It’s About Time Products (iATP) has released an OS X app “Hello Tips, Tricks & Secrets” that walks you, visually, through over a hundred OS X tips, trick and secrets of which about half are related to Mountain Lion. Each video snippet ranges from a few seconds to, at most, 120 seconds so they’re easy to digest. The amount of knowledge is high, and the price is negligible — which makes the app a no-brainer to use and enjoy.
The OS X app requires Snow Leopard and installs as a simple app that meets the requirements of the Mac App store. The full version with 100+ tips costs just US$1.99, but there’s also a Lite version that’s free. It has only 10 tips. For the full version, 30 percent of the videos, amounting to 50 percent of the tips, relate to Mountain Lion.
Here’s the opening splash window.
Some of the videos have multiple tips. For example, the “Reminders” video has a total of five tips within it.
The navigation is particularly easy. Just scroll the icons along the bottom right, select one of interest, and the video tip plays on the left in repeat mode. There is no audio track associated with the instructional videos (except for the dictation session). That’s okay in my book because, often, it’s just a distraction to have someone telling you what you’re seeing when the video is so short and succinct. At your own pace, you can read notes in the upper right pane. There are “back” and “next” buttons to work through the various tips.
The video on the left walks you through, the text has overview.
That’s basically all there is to it. The app has no preferences or potentially confusing settings. It doesn’t go full screen (which would have been nice). The menu options are simple, and this is all very appropriate for a $2 app.
In fact, the beauty of this app is that its high utility and low cost. You wouldn’t think twice about buying it and exploring the tips. After working through just a few items of interest, the app has paid for itself.
I asked the developer about searching for keywords related to the tips and tricks. I thought, at first, that would be nice, but the developer had already planned ahead.
We thought about that a lot and as we were building the app, we realized that the majority of these tips are things people would never search for. They are things you wouldn’t think the Mac could do. So we built a navigation bar with the high-level app/feature so you can browse that way.
In addition, with search, people might think this can help with an issue they are having and it would constantly show zero results.”
OS X 10.6 or later, Intel 64-bit processor, English only. Code-signed for Mountain Lion. Version 1.0 released July 24, 2012.
Do I Recommend it?
Absolutely. For the newbie to OS X, this is a friendly, inexpensive way to learn handy tips and tricks in OS X. You might never think to search for some of these concepts, so there’s also some fun discovery.
Best of all, if you think $2 is too much to spend for the 100+ tips, try the free version first.