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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.
One of the many new additions to OS X in Lion was AirDrop, a simple way to share files between Macs over WiFi. It sounded like a great solution, but turned out to be a bit more complicated than it seemed at first.
For one thing, the Macs would have to be on the same network, and without tweaking, AirDrop only works over WiFi. You’ll have to head over to terminal and do some tweaking to get AirDrop working over Ethernet. Then, it doesn’t work between OS X and iOS, making it only useful for sharing files between Macs on the same network — which in all likelihood means you already have another file sharing system in place.
There’s apps that one-up AirDrop’s functionality, such as Instashare, which hope to take the idea to the next level by bringing cross-platform sharing and more to the idea behind AirDrop. And there’s always the hope that Apple will do more with AirDrop in future versions of OS X (and perhaps iOS).
But as it is right now, have you used AirDrop? Is it something you use all the time, or did you just try it out for the novelty of it, and then quit using it soon after? We’d love to hear your thoughts below!
Imagine you’re walking out of the Apple Store with a brand new MacBook under your arm, or perhaps you’re carting out one of the brand-new wall mounted iMacs (yes, we’re wishing we had one of those — say, the top-speced 27″ one — too). You plug in your Mac, savor the familiar-yet-new startup ding, then connect to the internet. You’re ready to start loading up your Mac with the best apps, and you can’t wait to get it feeling like a productive machine.
Only this time, there’s a twist: you can only install 5 apps. That’s right: you can install anything you want from the net or the App Store, but you’re limited to using the built-in apps and up to 5 more apps you install. What apps would make the cut?
The past few weeks, we’ve been featuring roundups of our team’s favorite apps in the Apps We Use series, and we’ve got a ton more workflows to feature over the upcoming weeks. Some of us have extremely streamlined workflows consisting of only a few apps, while others have a ton of apps they use to get their work done.
If I could only install 5 apps on my Mac, I’d install:
- Dropbox, since all my files live in it
- 1Password, since I wouldn’t be able to login to almost any site without it
- OmniFocus, which holds almost everything I need to do
- Sublime Text for writing, since it’s great for plain-text writing as well as coding
- Transmit for FTP, to publish articles to my site (which uses the flat-file CMS Kirby)
There’s a ton more apps I use daily and that I’d want to use, but these would be the minimum I’d need to keep working. Now, how about you? What 5 apps would you install if you could only have 5 apps on your Mac? Let us know in the comments below!
If there’s one enduring set of apps that’s practically a requirement to use in most business and education settings, it’s Microsoft Office. Love it or hate it, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are the de facto standards for their categories.
On a Mac, you’ve got a ton of options these days. You could obviously use Office for Mac, though it’s often a bit behind its Windows counterparts despite coming out for the Mac before Windows was even around (though sometimes it does seem ahead of the Windows versions — see the Publishing layout options in Word for Mac). Then, there’s Apple’s iWork apps, though you might end up with some compatibility issues if you have to regularly share heavily formatted documents (but, for most purposes, iWork really is fine, while being nicer to use than Office. Really). There’s also OpenOffice and its new counterpart LibreOffice, though they come with their own slew of issues. You could also use web apps for free these days instead, from Google, Zoho, or even Microsoft itself.
Or, you could use Office for Windows on your Mac, either in Bootcamp or in a virtual machine. That way, you could use Office 2013 today on your Mac, or stick to an older-and-trusted version of Office in an old XP virtual machine. I personally have Office 2010 in a Windows 7 virtual machine, as well as an Office 2013 trial in a Windows 8 virtual machine for testing and more. We’d love to know if you use Office for Windows on your Mac. If so, we’d love to hear how you use it, and what version you’re using in the comments below!
Last year, Adobe launched their Creative Cloud subscription service along with the newly released Creative Suite 6. Creative Cloud lets you download every one of the full apps from Creative Suite Master Collection to your Mac or PC, and share creative files online for $49/month. That’s still pricey over time, but a huge savings over the initial cost of buying Creative Suite Master Collection outright for $2,599.
If you already have a copy of Creative Suite, though, upgrading to the latest version often still works out cheaper if you have a smaller edition. I had Creative Suite 5.5 Design Standard, and upgraded to CS6 Design Standard for far less than a Creative Cloud subscription would have cost me. Another option is buying a one-app version of Creative Cloud, which is one way, say, to get Photoshop for $19/month.
Creative Cloud apps get updates more often than their traditional Creative Suite counterparts, so Photoshop users especially already have new features over those of use with Creative Suite. It’s one of the many ways Adobe is trying to push us all over to the subscription side.
About 15% of you said you plan to get Creative Cloud in our poll last year, and more said you’d consider it. That’s why we’re wondering how many of you actually use Creative Cloud. Has it worked out good for you, or are traditional upgrades still your preferred way of getting Adobe apps?