Mac Essentials: AppFresh

AppFresh
AppFresh

If you have used Apple software Update utility before, you would have no problems using AppFresh as it feels very native to the Mac platform. The tool helps you find available updates for all software installed on your Mac including widgets (how cool is that?!)

The look and feel of this software is very Mac like and you feel totally at home when using the software. I would rate the interface to be better than that of Mac’s own software update utility. It does a neat work of classifying software in to Mac, widgets, Microsoft etc. Which means if you have this software installed on your Mac you need not run individual update check for any of the software installed on your machine including Apple and Microsoft.

There are filters available to filter the list based on Vendor. All you need to do to update a software is to mark it for updation and it does the whole thing automatic. In some cases (very rare) when AppFresh cannot update your software automatic, it’ll guide you to the vendor’s page from where you’ll be able to run an update for yourself.

Here’s the type of updates mentioned on AppFresh website.

Apple Updates

Apple software and system updates

Microsoft AutoUpdate

Checks for Microsoft AutoUpdate 1 and 2,

Download and Install

AppFresh enables you to download any number of updates and automatically install them if you want. It also helps locating downloads and sends Growl notifications when the jobs is done.

Widgets, PrefPanes, Plug-ins

Update applications as well as widgets, preference panes and plug-ins.

Sparkle Updates

By fully supporting RSS based Sparkle updates a great percentage of self updating applications can be updated using AppFresh.

Click here to download

key points from Apple Event on 20th October 2010


Key points from Apple Event on 20th October 2010

In the event organised at the Apple HQ in Cupertino at 10 AM Pacific Time, Apple made few announcements about new products and dropping few hints about their strategy going forward. This article is only to quickly sum up the key points from the Key note presentation by Steve Jobs.

Apple tried to defend its Mac business plan by throwing in a few numbers about Mac and trying to convince that in contrast to popular belief Apple is actually very much in control of the Mac platform and has no plans to discontinue it in the near future.

State of Mac

13.7 Million Macs sold in FY2010
22 Billion Mac revenue for FY 2010
33% of Apple’s Revenue is Mac
20.7% US Consumer market share (i.e 1 in 5 PCs sold)
600000 Registered Mac Developers (growing at 30K per month)
Mac is #1  seventh year in a row and Consumer reports #! In last decade
50% of Mac buyers are first time buyers

New Products unveiled.

iLife '11

iLife '11

iLife ‘11  (iPhoto ’11, iMovie ’11, GarageBand ’11)

USD 49, GBP45

iPhoto ‘11

New Full screen modes (Similar to iOS devices)
Facebook enhancements (Direct upload on FaceBook from within iPhoto, Can also see comments from within iPhoto)
Emailing photos (Email directly from iPhoto without leaving the application)
New Slideshows
Big leap in books (New book formats, Easy to manage)
Letterpress Cards

iPhoto '11
iPhoto '11

Full Screen facess view
Full screen places view

iMovie ‘11

All new Audio editing (you can now adjust the pitch of audio in each clip)

One step effects (Instant replay)
People finder (face detection similar to iPhoto now in iMovie)
New and sports themes
Movie trailers (Preset trailers for drag and drop trailer creation of your videos)

GarageBand’11

iMovie '11
iMovie '11

Flex Time (You can set the time of a note as required)
Groove Matching (Select a main groove

and match everything based on the main groove)
More guitar amps and effects

New piano and guitar lessons
“How Did I Play?” (Similar to Rock band but only less fun!)

FaceTime

19 million iOS devices already using FaceTime

GarageBand '11
GarageBand '11

FaceTime now available on Mac

Preview of New OS – Lion (Expected in Summer ’2011)

Back to the Mac (Mac was tweaked to create iOS. Now best bits of iOS are brought back to Mac)
Multi-touch gestures (using trackpad or Magic mouse)
Mac App Store (Similar to the Apps store for iOS platform)
App Home Screens (Similar to iOS Devices)
Full screen Apps (Similar to iOS Devices)
Auto save (Similar to iOS Devices)
Apps resume when launched (Similar to iOS Devices)

Mac App Store (Expected to be launched within 90 days)

Best place to discover apps
One click downloads (No license or agreement required)
Free & Paid apps (70/30 split)
Automatic installation (Similar to iOS Devices)
Automatic app updates (Similar to iOS Devices)
Apps licensed for use on all your personal Macs
Mission Control = Expose + Full screen apps + dashboard + Spaces. (it creates a stack of similar apps window that are open and allows you to navigate between open apps quicker)

One More thing…

Macbook Air

Unibody

MacBook Air 2010
MacBook Air 2010

0.68 inches at the thickest point
0.11 inches at thinest point
No Optical Drive
No Hard Drive
Flash storage – benefits
Instant on
Up to 2x faster
More Reliable
90% smaller and lighter

1) MacBook Air 13.3 inch

13.3 inch LED backlit display

MacBook Air 2010
MacBook Air 2010

1440 x 900 pixels
Core 2 duo processsor
NVIDIA GeForce 320m
Full size Keyboard
Multi-touch trackpad
FaceTime Camera
Battery life
Wireless Web 7 hours
Standby 30 days
USD1299-USD1599, GBP849-GBP999

2) MacBook Air 11.6 inch

11.6 inch LED backlit display

MacBook Air 2010
MacBook Air 2010

1366 x 768 pixels
Core 2 duo processsor
NVIDIA GeForce 320m
Full size Keyboard
Multi-touch trackpad
FaceTime Camera
Battery life
Wireless Web 5 hours
Standby 30 days
USD999-USD1199, GBP1099-GBP1349

MacBook Air 2010
MacBook Air 2010

Mac Essentials: DropBox

DropBox
DropBox

How may times do you use your USB stick to copy and move your files around? How many times do you send a copy of file to yourself so that you can pick it up on a different machine while on travel or at home/office? Now the only downside about this is that you’ll end up with multiple versions of the same file and each one residing at a different location. Imagine a situation where you have multiple computers that you work on and are constantly worried about the right version of a file to be available on the right machine.

DropBox is a tool that can be used to overcome such issues. DropBox is a cloud storage tool that resides on your Mac and seamlessly stores file on the cloud in real time. Since it is available on almost all platforms including mobile platforms, it comes in very handy for making changes in a file on the go and from different locations.

With DropBox, you can use it on as many machines as you like. You can manage files with a simple drag and drop. You can also create folders and sub folders to manage your files. You can share access to a folder with friends, family, clients, associates, vendors and more so that they need not have a copy of the file but can access the file from your folder to get the latest and most updated version of the file at anytime. Sharing of the folder can be done with others even if they do not use DropBox.

You get to use 2GB space for free when you sign up DropBox. You can pay for additional storage based on your requirement. There are various storage options available on payable basis. By the way, DropBox offers a referral scheme which can land you a cool 8GB of extra storage!

Click here to download