Run Android Apps on OS X

BlueStacks

BlueStacksIn todays device rich world, many of us get frustrated being locked into using one device for a particular application, and although emulators have been on the market for sometime now, few are as powerful as BlueStacks.

BlueStacks AppPlayer is an Android application emulator which allows Android apps to be used on OS X and Windows machines. The supported catalogue is far too large to list, but it would seem if you can name it BlueStacks supports it.

The AppPlayer works by connecting to your GooglePlay store account, once connected there’s a small application to install on your Android device to enable 1-click app syncing then your done.

The application features a PlayStore search engine which returns results from the PlayStore and enables you to run applications as if you was using an Android device.

As with all emulators (and more importantly Android apps) some applications work better then others. In fact, some applications don’t work at all.. However, if you are looking to connect to the Whatsapp network using the BlueStacks app, this seems to work pretty well.

So if you are looking to run Android Apps on OS X you can download BlueStacks by clicking this direct link

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How to monitor a folder for changes

OS X comes with somewhat of a hidden feature straight out of the box. That’s the ability to fire AppleScripts on folder actions. Those actions could be anything from files being added, changed or deleted from a folder.

This can be handy if you need notification of when a file has finished downloading or need to rotate log files etc.

AppleScript is a powerful language, which to the beginner may even seem quite daunting. Luckily there’s a script all ready and waiting which notifies you of folder changes.

To switch on this feature, navigate to the folder you’d like to monitor. Now pull up the context menu (right click) and select folder actions setup.

Folder Actions

 

From here select the ‘add – new item alert.scpt’

Add Item

Once added, you have the opportunity to modify the Apple Script should you wish. If you are happy with the notification popup, simply close down the open windows and wait..

That’s all there is to it really, if you need something a little more advanced, you’ll have to break open the AppleScript editor. Or post a response below, and I’ll post a tutorial on how to do what you need!

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Add Facebook chat to OS X Messages

Facebook chat settings

3D men chattingThe built-in OS X Messages app really is a powerful communication tool, handy for staying in touch with friends and family across a range of chat type technologies.

By default the application supports connecting to:

  1. AIM
  2. Google Talk
  3. Jabber
  4. Yahoo Chat

A lesser known fact is that Facebook chat is actually based on the Jabber platform, which means you can connect to and use the service using nothing but the OS X Messages app.

To add your Facebook chat account to the Messages app:

  1. launch it from your applications folder or spotlight,
  2. Click on the ‘Messages’ menu bar option and then click preferences or CMD and , on your keyboard
  3. Click on the ‘Accounts’ tab, and then click the + symbol at the bottom of the screen
  4. Enter the details as per the screenshot below, replacing the stars with your Facebook profile name and your Facebook account password.
    Facebook chat settings
  5. Then click the Create button.

You should now find you will have an extra list of ‘friends’ showing on your screen. This window is actually named ‘Buddies’ and has lists of contacts from networks outside of the iMessage network.

To start a chat with someone on the Jabber network, simply double-click on their name, or type it in as you would a normal iMessage.

The Messages app comes bundled with OS X Snow Leopard and isn’t available in older versions of OS X.

 

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Test out pre release (beta) OS X sofware

BETA Seed

BETA SeedIf you love being on the bleeding edge of technology, and don’t mind risking your machines stability, you can register for Apple’s Beta Seed program. Previously Apple used to restrict access to its Beta software to only registered Apple Developers. (Costing £99 a year)

However, they recently changed tac and they are now inviting all users in. You can register using the link below:
OS X Beta Seed Program – AppleSeed

It’s worth noting that these beta’s shouldn’t (really) be installed on your production machines, and you should ensure you have a backup prior to installing.

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Save valuable disk space – remove duplicate files

Gemini

Gemini Disk space can be a precious commodity, especially as many of us turn to solid state drives for our latest mobile technology. Many things can steal disk space, some things you can control – overs are not so easy.

One good place to start is to ensure your OS X device is not cluttered up with duplicate files. There are many complex terminal commands you can run, to search and remove duplicate files. However, with all terminal commands they can be cumbersome – and very daunting for rookie users.

That’s where MacPaw’s Gemini comes into play. Gemini brings the equivalent of the complicated terminal commands into an easy to use GUI. Dubbed “The best way to locate duplicates” Gemini sports a very clean and uncluttered interface, making for a fearless and almost enjoyable cleaning process.

Gemini is fast… I mean…. Serious fast! Seemingly no matter how large your storage is the app uses very sophisticated algorithms to track down duplicate files. It also doesn’t just locate files, but folders too – making for an all-round duplicate eradication system.

Unlike some duplicate file applications, Gemini has both iTunes and iPhoto support, ensuring that no media files or photos are lost in the cleanup process. It’s also intelligent enough to make sure at least one file is always kept safe.

MacPaw have written in intelligent scanning, ensuring the Gemini system doesn’t stumble across, or attempt to clean potentially troublesome files.

Files which take up the most disk space are given the highest priority, enabling you to clean up that precious disk space rapidly and without fuss.

The Good:

  • Super simple to use
  • Great user interface
  • Industry leading application vendor
  • Gemini is a risk free solution to clearing up those space stealing duplicate files.
  • You can grab yourself a free trial copy from MacPaw’s website
  • It’s only £6.99!

The Bad:

  • Some users report that NAS devices are unable to be dedupe scanned – (I’ve personally not been able to recreate this issue)

The Bottom Line:

Duplicate files may only be a very small part of whats chewing up your storage, once you’ve done clearing up your duplicate files it would also be worth checking out MacPaw’s other application – CleanMyMac An ingeniously simple and powerful application for keeping your Mac clean, organized and free of files that slow it down.

Rating:

 

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