Dr. Mac says some of the bright spots in this dark time are formerly paid services and apps now available at no cost for a limited time in response to the crisis and shares a handful of his faves.
Dropbox has quietly updated the terms for its free Basic tier. Free Dropbox users are now limited to three linked devices.
If that’s too confining, you’ll have to shell out for a $10 Plus or $20 Professional subscription. You can keep any links you’ve already established, but you won’t get to add any more until you go below that three-device maximum.
As kind of an aside, because I use iCloud instead of Dropbox, I wonder how much Dropbox would be affected if Apple added the ability to share entire iCloud folders, instead of just individual files.
Dr. Mac has three web apps he recommends that you can try for free.
The folks over at GOG have just launched their “SummerGaming Sale” and they’re kicking things off by giving away a free copy of Xenonauts, a turn-based strategy game inspired by the classic X-COM series. The free download includes versions for macOS, Windows, and Linux and, like all GOG-distributed games, is DRM-free. The GOG sale is on until June 18th, but the free Xenonauts offer is only good for the next 48 hours.
Good news, procrastinators! If you’ve been planning on signing up for DirecTV NOW and taking advantage of the free Apple TV 4K offer, you have an extra week. The promotion was supposed to end, but DirecTV is extending it out to June 8th. You have to pre-pay for three months service, and you have to be a new subscriber. If that’s you, and you didn’t get around to signing up during the initial deal now you have a second chance to either take advantage of the offer or procrastinate a few more days.
Apple is offering a free month for iCloud users upgrading from the free 5 GB storage tier to any of the paid options. The offer is a move to get more iCloud users to upgrade to a paid storage plan.
If you’re on the hunt for some quality sound effects for you projects, the BBC has your back. The organization has a website where you can download 16,016 of its sound effects ranging from birds chirping to machines and cars, nature sounds, people walking on specific surfaces, and more. You can search for sounds and listen to samples before downloading. They’re all free, but come with a catch: you can use them only for personal, educational, or research purposes. Check them out at the BBC Sound Effects website.
Shadow Warrior, the classic 1997 3D Realms first-person shooter, is available for free from GOG. The game runs on both Windows and macOS, and includes both expansion packs, Twin Dragon and Wanton Destruction, as well as the game’s soundtrack. You can also pick up the remastered “Redux” version of the game from Steam for just $0.99 as part of the 2017 Summer Sale. So if you’re itching for some classic FPS gaming, act fast!
This week Dr. Mac looks at a podcast and a macOS Service that are both free and useful. The first is his favorite podcast of all time, a podcast focused on what’s going on under the hoods of your Apple devices. The second is a macOS Service that fixes funky text issues and much more.
Dr. Mac has noticed a trend lately where software makers offer free, high quality basic versions, charging only those who wish additional features or services. Often known as “freemium” apps (think “free but still premium”), these days freemium isn’t just for games and entertainment anymore.