I’ve been a Mac user for many years know, so I believe that I know most of its tricks and secrets. Mac OS X is highly usable and productive right out of the box, since workflow is very smooth and interface is user friendly and logical. Just like with any other system, you probably need some small applications which enhance native user experience of an operating system, and which make your everyday computing a bit easier.
Unclutter, created by Software Ambience Corp, is trying to offer some enhancements to a native Mac OS X desktop by creating easily accessible features like note taking, clipboard, and file storage. These three features are located within three independent floating windows which are actually being pulled out from their status bar. As a default setting, you will see these three windows on top on your desktop, where all three have the same dimensions. As you use them, you can change their dimensions in vertical and horizontal manner, so you can give primary role to the one you use the most. I was surprised, as many other reviewers and users as well, that you can pull these windows (or open them from their status bar) by using scroll button on a mouse, not by clicking on them, double-clicking, or even dragging. If you don’t read this information somewhere, before trying out Unclutter for yourself, you will surely believe that your application is frozen and non-functional. Scrolling is a nice addition, but shouldn’t be implemented in such manner. Also, you should be able to choose which gesture you’d like to use to perform this action, but Unclutter doesn’t offer that choice.
Now a few words on how Unclutter works. As we said earlier, you’ll get to use three features located within three independent windows: clipboard, file storage, and notes. Clipboard previews whatever you’ve copied to the system pasteboard. Maybe someone will think differently, but I don’t see a reason why this feature even exists. It doesn’t offer another helpful or innovative information, and it doesn’t really enhance system pasteboard in any way. File storage behaves like you’ve got USB stick plugged in, so you can drag and drop files onto it. Unclutter’s file storage keeps files deep within system library folder, which also seems strange. This means that data stored by Unclutter won’t and can’t be indexed by Spotlight, which is a serious shortcoming. Finally, Notes act like you would expect, and you can enter or paste any text. This also seems obsolete, since you can use Apple’s Notes app, which is much more powerful than Unclutter’s Notes. Also, its skeuomorphic design doesn’t fit my taste, especially within beautiful and elegant Mac OS X’s aesthetics.
Unclutter seems like a good idea, which wasn’t developed properly. It doesn’t offer anything new, innovative or original, and it surely doesn’t enhance any system-built features like taking notes, or using clipboard. Someone may find it helpful, but the truth is that you can do much better with those small applications which already come with Mac OS X. For $2.99, you can surely find some other application of this kind within Mac App Store, which will be worth the money.