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In the mobile, digital world in which we live, it is more important than ever to have your data, calendar appointments, contacts, notes, and to do lists up-to-date, no matter where you are or what device you are using.

In a perfect world (for me, anyway), all of the software I use would stay synced with MobileMe (and MobileMe would be free!). Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and different software developers provide different services and methods for keeping the desktop and mobile versions of their apps in sync.

So what are the options, and which one is best?

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We live in a busy world nowadays. What with our e-mail, text messaging, and even phone calls interrupting our flow, it can be difficult to sit down and write something of substance. And when it comes to multitasking on the computer, well there are almost always ten windows open at any one time, and if that Apple Mail icon starts bouncing, we know it’s time to go get our dopamine fix…

Because of these distractions, there have been a crop of writing programs that have popped up for the Mac and iPad recently that strip away all of the apps running in the background, letting you focus on the task at hand: writing.

But is any of this stuff necessary? Is there any reason why you can’t just sit back with your laptop and a good word processing program and get the next great novel written?

Let’s talk this out after the break…

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Steve Jobs worked his reality distortion field last October when unveiling updates to their Mac product line. The MacBook Air was one major part of that announcement and it was later cited as one of Apple’s financial successes for that quarter. Maybe it was all of us Apple fanatics buying it, or maybe it was Apple’s superb marketing that touted it as “the future of notebooks”.

Whether this is true for the whole industry or not, Apple has shown it has a keen interest in removing optical and traditional hard drives from machines with the MacBook Air. With all due respect to those who don’t like it, Apple has done a pretty good job at removing the need for these pieces of hardware with the Mac App Store and iTunes.

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I feel sorry for anyone who likes The Beatles. Partly it’s because the music is a little samey, but mostly it’s because I know what they keep in their attic.

Having bought the back catalogue on iTunes, fans of Ringo & Co. can now open a museum of dead formats to house the vinyl, cassette, and CD editions of the albums they faithfully repurchased, give them all away, or dump the merry lot in their lofts.

If the Mac App Store teaches us one thing, it’s how horrible it must be to be a Beatles fan. Visiting the Store for the first time with a clean Mac, my cursor hovers above the buy button as I consider repurchasing software I already own. Software like Panic’s Coda, which I use every day, and Aperture 3, which I use on days I want to tweak the joy from my photographs.

A Pointless Upgrade?

I’ve bought Adobe software for years, of course, so I know what it’s like to be locked into a hopeless upgrade cycle. Each update brings the same sorry feeling, like watching your wallet trapped in a washing machine. I’ve grown used to that. But I’ve never considered repurchasing identical software.

I waver a few minutes more. Is buying an app you already own silly? Should I wait until the next major update? Somehow, I can’t resist. I do what true fans do: I buy Coda for the second time. The app’s icon jumps to my dock and begins downloading. I feel better already, and it doesn’t take long for me to learn why.

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Although many people have differing opinions on the recently launched Mac App Store, there’s one thing that’s almost unanimously agreed upon – it’s great news for developers.

Many critics cite the restrictions and limitations as being a terrible thing for developers everywhere, but I’ve heard very few complaints from current Mac developers. Everyone seems thrilled with how things have gone so far.

In today’s post, I want to spend a few minutes showcasing how being featured in the Mac App Store has positively impacted developers and their software. We’ve also asked a few developers what the associated increase in support requests has been, and whether they’d consider going Mac App Store exclusive. Some of the statistics shared are truly remarkable, and I’m incredibly pleased to see how much exposure desktop Mac software is receiving.

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Way back when I first became aware of the existence of a technology that could allow mobile handset-handset video chatting, my mind was thoroughly blown. Surely this was something that was only possible in the movies, and couldn’t exist in the real world, right?

But it was indeed possible. And long after it first became possible, Apple did what they always do, and refined power and utility down to awesomeness and perfection.

With the announcement of the iPhone 4, Apple announced to eagerly awaiting fans everywhere that their mobile device to trump all mobile devices would be capable of video chatting.

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When Steve Jobs gave a preview of the new version of OS X, he talked at length about the idea of bringing what they’d learned through iOS “Back to the Mac”. Unsurprisingly, sweating the details of one of the best mobile interfaces in the industry has given Apple a great deal of insight and experience that can be applied to OS X.

This concept excites some people, and disturbs others. Although I love my iPad, do I want the same experience on the desktop? Or is this platform still better suited for more intricate, complex interface design?

Although iPhoto ’11 started to hint at how this transition may play out, it still felt very much like a traditional desktop app. I couldn’t really see how bringing iOS interface elements and functionality to the desktop would lead to an overall better experience.

Until this week.

Having spent two days using the Reeder for Mac beta, I’m completely blown away by how well—when executed to perfection—this amalgamation of iOS and OS X can work.

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What is it that grabs you about your favorite Mac app? Is it the extensive feature list, or the attractive user interface, perhaps? Our favorite Mac applications make use of a variety of things that make them great, but relatively little can impact the usability of an app more than the inclusion of seemingly insignificant integration features.

I’m talking about those little features that you almost never notice, until you use an app that doesn’t have them—features like an automatic move-to-applications-folder on download, or in-app updating.

These features can make or break the integration of an app into your daily workflow, so it’s important for developers to understand the necessity for them.

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I remember five years ago when I got my first Mac. Soon after, I had a .Mac account (the old version of MobileMe) in hopes I’d be able to enjoy some of the features of cloud storage and syncing.

Fast forward into today’s culture. Cloud storage is even easier to acquire (even for us Mac users) and syncing online has become an omnipresent feature with services like Dropbox. Today, I wanted to take a look at why people have moved away from MobileMe and give a few possible alternative solutions to avoid paying $99 a year.

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A few weeks ago, Apple gave a sneak peak of the next version of Mac OS X, 10.7 Lion. Not a whole lot was revealed about the new operating system beyond a new way to access applications dubbed Mission Control (Dashboard + Expose + iOS-style application launcher).

One of the bigger announcements was the introduction of an App Store for Mac OS X. The same way you browse the App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad applications, you can now purchase, download and install applications for your computer.

With the overwhelming success of the iOS App Store, an App Store for the Mac seems like a natural progression. Not only will it provide a seamless way of browsing and installing applications for the end user, it allows Apple to snag a piece of Mac application sales.

Many things have already been said about the Mac App Store since it’s announcement. Questions have been asked and answers have been speculated. No one really knows how it will turn out, we can only guess based on the continuing success of the iOS App Store and the recently released guidelines.

There are certainly a number of benefits to such a system, for both the user and the developer. There are certainly a few things to be wary about as well…

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