OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Developer Preview 3

There’s a lot of iOS based improvement going into Apple’s newest Operating System, OS X 10.8, code named, Mountain Lion. Let’s take a look at how it and iOS are converging.

There’s been a lot going on in Cupertino since February of this year. Apple has been hard at work pulling together the latest version of its new desktop operating system, OS X 10.8, code named Mountain Lion. Apple is, at least in some sense, converging their two most successful platforms – iOS, which it uses to power all of its mobile devices; and OS X, which powers all of its desktops and laptops. With the iPad parked squarely between the two platforms (but powered by iOS), Apple is trying to build synergy between the two platforms so that users can easily use both without a experiencing any jarring transitions.

The effort is commendable. There are a great many Apple customers who own not only an iPod Touch or iPhone, but an iPad as well as a desktop/laptop Mac. Bringing the two together was something that Steve wanted to do. Let’s take a look at where the two converge and the value they provide, if any.

Messages Beta
Byte covered Messages Beta, and the features it brings to the desktop, in an extensive deep dive. Messages Beta is available for download on Mac’s running Lion, and will be usable until the new OS is officially available for purchase in the App Store. At that point, Messages will stop functioning in Lion, and those users who wish to keep using it will need to upgrade to Mountain Lion.

Notifications
Applications like Growl have been providing system notifications in OS X for quite some time. Apple has finally brought the same kind of functionality as you see in Growl, to Mountain Lion by integrating system wide notification into the operating system. The actual implementation takes its queues directly from iOS. They share a similar tray background, look and feel.

When system or app events occur on your Mac, those notifications will appear in the upper right corner of your screen, in a self-hiding event tray that slides out on the right side, as opposed to coming down from the center of the screen as it does on your iPad or iPhone. System event notifications disappear after a few moments have passed. Other notification types need to be dismissed by the user.

How, if at all, this will work or conflict with notification apps like Growl is yet to be known or understood. Growl is a long standing, value added application that many have used for YEARS simply because OS X didn’t support this type of functionality. It’s quite possible that Growl may be out of a job…

Reminders
Combining Reminders with Siri on the iPhone 4S is pretty awesome. All you have to do to set one on your iPhone is to ask Siri to, “remind [you] to do ‘X’ [at] ‘Y’, ” with X being the thing you want the reminder to remind you to do, and Y being when you want the reminder to go off. In Mountain Lion, Apple brings the Reminders app to the desktop, but without Siri. You get everything you’ve got on the iPhone (again, minus Siri) as well as a couple other cool additions.

On the desktop, Reminders allows you to create a task or to-do list, set the date and time you want the reminders to go off and the ability to push them to all of your iDevices. Having this on your Mac also means you get the ability to search through your reminders and view them on your calendar.

The one feature that Reminders doesn’t do on your Mac is “remind [you] to do ‘X’ when you get to ‘Z’,” with X again being the thing you want to do, and Z being the location where you want to do it. For example, again on your iPhone, “Siri, remind me to call home when I leave the office.” Location services aren’t built into Mountain Lion, so reminders on the desktop aren’t location aware.

iCloud Integration
Mountain Lion is the first edition of OS X that includes built in iCloud integration from its initial release. Yes, Lion has it; but it’s an update introduced add-on. With Mountain Lion, Apple gives you access to cloud-based sync services for Notes, Reminders and Messages/iMessage between your Mac and your iDevice.

Documents and changes to those documents stored there will also sync back and forth between your Mac and iDevice. An additional feature coming for documents in the cloud is Document Library. Aside from giving you access to the latest revision of any document created with an iCloud supported app, Document Library also gives you the ability to create folders by dragging one document on top of another, as you do with shortcuts on an iDevice home page, today. Document Library will also support file sharing, making it easy for you to share stuff with those you know via Mail, Messages and AirDrop.

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Capture your gaming experience with Fraps

Although I have access to all kinds of software, finding a proper one for my personal use becomes an annoying thing sometimes. That’s maybe because I tend to notice only the bad things from a software or maybe because I know that there should be a better one undiscovered yet. One of these examples, that really surprised me was Fraps. A tiny but very powerful software.

With the help of Direct X and OpenGL technology, this software can capture in realtime any video source from your desktop, can capture screenshots in BMP, PNG, JPG and TGA formats and can be used also as a benchmarking software. Fraps can save your work into any folder, without any prompting message or any preview screen. This can be done by using hotkeys which can be activated from the main interface. You won’t feel anything wrong in the game while you make these screenshots.

The same goes with the video capturing. This represents the best part of this application. The game will not slow down a moment (unless you have a really poor system), and the resulting video file has an astonishing quality. All this while I was running a game at a resolution of 1280×1024. The reason for this is because the application won’t use any compression tool for capturing the video. It will be saved in a pure AVI format without compression. You won’t get any framed clips and the sound will match the image perfectly.

Fraps 3.5 adds the much requested feature to allow AVI movie files larger than 4 gigabytes. Fraps will now write hybrid OpenDML/AVI files and allow large movies on NTFS drives. There’s still an option to split at 4 gigabytes for legacy AVI 1.0 support.

Fraps can be used also as a Benchmarking Software, by monitoring the frames of any game. The FPS counter can be displayed on the screen along with the game. The statistics can be saved on your disk for further analyzes and reviews.

Please be aware that the minimum system requirements have changed in Fraps 3.5.0. We now require a CPU with SSE2 instructions (Pentium 4 & above). Windows XP or higher is also now required. If you have an older system (Win2K or non-SSE2 CPU) you can still download the previous Fraps 3.4.7 release from the Members Area.

download Fraps 3.50

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Last week’s highlights #01

It was a crowdy week in terms of new releases but somehow shadowed by the death of Steve Jobs and the release of iPhone 4S. Therefore we made for you a round-up of some highlight products and news.

Google Chrome is coming to Android

As expected by many, Chrome will be launched for Android too and it might happen in October 11. The information comes from Chromium Code website where we also found out that the Android version of Chrome will include most desktop functions and support for 2D Skia – a complete 2D graphic library for drawing Text, Geometries, and Images that Google has been hard at work on.

Back to October 11, Google has an event partner with Samsung with the debut of Nexus Prime and Ice Cream Sandwich and maybe, Chrome for Android makes an appearance. I believe that the Android version Chrome will be available through Android Market and it will also come as an option to the stock Android browser right out of the box for the latest version of Android, but this is just a hunch.
Make and share screenshots with Ashampoo Snap 5

This program allows you to easily take screenshots of various regions, websites, or even specific windows on your desktop with just a few clicks. Within the same interface you can use several tools for editing. In this way you can easily add images, notes, texts, markings, and watermarks to your screenshots. Even for saving or exporting the screenshots you’ll get a complete set of tools. You can share your screenshots within the program by email, by saving them to the clipboard or a file or just print them. Moreover, you can now upload your result directly to Facebook or YouTube.

download Ashampoo Snap 5
Get rid of malware with the latest version of Emsisoft Anti-Malware

The best way to protect yourself is with a virus or malware scanner. Emsisoft Anti-Malware (previously known as a-squared Free) is a program that can be a good choice to scan and remove malicious software from your PC. The new version comes with great improvements and completely re-written dual scan engine for multi-core optimizations which brings a huge speed improvement on average, with the same things being scanned. Also, the false positive handling was improved too and now with the latest version, there is a caching system which makes the scanning faster with every scan.

download Emsisoft Anit-Malware
Avira Antivirus 2012 the basic trusted protector

Avira Internet Security comes with an improved interface with many visual changes that reflect the status of the most critical components you use. The entire status panel has been redesigned in order to allow a fast configuration and control of all options and features. In case of emergency, the casual user will not be bothered with dozens of settings because now Avira can decide what needs to be done to protect the your computer. And this can be done with only one click: Fix problem.

download Avira Free Antivirus 2012
The father of the post-PC era is dead

Last week Steven Paul Jobs (Co-founder and former Apple’s CEO) died of cancer at age 56. The world has lost one of the most influential and visionary character of the modern digital era, an entrepreneur and inventor who managed to change the consumer’s mentality in latter years through revolutionary products such as: iPod and the iTunes service, iPhone, iPad, or the latest generation of MacBook Air.

 

Ashampoo Photo Commander – all-in-one app for editing, organizing, sharing, and presenting photos

We all edit our photos in one way or the other. Either simply to remove the “red eyes” from our photos, either to resize, crop or rotate them. Ashampoo Photo Commander is a comprehensive photo tool that covers all that you need to edit, optimize or quick fix your photos, but it also offers all the features to organize, share and even present your digital photos.

download Ashampoo Photo Commander

 

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Make and share screenshots with Ashampoo Snap 5

Making screenshots is one of the tasks that can be part of your everyday computer activity. Whether at work, school, or at home, you might need a tool that can take screenshots for you. While there is a huge range of products that can do the same thing (for example SnagIt, PicPick, Quick Screenshot Maker) Ashampoo Snap 5 comes as the optimum solution for taking and sharing screenshots.

This program allows you to easily take screenshots of various regions, websites, or even specific windows on your desktop with just a few clicks. Within the same interface you can use several tools for editing. In this way you can easily add images, notes, texts, markings, and watermarks to your screenshots. Even for saving or exporting the screenshots you’ll get a complete set of tools. You can share your screenshots within the program by email, by saving them to the clipboard or a file or just print them. Moreover, you can now upload your result directly to Facebook or YouTube.

The list of new editing tools goes even further with gradient fill support, text notes that can be added with a single click, support for text effects including gradients, outlines, mirror effects and other complex text objects, numbering support and BlurPen support for pixelate areas. There is an obvious change regarding the interface design. It has that touchy feeling that goes very well with the touchscreen support for Windows 7.

For the first time in its line of products, version 5 of Ashampoo Snap provides tools for recording videos. Whether is your desktop that must be captured or even your webcam with audio, Ashampoo Snap can do this easily. Now video greetings have never been so easy to be done and uploaded to YouTube within the program.

download Ashampoo Snap 5

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