It’s time for another “Ask the Editor” post today. A big thank you to everyone who sent in their questions – it’s great to have the chance to help you out with your Mac-related queries and quibbles.
Today I’ll be offering some advice about ripping dual-layer DVDs, whether it’s worth upgrading to Snow Leopard with the imminent release of Lion around the corner, and suggesting a few utilities for “window snapping” tools.
Read on for plenty of handy Mac knowledge, and I hope you’ll find most of it useful for your own situation as well!
Thanks to everyone who took part in the giveaway this week! I’m excited to let you know that the winners have been chosen, and congratulations are in order to:
- Lissa O
- Adam Cloninger
- Brad Bolman
Well done to the lucky winners, and we’ll be in touch soon with your license code!
Old Competition Post
To celebrate the release of Watts on the Mac App Store, I’m excited to let you know that we have five promo codes to give away today!
Watts is a simple menubar utility that regularly walks you through the process of calibrating your MacBook battery. This is something you should do from time to time, to ensure that you gain the maximum life from the notebook battery. We’ve reviewed Watts in the past, and found it to be a really helpful utility for assisting with keeping your battery in tip-top shape.
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 terrible laptop battery life.
The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick five winning comments at random on Wednesday 6th April. Best of luck, and be sure to check out Watts in the meantime and download a trial copy!
Over the last twelve months the iPad has literally taken the technology world by storm. Apple has carved out a brand new niche in the industry, establishing the iPad as the best tablet computer available on the market. And the momentum behind this gadget shows no sign of slowing down…
Since the launch of the iPad, we’ve received countless requests from readers for a new site that’s completely dedicated to the device. I’m incredibly excited to let you know that today marks the launch of a new member in the ever-growing AppStorm family – iPad.AppStorm!
Don’t Miss Out: Subscribe Now!
We have some absolutely fantastic posts lined up over the coming week, and we’d hate for you to miss out… There are a few different ways to subscribe to iPad.AppStorm – hopefully one of the following options will work for you!
- Subscribe to our RSS feed
- Follow @ipadappstorm on Twitter
- Sign up for Email Updates
- Stay up-to-date on Facebook
This is the latest and greatest piece of hardware to emerge from Apple HQ, and today you have the chance to get your hands on one completely free of charge!
It’s a marvel of technology, and would be the perfect way to browse the new iPad.AppStorm site! Find out how to enter.
Everyone needs a text editor – whether it’s for in-depth coding, or jotting down a quick note. There are plenty of scenarios throughout the day that don’t require a full-blown word processor, and there’s no shortage of different options available for the Mac.
Much of your decision will likely come down to specific requirements. Do you need a simple syncing solution? Maybe Notational Velocity would fit the bill. Is full-screen, distraction free writing important? Take a look at WriteRoom.
We’ve written about this extensively before, looking at 10 Versatile Text Editors for OS X.
Personally, I flutter between TextMate for coding, and Notational Velocity for everything else – I love knowing that everything I’ve written will be easily accessible through Simplenote.
I’d love to know what your preference is – feel free to leave a vote above, or share your thoughts in the comments!
This week, I’m once again incredibly proud to have Pixelmator as our Mac.AppStorm sponsor. One of my all-time favourite apps, this is a fantastic alternative to the increasingly-bloated Photoshop for all manner of graphic editing work.
Labelled as an “image editor for the rest of us”, Pixelmator’s interface is enjoyable to use while maintaining a simple learning curve for new adopters. If you’re already a seasoned Photoshop pro, you’ll feel right at home with the familiar palette interface and similar tools.
Pixelmator is based on Core Image technology that uses your Mac’s video card for image processing. This means that it’s fast. It supports a huge range of graphics formats, and the price of $59 is a welcome change to the inflated charge for many competing apps.
Although I still use Photoshop from time to time, Pixelmator has become by go-to tool for 80% of tasks that require working with graphics. If you yearn for a faster, sleeker alternative to Photoshop, give Pixelmator a try today.
I’m pleased to announce that the winners of our ColorSchemer Studio competition are:
- Thor Adam
- Greg Pipkin
- Tyago Neres
Thanks for taking part, and we’ll be in touch with your license code shortly!
Old Competition Post
We have another great competition for you this week, offering the chance to win one of five licenses for the excellent ColorSchemer Studio!
ColorSchemer Studio makes it fun, fast and easy to find the perfect palette for your next creative project. Whether you’re designing a web site, magazine layout, picking wedding colors, or painting your living room, get your colors right the first time with ColorSchemer Studio.
It’s a really versatile piece of software, and one that we reviewed last year. ColorSchemer is well designed, fun to use, and it takes the anxiety out of coming up with effective and professional color combinations.
Entering the competition is really easy. All you need to do is leave a comment below, letting us know what you’d like to design a colour scheme for!
The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick five winning comments at random on Thursday, 31st March. Best of luck, and why not take a look at ColorSchemer Studio on the Mac App Store while you wait for the results?
We’re very proud to announce the release of Freelance Confidential, Rockable Press’s newest book on freelancing. This book aims to provide the hard numbers on the biggest issues of freelancing and advice on how experienced freelancers can improve their business.
More than just another single person’s view on freelancing, Freelance Confidential contains contributions from the Editor of FreelanceSwitch, Amanda Hackwith, a panel of 10 expert entrepreneurs, and 3,200 freelancers worldwide.
If you’re a Mac-using freelancer, read on for a little more insight into what the book includes!
Although many people are perfectly happy using Gmail on the web, I’ve never particularly enjoyed the experience. I spend quite a bit of time reading and replying to email, and prefer to have an appealing interface in which to do so – Gmail might be functional, but it certainly isn’t pretty.
For the past five years or so, Mail.app was my preferred client of choice. It did everything I required from an email client, and synced well across my various devices. But development has slowed in recent years, and little has changed in the app since the release of Leopard.
I’ve recently made the move across to Postbox, and couldn’t be happier. It’s a fantastic piece of software, and one that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. If you’re tired of Mail.app (or your webmail interface), Postbox is definitely worth giving a try.
Of course, there are plenty of other alternatives. Take a look at our roundup of 8 Awesome Alternatives to Mail.App on Your Mac for some inspiration.
I’d be interested to hear what you think. Are you content with firing up Gmail.com, or do you prefer a desktop email companion? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to vote!
I’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to this week’s sponsor, Twitterrific. I absolutely love every application that the Iconfactory produce, and this is no exception. It’s thoughtfully designed, beautiful to look at, and a pleasure to use.
If you’re growing tired with sparse updates to the official Twitter client (or the gradual integration of ads), look no further than Twitterrific. It’s a great alternative to the official Twitter client, and performs far better in many areas.
It supports multiple accounts, multiple windows, translation, a unified timeline, themes, and full keyboard control throughout. The latest release, version 4, was a huge update which brought a range of new functionality and a clean, minimal design.
I’m excited to let you know that we’ve chosen the ten lucky winners! Did you make the cut?
- Sébastien Lavoie
- Toby Adams
- Florian L.
Congratulations – we’ll be in touch soon with your promo code!
Competition Now Closed
Ensoul is a great application for creating and preparing beautiful iPhone backgrounds and contact images. It has a stunning interface, a simple workflow, and even handles the process of transferring the images across to your phone (you can read our full review here).
Entering the competition is really easy. All you need to do is leave a comment below, telling us how often you change your iPhone background! Is it every month? Every week? Or every day?
The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick ten winning comments at random on Thursday, 24th March. Best of luck, and I look forward to hearing what you have to say in the comments!