Really dug this wallpaper work by Instagram designer Tim Van Damme. Slick and great looking backgrounds for retina iPads, iPhones, the 15″ retina Macbook Pro and the 27″ Cinema Display (which, should be noted, has less screen pixels than the 15″ Macbook.)
I first heard about this new minimalist text editor over at the Systematic podcast. Yes, there’s too many minimal text editors out there, with WriteRoom, ByWord, and iA Writer – my current choice – all being well developed options.
But FoldingText is a bit different. FoldingText reminds me a bit of iA Writer with its lack of a preferences pane and font customization, opting for a soft Courier New. But FoldingText balances it out by adding a lot of power user features: auto Markdown conversion as you type, text folding and focusing and lots of keyboard shortcuts. Then there’s this crazy todo list, Taskpaper like outline and timer functionality, all set and evaluated with plain text.
I can’t say that this will be my new default writing app, but I’ll keep an eye while the app remains in beta.
I like Pixelmator as a lightweight alternative to Photoshop. It’s perfect for a quick resize on an iPhone photo or Tumblr snippet before uploading or sending somewhere else. Yet I greatly dislike the Lion preferred auto save/versioning that comes with Pixelmator out of the box. It’s unnecessary and adds bloat to my throwaway, multi MB files.
After a few google searches, there’s actually a really simple solution buried in the support forums. Just one line in the console. Scroll to the thread buttom.
If you’re a Growl user upgrading to Mountain Lion, this little app forwards Growl messages to Notification Center. I haven’t tried it out yet, but post upgrade I’ll give it a try – it looks interesting.
As is the case with any major Mac OS X update, third party apps may have to be updated for compatibility with Mountain Lion. The best resource, recommended all over my Twitter stream and various tech blogs – is RoaringApps. Type in an app name and see if it’s confirmed ready for the 10.8 switch.
With the last few Mac OS X releases, I’ve gotten progressively less and less worried about app compatibility; when in doubt, it works. That said, for critical apps, a quick check over at RoaringApps is well worth your time.
John Siracusa just posted his (canonical?) review of Mountain Lion to Ars Technica twenty minutes ago. Based on his past work, it’s going to be exhaustive, amazing, and well worth it for any Mac geek who wants to learn what’s different about the 10.8 release today.
I’ve lately been giving the cross platform to-do list app Cheddar a run through it’s paces. Bottom line, it’s a well built app, one I’ll write more about in the future.
For now though, if you use keyboard launcher Alfred, there’s a new Cheddar extension developed by Chris Vaughn. It’s simple but solid and should make entering new list items much faster in my workflow.
Tweetbot is by far my favorite Twitter client for iOS, and today they just released a free alpha of their Mac client. (the download link is still pretty busy as of this writing, so try this download as an alternative.)
Already first impressions are good. Its UI has very similar functionality and layout to the iPad version. It still has many rough edges (e.g. thin font ligatures, stuttered scrolling) but the app is off to a good start.
Given the quality of Tapbots other software I’ve got high hopes for Tweetbot. Right now Osfoora is my main Mac client, but I could easily see myself switching to this.
I’ve recently been diving into Steam games on the latest Humble Indie Bundle. But early on I had a big problem with control input via the standard Mac keyboard. Especially in games that rely on quick, arcade-like movements (e.g. Super Meat Boy), the keyboard isn’t precise enough and ill equipped to handle the bangs and keypresses of an average gaming run.
Enter the Mac app Joystick Mapper. For $5 on the Mac App Store I plugged in a PS3 Dualshock 3 controller via USB, mapped several buttons and directions to some keyboard and mouse commands, and I was ready to go. It makes a huge difference. Highly recommended.
Apple will bring more iOS-inspired features to OS X. Or perhaps they will add OS X functionalities to iOS. The point is, in doing so, I have no doubt Apple will consider the unique traits of each platform, and they will develop the features accordingly. But splitting OS X in two just for the sake of easy profits (“It’s an iPad laptop!”) sounds like a step backwards and one towards fragmentation.
Agreed. There’s way too much speculation out there on the “merging” of iOS and Mac OS X. Yet they truly are two different markets with different use cases. Apple is too smart to move in the “one OS” direction that Microsoft has bet on. Both on a technology and consumer expectations level, we’re just not there yet.