All posts tagged ‘appstore’

Mac App Store Gems for Web Developers

The Mac App Store has launched with over 1,000 OS X applications. Our sister site Gadget Lab has more details on what that means for Apple fans.

One thousand apps for the launch is impressive, but what’s in it for web developers? Here’s a quick roundup of a few apps that Mac-loving web developers might want to check out (URLs point to the Mac App Store so you’ll need OS X 10.6.6 for the links to work).

  • iSlice (free) — This slick little app opens PhotoShop documents and slices them up. ISlice retains all the layer info in the Photoshop file so it’s easy to hide background layers and focus on what you need to extract. If you already own Photoshop there’s no point to this one, but if you frequently need to slice comps and don’t want to pay Photoshop’s hefty price tag, iSlice fits the bill.

  • OAuth for Mac ($3) — OAuth is pain if all you want to do is pull a bit of data out of say, the Twitter API. OAuth for Mac handles the OAuth calls for you and quickly generates a token. I haven’t had a chance to test it yet, but it looks like it would be handy for testing and developing quick scripts.

  • Colorbender ($2) — A nice looking color-scheme generator with hex and RGB values. There are tons of free color-scheme generators on the web, but if you’d like a Mac-native version, Colorbender looks like it would fit the bill.

  • mColorMeter ($3) — Ever wanted to know what color your favorite website is using in its menubar? With mColorMeter you can just hover over any pixel on your screen and the app will tell you the value in RGB, Hex and Munsell colors.

  • Base ($17) — Base is nice-looking graphical interface for working with SQLite databases. It’s not cheap, but $17 seems a small price to pay if it means never having to work the sqlite3 command line again.

  • Gitbox ($40) — Hardly a day goes by without someone claiming there are no good Git GUIs. We haven’t tried Gitbox so we’re not endorsing it, especially at $40, but it does offer a very nice-looking graphical UI for Git. And the app comes bundled with the official Git binaries so there’s nothing extra to install — just download the app and start using Git. Great for the command-line-phobic, but seasoned Git users will likely turn up their noses at the price. (See this thread on Hacker News for some more thoughts on Gitbox.)

  • Honorable Mentions — There are quite a few apps in the new store that have been around forever. We love the all-in-one development tool Coda ($100), Text Wrangler (free), BBEdit ($125 currently on sale for $99) and Pixelmator ($30).

The biggest downside to Apple’s new App Store for Mac is that there are no trial versions of the software. For that, you’ll have to head to the developers’ site and (assuming there’s a trial version available) download a good ol’ .dmg file.

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File Under: Mobile

Apple Zaps Another Competing iPhone App

MailWrangler on iPhone

Angelo DiNardi’s MailWranger app for the iPhone has been denied entry to the App Store because it “duplicates the functionality” of the built-in Mail app. The reason is similar to why Podcaster was rejected and it makes even less sense.

MailWrangler lets users check multiple Gmail accounts without manually logging in and out. Unlike Apple’s application, DiNardi’s uses the web interface via an embedded browser. He says Gmail in Mail is missing some other features, too:

“Using just the Apple Mail application you aren’t able to see threaded views, your google contacts, archive (quickly), star, etc without going through the hassles that are present when using Gmail’s IMAP on the iPhone.”

Several comments on DiNardi’s post support the need for MailWrangler’s features on the iPhone. Yet Apple could not find room in the App Store for MailWrangler. That’s the same App Store that has over 20 tip calculators, each one duplicating the features of the built-in Calculator app.

I’ve said before that Apple should not reject apps unless the code is malicious. More important is to have criteria applied equally to all apps. Making up new reasons to reject an app only makes a closed platform appear even less open, especially when the app may appear to compete with Apple.

Apple should be treating its app developers like royalty. These people are going to keep the iPhone as the platform of the future. Right now the developers need Apple more than the company needs them, but that will not last forever. Apple needs to make peace now, before it loses some of its biggest supporters.

[Screenshot by Angelo DiNardi]

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