When do you decide it’s time to fire an app?

I guess I don’t have to drag the icon for Apple’s Mail program out of the Dock after all.

Mail iconAn update shipped Thursday fixed the ugly Gmail-synchronization bug that I had been displeased to confirm in OS X Mavericks. Until then, I was about 90 percent sure that I’d have to dump the e-mail app that had been my daily driver since abandoning Eudora on the Mac at least a decade ago.

The likeliest replacement was Airmail, except its lack of support for the nifty data-detectors feature that lets me create calendar events from mentions of dates or times in messages had held me back.

Also, I’m really slow to move from one app to another, to the point that seemingly minor feature requirements like that become an enormous obstacle.

I still have Safari as my default browser in OS X, even though Chrome does a lot of things better–aside from automatically filling in contact information from my Contacts entry. And I continue to use iPhoto for my pictures, despite its glitches and Apple’s apathy about fixing them (although with 55 GB of photos, moving to a new photo-management app would be a non-trivial endeavor).

About the only major app that has exited my workflow in recent years is Microsoft Word. But since I’d have to pay for a no-longer-so-current version of that–while either Google Docs or TextEdit augmented by WordService provide all the tools I need for my formatting-free writing, leaving Apple’s Pages sufficient for the occasional venture into graphic design–that was a much easier call to make.

What was the last program you fired for cause? Tell me about it in the comments.

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Weekly output: mobile mergers, future of music, Google+ image recognition, Mavericks Mail, Yahoo security

If I didn’t have a calendar to tell me November had arrived, the recent acceleration in the frequency of CES PR pitches would clue me in almost as well.

10/29/2013: M&As: Industry Pulse Check, Enterprise Mobile Hub

I returned to my occasional role as Twitter-chat host for IDG Enterprise’s site for this discussion of the upsides and downsides of mergers in the wireless industry.

10/30/2013: Streaming, Selling Scarcity And Other Ways To Remix the Music Business, Disruptive Competition Project

My recap of the discussions at this year’s Future of Music Summit spotlighted some enlightening data about where musicians make they money these days and conflicting views on the potential of streaming-music services such as Spotify. I left the conference thinking, once again, that more journalists should pay attention to indie artists’ attempts to find a more solid economic footing–our business-model issues are not too different, even if we’re a lot less cool.

Google+ image-recognition post11/1/2013: Google+ Gambles on Image Recognition, Discovery News

My final post at Discovery (see yesterday’s post for more about that), had a little fun with Google+ image recognition’s performance in some sample searches of the photos I’ve been uploading from various mobile devices since G+’s debut. If only the screengrabs I took to illustrate this were not so unavoidably boring…

11/3/2013: How to fix Mail glitches in Mavericks, USA Today

My editor said my first draft of this column was a little in the weeds, and she was right: The issue here isn’t just Apple’s Mail app reacting badly when asked to sync with Gmail, it’s Apple’s failure to give users a heads-up about the change or explain it later on. As you can see in the comments, I goofed about the price of Mailplane–it’s $24.95 instead of free–so we’ll get that bit corrected.

On Sulia, I applauded the maturity of iPad users who didn’t mob Apple’s stores to buy the new iPad Air, voiced a similar skepticism about the need to trade in my Nexus 4 phone for the new Nexus 5, predicted some awkwardness in Twitter’s automatically displaying many shared images and complimented Spotify and services like it for being a much easier way to discover the Velvet Underground (RIP, Lou Reed) than radio.