Haven’t you ever dreamed about one day just out of nowhere pointing your finger at the globe and taking the next plane to the location that is selected? It’s a crazy idea, but we all have that adventurous side deep down that tells us to just go out and do it.
Fed up with the nasty sound of your traditional alarm clock? That annoying beeping that rouses you in the middle of the night and does not really help to start a day in a good fashion?
Why not use what you’ve already got? The music in your iTunes library, Spotify or other music services combined with your Mac? Sleepytime lets you set exactly the song you want to hear when you go to sleep or wake up.
Journals or diaries are a great way to look back on things that you’ve done. You probably think that you don’t need to write down what you experience because you will remember it in the future, but if you try to look back now on anything you’ve done, I can guarantee you there’ll be some spots where your memory will fail you.
That’s why taking pictures when you’re traveling and just keeping a daily journal is a great idea if you care about having it there for posteriority. There are quite a few apps for the Mac that seek to simplify and improve that process, and today we’ll be reviewing one of them called “Chronories”. Let’s take a look!
As we move to more and more things becoming digital, it’s not surprising that we can now have cookbooks as eBooks and even as apps on our Macs. And thanks to integrated technologies cooking apps don’t have to simply hold a recipe, but can include detailed photos of ingredients and step-by-step tutorials.
The Photo Cookbook makes it deliciously easy, to fix any kind of dish and it does so with beautiful images and easy to follow instructions. Learn after the break how this app can bring you on your way to be the chef in your kitchen.
If you enjoy sports and workout regularly, you might already be keeping track of your exercise with one or more of the excellent online services available to you: Runkeeper, DailyMile, Garmin Connect among them. These services are great: they can really help you to gain insight into your performance, and to plot and plan improvements.
Some of us, though, prefer not to upload all our data online; it might be that you’re not particularly interested in the social networking benefits these services offer; or you’re concerned about possible privacy issues (you might not want the maps of your runs available to anybody). And so you might prefer to find an option that keeps the information local, storing it on your Mac. If that describes you, you’ll be interested in hearing about rubiTrack, a mature app that does an excellent job of recording and tracking your workouts.
Join me after the jump for a walkthrough of its main features.
Despite Apple’s near-domination of the digital media world with iTunes, Macs have never really had a stand-out solution for watching video – iTunes supports approximately 0 codecs, Front Row is pretty cumbersome, and standalone video players like QuickTime or VLC require far too much rooting around in my movies folders to find the movie I want. I’m looking for an easy-to-use, beautiful piece of software which will make watching movies on my Mac a pleasure.
This is where Plex comes in. As a firm favourite among movie-loving Mac users, Plex allows you to watch movies on your Mac from the comfort of your own sofa – It has support for the Apple Remote and accompanying iOS apps to improve the experience. To top it off, Plex even looks great. Could Plex be the media center app of my dreams? Let’s take a look!
This review should, in hindsight, be more of an obituary. As you are probably aware, Apple is planning to ditch Front Row from its latest release of Mac OS X, Lion. Why is anyone’s guess, but the fact that the last update for it was released in November 2009, I think we could all see it coming.
In comparison to other applications, Front Row is very basic and only offers a limited number of functions. Apple may want people to switch to the Apple TV, a small digital media receiver which did borrow heavily from Front Row, or maybe it ditched Front Row because of the rise of other, third-party media applications.
Boxee is one of these. Although the whole app and its interface had larger TVs in mind, it can still be used on desktops without too much trouble. Boxee has been around for a little while now – the public beta was released in January 2010 – however the application is still in its beta stage of development. It does boast a neat interface and some handy in-built features so even if you don’t have a large TV, you can still gain some use out of it on your computer.
Boxee is, in my opinion, the final nail in the coffin for Front Row. Read on to find out why.
The internet has opened up a whole new world of recipes, available to anyone, anytime, without the need for piles of sauce-stained cookbooks. With so many amazing recipes out there, it can be hard to keep track of your favourites. Some people are content to use bookmarks, but what if you want to keep your recipes more organized, or want to add recipes of your own?
MacGourmet is designed as an “iTunes for your recipes”, allowing you to import, store, sort and update a huge library of recipes. Can an app take the place of a stack of recipe books and loose hand-writen recipes? Find out after the jump.
Language learning has traditionally been quite a mundane task involving dense, boring textbooks and pointless grammar and vocabulary exercises. People only really learnt a language simply because they either had to at school, or because it was required by their employer.
However, last week I went into my local bookstore and I thought to myself that the demand for language learning must be there. There was a whole corner of the bookstore devoted to language learning, from Afrikaans to Zulu and the more popular languages such as French, German and Spanish often had whole bookcases to themselves – there must have been at least 5 different kinds of courses for each language.
People must obviously want to learn languages; otherwise bookshops wouldn’t be filling up their shelves with courses. But is learning a language out of a book now history? Can a computer really help us with some conversational Spanish before that trip to Madrid? Or maybe that big meeting with those investors from Germany?
Well, Rosetta Stone believes it can. It uses a technique called dynamic immersion, which is an intuitive new way of learning a foreign language and one that is radically different from all other programs.
It has certainly got a loyal fan base: NASA and the European Union both use it to teach foreign languages and the company offers a six-month risk-free guarantee on all their products, meaning you can return them within six months of purchase without any problems if you’re not completely satisfied with the results.
Rosetta Stone teaches a foreign language in the way babies start to learn talking: by listening to their parents and repeating every word they say and by relating words to pictures, much like during infant development. This method may seem a bit dumbed down for us adults, but I gave the Russian version of Rosetta Stone (a language which I had prior to this write-up absolutely no idea about) a go to see what the results were like. Read on for my full review.
Learning a foreign language is never an easy task. Especially for someone that has grown up speaking English his entire life (with the exception of a few Spanish classes in high school). Besides taking classes in school there are some other ways to learn another language. Books and software are the most common methods now days.
Human Japanese is one of those software methods. It is, however, much more immersive than the standard memorization method you may find in some books and other software applications. It does teach you terms and phrases but really aims to help you actually understand the language. For a language like Japanese this is no easy task, but it is essential.
I’ve taken Human Japanese for a spin to see how this application works.