
- Keyboard Maestro 4 – Keyboard macro app
- Personal Backup – backup component of Intego Internet Security Barrier
- Folx Pro – Download manager
- CuteClips 3 – Clipboard history
- The First 5000 buyers get Star Wars: Empire at War
While the iPad’s built in apps are an impressive if incomplete start, the real strength of the iPad will be it’s app store. Like the iPhone has already proved, having a vast catalog of easily available and mostly cheap software is a huge selling point. Currently the available iPad apps are a bit frustrating due to the amount of excellent iPhone titles just begging for a bigger screen but not yet available. Here are some of the titles that have impressed so far.
Using a huge amount of high quality time lapse photo’s played like a video this app makes for a great desktop clock. All of the photo slideshow/clock apps tried so far have missing features or problems, but Magic Window is both simple and flexible enough to not irritate. There are currently fifteen photo sets available but not all are installed by default. This sensibly keeps the initial download smaller and required sets are added from within the app. ‘Nightfall over the San Francisco Bay’ and “Goblin Valley State Park’ are two of my favourites, and the ability to control the speed of playback makes this a perfect iPad app to show off to photo loving friends. Read more…
The iPad really comes alive when you start using the touchscreen and interacting with the OS and applications. The most common layout in landscape mode is the left third of the screen showing a list of some sort while the middle and right thirds show the selected document or view. The Settings app below shows this, with the list of setting groups on the left and the options on the right.
Turning to portrait mode shows the same options squeezed in width for the narrower dimension, while other apps such as Mail show a full screen view with a dropdown list. Read more…
A couple of software updates recently have reminded me just how good the Macintosh user interface can be. Functionality is good, but a swish interface really makes an app stand out.
First up is AppZapper, now at version 2. Version one was great for un-installing applications with it’s simple ‘drag an app onto the window and hit the button’ approach. The neat part was that AppZapper would also hunt out preference files and other associated junk (see above). The big improvement in version 2 is the Hit List (below). This shows all the Applications, Widgets, Preference Panes or Plugins on the machine for simple removal, even sorted by date, size or usage. No more hunting around the Library folder to bin that unwanted add-on. There’s also the new ‘My Apps’ to store license and serial information on purchased apps. Quite a lot of new features means AppZapper is well on the way to becoming an outstanding Application management package.
The second app is Version 2 of Panic’s Unison. Again, version one was a highly competent usenet client but version 2 sees all the windows integrated into one. There’s now built-in UnPAR/UnRAR/Join and recovery sets are only downloaded if needed. No need to fire up a web browser as search site’s can now be set up within Unison (and three are included to start you off). For anyone frequenting Usenet this looks like a great time saver. The screenshot below shows some of the default groups offered.
If you love a cheap bundle of quality software as much as I do there are three offerings available right now, all priced just under $50. First up is TheMacBundles at $49.95, offering the following:
The bonus programs expire over the next few days so the bundle goes against previous form by getting smaller as time passes, rather than adding software as sales targets are reached. There are no killer apps in this one and it doesn’t offer the same amount of saving as some of the previous Mac Heist or MacUpdate bundles.
The second bundle is MacBundleBox, offering 12 apps for $49. Standouts for me are Freeway Express, iCash and Stomp. The last is a video convertor that looks like it could fill the shoes of the much missed Visualhub. Several of the included apps sell for $60+ so there’s some fine savings here.
The final package is TheMacSale, with 10 strong apps for $49.99. Standouts for me are Flux, a WYSIWYG web editor with strong CSS support, Iris for photoshop style image editing, and the personnal version of REALbasic for writing software.
I’ve passed on TheMacBundles and bought TheMacSale package. I’m tempted by MacBundleBox so will probably end up buying that as well. The real benefit of these software packages is that after buying them for the past few years I have an app for most things you could want to do with a Mac.
The latest MacUpdate software bundle has launched today, offering 11 apps, plus 2 more for the first 15,000 buyers. There’s some high quality software included, and since I was looking at buying upgrades for Parallels 4 and Techtool Pro 5 this is a bargain. Here’s the full list:
- TechTool Pro 5 ($98): Check the health of your RAM and hard drives, repair problems, optimize performance. Boot and fix all but the newest March 2009 Macs
- Parallels 4 ($79.99): Run Windows, Linux, and more alongside your Mac.
- Circus Ponies Notebook 3 ($49.95): Organize your tasks, and collate you ideas, clippings, photos, and more.
- Intego NetBarrier X5 ($49.95): Robust firewall and intrusion detection.D
- DVDRemaster Pro 5 ($44.99): Backup your DVDs and put them on other Apple devices.
- Multiplex ($35): Browse and watch your entire DVD collection from your Mac with a gorgeous interface.
- RipIt ($18.99): Copy DVDs to your hard drive with one-click and create region-free, encryption-free backups.
- MoneyWell ($49.99): Manage your personal finances.
- Paperless ($44.95): Digital document manager.
- Posterino ($24.95): Create attractive posters, stylish postcards, photo frames, greeting cards and more.
- BetterZip ($24.95): Take Mac OS X’s built-in .zip compression tool to the next level. Extract only the files you want, create and encrypt archives, split large files, and more!