When it comes to the two new OS’s, Windows 8 and OS X Mountain Lion, there is a lot of buzz around the apps. Today, we are going to take a look at all of the apps that each of the operating systems have to offer in terms of apps, and then make a definitive decision on which one you want based on how much free software you will get. After all, why should you pay for something that is being given away?
First we will look at the Mac Apps that come built into Launchpad, then sneak over the built-in Windows apps. After that a hardcore brawl.
Mac: Mountain Lion Apps
The address book app keeps all of your contact information in one place and allows you to find the person that you need when you’re ready to make that call or write that email. Its a dream for a busy professional or a prolific stalker.
By now we all know what the App Store does. It lets Mac users buy more apps. We will talk a little bit more about apps sales and Mountain Lion in the Gatekeeper section below.
Automater allows Mac users to create automatic tasks for printing, calender reminders and just about everything else. Basically if you have ever had a moment when you wanted your computer to do something without being asked then Automater is the thing to do.
It’s your basic math buddy. Not too unique in the modern world, and you could get it with a Google, but its handy for the rare occasion that you happen to be offline.
A digital version of the classic game of strategy. Again, not terribly unique but still fun.
Its an app that brings you to…. more apps. Another calculator, weather app, calender and an analogue style clock.
You know what this one does. Its good for making you look like you know what you’re talking about.
If you still have an optical drive, or buy an external one, then you can play your old fashion DVD’s on your system.
If for any reason you want to actually see the person you are talking to then a Face Time chat is the way to go. With a well placed web cam (which are built into most newer Mac) you can talk to anyone with a Mac, iPhone or iPad as well as the newest version of the iTouch.
Managing new fonts, or getting rid of some for data space, is easy here.
This software lets you make music or podcasts with a professional level of control. Good news for budding artists and journalists.
A built in calender that will remind you when events are coming and update automatically with your mobile devices.
iChat is like Face Time but it allows for multiple party video chats through anyone you know on IM services.
iDVD allows user to burn the video files that they have (or make) to a DVD-R (or RW) for use in other locations. So apparently Apple isn’t completely convinced that DVDs are an obsolete format, despite cutting out the drives on new models.
Taking screen shots is not important, unless you do a lot of work online. Mac’s take screenshots without downloading more special software because of this handy app.
Make you own films (short or feature length) with your movie clips.
A slightly more than basic tool for storing, tagging and editing your photos.
You know this one by now, don’t you? The most popular marketplace for music, TV shows and movies.
This tool lets you create and publish basic websites. You won’t get a great deal of variety but it will help with basic site needs.
Access to your email without opening a web browser.
If you want to see all of your open desktops and your widgets then Mission Control. Its only useful for users who make use of the current multiple desktops feature.
Photo booth style photos, with a variety of funky effects. Its little more than a toy, but is a fun one.
Preview lets you open, and do very basic edits to images and PDF’s. Its not Photoshop but when you need a quick resize it is well worth having.
Your default web browser.
Small reminders for your information. They look like digital Post-its.
Access to changing all of the features of your operating system, with in reason.
A very basic word processor.
Your backup system. You set it once and it runs automatically at the set times. Just be aware that it can slow down older systems.
Access to a variety of tools to keep your system running well. Not for newbies.
Total Number of Apps – 29
Total number of truly useful apps - 24
While Gatekeeper is not an app, we can’t have a fair discussion about Apps for Mac without talking about it. Gatekeeper will be a new security feature for apps. It breaks up software into three categories: what you find in the app store, apps not in the store made by certified developers and apps not made by vetted developers. The system will allow additional download and security controls for apps found outside of the store, as well as checking them for security problems. Its good news for
Windows 8 Apps
Basically a link to the newest option in search.
We talked about this one already. A digital planner for your day-to-day needs.
An app to bring you right back to where you were before, your desktop. It seems a little bit silly to have an app for this.
Your default web browser.
Access to your mail offline.
If you use any of the MS based IM services you can chat from this app.
If you enjoy the news and other content on MSN.com then you can find it with what is basically a quick link to the web.
Manage your contacts with People. The People app also ties into social media site like Facebook.
This app allows you, or a tech support rep, access to your system from afar.
If you want to buy Windows software the store app will help you to get what you want in one place.
Your suite of security tools for the operating system.
Xbox 360 Site
Another web link to everything you have ever wanted to know about the games of the Xbox 360. This apps not very useful if you don’t happen to own an Xbox.
Music and Zune Music and Video
What exactly is going one with these two apps is not clear. The best guesses out there are that one is only for Zune, the other is for streaming content.
Lync is a web video and audio chat conferencing tool. If you want to video conference you can
MS Office Apps
The office suite we all know, and some of us love. It won’t be built in but if you buy this common piece of software it will show up in your Apps folder. Does anyone else remember when a non-trial version used to come with the system?
Total Number of Apps – 16
Total number of truly useful apps - 12
Which is Better?
I’m going to have to say that, in terms of apps, you’re going to get more from the Mountain Lion upgrade then you will from Windows 8. Most of us won’t be learning a whole new OS, but if you were already on the fence it is well worth thinking about. After all you get the ability make your own movies, podcasts and music standard. A lot of the other, more basic, apps are well, duplicates of each other.
Of course, you have to bear in mind that right now both of these operating systems are in their developers preview. There are few knowns about the final version and how it will shake out. We are making educated guesses based on the information that can be gleaned at this point based on the photos and information from the current information. There may be apps added, or taken away based on any number of factors. When the final version of the OS’s come out there will most likely be some changes to the final product.