Posts Tagged

os x

Apple’s brought a number of iOS features back to the Mac, and some of them are really great. I happen to love the new iBooks for Mac (even though, oddly enough, I preferred the old version of iBooks for iOS), and both Reminders and Notes are a nice little addition even if they’re not the apps I use for their respective functions. But some of the new features just aren’t as useful on the Mac — Game Center, for instance, is likely an app you never open on the Mac.

But there’s another OS X addition that’s both useful and not at the same time: Notifications and their home, Notification Center. I like the native notifications for OS X and rely on them throughout the day, and the new interactive notifications are a rather nice addition even if they’re not something I use that much. But Notification Center is simply something I have to clear out every so often since I’m a neat freak. I never go there to check for things I missed, and the few times I accidentally open it I notice dozens of long-past notifications that just need cleared out. Usually, I’ll see a Mac notification and it gives me the info I need, so there’s no reason I’d need to click on it for it to do its job. And yet, that unclicked notification will end up in Notification Center waiting for me to clean it up.

So I wonder: do the rest of you use Notification Center? Do you check it regularly, or would you be just fine with only plain notifications and no Notification Center to keep track of missed ones? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

I’ve written this review twice now. The first time was in the heat of the moment. I was excited about Knock — a new app that was getting a lot of hype from the usual tech pundits, and I was enjoying it after just a few minutes of use. I was typing wildly like I was on a bender.

But then I told myself to calm down. Knock was cool, yes. But did it deserve my excessive praise? I figured I should let it soak in for a few days and see how it goes; analyze the app and see what solution it solves. And now that I’ve cooled off a bit, what’s the verdict? Well … (more…)

It’s been a busy week for Apple fans. We knew Apple had a lot more to cover with this week’s announcement, and were rather certain that OS X Mavericks would be released sometime this week. There was the hint at WWDC of a new iWork and possibly iLife, but we wouldn’t have been way too surprised if the new versions hadn’t been announced. And yet they were, along with upgraded MacBook Pros — with the Mac Pro’s release date left as the final known Apple puzzle of the year.

Price was the theme this time, with Mavericks, iWork, and iLife all going free, the MacBook Pro and Retina Display MacBook Pro both had $200 shaved off their price, and the Mac Pro’s announced price of $2,999 is cheaper than you can build a similar PC right now. And yet, everyone’s not happy. OS X Mavericks is pretty great, but some of its includes apps such as iBooks weren’t quite as power user friendly as we would have hoped. That trend continued, with GarageBand X gaining nice new features but losing its pro tools, and Pages and Keynote looking sharper than before but losing AppleScript and most OpenType support, among other issues. The new Mac Pro would make anyone think Apple was more interested in pro users than ever, and yet their software choices make us question that pro users commitment.

All in all, I happen to like most of the new software, and am hopeful Apple will bring back some of the currently missing pro features. They’ve done that before with Final Cut Pro X, and they just might again. But what’s your thoughts on the new apps this week? Are you enjoying Mavericks and the new iWork, or sticking to your current apps for now? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

15 months after OS X Mountain Lion was released, Apple’s upgraded the OS that started it all. This time, though, it’s the name of a surfing location in California that graces the latest OS X instead of another cat name — but then, it is hard to top a Lion when it’s the king of cats.

So OS X Mavericks 10.9 it is. It’s the last OS before Apple either decided to use a two digit number after 10 or bumps the number up to 11 — or totally rebrands it as OS Xi, my personal favorite prediction. And instead of being a sweeping UI overhaul of the OS like the dramatic changes in iOS 7, OS X Mavericks is a release that’s almost not noticeable at first. You could use a Mac running Mavericks and not notice it wasn’t running Mountain Lion if you weren’t looking close — it’s that similar.

And yet, it’s not the same. Mavericks is a core release that makes OS X faster, more power efficient, and brings some great new apps and power user features along for the ride. It’s the foundation of things to come, and yet, it’s going to be a great OS for the next year in the mean time. And it’s 100% free for all Macs, so there’s no reason not to upgrade.

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I’m always somewhat amused at the attention screenshot tools get on the Mac. Back when I used a PC every day, a 3rd party screenshot and quick image editing tool was quite the necessity. Saying Prnt Scrn and Paint didn’t quite cut it is the understatement of the decade. But on the Mac, there’s an embarrassment of riches for screenshots and quick editing built into your Mac, for free.

Frustrated about Realmac’s new replacement for LittleSnapper, Ember? Think Skitch 2 isn’t as good as it used to be? Here’s why Preview is the best built-in app on the Mac, and why you shouldn’t even worry about finding a replacement for either of them.
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At the opening keynote of their World Wide Developer Conference, Apple wasted no time in introducing dozens of improvements to OS X as part of their 10.9 Mavericks release. And no, a Maverick isn’t a big cat you’ve never heard of, it’s the first in their series of releases named for places in Apple’s home, California. But the changes in OS X extend far beyond a new naming convention reaching to all corners of the OS with everything from a more refined (leather-free) interface to new power management under the hood allowing all day battery life on some MacBooks.

Read on to find out more.
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Twitter has hit something of a boom recently. From a small tech startup in San Francisco a mere seven years ago, it has blossomed to one of the largest social networks globally and the tenth most visited site on the Net. The influence of Twitter can be seen everywhere — from TV shows with hashtags in the corner to big companies promoting their brands and products with @names and hashtags — and the words “retweet” and “follower” have entered the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary as proper English words.

The Mac certainly isn’t left out here and you’ll be glad to know that there’s plenty of choice when it comes to Twitter clients. In this roundup, I take a look at eight of the best and weigh up the pros and cons of each one. If you’re unsure about which Twitter client to use, or simply fancy switching to another one, then read on for my recommendations.

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In Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple introduced what appeared to be a pretty promising feature called AirDrop. The goal was simple: to let you simply share files across your local network without the need for emails, flash drives, or complicated setups. Unfortunately, despite their efforts to bring the Mac and iOS to some level of feature parity, over two years later, AirDrop is still a Mac only feature.

Enter Instashare, an app which claims to be “AirDrop for iOS and OSX”, and plans to add Windows and Android versions in the near future. So, did the developers behind Instashare really beat Apple at their own game? Read on to find out!

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If Apple keeps up with its new annual OS X release cycle, then we should be expecting to see a new cat roaring on our Macs before the end of 2013. Mountain Lion was released last July, and its claim to fame was bringing more iOS features to OS X. iCloud, Notes, Dictation, Reminders, and more came as a reminder (pun not intended) that iOS was Apple’s more well-known and widely used operating system these days.

There’s little more from iOS we can imagine that Apple would bring to the Mac, aside from Siri and possibly Maps (oh, and iBooks), but there’s quite a few power user features that iOS users are clamoring for in iOS 7. If anything, it seems that Apple needs to bring some Mac features to iOS this year.

That’s not to say there’s nothing for OS X 10.9 to conquer this year. At the very least, I’d love to see a vastly improved iCloud and Messages, perhaps Siri, Maps, and iBooks, and some much needed love for older OS X apps like Automator. It’d also be great to be surprised with some new, OS X only features, stuff to make Macs stand out even more than they already do from the competition – and Apple’s iOS devices. iWork and iLife could desperately use a new upgrade as well, though that’s hardly a core part of OS X.

With Jony Ive the head of Apple’s software design, it’ll be interesting at the very least to see what design changes, if nothing else, show up in the next version of OS X. So what are you hoping to see in the OS X 10.9? It may just be wishing, but we’d sure love to see what you hope to see from Apple this year in the comments below!

In recent iterations of iOS — Apple’s mobile operating system for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad — and in recent versions of OS X on the desktop, you will undoubtedly have noticed a move towards visual elements that mimic real-life objects. The ruled, yellow notepaper for the Notes app, the torn-paper effect at the top of the stitched, leather-bound Calendar app, and more are examples of this.

These software design elements mimicking real world objects have introduced a new word into our vocabularies: skeuomorphism. Such effects have, however, divided opinion, and it is just possible that we will see Apple shift away from these elements in future.

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