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David Appleyard

David Appleyard is a designer and writer based in the UK. He manages Tuts+, along with having founded several design websites including Design Shack and PixelsDaily.

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Although we’re big proponents of the virtues of desktop software at Mac.AppStorm, there’s no denying that web apps are improving at a fantastic rate. They’re very much here to stay and, in some cases, offer a lot more functionality than anything that’s available on the desktop.

Our sister site, Web.AppStorm, yesterday posted a phenomenal roundup of web apps that provides a big overview of the wealth of fantastic software available online.

Whether you’re just getting started using web apps, or are a longtime fan and would like to find more exciting apps, you’ll be sure to find something interesting here. There’s no way to include every web app, but we’ve included the apps that we think are the very best in their categories.

Read 100 Web Apps to Rule Them All

Great news, we’ve randomly selected our ten winners! Here’s a quick list of the commenters (based on the names they gave) that will be receiving a copy of SideFolders for Mac. If you won, you’ll be receiving an email shortly with more information.

  • Eddie
  • Jeannie
  • Tio Istivi
  • iMac
  • Hok
  • Tomas
  • Kevin
  • duckzila
  • Robert Sarudy
  • Mike Diaz

A huge thanks to everyone who entered! Stay tuned for more great giveaways and awesome coverage of all things Mac!

Original Post

I’m pleased to let you know that we’re kicking off a competition to win ten copies of SideFolders. This app aims to give you quick and easy access to your recent, and regularly used, files and folders through a useful sidebar panel that appears on your desktop. We recently reviewed the app, and this might be a good place to start if you’d like to find out more.

Entering the competition is really simple – all you need to do is leave a comment on the post. That’s it! Let us know why you’d like to win, tell us a funny story, or just have a short rant about your complex sidebar needs…

The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick ten winning comments at random on Wednesday 8th June. Best of luck, and be sure to check out SideFolders in the meantime and download a trial copy!

WWDC 2011 is just around the corner, and both developers and users have high expectations. This is the annual conference for Apple developers and, since they no longer exhibit at Macworld, is the one “official” platform that Apple uses each year for announcing software and hardware upgrades.

Although Apple has strongly implied that we won’t see any updated iPhone hardware, it’s difficult to be completely sure of what to expect.

It’s likely that the two main areas of focus will be iOS 5, and OS X Lion – two major software updates that Apple will be releasing this year. Both of these hold lots of promise, and we’re still not sure of the exact features that either will offer.

Although Lion has been available as a developer beta for a while, it’s not unheard of for Apple to announce extra features and functionality nearer the launch date.

Speculation surrounding “iCloud” is also rife, with some people hoping for a cloud music service (this seems likely), and others wanting an official Apple file-synchronisation system akin to Dropbox. We’ll have to wait and see!

I’d be interested to know which of these you are particularly looking forward to, and what you’ll be hoping to see announced. Of course, another big question is whether we’ll see Steve Jobs presenting. I certainly hope so.

Our sponsor this week is Radium, a lightweight internet radio player with a wonderfully retro icon! Radium allows you to listen to thousands of radio stations from around the world, right from your OS X menu bar. It’s simple, functional, and an absolutely fantastic way to listen to the radio on your Mac.

In our recent review, we gave Radium a lofty 9/10 rating. For such a simple and understated application, it packs a real functionality punch.

If you like this app as much as we do, you might want to check out the brand new Radium Store with a big collection of fantastic Radium t-shirts! These are super-cool, in a range of different colours and sizes.

Be sure to spend a few minutes giving Radium a try today – you’ll be glad you did!

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of a tried-and-tested backup solution. One that ensures all your data will be safe – whether you suffer a simple hard drive failure, or your house burns down. This type of system gives you immense peace of mind, and removes that guilty feeling in your subconscious caused by not backing up.

Today I’m going to walk through a few options for creating what I would consider to be an “ideal” backup solution for the Mac. This is by no means the only way to handle the safety of your data, but one that’s particularly robust and cost-effective.

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It’s an application that everyone has been talking about recently, and we ran our own review last week. Fantastical is a menu bar application that provides a simple way of interacting with iCal. You can view your upcoming events, and enter new ones using a natural language engine that works flawlessly.

Today we’re giving you the chance to win one of two licenses for Fantastical, so you can get your hands on this excellent piece of software completely free of charge!

Entering the competition is really easy. All you need to do is:

  1. Post a link to this competition – either on your website, or via Twitter
  2. Leave a comment, letting me know where you posted the link!

Best of luck, and I’ll be picking the winners in just over a week. The competition closes on Wed 1st June, but I’d strongly recommend giving Fantastical a try for yourself – I really can’t recommend it highly enough!

Much has been speculated over the idea of Apple creating a competing service to Dropbox – either under the MobileMe/iDisk banner, or through a completely new service. Some people think it would be great for competition, and others think that Dropbox already has the market sewn up.

I’d hazard a guess that the majority of AppStorm readers are Dropbox users in some form or another (if not, you should be!) It’s hands down one of the most useful applications I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.

Will Apple launch a competing service? My hunch is no – at least not directly. There’s little reason for them to create a like-for-like competitor that allows storage of all your files in the cloud.

There is, however, a good opportunity for them to create a better sync platform, so that developers don’t feel the need to use Dropbox as a central storage location for syncing between multiple Macs/iOS devices. This would be much better handled by the OS, and it’s an area where I’d love to see some innovation from Apple.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments, and let me know whether you think Apple has a plan to get into this market!

This week’s sponsor is a fairly unique application – Smoke. Not your usual graphics editor, Smoke is all about creating unique graphical effects.

It offers a unique type of brush that renders stunning graphics with the simplest mouse movements. Abstract backgrounds, lighting texts, art-house drawings – or anything else – this tool helps to convert an idea into a painting.

You can head over to the Smoke website to see an few examples of the application in action, or grab your copy from the Mac App Store. It’s definitely worth giving this unusual, unique application a try – you’ll be surprised by what it can do!

Winners Announced

I’m excited to let you know that we’ve chosen the five Rubbernet winners, and they are:

  1. Robin Lundgren
  2. Drew
  3. Pablo Lara H
  4. Dodie
  5. OSX BOY

Thanks to everyone who took part, and we’ll be sending your license codes through shortly!

Old Competition Post

Today’s competition is for an application we recently reviewed, called Rubbernet. This is a new piece of software from Conceited Software which tracks what apps are accessing your network connection, and how much bandwidth they are using.

Not only is this useful for monitoring bandwidth usage, but it can be used to detect any software which might be secretly sending out personal data of yours!

Entering the competition is really easy. All you need to do is:

  1. Post a link to this competition – either on your website, or via Twitter
  2. Leave a comment, letting me know where you posted the link!

Best of luck, and I’ll be picking the winners in just over a week. The competition closes on Friday 27th May, but you can head over to the Conceited Software site to download a trial in the meantime!

In today’s interview, we’ll be speaking with Keith Blount – the writer and developer behind the phenomenally successful Scrivener. Created by the Literature & Latte team, Scrivener is a fantastic application for writers of all types, helping you organise your ideas and produce a piece of work to be proud of.

Keith will be talking about the Literature & Latte team, how Scrivener came about, giving back to the developer community, and sharing a few fascinating, high-profile examples of people using the app.

I hope you enjoy the interview!

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