Last week, I ordered a new MacBook Air from Apple’s website. My MacBook Pro was getting old, so I decided it was time for an upgrade — and the new MacBook Airs looked like a worthy upgrade. As with the Apple online store’s tradition, the computer showed up at my doorstep in roughly three days. As soon as I got it, I opened it up, set up my personal information, and connected it to the Internet to start downloading my first apps. I was at my office, and in less than two hours I had my new MacBook Air up and running with my favorite applications, Dropbox, work documents, and so forth. A few hours later, when it was time to go home for dinner, I took my MacBook Air, got home, and placed it on the desk in my room. Thirty minutes later, I opened the MacBook’s lid again, fired up Spotify and Google Chrome, launched MacStories’ internal chat URL, and opened iTunes to check for app updates. Sure, the computer was new, but the pattern of actions that followed the opening of the lid wasn’t uncommon: this is what I do every day after dinner. I fire up some music, talk to my co-workers overseas, and browse iTunes. My laptop may be changing location travelling from my office to my house and everything in between (usually a coffee shop downtown), but the workflow is the same.
Keyboard Maestro 6.0 Adds Syncing, Browser Actions, Device Triggers, And More
TextExpander Touch 2.0 Brings Fill-In Snippets, Formatted Text To iOS
#MacStoriesDeals – Monday
Google Launches “Hangouts” Messaging Service for iOS, Android, and Web
Pixelmator 2.2 Blueberry
If monitoring bandwidth and network usage on a Mac is your thing, Conceited Software’s latest app might just be what you need. Rubbernet is a €30 tool that can be installed on a local machine and networked Macs (unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be support for Hamachi computers just yet) and provides an easier solution to more complex applications like Little Snitch, which besides network monitoring also offers firewall functionalities and lots of settings to play with on an app-by-app basis. Rubbernet, powered by a nice interface design and a daemon that runs in the background all the time on your Mac, allows you to see what apps are consuming bandwidth on your computers, and what kind of connections to remote servers are being established.
The app supports multiple accounts (as you can see in the screenshot above), but I haven’t been able to test it with another Mac on my local network. The Summary app gives you a glimpse of all the active apps that are connected to the Internet, including upload and download rates. The Connections and Activity tabs, on the other hand, will show you all the single IP addresses your Mac is connecting to including, in the case of single applications under Activity, a breakdown of all remote hosts, open ports, and a graphical visualization of downloads and uploads over time. These graphs update in real-time, with a minimal footprint on your Mac’s memory.
You can download Rubbernet here. A free trial is available, so you should check it out and see whether the app can recognize your networked Macs and improve the way you keep network usage under control. No one wants to let Dropbox eat all the bandwidth during an Apple event.
[Disclaimer: Conceited Software's Rubbernet is a MacStories advertiser. This is not a sponsored review, as it's entirely based on my personal experience with the app.] (more…)
Back in September we talked about Frenzy, nothing more than a teaser at the time that was promising to bring a “Dropbox-based social network” to the Mac. Today, Aptonic Software (makers of popular utility Dropzone) has released the first public beta of Frenzy for Mac and, indeed, it works like a private social network powered by the Dropbox backend. We took the app for a quick spin earlier today and we were impressed. (more…)
Not so popular over here in Italy but apparently widely recognized in the States, pay-as-you-go networks allow you to get a phone from shady stores / individuals with pre-paid credit to consume at your own needs. Personally I prefer to keep my iPhone in safe waters with a proper subscription and data usage, but there’s some people who really prefer the pre-paid option over a more “secure” carrier offer. As noted by Engadget, it is possible to make the CDMA Verizon iPhone run on Cricket’s pay-as-you-go network, but you’ll have to jailbreak your phone, install some utility to set up the process and let a Cricket guy flash the device’s memory for you. Hmm. Would you trust that?
Still, it’s possible. Check out the video proof below. (more…)
Another new feature discovered in the developer preview of OS X Lion is the ability to set up a Mac from a networked Windows PC as part of the Migration Assistant utility. Traditionally the only way to set up a new Mac and import all your files and settings was to use FireWire’s Target Disk Mode and hook up the old Mac or PC to the new Mac or use a Time Machine disk.
When Apple removed the FireWire port on some of its Macs it added the ability for Migration Assistant to import from a networked Mac, but not a PC. The Migration Assistant in the developer preview of OS X 10.7 Lion now brings the ability for new Mac users to set up Lion with data and settings from an existing Windows-based PC. The only caveat being that it requires a Migration Assistant helper client to be running on the Windows machine. For developers wishing to test this out, you’ll need to download that helper client from Apple’s developer site.
The Angry Birds developers, Rovio, may be planning to launch their own payment system and a new version of the game for Valentine’s Day, but turning the insanely successful series into a social gaming network might be their most ambitious move to date. According to a blog post from Robert Scoble, a Rovio executive hinted at the platform during the European DLD conference. (more…)
iOS 4.2 Comes With Technology To Minimize Network Congestion
With its latest iPhone iOs 4.2 software, it looks like Apple is joining efforts to cut smartphone signalling down to size. Tests by Nokia Siemens Networks have shown that iPhone iOs 4.2 supports a technology called Network Controlled Fast Dormancy, which we have already introduced into our networks. Basically, the technology makes the network and the handset work together to create the best conditions for smartphones to work quickly, yet have a long battery life and minimize network congestion.