Dropbox launches Mailbox for Android, Mac OS X version coming soon

Dropbox, the largest cloud storage service, has launched Mailbox for Android and announced that the Mac OS X version is coming soon. Mailbox was bought by Dropbox last year. Mailbox is a smart email client that manages all your email accounts in one place. It has been designed for mobiles.

Mailbox has been available for iPhone and iPad since a long time. This is the first time Mailbox is available for Android. Currently it supports only Gmail and iCloud accounts. There are no words on when Dropbox will launch other email services to Mailbox for Android.

Mailbox for Android - Archive section
Mailbox for Android – Archive section

Mailbox for Android comes with Auto-swipe feature that learns from your swiping gestures on the mail conversations. There are four swipes that you can perform on your mails :

  1. Short swipe to the right : Archives the mail.
  2. Long swipe to the right : Trashes the mail.
  3. Short swipe to the left : Snoozes the mail. A pop-up box shows you pre-defined times which you can choose. Based on your choice, Mailbox will remind you of the pending un-read mail at the specified time.
  4. Long swipe to the left : Categorizes the mail to lists. There are three pre-defined lists : To Watch, To Buy, To read. You can create your own lists too.

You can also create your own rules (tasks) to be performed when you receive a particular type of mail. To create rules, long press icons shown at the top right of the mail conversation and choose the task.

For example, if you wish to trash all the upcoming mails from xxx@yyy.com, long press the trash icon at the top right of the screen and choose the required option.

Also, based on reports, a Mac OS X version of Mailbox is coming soon. To signup for the beta, enter your email address at Mailbox for Mac OS X webpage.

Link : Mailbox for Android | Mailbox for iOS

Quickcast: Create and share 3 minute screencasts on OS X

Most screensharing apps are complex, pricey and are targetted for professional video editors. If you ever want to quickly snap a video to share your screen with any one, you wouldn’t use something like Camtasia.

Quickcast, as the name suggests, lets you record and share screencasts in a jiffy!

Quickcast

The process is really simple, you select the part of screen to get recorded (or select whole screen), toggle Microphone and Camera on/off and start recording.

You can record for a maximum of 3 minutes and as recording is done, the video is automatically uploaded to its site and link is copied to clipboard.

There are some neat additions like, if your video’s length is than 10 seconds and the screencast area is less than 300x300px, Quickcast will output a GIF instead of a normal MP4 video file.

You can give title, description (in Markdown!) and tag the video.

Quickcast is free and open source. It’s Mac-only right now, but because it’s open source, I’m sure some one will port it to Windows and Linux too.

Link: Quickcast

Asepsis: Get rid of .DS_Store files on OS X

If you’ve been using Mac since a long time, you must have encountered ‘.DS_Store’ files sometime. These are hidden files which get created in Finder automatically, and you can find them in almost every folder on your Mac!

A ‘.DS_Store’ file contains preferences related to the folder and contains information like position of icons, view settings and etc. meta data. All this sounds fine, but if you’re a developer, you’ll surely hate this as these files get into your project folder.

Here’s how you can get rid of these hidden files.

No .DS_Store files found

There’s a tool called Asepsis, which does this. Asepsis creates a wrapper around Apple’s framework DesktopServicesPriv which is responsible for creation of .DS_Store files. This wrapper will redirect all the .DS_Store files into a single folder. The exact path of this folder is /usr/local/.dscage.

Asepsis is available as a .mpkg file, so you’ve to install it manually. You’ve to restart your Mac to complete installation and Asepsis will start to run in background. So the next time a .DS_Store file gets created, it goes into the .dscage folder (which is where all .DS_Store files reside).

But Asepsis itself won’t migrate the existing .DS_Store files. For that, you have to fire up terminal and run its command line utility.

Running asepsisctl migratein will migrate all the .DS_Store files from your home directory to .dscage folder. But that’s not all! If you have websites in your /Applications, like me, you have to run asepsisctl --root /Applications migratein. This is because I have my WordPress site under MAMP which is in /Applications/ (and I obviously don’t want .DS_Store files in my site folder).

After you’ve done all this, you can check if .DS_Store files exist in a folder, by running –
find . -iname .ds_store.

One important thing to note is, Asepsis won’t work on Mavericks and you might even run into booting issues if you try to install it.

Thanks to Rakshit Thakker for the geeky tip!

Link: Asepsis

Play Music files in Terminal in OS X

If you’re a developer and use a Unix-like OS, you must be spending a good amount of time inside the shell. Here’s a nice, little tip on how to play Music with in the command line interface, in OS X.

afplay

OS X ships with a CLI utility called afplay. There’s not much documentation available, even the man page doesn’t show its options. But it’s there and more importantly, it works.

To use it, pass a Music file’s path in the command, like this:

afplay ~/Music/song.mp3

I guess it works for all Music files, regardless of the type (I tried it with .m4a and it worked fine). To stop the play, you can of course hit Ctrl + C and the shell will terminate it.
You can also play Music in background by appending an ampersand to the command, like this:

afplay ~/Music/song.mp3 &

This will allow you to use the shell while the Music is playing in background. To stop it, you can do killall afplay.

You can also use Quicklook’s CLI to play Music files. The utility is named qlmanage. It basically throws a Quicklook pop up of any file you pass as an argument. So it works fine for Music files too.

qlmanage

If you like this, you might want to take a look at some useful Quicklook plugins. Also, thanks to Rakshit Thakker for the tip!

Enable hibernation in OS X Mountain Lion for quick booting

I’ve said this previously, Lion used to be very quick in booting, much better than that of Mountain Lion. Lately, I’ve been cutting down on startup items, but even that doesn’t make much difference in booting time.

Previously, when I had a Windows laptop, I always used to hibernate rather than shut it down. But when I used OS X, it looked like there’s no hibernate feature in it. As it turns out, you can enable hibernation in OS X, here’s how you do it.

  1. Open the Terminal app, either from Spotlight or Utilities folder in Applications.
  2. Enter the following code and hit enter.
    sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 1
  3. Now as this is a sudo command, which needs root access to your system, you got to enter your system password.
  4. That’s all, now hibernation is enabled on your Mac.

To hibernate your Mac, you hit the Apple icon in menu bar, hit Sleep. Wait for 5-10 seconds and it’ll hibernate.

Internally, what happens during hibernation is, all the cache stored in your RAM is transferred to your hard disk, and when you boot your Mac, all that cache is again transferred to RAM – so you can continue where you left off.

Apple releases updates for iOS and OS X Mountain Lion

As said by Apple in the iPhone 5 event, iOS  6 and OS X 10.8.2 has been released yesterday. iOS 6 kicks out both YouTube as well as Google Maps from the default apps list, though you can download them from the Appstore as always (Google Maps should be available soon on iOS).

facebook-integration-osx

Both iOS 6 and OSX 10.8.2 have deep Facebook integration, just like the Twitter integration introduced in the last iteration of iOS. Apart from that, iOS 6 sports a better Siri, Facetime over 3G, Safari tab sync, Panaroma and lot more.

The update is available for iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S and iPod Touch 4G, also for iPad 2 and 3. Apparently, older models like iPhone 3GS doesn’t get all the features – Turn by turn navigation for example. But still it’s getting the update, which is a lot better than the situation of Android phones.

Coming to OS X, Apple finally seems to fix the battery life issue with 10.8.2. I personally saw a drop of 80 minutes of battery when I upgraded to Mountain Lion from Lion. There are also updates for Gamecenter, iMessage and support for Passbook has been added.

There is also another update for mid-2012 Macbooks which fixes a OS hanging issue. The update is just 4MB in size.

Have you updated your iPhones or Macs? Make sure you do, because it’s free. ;)

Best DC++ alternatives for Macintosh

Sharing over LAN is indeed the lifeline of many college students, nearly all major technological institues and universities have their own network of over the lan sharing, popularly known as DC or DC++ ease of use and efficiency of this protocol has made it extremely useful in places which have a large number of inter-connected user base.

Windows is already blessed with good DC softwares such as DC++ and Apex DC++ but for Macintosh there still are pretty good option that gets the job done, below is quick reference list of such clients with their pros and cons.

#1. Shakespeer

Shakespeer is small and effective DC client for Mac and it does what is says, works fine and has very simple to use interface, add the hub and you are ready to go. Its light and does not clog up the system memory.

But Shakespeer lacks the ability which enables the client to split the downloading files into smaller chunks and and speed up the process, it downloads the entire file at a go.

#2. EiskaltDC++

Elskalt is a cross platform DC client works on multiple operating platforms, it has a interface which closely resembles DC++ and boasts a similar feature set, and has the ability to spilt files and speed up the downloading process. Elskalt outperforms Shakespeer in many areas but has stability issues.

Apart from there two clients few other clients are DCOSx and MacDC++

Apple’s Mountain Lion to Bring iPad Experiance to Mac

Apple has unveiled plans for its new upgrade for computers with OS X Mountain Lion. The update will be available this summer but a developer version is already available for Mac users. There is one minor change in the name of the OS, which clearly shows the direction Apple is taking it this new upgrade.

They have dropped ‘Mac’ and are simple calling it OS X. Sure enough, visiting their preview website we come to know the real reason.

They are pitching the OS upgrade as ‘Inspired by iPad. Reimagined for Mac.’

Apple_mountain_lion_OSX

What to expect from OS X Mountain Lion?

  • The new upgrade will allow sending unlimited messages from Mac to iPod, iPhones and iPad devices. This will work pretty well within the Apple ecosystem.
  • Mountain Lion will also allow users to follow Twitter updates with their official app being baked into the OS. Sharing of website on Twitter will also be made a lot more easy. Twitter has actually been leveraged as the social product far more than Facebook by Apple.
  • Users will also be able to share photos directly from their computer onto Flickr with a in-built app. This actually keeps in line with making the Mac experience a lot more similar to iPad.

Post PC Era?

The post PC era is a term often used by Apple, to point out that iPad like tablets and iPhone like smart-phones will eventually replace computers. It suits Apple to say this as a lot of their devices are personal devices and they do not sell Macs as much as say PCs.

Microsoft has also taking into account this possibility and with Windows 8 has also opted for a linear approach with Metro styled layout with many apps. This is apparently a way to bring in uniformity to the experience of using a Windows Phone, tablet and PC.

With Mountain Lion OS X, Apple might be trying for a unified experience across all devices running the same OS. That might not happen anytime soon. Also getting a bit of iPad or iPhone magic on the Mac, might tempt users to make sure their next computer is a Mac and not a PC running on Windows.

Link: Mountain Lion OS X Preview

Google Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux – Still Incomplete, Unpredictable and Buggy!

image Here’s news for Mac and Linux users that have been clamoring for their own version of Google Chrome. Although Google has released Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux, it has been advised NOT to download these versions yet, as it is just an early preview for developers to seek more feedback in order to fix the bugs in it.

The coders at Google are still working on rebuild some bug free Chrome components like its graphical interface and its sandbox that isolates different processes from each other, to move beyond just Windows. Google said there are more than 400 bugs that need to be fixed.

Google’s Mike Smith and Karen Grunberg, Product Managers say:

“We have early developer channel versions of Google Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux, but whatever you do, please DON’T DOWNLOAD THEM! Unless of course you are a developer or take great pleasure in incomplete, unpredictable, and potentially crashing software.”

Google offers three versions of Chrome

  1. The Stable Version
  2. The Beta Version
  3. The Developer Preview Version

The Mac OS X and Linux versions fall into this last category, which is the most incomplete, buggy and least tested.

Recently, Google launched a new and improved version of Chrome for Windows that is said to be faster, safer and less prone to bugs. The earlier versions of Chrome had many security issues around it stirring up critical vulnerabilities.

Chrome’s unfinished business – how incomplete is it?

  • You can’t view YouTube videos as the Flash component won’t work yet.
  • You can’t change your privacy settings
  • You can’t set your default search provider
  • You can’t even print or bookmark

This is actually the wise step taken by Google towards creating a bug free browser. People (developers) from all over will now help the Google chrome team to fix the faults, as a result help in creating stable beta release for more people to try.

(Source: The Chromium Blog)

Coladia launches animated adventure game Cleopatra: A Queen’s Destiny

clip_image002Here’s something for all you game lovers out there… Coladia recently announced the release of Cleopatra: A Queen’s Destiny – a beautifully designed and animated adventure game for Mac OS X and iPhone / iPod Touch. The game costs $29.

Coladia is a young software and games publishing company for iPhone and Macintosh computers. In 2008, Coladia had teamed up with Kheops Studio, an independent video game development company focused on adventure games, to port their games on the Macintosh and iPhone platforms.

About the game

This is an adventurous history game based on Cleopatra’s extraordinary destiny. While you play this game you will end up discovering the beautiful and mystical Ancient Egypt sites, Alexandria’s Lighthouse and Library, all reproduced with perfect historical accuracy.

The game has a whole host of puzzles and enigmas based on Ancient Egyptian culture and sciences. Immense attention has been given to the ambient sounds and graphics along with dozens of animated sequences that enrich the story.

The story line-up

The game is set in Alexandria in Egypt 48BC where the country is divided by civil war between Cleopatra’s supporters and her brother and husband, Ptolemy, who is ravaging the country. A young learner to Akkod named Thomas, who is Cleopatra’s astrologist and astronomist, falls in love with his master’s daughter. One day, he discovers that both master and daughter have been kidnapped.

Thomas sets out to investigate and discovers that the supporters of Ptolemy are behind the kidnapping. Cleopatra promises Thomas that in exchange for the tablets required for the foretelling, her guards will find the master and his daughter.

Thomas’s investigations lead him to the discovery of Egypt’s legendary sites like the Library of Alexandria and the Lighthouse. Thomas also meets the Queens and a whole host of their mysterious characters.

Some shots from the game

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System configuration

Minimum

  • Intel or PowerPC G5 processor running at 1.6 Ghz
  • 512 MB of memory
  • 2 GB free space on your hard drive
  • Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5

Recommended

  • Intel processor running at 2.0 Ghz
  • 1 GB of memory
  • 2 GB free space on your hard drive
  • Video card with 64 MB of memory
  • Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5

To download the demo, click here.
To buy the game, click here.

Link: Coladia

(Image credits: Coladia)