When you’re always looking for the greatest new app, sometimes you forget about the awesome apps that power your life. The apps you use day in, day out to make money, stay in touch with family and friends, be creative, stay informed, and more are the most important apps, way more important that that new app that might come out tomorrow and just might revolutionize your life … or not.
Funny thing is, apps that you use all the time can fade into the background, and you’ll almost never think about them. It’s easy to take for granted the apps we use most. From your web browser to tools like Dropbox and Alfred or the launcher of your choice, there are apps you use every day without thinking about it, but you’d be hard pressed to live without them.
Today’s Thanksgiving in America, which makes a great time to stop and think of the things you’re grateful for, no matter where you call home. Our team has rounded up some of the apps we’re thankful for this year, and we’d love to hear from you. What Mac apps are you the most thankful to have around this year? Perhaps an older app that’s stood the test of time, or a newer app that’s recently become essential to your workflow. Either way, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
It’s been nearly 4 months since OS X Mountain Lion was released, and millions of Mac users around the world have already upgraded. Many of us upgraded our Macs as soon as it was in the App Store, while others were running it weeks earlier thanks to Apple’s developer program.
Mountain Lion brought many nice new features to OS X, from the Notifications Center and social network features to new apps like Reminders and Notes. Unfortunately, the new upgrade also left behind some older Macs, and many still don’t like the addition of more iCloud and iOS features in OS X.
I personally have been very pleased with Mountain Lion, and found the upgrade to be a great new change, but not everyone feels the same. That’s why we’re wondering: 4 months into the upgrade cycle, have you switched to Mountain Lion? Or are you still using Lion?
Is the cat that’s currently powering your Mac enough for your needs? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
It sure is frustrating when an app you love gets sidelined by its developers. From the recent demise of Twitter for Mac, Sparrow being bought out by Google and promptly sidelined for Gmail.com, and Read Later being turned into Pocket for Mac and leaving Instapaper support behind, I’ve had a number of apps in my own workflow that have been abandoned lately.
It’s a normal problem we all face, and it’s not surprising at all when lite apps and games don’t get updated. But when something we rely on gets abandoned, it can be far more frustrating. You’re left with the option of continuing to rely on an app that might break with a future OS X update, or searching for something else that might fit the bill.
For me, I’ve given Pocket for Mac a shot, switching away from Instapaper for a trial run. I’ve bought Tweetbot, as I’d already been using its beta for months. But I’m still using Sparrow, as there’s no other mail app that works as good for me. I’m sure hoping something else better will come along before it gets abandoned for good.
How about you?
This morning, I woke up to a Reeder full of articles about Apple’s new announcements in yesterday’s keynote. Living in Asia makes it a bit tough to watch keynotes live, and Apple usually doesn’t even stream them live online. After reading through the articles and checking through Apple.com, I didn’t really feel the need to watch the full keynote. I enjoy watching Apple’s product launches, but this one felt like one I could skip. Incidentally, it turned into a very exciting keynote for Mac users, with new iMacs and Mac Minis, but still, I could find what I needed to know from Apple.com’s pages.
That said, I’ve watched tons of Apple keynotes over the years, especially while Jobs was still alive and doing his magic on stage. I’ve gone back and rewatched portions of old keynotes to see how Apple’s changed (ouch, the fonts in old keynotes hurts to look at), and listening to Jobs’ speeches from when he first came back to Apple gives a unique perspective on the company.
So how about you? Do you always watch Apple’s keynotes, or do you just pick choice ones to watch? Or have you never watched an keynote before (is that even possible)? We’d love to hear your thoughts below!
Microsoft isn’t usually the first company on our radar as Mac users, but with their upcoming release of Windows 8, they seem to be actually thinking different, for once. Windows 8 is easily the most dramatic change Windows has ever seen, taking it quite far away from its original Macintosh-inspired design. At worst, it takes some inspiration from the iPad in being a touch-centric UI, but otherwise, everything new in Windows 8 is a Microsoft-based design.
New innovation is always cause for excitement, and even if we love Apple, we’re always excited to see other companies pushing the bounds and making great new products. Windows 8′s new square and typography centric design is at least an interesting step in a new direction. It might be one that leaves most PC users behind, but it’s also one that piques our interest, at least a bit.
Has Windows 8 caught your interest, and are you looking forward to trying it out? Do you think it could tempt you away from OS X and iOS? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Social networking isn’t a new thing of 2012, but it’s sure hit a mass saturation point. You can’t ride public transit or eat at a restaurant without seeing people checking Facebook and tweeting pictures. It seems you’re more likely to see a Facebook page mentioned on an ad than the company’s own website, reminiscent of companies advertising their Aol. keywords back in the late ’90s.
So, it’s not surprising at all that the latest OS X and iOS feature deep Facebook and Twitter integration. You can share most things you do on your Mac in a click, sync birthdays from Facebook with Calendar, get Facebook and Twitter avatars in Contacts, and push notifications when you get @replies. It’s great for those addicted to Facebook and Twitter, but not so much for those who avoid social networking or who’d rather use another network like App.net.
Have you started using the Twitter and Facebook integration in OS X Mountain Lion? Do you like it, or would you just as soon they’d left it out?
Apple Stores have become all but ubiquitous in most major cities around the world. I live in Thailand, which doesn’t actually have its own Apple Stores, but their Apple Premium Resellers here, iBeat and iStudio, look quite the part of their Apple Store counterparts. And they’re everywhere, in all major malls and even small-town superstores.
Apple Stores are great places to try out the latest Macs and iOS devices, and make it rather easy to, say, buy anything from new power adapter for your MacBook or a new MacBook in just a few minutes. But if you’re not content with the default specs, you’ll want to head to Apple’s online store. There, you can trick out your Mac with all the ram and SSD space Apple offers.
Or perhaps you’re looking to save some money. In that case, you might be better heading to Amazon.com or a brick-and-mortar retailer. They don’t offer quite as fancy of a shopping experience, but they often are a bit cheaper at least.
That’s why we’re wondering: how do your buy your Macs and other Apple hardware? I personally have purchased all of my Macs from Apple’s online store, though I tend to pick up accessories as I need them at local Apple Premium Resellers. How about you?
Last week, yet another Humble Bundle was launched, and the special is still running through this week. The Humble Bundle has become one of the best known software bundles ever, and the team behind it continues to surprise with consistently high-quality bundles.
The Humble Bundle is unique in the world of bundles for the way it does business. You can pay whatever you want for a bundle, legitimately getting a ton of games for perhaps mere cents. Now, though, it offers extra games for those who beat the average price paid for the bundle, which is a great incentive to pay more for the bundle. Even still, most of the time, you can get over a dozen games for less than $6, including their soundtracks, Steam licenses, and the option to play them on OS X, Windows, or Linux. Not bad at all.
That’s why we’re wondering: have you ever bought a Humble Bundle? Do you look forward to new ones coming out so you can get more games for your library? We’d love to hear your thoughts about the most popular bundle in the comments!
Let’s face it: a new Mac can be rather pricey. There’s many reasons that they’re a great value, from their build quality to the components inside to the software they run, but at the end of the day, if you only have a limited budget for a Mac, it can be tough to find the Mac you need.
We’ve talked before about getting your Mac ready for sell, which is a popular way to recoup some of the cost of your old Mac when you’re getting a new machine. But what about buying a used Mac instead of getting the latest model straight from Apple?
The good thing is, there’s quite the active market for used Macs, and you can usually find almost any Mac you can think of for sell on Craigslist, eBay, or from a local shop. If buying used sounds a bit too risky to you, you could always go for a refurbished Mac straight from Apple, where you can get as much as $200 off many Macs.
So, have you ever purchased a used Mac? How’d it work out for you?
When Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone 5 years ago, many downplayed the device’s significance to the industry but still assumed it’d sell good thanks to Apple’s Mac fanbase. The iPhone quickly proved it could hold its own in the world, and thanks to the App Store and iCloud, you could easily use an iPhone today even if you didn’t own any other computer at all. Many iPhone users have never owned a Mac, and despite most Mac users love of all things Apple, there’s still many Mac users that have never owned an iPhone.
I’m one of those. I’ve owned an iPod Touch, and loved it, but continued using my old phone for voice calls and txts since iPhones are only sold unlocked in Thailand and cost more than an iPad upfront. Even with Apple’s upcoming launch of the next iPhone, I’ll be paying more attention to details about the next iPod Touch unless they seriously cut the unlocked iPhone’s price.
Whether for cost or just because you don’t use the phone that much, there’s still many of us who don’t have an iPhone. Are you in that number, or are you more devoted to your iPhone today than your Mac? We’d love to hear your thoughts in this week’s poll on the eve of Apple’s next major iPhone launch.
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