Tagged With app of the week

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iOS, Android: I’m pretty sure Alarmy is evil, but perfect, because a good alarm clock should be two-parts irritating, one-part useful. You don’t want to hate your alarm clock whenever it wakes you up each morning, but a great alarm app shouldn’t be very easy to turn off (tempting you to you go back to bed).

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Mac: When you’re jamming to some background music while browsing the web, getting work done, or chatting with friends, a song might pop up on one of your playlists that you absolutely love. The more this happens throughout the day, the more distracted and disjointed your work is going to feel — and you’ll never be able to focus on studying, making money, or your MMO raid if you’re constantly jumping back to iTunes or Spotify to see what’s playing.

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It's been a long, long time since we talked about the Windows app Sizer, recently rewritten to be more compatible with Windows 10 apps. It's almost embarrassing given the usefulness of this little utility. With the press of a few keyboard buttons, you can reconfigure the size of apps on your screen to any dimensions you want, giving you even more control over how your apps appear than Windows 10's default commands.

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Mac: Your Mac’s Night Shift and True Tone modes are great and all, but they can be fussy at times, and they might not work (or work very well) with an externally connected display. Separately, it’s also annoying to have to tap buttons and fumble through on-screen displays just to adjust your monitor’s brightness and contrast to your liking.

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All browsers: Google and Dropbox are now collaborating on a brand-new "Dropbox add-on for Gmail", which will make it easy to share the contents of your Dropbox directly within Gmail. If you're going the other way, it's also a lot easier to dump files directly into your Dropbox, saving you the step of having to pull up your Downloads folder and manually drag the file over yourself.

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Windows, Mac: You probably have a few websites that you use all the time — perhaps a special CMS you need for work, a time-tracking site you use to track and bill hours for clients, or a web game you just can’t get enough of. If you’re tired of pulling up your browser each time you need to access it, you have an alternative: Transform it into an app.

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Windows: The phrase “package manager” sounds a bit ominous, but if you’re smart, you’ve already used one to outfit your Windows PC with all the basics: Ninite. The site couldn’t be any simpler. You pick the programs you want, it creates one installation file for everything, and double-clicking on it installs everything you selected at once.

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One of the more annoying aspects of watching Netflix on your laptop or desktop computer is the trailers the service likes to automatically play on your behalf. Thankfully, there's a neat extension for Chrome and Firefox that fixes this issue - and a bunch more besides.

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Windows/Mac: There are plenty of apps you can use to put on a little light show in your house (or geek den) if you’ve bought into Philips’ Hue ecosystem. My room is full of the company’s expensive colour-changing LED bulbs, and I’ve checked out a few of these apps, but generally don’t need to make my room look like an exploding volcano on a regular basis. These kinds of apps are fun for parties, but not all that practical for everyday use.

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If you want to have a Mac that's as free from garbage and stray files as you can get, I recommend giving CleanApp a try. The app runs a background process that keeps track of everything an app dumps on your system when you're installing it. When it's time to remove said app, this ensures that CleanApp takes everything off your system that shouldn't be there.

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Windows: Even if you're the world's biggest Microsoft fan, you have to admit that Apple's "Quick Look" feature for macOS is pretty convenient.

If you're such a purist that you haven't even touched a Mac in the last decade or so, here's a brief introduction: You click on a file. You press the space bar. A preview of the item pops up - such as a photograph, the contents of a PDF, and so on.

It's a great way to take, well, a quick peek at something without wasting time loading an actual app.