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Entries in software (6)


Mailbox Shutting Down - Alternatives?

A bit of a shock - I had come to rely heavily on Mailbox to manage my emails. From its amazing inception video, the waiting game, and the triumphant dash to add the email accounts on reaching the end of the queue, I loved the idea and the implementation. Then came Dropbox with a buyout. I could not see the point honestly, but thought it can only be a good thing. Well, takeovers often have an aftermath. Mailbox is going to shut down. I am sure, like me, there will be countless others who will be equally jolted by the news.

Today however, I am not going to moan the loss. I have looked at a number of alternatives. The final decision to be made is between Boxer or Typemail. There are others, but in terms of functionality and design, these perhaps trump the others. Microsoft Outlook is worth a mention too - after all, the original idea was not that of MS, it was Accompli to start with.

So, tonight the test begins…

Meanwhile, I hope Dropbox continue to do what they are good at - seamless cloud file storage. And stop trying to acquire any more companies or inflate their value!


Fantastic Fantastical

By this time most readers have realised I have a fascination, bordering on obsession, with calendar and to do applications. I thought I discovered the best way of reminding me of the week with the offering in my penultimate post. Not so. One does get infatuated, and that is allowed. This is more lyrical than waxing, I love Fantasical. It simply is a fantastic addition to iCal. The Mac OSX Lion’s iCal app is very good, and visually pleasing. However, this beautifully designed menubar calendar conduit is something else. With it’s natural language recognition it does make diary entries a true pleasure. And it allows you to see your week in a pleasing interface. I am a Fantastical Fan.


Business Card Reader App

iPhone apps continue to amaze me. Give them a great platform and API, the developers deliver amazing software. A recent offering absolutely blew me away. I used to use a Neat Scanner to scan and digitise business cards that people give me. That involved carefully collecting them and transporting them home to scan them in. Now, you have an app for that!

Business card reader (App Store Link) takes a picture of the card, ‘scans’ it, and adds the contact information to your address book. Neat indeed.


Painting on iPhone

The inexpensive iPhone application ‘Brushes’ is creating some buzz, one of the paintings made using the software recently managing to reach the cover of The New Yorker. The artist, Jorge Colombo ( is evidently very talented, and Brushes delivers what a creative software should - not standing in the way of artistic expression.

I have been dabbling with the software too, and here are a couple of images I knocked together. I found the software intuitive, but powerful enough to be as creative as you want to be.

A Patterned Skirt

A glass of wine


Best browser for MobileMe

I applaud the efforts that MobileMe web developers have put in to make the web app look and feel just like the Mail application in Leopard, though this has been achieved at the expense of speed. Whilst it is substantially better than what it was, the app still is struggling, certainly here in the UK. Nevertheless, the design and UI is very commendable.

If you view the app on a Windows machine, the attention to detail is somewhat lost in the distracting UI elements in the browsers. Enter Google Chrome. One of the things that Google Chrome offers is ability to make ‘stand alone’ applications out of websites. If you do that, you can make a Windows machine running MobileMe web app feels almost close to a Mac. Worth the trouble!