What’s Hot: Six Things

Josh’s post yesterday, Five Slick Menu Bar Apps for Controlling iTunes, reminded me how much love there is for menu bar apps. Particularly those with the purpose of controlling (taming) iTunes (the beast).

Today we’ll be looking at which iTunes controller came out as AppStorm favourite, the new Mac apps released this week, and why you should buy Apple stock, amongst a host of other exciting things (NOTE: I’m in no way qualified to give financial advice, that was a joke). In the inimitable words of Dave Dameshek, let it begin!


This is the third episode in feature series called ‘What’s Hot’ that will look to give you something interesting to chew on at the end of the week. We’ll look at any great new Mac apps (including editor and reader favourites), interesting pieces of news, and other miscellaneous artifacts…

Six Things

1. iTunes Menu Bar Apps

Back in September Josh lamented the overuse of menu bar apps, encouraging developers to give options to the user about their appearance. However, one type of menu bar app that’s always a good bet to make the grade is the ever-beneficial iTunes controller.

There was considerable love for You Control Tunes, which Josh commended as an amazingly fully featured free app that allows you all the control you could want and more. It comes out as the current reader favourite, especially considering its tempting price-point…

I, personally, like to use Alfred (you’ve probably heard mention of Alfred before) to get iTunes under control. Global hotkeys are where it’s at! I will admit that I got a little carried away at first, though, assigning commands to already regularly used shortcuts – naively saying to myself “I should use command T for something,” only to open Twitter instead of a new tab.

2. 25 Marvellous Mac Menu Bar Apps & Utilities

For those who want to want to go beyond controlling iTunes in their Menu Bar, this is a great start. It’s a post from April, but still an excellent place to start! Dave even went above and beyond, including videos for each app!

Below is a video of the simple, but useful, Caffeine in use.

3. Droplr

Sticking with the theme, Droplr was just released in the Mac App Store – making it that much easier to download right now! In a Weekly Poll just over a week ago people seemed to be preferring CloudApp over Droplr, does this go towards levelling the playing field?

I do rather like the icon…

4. Limbo

It wasn’t just released, but it’s still got that fresh feeling about it! We reviewed Limbo this week and Jorge noted how;

Limbo really focuses on absorbing you into the gorgeous landscape and story, creating a most enjoyable gameplay experience.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Limbo

Check out the review, play the game, and tell us what you think?

5. Games on OS X

Just over a week ago I took a quick poll on Twitter, asking the question: for playing games on your Mac do you prefer Steam or the MAS?

It seemed the majority of people preferred to play games using Steam, if only because it allowed them more freedom and there’s a great community there. The games category of the MAS is growing at a steady pace, new games such as Limbo being a case-in-point, but the quality of titles can’t yet match that of Steam. When the big hitters are available on both, which will you prefer?

The soaring of Apple’s market cap drives home just how far Apple is from being the underdog. Even Mac sales, a more modest (?) proportion of Apple’s revenue, are consistently growing – how long before the Mac gets the deserved attention of games developers?

An amusing side note courtesy of MG Siegler, Apple’s iPhone business alone is larger than all of Microsoft’s businesses combined.

6. Tim’s Back

Number six is a bonus. For those of you that have played, and inevitably loved, the games of Tim Schafer (my personal favourite was Grim Fandango), it’s only good news that it’s his project that’s currently breaking records on Kickstarter. They’ve already smashed the $1,000,000 mark and are only a couple of days in!

I thought I’d include this for two reasons;

  1. It’s interesting to see a huge project by a game studio being crowd-funded. Perhaps they’ll release a version for the MAS?
  2. There are some pretty ridiculous premium pledges available, the Double Fine website is worth a look! My particular favourite being either $35,000 for an undoctored picture of Ron Gilbert smiling, or $50,000 to become an actual character in the game.

You can even make a pledge that includes a mini portrait of you, painted by the game's artist!


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