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Trampoline Review: A Circular Dock Replacement

written by: Hollan•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 9/25/2009
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A program for your Mac that makes it easy to find and use applications. Wait, isn't that what the dock does?

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    Trampoline is kind of like the Mac OS X Dock, except it is brought up with a hot key, costs $19.95, and seems to hold less than what the Dock does. However, its circular design might appeal to you more than the Dock. But is it worth the money?

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    Download and Installation

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    Trampoline can be found at the Old Jewel Software website. You can download a free trial version or buy the full version to start with. If you download the trial, you will have the opportunity to buy the full version by registering it.

    Once the file is on your Mac, all you have to do is copy it into your Applications folder and let it launch. There is a brief set up you must do for it to work properly, but it is simple and all explained in the manual that comes with the software (as a PDF file). The manual is a nice touch.

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    Features

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    Trampoline is very Dock like, except it is a circle. It will import the applications in your Dock, if you want it to, and you can access them by pressing a hot key. The hot key is selected by you from the Trampoline preference menu.

    Using Trampoline is easy. All you have to do is move from app to app with your mouse of with keyboard commands until you find the application you want to open. Then click on it to open it. There is even an appearance preference so you can decide what color you want it to be (very cool) and a sound preference so it can make sounds as it moves from app to app or not. Everything is intuitive and easy to use, which is nice.

    However, unlike the Dock, I had problems launching certain applications from Trampoline even though they have no problem launching from the Dock. Also, there were a number of programs that showed up in Trampoline as unknown when the Dock recognized them just fine. They don't have anything in common, so I can't figure out why this happened, but it is annoying.

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    Usefulness

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    It's all a matter of what you prefer. I like the Dock. It can get annoying if I don't want it to come up and it does, but that's not really a big deal. I like that Trampoline can be launched by a hot key and then disappear, but the fact that it doesn't recognize 5 of the applications the Dock does recognize (and launches without problems) is a big problem. Also, Trampoline costs $19.95 while the Dock is free. I'm not sure why I should pay for a program that does little more than the one that came with my Mac.

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    Overall

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    If Trampoline appeals to you I say to go for it. However, I have a problem paying $19.95 for something I got for free. It's not bad software (although it has its bugs), I'm just not sure how necessary it is. But you can always try out the free trial if you think you'd like it.Download Trampoline.