Whether you have just ditched your PC and bought your first Macbook Pro or are already on your third iPad, the Apple App Store is a customization buffet for Macs. But with a seemingly endless and enticing list of games, utilities and productivity apps, you may have overlooked the ones that can really add a personality to your Macbook that no one else can claim. These are the apps that change the GUI (Graphical User Interface).
Customization of a computer’s GUI is more integrated in a PC than it is in OSX, so if you are among those who have recently joined the ranks of Apple and left your Windows computer behind, there are likely to be things you would like to bring to your Macbook that will give it the best of both worlds. If you’re a hardcore Mac user, there is still a lot of fun to be had with GUI Apps.
One of the things a lot of PC users miss when using a Macbook is the small preview window that pops up from the taskbar to show open windows. OSX cannot give you this feature on its own, but an App called Dock View can. Once installed, hovering your pointer over an open App will reveal the hidden window. The interface can also be customized with different colors, numbers, preview sizes, and adds buttons to Apps like iTunes.
Tab Launcher is another fun App that allows you to replace the dock completely with a more colorful and customizable tabbed bar instead. This App also gives you the option of adding open window previews with mouseover.
One of the great mysteries of Lion is that it does not allow for complete customization of the date and time feature on the menu bar. The Calendario App won’t change that, but it will give you a menu bar icon that opens a functional calendar with a single click, where you can also add events, dates and reminders.
The Macbook is a quality machine, but it suffers from what some believe is the most boring aspect of Mac OSX, which are the folder icons. In Lion, you can change the background color of your Finder windows, and even add a photo as a backdrop. But giving the actual folders some personality is just not an option.
Say hello to Folders Factory. This handy little app will make searching for documents and tasks a truly unique experience. Folders Factory comes with 17 folder icon designs that can be customized with colors, fonts, and textures. There is also an option to add a photo from your personal library on top of a personalized folder icon. It’s fast, easy, and the possibilities are endless.
All four of the above App Store Apps will set you back a total of $18.97, which for anything Apple seems like a bargain. More importantly, Apps that let you change the GUI can make a huge difference in how you interact your computer because even though it’s a machine, we still talk to it and sometimes yell at it, as if it were human.
Let’s face it, we all have a sort of personal relationship with our computers and often spend more time with them than we do with our human counterparts. The big difference is that we can change the interactive relationship we have with our MacBook with a few GUI Apps and the click of a mouse. It’s much harder to do that with our humans.