Transitioning to the college lifestyle can be awkward at first. Being away from home, having a heavy workload and still wanting to hangout with friends can be a lot to manage all at once.
Luckily, your Mac can help relieve a little of that stress throughout the school year. In today’s video, take a look at these five hot Mac tips that can make your new year of college easier: be prepared for thieves, find the best way to take notes and more.
While our Macs were designed for power, they were also made for beauty. Sharply rounded edges and fine materials come together to create the computers we know and love. But with normal daily use, dirt and grime can make our Mac workhorses less attractive.
In today’s video, we show you the surprisingly simple steps you can take to relieve your Mac of filth and enjoy a cleaner, better-looking computing experience. Make use of these quick Mac cleaning tips and having a fresh-looking computer will be a cinch.
OS X 10.10 Yosemite is gorgeous. It’s the biggest visual overhaul to come to OS X since Aqua, which has caused a rush of Apple fanboys – including our own Leander Kahney - to jump the gun and install the buttery smooth interface on every Mac in sight.
Playing around with Apple’s newest software is a true tech delight, but it can also come with some horrific consequences if you install it as your main OS, as most apps still aren’t optimized for the update. However, unlike iOS 8 there’s a safe way to install it without ruining your Mac until the final version is ready.
Here’s how to install the Yosemite beta in the most responsible way possible:
We've got lots of film-related apps this week, from a slo-mo stabilizer and an on-the-go moviemaking app for the iPhone to a video collaboration editing suite for the Mac. You’ll also get reminded to do errands when you arrive at a certain right place, and you can even tell the temperature. By crickets.
Cinamatic for iOS is like Instagram’s video recorder, only better (and not just for Instagram). It comes from the makers of Hipstamatic, and brings all the filters you’d expect because of that. I’ve been using it a ton over the weekend, and I love how easy and fast it is to make an edited video with sound – you just hold the big button down to record, release to stop, and repeat until you’re done. All video is square, and many effects are free. You can even add music from your iTunes library. Free
PlaceUs, from Google Maps developer Sam Liang, is a kind of tracking app for you and your family or friends. It uses location data to track users, and you can share your location (and even your route) with others. You can also use it to track your own movements, and it can even learn your routines and automate tasks – the example given is that PlaceUs would see you’re going to Starbucks and warn you to buy proper coffee elsewhere. Just kidding – it would automatically message your friends and ask them if they want anything from Starbucks too. Free
Aperture Exporter is a free tool for those fleeing Aperture after Apple shut it down. It’s a beta, but that’s cool because you can still use Aperture for now while you wait for the final version. Aperture Exporter will mirror your collections as folders, save the original files with XMP metadata sidecar files, and even retain your ratings, comments and other metadata. What you won’t get is your image edits, but that’s because Lightroom and Aperture are so different. Free
Ballloon is a Chrome browser extension that should really be an iOS app. It is a quick and easy way to add any pictures or files to your Google Drive or your Dropbox. Hover over an image and a Dropbox and/or G-Drive icon pops up. Click it and your image is saved to a (user-definable) folder. Links can be saved by right-clicking. This would be neat-o in Mobile Safari, but isn’t even in regular desktop Safari yet. Still, it’s free, and very handy indeed. Free
Did you know that you can tell the temperature by crickets? If you own Money Mark’s album Mark’s Keyboard Repair, and have listened to the track Insects Are All Around Us, then you do. Cricket Temperature is an app that uses the iPhone’s mic to listen to crickets and turn the pitch of their chirrups into a temperature reading. You can also do it manually: Count the number of chirrups in 15 seconds and add 40. The result is very close to the temperature on the Fahrenheit thermometer. $1
Frame.io looks nothing short of amazing. This collaboration tool for video artists lets you upload clips, view them, rearrange them on a grid and share them with others. Your collaborators can comment and sketch on your clips, and you can even check out a clip to work on, adding it back as a new version. Then these versions can be watched side by side. It pretty much replaces all the crap you’d need to do this manually with one integrated app. Coming soon
Spillo is the first OS X Pinboard app that is as clean and simple as the Pinboard bookmarking service itself. You can browse all your saved bookmarks in a three-pane window with entries for private, public, starred and unread, plus another section for community-sourced bookmarks. My favorite part is Collections, which lets you make smart collections based on tag, title, URL and more. You can even save a search of public Pinboard bookmarks, making this a great place to keep up-to-date on, well, anything. Spillo costs $10, with a free trial available.
Steady Camera is like a Steadicam for your iPhone, in app form. You can shoot stabilized video and slow-mo and preview the results instantly. The app works with any iPhone from the 4s up, and can smooth video shot even while you run along. Options are simple (square or 16:9 format, choose which clips to save to the Camera Roll), and it costs just $2.
To-do app Todoist can now remind you to take certain actions when you get to a specific place. Premium users can set location-based alerts and get reminded when they arrive at or pass by that location. I use Siri for this, as it’s incredibly easy to set a reminder to do something when I get home, but I guess if you’re already a Todoist user this will be a great addition. Todoist costs €21 per year for a premium subscription.
The Brother P-Touch P750W label printer works like a charm. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
When I was a kid, we used to label everything: toys, boxes, file folders. My parents used one of those manual rotary label dispensers, the kind you had to squeeze hard enough to make each individual letter poke up through the hard plastic label tape. It was a good day when my brother and I got to use the label maker to title our shelves, toys and books (“Rob’s Stuff” was a common theme).
These days, printing labels is a lot easier thanks to computers and label printers like the ones from Dymo and Brother. Typically, you’ve got to connect these to a Mac or PC, and then use special software to send labels to the label printer.
The Brother P-Touch P750W (printer makers really need to work on their model names) is a label printer that can connect to your computer via USB, sure, but also connect either to your existing Wi-Fi network or create its own Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n network to print labels from any device, including iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Windows PCs and Macs.
Yeah, I’ve already labeled some shelves around the house. Old habits, it appears, die hard.
Sometimes things aren’t as easy as they could be when you’re using your Mac to plow through the day’s tasks. Cluttered screens and excess clicking become irritating and tiresome. In today’s video, we take a look at five useful Mac shortcuts that can make using your Apple computer even more efficient.
Apple and Adobe make major moves to change the way we manage our photographs. Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
Ubiquitous cloud storage and editing solutions for your photos are like buses: You wait ages for one, and then two come along at once.
Both Apple and Adobe are going all-in on allowing you to view and edit your photos on any device. Adobe has done this by bringing its Lightroom desktop app to mobile. Apple is doing it by ditching iPhoto and Aperture and starting again with the upcoming Photos app for iOS.
While the approaches are different, they both look rad. And they’ll drive a fundamental shift in the way we manage our photos.
As expected, Apple’s website is currently advertising the company’s “Back to School” promotion.
Details about the promotion appeared early today, following a period during which the Apple Online Store was temporarily closed for business. Much like last year, Apple is offering students free gift cards of varying amounts when they purchase a Mac, iPhone, or iPad. A Mac purchase will net customers a $100 Apple Store Gift Card, while iPhone and/or iPad purchases will be rewarded with a $50 gift card.
Is a notebook the best portable computer, or have we just gotten used to its quirks? Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
With Apple’s mobile and desktop platforms growing closer in iOS 8 and Yosemite, I started wondering: Is the laptop inherently better for computing than a tablet, or does it just seem that way because we’re so used to the folding form factor?
Could it be that, if the iPad had launched before the Mac and we’d spent the last 30 years using touchscreens, we would balk at using keyboards, mice and dumb screens to do our computing work? Or, in my time-reversed world, if Apple unveiled the Mac in 2010, would we all cling to our iPads and claim Cupertino was nuts for foisting OS X upon us?
With so much focus on its iOS devices, it’s easy to forget that Apple is constantly innovating for its Mac product line as well.
On Thursday, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals the company’s investigations into possible future Mac Keyboards which support gesture controls, as well as in-key pictograms, symbols, and glyphs.