Apple picks the best Mac apps and games of the year, Twitter picks up scads of users from iOS device owners, and one senator picks on a perfectly harmless iPhone app. Remember: You can pick your friends, but you can't pick the remainders for Friday, December 9, 2011."
Best of Mac App Store 2011 (Mac App Store)
Much as iTunes Rewind rounds up the best in media and iOS apps, Apple has selected its top entries on the Mac App Store for 2011. Image editor Pixelmator and Civilization V walked away with app of the year and game of the year, respectively, but the real winner is you, the consumer! (Nope, it's not any less lame than when Time tried it.)
According to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, sign-ups for the social network have increased by 25 percent since the launch of Apple's iOS 5, which features built-in Twitter integration. So, in order to reduce strain on its servers, the company has launched a new interface that it hopes will alienate many of its existing users.
Someone's got to mind the store--literally--while Apple looks for a replacement for former senior vice president Ron Johnson. The task has fallen to chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer, who will now greet every incoming shopper with funny anecdotes about Apple's gross margins and operating expenses.
Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) has penned a letter to Apple, asking it to remove from the App Store an iPhone program that lets users take pictures of themselves and create a fake driver's license from any state. "While DriversEd.com markets the app as a fun game," Casey writes, "it can also be used in a way that allows criminals to create a new identity, steal someone else's identity, or permit underage youth to purchase alcohol or tobacco illegally." Actually, the app was intended to bring awareness to a serious problem that affects us all: Bad driver's license photos.
Apple TV Adds Television Show Purchases in Canada (The Mac Observer)
Canadian owners of Apple TVs can now purchase TV episodes directly through the device itself. Rest assured, all of the episodes have been converted into metric units, as per international treaties.
HoudahGeo 3.0 - Houdah Software has updated its photo geocoding app for Mac to version 3.0. It features a revamped, all-in-one-window interface, better performance, and support for more GPS devices. There's also better integration with iPhoto, Aperture, and Lightroom, as well as offline reverse geocoding. $30 for a new license; $12 upgrade from HoudahGeo 2.0, or free for customers who registered on or after June 1, 2011.
Picasa for Mac 3.9 - Version 3.9 of Google's photo-cataloging app adds new photo editing effects, side-by-side editing, support for sharing pictures to Google+ circles, the ability to upload Picasa name tags to Google+, support for more RAW camera formats, and more. Free.
Chrono Trigger - The classic time-travel RPG by Square Enix makes its jump to the iPhone with touch screen controls, graphics optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch, and two additional areas from the Nintendo DS remake of the title. $10.