We bet that by now you’ve had the opportunity to try out Apple’s newly released beta of FaceTime on the Mac. Here at Mac|Life, we’ve definitely had a lot of fun testing it, but we recently thought it would be a cool idea to make it even more useful. What if you could use FaceTime on the Mac to check in on your house, pets, or perhaps use it as a security cam on your stealthy-looking MacBook Air?
The new Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server must be taking tips from one of those VW Beetles with all the clowns in the back. That’s the only way to explain how Apple crammed all that hardware and performance into such a small form factor. A tiny little aluminum box like its predecessors, the mini Server comes without monitor, keyboard, or even mouse. While it can be administered remotely, it’s a good idea to connect it to a monitor and keyboard for initial setup. In keeping with its role as a server, the optical drive is sacrificed to make room for a second 500GB drive for a total of 1TB storage. Also notable by its absence is the external power brick. That’s now tucked inside the mini too.
At today's Back to the Mac event, Apple released a not-so-surprising application called FaceTime for Mac. The beta version of this application, which is completely free to download, does just what the name implies. It allows you to FaceTime with someone on an iPhone 4, iPod touch, or another Mac. Though the application hasn’t been out very long, we have compiled together our favorite tips and tricks for using FaceTime on the Mac.
Skype released a new version of their desktop client for Windows today. Skype 5.0 adds multiple social networking features, including the ability to integrate with Facebook, group video calling, SMS to Facebook friends, and a completely revamped user interface. But, if you're a Mac user, there's no need to try to update your Skype client, because you won't find an update anywhere in sight.
This entry-level Mac Pro is fast. Very fast. At 2.8GHz, its Intel Xeon processor might look slow compared to the 3GHz-plus chips offered by most of the current iMac range, but its clock speed belies its true performance. Like the Core-i series, Hyper-Threading allows two threads to run on each of its cores, giving this model eight virtual cores. And like the Core i5 and i7 chips, Turbo Boost shuts down unused cores and boosts those that are active to a maximum of 3.06GHz. In our Cinebench rendering test, its single-processor score was just under 3 percent down from the 3.2GHz mid-2010 iMacs, but when all processors were brought into play, it outperformed the all-in-one by an incredible 67.5 percent. The Mac Pro’s new ATI Radeon HD 5770 is up to five times faster than the standard graphics cards offered by the previous Mac Pro generation and even outperforms its speediest configure-to-order option. It ran our Doom 3 test at almost 180 frames a second, and our five-minute test movie encoded to iPod format in just 129 seconds. What’s that boil down to? Although it’s designed for professionals, there’s clearly an advantage in having a Mac Pro as a home machine.
EA and Hothead released and announcement regarding their game DeathSpank. According to the announcement, PC and Mac users will be able to join in on the fun starting on October 26. Pre-ordering for this game starts today on Steam, with a 10% discount on all pre-orders.
Sony's free play environment game called Free Realms will be making its way over to the Mac in the coming months. Sony today announced their plans for porting the game and its 14-million player strong community over to the Mac "this fall." This news comes at a time when PS3 users are still unable to play the game on their consoles.
Gmail is a fantastic service from Google, and while it works seamlessly with email programs like Apple Mail and Entourage, sometimes it’s just simpler to use it in a web browser. Unfortunately, that can’t provide the finesse of a dedicated email application, which leaves the user experience feeling subpar instead of super. The good news is that Gmail’s completely scriptable, which means you can modify it to suit your needs. Don’t worry if coding isn’t your expertise--many people have written ready-made scripts that you can use to improve your experience in just a few clicks.