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100 Tips #44: How To Customize The Finder Sidebar



Waaaay back in Tip #9, I said we’d take a closer look at the Finder sidebar. Let’s do that right now.

A Finder window has the Toolbar at the top. (We looked at how to customize it in Tip #11.) This is where you have controls for what you’re doing with the Finder, as well as (optionally), shortcuts to specific things like files or applications.

Today we’re looking at the sidebar to the left. It’s the place for shortcuts to locations. Here, you can put folders, drives or volumes that you want swift access to from everywhere.

15 Of Our Favorite Mac OS X App Icons In 2010 [Year in Review]



When Apple updated the iTunes 10 icon earlier this year, it sparked huge controversy among Mac users everywhere — many branded the new icon ugly, lifeless, and unconventional. The debate showed that lots of Mac users like to see beautiful apps with beautiful icons.

Here are 15 of our favorite Mac OS X icons from 2010 that stand out for being beautifully designed, brilliantly colorful, and wonderfully unique. We’ve selected icons that make you want to find out more about an application, and that you’d proudly place in your dock for all to see.

We hope you like them. Check them out after the break. If you know better icons, please tell us about them in the comments. Free apps for the best ideas.

Tweetie-Like GMail Client Sparrow Gets A Major Update



A new update for Tweetie-esque GMail client Sparrow has just hit the Internet in time for the Holiday, adding some important new refinements including the addition of:

• Progress Bar
• Gmail shortcuts
• Quick labeling
• Quick Labeling and Archiving
• Smart recipient auto-complete
• ‘Download message on demand’ option
• Auto-restart on Menu Bar/Dock settings
• Quicklook in the compose window
• Horizontal scrollbar
• Plain text option

Sparrow’s developers also intend to bring the app to the Mac App Store, and so they’re now forking Sparrow into two different apps: one that is free and ad-supported, the other a paid version without ads.

I’m downloading it to give it a try — I’ve loved the idea about Sparrow, but the first betas were just too buggy and feature-poor to deal with. I can’t wait to see if my niggling issues have been fixed.

100 Tips #35: What is Exposé?



Exposé is an OS X feature designed to help you move around many documents and applications quickly and easily.

All you have to do is push a button (or move your mouse in a particular way, or drag your fingers on the trackpad), and all your open windows, from all your open applications, will be displayed on screen at once, shrunk down so that you can see them all.

Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s Answer To The iPhone Of Two Years Ago



It’s taken them over three years to respond to the revolutionary shift in the mobile operating system landscape posed by iOS, but Microsoft has finally done it and released a properly modern, properly app-laden and properly multi-touchable successor to the Windows Mobile series: Windows Phone 7. But what differentiates Windows Phone 7 from Windows Mobile 6.5, Windows Mobile 6 and a host of even crappier mobile operating systems squirted out by Microsoft?

Quite a bit, actually, and it’s quite a bit better… but it’s still two years behind the curve of iOS.