Google announced a slew of new services at its I/O developers conference today. Many of these services are new from Google, but they are not new to the market place. The company showed their continued march to integrating as much as possible into Google+, clearly taking aim at converting Facebook users to Google+ users. But the overall results of Google's announcements were very Microsoftian, being late to the table with little to differentiate their products from others already in the market with well established solutions. The show seemed more tailored towards Google fanboys, and the fact they should give up Pandora or Facebook simply because Google now offers their own also ran products.
Photoshop is the best image editor on the market. It is being used in a vast number of professions, from medical imaging to 3D graphics. Will that change with Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which has change the way users purchase Photoshop? Under Creative Cloud, users no longer purchase the software, but rent it for $240 a year. For many users, this price is just too expensive.
Users who can’t afford, or don't want to spend $240 a year for Photoshop are now looking for alternatives. This is a difficult task as there are really no feature-to-feature competitors to Photoshop. Yet most people looking for an alternative do not use all of the features of Photoshop. The following is a list of possible alternatives for some users and how it can replace Photoshop.
Adobe has been changing the way their customers can buy their software lately. During the past decade, users of Adobe's software were stretching out their upgrade cycles, choosing to forego every single update, as the costs didn't justify, and the new features were not that compelling. Many were upgrading only when a major OS or hardware change required them to do so. When Creative Suite 6 came out, Adobe told its customers that they would only be able to upgrade from one version back instead of 3 or 4. This meant users could not upgrade every other version, doubling the cost for many.
Sony recently announced aggressive price points for its all-new XBR 55" and 65" 4K Ultra HDTVs. Sony will be launching the 55" base model for a seemingly jaw dropping $4,999, while its largest 84" set continues to drop jaws for the exactly opposite reason, coming in at $24,999.
Rumors continue to swirl about Apple entering the market with an all-in-one Apple TV plus HDTV device rumored to be called "iTV." Assuming Apple dives into the living room, a recent article by Mark Hibben sheds some light on why Apple would be wise to jump into the game with its own 4K set (displays with 4x more resolution than current 1920 x 1080 HDTVs).
Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion gave Mac users some parity with iOS users through the introduction Notification Center. OS X Notification Center is a non-intrusive way of alerting Mac users of incoming messages, like emails, appointments and OS X updates, through badges or alerts. Badges are little notifications that appear in the top right corner of the screen for five seconds then slide away. While the badge is still present, one can click it and be transported to the specific application and particular message. Alerts are a little more intrusive as they require action to be taken (close, open) before they disappear.
The idea behind Notification Center is to let the user know that a new message has come in, but not to disturb the current work flow. Notification Center also has a side bar to the right that allows for viewing of several different notifications, from different apps, all at once. That said, Notification Center has much growing up to do, and below are some suggestions we have for Notification Center in OS X 10.9:
The current MacBook Pro 15-inch comes with two graphics processors or GPUs. The HD4000 is integrated into the Intel chip and the Nvidia GeForce GT650M is a discrete graphics card with 1GB of memory. The MacBook Pro 13-inch just comes with the HD4000. While the Nvidia card is much faster than the HD4000, it uses more battery power. That all may change this summer.
The Mail application was one of the first apps that Apple wrote for OS X. Those who remember the first official release, OS X 10.0 (Cheetah), know that Mail.app was there from the beginning, as it was to be an example for developers on how to write an app for the OS X platform. However, Mail.app soon was adopted by many and Apple started improving it with each release of the OS.
That said, there are several things Mail.app doesn't do very well or could do better. Below is a list of improvements we would like to see in the OS X 10.9 release:
The two indisputable smart phone leaders are Apple and Samsung. Other players such as HTC, Nokia, Motorola and LG are just slivers on the market share pie chart. Marketing 101 stipulates that when in a two-horse race, if you are the leader you never mention the number two contender. If you are in second place, then you always compare yourself to the leader. After watching this ad, it is clear that Samsung thinks they are second in the pecking order.
The Mac OS is a mature operating system. It is a good looking and clean interface that stays out of the way so users can focus on their work. The gradient gray interface minimizes distractions while shadows create depth for better window separation, but with all these great features, there is still room for improvement.
There still are many ways Apple can improve how the OS interacts with the user. One of those areas is spotlight. Spotlight is great for searching for items on the computer in real-time, and it is lightening fast with solid state storage, yet Apple could make it so much better.
Recent rumors about features found in Apple’s forthcoming OS X 10.9 seemed to come out of nowhere last week. While the next Mac OS update appears to focus on the “Power User” with tabbed Finder windows and tags, there are still a few things on my OS X Wish List I'd like to see Apple deliver.
1) My primary computer is a 13" MacBook Air. While traveling I make do with the built in display, but when in the office I always have a second monitor connected. There is pain when going from a single monitor to dual configuration and then back to single monitor. The Finder windows (and other app windows too) do not remember where they were in a single or dual monitor configuration. Finder needs to remember how windows were arranged when in dual-monitor or single built-in display modes are used. The Dock should also remember its different placements, dependent upon monitor configuration (e.g., single display to the left, dual on the bottom).