Apple's database of your inventory allows for quick, easy custom views
In the classes I often teach on OS X and iOS devices and how to utilize them, a great deal of confusion comes up about the concept of Smart Folders -- or, as they are known in iPhoto and Photos (and elsewhere) Smart Albums; or as they are known in Mail, Smart Mailboxes; or as they are known in iTunes, Smart Playlists. They certainly sound smart, so what does that say about us that we often can't figure them out? How are they different from regular folders, albums, mailboxes, and playlists? Read this edition of Pointers to find out.
Email client Mailbox for Mac now available as public beta
Mailbox has officially released its beta versionemail client for OS X this week, now available to all. Mailbox for iOS arrived last year, offering a simplistic interface that aims to improve inbox organization. Mailbox for Mac is similar in design, and features controls to archive and delete email, as well as create lists and enable a "snooze" functionality. The app includes swipe gesture and hotkeys options. Those interested in downloading the beta version of Mailbox for Mac can do so for free through Mailbox.
Beats Music "Listen Now" feature rolling out for Shazam on iOS
The iOS version of Shazam has begun to roll out a new "Listen Now" feature from Beats Music. The music streaming service integration allows users to tag a song with Shazam, and then immediately play it in Beats Music. A subscription is required to Beats Music to utilize this new feature, however a 14-day free trial of the service is available.
New Winzip Mac 3 offers direct cloud sharing support
Today, WinZip announced its new file sharing app, WinZip Mac 3. Aiming to simplify management and projection of file sharing, WinZip Mac 3 offers direct support for Dropbox and Google Drive, complete with 128- or 256-bit AES encryption. Files that have been saved on cloud storage can be viewed and organized within WinZip; its new Cloud Picker tool allows users to see cloud files, rename files and folders, add zipped files and more. Other features in WinZip Mac 3 include an updated user interface, new shortcuts and a new Cloud Links tool for sending cloud files by email. Priced at $30, WinZip Mac 3 can be purchased from the App Store or directly from WinZip.
Drop-ins to help add Dropbox functionality, data syncing
Dropbox wants to become more useful to its customers as well as developers, by offering itself as a cloud storage provider for apps. The company used its DBX developer conference to introduce the Dropbox Platform for third-party app syncing, along with a number of tools for developers to allow apps to easily synchronize data across multiple devices.
Support for non-Gmail accounts also a possibility
An iPad edition of Mailbox is in development, as are Android and desktop versions, tweets by the app's development team indicate. The iPad app is said to be "coming soon," while the Android and desktop apps are on a longer-term roadmap. Support for other platforms may also be possible.
Mailbox closes reservation system
More than two months after its original launch, the Dropbox-owned Mailbox iOS app is now available without a need to wait in line. Thanks to Dropbox's acquisition, the developers have been able to scale the Mailbox service to deliver more than 100 million messages per day, giving them the confidence to remove the reservation system. Mailbox looks to improve upon existing iOS email implementations via a gesture system that simplifies common actions, such as archiving or trashing messages.
Promises Mailbox development will continue
Cloud storage service Dropbox has absorbed Orchestra, the developers of the iPhone app Mailbox, according to an official blog post. Neither party has disclosed any details of the arrangement, such as whether a buyout was involved, or if Dropbox simply agreed to hire the Orchestra team. Dropbox says, however, that it's "looking forward to making Mailbox even better and getting it into as many people's hands as possible."