Our modus operandi since we started reviewing apps at Mac360 back in 2004 is simple. We review apps we like and apps we would recommend to friends, family, and co-workers (knowing the obvious ‘support‘ issues that come with a recommendation).
From time to time we run into an interesting oddball app that doesn’t fit our standard modus operandi. These apps are either way too expensive for their value, poorly made and a must to avoid, or they’re strange enough to push the envelope of usability, but still adhere to the mantra Think Different™. Circles is one of the latter.
What Goes Around…
Circles takes awhile to get your head wrapped around it enough to see there’s virtue and potential, though not quite mainstream. Yet.
What it does is mostly unique. I don’t recall another Mac app that does the same thing and I’ve been reviewing and writing about Mac apps for nearly a dozen years.
First, Circles adds what is called a drop area or drop zone to the left side of your Mac’s screen. To this zone you can drag and drop specific content onto a circle which then performs specific actions.
Second, Circle adds eight circles to the drop zone. For example, one circle lets you drag and drop a file which will then open a specific application (similar to dragging and dropping a file onto an app’s icon in the Dock). Another circle lets you copy a dragged file to a specific destination on your Mac. Still another lets you move the file to a different location on the Mac.
See? Interesting, no? The list of actions is nominal, and Circles definitely disrupts the standard drag and drop workflow that most Mac users employ, but I see potential here. For example, I’d like to see a circle which archives a file, or duplicates a file; both to a predetermined location on your Mac.
Some of the Finder’s right-click functions could be incorporated into Circles as well– make alias, duplicate a file, or others, including add photo to Photos, email or text a file, even open a dragged file by listing apps which can open the file (versus having many circles for different apps; Numbers vs. Excel would be an example).
Personally, I’m not into the drag and drop scene as much as I was in years past. I use the Finder, but always in column view, and always with multiple Finder tab windows open. But that’s my workflow. Circles isn’t so much a recommendation to use as it is an interesting way to do some of what we already do on our Macs, but easier and faster.