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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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Cooking at home has become a lost art due to the omnipresence of diners, fast-food restaurants, and the surplus of other ways to eat out. I’m not bashing great food that others can prepare, but why don’t you fire up that oven sometime to make some cobbler? If that seems too complicated, there’s always the stovetop which can cook caramel for popcorn this evening — it’s a great accompaniment to the film you’re planning to watch with your significant other.

Okay, enough of my urging you to prepare the delectable. If you happen to cook things even on occasion, I’m sure you keep a folder with recipes in it, if not a tactile book in your cupboard. What if I told you that there’s an easier way to organize things using Michael Göbel’s Recipes app on your Mac? Yes yes, you want to know more. Well then let’s get started. (more…)

I love writing articles on my Mac. It’s easy, fullscreen mode is convenient, and there are a lot of great apps available for the platform. Overall, the experience is a quality one. But when it comes to choosing what app to write with, I have some trouble. Every month there seems to be a “new” writing app on the Mac App Store that’s really just a reiteration of the existing apps available. I like to remain loyal to a single app, but sometimes it’s fun to explore.

The other day, I was browsing the Mac App Store in search of anything new and significant. I came across Free, a distraction-free writing app by Michael Göbel that, comically enough considering its name, is not free. Its purpose is the same as that of WriteRoom, iA Writer, and the many others in this genre: to create an environment that is the most straightforward it can possibly be so that you can focus on writing and not the app’s functionality itself. My purpose, however, is to take a look at how well an app performs its job, so instead of assuming this app is great, let’s submerge ourselves in all the little appealing ounces of Free. (more…)

There have been many takes on Mac antivirus software over the years. Some people still refuse to believe that Apple’s prized computers can get infected, but the reality is that the Apple world is less secure than you might wish. ClamXav is a great app if you’re looking for some extra protections from the dangers out there, and it really works its hardest to keep your Mac safe. Our own Jorge Rodriguez reviewed this fine app at the beginning of this year, saying that “it feels trustworthy”.

But aren’t there some other worthy competitors to Mark Allan’s minimal virus protection approach? Why yes, and I think the most notable one comes from Symantec. It’s called iAntivirus. That’s right, the developer of Norton also made a Mac antivirus app that’s nothing you should overlook. It’s an extremely minimal approach with only four menu options, but there’s still a lot of protection offered. Let’s take a deeper look, shall we? (more…)

Offloading PSDs and other digital art for a price is an art in itself. There are so many different ways to distribute your unique creations that things can get crowded. Stock digital art is a popular thing on the Internet and there are many who would pay for a unique, well-designed item. I’ve personally been a supporter of Envato’s own GraphicRiver or AudioJungle for the delivery of said items, but there are more apt solutions than these — you just have to look for them.

And that’s where Folio makes its grand entrance. If you want a quick way to upload your art, whether it’s a user interface for an iPhone app, vectors, or even audio, this could just be the best tool for the job. Unfortunately, it’s invite-only right now and they took a good month to send me one. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try it though; I’ll take a deeper look after the break. (more…)

AppStorm’s App Store deals of the week are back! We have some great free and discounted apps available just after the break, so be sure to check them out. (more…)

If you’re a web developer or just like to use every character imaginable in your daily routine, Macs have a menu for that. Whenever you’re in a text field, you can just click “Edit” and click “Special Characters…”, or simply use the shortcut CMD + Option + T. It’s a nice, easy way to insert pictographs and the like, but what if you want a little something more, there’s a new app in town.

Being the sheriff and all, I introduced myself to him. He’s an outlaw of third-party sorts; says his name is Characters. He carries his fair share of trusty bullets and stars and even tries to hit you with a few arrows once in a while. Even though his supply of said objects isn’t as plentiful as that of Apple’s, he’s been taught some Greek and Latin to talk his way out of any predicament. This fellow don’t mess around. I happened to haul him in for questioning and found a few extra developer tools on board. Let me take you back to the Old West for a few minutes while we examine Characters. (more…)

While recently reviewing Justnotes, a minimal Simplenote client for Mac, I remembered that I still had some data stored in Notes for iOS. Those notes have been around since iOS 4 and sync with email accounts that are set up on the device. However, Apple has now added a native Notes app in Mountain Lion. It syncs with iCloud and will one day be available on the web version of this celestial service as well.

Hopping back and forth between the two note services, I wondered which one I should keep around for daily use. While Apple’s solution does well for basic noting, it’s not the best app out there for more advanced users that avail features like Markdown formatting. On the other hand, iCloud Notes does have well designed native apps, the area that Simplenote falls short in with third-party clients similar to the aforementioned Justnotes. In the end, which one wins me as a steady user? The two services go head-to-head after the break. (more…)

For a while now, members of the Tapbots team have teased an upcoming release of Tweetbot for Mac by using it to Tweet, leaving the footprint of “via Tweetbot for Mac” all over their timelines. While there was a rumor going around Twitter claiming that the full version of the app would be making its debut today, the developer instead decided to release a free public alpha to let everyone be a part of testing a new robot masterpiece.

I spent a few hours using Tweetbot for Mac version 0.6 today and have jotted down all my thoughts on the new client. Is it worth trying out, or should you stick with the official Twitter app? How many bugs does it have? What’s the difference between it and stable alternatives on the Mac? Find out the answers to these questions and more after the break. (more…)

When I need to quickly jot down a thought, remember to do something at work, or create a list of films to go see, I typically use Simplenote. Why, you ask? Because it’s the best service out there for storing plain text notes, and can be accessed from any device that connects to the Internet. The service has also proven to be extremely reliable for me in the past and I’ve never lost any information that I’ve saved onto it, unlike alternatives like 6Wunderkinder’s Wunderkit.

One problem with Simplenote, however, is that there isn’t actually an official app for the Mac, or even Windows for that matter. There are a few third-party clients like Notational Velocity which work well, but have never been quite what I was looking for. Enter Matthias Hochgatterer’s Justnotes. The simple little app does an amazing and beautiful job of making your Simplenote experience on Mac a bit more enjoyable than the traditional web interface.

(more…)

In the past few months, I’ve enjoyed using the popular music streaming service Rdio to listen to my favorite tunes on my Mac, in the car with my iPhone, and in coffee shops with my iPad. As I never wished to create a Facebook account just so I could use Spotify, Rdio seemed to be a great solution and it also included a much more decent user interface throughout all the apps – the designers worked hard to make sure the experience didn’t fall short in this area.

Last week, however, someone seems to have stumbled in a hole, for the service announced on it’s blog that they were refining the look of their web and Mac apps to be lighter, apparently both on the eyes and bandwidth. Sadly, it’s far from pleasing to my eyes. In fact, I’ve found it to be worse than Spotify. Please allow me to explain… (more…)

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