CyberNotes
Microsoft/Mac Monday




Lately we’ve been finding ourselves discussing applications that we really like for one operating system, that would be great on another. We decided to put these discussions into an article about all of the applications we’d like to see for Windows, but are only available for Macs, and then visa versa, the applications we’d like to see available for Macs, but are only available for Windows. We’re also going to mention a few applications that would be perfect for merging together.

Applications we’d like to see for Windows, but are only available for Macs:

Adium

adium logo-1.pngMac OS X comes with iChat which we were happy using until multiple people mentioned that we just had to try Adium. It’s your all-in-one instant messaging application that connects to Jabber, Yahoo, MSN, AIM, and more. In some ways it reminds us of Digsby which is becoming a pretty popular all-in-one messenger for Windows. Digsby and Adium are two applications we’d love to see merge together and be offered for Windows and Mac OS X. If a merger isn’t possible, it would be a great offering for Windows users as well as Mac users.

Parallels

parallels.pngWe’re not saying that specifically Parallels should be available for Windows, but the idea. If only Apple would loosen the reigns a little and allow their operating system to be used on PC’s. There are hacked versions of OS X that are designed to run in VMWare for Windows, but legally, it is not possible to do.

iPhoto

iPhoto.pngThose of you who read our iPhoto vs. Windows Photo Gallery article back in May are probably wondering why we’d like to see iPhoto for Windows. We complained about many aspects of the application like the fact that you have to import the images and iPhoto takes control over how things are organized. We ended up taking the advice of people who said to let iPhoto do the work for you, so we started using it and giving it control over how our library is organized (much like how iTunes is capable of organizing your music library). Once we got used to it, we really started to like how easy everything was and how adding new images to the library is so simple and effortless.

Skitch

skitch-1.pngSkitch is the best screen capture service for the Mac that we are aware of. It’s not that it’s far superior to, say, SnagIt for Windows, because it’s not. But it does have some really great elements to it. For some reason, the process of taking screenshots is sped-up while using Skitch, but it lacks some of the editing features we enjoyed with SnagIt. This is one of those applications we’d love to see merge with SnagIt and be offered for Windows and Mac OS X.

Name Mangler

namemangler.pngRyan has mentioned Name Mangler before as a tiny app that does a great job of taking care of bulk file renaming on a Mac. The interface of Name Mangler is more intuitive and clean compared to some of its Windows alternatives. It doesn’t have all the features of those Windows alternatives, but it’s easier and more natural to use.

Photo Booth

photobooth logo.pngPhoto Booth is an app that comes with Mac OS X, and it is used for snapping photos with iSight or another webcam. It’s not something you use often, so where’s the benefit? For one, for those who like to change their images on Facebook and MySpace, this provides an easy way to snap your pictures. It’s also fun because it’s one of those apps that you show people when they come over to, just to impress them. The built-in effects that can be applied really add a lot to the photos you take.

Automator

automator.pngIt’s a built in program that comes with Mac OS X. We like to think of Automator as a Macro. For example, in Microsoft Office you can use Macros to automate repetitive tasks. Automator does the same type of thing, but implements a point-and-click interface for creating workflows that work across the entire operating system.

Applications we’d like to see for Macs, but are only available for Windows:

Office 2007

office logo.pngOne of the applications we miss the most since switching to Mac OS X is Office 2007. Office 2008 for the Mac simply does not compare. If only Microsoft was able to develop a version of Office 2007, with the ribbon, for Mac users. One of my personal biggest pet peeves is with the Toolbox because it’s inconvenient and never seems to be where I need it to be. If I move the window I’m currently working on, the toolbox doesn’t move with it. Are there any other Mac users who previously used Office 2007, that despise the Toolbox too?

Windows Live Writer

live writer.pngMicrosoft really did a great job when they developed Windows Live Writer. It has an intuitive interface that is easy to use, and there are very few bugs. On the Mac we have yet to find a blogging client that we are completely satisfied with. The one we have been using lately is called Ecto and while it has some nice features, it pales in comparison to what Windows Live Writer offers.

Paint.NET

paint.net.pngPaint.NET is a Windows only application for digital photo editing. It’s great because it’s feature-packed, yet free! For those who want to touch-up their images, Paint.NET is a simple solution. Photoshop is expensive and includes way more features than the average person needs which is why Paint.NET comes in handy. Any time I reformatted my hard drive, this was one of the first apps to get installed. I would love to see this for Macs.

Windows Media Center

mediacenter.pngApple has Front Row, but it’s really meant to be a hub for watching movies and TV shows from your computer while Windows Media Center has a strong focus on recording television. Despite the fact that we use MacBook Pros for working, we still have a Vista machine with Windows Media Center that records the television shows that we want to watch at a later date. Apple has yet to venture down the route of providing software for recording TV but it could be something their users would enjoy.

Digsby

digsby logo.pngLike Adium above, Digsby is one of those applications that is really starting to take off and has some great features. We’d love to see Adium and Digsby merge together so that users get the best of both worlds whether they are using a Mac or a PC, but that probably won’t happen. Sure Digsby has its flaws, but the application continues to improve. Just last week on the Digsby blog they announced that they were preparing for a major new release that has some big performance and RAM optimizations.

SnagIt

snagit logo.pngSnagIt is truly an amazing application for capturing screenshots. While it’s not a free application (it costs $49.95), it is worth every penny that it costs, particularly because of its editing capabilities that have come in handy while capturing and preparing screenshots for CyberNet. SnagIt also makes it easy to combine images with their latest version which is nice as well. They’re sporting a new interface these days that reminds me of Microsoft Office 2007.

As we mentioned above, the features of SnagIt combined with the features of Skitch would give you one mean application for capturing images.

Applications We Would Like to See Merge

Here’s a quick run-through of the applications we would like to see merge to get the best of both worlds for both operating systems:

  • Adium (Mac) and Digsby (Windows)
  • Skitch (Mac) and SnagIt (Windows)