Cult Favorite: BumpTop Re-Imagines Your Mac Desktop in 3D

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What it is: BumpTop for Mac is OS X software that gives you a whole new way of looking at and using your desktop, one that brings your computer screen into the realm of 3D imaging and instantly grows your monitor’s real estate – no matter how large or small – into a more productive palette than anything you’ve seen before.

Why it’s cool: BumpTop represents a total re-thinking of the 20 year-old design artifact that is the standard desktop UI.

Now you can view your computer screen as a real desk, or more accurately perhaps, as the floor of a four walled room – and use all the space to put your stuff in piles, tack important things on the walls and slap sticky notes on everything – just like in real life.

Desktop minimalists are hereby free to skip the rest of this post.

The driving force behind BumpTop’s innovation is the concept of Piles, with which Mac users will be familiar vis a vis Stacks – though BumpTop’s Piles are so much more.

Piles in BumpTop are agile. They work just like the piles of stuff on your desk or floor – you can throw stuff into them and use BumpTop’s Grid view or your mouse’s scroll wheel to leaf through them with ease.

BumpTop for Mac is also fully integrated with the gesture features of modern MacBook trackpads – you can pinch/zoom to shrink & grow your Piles, use three finger swipes to create and break Piles and swipe to leaf through Piles in a way that’s totally intuitive and familiar to anyone who’s ever seen a cover flow display.

BumpTop for Windows has been around for a while, but the product launching today is no blind port from the DarkSide.

Development of BumpTop for Mac was driven by interest from Mac users and implemented by a team of developers culled from award-winning shops that produced iPhone apps such as Pano for iPhone and Little Metal Ball. The underlying architecture is fast and robust and the Mac version has Mac-only features including total integration with Exposé, Spaces and Spotlight.

A prominent investor in BumpTop is Andy Hertzfeld, one of the many core Mac people for whom BumpTop resonates as a great innovation. “I was very impressed,” said Hertzfeld. “BumpTop leverages intuition and experience with the real world to [create an] experience that is simple, fun and practical.”

Where to get it: BumpTop for Mac is available beginning today in Free and Pro versions from the BumpTop website.

The Free version supports limited sticky notes, doesn’t support the Flip, Find as You Type, or MultiTouch features of the Pro version and has lower support priority, but otherwise features all of the 3D GUI, Piles and Clean Up functionality of the Pro version.

BumpTop Pro for Mac is $29 – but if you follow Cult of Mac on Twitter and/or become a Fan of Cult of Mac on Facebook, next Monday we will be giving away access codes for the Pro version to up to 100 lucky readers.

Download your free copy of BumpTop for Mac today and check Twitter and Facebook Monday 1/25 for your chance to go Pro on us.

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About the author

Lonnie Lazar

Lonnie Lazar is a writer-musician-web designer-attorney. He writes about Apple for Cult of Mac and Mac|Life, and about VoIP and telecommunications for Voxilla. Follow Lonnie on Twitter @LonnieLazar, join the Cult of Mac on Facebook, and find Lonnie's photos on Flickr.

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Posted in Desktop Pictures, First impressions, Macintosh, News, Software |