Quick Takes on Five Apps #13

In this installment I am sticking to nothing but Mac apps — well almost. Check out past installments here.

BaseApp (Mac)

BaseApp is a great menubar utility for Basecamp users. The app will alert you to any updates on your Basecamp site and show you what happened and in which project. It also serves as a great way to launch into your Basecamp account. The best part: the app is now free in the Mac App Store.

Google Music Beta (Web?)

I finally got my invite to Google Music Beta. It is a pretty interesting cloud music offering as there is already music available for you to play (you select some genres you like that Google adds in music). Parts of the app is Flash and it says that it does not support iOS at this time. I had no troubles playing it on my iPhone, aside from the fact that the experience was less than optimal.

This is still a pretty new service and likely will get better, but so long as I must download an uploader that uses my bandwidth in the background — well I am not to interested in wasting time uploading anything to it. I don’t quite know what to say about Google Music, so let me express it another way:

Do I like it?


So I hate it?


Will I use it?

Not at this time, maybe as it improves by ditching Flash and giving me a better way to upload music — by not making me upload it.

My biggest complaint is that it doesn’t do OTA sync — no joke. If I pause a song that is in the “cloud”, why in the world can’t I pick up where I left off on any other device, or when I come back to the site?

SizeUp (Mac)

This is a pretty handy Mac app that serves to move and do all sorts of crazy things to your window sizes and positions. A lot of people use this app to arrange Safari windows to take half of their screen so they can reference a webpage while writing. I’m not a fan — it’s overly complicated and not nearly as intuitive as something like Divvy.

The one thing that keeps this program on my Mac: the SnapBack window hotkey. All too often a window gets resized that I don’t want to be resized and I can essentially undo that change with this hotkey — that alone will keep this on my Mac.

Weather HD (Mac)

Interesting to see how the Mac App Store is bringing a lot of apps over to the Mac that I wouldn’t expect to be all that useful on the Mac (think Angry Birds, which is far better on iOS). Weather HD is now on the Mac App Store and it well set you back $3.99. What I don’t get is that it doesn’t really do anything special.

I have never seen the appeal of Weather HD and I think that a 283 MB app that runs in window or fullscreen mode is probably not something many people will want on their Mac. There are better things you can spend $3.99 on.

Kindle for Mac

This has been around for quite sometime, but I just noticed that it was in the Mac App Store so I figured I would mention it again here. As far as Kindle apps go this one is firmly in last place (Kindle device, Kindle iPad, Kindle iPhone, Kindle Android, Kindle Mac/PC). It has never been my desire, nor comfortable to read a book on my Mac’s screen. Though it is nice to see that they have solved a lot of problems with the app that I ran into when they first released it.

Bottom line: you get everything you would expect out of the Kindle reading experience, which is all you can ask for in a free app.

If you liked this installment be sure to check out the other installments.

Originally posted for members on: May 22, 2011
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