Long ago Apple had what seemed like a simple idea: iTunes should be the hub to sync all of your i-devices to your Mac. It made sense at the time, when the decision really only encompassed the iPod line. Then came the iPhone and subsequently the iTunes App Store, the one-stop shop for third party iPhone apps. The final piece of this mess of a puzzle came in the completely separate, non-iTunes-connected “App Store” app, also known as the Mac App Store.
These days, this organization scheme is a frequently complained about aspect of OS X. It seems perfectly logical that Apple would give us a single “App Store” app from which we could manage all things app related on every device we own. This argument suggests stripping iTunes back to what it’s good at (music), and putting all that extra functionality where it belongs, in the App Store app.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with this idea, today we want to know if you think Apple agrees with it. Will we see a simplified iTunes app and a unified App Store any time in the near future or will Apple leave things as they are?
Remember Dashboard widgets? Long before the iOS app gold rush, there was another little burst of developer activity in the Mac community: Dashboard Widgets. These mini-apps used to be all the rage with waves of new widgets hitting Apple’s featured collection every week. These days though, despite the fact that Dashboard is still an active OS X feature, the development of third party widgets seems to have crawled to a near stopping point.
I think Apple needs to do one of two things: drop Dashboard completely (like the did with Front Row), or once again make it worth using by revitalizing the widget market. One way to do this would be to create a special section of the Mac App Store specifically for Dashboard widgets. Giving developers a central point to distribute and earn income from widget development would no doubt help give this market the boost it needs.
What do you think? Should Apple allow Dashboard widgets in the Mac App Store or would this just create a mess of low quality, barely useful clutter? We want to know your opinion! Vote in the poll and leave a rant below in the comment section.
Lately the world of Mac software has seen quite the surge in photo editing apps, many of which are banking on the retro photo craze that helped fuel Instagram to a huge user base and billion dollar sale. This increase in the average user’s interest in photography will surely lead to a lot of questions about how to keep all of those images nicely organized into separate libraries and/or albums.
It seems like a perfect time to take a refreshed look at what Mac owners are using to keep their photographs organized. Are you a fan of the simplicity of iPhoto or do you require the professional kick of apps like Lightroom and Aperture?
Vote in the poll and let us know about your organization process in the comments. If your favorite app isn’t listed, also be sure to let us know what it is.
This week we dove deep into the Photoshop CS6 Beta preview and told you all about the great new features and changes (see that article here). This is one of the most dramatic updates Photoshop has seen in years. It sports a completely overhauled interface, lots of functionality improvements such as layer searching and group effects, and some awesome brand new features like Iris Blur.
Needless to say, there are a lot of great things to say about this new version, but oddly enough one topic that’s getting a ton of discussion around the web has nothing to do with any of these new features: the icon. Adobe has been giving us slight variations on the table of elements style icon theme for years and it appears that this time around they’re adding a thick border around the edge, a choice which has sent more than a few users hunting for good replacement options.
Today we want to know what you think of the new icon. Is it a decent evolution of what we’ve seen for the past few years or a hideous beast that you would never consider allowing to reside in your dock? Vote in the poll and then leave a comment below with your thoughts.
Siri is a delightful little piece of technology. Sure, it can be a bit troublesome at times but for the most part it is a great addition to the iPhone. Whether you want to find a good restaurant, ask about the weather, set a reminder, or get directions, Siri provides a quick, nearly hands free way to get it done, often with a bit of wit and humor thrown in.
The question that’s on everyone’s mind regarding Siri is whether or not it has found a permanent home on the iPhone or will eventually make rounds to the rest of Apple’s line of products. Some iPad fans were disappointed that the recently released “New iPad” received a pass on Siri, though others claim that it wouldn’t really be useful in this context. Apple did provide a watered down piece of Siri in the Voice Dictation feature, but that’s a far cry from the full Siri experience.
Today I want to push the question beyond iOS and ask what you think about the possibility of Siri on a Mac. Do you think that Siri will ever find it’s way to OS X? It would be nice to hit a keyboard shortcut on your Mac, tell Siri to fire off an email or create an appointment, then get back to what you were doing.
Cast your vote in the poll and let us know if you think this will ever happen, then leave a comment below and tell us whether or not you would find this feature to be helpful in your daily workflow.
Both the iTunes App Store and the Mac App Store have given developers a great place to easily distribute their software to customers. While some developers may feel lost in a sea of competition, others find ways to stand out and become overnight success stories.
Though the two platforms are similar, it’s interesting to note the differences. For instance, it seems free apps abound on the iTunes App Store but developers seem more prone to charge for their work on the Mac platform, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Through AppStorm I’ve met lots of hardworking developers and am more than happy to drop a few bucks for a great app to help make it worth the developer’s time.
Today I’m curious about how far you’re willing to go to get your hands on an awesome app. What’s the most that you’ve ever paid to download an app from the Mac App Store? Answer the poll to be counted and then leave a comment below telling us about the apps you’ve purchased at this price point.
With Lion, Apple completely rethought the Mail.app interface, largely drawing from what they had done on the iPad. Along with the visual upgrades came some functionality boosts as well, such as vastly improved searching and a more robust tagging system.
Despite these efforts, many users are still flocking to third party email solutions. Sparrow has made a huge splash in the email world and brings a lot of innovation to this market in terms of UI. It’s simple, beautiful and still feature rich enough to use as your primary email client.
Another major competitor is Postbox, which has long held the spot as the go-to client for Mac users who want a truly powerful alternative to Mail.app. The Postbox conversation reply formatting put’s Mail’s to shame and the entire client tightly and effortlessly integrates with your favorite Google services.
The question we want to know today is, “which is your favorite?” For those of us that work at our computers, email can be something that eats up a significant portion of our week and it’s important to make sure we use a client that makes our workflow as easy and efficient as possible. Cast your vote for your favorite client and leave a comment below telling us why you use the one that you do.
During Apple’s recent announcement of the “New iPad,” Tim Cook dropped the term “post-PC” so much that it became distracting. One thing is for sure, Apple wants to drill this concept into your brain. They know where the future of the industry is and they’re making dang sure you’re on board with their self-fulfilling prophecy.
According to some recent statistics from mobiThinking, Cook is right. They estimate that 25% of U.S. mobile web users are mobile-only, meaning their primary way of accessing the web fits nicely into their pocket.
Today we want to put some of these concepts to the test by asking which device you primarily use to access the web. Do you mostly browse on a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone? After you vote in the poll, leave a comment below telling us what you use and why.
Nothing gets the week started off right like a good old fashioned Microsoft vs. Apple debate. Once upon a time these were a staple in the Mac user’s daily life but these days we focus much more on Google and Android as a major threat than crazy Ballmer and the gang in Redmond.
For a moment, let’s look back at Microsoft and ask a question that’s essential for every new Mac user: Office or iWork? If someone is faced with the choice of purchasing only one of these suites, which should it be and why?
Only a few years ago iWork was a new competitor in this game but it’s had more than enough time to rise to the challenge of taking on the formerly undisputed champion of documents. The question is, has it? On the other side, while iWork has been increasing in popularity, Microsoft has been hard at work making Office seem more at home on the Mac. Office now closely resembles Apple’s software in both functionality and appearance.
So which is better? You decide! Cast your vote in the poll and then leave a comment below defending your opinion.
The world of Twitter clients is an ongoing obsession of mine. The history of how third party developers have helped push the platform forward and then left the market disgruntled at how they’ve been treated by Twitter is fascinating. Looking back we can see Twitter’s strategy clearly: wait to see who makes the best apps and then buy them up. Clear category leaders Tweetie and TweetDeck are prime examples.
Now that Twitter has such a strong presence in the Twitter client game both on OS X and iOS, it’s interesting to see which clients still hold on and choose to compete with the official apps. Recently, Tweetbot for iPhone and iPad has gained a ton of popularity as users flock away from the recently watered-down official apps in favor of versatility and awesome design.
While we’re waiting on Tweetbot to hit the Mac, I thought it would be interesting to check in and ask about your current favorite Twitter client on OS X. There are a few major players in this category to choose from, vote in the poll to let us know which is your favorite.
Once you’ve voted, leave a comment below and let us know your favorite bygone Twitter apps. For instance, the first native Twitter client that I really loved was Nambu, after which I switched to Tweetie. I also really enjoyed Kiwi during its brief stint.