By Harry McCracken | Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm
BumpTop substitutes its own desktop for the standard one you get in OS X or Windows, and the most instantly striking thing about it is that it’s in 3D: You can drag (or just toss) icons off the “floor” in the center of the screen onto a wall, or even knock them into each other like pool balls. I’m instinctively skeptical about 3D interfaces–software companies have tried them for years without proving they’re more than a gimmick that saps resources. BumpTop’s version isn’t bad, though–at worst, it’s inoffensive, and at best it’s a cool effect that might help you tidy up your desktop by letting you place different sorts of files on each wall.
More important, the 3D stuff is only part of what makes BumpTop interesting. It also lets you auto-stack similar files (such as JPG images) to clear up desktop space. You can shrink and grow icons individually, letting you make important items humongous and minor ones teeny-tiny. BumpTop Pro, which goes for $29 also lets you flip through stacks of items, use multitouch gestures to perform tasks such as resizing icons, create unlimited sticky notes, and find files by typing their names.
The basic version of BumpTop is a free download–and if it sounds at all intriguing, it’s worth your time. The desktops of my computers tend to be appalling messes–a trait they share with my real desks. So I’m attracted to anything that might help me keep them in some semblance of order, and I’m keeping BumpTop on my Mac and planning to try out the Windows version.
If you give either or both of ’em a try, let us know what you think.