Launchpad, Mac Mini & TV: large variety of apps?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Greenone, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Greenone macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2005

    I've been told that by using Launchpad, I can have the same effect as if I had something like a Roku or blu-ray device for TV streaming (apps that pop right up all organized and quickly) and yet I keep reading little blurbs that suggest that on a PC I won't get many apps - or on a Mac anyway.

    I just - finally - got my first HDTV (Samsung) which is internet-capable but doesn't have apps built in. I really prefer the one-click simplicity of the typical streaming devices' formats/menus of apps. I'm clueless as to which device to get though am leaning toward a Mac Mini since everything else I have is Apple and the Apple TV doesn't offer enough specific apps that I want. E.g. I really want to see a Pandora icon/app to pop up when I turn on the TV - not just the itunes version. Side note: can we darken our screens on these modern TVs so as to just hear the music and not have the bright screen on? That would be nice!

    If I get a Mac Mini is it fair to assume I could basically have all the apps as anyone else or can you only get the most popular ones if you have an iphone or ipad etc?

    I was also told the app or shortcut (not sure of terminology) for Pandora is called Pandoras Box. Is this true, and if I click on it will I get to listen to Pandora as if it were anyone else's app? I know there might be a fee.

    Advice? I'd like the Mac Mini if it's true that I can utilize Launchpad in such a way (Pandora, Netflix, Amazon, youtube, Hulu, Flickr, etc) while also having all the added bonuses of a Mac Mini.

    Thanks so much!
  2. Greenone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2005
  3. dzigg macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2007
    I'm a little bit confused of what exactly you want bro, sorry.. hehe..

    But from what I gathered, you want to connect your new HDTV to either mac mini OR apple TV, correct?

    Mac mini is running OSX (either snow leopard or lion), so it can run every app for OSX that's available. You can get apps from Mac App store or from other sources. It's just a normal desktop experience like you would have on iMac or Macbook.

    Launchpad is just 'app launcher' on lion, it displayed all your installed apps in iOS-like interface

    Apple TV on the other hand, is running it's version of OS. IIRC, the 1st and 2nd generation differ significantly. The 1st one is running intel architecture, while the 2nd gen is more iOS-like. The apps available is significantly smaller than OSX, and probably you have to go into hacking for it to be able install a few of the apps (I could be wrong).

    So my suggestion is, go with the Mac Mini, install Plex as a media server and other apps you wanted, connect it to your HDTV, you're golden! :D
  4. Greenone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2005
    Thank you so much! Oh and it's bra by the way, not bro. :)

    Yes you're right about what I want - but primarily I want the simplicity of "apps" popping up right away when I turn on my TV (aside from the extra major advantages of having a Mac Mini as opposed to Apple TV).

    My main question I guess should have been: can OSX provide apps the way iPads and iPhones can. Netflix, youtube, Pandora, etc. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to find the answer by doing thorough googling to no avail. Maybe this is cause most experienced computer users understand that you don't need an app on a PC the way you do on a small device such as an iphone however there are advantages of a company's icon popping up along with several others' in one place, quickly, to be easily clicked on and taken there.

    I'm ignorant enough that I'll now google "media server" (haha - such a dummy) as well as Plex! Thanks!

  5. dzigg macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2007
    Ahhh.. okay I think I understand now.

    So what you really want is an interface so when you start your mac mini, the first thing you see is a bunch of icons (like launchpad) right? interesting..

    Well the easiest thing to do, albeit not very practical, is to just have all your app shortcut on the desktop, and use big icon size so it's easier to see/read.

    Or, you can find a way to auto start launchpad on boot up so it's the first thing you see. But I think after you launch a program and exit, it will divert back to the desktop.

    Next option is to have program that have program launcher built in. I recommend XBMC besides Plex, you can try both of them.

    I'm interested if any 3rd party app available to create better experience using Mac Mini (or any mac) in HDTV , I think there's a pretty big market for this.. anyone?

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