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Matthew Guay

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

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Our weekly sponsor this week is Slidevana, the ultimate presentation toolkit. It helps you build better Keynote and PowerPoint presentations in less time than ever, giving you time to focus on what you’re presenting instead of how you’re presenting it.

How often have you worked for hours on a presentation, only to realize that you’ve spent most of your time pushing pixels in Keynote or PowerPoint rather than really honing your message? Slidevana is a unique presentation toolkit takes the tedium out of creating clear, elegant slides and enables you to focus on conveying your message.

Slidevana contains over 150 slide layouts including everything from basic layouts, such as lists, charts, and tables, to layouts that communicate complex business concepts such as timelines, architectures, sales funnels, and common frameworks. Slidevana’s vast array of layouts means that creating a presentation is as easy as copying the perfect slide and pasting the content that captures your message.

Slidevana features a clean, minimal design that looks professional and highlights your insights. It is available in two color schemes: Slidevana Dark is designed to deliver maximum visual impact for audiences of any size, and Slidevana Light is perfect for presentations that need to be both projected and printed.

Go Get It!

If you’re ready to get started spending less time on your presentations while making them more powerful than ever, you can get Slidevana for PowerPoint or Keynote for $79.00. Your purchase includes free, unlimited lifetime updates, and if you’re not satisfied for any reason, you can get a 100% refund just for asking.

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

Mountain Lion has been out just under a week, and millions of us are already running it on our Macs. Apple’s announced that they sold 3 million copies of Mountain Lion in 4 days. Despite some initial problems with the Up to Date program, and expected slowdowns for first-day downloads, Mountain Lion is running strong, and very few of us have encountered major problems with it.

That’s why we’re wondering if you’ve taken the plunge and upgraded already, or not. Did your upgrade go good, or are you having trouble taming Apple’s latest cat? Or are you waiting for updates and for time to try upgrading? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

And, if you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to read our own Mountain Lion review for an overview of the new features, as well as our roundup of smaller changes throughout the OS, including new iCloud features.

Mountain Lion has brought its share of changes OS X, changes that bring many iOS features to the desktop. From the new Notes and Reminders apps to Notifications Center and Messages, it seems that the Mac looks more like a mobile device every day.

That’s not to say OS X isn’t a great desktop OS. Mountain Lion brings many small features that make your daily workflow nicer, as well as a number of little changes that might make you scratch your head. After nearly a week with Mountain Lion, here’s some of the biggest changes we’ve noticed throughout the OS.

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Whenever Apple releases a new version of OS X, the blogosphere goes wild, typing tens of thousands of words about the latest features and changes in the operating system we all love. There’s always new core features that are hidden to most of our eyes, as well as the more subtile changes you might not notice in the UI without a reviewer pointing them out.

It’s only been one short year since Lion was released, but even with the quick release window for Mountain Lion, reviewers still went through the OS and found plenty to write about. Our own Alex Arena wrote a thorough overview of the new features and apps you’ll use most in his Mountain Lion Review. In our opinion, it’s a great place to find out what to expect from Mountain Lion if you don’t want to spend too much time reading about the deepest changes in the OS. We even included a giveaway of 3 copies of Mountain Lion, so be sure to check it out and enter in our drawing if you haven’t upgraded already!

But, if you’re looking for more detailed info about Mountain Lion, here’s some of the best Mountain Lion coverage from around the ‘net, as well as some extra Mountain Lion info you should keep in mind.

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This past weekend, the Sparrow team shook the Mac app world by announcing they had been bought out by Google and wouldn’t be adding any new features to their popular email app. Sparrow was a great example of the amazing Mac-only apps you can get from the App Store, an app that was lovingly created by a team that really knew what they were doing. Now, the team’s moving to work on Gmail, and odds are Google will totally forget about the Mac app the team had built in the first place.

For those of use that use email all the time, many of us exclusively use Gmail or Google Apps on our own domains. However, we usually don’t use Gmail online, preferring instead to use Mail.app, Sparrow, or other 3rd party email apps to manage our email workflow. Sparrow was an especially good choice for Gmail users, as it supported Gmail’s features in a brilliant Mac interface, and just worked so good.

It’s not like Sparrow quit working overnight, but most of us are seriously considering alternate email apps now that Sparrow won’t be in active development going forward. That’s why we’re wondering if you’re going to keep using Sparrow, or if you’ve switched to another email app. We’d love to hear what email app you’re using, and why, in the comments below!

Special thanks to @CoolD78 for the poll idea!

Our giveaway is now closed. Thanks for entering, everyone! Congrats to @gustaoo and @Derek_Covatch for winning a copy of TerraRay, @keifun and @lucaschurchill for winning a copy of Sip, and @MohamadAshraf_ and @itkidx for winning a copy of Squirrel!

It’s always fun to snag a great deal on an app. $2 Tuesday has lately been keeping Mac app deals in the headlines with their great deals on popular apps every Tuesday. I personally got a copy of TaskPaper through the $2 Tuesday discount several weeks ago, and it’s quickly become part of my daily workflow.

This week, there’s 3 new apps on $2 Tuesday that just might end up becoming part of your daily workflow soon. All day today, you can get each of the following apps for just $2 (or really $1.99 plus tax in the App Store):

  • Squirrel – A great personal finance management app that was a former Apple Design Award winner.
  • Sip – A simple color picker app for developers that lets you pick colors and copy them with simple keyboard shortcuts.
  • TerraRay – An easy to use terrain rendering app that lets you easily create your own 3D landscape.

Each of these apps are a great deal for just $2, but the best thing is, we have 2 copies of each of them to giveaway to our readers!

Tweet to Enter

If you’d love to win a free copy of today’s $2 Tuesday apps, it’s easy to get your entry submitted. All you have to do is click the link below and send out the resulting tweet (or just copy and paste), then leave a comment below with a link to your tweet and the app that you want to win. That’s it! We’ll then randomly pick 2 winners of each app when we close the contest.

We’ll announce the winners tomorrow on July 25th, so hurry and get your entry in today! Or if you can’t wait, just head over to the App Store and grab a copy of Squirell, Sip, or TerraRay for yourself. After all, they’re quite a good deal for just $2 each!

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

Our weekly sponsor this week is Postbox, a first class email app for your Mac. It’s a powerful way to make you more productive with Gmail and other email accounts, helping you find the conversations and attachments you need while keeping you connected to your contacts.

Most of us use email daily, and often find ourselves sending dozens of emails a day, so your email app can be one of the most important apps on your computer. But as Mozilla’s stopped Thunderbird’s development, and Sparrow has been bought out by Google, you might be feeling like you need to find a new email app to take on your messaging challenges. Postbox might be just what you’re looking for.

It includes advanced Gmail features like labels and keyboard shortcuts, as well as advanced conversation view that makes it even easier to keep up with your email conversations. It has a powerful search tool that can help you find messages and attachments. Better still, it includes social network integration, and lets you send Dropbox links to files instead of having to deal with attachment file size limits. With a native Mac design, support for touchpad gestures, and a team that’s actively developing it, Postbox is easily one of the best email apps today.

Go Get It!

If you’re ready to get started managing your email better on your Mac, it’s a great time to try out Postbox. You can try it free for 30 days, then buy it for just $9.99. Or, if you’ve tried Postbox in the past and have a license for an older version, you can upgrade for just $4.95! Postbox also has new team discounts, so you can outfit your whole company with Postbox’s powerful email features for less than ever.

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

Our giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Keith, Lucas, and Suonevar who just won a copy of Tower. We hope you’re able to put it to use in your work! And to everyone else, stay tuned for our next giveaways!

Whether you’re a longtime developer or are just getting started coding apps, you’ve likely heard of Git, the popular version control system for source code and more. Git’s an incredibly useful open source tool that’s already built into your Mac, but it can be a bit complicated to get started with and use day-to-day.

That’s where Tower comes in. It’s a Mac app that makes git simpler to use and keeps you from having to remember obscure Terminal commands. It costs $59, but that can be well worth it if it helps you in your development projects. Our writer Duane Stark recently reviewed Tower here at Mac.AppStorm and gave it an impressive 9 out of 10 for its great features, interface, and performance.

That’s why we’re excited today to have 3 copies of Tower to givewaway to our readers, so 3 lucky readers can start making use of the most powerful Git app on the Mac in their development projects!

Tweet to Enter

If you’d love to win a free copy of Tower, it’s easy to get your entry submitted. All you have to do is click the link below and send out the resulting tweet (or just copy and paste), then leave a comment below with a link to your tweet. That’s it!

 

We’ll announce the winners on Tuesday, July 24th. Good luck to everyone who enters!

Envato staff or people who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm, or existing users of Ronin, however, are ineligible to enter.

When it’s time to buy a new MacBook, there’s a lot of decisions you’ll have to make. Air or Pro, or Retina Pro? In-store model, or extra ram? Faster processor or more storage?

Most of these choices are permanent nowadays, with even the ram soldered to the motherboard. But in many ways, the screen size will define how you use your Mac more than many of the other decisions. The 11″ Air will be the most cramped, but will also be the most portable, while a 15″ Pro will give you the most space but will also feel much more like a desktop and will be less portable.

I just purchased a new MacBook Air that’s en route from China right now. I chose the 13″ Air, as it felt like the best middle between size and portability, and sure hope I feel like I’ve made the right choice. It made me wonder what your favorite screen size is. What MacBook screen size do you own, or would you purchase if you could choose any right now?

Our weekly sponsor this week is StackSocial, a new site featuring deals on Mac apps, training courses, and more.

This week, StackSocial is featuring the iStack Mac Bundle, which includes 10 essential Mac tools for just $49.99. It includes Parallels 7, one of the most popular ways to run Windows and other operating systems on your Mac, which retails for $79 by itself. It also includes SnagIt, a popular screenshot tool, and Clarify, one of the best ways to turn screenshots into tutorials. There’s 6 other great apps, as well as an iOS development course to help you get started making your own iPhone apps.

Then, if that’s not enough, StackSocial has a number of ongoing deals, with new specials coming out all the time. It’s a site you should keep your eye on if you want to get great deals for your Mac.

Go Get It!

If you’ve been wanting a great deal on Parallels 7, SnagIt, Clarify, and other great Mac apps, then be sure to get the iStack Mac Bundle for just $49.99 before the deal’s over on July 26th. Or, feel free to check out the other great deals that StackSocial has on offer now and in the future. With great deals on apps and training courses, there’s specials that every Mac user would find interesting.

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

 

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