Apple makes some good-looking computers: they're made of aluminium, have impressive displays, and always push the envelope in one way or another (for better or worse). That doesn't mean they're easy to interact with. Ever try to plug something into an iMac? Yeah.
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It makes more sense than ever to put some Android apps on you laptop. As well as giving you access to apps that have no desktop or web equivalent (like Snapchat), it's great for playing games on the big screen - we got Alto's Adventure up and running on the Pixelbook with no problems, and plenty of other games would benefit from the extra screen space too.
Mac/iOS: Setting an alert on your iOS device or Mac computer can be done in a variety of ways. You can ask Siri, use your Clock app, set up a reminder, or make an alarm. Unfortunately, these all come with a few caveats that may leave you confused as to why your phone is buzzing at 3AM - or end up with you rushing out the door thanks to a missed reminder you thought your HomePod would share with you. Engineer Dr Drang took a look at how it all worked and found that, well, it was pretty confusing.
iOS/Mac: Whenever I plug my MacBook into a TV to share, say, a video with my friends, I end up on the floor, squatting in front of the laptop, while everyone else sits back and enjoys themselves. Since I occasionally use my Mac to manage the streaming media in my home and often find myself connecting it to some big screen via its HDMI port or through something like a Chromecast, a remote control would be a lifesaver.
Doing stuff with your mouse is cool. Doing stuff with your keyboard is cooler. These are the most important keyboard shortcuts, ranked from best to worst. (Unless noted, we've listed the Windows shortcuts; Mac users substitute Cmd for Ctrl.) With one exception, despite any flaws, all the shortcuts below are fundamentally good.
There is not shortage of free mobile and desktop applications available on the internet. Unfortunately, most of them are either rubbish or trick you into parting with your cash via in-app purchases. But if you take the time to sort the wheat from the chaff, you'll find plenty of excellent apps that truly are free.
We're thankful every day for all the free apps out there that improve our lives (and the developers that make them!). Here are 50 our favourites.
The Lifehacker staff sifts through a ton of apps on a regular basis, but a few have stuck with us over the years. Some apps are simply nice to have, while others have become essential in our daily lives. From dealing with irate dragons to counting our mindfulness minutes, each app on this list has a special place in our hearts (and our homescreens). Best of all, they're completely free to download!
macOS: Once Apple finally embraced the right-click, Mac apps loaded up the right-click menu with extra functions. MacOS even includes several by default. But most English-speaking users don't need to "Convert Text to Simplified Chinese". Here's how to get rid of that and any other right-click menu option, so you can easily find the ones you do want.
Apple keeps giving us reasons to say goodbye. iOS 11 is buggy as hell, with the most recent error making iPhones almost unusable and the latest version of macOS briefly exposed Mac owners to a major vulnerability. As for the iPhone X, it may be pretty sleek for an iPhone, but Apple's still playing catch-up to its Android competition.
Though weather forecasting is a notoriously inexact science, thanks to voice assistants, pop-up notifications and buzzing smartwatches, it's easier than ever to keep tabs on the day's weather (and dress accordingly). Of course, checking the truncated weather forecast on your phone might be convenient, but it could also mean you're losing out on valuable information that could help you deal with the heat, rain, or general mugginess outside. That's where desktop weather apps come in.
Mac: Flexibits, creators of Lifehacker's favourite calendar app Fantastical, has released its command-line approach to contacts with Cardhop. This new contacts app is oriented around actions rather than your contacts database; you mainly use it by writing commands, kind of like talking to Siri. It's a potentially compelling interface -- if you can remember to use it.
The command line (or Terminal for you Mac fans) is a throwback to a simpler age of computing, before mouse pointers and application windows and desktop wallpaper. Back when it was just you and a window full of text. Operating systems have long since evolved beyond the humble command line interface, but there's still no better tool for quickly disseminating complex information in your operating system -- and you can actually do some other pretty cool stuff with them, too.
The MacBook Pro's Touchbar is a polarising addition to the notebook. Many praised its versatility, while others bemoaned the removal of the traditional shortcut keys we've grown to know and love on Apple's keyboards. Since there's no tactile indication of whether or not you've hit a key on the Touchbar, it's a bit frustrating to find yourself tapping where you think the misaligned Escape key should be without getting a response.
Bluetooth technology can be a godsend for those of us trying to minimise the amount of cord clutter in our digital lives. But when your laptop, phone, or other device is hooked up via bluetooth to a wireless speaker or pair of headphones and the audio playback starts to stutter, it can be nothing short of infuriating.