They say you can’t have it all, despite showing us all for decades how easy it is to have it all. For Mac applications, I want them all. Well, most of them. The good ones.
Am I the only one to notice all the new price tags and shrewd packaging on Mac applications these days? Things cost money, I know.
It’s just that we’re being bombarded with slick packaging, long lists of features, ease-of-use like we’ve never seen before. Mac application developers are giving us a solution for every problem.
Case in point, Yojimbo. Mac360’s Yojimbo review wasn’t even all that positive, but I tried it out and like it, despite the fact that I have Circus Ponies’ Notebook already on my Mac.
Since Macworld, the number of quality Mac applications that have made the jump to Universal Binary (runs on both PPC Macs and Intel Macs) has increased exponentially. The quality of these updated Mac apps has increased, too.
I find I’m collecting Mac applications because they fit everything that I do or might want to do. Collections of Mac applications. That’s a problem whose time has come.
Another case in point, Chronos. They’re the folks who make Sticky Brain which gets our seal of approval (for what it’s worth—arf arf) as being a good application at a fair price.
Is Chronos satisfied? Nooooo. They want to provide Mac users with even more quality applications, each with another price tag. StickyBrain’s $39.95 price tag is reasonable if you use it regularly and it works for you.
But look at the rest of the Chronos line of Mac applications. Their SOHO line, which used to be relegated to Business Cards ($29.99), and Labels and Envelopes ($29.98—why the difference in a penny?), and the Art Pack ($29.99), has been expanded and has even more delicious Mac only applications.
Out with the old, in with the new. SOHO gets new packaging for older applications. SOHO Organizer succeeds Personal and Group Organizer. It’s only $99.
SOHO Contacts and SOHO Calendars are separate Mac applications to manage and share contacts, or share calendars in OS X (meetings group projects, etc.). They’re only $49.99. Each.
Also new is SOHO Notes at $69.99, which lets you capture, organize, and share all of your personal information.
This is still the age when it’s better to look good than to feel good (thank you, Fernando), and SOHO doesn’t disappoint with the new SOHO Print Essentials. Only $49.99.
That’s nine attractive, cleverly packaged, useful Mac applications, from a good Mac developer, all of which are sure to keep me organized, up to date, and shareable for a grand total of $449.90.
It’s a mini-Adobe of usefulness. It’s also a trend. Everything is costing a little more these days, despite federal assurances that there is no inflation.
There’s not? I’m paying over $2.25 a gallon for gasoline. Apple switches to Intel Macs but the price is the same. Yes, I know Steve Jobs said they were switching because of some kind of performance per watt issue, but I still hoped for cheaper.
Instead, I’m being deluged with a flurry of Mac applications, toys, and new Macs that are better than anything else out there and getting better at a dizzying pace, and I’m expected to pay for it.
Is there no end to progress? Hear my plaintiff wail.
It’s not just Chronos or Apple or Adobe-Macromedia. Mac applications developers are producing some very slick products that integrate nicely with Mac OS X, that make my digital iLife much easier, more productive, more personal, and more expensive. These products come with a price tag.
To be fair, there are plenty of Mac applications developers who produce excellent Mac products for free. I don’t know why, but they do. There’s BBEdit’s TextWrangler. Maybe they charge $40 for Yojimbo because they need to subsidize TextWrangler.
iBackup is free. The popular SuperDuper! cloner with clone your Mac’s hard drive for free. For security minded folks, iSafe is free. These are just a handful of Mac applications that don’t cost a nickel (donations are nice, usually accepted) yet are excellent products.
We’re entering a new age. You don’t always get what you pay for, but to get all you want, you’ll have to pay for it. Chronos’ slick new packaging and product line makes me salivate. I’m ready to add to my “collection” of Mac applications. God knows I don’t use all of them. I just like sets, you know?
iLife ‘06. I wasn’t dissatisfied with iLife ‘05. In fact, it was running just fine. I’m not ready for a new Mac (yet) so I’m not getting iLife ‘06 for free. But I forked over $79 to get iLife ‘06 anyway.
Why? It’s important to stay current, to add to my collection. I’m a Mac user. I collect Mac applications. It’s what I do. I’m a victim of Mac packaging and a member of a disturbing trend.
Do I need to form a local chapter of Mac Application Owners Anonymous to kick my habit? It’s costing me money. It’s costing me friends (I’m too busy installing applications and making upgrades). It costs me time.
What about you? What do you do to exercise self control to overcome the onslaught of Mac applications we have these days?
Tera Jean Patricks
Funny. My “collection” is probably as long as anyone. But you might be on to something. It does take time to keep track of all the spokes emanating from the hub in my digital wheel.
Yeeesh. Jack, you’re a wuss. Excercise a little self control, will you?
Carol Mary Miller
Jack, you were warned. All those years spent dorking around your Windows PC trying to keep it running and now, you switch, and you’re a Mac addict. BTW – “Plaintiff” should be “plaintive.” You still can’t spell.