Tag Archives: MAC OS X

Skype releases Version 5.2 for Mac

The ever popular text and video chatting service Skype has released an update for their OS X client. Version 5.2 brings a few new features to the main silent that have been part of the beta version since 5.0. These include group screen sharing as well as group video calling. Unfortunately, in order to take advantage of either, you will need to be a Skype Premium subscriber.

OS X Skype Client Screen Sharing

For the non-premium users, there are a few improvements that make the upgrade from 5.1 seem like a good idea. For instinct, the new client seems to have fewer bugs than its predecessor. There are also small changes to the UI, like the ability to hide the sidebar to focus on your conversation. You also have the ability to pop-out the cider controls for video calls.

The changes in version 5.2 should appeal to power-users, especially the Premium users who use Skype for video conferencing. The new screen-sharing options (which are Mac exclusive for the time being) will make the Skype a better productivity tool. It is good to see that, in the wake of Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype, the other platforms aren’t being totally ignored.

The downside to 5.2 is that the UI that Skype introduced in 5.0 is largely unchanged. The popular opinion is that it is too bulky of an app. A simple Google search will result in a downloadable copy of Skype 2.8, that last “good” version of Skype for the Mac. If you aren’t a premium user, then the upgrade isn’t really worth your time. However, the new feature sonly require one premium user to activate, you may want to pick up 5.2 incase a request comes your way.

 

 

Reeder Is A Fantastic RSS Reader For Mac OS X [Review]

As a Blogger, I am constantly trying new ways to read blogs and news. I have gone through all the typical solutions. I tired reading every blog individually, and that was obviously a poor choice. I tried to use various forms of RSS feeds, and while it was more convent, it wasn’t elegant. I think I have found the solution I have been searching for.

Reeder, the incredibly popular feed reader for iOS, has been released for Mac OS X. While the idea of porting an app from iOS to the Mac may sound like a terrible idea, this one really works. The feature set of Reeder is fantastic, the interface is beautiful, and the whole experience is worth the price. Let’s take a deeper look at Reeder.

Reeder’s Beautiful UI

Reeder Mac OS X RSS ReaderAs RSS readers go, Reeder has to be the most beautiful one I have ever used. In the past, I have used RSS readers that tried to be more function than form, and it didn’t make me want to keep using that program. Reeder has achieved something special with their balance between art and usability.

One really good example of the form and function balance in Reeder is the dock icon. NetNewsWire, the RSS reader I was using before Reeder, had a less than pleasing system for handling unread story notifications. When you had stories to read, NNW would give you an iOS style icon notification. Reeder, on the other hand, does a much better job of blending the notification with the icon.

Reeder’s Features Make It Great

Another aspect of Reeder that separates it from its competition are the additional features that it offers. At the top of the Reeder window, there is a row of icons that will allow you to interact with the current story in various ways. You can link your Twitter account and share stories, you can add them to Pinboard, or you can send them to ReadItLater or Instapaper.

Reeder Readability On Off

At the bottom of the window is the toggle button for one of my favorite Reeder features. As many of us are aware, there are certain websites that only give partial RSS feeds. While I understand why they may do that, it interrupts my workflow. Reeder offers a “Readability” button that will give you the full story within the app. The screenshot above will show you more of what I mean.

Reeder Gestures OS XAnother great set of features that Reeder comes with is its use of the multi-touch ability of MacBooks and Magic Trackpads. There are various features and things you can access using the gestures. My favorite are the ‘pinch’ gestures. An outward pinch will switch a story to Readability mode, and an inward pinch will disable Readability again.

Reeder: The Best of The Best

As you can see, Reeder is one of the best looking and feature rich RSS readers available today. After spending a few days with it, I have decided that i will be getting it for all my devices. Some may say that $9.99 is expensive for an RSS reader. When you consider all that Reeder does, as well as the great interface, its actually quite a steal.

Score: 5/5 – Techie Buzz Approved
Price: $9.99 in the Mac App Store

How To Get Ready To Upgrade To OS X Lion

As June comes to a close, we begin to look into July. If you are a Mac user like me, then you know that July will bring something very exciting. It was rumored, and then revealed at WWDC. I am talking about OS X Lion.

Many Mac users are looking at the impending release of Lion and asking the same question. “Is my Mac ready to upgrade?” While that question may seem simple at first, there are a few crucial steps that need to be accounted for. The breakdown is simple, but lets look at each one individually.

Get Up-To-Date

OS X Software Update Logo

If you are running OS X 10.5 (Leopard), then you will have to get a copy of Snow Leopard and install it. This is due to there being things in Snow Leopard that you need to upgrade to Lion. The main thing is the Mac App Store.

Also, Apple just recently released an update for OS X Snow Leopard which updated it to version 10.6.8. Within that update, it was noted that there were changes made to the Mac App Store that would be needed to get Lion. If you haven’t gotten that update yet, I would start by doing that. It also contains some security updates that are pretty important.

Get Gesture Ready

At the Lion reveal, Apple showed off a large number of multitouch gestures that are part of Lion. If you want to take full advantage of the new version of OS X, then you will need a multitouch touch pad. If you run a MacBook of any kind, then you are probably good to go. If you are on a desktop, then you may want to consider a Magic TrackPad from Apple. You can pick one up from Apple for $69.h

Get Compatible Apps

This is probably the biggest unknown at this point. App Compatibility is a two fold problem. The first people to blame are the developers at Apple. They work very hard to make sure that you can use your apps most of the time, but Lion is special. They are removing some much loved compatibility features (read: Rosetta) from the system.

RoaringApps

The second problem is the app developers. In the end, it is their responsibility to make sure their apps run on Lion. If you want to know if your app is compatible, at least with the developer previews that have been released, then I recommend you check out RoaringApps. This database has a large number of Mac Apps and current DP compatibility ratings.

Be Patient

The last things you need to upgrade to Lion is $30, an internet connection, and patience. The new version of OS X won’t be out until sometime in July, so you will just have to wait. When it comes out, I assure you that i will be upgrading.

Apple Offers Mobile Me to iCloud Transition FAQ

Since the announcement of iCloud, Apple’s upcoming cloud based service package, at WWDC earlier this month, there have been a number of questions from users. Some have asked what would happen to iWeb published websites. Others have questioned what portions of the current system, MobileMe, will make the transition.

It seems that Apple is ready to answer those questions and more. A new webpage has been released that details which parts of MobileMe will make it to iCloud, and which will not. You will see an excerpt from that page below, and it shows a quick reference chart of services and whether or not they will be part of iCloud.

Apple iCloud MobileMe Transition

The features listed in the chart will be introduced by the services mentioned at WWDC. They include:

  • iTunes in the Cloud
  • Photo Stream
  • Documents in the Cloud
  • Automatic downloads and purchase history for apps and books
  • Backup and restore

Of these, I see myself making the most use of the cloud storage of documents and photos. It is common knowledge that these features will be built into OS X Lion, once both it and iCloud become available.

If you want to look at the iCloud Transition FAQ for yourself, you can do so here. There are a number of questions and sneers available there. The cover pretty much every topic related to the switch.

Mac OS X 10.6.8 Now Available for Download

It seems that we may be looking at the jagged teeth of the final update for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Apple released a  security  security  update into the wild today, bringing the official version number of Snow Leopard to 10.6.8.

 

I ran the ‘Software Update’ application on my MacBook Pro, which was previously running 10.6.7. I hadn’t run it in a few days, but the update was around 475 MB. the  combo  updater, which is designed for multiple versions of OS X, is 1.01 GB to download.

 

If you want to see the full release notes, they are in the box below.

The 10.6.8 update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, including fixes that:

  • Enhance the Mac App Store to get your Mac ready to upgrade to Mac OS X Lion
  • Resolve an issue that may cause Preview to unexpectedly quit
  • Improve support for IPv6
  • Improve VPN reliability
  • Identify and remove known variants of Mac Defender

For detailed information on this update, please visit this website:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4561.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222.

I find the easiest way to get my update is to hit Command-Space and type ‘Software Update.’ Again, the update isn’t that big if you keep your Mac up to date. If you prefer to get the  combo updater, you can grab that here.

 

Many analysts are looking at the first bullet in the changes list and seeing that this update means that OS X Snow Leopard is coming to a close. It wouldn’t be surprising if that were the case, however. OS X Lion is due out next month, and its time for Snow Leopard’s regin to end.

 

Another important update in this patch is the line regarding MacDefender. As the first major Mac security threat, its important for Apple to develop a good strategy for dealing with such threats. As a Mac user, I am happy to see them putting this update.

Apple To Unveil Mac OS X Lion, iOS5 And iCloud Services At WWDC 2011

In less than a week from now, Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2011 will kick start. Today, in a press release Apple has revealed some more information about this year WWDC.

Like in all the previous year’s WWDC, this year also WWDC will start with a keynote from none other than the man Steve Jobs himself! The keynote is scheduled to begin at 10AM on June 5. Apple also gave us a sneak peak of what the keynote will address.

WWDC_2011

The keynote will mainly revolve around Mac OS X Lion the eight major release of OS X, iOS 5 a major upgrade of the iOS for the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch, and iCloud a new cloud based service from Apple.

The press release does not mention anything about the next generation iPhone. This confirms the rumors floating around that there will be no new iPhone at WWDC this year.

In all probability, the iCloud service from Apple will be a music streaming service like Google Music, and perhaps provide users with some storage space to save their data as well.

Nokia Betalabs releases Nokia Software Updater for Mac

Up until now Nokia provided software update tool only for Windows Platform. Nokia has now released a Beta version of Nokia Software Updater for Mac via Nokia Beta Labs.

nsu-mac

Although most of the current Smartphones released by Nokia have the facility to receive an update Over-The-Air (OTA), yet many find it easy to update via Nokia Software Updater. The first version of NSU for Mac by Nokia Beta Labs does not offer much features besides updating the firmware. The software also cannot be used to install or update apps on your Smartphone like you can do it on the Windows counterpart.

Once you connect your device to the Mac and start Nokia Software Updater for Mac, it quickly connects the handset to PC Suite mode but fails to automatically detect whether a new version of firmware is available for the handset connected. Users need to manually check whether the firmware is available or not. Since it’s still a Release Candidate, Nokia expects the software may even not function properly so use the software at your own risk.

If you still want to give it a try head over to Nokia Beta labs to download Nokia Software Updater for Mac (You need to login to download).

Apple Mac App Store Alternatives

Apple launched their Mac Store yesterday (which was apparently cracked), and it has already seen over million downloads in a single day. However, not everything is hunky dory with the app store and it comes with several problems too.

App Bodega Mac App Store

The biggest problem of all is that if you have already purchased an app, you won’t be able to get updates for it through the Mac store and will have to re-purchase the app again. There are several more problems which have been listed out by Life Hacker.

Over at a Reddit thread, several users have been bringing similar complaints to the table. So is the Mac Store your only source for apps? Well, no. There are several alternatives available for the Mac Store out there, which have been doing it for quite some time now.

One of them is App Bodega. App Bodega is a complete alternative to Mac App Store where you can download and install apps and use it as a complete package manager for all your software. App Bodega provides you with an easy way to browse and install apps, along with providing you software updates so that all your software is up-to-date. Bodega also downloads and installs all the available updates automatically if you set it up  to do so.

Another alternative to the app store is App Fresh. Though it is not a market place to buy new apps, it keeps all the installed software on your Mac up-to-date. This is what you won’t get with the current Apple App Store for previously purchased apps.

So if you have been pissed with the new App Store, you can try out these alternatives and see which works for you. After all it shouldn’t be a monopoly.

Google Cr-48 Hacked To Run Windows 7 and Mac OS X

Google Cr-48, which is a pilot netbook running seems to be quite hackable. It provides users with an Easter egg in the form of developer mode and several eager developers and geeks have made use of it to do things the netbook was not supposed to do.

Windows 7 Running on Cr-48

Earlier, some geeks had managed to run Ubuntu on the device, however, here is something much more interesting. A users has managed to install and run both and Max OS X on the Chrome Cr-48 laptop.

Yes, the hardware specs and storage space might not be that great on the Cr-48, but it can definitely run these OS. Watch a video of the Google Cr-48 running Mac OS X below.

Click here if you can’t watch the video.

(Source: Engadget)

Skype 5.0 Now Available For Mac OS X

Skype has released Skype 5.0 beta for Mac OS X which includes the new group video calling feature and a revamped user interface. The new version also integrates with your Mac address book allowing you to call, IM or SMS your contacts from within Skype.

Skype 5 Mac OS X

Earlier last month, Skype had also rolled out Skype 5.0 beta for Windows with integration and group calling features. Skype 5.0 users can group video call any other Skype 5.0 beta users on Windows or Mac OS X. Skype 5.0 for Mac also includes a new new call control bar which allows users to hang up a call or mute it from a mini Skype bar that sits on top of any web page or documents.

Other features include the ability to search chat history, send messages to users even when they are offline. You can download Skype 5.0 beta for Mac OS from here or learn more about it at the official Skype blog

Watch a video of Skype 5.0 for Mac OS X in action below: