FileMaker Inc, a subsidiary of Apple Inc, has just released the latest reincarnation of its popular database program for Mac computers, with a wealth of new and improved features ready and waiting to greet us. The new version, FileMaker Pro 12 is available for instant download or as an upgrade from FileMaker Pro 9, 10 or 11 from their website.
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?
In contrast to the common consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation, iOS devices have popularized a more casual style of games. Mac gaming has come a long way in recent years, but this trend towards a more relaxed gameplay has been clearly influenced by iOS games. The Mac App Store has seen a surge of these casual games, some even directly ported from the iPad or iPhone.
BombSquad, a game by Eric Froemling, involves using different types of bombs to blow up your opponents. It takes this simple premise and expands it into various game formats. It won’t be mistaken for a blockbuster console game, but its simplicity lends itself to a less serious iOS-like diversion.
We’d like to say a big thank you to last 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!
- xPlan – Project management tools tend to be both complicated and expensive. If you’re a small business owner or are just new to this category in general, you need something that’s affordable and approachable without sacrificing important features. The tool you’re looking for is xPlan. With it, creating, tracking and managing your projects will be much easier than ever!
- Papapapaya – Whether you’re looking to learn a new language or brush up on your native tongue, Papapapaya can help you drastically expand your vocabulary. Its innovative learning mode, which is organizes words into learning levels instead of folders, will help you to remember new words more easily.
- Gemini: The Duplicate Finder – Typically we reserve weekly sponsorship slots for our favorite apps but Ramotion has such an impressive portfolio that we simply couldn’t turn them down. One of Ramotion’s primary strengths is icon design. Stop by their icon portfolio for some samples of their work along with a collection of amazing free Mac OS icons.
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!
Rome Total War was originally released on PC back in 2004, but for many years Mac owners were unable to get in on the action and enjoy this game which combines elements of classic turn-based strategy and live battle. Luckily for us, Feral Interactive eventually stepped in and ported a robust Mac OS X version, which was subsequently added to the Mac App Store to almost uniformly strong reviews, despite the game’s age.
Rome Total War Gold packages both the main game and a second expansion pack, Rome Total War: Barbarian Invasion, the latter ramping up the tension and the terror to an almost unmanageable position as the player is tasked with holding a quickly crumbling Roman Empire together. So, how well can this eight year old title hold up today? Let’s find out.
Siri is a delightful little piece of technology. Sure, it can be a bit troublesome at times but for the most part it is a great addition to the iPhone. Whether you want to find a good restaurant, ask about the weather, set a reminder, or get directions, Siri provides a quick, nearly hands free way to get it done, often with a bit of wit and humor thrown in.
The question that’s on everyone’s mind regarding Siri is whether or not it has found a permanent home on the iPhone or will eventually make rounds to the rest of Apple’s line of products. Some iPad fans were disappointed that the recently released “New iPad” received a pass on Siri, though others claim that it wouldn’t really be useful in this context. Apple did provide a watered down piece of Siri in the Voice Dictation feature, but that’s a far cry from the full Siri experience.
Today I want to push the question beyond iOS and ask what you think about the possibility of Siri on a Mac. Do you think that Siri will ever find it’s way to OS X? It would be nice to hit a keyboard shortcut on your Mac, tell Siri to fire off an email or create an appointment, then get back to what you were doing.
Cast your vote in the poll and let us know if you think this will ever happen, then leave a comment below and tell us whether or not you would find this feature to be helpful in your daily workflow.
Almost every Mac user has heard of terminal commands – short commands you enter directly in OS X’s terminal which can add little extras to existing Mac programs or help improve system functionality. Although Apple doesn’t boast about them specifically, they are simply little hacks designed to make using your Mac a more pleasant experience (a favourite of mine was the X-ray folders, where if you hit Space you could see the entire contents of a folder without having to go into it).
Our sponsor this week is Studiometry, the ultimate organizational tool for professionals. Studiometry is a powerhouse of project management that’s been serving the industry for over eight years. Whether you’re managing contacts, generating estimates, tracking work, or billing clients, this one app has you covered in a single beautifully cohesive workflow.
Small businesses, freelancers, large organizations, and all types of professionals from every industry can relate to the incredibly practical suite of tools in Studiometry. Far more than a simple todo app, Studiometry has features to help you manage nearly every aspect of your company, from tracking leads to recording vital accounting information.
Studiometry isn’t just good from an input perspective, it also has amazing output, generating attractive and professional invoices, estimates and other reports. All of this can of course be synced perfectly with Studiometry Touch for iPhone and iPad so you can manage your business from anywhere.
Go Get It!
If you’re looking for a way to completely overhaul and streamline every aspect of your workflow, it’s time to head over to the Studiometry website and take a closer look. If you like what you see, you can download a free trial version and give it a test drive.
This week has seen quite a few updates to popular Mac apps, such as iTunes and Safari as well as a sneak preview of some new upcoming Adobe software. As always, here’s Mac AppStorm’s weekly roundup of the goings-on in the world of Mac software.
Angry Birds needs little introduction, it is without doubt one of the most popular games for iOS, Mac and Android platforms, with the total number of downloads exceeding 500 million. It is easy to play, fun and addicting. For those readers who aren’t familiar with the concept, you control a flock of birds who are ‘angry’ at a group of green pigs who have stolen your eggs. You somehow manage to build a slingshot to fire yourselves kamikaze style at the pigs and the buildings where they live in order to destroy the pigs and get your eggs back.
Angry Birds Space is the latest incarnation of the franchise from Rovio, which in my opinion is the first true sequel to the original Angry Birds (I personally didn’t buy into the whole Angry Birds: Seasons thing). As a fan of the original game, when the chance came to review Angry Birds Space I couldn’t resist. Read on for what I thought.