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Anna Victoria

Anna likes writing, making 8tracks mixes, design, and vegetables.

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“I finally cracked it,” Steve Jobs famously said to biographer Walter Isaacson in reference to an Apple-made television set. The elegant set-top box known as the Apple TV has been labeled as a hobby since its conception, and many are guessing that a full-fledged television by Apple would finally elevate their endeavors in television from this hobby status.

But what part of the television experience did Steve believe they “cracked”? Was it just integrating the iTunes Store and TV show subscriptions in a way that could directly challenge the cable package paradigm? Or maybe more exciting to imagine, did he have plans to revolutionize the way that we interact with the television?

Let’s look at some of the possible ways that Apple could let us interact with the big screens in our living rooms.

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Since Adobe announced the beta for Photoshop CS6 a little over a week ago, it has been downloaded more than half a million times. Even if you’ve managed to miss the onslaught of tweets and reviews, the magnitude of eager testers should indicate how anxious photographers and designers were for an update to their beloved software.

A number of articles have been written that overview the new features and changes to CS6. After working with the beta every day for over a week, I will instead try to give my impressions on what features I find most useful and am actually incorporating into my workflow already. Read on to see what features have stood out to me.

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There has been some heated debate over the extent to which iOS and OS X will merge in the coming years. Whatever Apple has up its sleeves for the future, it is undeniable that the company is at least trying to make its apps and branding more unified across both systems.

With Lion, Apple brought FaceTime to the Mac, and remodeled Mail, Address Book, and iCal after their iOS counterparts. With the upcoming release of Mountain Lion, Apple has made nearly identical ports of Game Center, Reminders, and Notes for the Mac. It has also changed the names of several Mac apps to match the iOS offerings, rebranding iCal, Address Book, and iChat with the more generic names Calendar, Contacts, and Messages.

So if Apple’s intention is to completely unify the app experience across operating systems, what apps, names, or interfaces have not yet crossed over?
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We all know how saturated the market for Twitter apps is, with each striving to provide the best experience for the service. This ever-growing market can make it difficult for users to pick their go-to Twitter app, especially when they only differ from one another in subtle ways.

Enter Osfoora, the popular Twitter app for iOS that has recently made its way to the Mac. With over 80,000 Twitter followers and 1,700 ratings in the iOS App Store, the popularity of the brand alone might have been reason enough for the developer to release a version for the Mac. But does Osfoora stand out from the multitude of existing Twitter clients? To see if Osfoora will be a serious competitor on the Mac, read on.
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In the past two years, we’ve seen a lot of specialized photo manipulation apps enter the scene. Apps like Analog, Flare, and Instagram allow people to apply filters that recolor or add texture to photos. Focus is a photo manipulation app as well, but its specialty lies in creating unique blur effects in photos.

Cameras that have an adjustable lens allow you to change the focus of a photo, blurring objects at different distances. However, if your digital camera doesn’t have the ability to change the lens focus, or if you just took a photo without focusing it well, you might feel the need to give photos that effect manually. Read on to see what Focus has to offer.

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When I used an iPad for the first time, I couldn’t help but think that it felt like the future of computing. The iPad not only impressed me with its beautiful interface, but also delighted me with an effortless user experience. No matter how much I used the device, it never became cluttered or disorganized like my Mac. Apps launched quickly and I never had to spend time fiddling with window sizes or knowing what apps were running. Everything simply worked.

Apple has touted OS X as the most advanced operating system, but with iOS revolutionizing many computing paradigms, it is beginning to feel outdated. If Apple is to truly make the Mac the personal computer of the future, we will need to see some bold changes; changes that may eliminate some of the staples of desktop computing that most of us can’t imagine living without.

I think that Apple can, and will, successfully transition us to a future where iOS runs across all of its hardware. Read on for my take on why our computing world is headed this way.

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Since the dawn of portable Apple devices, the personal computer has always been the hub we’ve used to manage and sync our media. We are accustomed to our iPods, iPhones, and iPads being bound to our computers by white cables. But when Steve announced iCloud last summer, he declared, “We’re going to move your hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud.” His vision was that the personal computer would no longer be the middle man between your media and your devices.

Of all of the digital media that accumulates on our hard drives, our music collections are often guilty of robbing us of significant hard drive space. This is even more of a problem when it comes to the smaller storage space of our portable devices. Most of us have spent time trying to narrow down our music to fit on these devices, only to be away from home and crave a song or album that missed the cut. This is where iTunes Match comes in. Read on to learn what Match is all about, and find out if it’s right for you.
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Many of us have had to learn a foreign language at some point, whether it was in school, in preparation for travel, or out of personal interest. We all know that learning a new language can feel like a never-ending process of skimming dictionaries and memorizing vocabulary, and without the proper tools, many learners end up getting frustrated.

One of the most essential tools for language learning is a quality bilingual dictionary. While people often head to the bookstore and look for a nice print dictionary, a dictionary app can be a good idea because of how fast and easy it is to look up words by typing. As far as dictionary apps go on the Mac, Ultralingua is one of the few solid, comprehensive choices. Read on to see how it can benefit your language studies.

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