Mac apps have gotten away from being highly customizable, sticking instead to a curated set of defaults that often lean towards clutter-free interfaces like most writing apps, or the skeuomorphic designs Apple prefers today. But the highly customizable apps aren’t gone completely.
Today, we’ve had the chance to interview the team behind Calendar Plus, a highly customizable calendar app for the Mac that’s been surprisingly popular on the App Store. Read on to hear their thoughts about developing for the Mac and designing customizable apps. (more…)
Ever get nostalgic for 8-bit gaming, but don’t want to play an old game in Dosbox? Shaun Imman‘s critically acclaimed The Last Rocket was a hit on the iPhone when it launched last year, earning 10 stars in our own review.
The Last Rocket has just recently been released for the Mac, and I was eager to try it out as soon as I saw it in the App Store. Spoiler: it was every bit as good as I expected.
We’d like to say a special Thank you! to our weekly sponsors from the past month, for sponsoring our site and for the great apps they make. If you would like to feature your app on our site with an advertisement, be sure to check out our available slots on BuySellAds or register for a weekly sponsorship for your app.
If you haven’t already checked out our the great apps that sponsored our site last month, be sure to check them out now!
Designing user interfaces can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. ANTETYPE includes pre-designed UI elements for OS X and iOS, as well as Android and Windows, so you can design customized apps that look great any platform. It features a smart layout and responsive widgets that make it quick to apply your changes to your whole app design. It might be just what you’re looking for to speed up your app design process.
If you’ve purchased iTunes music for years, chances are you have some older songs with DRM protection. Rather than pay per song to get rid of the DRM, you could just get Onde iTunes Converter to quickly convert all of your songs to unprotected formats. Best of all, you can use it to convert any audio or video you have into the audio format you want, so you can play the music you own anywhere.
The leading Mac-only image editor continues to lead the way with innovative new features a year after winning an Apple Design Award. Pixelmator now supports iCloud, includes retina display graphics, and a host of new image effects that make it easy to tweak your pictures. You can now make a miniature scene and more with only a couple clicks in Piexlmator’s new effects browser. It’s easily the best alternate to Photoshop on the Mac.
It’s tough to stay on top of all of your bills and make sure they’re paid on time, but paying your bills on time can be crucial to maintaining your credit score. That’s where Chronicle comes in. It makes it easy to remember when your bills need paid, with push notifications and recurring bill support. Its latest version even has retina display graphics, so it’ll look great on any Mac!
And a special thanks to you, our Mac.AppStorm.net readers, for reading and sharing our articles. We couldn’t do it without you!
Our giveaway is now closed, and congrats to Dimitrios Savvopoulos, timlou, and Rafta for winning a copy of Scrawl! Be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming giveaways in the future!
We’re always looking for better ways to take notes. There’s so many things to think about, Post-it notes just don’t cut it, and even Mountain Lion’s built-in Notes app doesn’t fit what most of us need. We need a simple place to put notes and quickly find them again, no matter where we’re working.
Scrawl is a great app for that. It’s a note taking app that lives in your menubar, one we were excited about when we reviewed it earlier this year. Since then, it’s gotten even better, with iCloud integration, native keyboard shortcut and Share Sheet support, and more. It’s a great way to quickly jot down notes in your menubar and find them whenever you need them.
Scrawl normally costs $1.99, but we’ve got 3 copies to giveaway for free to our readers. If you’d like to win a copy, just leave a comment below telling us why you’d love to start using it. For an extra credit, share the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or App.net, and then include a link to your update in your comment, and you’ll get two entries in the giveaway.
Our contest will close on midnight Monday, September 3rd, so hurry and get your entry in!
Envato staff or people who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm, however, are ineligible to enter.
eBooks have become an important part the tech world these days. Many of us have dedicated eBook readers or tablets with eBook apps. I personally read more books than ever, but just a couple weeks ago purchased the first paper book I’ve purchased in years. Today, Amazon’s making more from Kindle books than hardcovers and Apple’s even had the DOJ inquiring into its eBook business practices. It’s an infant industry, but one that’s growing by leaps and bounds.
Today, you can buy almost any book you can think of and read it on your Mac or other devices in seconds. The Kindle app is ubiquitous thanks to Amazon’s extensive library of titles, but many indie publishers sell DRM free eBooks that you can read in Preview or apps like Calibre. Apple still hasn’t brought iBooks to the Mac, but many of us hope they’ll release a Mac version of it eventually.
I personally read PDF eBooks in Preview and Kindle books more than anything on my Mac, but I’m curious what you use to read books on your Mac. We’d love to hear your thoughts about your favorite book apps in the comments below!
The folks at Humble Bundle continue to ship the finest game bundles the ‘net has ever seen, and this week, their third Android bundle is on sell. Even if you’re a dedicated Apple customer who would never dream of owning an Android device, this Humble Bundle includes copies of each game for OS X, Windows, and Linux in addition to Android.
Our friends over at Android.AppStorm have written in-depth reviews of each game in this Android Humble Bundle. If you’re a Mac user that also uses an Android phone or tablet, now’s the time to check out the reviews and see which of the games you’d love to get for you’re device. Or, if you’re just looking for some new games for your Mac, you can check out the reviews to see what the games are all about before downloading to play on your MacBook!
The third Android Humble Bundle is only available for a little over a day longer, so if you’re looking for a cheap way to pick up Fieldrunners, Spirits, SpaceChem, Osmos, and more, be sure to grab a copy before it’s over! It’s a great way to get some great games and support indie devs, ones that support Mac gaming at that! Plus, since we’re nearing the end of our August Gaming Month here at Mac.AppStorm, it’s a great time to get a great deal on some Mac games, even if you can’t put the Android versions to use.
Our sponsor this week is Chronicle, a great app for keeping track of your bills and paying them online. A single late payment can cost $30 or more, and cause your credit score to plummet by up to 100 points. That’s why anyone who pays bills needs Chronicle. Chronicle reminds you to pay your bills, even when it isn’t running.
With Chronicle, all you’ll have to do is enter the bills you have and their due dates, and it’ll automatically remind you to make sure they’re paid on time. It’ll then let you set recurring bills so you can setup your payment schedule and never have to worry about it again. Combine that with detailed statistics about your bills and a built-in browser so you can pay bills online from one interface, and it’s quite a powerful app for keeping up with your bills.
Chronicle has been a great app for keeping up with your bills for years, but the newly released Chronicle 5 makes it even better. It now features beautiful retina graphics, along with a redesigned interface and a faster backend that’ll make it a joy to use. It also now supports native OS X Notifications, so you’ll never forget about a bill again.
Go Get It!
If you’ve been looking for a better way to keep track of your bills and make sure you never incur late fees, you should give Chronicle a try. You can download a free trial from their site, or purchase it from the App Store for just $9.99, 30% off its normal price celebrating the release of Chronicle 5.
Some apps just don’t make sense at first. Grandview was definitely one of those for me. I love writing apps, and own almost every one available for the Mac. Yet, I could never wrap my head around the reason for Grandview.
Until I tried it out today, since its free right now in the App Store. To my amazement, it clicked for me. I’d still say it’s not for everyone, but here’s what I like about Grandview, and why I just wrote this article in it.
Since 2008, Apple has shifted the design of all MacBooks with a unibody aluminum shell, starting with the original MacBook Air and continued with the MacBook Pros. Today, if you buy a MacBook, you’ll have to get one with an aluminum unibody, as that’s all they sell now. Apple’s hailed the design as stronger yet lighter than previous designs. It’s certainly proved popular with customers. Every high-end PC, it seems, tries to one-up Apple’s unibody design.
Plastic cracks and scratches, and rarely would hold up to any heavy blows or falls. Aluminum is much more resilient, but is still susceptible to scratches from hard objects and even bends from hard falls. It’s far from the hardest or strongest material on the planet. Just search for bent MacBook Air, and you’ll find some horrifying pictures online (of course, if a plastic notebook took the same blows, it likely would have cracked and shattered instead of just bending … but still).
That’s why we’re wondering how your unibody MacBook Pro or Air is holding up. Have you gotten some small scratches and bent corners, or does yours still look factory-fresh? Is the unibody design working better for you than other laptops you’ve had in the past? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Our weekly sponsor this week is Pixelmator, the most beautiful image editor designed for the Mac. Its got more features than ever, has been designed for the Retina Display, and for a limited time, is available for only $14.99!
Pixelmator has been a leading Mac image editor for years now, and even won an Apple Design Award in 2011. The team hasn’t sat still since then, quickly adding new features and enhancements to the app. The most recent update brought a number of new features to Pixelmator, including iCloud support, a Retina Display ready interface, a ton of great new effects in a dedicated Effects Browser, alignment guides, and Mountain Lion native sharing.
That’s in addition to the great editing features that users already love in Pixelmator. With advanced layer support, drawing and retouching tools, file versions, web export features, and more, there’s something for everyone to love. Best of all, it’s built on the best OS X technology, letting it take advantage of your GPU to speed up your work and helping you work faster with Automator integration.
Go Get It!
If you’re ready to get started editing photos and creating beautiful digital art on your Mac in an app that’s designed to make the most of OS X, head over to the App Store and pick up a copy of Pixelmator before the summer sale ends! Pixelmator usually costs $59, but you can get it for just $14.99 right now. You can even download a free trial from their site to try out all of Pixelmator’s features for free for 30 days.