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SOFTWARE

17 Killer Mac Apps Under $20 (Part 4)

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8/16/2013 9:22:45 AM

ReadKit

Where to read your read-it-latters when it’s later

Your digital reading pile can get as disorganized as that stack of magazines on the nightstand, especially if you use more than one service. ReadKit streamlines your reading with offline support for Instapaper, Pocket, and Readability, plus bookmarks from Pinboard and Delicious. (Pinboard and Instapaper require paid accounts.) ReadKit lists each account in the sidebar, including categories such as Delicious and Pinboard’s private folders, and the way Pocket splits your entries into Articles, Videos, and Images. Mouse over a service’s name and select Hide to collapse the lists. 

Instapaper, Delicious, Pocket, Readability, and Pinboard, all in one client

Instapaper, Delicious, Pocket, Readability, and Pinboard, all in one client

The toolbar along the bottom has a button to switch the view from folders to tags, and a tag button under the preview pane lets you add new tags to each entry. You can search to filter, hide, or show any of the panels, tweak the article font and interface theme, and display the unread count in the dock. Buttons at the top let you send an article to Evernote, Facebook, Twitter, email, or iMessage, or mark it read or as a favorite. When you switch to Pinboard or Delicious, those buttons change to a browser-like forward/back/refresh scheme. The internal browser renders pages well, including streaming video, but we did hit some hiccups when loading pages with pop-ups. And you can’t manage your folders within ReadKit – you have to use each service’s site or app, and then refresh ReadKit to see the changes. 

The bottom line

Saving articles for later reading works best if you actually go back and read them later, and ReadKit makes it easy.

·         Product: ReadKit 1.2

·         Company: Webin

·         Contact: www.readkitapp.com

·         Price: $4.99

·         Requirements: 64-bit processor, OS X 10.7 or later

·         Positives: Simple, effective way to organize tons of offline reading material. Good interface and stable performance.

·         Negatives: Only one reading list visible at any given time. No ability to make custom folders to drag in articles from different services.

·         Rated (Great): 4/5

Doo document organizer

How to find things in the cloud

With our files scattered across so many cloud services, it can be a pain to remember where we put things. With Doo Document Organizer, that problem is a thing of the past. 

Think of Doo as kind of like a Finder for the cloud. Once you link your storage services – Dropbox, Google Drive, and SkyDrive – it quickly indexes your files and folders and presents them all for easy viewing, either as a giant list or organized by location. It does the same for your email or any local folder on your Mac; just tell Doo where to look and it will add whatever it finds to your library. And if you’re wary about letting Doo see too much, it’s easy to eliminate folders and wide swaths of files from its prying eyes. 

With Doo’s sorting options, you’ll never forget which cloud is storing your document.

With Doo’s sorting options, you’ll never forget which cloud is storing your document.

Much like the Finder, there’s no actual editing to be done in Doo. In simple terms, it’s like a dynamic snapshot of your documents; none of your files are actually moved or copied, but anything can be accessed in an instant and quickly opened in its associated app. You can view your documents in preview or list mode, and finding things is a snap thanks to predictive search, coupled with powerful, multi-layered sorting. Constant syncing makes sure everything stays current, and a handy duplicate finder helps eliminate clutter. 

Like other cloud services, Doo puts a limit on its free tier, and while the 1GB cap is one of lowest we’ve seen, a bit of selection should keep Doo humming along. We were bummed to learn that Doo couldn’t sync our iCloud documents, and while we were interested to add our mail accounts, it required us to set far too many filtering rules to make it useful. 

The bottom line

If you’ve ever wished for a cloud-powered Finder, you can’t Do much better than this.

·         Product: Doo 1.0.5

·         Company: Doo.net

·         Contact: http://doo.net 

·         Price: Free. (Storage beyond the free 1GB starts at $4.99/month for 10GB).

·         Requirements: OS X 10.8.2 or later.

·         Positives: Excellent file handling. Powerful sorting and searching. Speedy syncing

·         Negatives: Small storage cap requires vigilance. No support for iCloud files.

·         Rated (Great): 4/5

Dropmark

Share stuff as easily as sharing links

Sharing links is easy. Send them with Messages or email. Use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any other social network to share with your friends and colleagues. But what happens when you need to share a collection of stuff? Dropmark aims to simplify this process, allowing you to share not only links and images, but videos, files, music, and nearly anything else on your Mac. 

Dropmark installs as a menu bar item that is tightly integrated with the Dropmark website. Find something you like, drag it to the Dropmark menu, drop it into one of your Collections, and it’s instantly added to Dropmark’s cloud. Collections make sharing a bunch of stuff as easy as sending someone a single link, giving them read-only access. You can also collaborate by sharing collections with another Dropmark user.

Dropmark combines a web-based interface with a Mac menubar item for quickly collecting & sharing.

Dropmark combines a web-based interface with a Mac menubar item for quickly collecting & sharing.

Dropmark accepts all kinds of items: Web links, text files, images from iPhoto, mp3s, and even tracks from SoundCloud, all synced to our Dropmark account without a problem. If you’re more interested in clipping items from the web, you don’t even need the Mac menu bar applet: Dropmark’s web interface offers a sidebar for easy uploading, and a bookmarklet. 

By default, collections are only available to you. You can also share with anyone who has the link, or make your collections public. Public collections are viewable at username.dropmark.com, but Pro users can specify a custom domain. Pro users also get 25GB of storage (compared to 250MB for free accounts), uploading by email, display options, and search capabilities. 

The bottom line

Dropmark is great for creating, sharing, and collaborating on scrapbooks full of related stuff.

·         Product: Dropmark

·         Company: Oak Studios

·         Contact: www.dropmark.com

·         Price: Free. ($5/moth or $48/year for Pro account)

·         Requirements: 64-bit processor, OS X 10.7 or later

·         Positives: Sharing links, photos, and local files made easy. Three privacy levels. Drag-and-drop uploads.

·         Negatives: Occasional upload glitches.

·         Rated (Great): 4/5

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