It's really heartening to see the tide turn back towards Mac game development since the launch of the Mac App Store, with big-budget blockbusters and familiar iOS apps alike coming to Mac screens everywhere. While paid games are in steady supply, it may be tougher to locate worthwhile free offerings amidst the loaded listings -- and sure enough, the selection isn't quite as robust as you'd expect from the iOS App Store. But give it time! Until then, we've rifled through the current selection and picked out 10 worthwhile offerings that cover a wide variety of genres (and attention spans).
What once seemed like a gargantuan hard drive three years ago probably doesn’t seem quite as big anymore. As media collections grow and our iPhoto libraries bulge with higher-resolution images -- and now, HD video -- the time will come when your hard drive begins to creak under the weight of its contents. Aside from being a storage problem, a chock-full hard disk can also slow down your system. While OS X will alert you when available space reaches critically low levels, Disk Alarm can help you keep a closer eye on your storage scenario.
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.
Online auction giant eBay has embraced iOS with a variety of apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, leaving the Mac a browser-only experience -- until now. On Tuesday, the company introduced a free Mac App Store entry in an effort to make the shopping experience as browser-free as possible.
There are so many games in the iTunes App Store that sometimes it's really hard to figure out what to download and what's worth playing. There's also the dilemma of the age old adage that if it isn't broken, there's no point in fixing it. And, well, so many game companies have already perfected the kind of games we're looking for, so why bother looking anywhere else? Well, I can answer this one for you: do the words "free" ring a bell?
If you wish you had a free alternative to popular games like Plants vs. Zombies and Bubble Bobble, you're in luck! I've found exactly what you're looking for. Maybe. Take a look for yourself after the cut and save a couple of bucks on all those big blockbuster games with these free alternatives. Because you can't spell "free" without the "f" from "fun", right? Glad we're all in accordance here.
Mac veterans remember well the dark days before Apple’s own software storefront -- a time when locating and buying software for their computer was akin to a nightmarish Easter egg hunt. Thankfully, Apple’s Mac App Store has made those memories a thing of the past, and even Amazon has jumped into the fray with its own Mac-friendly download store. But which should you use?
Font managers are strange beasts. Most people never think about them, but for designers and other font geeks, a good manager is key. In short, it’s an app that shows you exactly which fonts are installed on your system, how they are organized, and what they look like. It also lets you activate and deactivate groups of fonts. Font Book is built into OS X, but Fontcase makes browsing your fonts more attractive and intuitive.
Do you remember when iMovie was easy to use and had a bunch of exciting features? For only $9.99 you can regain control of your amateur auteurism as well as access video effects and editing tricks that iMovie—and even Final Cut Pro X—would be proud of.
Only audiophiles really care about audio files. But they can make a huge difference to your listening experience. Buying an expensive set of speakers won’t make a great deal of difference to your audio enjoyment if the tracks you listen to aren’t up to snuff. Unfortunately, iTunes lacks the ability to play many high-end audio formats, but switching to another player can turn your Mac into the equivalent of several thousand dollars’ worth of hi-fi equipment.
It’s no secret that Apple is moving away from packaged software, with even OS X Lion being sold as a Mac App Store exclusive. As it turns out, there’s one noteworthy side effect of this new push -- the copy of iLife you get free with every new Mac will also work on any other system using the same Apple ID as well.