Cactus speeds up web development by creating a project folder on your Mac, where you can create websites locally without having to install a local development environment like XAMPP. With Cactus, you can get a head start on your blog or portfolio page by selecting from a variety of templates, which establishes some basic site structure for what you want to accomplish. Cactus supports languages like Markdown, SCSS and SASS, and CoffeeScript, and lets you add functionality to your site with simple python scripts (or plugins). With your site developed, Cactus sets up your domain and deploys to Amazon S3. Alternatively, you can export your finished project if you’re hosting the website yourself.

Cactus is $29.99 on the Mac App Store, and a demo is available to download.

StorageStatus keeps you informed of when your internal and external drives spin up and spin down, when devices have been connected and disconnected, and how long drives have been active or sleeping. It’s designed to be a modern replacement for Apple’s SpindownHD utility, making it useful for monitoring power consumption when mobile, or diagnosing why hard drives might start up when they’re not supposed to. The app is $0.99 through February on the Mac App Store.

Friend of the site Erica Sadun recently released Folderol, a Mac app that simply lets you change the color of your folders on OS X. Of the many changes in OS X Mavericks is how labels are displayed; now being tags, small little colored dots next to file and folder names are all that differentiate how your stuff appears. Folderol brings back some visual distinctiveness, a feature that Apple once offered on classic Mac OSes, starting with System 6 for color Macintoshes.  Folderol’s default color palette smartly pair with Apple’s tags, but you’re free to choose your own with the built-in color picker. Download Folderol for $0.99 from the Mac App Store.


An Overview of OmniOutliner 4

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It was just over a year ago that CEO Ken Case of The Omni Group outlined the company’s plans for 2013, following a successful “iPad or Bust!” campaign that allowed the company to bring all five (well okay… “four”) of their desktop productivity apps to the iPad. So it was back to the Mac as it were, with OmniFocus 2 being at the forefront of the company’s plans with OmniOutliner 4 due afterwards in the first quarter. As an app that was first released in January, 2005, OmniOutliner 3 was in need of an update. As Ken Case said himself, “… other than a few tweaks to the inspectors and toolbars, its design has mostly stayed the same: it’s starting to feel a bit long in the tooth.” 2013 came and went, and as they say, all good things take time.

OmniOutliner 4 is a big update. For posterity, we’ll call it Outliner for the rest of our overview. And honestly, I really don’t know where to start.


Duo is a browser with no settings and no search functionality, specifically intended to show websites in desktop and mobile views next to each other. It’s handy for Webkit development, includes dev tools, and can be launched from a bookmarklet via your browser of choice. You can’t change the user agent, and it doesn’t automatically refresh as you edit webpages with your favorite text editor, but it’s an otherwise inexpensive tool for testing responsive designs on the fly. You can grab it for $4.99 in the Mac App Store.

The second update for Evernote’s line of products makes life easier for Mac owners who are working on Retina displays. Skitch has been updated with an option that can turn off hi-res images, which halves the DPI and makes the image easier to send over mediums like email. Cleverly, Skitch will still retain the original image size client-side, syncing the full version with your Evernote account.

Grab the Skitch update from the Mac App Store.


Twitter 3.0 for the Mac sort of brings the Mac app up to date with its iOS counterpart, adding inline images, inline tweet convos and stats in the details view, profile photos, and a refreshed look and feel all around. The app lacks sending and viewing photos in direct messages (which was just announced), but I’m guessing that will come in a future update. I was hoping the Mac app would get a complete redesign since the current design is past its prime, but all things considered it’s the iOS for iPad equivalent of Twitter’s experience on the desktop. … Also, is it just me, or does scrolling the timeline feel off?

Download Twitter 3.0 on the Mac App Store.

[Twitter via @sandofsky]

Perhaps today’s most interesting announcements weren’t new iPads or Macs, but Apple’s range of software. It’s been a while since the iWork suite of apps have received updates on the desktop, and iLife apps such as iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand looked outdated as soon as iOS 7 arrived on iOS devices in September. You’re probably wonder what the skinny is around all the new apps and whether you qualify to get those apps for free. This won’t be an exhaustive overview, but ask and you shall receive.


The audience on the Mac App Store is not yet large enough to sustain low prices (like the iPhone can, sometimes) – it’s just not feasible. If companies keep selling software at bargain basement prices without a large enough market, it doesn’t end well – they go out of business and if that happens, the very people who love great apps lose too.

Realmac has gone through some changes for the pricing of Clear for iOS. On the Mac, they’re returning to pre-App Store days with higher prices and no discounts.