Posts tagged with "mac"

The Mac Gamer

A great retrospective on Mac gaming by Jeremy Parish:

Mac games were actually pretty weird and unique in the olden days, and I actually could see someone being a Macintosh-exclusive gamer in the ’80s. The platform offered (1) mouse-based controls and (2) no color, or at least no guarantee of color support until they stopped selling the Mac SE and pre-PPC PowerBook lines in the mid-’90s. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mac games felt a little different from console and DOS counterparts. Another factor there came from the fact that Macintosh had system-level support for graphics, it using a visual interface and all, whereas other computers kind of needed to be tricked in various degrees before they’d display images.

I'd argue that the Mac App Store has helped in facilitating distribution of modern Mac games, although, from a gamer's perspective, it's still inferior to other services – especially for clarifying hardware requirements.

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Fileup Simplifies Dropbox Sharing with Drag & Drop and File Filters

Developed by Francisco Cantu, Fileup is a new OS X utility that lets you quickly share files through Dropbox by dragging them onto a menu bar icon. Unlike other apps that have implemented the same sharing mechanism and user interaction (which Dropbox surprisingly doesn't support with their own menu bar app), Fileup adds filters for file types, integrates with Notification Center, and lets you set up templates for naming files through a simple syntax. The idea is reminiscent of Vemedio's shortlived Sharebox experiment, but, as required by Dropbox, Fileup is a separate menu bar utility that doesn't interact with the official Dropbox client.

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Tweetbot for Mac Updated with Support for Multiple Twitter Images

Following an update released on iOS last month, Tweetbot for Mac has been updated to version 1.6 today, adding support for multiple images shared through Twitter's sharing service. The update also includes a "Play" button for Instagram thumbnails and various bug fixes.

Support for multiple Twitter images mirrors the implementation of the iPhone app, with inline previews for tweets that contain multiple photos and the ability to share multiple images at once by attaching them (up to four) to the compose box. Tweets with multiple images show a carousel in their detail views, and, on OS X, you can click on the image indicators to move across pictures manually. Both on iOS and OS X, Tweetbot still doesn't support Twitter's animated GIFs, introduced by the company in June.

Tweetbot for Mac 1.6 is available on the Mac App Store.


Tools to Organize Browser Tabs for Mac Users

Here’s a strategy that you might consider trying: Prepare some tools which can, at the moment you’re ready, put all those tabs exactly where you need them so you can close those tabs. If most of those tabs are really your to-do list, line them up in one window and then get them into your actual to-do list. I’ve found that if your tools are easy to use, you’ll be more likely to make it a part of your routine.

Justin Lancy has created a great collection of tools to export browser tabs on a Mac. These tools include AppleScripts and downloadable Alfred and LaunchBar extensions, and they support apps like Evernote, OmniFocus, and Reminders – for both Safari and Chrome.

I have installed the Alfred extension to export a list of tabs to Evernote, and it works very well. Check out Justin's tools for browser tabs here.

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OS X Yosemite Overview

Apple today unveiled OS X Yosemite, the next major version of their Mac operating system. Introduced by Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, Yosemite brings a big new redesign to the Mac that is reminiscent of last year's iOS 7 redesign. Continuity between OS X and iOS is also a huge aspect to the Yosemite release, including a so-called 'Handoff' feature, instant hotspots, and support for making phone calls and sending text messages from a Mac. Beyond that, Notification Center now includes the 'Today' view from iOS (with support for widgets), a brand new 'Spotlight' and big improvements to Mail, Safari and the new iCloud Drive.

 “Yosemite is the future of OS X with its incredible new design and amazing new apps, all engineered to work beautifully with iOS,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We engineer our platforms, services and devices together, so we are able to create a seamless experience for our users across all our products that is unparalleled in the industry. It’s something only Apple can deliver.”

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Deckset Empowers You To Create Great Presentations From Your Text Editor Of Choice

We've all been there: bored out of our minds in a meeting because someone has put together a PowerPoint presentation with about ten million words written on each slide and their speech comprises of them just (struggling) to read the slides. But as easy as it is to criticise people for doing this, the truth is, it can actually be really hard to make a great PowerPoint or Keynote presentation. Deckset, a new app on the Mac App Store, aims to make it just a little bit easier to create something great when it is your turn to present. Read more


Tweetbot for Mac Updated with Large Thumbnails Option, Three-Finger Gesture Fix

Tweetbot for Mac, Tapbots' desktop version of its popular Twitter client, was updated last night with support for a new large thumbnail option in the timeline, a refreshed design of inline image previews, and a fix for three-finger gestures.

Following Tweetbot 3.3 for iPhone, Tweetbot 1.5 for Mac adds large thumbnails as an option in the app's Preferences. Large thumbnails retain the capability of being right-clicked to access a contextual menu, and they bring a slightly redesigned preview in the tweet detail view as well. In my tests, loading large thumbnails with proper resolution required deleting Tweetbot's account cache under Preferences > Account.

For users who enabled three-finger navigation gestures on their Macs, Tweetbot will now respect that setting and allow to swipe with three fingers to navigate back and forth between tweets, timelines, and other views of the app.

Tweetbot for Mac is available at $19.99 on the Mac App Store. You can read our original review here.


Google Music for Mac Brings the Web Player to the Desktop

One of the least talked about music services is Google’s Play Music service, a combination music store and digital locker that can match up to 20,000 songs from your local library and stream them to your devices over the web for free. With All Access, you can stream Google’s entire catalog of music for $9.99 a month.

I’ve dabbled with the service before, using it with my previous storage limited MacBook and giving it an honest shot when away from home. The service has some nice touches, such as a miniature spectrum visualizer that designates the currently playing track and album in a variety of views, thumbs-up and thumbs-down ratings in contrast to stars, and instant mixes that create Genius-like playlists from your music library on the fly. I’ve always thought the player itself was good, and it’s certainly a usable alternative to iTunes for those listening on their work machine or Chromebook. The separate manager for matching songs is a little clumsy, but it’s not a deal breaker.

While the service offers a proper mobile experience on iOS and Android, the desktop experience is limited to the browser. At least that was until Google Music for Mac, an open source application that wraps the experience in a native player and binds the app to your Mac’s media keys.

The app lets you play your music Library through its native experience or, like Fluid, simply present the web app in a window. The experience largely reminds of Pocket for Mac, with the Google Play logo, search, and popover menus comprising the native wrapper.

I like the player. While I don’t see the purpose of including a button for other Google apps, the player rightfully does Google’s service justice on the desktop. You’ll have to log into the app using your username and password, and for those who are security conscious, the app does display your email address in the top right. Regardless, the app itself does a swell job of presenting your music (and Free from Google tunes) in a presentable interface. Small touches reformat the sidebar into something more appealing for OS X. All the little details from the web service have been carried over as-is, such as how album artwork fades into view, how soft shadows bring artists and albums forward, and Google's distinct orange highlights. Shortcuts are peppered throughout the app, letting you create playlists or jump to an artist view without having to go through library links or categories. Highlighting the scrubber brings up the play timer, and takes to you whatever point in the song you click.

The app’s free to download from Google Music for Mac’s project page, letting you skip Github if you're not interested in the repository.

Download it here.

[Hat tip @smileykeith]