MacHeist, Instashare and Yahoo Weather

For the first time in a while we had some picks on the show this week and with one in particular being time sensitive it made sense to follow up with a picks post.

MacHeist is one of the better known Mac bundle providers and while some of the latest bundles around the web have been less than great the latest nano bundle from MacHeist is excellent. For only $9.99 you get the following apps:

  • xScope – tools that are ideal for measuring, aligning and inspecting on-screen graphics and layouts.
  • iStopMotion – create stop motion animations frame by frame
  • Totals – create stylish invoices although many have moved to cloud services for these features
  • Clarify – a tool for capturing and annotating screenshots. Looking forward to trying this.
  • AirServer – AirPlay receiver for your Mac – watch videos on the Mac that are stored on your iOS devices. Who needs an Apple TV?
  • Fantastical – a calendar app that you will enjoy using.
  • CleanMyMac 2 – keeps your Mac clean and tidy. Includes an app unistaller and scheduler for cleanup and maintenance.
  • Little Inferno – new game from creators of World of Goo and has had great review.
  • Path Finder – supercharged Finder alternative which I’ve used for years. Lost without it on a new Mac. This is currently locked until there have been 30,000 bundle purchases but with the number bought sitting at over 25,000 this morning it’s safe to say that this will be unlocked for everyone.

Out of that list I use Path Finder, Fantastical and AirServer and recommend them highly. I’ve picked up the bundle for xScope and Little Inferno. As AirServer was added only yesterday and there is one window (with icon hinted at) still available on the homepage I’d expect another app to be added prior to the deal closing but hurry – this bundle is only available for another two days.

Airdrop was introduced in Lion and allowed you to easily share files between Macs without joining wifi networks, configuring your Mac or using USB sticks. It works really well but I was always baffled as to why iOS never joined the party. Step in Instashare. Install the free Mac and iOS clients, run the Mac client and launch the app on your iOS device. You can then quickly and easily drag files between the devices.


The app is well designed – drag an image on your iOS device and drop it on the Mac you want to send it to. A couple of seconds later and it’s there. To send to iOS, make sure Instashare is running on your iOS device, drag a file to the Instashare icon on the Mac toolbar and drop it on your iOS device. It will then be transferred to your iOS device and from Instashare you can view the file or easily send it to an application on your device. It works really well and I use it so much for grabbing images or quickly throwing text or docs onto the iPad or iPhone.

Yahoo Weather
My last pick is a bit unexpected. Yahoo Weather is a new free weather app for iOS. What’s unexpected is how well designed the app is – it’s gorgeous.

Yahoo Weather
Yahoo Weather

Launching the app you can use your current location as a source or easily add multiple locations around the world. What makes this app fairly unique is the use of Flickr images as backgrounds to indicate the current weather conditions. So instead of a set of stock images you get local photo’s taken by Flickr users of your current locations. Some of them are great and really make the app stand out. The animations and icons used by Flickr are also nice and of much higher quality than I expected. The only negative is the fairly ugly app icon but thats a small gripe. If you are currently using the stock weather app on iOS do yourself a favour and grab Yahoo Weather instead.


No show this week but three picks that are worth checking out.

Tweetbot for Mac

We have a strong love for Tweetbot on iOS at DigitalOutbox so the launch of Tweetbot for Mac is a straightforward pick. Some might not like the design but I love the power and flexibility in Tweetbot and the timeline and DM syncing over iCloud. Some nice Mac exclusive features include multiple window and column view support which works well although is slightly tricky to find and launch. I also love being able to mute hashtags, users and keywords which make for quieter Saturday nights in the UK.

One thing to point out is the price. £13.99 makes Tweetbot one of the more expensive Twitter clients. Primarily the lack of tokens that Twitter now allow third party applications (100,000) has meant that Tapbot, the developers of Tweetbot, have chosen to price the client higher than expected to ensure that free users don’t use up slots for long term customers. It’s not great but blame Twitter. In any case, £14 is a trivial amount to ask for if you are a frequent Twitter user. You will use Tweetbot every day…on a pretty expensive computer that cost much more than £13.99. Sadly the comments on the Tapbots blog don’t make for great reading. iOS really has driven down the price of software and sometimes not for the better.


Another bundle deal from Macheist. Up to 15 app’s available for $29.99. I think the app’s themselves are pretty weak with the one standout being 15 months of Evernote premium. That would usually cost around $50 dollars so you make a saving if your a premium user and get a few other app’s too. Other app’s worth highlighting ar Scrivener, Sam and Max, Disktools Pro and Bioshock 2 which is currently locked but will become available should enough people buy the bundle…which has always been the case in the past.

The Magazine
$1.99 a month

The Magazine is a newstand app from Marco Arment, the developer behind Instapaper. It’s made by geeks for geeks covering technology but also other topics that geeks will find interesting. The app itself is fast and clean unlike so many other newstand app’s and the first four articles published were excellent. Arment admits this is an experiment – he is paying authors for content and it will only work if he gets enough subscribers. Based on the first issue there is much to look forward to.