Recommendations

Great free software for your Mac

Great free software for your Mac

There are some great Mac software available your computer, which can help make your Mac run a little smoother and safer. Today, I will list 3 of these tools which I highly recommend, and that I’ve been using for years.

The first one I’d recommend is OnyX from Titanium Software. This utility lets you clean up and customize certain aspects of your Mac without requiring you to learn a ton of features. You still need to be careful, as it is pretty powerful, but as long as you stick to the default options and do not turn on the features you don’t understand, you will be fine. You can download OnyX from here.

Another piece of software that I would strongly suggest you install on your Mac is Malwarebytes for Mac. This program lets you easily remove any malware you may have inadvertently installed on your Mac. Even though they now also offer a paid yearly subscription, the free version still does a fantastic job of removing any malware from your computer. This is an incredibly useful piece of software which can be a life-saver if you have adware on your Mac.
You can find Malwarebytes for Mac on this page.

And finally, I’m also a big fan of AppCleaner. If you decide to remove an application from your Mac, you should make sure that you remove every little bits and pieces from your computer. If you simply drag an application to the trash, there will still be plenty of small helper files left on your Mac. AppCleaner searches your whole computer and removes everything associated with the software you’re getting rid of, which is really great.
You can download and then install AppCleaner from this page.

That’s it, hopefully, you will find these applications useful for your Mac for some time to come. Enjoy !

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Mac, Recommendations, Software, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
Using the Focus app for productivity

Using the Focus app for productivity

There are times when you need to get some serious work done on your Mac, and you cannot allow yourself to be easily distracted. Of course, these days, that is easier said than done. Between Email, social media, Netflix, YouTube, web-sites, games and whatever else you might find yourself compulsively going to when working on the computer, it can be hard to resist distractions. But of course, there is technology available to help you resist those urges. I’ve been using the Focus app for a couple of years now, and I find it to be a fantastic tool.
Once installed, you can use Focus to create timed sessions during which you can either block certain applications from working, or block certain distracting web-sites, or do both. I often use Focus to block my Mac Mail application from working, while also blocking a large list of web-sites from being accessible.

You can customize a number of things about Focus, including which apps and web-sites you can block, create schedules, choose how long your focused sessions last, and plenty more. I definitely recommend this app, and you can try for free for 14 days, and buy it for $19.99 if you want to keep using it ( I am in not affiliated with this company in any way ). You can find the Focus app on their website at https://heyfocus.com/

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Mac, Productivity, Recommendations, Software, 0 comments
Avoiding malware on Mac

Avoiding malware on Mac

Over the last few years of working with clients, I’ve seen a huge spike in people picking up malware/adware on their Mac. Malware is a pretty broad term which encompasses all sorts of malicious software, but the kind you’re most likely to get on your Mac is usually adware. Once on your computer it will embed itself in your web browsers and might start re-directing your web traffic, change your homepage, and probably show you all sorts of unwanted ads, warning messages and pop-ups. Malware on the Mac is not particularly harmful, but can be very annoying, and seriously limit what you can do on the web. That being said, it’s usually fairly easy to remove.

But ideally, you want to avoid picking up malware in the first place by taking some basic precautions. One of the most common ways that people pick up malware on their computer is by mistakenly downloading fake Adobe Flash updates. You’ll see some sort of pop-up that tells you need to install a newer version of Flash, but when you click on it you end up unknowingly installing malware instead. Here’s how you should install Flash updates the safe way :
Go to your System Preferences and click on the Flash Player at the bottom left of the window.

macOS system preferences

Once there, look for the Updates tab and run a check to see whether you do need updates. And if so, do it from here. This is one of the best ways you can avoid malware.

The other big precaution you can take is by not downloading movies, music, software and games from illegal sharing sites. Unfortunately, even though it may be tempting, those sites are filled with offers for free stuff that often turn out to be infected with malware. So, you just need to use good judgement there.

And finally, my other big recommendation is to stay ¬†away from anything called MacKeeper, MacDefender, or MacSecurity at all costs. These programs are actually malware themselves, and try to fool people into downloading the software and then make the problem you’re trying to fix even worse. If you’ve ever downloaded any of these, remove them from your Mac using MalwareBytes for Mac. This is an excellent piece of software that removes malware from your Mac, and it’s free.

So, there you go, hopefully this helps to keep your Mac safe out there ūü§ď

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Mac, Mac Security, Recommendations, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
Apple’s new Public betas

Apple’s new Public betas

This week, Apple is releasing the public betas for some of their upcoming software updates. Yesterday, the iOS 11 public beta was made available for download, and adds some nice features, especially for iPad users. While I don’t really recommend trying the public betas so soon after they come out, the iOS 11 public beta does seem pretty stable already.

But the one I really want to talk about is the upcoming macOS High Sierra public beta. I usually try out these public betas as soon as they come out just to get a feel for the new features before they are released to the public at large. That is part of my job after all.
But I will not be doing that with the macOS High Sierra public beta. This update introduces a brand new file system to the Mac called APFS. This new file system has already been introduced on iOS and has been working great so far. But things might get a little trickier on the Mac, and that’s why I would highly recommend holding off on installing macOS 10.13 on your Mac until all the kinks have been worked out by Apple. So realistically, you should probably wait until the end of July at least.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iOS, iPhone, Mac, Recommendations, 0 comments
Microsoft OneNote App

Microsoft OneNote App

My favorite note taking application for the Mac is Microsoft’s OneNote, which works on the Mac, iPhone and iPad. It’s a wonderful and full-featured note taking tool that has been around since 2003 on Windows, and since 2014 on the Mac. It allows you to blend text, images, videos, PDF’s, graphs, tables and whatever else you can think of to create notebooks blending all these elements together. You can use it for super basic note taking, or very complex presentations using all types of media. You can create to-do lists, use it for project management, write in it using a touch-screen, and all sorts of other uses. If you haven’t yet tried OneNote, do yourself a favor and download it (it’s free) and play around with it. It’s quite easy to use and you’ll quickly discover all it’s potential.

You can find out more about OneNote here

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iPhone, Mac, Productivity, Recommendations, 0 comments
The Sweet Setup website

The Sweet Setup website

Over the last couple of years, one of my favorite website to go visit once in a while is the The Sweet Setup. They review and recommend some of the best apps you can get for your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. They sort things out in categories such as Productivity, Backups, Photography, Travel, and quite a few other categories. Typically, they will review a bunch of similar products at once and tell you which one they liked best, and why. If you own any Apple products, this site is incredibly helpful in helping you make smart buying decisions for a variety of software and apps available for your devices.

You can check out The Sweet Setup here

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iPhone, Productivity, Recommendations, Software, 0 comments