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Weekly Poll

Mountain Lion has been out just under a week, and millions of us are already running it on our Macs. Apple’s announced that they sold 3 million copies of Mountain Lion in 4 days. Despite some initial problems with the Up to Date program, and expected slowdowns for first-day downloads, Mountain Lion is running strong, and very few of us have encountered major problems with it.

That’s why we’re wondering if you’ve taken the plunge and upgraded already, or not. Did your upgrade go good, or are you having trouble taming Apple’s latest cat? Or are you waiting for updates and for time to try upgrading? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

And, if you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to read our own Mountain Lion review for an overview of the new features, as well as our roundup of smaller changes throughout the OS, including new iCloud features.

This past weekend, the Sparrow team shook the Mac app world by announcing they had been bought out by Google and wouldn’t be adding any new features to their popular email app. Sparrow was a great example of the amazing Mac-only apps you can get from the App Store, an app that was lovingly created by a team that really knew what they were doing. Now, the team’s moving to work on Gmail, and odds are Google will totally forget about the Mac app the team had built in the first place.

For those of use that use email all the time, many of us exclusively use Gmail or Google Apps on our own domains. However, we usually don’t use Gmail online, preferring instead to use Mail.app, Sparrow, or other 3rd party email apps to manage our email workflow. Sparrow was an especially good choice for Gmail users, as it supported Gmail’s features in a brilliant Mac interface, and just worked so good.

It’s not like Sparrow quit working overnight, but most of us are seriously considering alternate email apps now that Sparrow won’t be in active development going forward. That’s why we’re wondering if you’re going to keep using Sparrow, or if you’ve switched to another email app. We’d love to hear what email app you’re using, and why, in the comments below!

Special thanks to @CoolD78 for the poll idea!

When it’s time to buy a new MacBook, there’s a lot of decisions you’ll have to make. Air or Pro, or Retina Pro? In-store model, or extra ram? Faster processor or more storage?

Most of these choices are permanent nowadays, with even the ram soldered to the motherboard. But in many ways, the screen size will define how you use your Mac more than many of the other decisions. The 11″ Air will be the most cramped, but will also be the most portable, while a 15″ Pro will give you the most space but will also feel much more like a desktop and will be less portable.

I just purchased a new MacBook Air that’s en route from China right now. I chose the 13″ Air, as it felt like the best middle between size and portability, and sure hope I feel like I’ve made the right choice. It made me wonder what your favorite screen size is. What MacBook screen size do you own, or would you purchase if you could choose any right now?

With Mountain Lion just around the corner, most of us will be running a new OS in the next few weeks. Among the deeper changes that Apple baked into their latest version of OS X, there’s a ton of new apps coming along for the ride: Notes, Reminders, Notifications Center, and more. Plus, long-time standbys like Mail are getting updates along with the rest of the system.

The interesting thing is, all of the new apps are ones that originally appeared in iOS, but Apple’s finally bringing them to OS X. Coming along is the skeuomorphism – mainly with stylized leather – that Apple recently seems to love applying to new apps.

Many of us already have ways we keep up with notes and to-dos, and perhaps have already used alternate email and calendar apps, too. This time around, though, do you think you’ll be using the new apps, or trying out the updated ones? Or will you stick with you existing apps, or perhaps even try a new 3rd party app instead? We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

The first Mac I ever used was a Bondi blue iMac G3 at a friend’s house sometime in ’99, though I don’t remember much about the experience other than admiring the translucent case. Months later, though, I began using an Apple product on a daily basis: a Newton MessagePad 100, given to me by an uncle after the company he worked for decommissioned them.

It ate AAA batteries and weighed a ton, but it was a rather cool device to play with even without internet or new apps. I wrote a journal (turning off the writing detection) and used it for keeping a calendar, and messed around with every menu and dialog in the system, discovering a hidden temperature indicator in the process. Sadly, it got stolen from our house several years ago, so I don’t have it around.

The best part of having a Newton was discovering little Newton things years later in Apple’s later projects. The trash animation in the Notes app on iOS looks just like the trash animation when throwing away a note on the Newton. Plus, the smoke puff when removing an icon from your OS X dock looks just like the delete animation on the Newton when you drew a w type squiggle over anything on a note.

Did you ever get to use a Newton? Have you found yourself looking for Newton features in other Apple products? Or do you wish you could have tried one out? We’d love to hear any Newton stories you have in the comments below!

It’s always exciting to find a new app that perfectly fits your needs. Some programs are great, and you’ll use them every day, but then sometimes you need this one little utility to make a part of your life easier. Even if you only use it a few times it feels amazing that there was an app that did just what you needed.

App Stores are great for discovering apps like this. I once needed to quickly crop and rotate a set of images on my iPad. Without knowing any apps that could do that, I searched the App Store and quickly found OneEdit, which did exactly what I needed.

On my Mac, I’ve recently started using QuickCursor and Sublime Text 2, both apps that I thought I didn’t need but now would hate to live without. It made me wonder how many apps our reader have recently discovered that really helped them.

So, what’s the greatest new app you’ve started using on your Mac? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, and maybe we’ll discover a few apps we didn’t know of before, too!

I know: it can’t be a poll without a poll, but hey, you have to change things around sometimes, right?

WWDC brought a little more clarity to the story of Apple’s next major operating system: OS X Mountain Lion. There were no real surprises, but we should all have a solid idea of what’s to come.

Because of the Mac App Store’s inability to handle paid upgrades, many tech blogs and Mac users have been speculating lately that Apple would transition us all into a utopian world of free software upgrades. I never bought that story for a second and Mountain Lion’s recently announced $20 price tag validates my skepticism. Personally, I think $20 is a small price to pay given that it’s not unprecedented for operating systems to cost over $100.

However, plenty of people are not happy about the dream of free operating system upgrades vanishing. For this and other reasons, I’m sure there are many users out there who will hesitate to hit the download button on the day that Mountain Lion releases.

In this week’s poll, we want to know if you’ll be among the early adopters who will download Mountain Lion right away or if there is something holding you back. Cast your vote in the poll and leave a comment below explaining your answer.

The day after the WWDC keynote is always an interesting one. The dust has settled, the excitement and hype are over and you’re left with the realization that your life is pretty much the same as it was a few days ago.

There were plenty of amazing announcements to be sure. It’s a great time to be an Apple fan so don’t read this as an overly negative question.

That being said, no reality can ever live up to the overactive Apple rumor mill so there are always bound to be a few disappointments.

Today we want to hear about the biggest WWDC let down from your perspective. Were you hoping for a new iMac? Or perhaps you were ready to see an awesome new Apple TV SDK. Cast your vote in the poll and leave your rant below!

This debate has raged on for years in the photography community. Lightroom and Aperture are aimed at very similar audiences and they share very similar workflows that allow you to quickly browse, sort and edit your photos without the pain of opening and saving each file individually like you would with Photoshop.

Adobe fans stick to their guns that Lightroom is the most powerful solution for the professional photographer’s workflow, but others have found exactly what they’re looking for in Aperture’s awesome organizational features such as automatic face recognition.

When it boils down to it, if you were forced to pick one and only one, which would it be? Would you side with Adobe or Apple? Vote in the poll and then leave a comment below defending your answer.

As we sit on the precipice of another generation of new Macs, I thought it would be fun to take a look back. It’s time to throw open the closets, dig through the garage and climb up into the old dusty attic. We want to know the age of the oldest Mac that you still have in your possession.

Are you a new Mac user who doesn’t even remember the days of the sunflower iMac or are you an old school user who remembers what Macs were like back when Jobs was a long-haired hippie? Perhaps you even owned an Apple computer before the days of the Mac!

Cast your vote in the poll and then leave a comment with the dirt. Which Apple computer is it? When did you purchase it? What are the technical specs? We want to know! Also, if you happen to have a picture, we’d love to see it.

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