Mac Apps

F-Secure buys Jonathan Zdziarski’s Mac security app Little Flocker

Finnish security company F-Secure announced the acquisition of the Mac security app Little Flocker created by iOS security researcher and former jailbreak developer Jonathan Zdziarski. As we told you, Zdziarski joined Apple’s Security Engineering and Architecture team last month.

Little Flocker offers protection against ransomware, spyware, malware, trojans, back doors, misbehaving applications and other threats to private data stored on your Mac.

Apple starts rejecting submissions with pricing info in app titles, screenshots & more

Apple’s rules have always prohibited developers from spicing up their screenshots on App Store with annoying marketing messages although a quick glance at App Store pages reveals the firm hasn’t been enforcing that particular rule. But things are now changing, for the better.

As first reported by VentureBeat, the Cupertino firm has began rejecting submissions that promote pricing like ”Free” in app titles/ icons and on App Store screenshots/previews.

djay Pro for Mac gains deep Pioneer DJ integration, Touch Bar improvements & more

Algoriddim’s Apple Design Award-winning djay Pro for macOS was updated on Mac App Store today with Pioneer DJ integration and other improvements. The app is now officially certified by Pioneer DJ to be used with their high end gear, including CDJ-2000NXS2/Tour setups via plug and play. “To our knowledge, djay Pro is the first third-party app to support Pioneer DJ’s Pro DJ Link technology, which means users connect up to four CDJs with their Pioneer mixer and control djay Pro through a single USB cable (mixer to Mac),” Algoriddim’s Michael Simmons told me in an email message.

Spark for Mac gains labels, better folder management, smarter search & more

Prolific Ukrainian developer Readdle today pushed a major update to its award-winning macOS email client, Spark, bringing new features such as labels, improved folder management, smart filters the ability to save emails in Drafts manually and other improvements that will make you love email again.

As I wrote before, Spark is (in my personal opinion) hands down the best email client I’ve used on my Mac. Spark 1.2 for macOS is available at no charge from Mac App Store.

The app is also available for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

See how Alexa compares to Siri with Reverb

If you missed our post nearly a year ago about a web app at Echoism.io that lets you try out Alexa in a web browser, you’re going to like a new app, called Reverb, that brings Amazon’s personal assistant to your Mac desktop, as well as iPhone and iPad.

The brain child of developers at digital consultancy agency Rain, Reverb is available at no charge from App Store and Mac App Store or in your favorite web browser.

Reverb takes advantage of the fact that Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service is now available as a web service to access through a web browser and other thin clients, with the recent API 2.0 update having enabled a richer set of features.

Apple releases $199 education bundle: FCP X, Logic Pro, Motion, Compressor & MainStage

If you’re a teacher, college student, faculty member or staff, or a K12 or higher education institution, you can now buy a bundle of Apple’s pro video and audio editing apps for Mac. As reported by The Loop, the Pro Apps Bundle for Education includes Final Cut Pro X ($300), Logic Pro X ($200), Motion 5 ($50), Compressor 4 ($50) and MainStage 3 ($30).

The bundle is priced at just $199, a $430 savings versus the apps’ combined retail price.

Chrome 56 for Mac released with lower power consumption, performance boost & more

Google on Friday released Chrome 56 for Mac, Windows and Linux following a period of beta testing which began about a month and a half ago. In addition to various security enhancements, Chrome 56 offers nearly up to one-third faster webpage reloading times with 60 percent less validation requests. Google’s desktop browser will now warn you when a website requests confidential information over an insecure connection. It also blocks Flash content, supports Web Bluetooth API and more. Chrome 56 for iOS should follow soon.

Setapp launches publicly: get unlimited access to 60+ paid Mac apps for a flat monthly fee

Developer MacPaw’s new Netflix-like subscription service for prime Mac apps has been in invite-only beta since December 2016. Beginning today, Setapp is available to everyone in exchange for a flat monthly fee of $9.99. An alternative to Apple’s Mac App Store, Setapp gives you unlimited access to 61 Mac apps, with more to be added as additional developers join the service. These are fully functional apps that update automatically and contain no In-App Purchases, paid upgrades or ads.

How to add music to your iPhone without iTunes using WALTR

Transferring music files to your iOS hardware is not for the faint-hearted, let alone for novice users, but I suppose you don’t need me to tell you that. Because third-party apps are not permitted to save songs to the music library on your device, the process officially sanctioned by Apple requires syncing your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with the bloated mess that is desktop iTunes.

Thankfully, specialized apps such as Softorino’s excellent WALTR 2 (free trial available – or $39.95) let you simply drag and drop media files on WALTR’s drop zone and rest assured they’ll be transcoded into iOS-friendly formats and saved into appropriate apps. In this brief tutorial, we’ll lay out the process of adding music to iPhone without iTunes, using the WALTR app.

Apple updates GarageBand and Logic Pro X with pro-level features, including Touch Bar support

Apple today updated its GarageBand and Logic Pro X apps with new features designed to support music makers “from enthusiasts to pros.” GarageBand for iOS 2.2 now provides the creative synthesizer Alchemy and has a new browser for easier searching through instruments and patches.

Logic Pro X 10.3 has been refreshed with a modern interface and now includes features for pro audio production and support for Touch Bar shortcuts on the new MacBook Pro.

Chrome 56 adds support for FLAC codec, “Not Secure” HTTP warning, web Bluetooth & more

Chrome 56 for Mac and other platforms has entered Google’s beta channel. When released to the general public, the browser will bring native support for the FLAC audio codec within the browser and other perks. This should come in handy because macOS does not support the FLAC file format out of the box so users often must use a third-party converter or video player to play these files. With Chrome 56, Mac users will be able to play FLAC-encoded audio files embedded in web pages or local files drag and dropped onto the browser window.

Video converter Handbrake exits beta after 13 years

In a better-late-than-never move, the free cross-platform video converter Handbrake has finally hit version 1.0. The app had been languishing in beta for more than thirteen years. Handbrake 1.0, a free download for Mac, Windows, Ubuntu and other platforms, lets you convert videos easily from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. With subtitle support, capable transcoding engine and built-in presets for devices like Apple TV, iPhone and iPad, Handbrake makes it easy to optimize videos for your specific hardware.