While Apple’s Magic Mouse lets you do a few multi-touch gestures, I’ve never liked how it felt in my hand, and I hate how it scrolls — I’d much rather have a real scrollwheel for navigating the long pages of text I read day in and day out. When I plugged in Kensington’s Pro Fit Mid-Size Mouse, it felt so much more comfortable and responsive that my Magic Mouse immediately went in a drawer and might never come out.
Most drawing apps have sliders to control things like brush size and opacity, but using just your finger or a regular stylus, it’s hard to feel you have total control. Ten One Design’s Pogo Connect Bluetooth 4.0 Smart Pen is a pressure-sensitive; we hoped it would make drawing on that touchscreen feel more like drawing on our Mac using a Wacom graphics tablet. But the pressure sensitivity features vary between the 13-and-counting compatible drawing and note-taking apps. In ArtSense and Photoshop Touch, for example, pressing hard gave us darker lines, but didn’t change the width, and in Paper by FiftyThree, the thickness changes but not the opacity.
When we reviewed the Sphero as part of our Group Test of iOS-controlled toys, we mentioned that "putting Sphero through its paces is all about software. Happily, there's plenty of it." And as of recently, there's even more. We charged up our little robotic orb and tested 11 Sphero-compatible apps. Go ahead, ask us if we had a ball. (We did, actually, but that's doesn't make the pun any less lame...)
If you’re like us, you return from vacations and special events having filmed loads of video, with grand ambitions of one day compiling all your clips into brilliant home movies. But once you return to the daily grind, the task can suddenly seem too time consuming or technically daunting, so the videos sit untouched. Well, what if we said you could make that home movie in about 10 minutes, and that it would look awesome? That’s what iMovie’s handy movie-trailer templates can do for you.
Every Monday, we'll show you how to do something new and simple with Apple's built-in command line application. You don't need any fancy software, or a knowledge of coding to do any of these. All you need is a keyboard to type 'em out!
Keeping your software up-to-date ensures that you Mac has the latest security updates and most recent features. Usually we rely on the Software Update icon to start bouncing up and down in the dock before we do anything about it, but if you have multiple Macs this kind of infrequent update process can be a pain. With a simple Terminal command, however, you can “set it and forget it” when it comes to installing new updates. And if you set up SSH on your Mac, you can even log in and install new updates remotely. Like magic!
This week, we’ll show you how to use the softwareupdate command in Terminal to keep your Mac updated.
So we’ve looked at the basics when it comes to freeing up drive space, but if that didn’t do the job, several Mac apps will help you to detect and remove space-wasters. These tools range from system scans that will pick out very large files and list them in order of size to very specific apps that target common drive space thieves (like app-related files that linger after you’ve deleted an app) and bring them to justice via the Trash can. Then there’s the third kind of tool—one that’s part software, part service. Rather than removing large files completely, these offerings provide a way for you to move them to a secure storage space on the web. We’ll show you the four most effective ways to use these apps.
It’s probably a little too poetic (slash dramatic) to say that Mac OS 10.7 is as mysterious as the big cat it’s named after. Still, many of its best improvements lurk under the hood -- security enhancements, for example. And a good chunk of its 250 new features are cosmetic or inconsequential at best. (Plus, who did the counting? Full-screen apps is one feature, then full-screen Terminal is cited as a separate feature? Whatever.) One of the biggest differences is how it’s sold -- only via the Mac App Store, only to users of Snow Leopard, and only as a digital download -- until Apple starts offering a $69 thumb drive with it installed, which we were still waiting for as we went to press, but should be out by the time you read this.
It's always exciting to take a peek into what Apple's working on lately, and a surefire way to do so is to take a look at some of Apple's latest filed patents. Recently, Apple filed two very intriguing patents for new iOS technologies. One reveals the company's plans to integrate projectors into iOS devices for use with the Mac, and the other is for "schematic maps", which is what AppleInsider calls dynamic maps on the iPhone that lets you zoom in on roads and landmarks to make navigation easier to follow.
After teasing an “awesome” announcement at the company’s Palto Alto headquarters for Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to the cafeteria stage in a live-streamed event to toss out plenty of facts and figures about social networking as he slowly led up to the main event: Skype-powered video calling and Group Chat.
Last week we brought you a gallery of 20 beautiful Mac OS desktops, but the customization doesn't stop there. This week we bring you 20 beautifully customized iPad homescreens. iOS customization is a little more challenging than OS X customization, particularly on the iPad, but with a little time and perseverence, these themers achieve beautiful results. Hopefully their work will inspire you to give iPad theming a try, too.