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Joshua Johnson

Josh Johnson is a writer, designer, photographer and lover of all things Apple from Phoenix Arizona. He's been using Macs since the logo on the laptops was upside down.

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Thanks to everyone who took part in the giveaway this week, and special thanks to ThinkTime Creations, the developer of Instant! I’m excited to let you know that the winners have now been chosen. If your Twitter user name is listed below, you’ll be receiving an email shortly with instructions for claiming your prize:

Congratulations to the lucky winners. Sorry to those who missed out, be sure to check back for more great competitions!

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We’ve seen countless Chicken Littles screaming that the sky is falling for years, but in 2012 we seem to be seeing more stories than ever about the supposed end of the superiority of Macs when it comes to security flaws and outside attacks.

New reports are pouring in weekly of threats that Mac users need to be aware of: Flashback, Luckycat, password security flaws, the list goes on and on.

In our poll question this week, we want to know whether you buy into all the doom and gloom or you think it’s all a bunch of hype like we’ve seen in the past. There’s a basic but critically important question that needs answering: Do you still trust your Mac’s security? By this I mean the built-in security measures provided by Apple.

Once upon a time, most Mac users would’ve scoffed at the idea of downloading third party virus protection software, is this still the case or are these days long gone? Are we joining the Windows crowd in the need to personally take steps to safeguard our computers against outside threats or are Macs still safe “right out of the box?” Cast your vote in the poll and then argue it out below!

Our featured sponsor this week is Chronicle, the easiest way to keep track of your bills on a Mac.

If you’re looking for a way to get more organized with your bills, Chronicle is your answer. It’s beautiful, easy to use and powerful enough to keep you on track. Set up bill payment reminders, track and reduce debt, keep a full payment history, view graphs of your spending, and more! From Mac.AppStorm to Macworld, reviewers everywhere are giving this app high rankings.

Chronicle now includes an in-app purchase for email reminders that will be sent to you via the cloud, even if the app isn’t running! Further, later this summer we’ll see the release of Chronicle 5 with iPhone sync, and anyone who purchases now gets a free upgrade to 5.0. What are you waiting for? It’s time to master your bills.

Try It Today!

Be sure to check out the free trial of Chronicle and give it a test drive to see what you think. I’m confident that you’ll enjoy it. Once you’re convinced that it’s the best bill tracking software around, head over to the Mac App Store and purchase your copy.

Whether or not you use the full version of Chronicle, you should definitely download the free companion menu bar app, Chronicle Mini, which allows you to view your upcoming bills, make payments and log them right from your menu bar!

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.


Long ago Apple had what seemed like a simple idea: iTunes should be the hub to sync all of your i-devices to your Mac. It made sense at the time, when the decision really only encompassed the iPod line. Then came the iPhone and subsequently the iTunes App Store, the one-stop shop for third party iPhone apps. The final piece of this mess of a puzzle came in the completely separate, non-iTunes-connected “App Store” app, also known as the Mac App Store.

These days, this organization scheme is a frequently complained about aspect of OS X. It seems perfectly logical that Apple would give us a single “App Store” app from which we could manage all things app related on every device we own. This argument suggests stripping iTunes back to what it’s good at (music), and putting all that extra functionality where it belongs, in the App Store app.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with this idea, today we want to know if you think Apple agrees with it. Will we see a simplified iTunes app and a unified App Store any time in the near future or will Apple leave things as they are?

We’d like to say a big thank you to last month’s Mac.AppStorm sponsors, and the great software they create! If you’re interested in advertising, you can purchase a banner advertisement through BuySellAds, or sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot.

Thank you to the fantastic applications we had sponsoring each week during the month, all of which we personally recommend you download and try out!

  • Zepheer – An awesome and fun way to edit photos on your Mac. Zepheer is so easy that absolutely anyone can use it. You simply drag a photo into the intuitive, single window interface and you’re ready to start applying filters, borders, vignettes and more.
  • Instant – This app brings the fun of Polaroid instant cameras to your desktop. There was something great about the old instant Polaroid cameras, an allure that still lasts to this day. Instant is an officially licensed Polaroid app that seeks to bring this timelessly enjoyable experience to the Mac by mimicking the workflow of a real Polaroid camera.
  • iDraw – A fantastic vector illustration application. What Pixelmator is to Photoshop, iDraw is to Illustrator. This amazing app will blow you away in its ability to provide professional level vector editing capabilities at a price that you simply won’t believe.
  • Radium – The amazing menu bar Internet radio player. We’ve been huge fans of Radium for years now. It’s the fastest, simplest way to access Internet radio from all over the world (50 countries and 100 languages!). The workflow is effortless: just type in a station name, genre or city and you’ll instantly get a list of results to choose from and can begin streaming immediately.
  • Studiometry – The ultimate organizational tool for professionals. Studiometry is a powerhouse of project management that’s been serving the industry for over eight years. Whether you’re managing contacts, generating estimates, tracking work, or billing clients, this one app has you covered in a single beautifully cohesive workflow.

Finally, thanks to you for reading AppStorm this month, and for checking out the software that our sponsors create. I really appreciate it – you make the site what it is!

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot and join the apps above.


Our featured sponsor this week is Zepheer, an awesome and fun way to edit photos on your Mac.

Zepheer is so easy that absolutely anyone can use it. You simply drag a photo into the intuitive, single window interface and you’re ready to start applying filters, borders, vignettes and more.

Zepheer has over fifty effects divided into five categories: cameras, artistic, abstract, style and vintage. All effects take just a click to apply and are fully customizable. No matter what style you’re going for, Zepheer can help you get there in seconds flat. Once you’re finished, sharing to your favorite social networks is only a click away.

Try It Free!

I’m sure you’re just itching to get your hands on Zepheer to try it for yourself. Well you’re in luck, because there’s a free demo on the developer’s website.

When you’re ready to make the jump to the full version, you’ll find Zepheer on the Mac App Store.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.


Remember Dashboard widgets? Long before the iOS app gold rush, there was another little burst of developer activity in the Mac community: Dashboard Widgets. These mini-apps used to be all the rage with waves of new widgets hitting Apple’s featured collection every week. These days though, despite the fact that Dashboard is still an active OS X feature, the development of third party widgets seems to have crawled to a near stopping point.

I think Apple needs to do one of two things: drop Dashboard completely (like the did with Front Row), or once again make it worth using by revitalizing the widget market. One way to do this would be to create a special section of the Mac App Store specifically for Dashboard widgets. Giving developers a central point to distribute and earn income from widget development would no doubt help give this market the boost it needs.

What do you think? Should Apple allow Dashboard widgets in the Mac App Store or would this just create a mess of low quality, barely useful clutter? We want to know your opinion! Vote in the poll and leave a rant below in the comment section.

Our featured sponsor this week is Instant, an awesome app that brings the fun of Polaroid instant cameras to your desktop.

There was something great about the old instant Polaroid cameras, an allure that still lasts to this day. Instant is an officially licensed Polaroid app that seeks to bring this timelessly enjoyable experience to the Mac by mimicking the workflow of a real Polaroid camera.

You simply drag your digital photos to the big camera, choose your field of view, then hit the “Shoot” button and a Polaroid image will pop out of the camera. You can watch it develop as the image fades into existence just like in the old days! I personally own Instant and think it’s a blast to play with. It gives me a taste of the enjoyable retro photography experience without the cost of film!

Instant provides you with 8 Polaroid effect filters look ridiculously close to the real Polaroid styles and 20 other generic vintage filters that produce equally impressive results, all with the Polaroid classic border. You can even add handwriting to the images, choosing from ten different fonts. After you’re finished, you can effortlessly share your photos to Flickr.

See Instant In Action!

If you’d like to see this awesome app work its magic, check out this quick YouTube video, which walks you through the major features.

When you’re ready to join the Polaroid movement, you’ll find Instant on the Mac App Store.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.


Thanks to everyone who took part in the giveaway this week, and special thanks to Brett Terpstra, the developer of Marked! I’m excited to let you know that the winners have now been chosen. If your Twitter user name is listed below, you’ll be receiving an email shortly with instructions for claiming your prize:

Congratulations to the lucky winners. Sorry to those who missed out, be sure to check back for more great competitions!

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Lately the world of Mac software has seen quite the surge in photo editing apps, many of which are banking on the retro photo craze that helped fuel Instagram to a huge user base and billion dollar sale. This increase in the average user’s interest in photography will surely lead to a lot of questions about how to keep all of those images nicely organized into separate libraries and/or albums.

It seems like a perfect time to take a refreshed look at what Mac owners are using to keep their photographs organized. Are you a fan of the simplicity of iPhoto or do you require the professional kick of apps like Lightroom and Aperture?

Vote in the poll and let us know about your organization process in the comments. If your favorite app isn’t listed, also be sure to let us know what it is.

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