Time to get back into my Mac guruness… I couldn’t help but notice the deluge of must-have Mac apps and updates released just today. So here’s a quickie on the mac-ky:
1. DivX Pro: Free license (hurry!)
If you love sharing videos online, you might want to add DivX to your encoding arsenal. Watching DivX video is free via a player plugin, but producing them professionally isn’t. For a limited time, submit your email address and get a free license code for Divx Pro. Here’s the download form for Windows users too. Incidentally, I’ll be giving a free talk tentatively titled “Tips and Tricks on Sharing Videos Online” at the National Library (Bugis) on Tuesday, 19th June from 6pm to 7.30pm. Let me know if you have anything you’d like me to cover and do come if you are in Singapore.
2. NetNewsWire 3.0
No die-hard blogging Mac user should go without NetNewsWire. Fresh out of beta, version 3 adds so many features and performance tweaks, I can only give a glimpse what it’s capable of. It now works with Growl and Twitterific (including a trick to twitter what you’re reading!), the built-in web browser has tabs with thumbnails (think OmniWeb), and there’s also Microformat detection (don’t know, don’t worry!). Overall, it looks a little different, but it’s definitely snappier, the web browser is more robust, and the integration with other services is way up there (i.e. twitter, del.icio.us, blogs). If you can’t afford the $29 app (come on!), a lite version of version 3 is also in the works.
3. Twitterrific 2.1
For a wonderfully free app, Iconfactory has really put in a lot of work into this little twitter-er. Besides it’s clean design, ease of managing twitters in a desktop interface, it’s power truly comes in where it integrates so well with Mac applications such as NetNewsWire and Growl. In essence, this gives you a slick way of managing your life as a blogger, by sharing news faster and wider (over channels beyond your blog). This boils back to the concept of lifestreaming, where one’s activities flow across diverse, yet convergent mediums. BTW, there’s a pretty funny easter egg inside Twitterrific… go into preferences, about, then click on the blue bird. Freakin’ lazers!
4. Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac (with 3D graphics support!)
The biggest improvement for this popular virtualization app for Intel Macs? Native graphics hardware, OpenGL and DirectX support, which means you can now play with 3D games and applications right on your Mac. That’s almost like the holy grail of virtualization technology for any operating system. It might not be super-smooth, but games like Half-Life 2 and Quake 4 seem playable. Watch this video to believe…
5. VMWare’s Fusion, now with Unity
Parallels blew us away when they added a feature called Coherence, which let you run Windows app as if they were on your Mac desktop (not trapped within a virtualization window). Hot on its heels, VMware laid in wait, springing forth Unity, a even more realistic system of running Windows apps together right on your Mac OS. Once again, watch this video to believe…
6. Apple’s Boot Camp 1.3 (beta)
As if Apple were watching the virtualization world, a new version of Boot Camp was also release today. Why upgrade? Reigning in at 274MB, the Boot Camp 1.3 beta includes: Support for keyboard backlighting (MacBook Pro only), Apple Remote pairing, updated graphics drivers (better gaming?), and improved international keyboard support. These are just a few features among a slew of updates.
Before you go…
Check out IUseThis.com for more cool Mac apps if you’re so inclined!