The Unarchiver Review
Three guesses what The Unarchiver does. This open-source application may be unimaginatively named, but it does what it says on the tin. Essentially, it’s a replacement for OS X’s built-in de-archiving tool BOMArchiveHelper.app, introduced in 10.3. If you’ve never heard of that, it’s not surprising – it’s a service application that’s invoked when you try to open an archived document on your Mac: a ZIP, TAR or BOM file, for example. It doesn’t have a GUI – it just works.
The Unarchiver integrates into OS X in a similar way, expanding the range of archive file types your Mac can open. And what a parade of file-types it supports. Some are essential, including RAR, HQX, SIT and the Windows CAB format. Others are less important. It handles ZIP, TAR and GZIP too.
The application has a rudimentary configuration dialogue that enables you to associate specific filetypes with it; as many or few as you like. The preferences dialogue also allows you to designate which folder archives are extracted to. This lets you specify a dedicated folder for extracted archives or let all archives open in the source file’s current folder.
Disappointingly, it opens regular Stuffit files, but not SITX archives. It also stumbles with password-protected archives. Still it’s fast, integrates directly into OS X and is simple to use. More importantly, it invisibly replaces several applications in one go, without adding anything new to your workflow.