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Why I use as few Mac apps as possible

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:00 AM

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#2 User is offline   ctwise 

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  Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:04 AM

And I'm the complete opposite. Microsoft Office Mac, Sublime Edit, Path Finder, Mathematica, Adobe Creative Suite, IntelliJ, etc. I can't imagine living my life in crappy, broke-down web apps.
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#3 User is offline   CDTobie 

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  Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:16 AM

The world may be headed for the web; but I don't see any reason to rush there in advance. Particularly when it means giving in to the privacy invasion much webware entails. Those of us with high powered specialty uses will be the least to leave the fold, if the wind even continues to blow in that exact direction. It may well be some other variant of "living in the clouds" that ends up being the meme of the future.
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#4 User is offline   Pretz 

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  Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

I'm a great fan of online tools. But as a traveller I get really frustrated when I can't work on a plane, or when I get to a hotel and the WiFi is crappy.

I also find that Google Docs is ok for drafting, but I then have to export to an industrial strength word processor to complete and format a report.

Lately I've become an Evernote convert. I like the idea of having the rich (and fast) native client, with all the ubiquity benefits of the cloud.

Bottom line: no philosophical preference - whatever works best at the time.
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#5 User is offline   ibrewster 

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  Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:53 AM

Nothing wrong with your approach if it works well for you, of course, but I'm almost the complete opposite for a couple of reasons:

1) No reliance on the internet. On a desktop machine that is tethered to an internet connection, having all my "apps" and the like online would be fine. For a laptop machine that travels and may or may not have an internet connection at any given time: not so much. I like the fact that I can do whatever I need to, even if I don't have a connection at the moment

2) As for e-mail, having mail running and checking for messages is MUCH more productive (for me at least) than a web based solution. Why? Because I don't have to go and check my e-mail, which you say you do several times per hour. Each time you go check it, that takes several seconds at best - seconds which I don't need to spend. When I get an e-mail, mail notifies me with a subtle message at the top of the screen, so I know to go look at it when I next have a chance. It also tells me who it is from, so I can know if I don't need to bother looking at it.

I'm not sure what you are talking about when you mention apps demanding your attention. If any of my apps demanded my attention now-now-now, as you say, I'd ditch that app and find another to do the same thing that just politely notified me that it had something for me at my convince, thus saving me the trouble and time waste of having to manually check.

Of course, that's just my opinion, your workflow can be different without being in any way worse for you :-)
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#6 User is offline   icerabbit 

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:12 AM

I thought one of the reasons surely would be that it keeps the system running faster. Everybody's needs differ and the author's needs seem minimal; but the less extraneous and duplicate stuff you install on your system, the better it keeps purring along. I know some systems that were optimized way back, have users who wouldn't venture into installing upgrades, apps etc. and those systems keep running like when they were new.

Personally, working online would have to be the absolute last resort for me, before I would start using it.

It starts with internet access, which isn't 24/7/365. Oh, the internet is down, nothing I can do.
Privacy & confidentiality + security. Whether personal or corporate, you really don't want anything with numbers, account info, etc to get "out there".
The service you are using sticking around around for free. Tons of online tools have come and gone. Many have changed owners and become for fee. Just look at Apple's itools dotmac dot me dot web ...
Account access. Countless cases of online accounts going belly-up. We had a business account with a top 10 internet company vanish. No phone # to call. Just web support, which went nowhere and the case was never favorably resolved. All info in the account gone.
Troubleshooting / bug fixes. Good luck getting Google or anyone else to help you with something or fix a bug. At least with 3rd party software there is typically somebody you can talk to and expect a timely fix.
Feature limited vs full featured.
Backup.
...
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#7 User is offline   StraightlineBoy 

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  Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:12 AM

It's an interesting way of working but wouldn't cut it for me. It seems a little crazy spending good money on a MacBook Air and then going all cheap on software. Buying iPhoto, Pages and Numbers hardly cost the earth and are all better than web-apps. I do look for apps (both on OS X and iOS) that play nicely with iCloud and/or Dropbox but I don't want to rely on the web for the apps themselves - you just know that one day it's going to let you down in a big way.

I understand the point about not wanting the dock going mental but that's more about your choice of apps. In the past I've used Growl for notifications, used various additional task launchers and I've abandoned all of that sort of stuff to get back to the core OS and have lost precisely no productivity.
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#8 User is offline   coder 

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  Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:24 PM

Actually, I don't understand at all why you'd want to rely so "completely" on web-apps. For a few reasons:

1) slow internet, or no internet at all? No access to documents or any other materials.

2) multitasking is inherently limited (and much slower) when working within a browser. I know you say you don't multitask... but don't you ever need to email documents or other attachments? Reply to an IM, and send an email? Even the most basic of users do this very often. Switching between tabs in a browser to do real work is highly inefficient.

3) uh, so you only use iMessage rarely. Did you know you can add your Google Chat account to iMessage and have the best of both worlds in one single multi-taskable application?

4) the native applications just work better. The cloud, plus native applications is the best possible mix of feature sets.

5) people need jobs to live. Being a cheapskate and promoting it for a large audience of readers is just "wrong". I would HATE for the day to come where applications are predominantly web-based, free but ad-laden, and the data is never specifically yours.

6) I just don't understand why you'd want to use a powerful machine like a MacBook (even the Air is a decently powerful machine - more so than an iPad or a Chrome Book for sure) as you are. It's a waste.

I honestly hope that these free web applications don't become too plentiful and too widely adopted. However, they can definitely be a nice compliment to desktop software & workflows - but lets be real, and not promote messing up the freedom and power of personal computing systems by putting the control of everything in the hands of everyone else ;) Not smart.
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#9 User is offline   markfig 

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  Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

When the pendulum swings back the other way - back to native apps - based on
- speed
- power
- usability
- privacy and control
it is going to swing hard!
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#10 User is offline   alanskyone 

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  Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:34 PM

What does this article actually tell us besides that the author is a cheapskate with decidedly weird computing habits?
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#11 User is online   daylight54 

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  Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:02 PM

All these web apps may be wonderful but i wouldn't know. I have a data cap from my internet provider. All this talk of computing in the clouds - I wish someone would let my provider know that their data caps are ridiculously low! For me, it is a lot less expensive NOT to use the cloud.
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#12 User is offline   coder 

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  Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:37 PM

Btw, what's the difference between cluttering Safari windows and having to multi-task through a bunch of open tabs versus having things on the dock, or quickly typing in Spotlight to open an app....

The difference is, tabbing between programs in Safari is much slower and just makes you seem slow too ;)

For the record, there are plenty of free productivity apps you can use on your Mac as well. Not to mention, is $20 too expensive for something like Pages?
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#13 User is offline   wardoggie 

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  Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:56 PM

Mr. Mathis' approach wouldn't work for me, but it's interesting to see how someone who does pretty much what I do (I write for a living, too) use a completely different approach to get the job done.

I have the opposite problem: A.D.D. I *need* distractions! :) If I try to focus on what I'm writing for too long, my mind just wanders anyway. So, I'll write a little, read a little Macworld.com, go back to writing a little, IM with a friend or coworker, etc. When emails come, Outlook gives me a summary so I can tell if I need to read the whole thing now or can safely ignore it until my next attention-span break (which is maybe only 10 minutes away). It may seem like I'm being unproductive, but the quality of my work and the quantity I produce using this chaotic "process" say otherwise.
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#14 User is offline   TimmySlapstick 

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  Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:46 PM

It's too bad the author won't be able to get any work done at all if his internet is down.
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