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Matthew Guay

Writer. Former Tuts+, Mac and Web AppStorm Editor. Brainstormer-in-chief. @maguay | Techinch.com

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Apple’s upcoming OS X Mavericks is a great new overhaul to OS X, bringing better performance and battery life along with new features such as Finder tabs and tags, Maps and iBooks, better multiple display support, and more that we’ve been wanting forever. We still don’t know exactly when it’s coming, but Apple’s promised that it’s coming this fall, and that’s not too far away now.

But every time a new version of OS X comes out, you have to make the decision of how quickly you’ll upgrade. Many of us love to jump the gun and install it the first second the new version’s available, or even go ahead and start using the beta full-time before it’s been officially released. Others prefer to hold out for the first wave of updates and bug fixes, to make sure it’s working smooth when they upgrade. And some never upgrade, sticking with the version of OS X their Mac came with until they buy a new one.

Which camp are you in? Are you planning to install Mavericks the first moment it’s in the App Store, or are you going to wait and see how it’s working for everyone else? Or, will you stick with the Lion you already have installed?

I’m always somewhat amused at the attention screenshot tools get on the Mac. Back when I used a PC every day, a 3rd party screenshot and quick image editing tool was quite the necessity. Saying Prnt Scrn and Paint didn’t quite cut it is the understatement of the decade. But on the Mac, there’s an embarrassment of riches for screenshots and quick editing built into your Mac, for free.

Frustrated about Realmac’s new replacement for LittleSnapper, Ember? Think Skitch 2 isn’t as good as it used to be? Here’s why Preview is the best built-in app on the Mac, and why you shouldn’t even worry about finding a replacement for either of them.
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Our giveaway’s now closed; stay tuned for more giveaways coming soon!

Growl, the original notifications app on the Mac, has been one of the mainstays in the realm of pro Mac apps for years now. If you want to keep up with everything that’s happening with your apps and accounts, you had Growl. It was also free, but a couple years ago started charging to support its updates — and not too long after, Apple added notifications to OS X, making Growl a harder sell.

But Growl‘s still great. With the apps that support it, you can tweak your notifications, get everything in one rolled-up list, or forward notifications to the OS X Notifications Center if you want. You can find out more about what’s going on with your Mac with addons like HardwareGrowler, and much more. It does plenty to justify the $3.99 it costs on the App Store.

And, even better, we’ve got 3 copies for our readers this week!

The new Growl — with OS X Notifications integration.

The new Growl — with OS X Notifications integration.

To get your chance at a copy of Growl, just leave a comment below and tell us why you still want Growl today, and how you plan to put it to use if you win a copy. Then, you can share the giveaway on your social networks and leave a second comment below with a link to your post to get an extra entry.

Hurry and get your entry in; our contest closes on Friday, August 2nd!

Envato staff or those who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm are ineligible to enter.

Everyone loves a great deal — but how about a great deal once a week? That’s exactly what Two Dollar Tuesday, our sponsor this week, brings to the world of Mac apps: a great Mac app each week for just $2.

Even better, this week the Two Dollar Tuesday team has a whole bundle of 7 apps for just $10. The $10 Bundle brings you iTeleport to connect to remote computers, A Better Finder Renamer to help you quickly rename and organize your files, Chronicle to keep up with your bills, Focus to tweak your photos,AppDelete to fully remove apps from your Mac, Animix to animate your photos, and Deal Alert to help you find the very best deals online. It’s a great set of apps — all for just $10!

The $10 Bundle

 

But even after this week, the Two Dollar Tuesday team will keep bringing you great deals, with at least one great app for $2 each week. That’s enough to make you want to keep up with their site.

The Deal Site You Should Follow

If you love getting good deals on Mac apps, then Two Dollar Tuesday is the deals site you should follow. They’ve got great apps on sale for just $2 each week — with bundles and more as well. And if you’re a developer, Two Dollar Tuesday is a great site to work with to get your app’s deal featured. Be sure to subscribe to their site and follow @TwoDollarTues on Twitter if you haven’t already!

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

CloudApp and Droplr have been the two main ways most of us quickly share one-off files from our Macs. They’re so simple to use, it’s hard to find a reason not to keep one of them around. But then, they’re so similar, it’s tough to pick between the two.

I’ve used CloudApp for years now, even sticking with it after digging deeply into the differences between the two apps. But recently, I’ve switched to Droplr. Their new Mac app and iOS apps are so nice, it’s hard not to switch to Droplr once you’ve tried it again.

The new Droplr for Mac

The new Droplr for Mac

I wrote about the reasons I switched to Droplr, and why you should give it a shot, over on Web.AppStorm. Check out the full article for the scoop on why, right now, Droplr is the best simple way to share files.

Continue Reading on Web.AppStorm…

We’ve just closed our giveaway; congrats to our winners — Imran, Kevin and Guilherme!

This summer’s been a great one for Mac sales, and it’s not even over yet! Our friends at Two Dollar Tuesday have an extra special deal this week: The $10 bundle. Actually, for just one cent less than that, you’ll get 7 apps that together are worth $100 more than that.

You’ll get iTeleport to connect to remote computers, A Better Finder Renamer to help you quickly rename and organize your files, Chronicle to keep up with your bills, Focus to tweak your photos, AppDelete to fully remove apps from your Mac, Animix to animate your photos, and Deal Alert to help you find the very best deals online. That’s a great deal for $10, but we’ve got 3 copies to giveaway to our readers for free!

The $10 Bundle

All you’ll need to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment below letting us know the app you want most from the bundle. Then, share the giveaway on your favorite social networks and share a link to your post in a second comment below for an extra entry.

Hurry and get your entry in; we’re closing the giveaway on Monday, July 29th! Also, don’t forget to enter this week’s Pagico Desktop giveaway as well if you’d like to get your projects organized.

Envato staff or those who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm are ineligible to enter.

Two years ago, a little project showed up on Kickstarter that’d excite anyone who loves old typography and traditional printing presses: LetterMpress. It was a rather ambitious project to recreate the traditional craft of letterpress printing on the then-new iPad. The project was successful, and they acquired authentic wood type collections, digitalized them, and put them inside a virtual printing press. You could drag wood type and art around on your screen, mix colors, and “print” letterpress art to your heart’s content. It was the next-best-thing to buying and restoring an antique letterpress printer.

Later that year, the Mpressinteractive team brought the original LetterMpress to the Mac, then set to work on their next app: SimplyMpress. Released just a few months ago, SimplyMpress made it much simpler to make letterpress art on your Mac, albeit without the photo-realstic printing press and traditional tools you’d find in their original app. Together, they’re the best apps for making letterpress-style art, but which one should you get?

Let’s take a look at SimplyMpress, along with the app that started it all, LetterMpress, and see which one you should add to your Launchpad before taking on your next poster design project. (more…)

If you like to read on your Mac, then Apple’s WWDC 2013 announcement of iBooks coming to the Mac with OS X Mavericks was a breath of fresh air. Macs have had a great PDF reader — Preview — built in for as long as we’ve had OS X, but for ePub eBooks, we’re left to forge for our own best reading app. There’s tons of contenders, but very, very few exceptionally good apps in the category.

Even if you have Mavericks Developer Preview today, though, you still can’t get iBooks just yet. If you want to read eBooks on your Mac today, you need another option. And if your Mac can’t run Mavericks, or you don’t want to upgrade when it comes out, you’ll still need something else then.

That’s why we’ve got though every major eBook app for the Mac, tried them out, and put together the very best for you. There’s two standout apps, that we really recommend, and then others that fill in other gaps.

Here’s to the readers!

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There's tons of apps for sharing files, and tons of ways to store your files in the cloud. It's almost unusual to go a couple weeks without hearing of yet another app for quick file sharing. And yet, two apps have stood the test of time and continued to be the flag-bearers for simple file sharing: CloudApp and Droplr.

Both CloudApp and Droplr have been with us for years, both have a simple menubar for quickly sharing files, and both have free and pro accounts. They're equally simple to use, and practically unrivaled in their simplicity. They were both so close of competitors, I decided they were both almost equal in my point-by-point comparison of their features for Web.AppStorm. Yet, I remained a CloudApp devotee until very recently.

Droplr finally won me over with its relentless improvements, making their Mac app and most recently iOS apps far nicer than before. Throw in the already-nicer web app, and the extra stats and customizations available with their pro account, and Droplr sold me on a pro subscription.

But then, there's another elephant in the room: Dropbox. It's decidedly not the simpler way to share one-off files, but it's something many of us already pay for, and it works great for sharing larger files. Then, with new apps like Share Bucket, you can make Dropbox act almost like Droplr or Dropbox. I love Dropbox, and store most of my files in it, but sharing small files and such from Dropbox still seems like too much of a hassle, and I'm glad to use Droplr for sharing and Dropbox for syncing everything else.

So, how about you? Are you in the CloudApp or Droplr camp, or is Dropbox enough for your needs? We'd love to hear your thoughts on the two — nay, three — apps in the comments below.

Need to get media off of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod without syncing it to iTunes? Perhaps your device was originally registered to another computer, or to your computer before you reinstalled your OS, and it won’t sync with iTunes now? Then you need to try out Sharepod, our sponsor this week.

Sharepod is the simplest way to get your music, movies, podcasts, and more from any classic iPod or a new iOS device like an iPhone or iPad. You won’t have to sync with iTunes or anything else. Whether you’re getting back long-forgotten tunes from an old device, or are recovering your library after you lost your Mac’s iTunes library (or got a new Mac), Sharepod is the perfect companion for your media.

Sharepod is fast and simple, and you’ll have all of your media back ready to play faster than you would have ever imagined, all without jailbreaking or doing anything else to your iOS device. You’ll even get to keep all of the playlists you’ve spent time putting together. Best of all, it can work on your Mac or on a Windows PC, so you can get your media off your devices wherever you are.

Try Sharepod Today!

Ready to get your old media back from your old iPods? Sharepod is the app you need. You can download Sharepod and try it out for free, then purchase your own copy for $20.

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