Earlier this week, Macupdate launched a brand new MU Promo. I’ve skipped the past promos, as in most cases, I’ve already owned several of the apps being bundled together. This time, I owned only one app listed in the promo — an older version of “Parallels” which I purchased two years ago.
The current promo is offered at $64.99, and includes Hazel, Art Text, MenuCalendarClock, Leap, StoryMill, Typinator, and DVDRemaster Pro. The promotion lasts for only 2 weeks. As of this writing, Sound Studio, Banner Zest, and Parallels Desktop are locked. Meaning that once a particular number of promos have been sold, a new application is “unlocked” and available as part of the bundle.
The thought of owning Sound Studio and Parallels Desktop at a fraction of their retail prices was my incentive for purchasing the promo. I’ve only had a brief chance to play with three apps from the bundle: MenuCalendarClock ($19.95), Leap ($59), and Typinator ($29.99) but I’ve been very happy with them so far. Let’s look at them briefly.
MenuCalendarClock gives you instant access to a mini-calendar in your menu bar, and allows you to make quick entries into iCal, without having to launch that app. MCC also lets you customize the time and date strip that appears on your menu bar. I use iCal regularly to keep track of work, personal, and business related events and activities – so having quick access from the menu bar to create and look at my To Dos and Events was enough for me to find value with this application. MenuCalendarClock was a program that I never knew I needed, but now can’t live without.
Leap – Billed as “a combination of Spotlight, Bridge, Finder and more”, this was yet another app that I found to be powerful and useful in my daily workflow. I’m a huge fan of Adobe’s Bridge application, so getting used to Leap was very easy. At a glance, and based on certain meta tags, I can quickly tunnel down to find images, documents, or other apps in a very visual way – unlike Spotlight. Leap takes advantage of QuickLook, making it easy to quickly look at your search results. Leap is another gem I never knew about, but found to be instantly useful.
Typinator – having been a fan of Ricardo Ettore’s TypeIt4Me for a number of years, I was curious about Typinator, to say the least. Typinator allows you to assign custom keystrokes to create boilerplate text, signatures, and other items that you type over and over again. I was worried that this app would essentially be another redundant, but less powerful version of TypeIt4Me, but my concerns were put to rest once I had the opportunity to test it out. Typinator appears to be much more intuitive in the way its preference pane features are organized. I was also able to import my existing TypeIt4Me key expansions and use the program without missing a beat. The other feature I really like about Typinator is its ability to auto-correct misspelled words as you type.
These are just three of the apps in the bundle. The total purchase price of them alone would add up to $110 and change. For me, the $64.99 was well spent. I don’t anticipate using StoryMill, DVDRemaster Pro, or Art Text very much, but in fairness, I’ll give each of these apps a chance to see how they work. Hazel has some promise – and that’s the next app I plan to look at over the weekend.
What are your thoughts about the latest MacUpdate Promo?