News flash: Macs can develop problems, just like any computers. But they tend to run fine without antivirus software and the general vigilance that helps keep PCs trouble-free (some of ’em must run fine, right?). But that doesn’t mean your Mac wouldn’t benefit from some occasional maintenance. Enter MacKeeper, a suite of tools aimed at keeping your Mac healthy. That’s a bold claim, and trust is important when using any app, but it’s crucial when your system is on the line. Unfortunately MacKeeper, with its occasionally awkward English and warnings about the importance of scanning OS X for viruses, makes a shaky first impression (the overbearing emphasis—in and out of the app—on MacKeeper’s Facebook popularity doesn’t help). When it comes to maintaining our Macs, we want Don Draper. MacKeeper delivers Pete Campbell.
There’s a reason why Apple’s computers have become the runaway success that they are today. As the saying goes, their products ‘just work’. It can be argued that the hardware’s near mythic reliability comes from a combination of Cupertino’s bullet-proof industrial design and the elegant strength of the code used to create OS X. That said, Apple’s not the only one able to crank out a nice little bit of all right. Microsoft has earned their share of pain after inflicting gems like Windows ME, Microsoft Bob and Windows Vista on unsuspecting consumers, but from the look of things, Redmond’s days of flinging flaming electronic turds on the public may be coming to an end. While it ain’t OS X, the stability seen in Windows 7 shows that Microsoft’s software engineers are willing to learn from their mistakes, and Windows Phone 7 is surprisingly pleasurable to use. In June, Microsoft officially announced the existence of a new operating system currently under development. It’s named—you guessed it—Windows 8. From what we’ve seen it’s shaping up to be a pretty slick operator, but will it be able to go blow for blow with Lion in areas the areas of feature set and functionality? Based on what we know about Windows 8 so far, let’s take a look.
Online music storage is an area that has exploded in recent months, with Amazon, Google and Apple all becoming major players in the game. But what if you'd rather not deal with a third-party and instead host your own music? What if you could have all the freedom in the world to listen to music when you please, and whereever? We'll show you how to set up your own dedicated iTunes Server that will let you stream your music around your home network, to your iOS devices, and even when you're halfway across the globe, far away from home.
There’s no doubt that new CEO Tim Cook’s intentions are pure. As Apple’s Board of Directors swiftly confirmed, there is no one more capable of stepping into Steve Jobs’ shoes, and no one more eager to stay true to Apple’s culture and DNA. But no matter how much wisdom Steve has imparted on Cook or how many late-night phone calls they have, decisions no longer go through Jobs. And as with any regime change, things will be different, no matter how reassuring Tim’s words are.
Now, that doesn’t mean Apple’s going to suddenly start selling iPhones with slide-out keyboards, but some noticeable changes might be in store over the next year or so. Click through for a look at what we might be seeing a little different this time next year.
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.