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Alex Arena

Alex Arena is a writer, designer, and, aspiring photographer from Wayne, Pennsylvania. He has a not-so secret love of vintage Apple products, which he collects semi-obsessively.

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By the time that Apple introduced iTunes 11, many were hoping for a radically redesigned and rewritten version of the world’s most popular music player. While version 11 did feature an updated UI, it still left some wanting a music player focused not on Apps, device management, and videos, but rather the music itself.

Into that void steps Vox, a new music player from the makers of Focus, Wallpaper Wizard, and Forismatic, which is designed to put music front and center.

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At the opening keynote of their World Wide Developer Conference, Apple wasted no time in introducing dozens of improvements to OS X as part of their 10.9 Mavericks release. And no, a Maverick isn’t a big cat you’ve never heard of, it’s the first in their series of releases named for places in Apple’s home, California. But the changes in OS X extend far beyond a new naming convention reaching to all corners of the OS with everything from a more refined (leather-free) interface to new power management under the hood allowing all day battery life on some MacBooks.

Read on to find out more.
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In the time I’ve been a Mac user, I’ve nailed down a pretty solid set of applications that get just about any job I throw at my computer done. For the most part, my Mac is used for reading and writing, podcasting, coding (web development, mostly), and your standard web browsing fare. For most of those things, I’ve found my current-generation spec’d out Macbook Air to be more than adequate, although coming from a 27 inch iMac, I actually need to conserve screen real estate, which plays a role in the applications I choose to use.

Before we continue, I should also warn you that I tend to be a bit obsessive-compulsive when it comes to the applications I choose to use: I’ll literally stop using an otherwise fine application if I think its icon is ugly. The end result is that each application on my Mac is here for a reason. So while I’ve tried out hundreds of different applications, only a select few have made the cut. If I’m not using it, it’s been deleted: end of story.

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Managing a team of people, often from around the world, is no easy task. But these days, it’s become a reality for many. To help with this problem, group chat tools like Campfire or Hipchat have become popular options, but they’re not without their limitations. Namely, there’s a lack of good applications that interface with them.

Into that void, the developers of Kickoff stepped in to create a Mac and iOS app with the intention to give teams an elegant solution to their collaboration problems that goes beyond basic group chat. So, could Kickoff change the way your team works? Read on and find out! (more…)

In Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple introduced what appeared to be a pretty promising feature called AirDrop. The goal was simple: to let you simply share files across your local network without the need for emails, flash drives, or complicated setups. Unfortunately, despite their efforts to bring the Mac and iOS to some level of feature parity, over two years later, AirDrop is still a Mac only feature.

Enter Instashare, an app which claims to be “AirDrop for iOS and OSX”, and plans to add Windows and Android versions in the near future. So, did the developers behind Instashare really beat Apple at their own game? Read on to find out!

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As a podcaster, having an audio editing tool that is simple, quick, and easy to use is priceless. So when Rouge Amoeba, the Mac developers known for popular audio tools like Audio Hijack Pro and NiceCast announced version 2 of their Fission audio editor – I took note.

Although it distinguishes itself from the crowd with the promise of “fast & lossless audio editing”, Fission still faces fierce competition from both ends of the spectrum. To carve out a meaningful niche for itself, Fission 2 needs to be a worthwhile option against the likes of professional tools like Logic Pro, and free options like Garageband or Audacity. So does it succeed? Read on to find out!
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It’s hard to consider yourself a true Mac power user until you’ve got a project management or todo list app that can handle anything you throw at it. Historically, that’s meant picking between a few big-name tools like Things or OmniFocus, and while those are undoubtably great options, I never stopped my search for something that could fit my workflow just a little bit better.

Enter Doit.im – a Getting Things Done app that promises a beautiful interface and incredible cross-platform compatibility. But wide compatibility often comes at the expense of the end user experience. Does Doit.im offer an experience on-par with the best or has it’s broad focus relegated it becoming a jack of all trades, and master of none? Read on to find out.
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Our giveaway is now closed, and we’ve randomly selected our 3 lucky winners from the many entries we had. Congrats to Chris, Crazyhunk, and Lucas, who just won a free copy of Mountain Lion! We hope everyone gets to try out Mountain Lion sometime soon; it really is a great OS (though we might be biased…)

Today, Apple has finally released their latest addition to the OS X family with version 10.8, also known as “Mountain Lion“. This new version brings with it a whole host of improvements, most of which focus on bringing features such as the Notification Center and iCloud from iOS to the Mac. In addition to those new features, 10.8 also includes systemwide refinements, which make the OS feel like what Lion should have been. And, at only $19.99, it’s the most affordable version of OS X yet.

Read on for our in-depth review of Apple’s latest big cat, and a chance to win a free copy of Mountain Lion!

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I’ve got a bit of an OCD issue: I hate cords and cables of any kind. So naturally, when Apple announced AirPlay I was ecstatic, and ever since I’ve been an avid user of this awesome wireless streaming tool. Unlike many of Apple’s other products, AirPlay is both relatively open and extremely easy to hack.

That openness in the AirPlay platform has led to a whole host of cool and unconventional uses for the technology.  In this article I’ll show you five different things you probably didn’t know you could do with AirPlay; and you’ll see that AirPlay is no longer just for iTunes videos.
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Somewhere in the course of Internet history, along with the decline of Del.icio.us, bookmarking lost it’s popularity. Nevertheless, bookmarks should be considered indispensable for any modern computer user.

Believe it or not, the Mac is actually home to several outstanding apps which should help you organize your bookmarks past the basic capabilities afforded by your browser. Some, like Pukka and Thumbtack aim to be as unobtrusive as possible, while others like Delibar have no problem showing off their interfaces; there’s something for just about everyone. So if you think it’s about time to get your bookmarks in order, this is one roundup you won’t want to skip!

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