App of the Week: WineBottler

The Mac has really grown as a development platform, and some type of apps are more abundant on the Mac platform than on Windows (Twitter and text expansion apps are the first that come to mind). But there some apps that just aren’t built for Mac yet. In my very first programming class, we used a program called Visual Logic that helped teach the basic concepts of code in a flow chart creation style. However, this program only could run on Windows, but I really didn’t want to have to run VirtualBox or BootCamp for one program. About that same time, I found WINE Bottler.

WINE is a program well know in the Linux community, and a little of the Mac community, for allowing you to run some Windows apps within a Unix environment. Simply put, you can run some Windows apps on your Mac or Linux computer. But WINE can be difficult to set up without experience or a tutorial, and it doesn’t make an app native. WINE Bottler takes the Windows app in question, and converts it with WINE to make a native Mac app (albeit with a few quirks, more on that later). I plan on making a video on how to use WINE Bottler, so stay tuned for that.

After downloading the app, select “Create Custom Prefix” in the sidebar, and then select the Windows app you want to convert. Then you can select “Copy Only” if you’re copying the actual executable file. Likewise, you can choose to include the necessary WINE libraries so that WINE doesn’t need to be run before the app. This makes the program easier to run and more like a native Mac application.

Screenshot of WINE Bottler custom prefix creation

WINE Bottler takes several minutes to write the app, and then brings you the newly built Mac app. WINE Bottler has a list of apps that arecommonly installed by users that you can also pick from.

The app is still in beta, and there are some kinks in the system. For example, many keyboard shortcuts require you to use the Mac’s control key rather than the command key. Also some more complex apps may not be as easily assembled, such as Microsoft Office. The rule of thumb is that the less spread out and the less subfiles an app has to create, the easier the app is to convert and the less bugs the new app will have. So Visual Logic only had a few bugs, but something like Microsoft Office could have more problems. I did notice that Visual Logic would occasionally has some visual glitches in the right-click menu as well. As a whole though, WINE Bottler did its job, and does it well. It’s not an easy app to use necessarily, but possibly a more convenient way for running one or two Windows apps.

WINE Bottler is a free app available from http://winebottler.kronenberg.org/. It works on OS 10.4 and higher. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this or any other topic, leave a comment below or email me at easyosx@live.com You can also check me out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by hitting the buttons on the top of your screen. You can also check out my Google Plus Page. Thanks!

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Posted on March 20, 2012, in App of the Week and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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