Ten Great Mac Apps For College Students

For many people this time of year means saying goodbye to summer, finding the old sweaters and hoodies from last year, and preparing for that familiar back-to-school ritual.  With Apple once again offering their back-to-school deal of giving an iPod Touch away with the purchase of a Mac, there will be plenty of college students looking for apps to go along with their new computer that will help them during the hectic school year. With an ever-growing number of applications available on the Mac platform it could become quite a task finding the right thing, so a few apps that stand out in their category that aid students will be spotlighted.

Studying and Management

Cram – One of the newest to the bunch is Cram, which offers students the ability to study and prepare for tests in either flash card or multiple choice testing mode. Cram also grades and keeps track of testing attempts and tweets out test results to Twitter. The application also features a user-generated test library to download existing tests.

Timeline 3D – An application that will help students add pizzaz to timeline presentations is Timeline 3D. This app allows users to present full screen interactive timelines with a 3D perspective. If you have to display any chronological events Timeline 3D is perfect for adding a unique splash to your presentation featuring the ability to add images, video, use your Apple Remote and more.

Schoolhouse – Trying to keep up with your assignments and notes for each class can be a pain. Schoolhouse offers a remedy to that problem by providing the ability to manage and keep track of assignments, notes, and tasks. Schoolhouse’s clean and easy to use interface also features the ability to manage your grades over a term, add an attachment, and email an instructor about an assignment among other features.

1Password – So you’re trying to remember all the new passwords this semester without using the same easy to hack password for every site but finding it hard to manage. Well remember no more with 1Password. 1Password is an application that manages all of your usernames and passwords and quickly restores them when it’s time to log in. Use a single password to access and manage all of your accounts. 1Password also integrates perfectly into Safari, Firefox, and other browsers for seamless one-click account log in.

Lifestyle

SousChef – You can only eat pizza and soda so many nights in a row. That’s where SousChef comes in. SousChef is a digital cooking assistant that among other features allows you to store and organize your recipes. The application also provides access to over 110,000 recipes to download when you’re in the mood to try something new. Sharing recipes with friends and family is also a simple task in SousChef.

Tweetie – Everyone has a Twitter account so why not have a slick way of using it? Introducing Tweetie, a beautiful Twitter client for Mac. Tweetie adds a layer of simplicity and style while at the same time including all of the same functions you’re used to on Twitter. Manage multiple accounts, easily view conversions, chose your favorite URL and image service and more.

The Hit List – Keeping up with college life is hard enough. Adding family, friends, work, and other outside obligations make it nearly impossible. In comes The Hit List, a simple yet sophisticated application to manage the daily chaos of your modern life. One of the strong points of the application is its ‘Today List’ which shows all of the tasks for that day in one view. The Hit List is a feature-full application with seamless integration with system applications such as iCal to access tasks with other applications and devices.

Times – Who says newspapers are dead? Well, technically they are, but an app called Times puts a classic newspaper look to your favorite blogs. Unlike most RSS readers, Times presents headlines, categories, and images in once place letting you more easily discover the news you want to read. The detail put into the presentation and animated transitions in Times is top notch.

Entertainment

World of Goo – Two words that explain this game can only be “fun” and “addictive”.  World of Goo is a physics based puzzle/construction game that features little globs of goo that can be connected together to achieve the goal at hand. Play this game and you probably won’t get any studying done, but you’ll have fun time doing so.

Hulu Desktop – With all the studying and late night projects you might have this semester, chances are some of your favorite shows will be missed. Hulu Desktop puts many of your favorite TV shows on your Mac so you can watch them on your time. Browse by channel, category, movies, and more.

Patrick Chukwura is the developer and co-founder at http://www.simpleleap.com SimpleLeap Software develops Mac and iPhone software.

5 Mac Security Tips You Can’t Live Without

So, you’ve bought a new Macintosh, and now you may be wondering how to make it safer. There are several things that you can do which will protect your Mac from viruses and hackers. Macs are already very difficult to hack, but don’t let that fact allow you to become lenient with your security.

1. Download all of the software updates available. This seems like a no-brainer, but some Mac users forget to download the newest updates. You can even set your computer to automatically download new updates. However, some dial-up users encounter trouble when trying to downloaded updates. If you are a dial-up user, the best suggestion is to leave your Mac on overnight and let it download. Apple releases many programs that fix bugs in iLife applications, and in Mac OS X. Probably the most important of these updates are the security updates. Apple periodically offers security updates for its operating systems (Panther and Tiger).

2. Be careful what you download. Some people use P2P downloads for Macintosh (I.E. Poisoned). Be careful when downloading using a P2P because you do not know where the music or file is coming from. Some P2P users specifically make corrupted files to send via music downloading programs. Generally, it is a good idea to stick to iTunes, because those files are ACC Protected and offered through Apple so they certainly won’t have viruses.

3. Choose the best and safest Internet Browser. Safari comes standard on all new Macs as part of iLife. However, some people do not enjoy Safari as much as others. Some say that Safari is not as safe from hackers as other browsers. Safari can also be a problem if you are going to a web page that requires a version of Internet Explorer or Netscape to view it. You can download Internet Explorer and Netscape for Mac, but again, some believe that these browsers are not as safe from hackers. Many people believe that Mozilla Firefox (my personal favorite) is the safest browser to use because of its customizable features. Firefox is available for downloading on the Macintosh.

4. Don’t be afraid to buy anti-virus software. If you have to download files from the internet as part of a job or hobby, then it is probably a good idea to have some sort of anti-virus software on your Macintosh. Apple provides a wide-variety of anti-virus software that is constantly updated.

5. Finally, keep an eye on those e-mail attachments and instant messages. Some hackers have programmed viruses to IM you from one of your friends’ screen names. Don’t click on any link without knowing what it is first. Most e-mail providers use virus scans automatically, but you should always be extra careful when downloading an attachment. If it is from someone you do not know, don’t trust it.

Apple computers are very safe from hackers, but they can always be improved. Keeping a computer safe, and running well requires a great amount of time and energy. Just remember that if your computer is safe, your Apple experience will be much more rewarding.

Paulo Fretowski enjoys writing about computers because he uses them for his job with BizNicheMedia.