The 5 best third-party apps with Lion full-screen support

Want some great Mac apps that work with Lion’s new full-screen mode and really show off why the new feature is one of the best new additions to OS X? We’ve got you covered, with this list of five of the absolute best full-screen stars.

Will the Cloud Lead Me Away From the Mac?

cloud

There’s no doubt that cloud computing is a growing trend. All you have to look at is the popularity of netbooks to see that many people nowadays will be quite happy with a computing device that gives them access to the web, and not much else.

I’m certainly part of this trend, as I write this story I have the following web-based applications open on my Mac:

What surprises me isn’t how many web apps I’m accessing, but how few native Mac applications I am using to access these services. I am using Tweetie to access Twitter, Evernote has it’s own native Mac application and I use BusyCal to access Google Calendar. Apart from that, all of these web services are being accessed either via Safari (Facebook and Lexulous), or via Site Specific Browsers (SSBs), which means I’m using the naked, if you will, web interface for the application.
Two years ago I never would have done this. I actually wrote a whole blog post, on a now defunct blog, about how I eschewed web-based applications in favor of native Mac apps because I wanted a Mac-like experience. As such I used Mail.app to get my email, NetNewsWire for RSS feeds, Omni Focus for tasks, etc. Nowadays I use web-based apps for all those functions. Read More about Will the Cloud Lead Me Away From the Mac?

Quick Look: Creating and Using Site Specific Browsers

ssb-intro

The advent of the cloud over the past few years has meant that a lot of the tasks that we were used to doing on our Mac have now moved to the web. This brings with it a host of issues, from data ownership to reliability of services (see recent Sidekick fiasco) and whether the web can deliver a Mac-like experience.

Putting all that aside, however, a more mundane problem is managing all of those sites and getting to them quickly and easily. Individual apps conveniently come with their own icon on your dock, web apps do not, forcing you to dig through the myriad of open tabs in your browser to find the app you need. Read More about Quick Look: Creating and Using Site Specific Browsers

Use iPhone Optimized Web Sites On Your Desktop For Greater Productivity

We’ve talked about Site Specific Browsers like Bubbles in the past and while I have found them to be useful in some instances, it’s only with the proliferation of web applications with iPhone optimized interfaces that I have really started using them.

I have found that setting up multiple SSB windows ,each containing the iPhone view of a web application, allows me to create a dashboard of sorts on my spare monitor. At a glance, I can view my stable of important apps in nice compact, consistent windows.

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No jog dial on your Tablet? Two old friends to the rescue.

Miniscroller_2I mentioned in my first impressions of the HP 2710p that the lack of a jog dial like that on the tc1100 was a big oversight on HP’s part.   This is particularly evident while web browsing, especially reading feeds in Google Reader. Without an easy way to move up and down the page the experience is not as enjoyable as it could be.  Today as I spent more time with the 2710p, I remembered two old friends that have rekindled the passion for web browsing and more than make up for the lack of the jog dial.

The first friend is for Firefox users, the Grab and Drag extension. Nothing is easier than dragging the web page all over to reach those hard to browse parts of the page. Highly recommended.  The second friend is a utility that transforms the Google Reader experience into one of pure joy. It was a Freeware of the Moment pick way back when and it still lives up to that designation . Miniscroller adds up/down arrows, page up/ page down keys and more right on the screen. Using Miniscroller I can spin through feeds so fast it’s great. Don’t leave home without it.

Consumer Reluctance on VoIP… So Far

My former boss, David Churbuck had some thoughts and I thought, well time to share them with you…

Consumer reluctance on VoIP is, I think, due to a few things.
1. Switching costs. Inertia is difficult thing to break. Some segment of the population will switch broadband providers or long-distance carriers are the mere whiff of a savings or some frequent flier mileage. Not for most.
2. Features. Your average Joe needs to see a compelling feature set, other than cost, to drive the cross-over. VoIP has lots of compelling office applications, but no one is marketing any “must-have” residential features.