Almost four years ago we got a glimpse of the BumpTop prototype, and the application of physics to desktop-based files looked great. Since then, the Windows version has been made available, and the Mac version has been in closed beta (as I’ve mentioned previously). I still like the concept, and it definitely feels like it was made for OS X (versus just a Windows port) which is ideal. To find out more about what BumpTop Mac does, and why (or why not) it may be useful for you, read on.
The good folks at BumpTop brand it as, “Your Mac Desktop, Reinvented,” which I believe is a fair statement. Though I look at it more as what Path Finder did for the Finder — it adds a bunch of features, and makes the standard OS X desktop prettier (in some ways).
Essentially, BumpTop works to make your computer desktop more like your physical desktop. It adds walls around the flat space that allow you to pin things up ‘out of the way’, it lets you click and fling files across the space using physics characteristics (so if one file is represented as larger, it will crash through a group of smaller files), and more. The best, and most useful feature, in my opinion, is the Piles concept. Clicking and dragging a circle around several files allows you to group them together into a pile, signifying relevance to one another. Of course, all of this is great, but assumes that you keep lots of files and ‘stuff’ on your desktop — which goes against my Desktop Zero concept, but to each his/her own!
Does all of this sound interesting to you? If so, you can download BumpTop Mac for free. Should you decide you want to upgrade to the Pro version, it will cost you $29. The Pro price tag brings with it some extra bling features like unlimited sticky notes and the ability to flip through your Piles, as well as ‘Find-as-you-type’ search, multi-touch gestures, and preferred support. (As a note, the multi-touch gestures currently support the MacBook line’s trackpads — there is no mention of the Magic Mouse.) Are those things worth the price to you? It’s very possible that they are, and who are we kidding, it’s a very cool concept to play with. But try the free version first and see if this alternate way of handling your desktop jives with your workflow.