I'm lucky enough to have internet access on my laptop practically everywhere I go because of my mobile hotspot plan. All I have to do is enable the personal hotspot feature from my iPhone and I can surf the web on any Wi-Fi enabled device. But of course, there's a catch.
We recently showed you 8 menu bar apps that ever Mac power user should have, covering apps that allow you to control iTunes, eject drives, organize screenshots, and more—all from that tiny strip at the top of your screen.
The menu bar is a great place to perform quick searches, track battery life, and switch Wi-Fi networks on your Mac, but it can do way more than that if you let it. I've rounded up some menu apps below that not only have features that will boost your productivity, but are lightweight enough to run entirely from the menu bar.
Monitoring your Mac with widgets can be the first step in identifying bandwidth issues, but finding the root of the problem can be a completely different story. Usually you will have to open up Activity Monitor in Mac OS X to look for apps hogging your bandwidth, but with Loading, you can get a detailed data usage report right from your menu bar.
Apple's keyboard has a set of media controls to navigate the music playing on iTunes, allowing you to play, pause, skip, and replay songs and videos. Unfortunately, these controls are exclusive to iTunes; if you're playing music from Spotify, Pandora, or the myriad of other online web-based services (Amazon, Rdio, SoundCloud, etc.), you're out of luck.
To contemporize a popular quote, "A cluttered desk(top) is a sign of a cluttered mind." Of course, it's difficult to maintain a tidy desktop... as you read this, mine is cluttered with screenshots, folders, Word documents, videos, pictures, and apps.
I just about always have iTunes running in the background when using my Mac, but switching in and out of the app to change songs and albums can make focusing on my main task difficult. To help keep my mind on track, I have a few extensions enabled to take control of my music playback.
Apple has been one of the biggest trolls when it comes to adding new features to their software. Whether its adding a new boot screen and not letting all devices use it, or adding Dark Mode and making it a hassle to toggle on and off, there is always to be a caveat attached to each new addition.
Although I know it will never happen due to Apple and Google's tempestuous relationship, I sometimes wish I could cast iTunes or Apple Music from my Mac to Google's Chromecast. When you don't have speakers to blast your music, the television is a great alternative to amplify your music.
Coffee shops are great places to unwind and get some free Wi-Fi, but all the bandwidth in the world can be ruined by someone being a noisy jerk. I usually start blasting music through my headphones whenever that happens, but that isn't always the most ideal situation, especially if I'm trying to study or work.
While it's much quicker in Yosemite, the Calendar app for Mac has never been as fast as I'd like. If my schedule is really full, it can sometimes hang when first opening the Calendar.
It's pretty logical for your MacBook to sleep when you close its lid, but under certain circumstances, you may not necessarily want this feature to kick in.
Although sleep mode and screen savers contribute to the security and energy preservation of my MacBook, it can become a nuisance when they initiate unwelcomely. Yes, I could just change these settings in System Preferences, but to do this every time I momentarily leave my Mac unattended would be tedious, to say the least.
Like a car, your Mac needs to be monitored and cared for to keep it running as smoothly as possible. While your vehicle comes with a ton of gauges to keep track of your oil, temperature, and in some cases, even tire pressure, your Mac has no easy way to watch for low memory or high disk usage. Normally you would have to open up Activity Monitor to take a look at your usage stats, but now there is something better.
I consider myself a lover of music from all genres, but sometimes a song comes on and I just have to press next. That could be a tedious task, since I often in another app that I'm highly engaged in. Other times, my MacBook is across the room from me without easy access to keyboard shortcuts.
If you‘re new to Mac, you may not realize that the Dock is not the only place you can access applications and folders. The menu bar of your desktop can also hold a dozen or more applications and plug-ins for easy access to lots of content on your computer.