It’s been a big week for Apple fans. We’ve got betas of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, new iWork web apps and the promise of a new iWork and iLife this fall, the long-rumored iTunes Radio service, MacBook Airs with insanely long battery life … and best of all, a brand-new Mac Pro at long last. Cook, Ive, and the rest of the team have been hard at work cooking up the greatest-and-latest software and devices, and it seems they’ve done quite the good job.
iOS 7 is getting most of the headlines, but I was actually the most excited to see what’s new for the Mac with the next version of OS X. The name was quite the surprise, with Apple switching to location names in California rather than cat names. The feature lineup isn’t too bad, either, with a strong focus on decreasing power consumption, keeping ram free, and making networking simpler (both through AirDrop and with Windows networking). Finder got a long-needed overhaul, finally gaining tabs and tags, while Safari takes the lead again as the fastest and most integrated Mac browser.
But that’s not all. There’s brand new apps – Maps and iBooks – and Notifications have been simplified and improved. Best of all, there’s supposed to be unified notifications with iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, so you won’t have all your devices ringing with notifications at the same time.
So, from all that, what are you the most excited about? Looking forward to discussing everyone’s favorite parts of the next version of OS X in the comments below!
Apple’s 2013 Worldwide Developer Conference starts on Monday, June 10th. By this time a week from now we’ll already have seen what Tim Cook and the rest of the Apple team have prepared to show the world. The whole world — not just techies this time — is anticipating iOS 7, but there should be a lot more interesting stuff.
There’s OS X, of course: it’d be tough to forget that here at Mac.AppStorm. Apple’s committed to a yearly upgrade cycle for OS X, and Mountain Lion was released at the end of July last year. That should mean that we’ll get word of the stuff coming to OS X v.NeXT.
There’s also Apple’s own apps, from iLife and iWork to their pro tools, all of which seem far overdue for a new version. There’s iCloud, which almost every developer would like to see improved. There’s also the iOS apps like iBooks that have never made their way to the Mac, even though they seem like perfect fits.
Then, there’s hardware. Apple hasn’t updated the Mac Pro in forever, and the rest of its lineup is likely due at least for a spec bump. And none of us would mind if Apple decided to release some brand-new, non-rumored hardware like a new addition to the Mac lineup.
We’d all like to see all of the above, I’m sure, but what do you want to see most? Is iOS mostly on your mind, or are you hoping for more Mac attention? We’d love to hear what you want to see at WWDC 2013 in the comments below.
And, stay tuned: our AppStorm team will be live-blogging the keynote speech, and we’ll have more to share about that later this week!
Most people don’t spend their days obsessing over what fonts they should use. They use Times New Roman for documents, the default font (Helvetica or Ariel, usually) in other apps, and only think about switching that around when they’re making a banner or something else with special type. Then, though, there’s those of us who love collecting fonts, debate over the best fonts for coding, writing, reading, and more, and go crazy when we see a new, beautiful font. There’s finally those who are a step above the rest of us: the designers who actually make fonts.
Now, Macs come with quite a number of great fonts. In fact, they’re one of the many added values in OS X, since just adding Helvetica Neue to a PC would cost you € 35 per weight. On a Mac, it’s included, gratis. Then, if you own Creative Suite (or even just a single Adobe design app), you’ll get quite a lot of beautiful fonts from the Adobe collection. And then, there’s free fonts, including Source Sans Pro, Maven Pro, and so many more.
But sometimes, if you love typography, you’ll come across a font that you’ll just have to buy. That happened to me before when browsing the fonts on Envato’s GraphicsRiver, and it happened to me recently when I came across Klim Type Foundry’s Pitch font recently. The latter’s become my default writing font in Sublime Text, and it’s beautiful.
So how about you? Have you ever purchased a font? Tell us about some of your favorites in the comments below.
It’s the season for game console news, with both Sony and Microsoft recently unveiling their new game consoles, and Nintendo having beaten them to the punch by releasing the Wii U last winter. That’s, of course, at the same time that mobile devices and Macs are becoming more popular for gaming, and with AirPlay through an Apple TV, your iPad or Mac can power some serious widescreen gaming.
That doesn’t make consoles obsolete, of course. iOS devices have great touch and motion capacities, but the Xbox’ Kinetic gesture controls and the Wii’s motion controller — not to mention the gamepads used in all consoles — give console gaming a serious leg-up. Then, there’s the exclusive titles — from Mario to Halo — that are only on consoles.
That’s why we’re wondering if you have a game console, or if the announcements of new consoles have you thinking about buying one. We’d love to hear your thoughts on console versus Mac/iOS gaming in the comments below!
You’re the oddball. There’s that one built-in Mac app that everyone else replaces, and yet, you love it. It’s built-in, works great, and you can’t figure out why everyone else doesn’t love it. But they don’t. They rave about the alternate apps, and act like Apple didn’t even include any app that could possibly do that thing.
All the while, you’re being productive each day with the built-in app you got for free, and you’re wondering why everyone else is wasting their time and money on alternates.
For me, the built-in amazing app is Preview. Everyone’s always looking for a great PDF app, or simple image editor, or annotation app … and here’s one of the best, built-into OS X for free. For our writer Pierre Wizla, it’s Mail.app, and he’s showed us how to turn it into the best email app.
So what’s your favorite built-in app in OS X, one you love more than alternates and think is a hidden gem in OS X? Looking forward to the discussion below!
At this week’s Adobe MAX event, the firm behind the leading creative apps for Macs and PCs announced that Creative Suite is now dead. Its replacement? Creative Cloud, the new subscription version of Adobe’s apps. They’re still native Mac (or Windows) apps, like you’ve used for years, only this time, you buy them via a $50/month subscription instead of paying hundreds or thousands upfront for a full suite.
That’s not all bad news; if you used to upgrade every year or so to the latest Master Collection, you’ll likely save money with Creative Cloud. But if you used the same version of Photoshop for years without upgrading, it’ll be much more expensive (over time, at least) to upgrade in the future.
Then, though, on the Mac, it’s rather easy to skip Creative Suite these days. There’s amazing image editors like Pixelmator and Acorn, vector apps like Artboard and Sketch, Apple’s own Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for video and Audio, PDFpen and Preview for PDF documents, and more. There’s even Adobe’s own more affordable Photoshop and Premiere Elements if you need just the basics of what Adobe offers.
If you’ve switched, we’d love to hear what apps you’re using instead of Adobe’s staple apps in the comments below!
It’s been a long time since Mac users had to wish that leading apps would come to their beloved platform. If anything, it’s the opposite today, and has been for some time. When I used a PC regularly, I’d wish there were apps like Things and Transmit, Pixelmator and — of all things — Preview (really).
But as many great apps as there are on the Mac today, there’s still some programs that haven’t made the leap over to our favorite platform. Whether it’s games that are still PC only, ancient DOS based business tools, or drivers for an old scanner that’ll only run on XP, many of us still run Windows regularly to be able to use legacy stuff — and some not so legacy stuff. After all, even though Macs have Office, Access has never made the leap, either.
It’s not just PC apps, either. I for one would love some popular iOS apps on my Mac. First off, iBooks: I’ve stuck to buying books in Kindle simply because I can read them on my Mac, too. Then, I’m sure a ton of other iPad apps would be more than welcome on the Mac.
So, if you could pick, what apps would you want to see brought over to the Mac first? We’ll look forward to hearing your comments below!
Apple’s known for sleek metal+glass gadgets, with clean lines, no stickers, and nothing that isn’t absolutely necessary. It’s also known for software filled with faux linen, leather, felt, candy-colored buttons, and previously, transparency, pinstripes, and brushed metal.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has set itself on a new design course, with plain colors, flat lines, and sharp typography. The new design style, previously called Metro, is a stark departure for Windows’ previous glassy Aero style, or the bubbly plastic XP Bliss style.
Microsoft’s not known for innovating on the UI front, but their recent changes in Windows 8 and their other apps has set off a wave of changes across the industry. Moving away from skeuomorphism, many newer apps like Loren Brichter’s Letterpress and Ulysses III‘s “Pure Mode” have a design that’s reminiscent of the Metro design. And now, with Jony Ive taking over UI design at Apple, many have speculated that OS X 10.9 and iOS 7 will gain a flatter UI with less skeuomorphism than Apple’s known for.
We’re wondering which you prefer. Do you love UIs that look like something real, say, a bookshelf, or does the new Metro text-first design style appeal more to you? We’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments below!
Pictured: Microsoft’s Outlook.com calendar web app and Apple’s Calendar.app in OS X Mountain Lion
It’s happened to all of us: you download a new app, and are all excited over its features … only to find that it really doesn’t work for you. So it lingers in Launchpad, and in all likelihood is never opened again. That is, until you one day open it by chance, and try it again. Perhaps it got an update, perhaps you were just bored, or perhaps you kept hearing people praise it and figured you missed something the first time around.
And boom, you’ve got a new favorite app. That app that didn’t work for you the first time suddenly fits like a glove. It’s perfect for you, and you wonder why you didn’t see the light sooner.
That happened to me with Alfred. I downloaded it, couldn’t get what the fuss was all about, and went back to Spotlight. Then, I tried it again a couple months later, and thought it was nice enough, so I got the powerpack. Soon, I couldn’t imagine working with Alfred, and I’m even more addicted to the awesomeness that is Alfred 2 and its workflows.
It also happened to me with PopClip, as I’ve written about before. With it, the update that added actions flew under my radar at first, but once I tried it out, I was hooked.
So, what apps grew on you over time? We’d love to hear your stories below!
It's been over 2 years — and two OS X releases — since the Mac App Store was launched on OS X Snow Leopard. In that time, it's become ubiquitous in the world of Mac Apps, and most new apps we try out and review are exclusively on the Mac App Store. In fact, a good number of the apps I use daily are exclusively on the Mac App Store.
For the most part, the App Store is a great addition to the Mac, making it easier for developers to sell apps and giving us a centralized place for users to find apps and get updates. But, it's not all perfect: there's restrictions to what App Store apps can do, and some developers have backtracked from switching to the App Store, moving new versions of their apps back to exclusive sale on their own site.
As app users, it's not too often that we get the choice of where to buy apps. If developers sell on the App Store, usually the app is only on the App Store, and otherwise, it's only on their own site. There are apps that are an exception, such as the Omni Group's apps, which are sold on both the App Store and on their own site.
That's why we're wondering: When you can choose, would you rather buy an app from the App Store or from developers' own sites? Fill out the poll, and let us know why you choose what you do in the comments below.