MacHeist nanoBundle: 8 Mac Apps for $19.95

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Mac

A few times a year, MacRumors partners with MacHeist to promote their Mac application bundle deal. Their latest bundle delivers at least eight Mac applications for $19.95 (over $280 value if all purchased separately) including:
- MacJournal ($40) – Collect, brainstorm, write, and organize your thoughts all in one place.
- RipIt ($20) – Easily rip and convert your DVDs for iTunes, iPod or AppleTV
- Clips ($27) – Expands the built-in clipboard, so you can store and recall multiple things with a keystroke.
- CoverScout ($39.95) – Easily fill in all your missing album art in iTunes, including all the ones iTunes missed.
- Flow ($25) – FTP client for Mac, with built-in text editing and streamlined interface.
- Tales of Monkey Island ($34.95) – TellTale Games’ revival of LucasArts’ classic pirating adventure game series.
- RapidWeaver ($79) – Easy to use web creation tool; RapidWeaver will become unlocked for all customers once 50,000 bundles have been sold.
- Tweetie ($19.95) – Popular Mac Twitter client; Tweetie will become unlocked for all customers once a certain number of bundles (to be announced at the unlocking of RapidWeaver) have been sold, and customers will also receive exclusive early access to Tweetie 2 for Mac beta later this month.
In addition, nanoBundle customers have the opportunity to receive three more free applications (for a total value of over $320 for all 11 applications) by tweeting to spread the word about MacHeist.
- Tracks – Play your music library and browse the iTunes Music Store from your menu bar
- Airburst Extreme – Airborne “floating” survival game with multiple gameplay modes
- Burning Monkey Solitaire – Suite of solitaire card games enhanced with a singing gorilla, flaming arrows, hundreds of jokes and secret easter eggs
This $19.95 bundle sale runs through Wednesday night Eastern time.
MacRumors is a promotional partner with MacHeist. Bundle sales through these links benefit MacRumors financially, and provide a way for readers to directly support this site.
Update: With the MacHeist nanoBundle passing through 50,000 bundles sold, RapidWeaver has now been unlocked for all customers. Tweetie will be unlocked once 56,789 bundles have been sold.

15 Must-Have Free Apps For Your Mac

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Applications, iMac, Mac

After we’re done, we ask ourselves the golden question, “Is this app a keeper?” That’s what this list is all about — those apps that eventually find a permanent place on our Macs to call Home. Everyone should have these installed, regardless of what you use your Mac for.
Dropbox
Everyone knows Dropbox for their amazing file-sharing service. Drag any file into the Dropbox folder and it automatically gets shared.
Sign up for a free account and you automatically get 2GB to share with your friends. Set up shared folders and anything you drop will be instantly downloaded by others.
Need mobile access to your files? There’s an iPhone app just for that.
AppFresh
Surely you must know how it feels to load an app, just to have it inform you that it’s outdated and there’s a newer version available? Don’t we always need the latest and greatest?
AppFresh is what you want. It will scan through all of your installed apps, plugins, preference panes, widgets and spew up the results in a matter of seconds. All the information you need to see will be laid out in front of you: latest version number, currently installed version, release date, release notes. It’s a geek’s all-you-can-eat buffet.
Adium
Adium is probably the most widely-used multi-protocol chat app on Macs. It’s oddly strange that it’s never been featured exclusively on MakeUseOf.
Adium supports a wide range of chat protocols from MSN to Facebook to ICQ to Gadu Gadu. If you use it, Adium supports it.
Adding to its list of features, Adium is also hugely customisable in both its theme and functionality. Check out the addons that the Adium community has to offer.
The Unarchiver
Emphasis on the “The”. This little app – that comes without a user interface – can probably unpack just about any file you throw at it. Once installed, it will replace Mac’s native unarchiving utility, BOMArchiveHelper.
To mention a few, it supports and unarchives RAR, ZIP, Tar, 7-Zip, Stuffit, CAB, MSI and even EXE files. The only format it cannot unpack is ACE. But that’s hardly a worry.
Besides being clever, The Unarchiver is also efficient. You can click on as many RAR or ZIP files for it to unpack but it will never overwork your system. Instead, it will queue the files and unpacks them individually.
Transmission
This little app is always being compared to uTorrent. Why? Transmission is fantastic BitTorrent client that was specifically designed to be integrated seamlessly on a Mac.
It’s simple and minimalistic, it’s lightweight, it’s fast and there are a lot of cool things you can do with it.
It will be a long time before I part with this trusty app.
AppCleaner
Macs have always boasted simple installation and uninstallation procedures. To install most Mac apps, all you need to do is drag it over to the Applications folder. To uninstall, drag the app to Trash. But the story doesn’t quite end there.
There will be a couple of mystery files left on your Mac. They won’t do much harm but since you’re uninstalling an app, chances are, you won’t need these files lingering on your Mac. AppCleaner solves this debacle.
Drag any file you want to uninstall into AppCleaner and it will display all the related files. Make sure that you agree and click Delete. Goodbye, remnants!
Skitch
We’ve written about Skitch more than once. Personally, I’ve used it for years. And there’s a good reason for that.
Skitch is one of the most basic yet impressive image editors for Mac. It is capable of saving images to JPG, PNG, PDF, BMP, TIF, GIF and SVG. That should cover most of your image-saving needs.
I mainly use Skitch for simple image manipulations like resizing, cropping, converting to other formats and annotations.
It’s quick and I love the fact that I know the output file size even before saving the file. Skitch also keeps a history of every file every edited. It may not sound like much but that’s what I love it for. I can turn the History viewer on and conveniently grab a file which I modified a week ago.
Perian & VLC
I find it awfully weird that Quicktime still doesn’t support Divx out of the box. Like every good marketing strategy — when there’s demand, there’s supply. Failing every good marketing strategy — Perian is free. Still, it’s considered the swiss-army knife of video codecs for Quicktime (why does that sound so familiar?).
I would probably be at the wrath of the Guillotine of Tech if I used the word “video” and didn’t follow it quickly with “VLC”. For years, VLC has reigned cross-platform champion as the most capable video player. Macs are no exception.
iStat Menus
Keeping with the minimalistic mindset, Apple maintains that, “The less you know, the better.” That’s why Activity Monitor is buried deep within the Utilities folder. Generally, a Mac user should focus on the task at hand and not worry about how much free memory is available.
iStat Menus makes this information easily attainable — on your menubar. At the cost of some menubar-estate, this preference pane will add vital information like CPU usage, temperature, memory usage, network activity and other goodies to the top of your screen where it’s visible at all times.
Sure, this may go against Apple’s teachings but hey, we’re geeks — we need to know everything that’s going on, all the time.
OnyX
OnyX was featured just once on MakeUseOf in the article Ten Tools To Keep Your Mac In Tip-Top Shape. But you know what? Once is more than enough to convince anyone that OnyX is a keeper.
Think of OnyX as a strict physician. It inspects and examines your Mac for anything that might seem wonky and straightens out all the kinks.
It can also clean out old log files and performs a series of automated maintenance to keep your Mac healthy.
Teamviewer
C’mon. This app doesn’t need an introduction!
Teamviewer is one of the best zero-configuration remote-support applications that’s available. Period. And since it’s also available for Mac, why not take advantage of it?
Even if you’re not on the receiving end, having Teamviewer installed is really convenient if you are your family’s tech-support team.
Quicksilver
Highly regarded by productivists as the definitive must-have application, Quicksilver has finally won me over. Sure, its highlight may have been the Tiger-Leopard era but it still has its place in Snow Leopard.
With a couple of quick keystrokes, sending an email or transferring files can be as simple as launching an application. But don’t be fooled, it’s not a simple app launcher. It can do so much more!
It definitely takes a bit of getting used to but it’s highly rewarding once you’ve honed the skill. In fact, you may feel slightly disabled if you’re on a Mac without Quicksilver.
Bean & TextWrangler
I bunched these 2 apps together, not only because they’re both text editors or because they’re free. Rather, it’s because I simply couldn’t make up my mind.
Bean is has slightly more features, supporting Word documents. Aside from that, it also launch amazingly fast!
Bean is an alternative to using Microsoft Word on my Mac. Since I don’t work with Word documents that often, there’s no point in forking the money over to buy a copy.
I use TextWrangler for different purposes, mainly for what lacks in TextEdit — a word counter. It also supports coding and HTML, which is helpful on occasion.
Carbon Copy Cloner
With all the reports of Time Capsules crapping out after a year of use, I refused to take any chances and decided back up my data manually. Carbon Copy Cloner was such a helpful application that I just had to find a spot for it on my Mac.
With features like scheduled tasks and incremental backups, it’s almost a good as Time Machine (without the fancy interface). It allows you to make complete or selective backups of your Mac, backup to a networked Mac, backup to a disk image and even restore from one.
Using Carbon Copy Cloner means freeing yourself from the backup schedules of Time Machine and having complete control over your backups.
Burn
Not that I’m complaining but my fancy Mac does not allow me to burn DVD videos outside of iDVD. There’s just no native support outside of the iLife app suite. Want to burn a music CD but not with iTunes? Tough.
Burn is a simple application that slips right into place. In fact, it’s so simple, it’s crazy. I messed around with it a bit by dragging an AVI and told it to burn a video DVD. I thought it would produce an error of some kind because only MPG files can be used. You know what Burn returned? “Would you like me to convert it for you?” I can’t believe this app is free.
So there you go. 15 apps worth having on every Mac.

Apple Releases iPad Tablet, New SDK, iBooks and iWork Apps

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad

At today’s highly-anticipated media event, Apple announced the iPad tablet device, featuring a 9.7-inch, 1024 x 768 display and 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB capacities. Carrying a custom 1 GHz “Apple A4″ chip, the iPad weighs in at 1.5 pounds and is .5-inch thin. The iPad will be priced at $499, $599, and $699 for the varying capacity models without 3G, and $629, $729, and $829 with 3G. Wi-Fi only models are scheduled to ship in 60 days, with 3G-capable model shipping in 90 days. A video preview is also available.

In terms of standard connectivity, the iPad offers Wi-Fi (802.11n) and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, with 3G models also offering cellular data connectivity. All iPad models have an accelerometer, compass, speakers, a microphone, and a 30-pin dock connector. The iPad also offers a claimed 10 hours of battery life for viewing video, with 1 month of standby battery life.
Models with 3G will be unlocked and will be able to use GSM micro SIMs. In the U.S., AT&T will offer two data plan options ? $14.99 for up to 250 MB per month and $29.99 per month for unlimited data. No contract is required for either option, and free access to AT&T’s Wi-Fi hot spots is included. Data packages for iPad users outside of the U.S. will by in place by June.
The iPad will have standard apps for personal information management, including an address book and calendar, along with e-mail, Safari, Google Maps, and Notes. A special version of iTunes is also on board to provide an optimized browsing experience on the device’s 9.7-inch screen.
Accessories will also be available for the iPad, including a dock with a mechanical keyboard that will accommodate the iPad in portrait orientation and a case with a built-in stand for video viewing. Prices on these accessories were not announced. The iPad also supports Bluetooth keyboards.
Multiple demos showed unmodified iPhone apps working on the iPad at original resolution and scaled up to take advantage of the iPad’s increased screen real estate. According to Scott Forstall during his time on stage, the iPad can run “virtually every” app without modification, with an on-screen button to scale an app’s resolution up and down as desired. iPhone users will not need to re-purchase apps to load them onto an iPad.
The event was also rife with demos, showcasing Gameloft’s N.O.V.A., an art app called Brushes, Electronic Art’s Need for Speed Shift, and video within a Major League Baseball app.
As expected from recent rumors about Apple’s negotiations in the past few weeks with major media publications, the New York Times was on hand to demo a dedicated New York Times app, stating they were proud to “pioneer the next generation of digital journalism.” The app offers an expanded view of the paper’s content with in-line video viewing and synchronization capability with the iPhone app.
Jobs then unveiled the iBooks app, referencing Amazon’s Kindle and describing that they wanted to “stand on their shoulders and go a little further.” The iBooks app has a store – the iBookstore – featuring content from Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette Book Group. iBooks uses the open ePub standard and offers tables of contents and intuitive page navigation on the iPad, along with the ability to read in portrait and horizontal orientations using the built-in accelerometer. Jobs highlighted True Compass by Edward M. Kennedy, describing its $14.99 price tag in the iBooks store.

New iPad-specific versions of iWork applications also made an appearance at the event, with demos of Keynote, Pages, and Numbers by Phil Schiller on the iPad. Schiller pointed out specialized on-screen keyboards and drop-down menus to spotlight the ease of use of these apps on the iPad. The iWork apps will cost $9.99 each.
At the end of the event, Jobs described the iPad as the company’s “most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.” He also pointed out that there are over 125 million iTunes accounts with credit cards and that using the iPad will be second-nature for the more than 75 million iPhone and iPod touch users.
Developers can access the new iPhone SDK 3.2 today, offering tools for developing iPad applications including guidelines, sample code, and a simulator application.

Apple Preparing to Add HDMI to Macs?

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Mac Mini, Technology

AppleInsider reports that Apple is preparing to introduce HDMI connectivity into some its new Macs later this year, bringing increased compatibility with home theater systems as well as the ability to deliver both video and audio over a single cable.
More specifically, prototypes of a new Mac mini — Apple’s smallest and most affordable system, commonly employed by tech savvy Mac users as an ad-hoc living room media server, has been making the rounds with an HDMI port in place of its legacy DVI connector, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The Mac mini prototypes are claimed to look otherwise identical to existing models and continue to offer a mini DisplayPort alongside the HDMI port.
As the report notes, HDMI is electrically compatible with the DVI standard, allowing conversions from one connector to the other with a simple dongle. Unlike DVI, however, HDMI also offers support for audio, which would allow purchasers of future Mac mini models to connect their machines to their televisions or home theater systems with a single HDMI cable, as the Apple TV does today.
The report’s sources claim that the Mac mini prototypes include NVIDIA’s MCP89 chipset, although a licensing dispute between Intel and NVIDIA over chipsets for Intel’s Nehalem platform suggests that Apple may have to continue using Intel Core 2 Duo processors in the next-generation Mac mini models if it is planning to use NVIDIA’s chipset. Alternatively, Apple may choose to utilize an Intel chipset that would allow it to take advantage of Nehalem processors.
As for Apple’s other Mac lines, the report claims that Apple has also prepared a mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter capable of carrying both video and audio. The adapter reportedly had been scheduled to ship with Apple’s most recent iMac revision alongside Blu-ray drives, but was scrapped as part of the decision to not include Blu-ray compatibility.

Apple Job Posting Suggests Future iPhone OS Devices

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, iPod Touch

Computerworld points to an Apple job listing posted last week which suggests that Apple is looking to expand the iPhone OS beyond the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad to additional platforms. The position, entitled “Engineering Manager (Platform Bring-Up)”, requires that the employee lead a team of software engineers working with hardware and “custom silicon” teams on new platforms and protoypes.
The Core Platform team within Apple’s Core OS organization is looking for a talented and inspired manager to lead a team focused on bring-up of iPhone OS on new platforms. The team is responsible for low level platform architecture, firmware, core drivers and bring-up of new hardware platforms. The team consists of talented engineers with experience in hardware, firmware, IOKit drivers, security and platform architecture.
The report suggests a number of products, both existing and merely envisioned, that could benefit from an ARM-based architecture and iPhone OS, including Apple TV, MacBook Air, enterprise-class Time Capsule micro-server offerings and others.
Two years down the road, other low ends of the Apple Mac line might get eaten up by the Apple processor/iPhone OS. Mac Mini and Mac Book, I am looking directly at you. Once there is an iPhone OS running the TV and the MacBook Air segments, it isn’t a great leap to expect to see it in low end Macs.
Obviously any such suggested offerings are based purely on speculation, but it seems clear that Apple is interested in leveraging iPhone OS and its hefty investment in ARM architecture for future products.

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