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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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There are a number of different screenshot utilities for OS X, but none with the functionality and style offered by LittleSnapper. Produced by the developers behind RapidWeaver, LittleSnapper provides a tool for capturing inspirational websites or any area of your screen. It’s simple to organize hundreds of screenshots, exporting to a variety of different formats for use elsewhere. Innovative vector editing functionality allows you to annotate and edit screenshots through an incredibly simple interface.

If you regularly feel inspired when browsing the web, LittleSnapper is one way to keep track of all the information you come across. This review will delve into the application, outline the different features on offer, and provide a handy tip for keeping your inspiration in sync between multiple computers.

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Thank you to all those who entered our first competition to win a copy of Things. We received over 500 entries, and confirmed my suspicion that everyone loves a good app giveaway!

Three winners have been randomly chosen, and I’m excited to announce that they are:

Congratulations to the winners, who will be contacted via email shortly. I’m very grateful for all your useful comments and input on what you’d like to see on AppStorm. I’m still working my way through all the suggestions, but so far have found some fantastic ideas.

If you didn’t win this time, don’t worry! A competition to win a copy of WriteRoom will be coming later this week. Rather than entries via comment, this time I’ll be asking you to send me a tweet. In preparation, feel free to follow AppStorm and I’ll let you know how to enter in due course!

Today marked the beginning of the latest installment of the MacHeist software giveaway, coming back for the third time since 2006. The project begins with several “missions”, each one providing opportunity to earn free software and gain credits to reduce the price of the software “bundle” announced at the end. The bundle generally includes a number of well known Mac applications from independent developers, and is priced at around $49 (a discount of several hundred dollars over purchasing each app separately).

Previous MacHeist bundles have included software such as TextMate, Delicious Library, RapidWeaver and various games from Pangea. If you’re new to the Mac, it’s a brilliant way to get your hands on a selection of popular software at a heavily discounted price.

I’d recommend heading over to the MacHeist site and signing up – doing so will allow you to download a free copy of ShoveBox along with a selection of Valentines email stationery designed by Equinux. Good luck completing those missons!

The day to day use of a computer always involves some form of writing. Whilst this may often be a short, snappy task (drafting an email, blog comment or twitter post), there are often times when you find yourself writing a longer piece of work. Plenty of software exists for assisting with word processing, but often creates more distraction than simplicity in its approach.

WriteRoom is an application which takes a completely different approach to writing, stripping away all the distractions you commonly find yourself faced with when using a Mac. It achieves this goal in a bold and novel way – by removing everything else on your screen. When activated, WriteRoom creates a full screen “writing environment”, a concept which has proven to be very well received by many writers:

“Unlike practically everything else in our digital lives, WriteRoom’s minimalist interface implies a truly flattering proposition: It’s you, not the software, that matters.” — Jeffrey MacIntyre, Slate

This review will outline the features and functionality of WriteRoom, explain how it integrates with your Mac, and fill you in on the accompanying iPhone application.

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The latest release of Apple’s iWork suite has brought a whole range of new features, notably an online collaberation system called iWork.com. Currently in public beta, the service aims to let you share your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, allowing co-workers or friends to comment on them. This quick tutorial will walk you through how the feature works and explain the simplest way to get started.

Click the iWork.com icon to get started

Click the iWork.com icon to get started

In order to use iWork.com, you need to have a copy of the latest version of the iWork suite. You can try it out by downloading the 30 day trial which will give you time to decide whether it’s worth purchasing (for $79).

Once you’ve created a document in any of the three included applications, clicking the iWork.com icon will start the walk-through process of uploading your document to the ‘cloud’.

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Safari is a great web browser and works perfectly for many Mac users. Whilst there are a few popular alternatives such as Firefox, a number of less widely known browsers are also available. These range from safety conscious variations for children, through to applications targeted at research and powerful searching.

General web browsing is probably best served by one of the major players in the market, but it is fascinating to know what else is out there should the need arise. I’ll be looking at 8 niche applications, each with their own individual twist to assist with browsing the web.

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As I mentioned a couple of days ago, Cultured Code have been kind enough to provide a copy three copies of Things to give away to AppStorm readers. If you’re unsure of what Things does, please feel free to read our review. Essentially, it is:

  • A to-do list manager
  • A place to quickly store thoughts and ideas
  • A powerful scheduler to ensure you’re notified about tasks at the right time

I love giving away free software, and am sure that this will be the first of many competitions on AppStorm. Entering will be kept as simple as possible. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post with your name, email address (make sure it’s valid so we can contact you if you win), and a message stating something you’d like to see on AppStorm – it can be anything at all!

The competition will run for one week, and the winning comment will be chosen at random on the 9th February 2009. As with all competitions, there’s just one legal point to make – you aren’t eligible to take part if you work for Envato. Only one entry per person please!

Good luck, and I’m excited to hear your ideas!

The gradual adoption of ‘cloud computing’ is leading many of us to move our information and data to a virtual space, rather than relying solely on a local disk. This has a whole host of advantages, coupled with the niggling uncertainty of trusting someone else with your files. Several pieces of software for the Mac (Dropbox and Mozy to name a couple) provide excellent integration of remote storage with OS X.

Syncplicity – already a strong player in this area for Windows – have today announced the Mac version of their synchronization and backup software. As a devout Dropbox user, and someone who has seen too many less-than-perfect Windows ports, I approached the Mac client with a level of skepticism. However, after speaking to the people behind Syncplicity and receiving a walkthrough of the app from Ondrej Hrebicek, I’ve had to re-consider my notion that it is very difficult to successfully port an application from Windows. Syncplicity is impressive.

Syncplicity enables easy collaboration and sharing across Macs, PCs, mobile devices, and the cloud. Combined with tools such as versioning and web application integration, Syncplicity provides a great range of features. Through integrating directly with the Finder, it is possible to tell the app to keep any – or every – folder in sync with your online storage space and another computer. I’ll be taking a look at the main features of Syncplicity, the interface, and explaining how it compares to similar applications such as Dropbox.

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There are a huge number of different task managers and “Getting Things Done” apps for the Mac, each of which has various strengths and features. I’ll be posting a roundup in the near future, but for now would like to focus on a fairly new entrant which has already received widespread accolade.

Things, developed by Cultured Code, launched officially on January 6th during the MacWorld conference, winning the Best of Show award. I have been using the application since November and have come to rely on it to organize my entire work schedule. The functionality which Things provides appears simple on the surface, but in terms of simple usability it is one of the most impressive Mac applications I’ve ever used. (more…)

Twitter has proven itself to be a great tool for networking, keeping up to date with friends, and generally “stalking” unsuspecting folk. The Twitter website works remarkably well, but there are a variety of different desktop applications which integrate sending and receiving updates into your local environment.

Each of these have different strengths and weaknesses, and I’m confident that you’ll be able to find a client which fits your need perfectly. In no particular order, here are 7 different Twitter applications for your Mac.

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