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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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There’s been a lot of discussion in the past couple of years in the Mac community about the level of importance OS X and the Apple desktop experience has in the overall hierarchy at Apple. For instance, PCWorld recently posted a piece boldly titled, “Mac OS Dwindles in Importance to Apple.”

Our poll question today is aimed at getting your opinion on this. Do you feel like OS X development and progress has taken a backseat in Apple’s eyes to the newer and more exciting iOS platform? Cast your vote in the poll and let us know.

Once you’ve voted, answer an even more important question in the comments: is this a good thing? There’s perhaps an inherent bias in the question that assumes that putting less attention towards OS X in favor of iOS is somehow negative. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. If iOS truly is the future of Apple, then isn’t it good that they’re diverting so much time, effort and resources to that project?

However, many of us still work on a Mac desktop for 40+ hours per week and therefore might not be too happy at the thought of Apple putting our beloved operating system on the back burner. Then again, maybe this argument is void and Apple hasn’t slowed their progress on OS X in the least. What do you think?

Our featured sponsor this week is Photo Transformer, an amazingly simple and fast way to find and process images.

Photo Transformer is a super fast image browser. No need to build a library, just point it at a folder or directory of folders and it will instantly dive in and find all of the image files. From here you can browse the flexible thumbnail grid and quickly filter the results by file type, size, date created, etc.

Once you’ve targeted the images that you’re looking for, you can build custom actions that process them in bulk. For example, if you have a thousand high-res PNG files that you need to convert to low-res JPG files, you simply set up the action, hit the play button and watch the magic.

As a photographer, I frequently need to take the large files from a shoot and downsize them for Facebook uploading. Photo Transformer makes this a snap. As a bonus, I love using it simply as a lightweight image browser. It’s much quicker than some of the bulkier alternatives like Adobe Bridge.

Go Get It!

If you’re looking for a faster way to browse and bulk process images on the fly, Photo Transformer is definitely an app to check out. Stop by the Prosoft website for more information or grab your copy from the Mac App Store today.

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


So you want to control iTunes from your menu bar? It’s a simple enough task, but which app is right for you? Are there any free options? Can you also control other apps like Spotify and Rdio?

There are a million of these apps on the market but we’ll save the research and present five of the best options around for controlling your music from the menu bar.

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OS X Lion was announced way back in October of 2010 and released in July of 2011. You’ve now had lots of time to prep for the switch and over six months to make the purchase and upgrade your system (granted that your Mac can handle the upgrade). So have you? Are you running Lion on your primary Mac or are you still on Snow Leopard?

For the readers who are still kicking it old school, we want you to chime in as well. Are you still running Leopard or perhaps something even older like Tiger or Panther? We want to know!

After you vote in the poll, leave a comment below and tell us why you run the version that you do. If you’re on an older version, is it because you simply haven’t felt the need to upgrade, haven’t had the cash or are you being help back by an older Mac that can’t upgrade any further?

Our featured sponsor this week is Ramotion, a fantastic icon/UI design and iOS development company. Typically we reserve weekly sponsorship slots for our favorite apps but Ramotion has such an impressive portfolio that we simply couldn’t turn them down.

One of Ramotion’s primary strengths is icon design. Stop by their icon portfolio for some samples of their work along with a collection of amazing free Mac OS icons.

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Beautiful icon design

They also design and develop gorgeous iOS apps. Pick’n’Roll is an innovative Dribbble client for iPad, Tap & Call is a brand new way to organize your iPhone contacts, and Pitty the Conquerer is a wonderfully illustrated iOS game about a small screw traveling up from the bottom of the toolbox.

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Amazing iOS app design and development

Follow Their Work!

In addition to stopping by the Ramotion website, be sure to say hello on Twitter and keep an eye on their latest projects on Dribbble. If you have any projects where you want to really push the limits of awesome design, give Ramotion a shout, they are always looking for new opportunities and would love to help you out.

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


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!

  • Postbox – Postbox is an unbelievably great Mac email client that you just have to try for yourself. The newest version, Postbox 3, has been completely revamped with a new interface and lots of great new features like Dropbox support and gestures.
  • Artboard – A truly impressive vector drawing application that’s simple enough for everyone to use. Artboard has all the features you need in an advanced vector editing app: over 20 tools for drawing and navigation, custom shapes, clip art, boolean operations, layers, advanced style creation and a lot more. And it’s only getting better!
  • PhotoStyler – A fantastic and unbelievably easy way to edit photos on your Mac. With dozens of gorgeous presets, you’re never more than a click away from beautiful photos. You can also venture off on your own and leverage a powerful but simple toolset to customize the result.
  • Chronicle Mini – The best free way to keep up on your bills from your menu bar. Chronicle Mini is an amazing little app that sits in your menu bar and helps you stay on top of your reoccurring bills. In just a few clicks you can set up a new bill (say a mortgage payment or a cell phone bill), create a reminder in iCal and set the bill to repeat on the first of every month.
  • MailTab Pro for Gmail – The best way to check Gmail from your menu bar. If you’re hunting for a quick and slick way to keep an eye on your Gmail account, look no further than MailTab Pro. It’s never more than a single click away and it gives you full access to Gmail’s features. Check, search and send email all right from the menu bar.
  • MenuTab Pro for Facebook – An easy and amazing way to access Facebook from your menu bar. I know what you’re thinking, you’ve seen menu bar Facebook apps before right? Well this one is the best. MenuTab Pro is simply packed with awesome functionality that gives you the full Facebook experience right from your menu bar, no compromises.
  • Clarify – An awesome utility for capturing and editing screenshots. Taking screenshots is easy enough, but when it comes to compiling multiple screenshots with text annotations, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Clarify drastically simplifies this process and automatically creates a single document from multiple screen captures. It’s fast, easy and looks great.

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!

Great news! We’ve selected our ten winners. Each of the entrants listed below will be receiving an email with further instructions on how to claim their prize.

A huge thanks to the folks at Postbox for sponsoring this giveaway and to all of you that entered. We’ll be back with another competition soon and next time your name could be on that list of winners!

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CloudApp and Droplr are two apps that perform the same basic function. Both allow you to drag items from almost anywhere in OS X to a menu bar icon that instantly triggers an upload and copies a sharing link to your clipboard.

This is simply a fantastic model for effortless sharing that I personally use every day. The part that I’m not completely convinced about is which app is the best for this type of activity. I’ve used both extensively and find that they both are really solid apps with a lot going for them. Here are some of the things that they both do well: allow for several different types of uploads, let you browse an online web app of past uploads, and provide a public API for integration with third party apps.

That being said, I can easily point out areas where one is better than the other. The following are just a few of the many examples. For starters, CloudApp doesn’t put any ads on the page that hosts the shared content while Droplr does. However, Droplr generates nice short links and CloudApp generates big ugly links (CloudApp’s links are nice and short if you turn on public links). Further, Droplr has support for code sharing with syntax highlighting and CloudApp does not. CloudApp counters again with the ability to automatically upload screenshots taken with the default OS X keyboard shortcuts while Droplr forces you to memorize a new shortcut. Finally, Droplr also has an iOS app while CloudApp is only for the Mac.

Cast your vote in the poll and then leave a comment below letting us know why you think one app is better than the other. Have you tried both apps? Which features do you think are most important?

As a writer, one utility that I simply can’t live without is some sort of text expansion app. These tools are simply invaluable to my workflow and save me hours of typing every month. I personally am a huge fan of TextExpander. It’s my go to text expansion app and it simply blows away the competition. I wouldn’t dream of switching.

That being said, I realize that not everyone can justify dropping $34.95 for a snippet expander. Newbies to this specific app genre might want to cut their teeth on a free app, so today we’re going to compare two such apps from the Mac App Store: xType (formerly Presto) and DashExpander. How are these two apps different? Which is the best for your needs? Read on to find out.

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In Norse mythology, Sleipnir is the gray, eight-legged steed that Odin rides to Hel. In the world of technology, it’s an amazing web browser that you just have to try.

Though you may have never heard of it, Sleipnir has been around in various forms for years (it’s also on just about every operating system around). The latest version, Sleipnir 3 offers a truly unique and streamlined browsing experience optimized for OS X Lion. Join us as we dive in and check it out.

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