Reasons to heist Shove Box

November 6th, 2009 — Wordman

You may have heard that there is a new MacHeist in the works, this one offering six applications for free. While I don’t post about these things very often, the peculiarity of one of the apps in this bundle warrants some explanation (and praise). After warming up to it a bit, I use it quite a bit, so thought I’d recommend it to everyone, particularly iPhone users.

The application is Shove Box, and it is a little hard to explain. It is pitched as a “nicknack box”, where you put stray stuff that you want, but don’t have a great place to store, like text snippets, sticky notes and that kind of thing. Personally, I don’t really find that all that interesting. Instead, I’d pitch it like this: it provides an extremely easy method for syncing random stuff for viewing on your iPhone.

So, for example, say you have a PDF or e-mail of a hotel reservation, or your flight information, or whatever. You drag it into the Shove Box, launch the companion iPhone app, the data syncs, and you can view whatever it is on your phone. So, when the check-in person asks you for a confirmation number, it’s right at your fingertips. Maybe there is a single paragraph of text on a web page (like an address or confirmation number or something). You select it, drag it into the Shove Box, launch the companion iPhone app, the data syncs, and you can view whatever it is on your phone. This also works with webarchives, rich text, images (for some reason, I use it for maps a lot), URLs and a bunch of other stuff. I keep webarchives of reference material on HTML entities, web colors and so on.

Naturally, the iPhone app costs extra (normally $4, but only $2 until 9 Nov 2009), but getting the Mac side of it for free makes this a much better deal. The interface element is built around a menu that is added into the right side of the menu (with the clock, wifi status and so on). The menu works like a typical menu, but also as a drag and drop target. This pretty jarring at first. It’s definitely not like other apps. Just like my experience with Quicksilver, I wasn’t that enthusiastic about changing my ways to use it at first, but it has now changed the way I work for the better.