In today’s WWDC keynote, Apple shared the usual set of Mac statistics that we now almost take for granted. Notebook and desktop sales are up, the platform continues to outgrow the PC industry as a whole, and everything is going swimmingly. There’s still a major bias toward portable computers – 73% of Macs sold are notebooks.
One of the headline stories centred around what to expect in their next operating system — OS X Lion — due for release in July 2011. Not only did Apple announce that this will be a download-only release through the Mac App Store, but it’s also their lowest priced operating system to date, costing $29.99.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect from the big cat!
Many people have bandwidth limits with their ISPs, and with the amount of tempting content on the web these days, it can be hard to stick within these limits. Enter this week’s sponsor — Rubbernet — a new app from Conceited Software which tracks what apps are accessing your network connection, and how much bandwidth they are using.
Not only is this useful for monitoring bandwidth usage, but it can be used to detect any software which might be secretly sending out personal data of yours. Rubbernet is a remarkably useful application, and sports a very pretty interface.
If you have a cap on your bandwidth – or regularly use mobile internet/tethering – this is a fantastic way to keep an eye on what’s going on. I’d definitely recommend giving it a try, and downloading the free trial that’s available from the Rubbernet website.
If you’re already a fan, let us know in the comments!
With Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) coming up on June 6th, forums and message boards across the internet are filling up with speculation about what is going to be announced. Apple are inviting us to “join us for a preview of the future of iOS and Mac OS X” and it’s set to be the most popular WWDC yet.
The event was sold out within 12 hours, faster than any other WWDC and tickets for the event were reportedly being sold on sites such as eBay and Craigslist for as high as $4,599, nearly triple the face value of $1,599. This popularity can only mean two things: Apple is planning to release a major new version of Mac OS X and, possibly, a new version of iOS, the sister version of OS X designed for the popular iPhone and iPad.
The new version of Mac OS X, Lion, is set to be a major overhaul of Apple’s default operating system and was announced in October 2010 in a keynote entitled, quite fittingly, “Back to the Mac”.
The last major rework of Mac OS X was seen back in 2007 with the release of Leopard (Snow Leopard, released in August 2009, simply optimized certain areas of the OS), so the OS was in need of some modernization to keep it competitive. Three previews of the new operating system have already been released to developers via private previews and some new features have already been noticed however, in true Apple-style, they will surely save the best bits for the official announcement.
Let’s take a look at what we can expect from Steve Jobs’s keynote on the latest version of Mac OS X.
We’d like to say a big thank you to this month’s Mac.AppStorm sponsors, and the great software they create! If you’re interested in advertising, you can purchase a banner advertisement through BuySellAds, or sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot.
Thank you to the fantastic applications we had sponsoring each week during the month, all of which we personally recommend you download and try out!
- Forklift – Now in a seasoned version 2 release, Forklift offers everything you could need from an FTP client. It’s capable of connecting to more or less any type of server imaginable, can split/combine large files, synchronise browsing, and remotely edit files – all with full keyboard control.
- TextExpander Touch – TextExpander touch replicate the text-expanding magic on your iPhone or iPod touch, and it does so very well! You can store snippets, then quickly retrieve them to send to Mail and Twitter clients, or use them in any other app via copy-and-paste.
- SoftFacade – SoftFacade specialize in designing user interfaces for mobile apps, websites and the media – and their work is absolutely fantastic.
- Smoke – Not your usual graphics editor, Smoke is all about creating unique graphical effects. It offers a unique type of brush that renders stunning graphics with the simplest mouse movements.
- Radium – Radium allows you to listen to thousands of radio stations from around the world, right from your OS X menu bar. It’s simple, functional, and an absolutely fantastic way to listen to the radio on your Mac.
Finally, thanks to you for reading AppStorm this month, and for checking out the software that our sponsors create. I really appreciate it – you make the site what it is!
Great news, we’ve randomly selected our ten winners! Here’s a quick list of the commenters (based on the names they gave) that will be receiving a copy of SideFolders for Mac. If you won, you’ll be receiving an email shortly with more information.
- Tio Istivi
- Robert Sarudy
- Mike Diaz
A huge thanks to everyone who entered! Stay tuned for more great giveaways and awesome coverage of all things Mac!
I’m pleased to let you know that we’re kicking off a competition to win ten copies of SideFolders. This app aims to give you quick and easy access to your recent, and regularly used, files and folders through a useful sidebar panel that appears on your desktop. We recently reviewed the app, and this might be a good place to start if you’d like to find out more.
Entering the competition is really simple – all you need to do is leave a comment on the post. That’s it! Let us know why you’d like to win, tell us a funny story, or just have a short rant about your complex sidebar needs…
The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick ten winning comments at random on Wednesday 8th June. Best of luck, and be sure to check out SideFolders in the meantime and download a trial copy!
WWDC 2011 is just around the corner, and both developers and users have high expectations. This is the annual conference for Apple developers and, since they no longer exhibit at Macworld, is the one “official” platform that Apple uses each year for announcing software and hardware upgrades.
Although Apple has strongly implied that we won’t see any updated iPhone hardware, it’s difficult to be completely sure of what to expect.
It’s likely that the two main areas of focus will be iOS 5, and OS X Lion – two major software updates that Apple will be releasing this year. Both of these hold lots of promise, and we’re still not sure of the exact features that either will offer.
Although Lion has been available as a developer beta for a while, it’s not unheard of for Apple to announce extra features and functionality nearer the launch date.
Speculation surrounding “iCloud” is also rife, with some people hoping for a cloud music service (this seems likely), and others wanting an official Apple file-synchronisation system akin to Dropbox. We’ll have to wait and see!
I’d be interested to know which of these you are particularly looking forward to, and what you’ll be hoping to see announced. Of course, another big question is whether we’ll see Steve Jobs presenting. I certainly hope so.
Our sponsor this week is Radium, a lightweight internet radio player with a wonderfully retro icon! Radium allows you to listen to thousands of radio stations from around the world, right from your OS X menu bar. It’s simple, functional, and an absolutely fantastic way to listen to the radio on your Mac.
In our recent review, we gave Radium a lofty 9/10 rating. For such a simple and understated application, it packs a real functionality punch.
If you like this app as much as we do, you might want to check out the brand new Radium Store with a big collection of fantastic Radium t-shirts! These are super-cool, in a range of different colours and sizes.
Be sure to spend a few minutes giving Radium a try today – you’ll be glad you did!
It’s an application that everyone has been talking about recently, and we ran our own review last week. Fantastical is a menu bar application that provides a simple way of interacting with iCal. You can view your upcoming events, and enter new ones using a natural language engine that works flawlessly.
Today we’re giving you the chance to win one of two licenses for Fantastical, so you can get your hands on this excellent piece of software completely free of charge!
Entering the competition is really easy. All you need to do is:
- Post a link to this competition – either on your website, or via Twitter
- Leave a comment, letting me know where you posted the link!
Best of luck, and I’ll be picking the winners in just over a week. The competition closes on Wed 1st June, but I’d strongly recommend giving Fantastical a try for yourself – I really can’t recommend it highly enough!
Much has been speculated over the idea of Apple creating a competing service to Dropbox – either under the MobileMe/iDisk banner, or through a completely new service. Some people think it would be great for competition, and others think that Dropbox already has the market sewn up.
I’d hazard a guess that the majority of AppStorm readers are Dropbox users in some form or another (if not, you should be!) It’s hands down one of the most useful applications I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.
Will Apple launch a competing service? My hunch is no – at least not directly. There’s little reason for them to create a like-for-like competitor that allows storage of all your files in the cloud.
There is, however, a good opportunity for them to create a better sync platform, so that developers don’t feel the need to use Dropbox as a central storage location for syncing between multiple Macs/iOS devices. This would be much better handled by the OS, and it’s an area where I’d love to see some innovation from Apple.
What do you think? Have your say in the comments, and let me know whether you think Apple has a plan to get into this market!
This week’s sponsor is a fairly unique application – Smoke. Not your usual graphics editor, Smoke is all about creating unique graphical effects.
It offers a unique type of brush that renders stunning graphics with the simplest mouse movements. Abstract backgrounds, lighting texts, art-house drawings – or anything else – this tool helps to convert an idea into a painting.
You can head over to the Smoke website to see an few examples of the application in action, or grab your copy from the Mac App Store. It’s definitely worth giving this unusual, unique application a try – you’ll be surprised by what it can do!