Firefox is the alternate browser we all switched to back when the rest of the world was using IE 6. It was refreshing, with far better standards compliance and performance than other browsers at the time. We’d customize our Firefox install with themes and extensions, have our own favorite shortcuts and default tabs. It was the serious web user’s browser.
Then, Safari happened. Google, Firefox’ chief supporter, built Chrome. Microsoft even got its act together, and made current versions of IE far less reprehensible. And casual browsing shifted to smartphones and tablets, where the built-in browser is all most people think to use.
Firefox is still around, with decent marketshare, even, but the energy feels gone. The newest extensions come out for Chrome first. Firefox’ UI still doesn’t fit with modern OS X’ scrollbars and pinch-to-zoom, and it still feels more sluggish than Chrome.
So why stick with it? But then, many still do. So today, we’d love to hear why you’ve stuck with Firefox. If you still use Firefox regularly, we’d love to hear why in the comments below!
We all love our Macs, but for many, business realities often mean that you can’t use them for your work. Perhaps your company is already standardized on another OS, and the IT department won’t let you bring your own Mac. Or perhaps you have to use older software or hardware that won’t work on a Mac. I’m always amazed how often I still see Windows XP and even DOS in use at companies, and even spotted the latter running on a cash register computer at a Mac retailer recently.
Then, there’s others that use another platform on purpose. Perhaps you like developing on Linux, even if you love the apps and design of the Mac. Or — like myself — perhaps you use a tablet for your on-the-go computing and a Modbook Pro never really made sense for you. So, you find yourself using iOS or Android instead of OS X for your work.
Whatever the reason, we’d love to hear what other platform you use the most. Don’t include what you use on your phone — we’re mostly still not using our phones as alternate computers, however powerful they are today — but feel free to select iOS or Android if you use a tablet for a significant part of your computing life.
Apple was just the Mac company for forever. It had the Newton and numerous other side projects, but the Mac was really what it was known for. Then, the iPod came along, and iTunes, and suddenly Apple stood for mobile media almost more than computing.
Then, 2007 happened, and Apple became the company that reinvented the smartphone, followed by 2010 when they reinvented the tablet. Investors loved it, pushing Apple’s market cap to record-breaking heights.
But what’s next? Apple still makes beautiful iMacs, MacBooks that get better battery life than any other laptops in their categories, and just radically reinvented the Mac Pro. They’ve got great new versions of both iOS and OS X coming out soon. And yet, everyone’s wondering what’s next — the whole world is expecting Apple to do something big and take on — or invent — a whole new category of devices.
There’s rumors of everything from an Apple watch to a TV. But what do you think Apple’s going to introduce next? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Apple’s upcoming OS X Mavericks is a great new overhaul to OS X, bringing better performance and battery life along with new features such as Finder tabs and tags, Maps and iBooks, better multiple display support, and more that we’ve been wanting forever. We still don’t know exactly when it’s coming, but Apple’s promised that it’s coming this fall, and that’s not too far away now.
But every time a new version of OS X comes out, you have to make the decision of how quickly you’ll upgrade. Many of us love to jump the gun and install it the first second the new version’s available, or even go ahead and start using the beta full-time before it’s been officially released. Others prefer to hold out for the first wave of updates and bug fixes, to make sure it’s working smooth when they upgrade. And some never upgrade, sticking with the version of OS X their Mac came with until they buy a new one.
Which camp are you in? Are you planning to install Mavericks the first moment it’s in the App Store, or are you going to wait and see how it’s working for everyone else? Or, will you stick with the Lion you already have installed?
There's tons of apps for sharing files, and tons of ways to store your files in the cloud. It's almost unusual to go a couple weeks without hearing of yet another app for quick file sharing. And yet, two apps have stood the test of time and continued to be the flag-bearers for simple file sharing: CloudApp and Droplr.
Both CloudApp and Droplr have been with us for years, both have a simple menubar for quickly sharing files, and both have free and pro accounts. They're equally simple to use, and practically unrivaled in their simplicity. They were both so close of competitors, I decided they were both almost equal in my point-by-point comparison of their features for Web.AppStorm. Yet, I remained a CloudApp devotee until very recently.
Droplr finally won me over with its relentless improvements, making their Mac app and most recently iOS apps far nicer than before. Throw in the already-nicer web app, and the extra stats and customizations available with their pro account, and Droplr sold me on a pro subscription.
But then, there's another elephant in the room: Dropbox. It's decidedly not the simpler way to share one-off files, but it's something many of us already pay for, and it works great for sharing larger files. Then, with new apps like Share Bucket, you can make Dropbox act almost like Droplr or Dropbox. I love Dropbox, and store most of my files in it, but sharing small files and such from Dropbox still seems like too much of a hassle, and I'm glad to use Droplr for sharing and Dropbox for syncing everything else.
So, how about you? Are you in the CloudApp or Droplr camp, or is Dropbox enough for your needs? We'd love to hear your thoughts on the two — nay, three — apps in the comments below.
Apple’s best known for its devices and the operating systems that make them shine, but it also has quite the variety of professional software that it produces as well. This week saw Apple unveil its brand-new Logic Pro X, which by all accounts is a great upgrade to Apple’s professional music production tool — but Apple makes far more than just that.
Perhaps most commonly seen on Macs and iOS devices is Apple’s consumer media apps — iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand — that used to make up iLife, but since they come free on all Macs anyhow and aren’t really aimed at pro use, those don’t count for this list. But let’s include the iWork apps — Pages, Keynote, and Numbers — which compete head-to-head with Microsoft Office and can definitely stand for a decent amount of professional use. Then, there’s Aperture, which is the best competition for Adobe’s Lightroom, and Final Cut Pro, one of the top professional film editing apps. There’s also the companion apps — Motion, Compressor, and MainStage — that take them further.
I love the iWork apps, and others on our team love Logic Pro, Aperture, and Final Cut Pro. We’d love to know which of these you use in your work!
The Mac App Store has become the default place to find and install apps on your Mac, and for the most part it's been a great boon to OS X. It's made it easier for indie developers to get an app published and noticed, and has made it simpler for new Mac users to find the great Mac apps they've heard about. In OS X Mavericks, it's getting even better, with automatic background update installation and options for subscriptions, say, for an Evernote Pro upgrade.
But for many, that's not enough. The Mac App Store works great for selling the first version of an app, but after that, there's no way to sell an upgrade version without releasing it for free, or releasing it as a new app. That takes away the old upgrade incentive of being able to pay less to upgrade to the new version. There's no way for developers to cross-promote their own apps, either, or offer discounts to students and others as they might have in their own online stores.
So what do you think Apple still needs to change about the Mac App Store? And are you excited about the new automatic app updates and subscription options in Mavericks? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
In the world of browsers, fortunes can change terribly fast. If you browsed at all in the '90's, you surely used Netscape, at least for a time. Then IE 6 was the only game in town, while the cool kids started switching to Firefox. Apple's Safari came along, and while it didn't seem as important at first, it became the #1 way people browse from phones and tablets thanks to iOS. And Chrome, built on Safari's Webkit foundation, became the most popular browser. IE still has enormous marketshare, but it lost the mindshare long ago.
All along, in the background, Opera has been the alternate browser that everyone forgot about. It's 15th version just got released — now powered by Chrome's fork of Webkit, of all things — but it's still little more than a blip on web browsing statistics. It's had mobile versions for longer than iOS and Android have been around — I originally used it on a Nokia Symbian device, and later used it on a Windows Mobile 5.1 phone, far before the iPhone was around, much less had native apps.
And yet, it's never become a popular browser. But with Opera 15, more developers like Evernote are making browser extensions for it, and it could just possibly become a more popular browser — but the odds are against it.
That's why we're wondering if you use Opera, or if you used it in the past. We'd love to hear your thoughts about the European browser that won't quit in the comments below.
We all were expecting iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 to be announced at WWDC, and perhaps were hoping to see some new hardware, but no one predicted that the Mac Pro would get such a radical overhaul this year. Sure, Cook promised us that Apple hadn't forgotten pro users, and the old Mac Pro was the most outdated Mac Apple was still selling, but many of Apple's biggest fans and most popular developers had already given up on Apple doing anything interesting with the Mac Pro. The 27" iMac is beautiful and powerful anyhow, and Apple had already killed off the Xserve, so it didn't seem too much of a stretch to think that the Pro was next on the chopping block.
Boy, were we wrong. Apple absolutely had not forgotten Pro users, but instead was quietly building a fully redesigned Mac Pro that looked like nothing before (well, other than perhaps R2D2 with a bit of Darth Vader's style. Or a trash can. Or a Cray, if you squint.). With up to 12 cores on its CPU and two GPUs built in and designed to be used directly for computing power, the Mac Pro new in the way it works internally, as well. It's built to let you, as Apple says, edit 4k resolution video while live-rendering effects in the background. It can take up to 128Gb of Ram — or at least may, based on Apple's OS X Mavericks documentation.
Its only drawback for pros is that its not designed to be upgraded and expanded internally, relying instead on Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3 port for expansion. That, and the lack of dual CPUs, has some pros wringing their hands, wishing Apple had kept the upgradable design of the former Mac Pro.
What do you think? Is the new Mac Pro the True Mac Pro Successor that John Siracusa wished for, one that's for the computer industry what halo cars are for the automobile industry? Or is a computer that's already irrelevant, either by its lack of expandability or its inherent tie to the past of desktop computing?
There’s opensource freeware software, the bundled apps that are essentially free with your Mac, dirt cheap apps on the App Store, and incredibly expensive apps like AutoCAD and Adobe’s Creative Cloud apps. And everything in between. You could spend nothing on software, ever, if you really wanted to, and use just what comes on your Mac and other free apps you could download. Or, today, you can spend a fairly small amount and get quite a few really good programs, with the wealth of apps on the App Store today.
On the other end, though, even as apps seem to be getting cheaper, there’s more in-app purchases and subscriptions that’ll eat up your money. You’ll find yourself paying to unlock that feature you really wanted, or subscribing to Office 365 so you can collaborate with people at work. Or, you’ll pay for an Evernote subscription after you find it so useful as a free app.
We’ve all got different budgets for software, and we’re wondering how much you usually spend. Think of all your software purchases and subscriptions, and let us know about how much you spend per month. I’d personally be somewhere in the $20-$50 range, but then, I buy a lot of software for testing and more. Where are you on this scale, and has that gone up or down over the years? We’d love to hear more about your app spending in the comments below.