All items tagged with "features"

Great Workflows To Help You Get More Done With Alfred 2.0 [Feature]

There's a lot you can do with this tiny launch bar.

There’s a lot you can do with this tiny launch bar.

Alfred is a great shortcut and productivity tool for the Mac that received a huge update last week. In case you don’t know, Alfred allows you to quickly perform tasks with a series of keyboard shortcuts. If you’ve used similar tools like Quicksilver or LaunchBar, then you already have an understanding of how Alfred fundamentally works.

Over the past couple of years, Alfred has matured from a little app launcher into a full-fleged base station for getting things done on the Mac. Alfred 2.0 is a huge step forward with additional features like customizable themes, but the biggest addition is undoubtedly workflows. You can, for instance, hit a keyboard shortcut, type in the name of a new movie, and have related browser windows from IMDB, YouTube and Rotten Tomatoes instantly pop up.

Alfred has built up a community of users who have created some pretty cool Alfred 2.0 workflows you can download and use for free. Whether you’re a coder or a complete novice, it’s easy to get started with workflows and take control of your Mac.

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A Tour Of Dropbox’s Amazing New Albums [Feature]

A Tour Of Dropbox’s Amazing New Albums [Feature]

All of these photos could be in different folders. Dropbox just doesn’t care.

Dropbox is about to add a great new feature to make photo-sharing a lot easier. It’s called Albums, and it lets you group together photos from anywhere in your Dropbox folder structure and share them as a single album. The service is currently in beta testing, but if you have an Android device the most recent update also contains a version.

Let’s take a look at how it works on your Mac.

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The Gentleman’s Guide To Using Your iPhone On A Date [Feature]

iPhone 5 fireplace

Don’t let your iPhone snuff out the embers of your love.

“I was only checking Twitter,” I exclaimed in shock, as she threw my iPhone across the room, shattering it against the brick wall.

“It’s either me, or the iPhone,” she emphatically declared.

I didn’t know what to say. I had only checked Tweetbot while she was looking at her menu. It had finally come to this. Now I had a broken iPhone and a pissed-off girlfriend on Valentine’s Day.

That little story may not have actually happened to me, but I certainly don’t want it to happen in the future. Like many of you, I’m kind of addicted to my iPhone. It can be a problem sometimes. But I have found a way to conquer my addiction and keep my girlfriend happy. No one wants to face the sadness and/or wrath of a loved one who feels neglected. Love is in the air this week with Valentine’s Day, and you want your romantic endeavors with your significant other to be as meaningful as possible. That’s why you need to use your iPhone like a gentleman.

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Why You Should Be Using A Bookmarking Service On Your iPad Or Mac [Feature]

Pinboard

Pinboard: It’s not pretty, but it works.

Remember bookmarks? It’s how we used to save sites to go back to later. In theory anyway. Browser bookmark search was pretty terrible, and you had to remember the name of the site to find it again. So we mostly just used Google to search for a site every time we wanted to go there.

And then came Del.icio.us.

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The 128GB Retina iPad Is The Desktop To The iPad Mini’s Laptop [Opinion]

The 128GB Retina iPad Is The Desktop To The iPad Mini’s Laptop [Opinion]

So similar, and yet so different…

With Tuesday’s’s announcement of a 128GB iPad 4, Apple is clearly signaling that the iPad is not only suitable for serious work, but that it can be the primary machine for many users. Most commenters have fixated on fitting extra movies and other consumables into the extra 64GB of space, but they’re forgetting about work.

In fact, I’d say that the iPad With Retina Display, as Apple now insists on calling it, is the new desktop machine, and the iPad mini is the new laptop. Why? Let me explain:

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Back To The Future: 15 Years Of Apple Web Design Seen Through A Time Machine [Feature]

backtothefutureiphone

In just the last fifteen years, a lot has changed for Apple. The company has transformed itself from a dying corporation teetering on the brink of bankruptcy into the most powerful technology company in the world, a giant that has revolutionized pretty much every aspect of technology.

Given the extraordinary changes that have happened to Apple in the last fifteen years, you’d think that the Apple.com homepage would have gone through a lot of changes too. But it hasn’t. Why not?

Going back through fifteen years of Apple.com homepages, it is clear that for Apple, their website is just another product, just like an iPhone or iPod. When Apple wants to make a new product, they first find the ideal form they think that object should be, and then endlessly iterate upon it over successive generations to bring the function of that form into sharper relief.

Apple’s website is no different. Here’s how Apple has refined it over the years.

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Alex’s Thanksgiving Smorgasbord: Jony Ive, Spotify, iMessage, EarPods, Griffin Elevator Stand

Alex’s Thanksgiving Smorgasbord: Jony Ive, Spotify, iMessage, EarPods, Griffin Elevator Stand

Happy Thanksgiving! This year to observe the holiday we asked each of our writers to tell us a bit about the things they are most thankful for in 2012: specifically, the Apple product, app, service, third-party accessory and person they most relied upon and were grateful for this year. All through the rest of the day, we’ll be posting these thanksgiving observances. Here’s Cult of Mac News Writer Alex Heath’s list of the things he’s most thankful for this year. You can find the rest of our Thanksgiving Smorgasbord entries here.

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Brownlee’s Thanksgiving Smorgasbord: AirPlay, Rdio, Day One, Jambox, Mr. Macintosh

Brownlee’s Thanksgiving Smorgasbord: AirPlay, Rdio, Day One, Jambox, Mr. Macintosh

Happy Thanksgiving! This year to observe the holiday we asked each of our writers to tell us a bit about the things they are most thankful for in 2012: specifically, the Apple product, app, service, third-party accessory and person they most relied upon and were grateful for this year. All through the rest of the day, we’ll be posting these thanksgiving observances. Here’s Cult of Mac Deputy Editor John Brownlee’s list of the things he’s most thankful for this year. You can find the rest of our Thanksgiving Smorgasbord entries here.

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Why An iPad Mini With Retina Display Would Have Cost $379 [Feature]

Why An iPad Mini With Retina Display Would Have Cost $379 [Feature]

This could have cost $379. Image via CNET.

Although the iPad mini is well-reviewed, a constant complaint that has been leveled against Apple’s smallest tablet is that the display isn’t Retina. In fact, in my review of the iPad mini, I could barely see past the terrible fuziness of the on-screen text, and considered it an otherwise perfect device’s Achilles’ Heel.

Over the last day or so, a lot of thinkers in the Apple space have piped up, saying that it would essentially be impossible for Apple to make the iPad mini with a Retina display.

Summarized, the argument is this: A Retina iPad mini would be too expensive for Apple to make right now, and it would come with other tradeoffs, like a significantly reduced battery life and a much thicker and heavier form factor.

I was curious if this was actually true, so I decided to try an experiment: I’d build an imaginary Retina iPad mini out of technology that Apple already has access to, add up how much it would cost, and then see what the design tradeoffs would be.

What I found out was that Apple could indeed have shipped an iPad mini with Retina this generation without significantly changing the form or battery life of the device, but it would have cost $379. Here’s why.

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8 Tacky Design Crimes That Jonathan Ive Should Set Right In iOS 7 [Feature]

8 Tacky Design Crimes That Jonathan Ive Should Set Right In iOS 7 [Feature]

So long, Scott Forstall. Don’t let your crappy skeuomorphic designs hit your ass on the way out.

Skeuomorphism, or the tendency to deliberately make something new look like something old and familiar. Some people love it, some people hate it and think it’s tacky.

No matter how you feel, his love for skeuomorphism is one of many reasons that former iOS chief Scott Forstall was fired yesterday. Replacing him is Apple’s Senior VP of Design, Jonathan Ive, who will lead a new Human Interface Group in Apple… and whom reportedly loathes skeuomorphism with every fiber of his being.

All that fake leather stitching, those hideous textures, those bizarre font choices in iOS’s stock apps? If Ive gets his way – and we think he will — they’re all about to change.

Here are the eight skeuomorphic apps in iOS 6 we hope Jony Ive is going to change in iOS 7, along with some third-party apps we hope he takes inspiration from.

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