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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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We’ve collected the top four reviews, roundups and how-to articles from across the AppStorm network in February. Whether you’re interested in Mac, iPhone, Web, or Android apps, there’s bound to be something you didn’t spot over the course of the month. Now would be a good time to explore a part of the AppStorm Network you’ve never seen before!

Thanks for reading AppStorm, and I hope you enjoy looking over some of our favourite posts from last month!

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Despite many complaints, niggles and annoyances, Apple has stuck by their cloud service for over a decade. Originally introduced in January, 2000 as iTools, it has gone through countless revisions, updates and re-branding efforts. Now called MobileMe, it’s a huge improvement over the years of neglect we saw to .Mac.

But does MobileMe cut it as a cloud service? Although it now does a pretty great job of syncing all your information, it falls down when it comes to file sharing and cloud data storage. There are plenty of rumours circulating about a major upgrade (centred around their big data centre project), but these are now over a year old and we haven’t seen an announcement.

Personally, I’ve been a MobileMe subscriber for the past five years. I love the sync functionality, and consider the price to be justified for this integration alone. Of course it’s possible to use Google’s free option, but it never feels quite as polished to me.

What do you think? Are you a loyal MobileMe subscriber of several years, or is it something that you’d never consider in the present format? Have your say in the poll and feel free to share any thoughts in the comments!

Interested in learning about some of the alternatives available? Check out MobileMe: A Worthy Investment? (And a Few Alternatives) for everything you need to know!

I’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to our weekly sponsor, Projector.

Projector is designed to keep track of tasks in a project, handle a budget, and plan your time. It provides everything you need for professional project management, whether that’s for construction projects, complex media activities or detailed time schedules.

You can create in-depth Gantt charts, handle multiple people working on a project, and much more. If you manage a team of people, this is a great way to keep a project on track using your Mac. There are plenty of export options available as well, including the ability to send a project to the iPad app!

Now available at the lower price of $49.99, Projector is available through the Mac App Store or you can download a trial directly from the Projector website. Take a look, and let us know what you think!

Today’s interview is with Jean MacDonald, one of the talented members of the Smile Software team. Smile was founded by Greg Scown and Philip Goward, who both love to write fun and useful software for the Mac and iOS devices.

I’m a long-time user of Smile’s software – in particular the excellent TextExpander. In our interview with Jean, we’ll shed some light on the company, discuss the importance of desktop software in an increasingly web-dominated world, and consider the benefits and drawbacks of developing a single application.

I hope you enjoy the interview!

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As we’d expected for a few days, Thursday saw the release of a brand new MacBook Pro lineup. Though these machines look more or less identical on the outside, they come complete with upgraded processors, new graphics capabilities, and the all-new “Thunderbolt” I/O standard.

Today we’ll be providing a quick overview of what to expect in the new lineup, along with a few thoughts on hardware features we’re surprised to see left out!

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Whatever your opinion of the new Mac App Store, it’s certainly here to stay. I believe that it has created a fantastic new channel of distribution for developers, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the seamless process it offers for downloading and installing software.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve bought around ten applications, and downloaded many more free ones to try out. This is definitely an increase over my app-downloading activity prior to the store launch, and there’s no doubt that I’m trying more software because of it.

I wondered whether this is the same for you? Is absent-mindedly flicking through the Mac App Store a regular occurrence, or is it somewhere that you rarely frequent?

Let us know in the comments, and be sure to tell us how many apps you’ve purchased so far in today’s poll!

I’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to our weekly sponsor, gNotifier.

gNotifier is a multi account, multi service notification application for Google Apps and Gmail. Priced at $4.99, it shows notifications for your Google Apps services (Google Docs, GMail and Google Calendar), right on your Desktop.

The app will let you know when someone shares or modifies a document in Google Docs, notifies you of incoming email, and can even launch an alarm as a reminder for one of your Google Calendar events. It’s pretty versatile, and offers a big step up from the default notifier provided by Google.

Working with multiple accounts is also a big bonus, and something that sets it apart from many of the other apps out there.

If you’re a dedicated Google Apps user, I’d definitely recommend taking gNotifier for a spin to see whether it can make your life easier!

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.

Some of the topics covered this week include digital asset management software, finding a solution to stay on top of what’s added to the Mac App Store each day, keeping your Mac running smoothly, and the dilemma of whether you need to regularly shut down.

Read on for plenty of handy Mac knowledge, and I hope you’ll find most of it useful for your own situation as well!

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Winners Announced

I’m pleased to let you know that we’ve picked the five lucky winners of PDFpenPro. Your licenses will be on the way soon!

  1. Andrew
  2. Poporin
  3. Intellamac
  4. Ibrahimzen
  5. John Voorhees

Competition Now Closed

We have another great competition for you today, giving you the chance to grab yourself a copy of PDFpenPro! In addition to being our sponsor for the week (and offering you a 20% discount), you can also stand a chance of winning one of the feature-packed “Pro” versions of the app.

If you’re not sure what PDFpen does, take a look at the quick summary we posted earlier this week, or head over to the official website 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!

Simple! The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick five winning comments at random on Thursday 24th February. Best of luck, and I hope you enjoy checking the app out.

It’s amazing to see how Twitter has dominated over the past few years, rising to fame, fortune, and almost ubiquitous use by anyone interested in the web and technology. It’s a great way to communicate and stay up-to-date, and most people would agree that much of their success is attributable to an open API and the sheer number of applications built on top of the service.

As Mac users, we’re ridiculously spoilt for choice when picking a desktop Twitter client. I’d even go so far as to say there are probably more Twitter apps to choose from than email clients – a crazy situation for a social platform that has only been around for just over four years.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Tweetie Twitter for Mac, and love the changes that came along with the latest release. I’m also partial to Twitterrific (and am enjoying playing around with the latest 4.0 release). I like the simplicity of these apps, and have never considered myself a Twitter “power user”.

In today’s poll, I’d love to hear what your desktop client of choice is. I’ve done my best to include what I consider to be the main players in the poll, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have missed one or two. If that’s the case, accept my apologies in advance, and let me know in the comments!

I’d also love to hear why you use a particular client, so feel free to discuss the reasoning for your decision below…

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