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Jacob Penderworth

Jacob is a freelance writer at his own blog and a few others across the Internet. In his free time, he listens to a lot of music, plays music, and takes photographs of amazing places. You can email him with inquiries, should you have any.

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The epitome of a businessperson always used to be an employee of a Venture Capital company on Wall Street. When someone spoke about this sort of individual, you’d imagine them with short hair, always wearing a suit and tie, typically taking a taxi to the workplace each day, and maybe going out for nightly cocktails with equally important people at the karaoke bar a few blocks from work. This would be the typical stockbroker.

In his set of tools, the aforementioned person would typically have two displays at his desk always keeping an eye on the industries he’s responsible for. In the movie version of his life, at least, the stock app would look beautiful — but in real life, they usually look more like the LED ticker boards in use on Wall Street. There’s never really been a native Mac app dedicated to making stock market monitoring an effortless — and may we say, tastefully designed — task. At least, that used to be the issue. Visible Market, the developer of StockTouch for iPad, has recently brought its popular iOS Stocks app alternative to the Mac. It’s pretty, yes, but does it do the job?
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Even though Apple users are blessed with iMessage, it’s not truly cross-platform, so some people prefer Google Hangouts (which doesn’t have a native Mac app) or Facebook. There are even those who still use WhatsApp, but this once-popular system has recently been challenged by Line, a competitor from Japan. Sporting “stickers” and a solid messaging platform, the service has taken Asia by storm; it’s now becoming very popular stateside as well.

Line’s developers recently released a Mac companion to the fleet of mobile apps. It looks nice, but is it worth using? (more…)

MainStage has long been Apple’s answer to the live music performance industry. While the company hasn’t listed names of popular bands who use the app (like they did with Logic Pro), there are quite a few artists who use the concert-optimized DAW for synthesizers and sometimes even mixing. I’ve been using the second version of MainStage to play synths at church for over three years now, and while it was a learning process to understand things, I’m fully invested in the app now, and I love it.

When I saw MainStage 3, I was excited to see new features like arpeggiators and drum machines finally making their way to the app. The sparkly user interface, too, looked like a nice change. After a bit of testing, I’ve come to a few conclusions about the app. Let’s go over them. (more…)

AirPlay is a fantastic feature if you want to listen to a podcast wirelessly on your home speakers or watch a film that’s available only on Amazon Prime Video (which is not included with the Apple TV). However, it is missing one feature: the ability to stream from your iPhone to your Mac, rather than a TV. This could be handy if you use your iMac as a TV and want to play your movies and games on the big screen, or don’t want to take your iPhone out of your pocket to listen to a podcast while in the coffee shop (because you didn’t buy Instacast on both platforms).

There has long been a solution available, properly titled AirServer. The thing is, we never got around to reviewing it here at Mac.AppStorm, so today I’m going to do just that. Is the little utility worth the price and does it do everything that’s promised? (more…)

I first heard about The Settlers of Catan in CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, and I was surprised to never have played such a popular title. The board game, if you don’t already know, was invented in Germany and became extremely popular outside Europe, selling over 15 million copies in the U.S. by 2009. It’s also available as a video game on common platforms like the Nintendo DS, PC, and the Mac.

While the game has been available on iOS since late 2009, there hasn’t been an official Mac app until this July saw the release of Catan. I’ve been playing it for the past few days to get a hang of things. The board game is great, but will the legend live on in a Mac world? (more…)

MacBook Airs, as we all very well know, have much less internal storage than their sibling, the MacBook Pro. This can be a major downside for artists — photographers, musicians, video editors, etc. For example, if you’re a photographer, you probably have a hard time keeping your entire portfolio on your MacBook. You could just plug in an external hard drive and travel around with that, but it’s just an extra device you don’t need to carry, so why not optimize your image files for a smaller hard drive?

JPEGmini‘s developers claim the app can compress your existing images into JPEGs that have a much smaller footprint without compromising quality. Being a person who works with images on a daily basis, this sounded a bit fake to me, but I decided to give the app a try anyway. Here’s our thoughts on the app — and a chance for you to win a free copy of JPEGmini! (more…)

When Instacast came to the Mac a few months ago, I decided it was time to make the switch from Downcast on my iOS devices. I’ve enjoyed Instacast ever since, but now the people over at Downcast have released a shiny new Mac counterpart. I was intrigued, so I’ve spent the past day learning its ins and outs to tell you whether or not it’s worth downloading.

Let’s take a look.

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There are too may weather apps on the Mac. All I’ve ever wanted is an accurate forecast in a simple yet beautiful user interface. Most apps are inconsistent in design, aside from the fantastic Clear Day.

The other day, I stumbled upon Beautiful Weather, a nice-looking app with a basic black, white, and pictorial design. It was only two dollars, so I decided to give it a test run to answer the typical question: was it worth downloading? (more…)

While iCloud does a lot of nice things for owners of Apple products, Dropbox works on every platform, making it an always-accessible service for file storage. Most people don’t keep more than a few gigabytes of data in their accounts, but sometimes people decide it might be fun to sync all their music or videos to the cloud. I currently have my entire photography portfolio and all my important documents synced to Dropbox.

Why this instead of iCloud or another competing service? For access to deleted files. If I accidentally remove something from my account, I can go back and get it within 30 days. And if I pay for a Pro account plus the packrat add-on, I can access all my files ever synced to the service. It’s a pretty handy feature, and it’s a good reason to back up some of your information to Dropbox’s secure servers. In this short tutorial, I’ll teach you how to do this without moving everything around using a tool called MacDropAny. (more…)

YouTube is on the road to becoming a quality replacement for cable television. There are currently many channels that offer daily news coverage, comedians like Rhett & Link have their own weekly program called The Mythical Show, and even The Associated Press, WSJ, and other major news outlets have channels on the video streaming giant. While the browser is still the main way to watch YouTube, mobile platforms have official native apps for the task. Why not on the Mac, then?

Tuba is the answer to a native YouTube solution on Apple’s personal computing operating system. It’s not just another browser window that cleans up YouTube — it’s an app that accesses the API of Google’s network and pulls the videos in directly for your viewing pleasure. But is it worth using over the website?

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