Monday, July 23, 2012

Bad Month For Mac Software

This month is a big one for the Mac, the new cat is about to be unleashed ~ Mountain Lion 10.8 However exciting this might be, in the rest of the Mac software world, things seem to be going backwards, at least for me…

My list of “essential” mac apps are as follows:

  1. Google Chrome - I work with Google Apps all day long, and this is the best way to go.
  2. 1Password - If you are not using software like this for your passwords, you are asking for trouble…
  3. Sparrow - The best Gmail client right now, but in the future…
  4. Bento - I “rolled my own” CRM and client tracker, and Bento is/was the best way to track my clients websites and contact info.

It is these last two applications that have disappointed me.

Sparrow, for now works great, BUT Google bought the company last week, and the future of the application is in doubt. I am happy for the Sparrow developers, they released a great application, and were rewarded. However they have already announced that no new features for Sparrow will be coming, so effectively this application is End Of Life.
Bento, however is an even more frustrating story. FileMaker, the makers of Bento (and a subsidiary of Apple) have decided to remove the best parts of this software - the integration with Apple’s Address Book, the ability to access iCal, and the ability to access iPhoto. This is the only reason I have been a Bento user for years. So, if like me, you have created a Bento CRM system around the Address Book and iCal integration - this is now gone from the new iPad version, and soon to be gone from the Mac version.

Bento has just become useless for me. I don’t understand the move away from using the iCloud Address Book, and instead now having a proprietary “Bento” address book instead, let alone not being able to access iCal… Apple has said that “iCloud” is the future, yet one of their own companies won’t be using it. Frustrating.

So I guess the point my rant is simple. I love progress, and each version of most applications brings cool new features. I just find it troubling that with half of my “essential” apps, the opposite has happened - progress has meant that the applications are no longer as good as they were, at least for Bento, and most likely for Sparrow as well.