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Matthew Guay

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

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You know you shouldn’t use the same simple password on every site online, but password managers can be so complex to setup, not to mention expensive. Perhaps you should try out PassLocker, our sponsor this week, which is a new take on a password management app.

PassLocker is a nicely designed menubar app that makes it dead-simple to generate random passwords for your online accounts and save your account info in one place. You won’t have to install any browser plugins to use it, and there’s no extra features or settings to make it complex. It’s just a simple way to manage your passwords. We called PassLocker “the simplest password app” in our recent review, and found it to live up to its claims as an easy-to-use password app.

Best of all, PassLocker works great on the iPhone as well, so your passwords will be with you wherever you go. And you won’t have to worry about staying in sync, either, since PassLocker will automatically sync all of your info over iCloud. PassLocker is a promising alternative for those who are tired of complexity of other apps, or who don’t want to pay a fortune for managing passwords.

Go Get It!

Ready to get your passwords organized in a simple way on your Mac and iPhone? Then go download PassLocker today from the App Store. At just $4.99 on the Mac and $1.99 on the iPhone, it won’t break the bank, and it’s so quick and easy to use that you’ll have your accounts more secure without much trouble at all.

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

If there’s one enduring set of apps that’s practically a requirement to use in most business and education settings, it’s Microsoft Office. Love it or hate it, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are the de facto standards for their categories.

On a Mac, you’ve got a ton of options these days. You could obviously use Office for Mac, though it’s often a bit behind its Windows counterparts despite coming out for the Mac before Windows was even around (though sometimes it does seem ahead of the Windows versions — see the Publishing layout options in Word for Mac). Then, there’s Apple’s iWork apps, though you might end up with some compatibility issues if you have to regularly share heavily formatted documents (but, for most purposes, iWork really is fine, while being nicer to use than Office. Really). There’s also OpenOffice and its new counterpart LibreOffice, though they come with their own slew of issues. You could also use web apps for free these days instead, from Google, Zoho, or even Microsoft itself.

Or, you could use Office for Windows on your Mac, either in Bootcamp or in a virtual machine. That way, you could use Office 2013 today on your Mac, or stick to an older-and-trusted version of Office in an old XP virtual machine. I personally have Office 2010 in a Windows 7 virtual machine, as well as an Office 2013 trial in a Windows 8 virtual machine for testing and more. We’d love to know if you use Office for Windows on your Mac. If so, we’d love to hear how you use it, and what version you’re using in the comments below!

If you’re looking for a great deal on Mac apps this week, then we have quite the deal for you: the PickABundle! This all new Mac app bundle that lets you pick 10 apps for your own bundle, all for the low price of $49.99, no matter what you pick.

There’s 30 apps you can pick from for your own bundle in PickABundle, enough for everyone to pick from. There’s web development tools like Rapidweaver, Hype, Flux, and Lucid. There’s Mac tools like Awaken, Hands Off!, and Blu-ray Player. You’ll find Tembo for searching through files, DEVONThink Personal to keep your information organized, Swift Publisher to create beautiful publications, MoneyWell to keep your finances organized, Boom to make videos and audio louder on your Mac’s speakers, and more. Then, as a bonus, every bundle will get a free copy of NyxQuest, an adventure game to top off everything else you’ve already gotten.

If you’ve wanted to pick up a copy of any of these apps – and yes, a number of the apps such as Rapidweaver, Hype, and DEVONThink are worth more than the price of the bundle on their own – then you’d better hurry and pick up a copy of the PickABundle with the apps you want. The bundle is running until March 18th, so you’ve got just under 2 weeks to get your copy.

Best of all, we have a special for Mac.AppStorm readers. Everyone who purchases the PickABundle gets entered in a random drawing for a free copy of Pixelmator, Analog, My Wonderful Days, Scribe, and other great apps that aren’t already in the bundle. If you purchase the PickABundle after clicking the link in this article, you’ll be entered in the random drawing exclusively with other Mac.AppStorm readers, so you’ve got a much higher chance of getting one of the extra apps!

If you do buy the PickABundle, we’d love to hear what apps you got in the comments below.

Most of us need to use several productivity apps every day: one for todos, one for notes and files, and maybe another for your projects and more. Having to switch back and forth between these separate apps is a drag: it’s hard to make connections between dots, and your data is scattered all over the place. Pagico, our sponsor this week, is here to help.

Pagico is like GTD with data management capability – it not only manages tasks, but also notes and files. By neatly organizing everything by projects, you can have your vacation itineraries stored right next to restaurant menus, or action items right on top of meeting notes. Things can also be stored by contacts, allowing you to keep track of person-specific stuff. Best of all, since your projects, tasks and contacts are stored in one place, you can cross-link everything: task-to-person, task-to-note, note-to-files, project-to-project, project-to-person … you get the idea.

Even though things are organized in projects and contacts, deadlines won’t be overlooked as Pagico presents all your schedule data in a visually intuitive flowchart. It’s like having a bird’s eye view of your schedule.

Pagico also syncs via the cloud. You can have your data available on all your computers and iOS devices. Or, you can also set up Workspaces for your team and share data among your colleagues.

Pagico for Desktop 6 is a major update. It’s fast, Retina-Ready, GTD-compliant, and its built-in cloud sync is specifically designed for personal sharing (data sync across multiple computers and iOS devices) and small team collaboration.

Go Get It!

Pagico 6 is an incredibly exciting step forward for the app, and whether you’ve never tried it before or are already using an older version, you should definitely try it out. You can download a free 15 day trial of Pagico to try it out, then you can purchase a copy for your Mac for $50. Best of all, you can run it on your Windows or Ubuntu PC, too, so you can keep your info together with Pagico even if you’re away from your Mac.

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

We’d like to say a special Thank you! to our weekly sponsors from February 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!

Studiometry

Want to manage your whole business directly from your Mac? Then Studiometry might be just what you need. It’s been trusted by Mac users for nearly a decade, and its 10th version is better than ever. The latest version, Studiometry 10, lets you add roles for your employees, as well as weekly timesheets to make it easier to visualize the work you’ve entered. You can add custom data for specific clients, and take advantage of Mountain Lion notifications, in addition to over a hundred other new features and updates.

NotesTab Pro

There’s so many things we all need to remember. That’s why you need a robust notes app that works the way you do. NotesTab Pro is a great notes app that runs in your menubar and has enough features to make it terribly useful but not enough to get in your way. NotesTab Pro lets you quickly take notes and sync them to all of your devices, right from your menubar.

We called it “The Best Note-Taking App in Your Menu Bar” in our recent review of NotesTab Pro, and it keeps getting better with new updates, most recently adding indenting and auto-hyperlinking support.

Live Wallpaper

Looking for a way to make your Mac’s background a bit more exciting? Then you should give Live Wallpaper a try. It’s been the #2 paid app in the US Mac App Store, and is still the #9 top paid app today, months after getting released. Live Wallpaper lets your Mac showcase more than just a pretty picture. It lets you see the date, time, weather, and custom text, integrated into a beautiful picture or animated background.

MacOptimizer

Is your Mac running slow? Are your applications crashing? Are you running out of space on your Desktop? Get your Mac back in shape with an incredibly fast disk utility that will optimize and clean your hard drive, speed up Apple Mail, free memory, organize your Desktop, and more. That utility is MacOptimizer, which its developer describes as a “must have app for every home and business”.

We found it to be a solid app that did what it said it would without causing problems in our recent review, and you’ll likely find your favorite use for it once you give it a try. It’s a polished way to get your Mac working the way you want.

And a special thanks to you, our Mac.AppStorm.net readers, for reading and sharing our articles. We couldn’t do it without you!

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

Ever needed to quickly convert a video or audio file into a different format, and searched around for an app to do it quickly? Perhaps you found an app, but wanted one with more options or that could handle the job better. If you own Adobe Creative Suite or have a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud – as nearly 70% of our readers said they do in our poll this week – then you’ve got a great media converter ready to use: Adobe Media Encoder.

Let’s take a quick look at one of the least well-know members of Adobe’s Creative Suite family of apps, one that’s included in ever single edition of Creative Suite but that’s never usually mentioned alongside the likes of Photoshop and Illustrator. It just might be the best media tool you never knew you had.

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SSDs are amazing. They’re so fast, once you’re using to using one in your day-to-day work, switching back to working from a traditional hard drive is painful. You’ll get so used to apps opening nearly instantly that everything will feel slow. It’s no wonder Apple’s switched its most popular laptops – the MacBook Air and the new MacBook Pro Retina Display – to SSD.

There’s only one problem: SSDs cost more per gigabyte than traditional hard drives, so instead of the roomy 500Gb hard drives you might be used to in other computers, a MacBook with an SSD will likely only have 128-256Gb of storage. With HD video downloads and retina display ready apps, it’s rather easy to fill that up.

If you’ve got a 13″ Air or a Retina Display MacBook, though, you’ve got an SD card slot. Now what if that could be used to add extra storage that felt integrated fully with your Mac? That’s exactly what the Nifty MiniDrive - a tiny microSD card adaptor that sits flush with the exterior of your MacBook - sets out to do.

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Our sponsorship is now closed, and congrats to our winners: Eric, Ozan, Mohamed, Blake, and Costee!

Our recent sponsor Live Wallpaper is a great way to make your Mac a nicer place to work. It comes with dozens of beautiful themes that can make your Mac even more beautiful than it already is, and it can keep you up-to-date on the weather and more without having to switch over to Dashboard.

At $0.99, Live Wallpaper is a rather cheap addition to your Mac, but if you’re really pinching pennies, we’ve got something you might like: 5 copies of Live Wallpaper for our readers! Want to win one? Here’s what you need to do: take a screenshot of your desktop (just tap CMD+Shift+3), then upload the picture (CloudApp and Droplr are great tools for this) and share a link of it in the comments below. Then, share the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or App.net, and add a new comment here with a link to your post for an extra entry in the giveaway.

We’ll close the giveaway on March 6th, so hurry and get your entry in!

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

Last year, Adobe launched their Creative Cloud subscription service along with the newly released Creative Suite 6. Creative Cloud lets you download every one of the full apps from Creative Suite Master Collection to your Mac or PC, and share creative files online for $49/month. That’s still pricey over time, but a huge savings over the initial cost of buying Creative Suite Master Collection outright for $2,599.

If you already have a copy of Creative Suite, though, upgrading to the latest version often still works out cheaper if you have a smaller edition. I had Creative Suite 5.5 Design Standard, and upgraded to CS6 Design Standard for far less than a Creative Cloud subscription would have cost me. Another option is buying a one-app version of Creative Cloud, which is one way, say, to get Photoshop for $19/month.

Creative Cloud apps get updates more often than their traditional Creative Suite counterparts, so Photoshop users especially already have new features over those of use with Creative Suite. It’s one of the many ways Adobe is trying to push us all over to the subscription side.

About 15% of you said you plan to get Creative Cloud in our poll last year, and more said you’d consider it. That’s why we’re wondering how many of you actually use Creative Cloud. Has it worked out good for you, or are traditional upgrades still your preferred way of getting Adobe apps?

Is your Mac running slow? Are your applications crashing? Are you running out of space on your Desktop? Get your Mac back in shape with an incredibly fast disk utility that will optimize and clean your hard drive, speed up Apple Mail, free memory, organize your Desktop, and more. That utility is MacOptimizer, our sponsor this week, which its developer describes as a “must have app for every home and business”.

MacOptimizer can clear your system of temporary files, unnecessary language files, and the extra files on your desktop: everything that’s eating up the precious space on your SSD. It can also optimize and repair your Mac so your OS and applications run faster, and run system maintenance tasks to keep your Mac running smoothly. Best of all, it gives you easy access to hidden OS X settings and other useful tweaks that make it easier to work on your Mac.

We found it to be a solid app that did what it said it would without causing problems in our recent review, and you’ll likely find your favorite use for it once you give it a try. It’s a polished way to get your Mac working the way you want.

Go Get It!

Ready to give MacOptimizer a try? It usually costs $29, but this week is on sale for just $19 for this sponsorship. It’s a great chance to grab a copy of MacOptimizer to keep your Mac fit and tweak it to work just the way you want.

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