Posts Tagged

weeklypoll

Last week we published an article that got a lot of meaningful discussion going about menu bar apps. In it we outlined the all too common problem of the overflowing menu bar for MacBook users and discussed whether or not the best solution to the problem was to tell users that they are being overzealous or present developers with the request to give us more control over whether a given app appears in the menu or dock.

Today we’re following that up with a poll that simply asks how many third party menu bar apps you typically run at any given time. Are you picky about what earns a spot in your menu bar or are you a menu bar app addict who simply can’t get enough? We want to know!

After you vote, leave a comment below and let us know which menu bar apps you currently have open. Don’t cheat and take the time to open or close any, just take a gander at the top of your screen and give an honest account of what’s currently up there. Which are your favorites? Which do you think you could live without?

Ten years ago, the single most used argument I heard against Macs was the lack of available games. It used to be the case that PC gaming was almost entirely dominated by Windows machines with Mac users being much more likely to be found running Photoshop than Half Life.

These days it’s quite a different story. Between browser-based games, the now Mac-friendly Steam network, the Mac App Store and the widespread acceptance of Macs among college aged individuals, the world of Mac users is quickly becoming positively full of gamers of all types: from casual pig smashing bird throwers to hardcore RPG addicts.

Today we want to know if you’re riding the Mac gamer revolution. Vote in the poll on the right and tell us how often you play games on your Mac. Afterwards, leave a comment below and let us know your favorite games. Also, if you answered “never” tell us why not!

Once upon a time, the Apple Mouse was just another reason for Windows PC users to hate Macs. Putting aside bizarre physical designs like the hockey puck, Macs seemed stubborn in their insistence on a primitively simple input device. When PC users were enjoying multiple buttons and even scroll wheels, we were still rolling our eyes and wondering why they needed anything more than one universal button.

When the Mighty Mouse came, many Mac users, including myself, realized that the PC folks might have been right about fancy mice. Having multiple clickable controls and a dedicated input for scrolling turned out to be a significant improvement!

Unfortunately, the scroll ball turned out to be the most frequently failing thing Apple had designed since the G4 Cube. Some users suggested rolling it on paper, others literally gave weekly toothbrush treatments to the cursed thing, just about everyone was forced to admit that it was a lousy piece of hardware.

After decades, it seems Apple has finally gotten in right. The Magic Mouse is, hands down, the best mouse I’ve ever used. Though some still complain about the shape being not ergonomic enough, I’ve used it extensively since it was first released with zero issues. Multi-touch scrolling is a dream (no ball!) and the bonus of gestures is far beyond what I could’ve hoped for in a mouse.

However, some still insist that third party tools are the way to go. Still others are content to use a trackpad 100% of the time and have absolutely no need for a mouse. The Magic Trackpad is certainly a fantastic input device and offers desktop Mac owners even more versatility and functionality than the Magic Mouse.

Today we want to know what you use for input on your Mac. Are you a purist, bent on only using Apple products or do you have a third party input device? Do you mostly use a mouse or a trackpad?

For my part, I use my Magic Mouse most of the time and my MacBook’s trackpad when I’m not at my desk. After you vote, leave a comment below telling us about your setup! Which products do you own and use?

As new technologies like HTML5 and CSS3 become more prevalent, your choice of browser is becoming more important than ever. Browsers differ not only on their overall UI experience and feature base, but also in their support of newer standards and practices in web development.

Today we want to know which side you stand on in the browser wars. Vote in the poll on the right and let us know which option you use most frequently. If your browser isn’t listed, write it in!

After you vote, leave a comment below defending your answer. Do you prefer Webkit or Mozilla browsers? Or perhaps you like the unique offerings of another system like Opera. We want to know!

As for me, I’ve been a Safari fan since the early days of the browser. I’ve done my fair share of skipping around though, I spent six months as a Camino user a few years ago and recently had extended experiences with Chrome and Rockmelt, in the end I’m not entirely sure why I end up back in Safari but I always do!

Last week Steve Jobs announced that he was stepping down as CEO of Apple Inc. and passing the torch to his successor, Tim Cook. To put it mildly, Mr. Cook has some pretty large shoes to fill.

The last time Jobs left Apple, his replacements nearly ran the company into the ground. Profits were in the red, Microsoft had won the marketshare game and Apple’s stock price was at an all-time low. Steve came back as interim CEO in a sort of temporary fourth down Hail Mary that proved so successful that he stayed in the position for another fourteen years. Steve put Apple back on the map, made it the highest valued company on the planet and completely revolutionized a few industries along the way.

Fortunately, this time Steve was very active in surrounding himself with extremely talented people, such as former COO Tim Cook. Most industry experts see a positive outlook for Apple in the next few years, confident that people like Cook, Schiller, Ive and Forstall are more than competent enough to continue Apple’s reign.

Today we want to know what you think. Will Tim Cook, who has actually been filling in as CEO for quite some time, be able to lead Apple into a prosperous and exciting future or will we see a repeat of the 90s?

When Dashboard widgets first debuted in OS X Tiger, I was immediately hooked. It was a lot like the precursor to iPhone app addiction. There were all these cool little utilities that performed tons of useful and entertaining functions. In no time at all I had a Dashboard full of widgets. I even went so far as to learn to break into certain widgets so I could customize the interface, add different sounds and perform other tomfoolery.

My fascination was fairly short lived. The “out of sight, out of mind” theory kicked in quickly and I soon began going entire weeks and months without so much as a glance at any of my widgets. Before long I closed them all down to save on memory.

These days I leave a few widgets open: weather, iStat and Google Analytics, but I rarely remember to check on them. However, the new Dashboard swipe gesture in Lion has reminded me to check on my old friend Dashboard more frequently.

It seems though that most developers have lost interest in the feature, even Apple doesn’t go out of their way to showcase widgets like they used to. In practice, Dashboard seems like an abandoned project but one that Apple is cautious about removing altogether. How long before Apple kills Dashboard completely or gives it a refresh good enough to bring it back into the spotlight? Perhaps a widget section of the Mac App Store could breathe new life into an old feature?

I’d like to know what you think of Dashboard. Cast your vote in the poll and let us know whether or not you even use it anymore. After that, leave a comment below with your opinions about what should be done with Dashboard. Is it fine the way it is? Should Apple abandon it? Should there be an App Store for widgets?

The beloved Mac OS dock has been around for ages. Before Alfred, Spotlight or even Quicksilver, the dock was our solution for quickly launching applications. In fact, seriously old school Mac users will remember Launcher, a similar utility dating back to before OS X and the dock we know now even existed. In fact, maybe Launchpad is just Launcher resurrected, but I digress.

Though I’m definitely more prone to turn to Alfred these days for my app launching needs, I still like to maintain a nice dock: a handful of apps, neatly categorized and separated with spacers, zero magnification. I have a close friend who is the opposite. His dock is positively overflowing with apps set at the smallest size with a large magnification on hover.

Today we want to know about your dock-related tendencies. Use the poll on the right to say how many apps you keep in the dock and then leave a comment below about your setup. Are the apps organized? Do you use spacers or magnification? How about custom artwork?

In Lion, the Spaces feature has been replaced by Mission Control, one central location with some major window management capabilities (Exposé shortcuts are still available).

We recently published an article on Making the Most of Mission Control and would love to know how you’re getting along with the new system.

I think the best way to judge your acceptance of Mission Control is by noting how much you actually use it on a day to day basis. Is it a novelty feature that you forget exists (Dashboard anyone?) or is it something that you use constantly and couldn’t live without?

Cast your vote in the poll and then leave a comment below about why you love or hate it and if you miss any functionality from Snow Leopard.

Now that Lion has been out for a while, many of us have downloaded it on our primary computers and are now using the operating system full-time. As far as stability goes, the reports that we’re receiving are a bit scattered.

For my part, Lion roars along nicely. I upgraded the day it launched and apart from an initial slowdown while Spotlight finished indexing, I can’t say that I’ve run into a single major issue that couldn’t be addressed in a few minutes or less (even on my ancient 2007 MacBook).

However, I’ve heard several people, including some of our own writers, describe OS X Lion as an “extremely buggy” and all around unstable release. Given the variety of different Mac setups that exist, there are bound to be some pretty disparate experiences from users. Today we want to know what you think. Is Lion solid as a rock or one big, buggy mess?

Cast your vote in the poll and then leave a comment below telling us about some of the persistent problems you’ve run into and what machine you’re running.

Choosing between a default Mac utility and a more powerful third party client is always difficult. Tighter system integration and the “free” aspect are on your side with the built-in tool, but there’s often a shortage of the kind of powerful features that a freestanding application offers.

Font management is a perfect example of this. Font Book is a decent way to manage your fonts, but creative professionals and anyone else who deals with fonts daily might find it fairly lacking.

Today we want to know how you manage your font library. Do you use third party software or have you stuck with the tools that Apple has provided? Cast your vote above, then leave a comment letting us know which font management apps you’ve tried and which you like the best.

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