The first thing you’ll have to understand about Logitech’s interesting take on the mouse is that its not actually a cube, despite its name.
The second thing to know is that the Cube is meant to offer more than just a strange shape; it’s meant to be a presenter’s best friend.
Scrolling, for example, works via a swipe of the finger, a movement that’s meant to mimic touch screen navigation. Lifting up the device puts it in presentation mode, allowing presenters to advance slides with the click of its top.
According to Logitech’s specification sheet it works with OS X 10.5 and up. The mouse isn’t a bluetooth device — instead it connects to a small USB nano-receiver (over the 2.4 GHz spectrum) that’ll work with a desktop you’re connecting to at a podium, or to a laptop that’s absent of Bluetooth. It’s more or less a mouse-mote in that it probably wouldn’t be comfortable to use as your primary mouse, but it’s convenient and pocketable enough to browse the desktop, open your PowerPoint or Keynote document, then pick up and use for the presentation.
It’s not clear what the battery life is on the remote (Logitech simply links to a battery life FAQ that lists mice with “extended battery life”), but I’m sure two AAs are enough to get you through a presentation. There is an on/off switch so you can completely power-off the mouse while traveling.
Bilton notes you simply pick up the device to put the cube into presentation mode. You then click to advance a slide, or turn it over & click to go back a slide (I’m not sure if I’m keen on the second gesture). Being a presentation tool, I’m surprised there isn’t a laser pointer packed inside.
I could see myself using this, and the $69.99 pricetag isn’t too bad. You can pre-order the mouse directly from Logitech.
Windows partitions got you down? BioWare is well aware that there’s a Mac fan base waiting to get their multiplayer on in Star Wars: The Old Republic, which has “shattered MMO sales records” since the game’s launch on December 20th.
Massively’s Ben Gilbert writes that BioWare label leads Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk have mentioned the possibility of a SW:TOR Mac version in a recent interview. Muzyka went on the record saying, ”We know there’s a big Mac audience of BioWare fans … we know that’s an important and large audience. And we want to serve that audience.”
Zeschuk replied, “Not yet!” when told that SW:TOR wasn’t able to run on a two year old MacBook. There’s currently no timetable that indicates how far away a Mac version is, but the leads want to make sure that a launch on the Mac will be successful and stable. Muzyka notes, “We’ve done a lot of Mac ports before of our games. We haven’t announced any details yet for The Old Republic, but we know that’s an important and large audience.”
So far, more than a million players in SW:TOR have racked up over 60 million hours, completed more than 260 million quests, destroyed more than 3 million non-playable characters in the game, and have participated in more than 44 million player-vs-player battles. Mac fans can install the game on a Windows partition (made easy thanks to Boot Camp) and take part in the adventure that takes place thousands of years before the Lucas films, but I’ll bet there’s plenty of patient fans who’re waiting for a proper Mac port before enlisting as a Sith Lord or Jedi Knight.
With the introduction of the Mac App Store, Mac applications are starting to follow iOS’s updating process which involves visiting the Update tab, optionally reading about what’s changed, and updating your applications from a central hub. We’re accustomed to this on iOS — it makes sense where control over each mobile application has been centralized from the very beginning and where you’re likely to have a greater abundance of small apps to update. The transition from third party software suites to the Mac App Store, however, has caused a bit of a clash between applications and how they update themselves. Coming from a world where Sparkle informs us of updates when we launch applications, we’re accustomed to seeing pop-ups informing us of new updates for our few Mac apps as we need them. I myself prefer this type of notification on the desktop.
There are problems with both methods. Sparkle’s update pop-up forces you to stop what you’re doing to deal with the update notification, and currently the Mac App Store doesn’t notify you of updates unless you manually check the store. With these two problems in mind, Lennart Ziburski designed a concept that freshly implements ideas already familiar to us from apps like Safari and Spotlight on Lion.
We’ve had a great response to our search for the best iPhone App, iPad App, Mac App and iOS/Mac Game with votes numbering in the thousands and people really excited about the huge giveaway that we ran alongside the vote. We’ve given away most of the codes but the final winners will be emailed over the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
We’ve tallied the votes and figured out who you, our readers, have deemed as the best apps and games of iOS and Mac. The winners may be largely what is expected, but it is interesting to see who the runner-ups were – there are a few interesting results there.
Just a quick note to all those who voted; thank you! We didn’t know whether you would embrace this idea or not, and we’re thrilled that so many of you voted and that we got such a large sample of our reader’s opinions on the best apps and games of 2011.
Jump the break to find out who all those winners and runner-ups all are.
We’ve had a great response with votes numbering in the thousands and people have loved the huge giveaway. But now we are on the home stretch, as of posting there are just 10 hours left of voting, with the poll closing at 7:00 PM EST (New York time) tonight. Click here to see how long away, exactly, that is.
So if you haven’t yet voted, get a move on and vote right now – you’ll also go in the running for some of the apps we are giving away today — the final day of the giveaway! We’re giving away some truly excellent apps today, in fact, a spectacular bunch of apps:
PDF Expert (iPad)
Reckless Getaway (iOS)
iA Writer (Mac)
Triple-Pack Bundle: Mr. Reader (iPad), iA Writer (iPad), AirServer (Mac)