I’ll say this about my iPhone: it’s a lot easier to connect with people with it than it is while using a Mac. My Mac doesn’t have anywhere near the messaging options: there’s no Whisper or Facebook Messenger available for Mac, and iMessage is often a lukewarm offering at best (although I am grateful it’s there). Google Hangouts is abysmally bad in Chrome and my iPhone — much worse than Gmail Chat ever was, in my opinion — so I’ve rarely used it.
But it’s hard to simply swear all these apps off — after all, some people might not have my number, and for them, Facebook or Hangouts is the easiest way to get in touch. That’s why I was glad to try out Flamingo, a Mac app built from the ground up for Google Hangouts, Facebook messaging, and even XMPP. Is it worth the purchase? Read on to find out.
It would be fair to say that only one photography app can even claim to be king of them all – Instagram. Despite its daft requirement for images to be square, and its quirky filters – to give them a sympathetic description – it has revolutionized the way we share images, and has rapidly risen to be one of the most popular social networks in the world.
What makes these achievements even more remarkable is that this is a mobile-only platform, and for some time, it was an iOS exclusive too. Until Instagram’s surge in popularity, no other network creators had the bare-faced effrontery, let alone the skill and nous, to go mobile only. Facebook‘s recent $1bn acquisition of Instagram only highlights the brilliance of the people behind the app.
Whilst all this mobile stuff is very forward thinking, many of us have wished, over the years, for the ability to play with Instagram on a larger screen – on a computer, in other words. The current web-friendly version of Instagram’s website is the closest we’ve ever got to an official desktop environment, so it is little wonder that independent developers have stood up to fill the gap.
One such developer, FIPLAB, has created InstaReel for Instagram, a $2.99 native Mac Instagram browser. Without image uploading – the critical part of the Instagram experience – though, can InstaReel truly be better than just using your phone? Time to find out…
One of the many cool new features that we got with Mountain Lion was native integration from the OS to services like Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and Flickr, as well as Apple’s own Messages and Airdrop. Haven’t checked them out? Try pulling up the Notification Center and check out those “Tweet” and “Post to Facebook” buttons, or right click anything inside the Finder and go to the “Share” submenu. Cool, huh?
Unfortunately, sharing to those services is kind of limited to a few places in the OS, like the ones that I mentioned. If you want to share something from your browser (if you don’t use Safari) or any other place, then you’re out of luck. Wouldn’t it be cool, then, to have an app that implemented these sharing dialogs system-wide? We’ve got it, and we’re checking it out today. It’s called Wrap.
I’ve tried more than a few Facebook menubar apps, because while I want to keep in touch, I don’t want to be constantly refreshing a browser or checking a separate window. It throws off my workflow and I inevitably end up playing Farmville, even if I just went there to look at a picture of a panda waving.
Keeping me off Facebook and on task is Glow for FB. It notifies me whenever something happens, but unlike a lot of other Facebook menubar apps, I can’t update my status or browse my News Feed. Glow removes that temptation while still keeping me connected. With this week’s release of Mac OS X 10.8.2 and new Facebook integration, though, there may not be a lot of use for Glow in the future. We’ll take a look and see if it has anything special to offer. (more…)
You’ve probably gotten invited to more than your share of Facebook events, and if you’re like me, you tend to lose track of them fairly quickly. Either you RSVP that you can’t make it, and when you change your mind, you can’t find the event to save your life, or you did let the organizer know you’d be coming but promptly forgot until Facebook reminded you the day of the event.
With seemingly everyone using Facebook events to plan everything from baby showers to beauty pageants, I’ve thought there has to be a better way. So did the developers of Going, a menubar app that keeps track of all your Facebook events for you and even syncs up with Calendar. With the ability to RSVP, create events, and event post to Facebook, is there anything Going can’t do? (more…)
This week has been a relatively quiet one in terms of app news (if you don’t count the Apple v Samsung legal battle) but we’ve still found a couple of stories for you to mull over this Sunday.
For what seems to be ages now, browser plug-ins and extensions have been improving the way we use browsers, and some go as far as to determine which browser we end up using as a default. These extensions not only improve the browser experience, but they also provide a way to interact with many other programs outside of your browser, rendering some applications less important.
Based on that fact, we have put together a great list of Safari Extensions that’ll make your web browsing experience more powerful, immersive, and incredibly social. Now, be aware that jamming too many plug-ins into your browser may make it run slower, or take more time to start up, so make sure to only install the ones you really want. With that said, have a look at some of the most useful Safari Extensions below.