Posts Tagged

beta

Email’s a tough thing to innovate, because — regardless of how much we complain about it — email is still the simplest way to send messages of any size to anyone on earth. It works. And so, we continue to use it with the apps we have, hoping that favorite apps like Sparrow will live to see another day.

Regardless of how the rest of our digital lives change, email seems destined to mostly stay the same. The best we can hope for, it seems, is tricks that make Mail.app a better email tool, and newer apps like Airmail that attempt to recapture Sparrow’s magic.

There’s one app, though, that’s trying a new approach to email: Unibox. Instead of being about your messages and reaching inbox zero, it’s about the people behind your messages. And now, it’s in public beta so everyone can try it out.

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It’s always an unpleasant surprise to find out that you’ve run out of space on your Mac’s hard drive. Just like our homes, things can get cluttered despite our best intentions to stay organized. Unlike our homes, however, the items on our computers that are guilty of taking up space aren’t always readily apparent. Old, bulky files can be hidden away in the dark recesses of your drive, and manually searching for the culprits can be a tedious process.

A few years ago, Software Ambience released the wildly popular DaisyDisk app to help us visualize what’s hogging the precious space on our drives. Now, the developers are set to release the much-anticipated 3.0 update to Daisy Disk, loaded with new features and improvements. What does the 3.0 version bring to the table?

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We all expected to see iOS 7 at the WWDC keynote. That one was a given. The next version of OS X was also practically a given, but didn’t seem nearly as anticipated. New Macs were a nice extra, that both weren’t surprising to see but none of us would have been that surprised if they hadn’t been included. A new version of iWork and iLife were hoped for, but again, we’d almost given up hope that Apple would have time for anything besides iOS 7.

But practically no one was expecting that Apple would spend a serious amount of time during the keynote talking about web apps. And yet they did. Apple, the company that almost entirely makes software just for its own devices took the time to show us how great their new iWork for iCloud apps worked in Chrome on Windows 8. iWork has always been seen as a distant runner-up to Microsoft Office, the 900lb gorilla in the room whenever you talk about apps for word processing, presentations, and spreadsheets. The very fact that the iPad doesn’t have Office has been used as an advertisement point for Microsoft’s Surface ads. But we all thought the discussion was long-since beyond Office, and we’ve all learned to get along very well without it, thank you very much.

Apple isn’t in the business of leaving well enough alone, though, and they’re taking their own Office competitor directly to Microsoft’s homefront. If you’ve stuck with Office simply because others won’t be able to preview your files if you use iWork — or if you’ve stayed away since you occasionally need to edit from a PC — here’s why iWork for iCloud just might be the best thing to happen to iWork yet. It’s a bold foray into Microsoft’s territory, just as Microsoft launches its own Office apps on the iPhone. (more…)

To most of our readers, our love of Alfred should be immediately apparent. It is one of those apps that is an integral part in so many of our workflows. I for one feel naked and lost working on a Mac without it. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to hear that I was giddy with the news that version 2 will soon be knocking on our eager doors.

In a recent blog post, Vero goes into a little detail, stating that version 2 has been secretly in the making for the past six months. The app has been rewritten from the ground up keeping very little of the original codebase and promises to be even more powerful, flexible and efficient. Vero also reassures Veteran users that they will still feel right at home in the new iteration of Alfred. Developers on the other hand, will have to tweak most of their existing extensions for them to work in the new version.

Details are still a little sketchy at this time but the team behind Alfred has promised to tantalise our senses in the coming weeks with sneak peaks of the new features. A beta of the new version is slated to be available sometime in January 2013, but it will only be available to Mega Supporters. If you haven’t yet bought a license then this would be the perfect time to do so, or alternatively you can upgrade your existing license and be part of all the fun when beta testing begins.

In the mean time, why not peruse some of our previous coverage of Alfred, where we delve into ways of making the best of it, or turning it into a top notch Notes Manager.

Since Adobe announced the beta for Photoshop CS6 a little over a week ago, it has been downloaded more than half a million times. Even if you’ve managed to miss the onslaught of tweets and reviews, the magnitude of eager testers should indicate how anxious photographers and designers were for an update to their beloved software.

A number of articles have been written that overview the new features and changes to CS6. After working with the beta every day for over a week, I will instead try to give my impressions on what features I find most useful and am actually incorporating into my workflow already. Read on to see what features have stood out to me.

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I’m sure you’re familiar with the many download managers available for Mac, such as JDownloader, Leech (which we reviewed in 2010) and others. The purpose of most of these apps is to help folks who have multiple downloads keep things neatly organized and packed into one app.

JDownloader even offers a special multi-link capability that lets you paste as many links as you wish into a box and the app will automatically start downloading them in order. This stuff is great for power users, but today I’m going to show you a new app that offers the same capability in a more simple manner, it’s called SpeedTao.
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We recently went over the best apps of 2011 and it’s safe to say that last year was an amazing time to be a Mac user. Not only did our favorite apps see major updates, there was a nice influx of brand new apps that were simply too good to pass up.

Today we want to reverse things and start looking forward instead of reviewing what has already come. We’ll introduce you to ten apps that are going to make big waves in 2012. Interestingly enough, most of them happen to be geared towards designers and web developers so if you fit that description, you’ll definitely want to take a look! We’ll also look at an awesome new Google Reader app, what’s in store for Spotify and even get a glimpse of the gem that 6Wunderkinder has been keeping up its sleeve.

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A few weeks ago, Apple gave a sneak peak of the next version of Mac OS X, 10.7 Lion. Not a whole lot was revealed about the new operating system beyond a new way to access applications dubbed Mission Control (Dashboard + Expose + iOS-style application launcher).

One of the bigger announcements was the introduction of an App Store for Mac OS X. The same way you browse the App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad applications, you can now purchase, download and install applications for your computer.

With the overwhelming success of the iOS App Store, an App Store for the Mac seems like a natural progression. Not only will it provide a seamless way of browsing and installing applications for the end user, it allows Apple to snag a piece of Mac application sales.

Many things have already been said about the Mac App Store since it’s announcement. Questions have been asked and answers have been speculated. No one really knows how it will turn out, we can only guess based on the continuing success of the iOS App Store and the recently released guidelines.

There are certainly a number of benefits to such a system, for both the user and the developer. There are certainly a few things to be wary about as well…

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Skype is one of those programs that is used by almost everyone in one way or another. Whether you have it open all day, or just fire it up to chat with family when you’re away on holiday, most Mac users will have encountered it at some point.

Last week, Skype announced the release of a new Beta for Mac users – Skype 5.0. This new version takes a radical departure from the old Skype interface, in an effort to adopt a “one window” approach and make using the app much simpler.

Although I really like the thinking behind this new version – tighter OS X integration, and a simpler interface – I was really disappointed with a few aspects of the design. Most notably the spacing between elements, which quickly becomes a complete nightmare if you have a long list of contacts.

At the very least, I’d have expected an option to scale down the font size, or switch to a more compact view. At present, it feels like the “one window” approach uses up twice as much desktop space, while only showing half the information I’m used to.

If you haven’t tried it yet, download the beta and let us know what you think! Do you agree with me, or are you impressed with the new, roomier interface?

I’m pleased to announce that we have secured 500 invites to try out the beta of a new OS X Twitter client – QFeeder. The application takes a unique approach, attempting to analyse and prioritise messages based on their content and your previous actions. It’s a departure from the standard format of a Twitter client, and certainly adds an interesting twist.

Read on for a short Q & A session with the developer, and a link to access one of our 500 beta codes. Don’t delay, as they’ll be snapped up quickly!

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