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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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The Activity Monitor in OS X Mavericks has been nicely redesigned, but it’s still far from enough for anyone who wants to keep up with their Mac’s real-time stats. For a detailed overview of how your Mac is actually performing, you’ll ideally need the stats you want in your menubar or in a condensed window that shows just the stats you want to see together. That’s why you need Colossus, our sponsor this week.

Colossus is an advanced system monitor for your Mac that makes it simple to keep on top of the most important stats. For just $3.99, it lets you keep tabs on your Mac’s CPU activity, memory, download and upload speeds, battery, storage, and temperatures with an optional addon in your menubar, a floating window, or a customizable dock icon. You can keep track of as few or as many stats as you want, in the places you want.

No matter what stats you pick to be shown in the menubar and Colossus’ animated Dock icon, you can always jump into all of your Mac’s stats from the app’s full-featured floating window view that can optionally float over every other app on your desktop. There, you’ll find collapsing views that show your summary stats for every part of your Mac at a glance with more detailed info on click. Combine that with the customizable menubar and dock icon, and you’ve got the perfect monitoring app for your Mac.

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Colossus is a brilliant and simple way to keep up with your Mac’s stats, and it’s far cheaper than the competition while including the features and performance you need. Get your copy of Colossus from the Mac App Store for just $3.99, and start keeping up better with how your Mac and internet connection are performing.

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

We’ve just closed our giveaway; congrats to our winners Alex, Valter, dion, Nuri, and jdnorthwest!

Apple spoiled us all last week by releasing OS X Mavericks and the new iLife and iWork apps all for free. That should have freed up some of your pennies to get some great indie apps for your Mac — and we’ve got a great bundle to share where you can get a ton of apps for said pennies.

Paddle’s newest Pay What You Want bundle includes 16 apps that are ready for your Mac with OS X Mavericks, including the Bits diary app we’ve just reviewed and Shortcat, the awesome keyboard shortcut app that was developed by a former Envato team member. There’s more, too: MenuEverywhere to get your Mac menus right inside your apps, Focus to improve your photos, Code Collector Pro to backup your code snippets, Slink to securely connect to remote networks, and more. All that for the low price of whatever you’d like to pay.

Or, you could get it for free, since we have 5 of the bundles to giveaway. Just comment below and let us know what apps you’d like most in this bundle to enter — then share the giveaway on your favorite social networks and leave another comment with a link to your shared post for an extra entry.

Hurry and get your entry in — the giveaway closes on Friday, November 1st!

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

It’s been a busy week for Apple fans. We knew Apple had a lot more to cover with this week’s announcement, and were rather certain that OS X Mavericks would be released sometime this week. There was the hint at WWDC of a new iWork and possibly iLife, but we wouldn’t have been way too surprised if the new versions hadn’t been announced. And yet they were, along with upgraded MacBook Pros — with the Mac Pro’s release date left as the final known Apple puzzle of the year.

Price was the theme this time, with Mavericks, iWork, and iLife all going free, the MacBook Pro and Retina Display MacBook Pro both had $200 shaved off their price, and the Mac Pro’s announced price of $2,999 is cheaper than you can build a similar PC right now. And yet, everyone’s not happy. OS X Mavericks is pretty great, but some of its includes apps such as iBooks weren’t quite as power user friendly as we would have hoped. That trend continued, with GarageBand X gaining nice new features but losing its pro tools, and Pages and Keynote looking sharper than before but losing AppleScript and most OpenType support, among other issues. The new Mac Pro would make anyone think Apple was more interested in pro users than ever, and yet their software choices make us question that pro users commitment.

All in all, I happen to like most of the new software, and am hopeful Apple will bring back some of the currently missing pro features. They’ve done that before with Final Cut Pro X, and they just might again. But what’s your thoughts on the new apps this week? Are you enjoying Mavericks and the new iWork, or sticking to your current apps for now? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Ever since Google bought out Sparrow, we’ve been hoping for a new best-in-class email app for the Mac. We listed the elusive .Mail as one of the main apps we hoped to see released in 2013, but alas, nothing has materialized to date.

That’s no reason for doom-and-gloom. Instead, there’s an updated Mail.app in OS X Mavericks, along with the just-released Unibox and Airmail 1.2. Plus, there’s a public beta of Mail Pilot for Mac coming soon. Here’s the latest email choices on the Mac, with enough options that almost everyone should find a mail app they like for now.

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iWork is Apple’s answer to Microsoft Office, and its pro apps directly compete with Adobe’s Lightroom, Premiere Pro, and Audition. But when it comes to Photoshop, the alternate even Apple itself shows off these days is Pixelmator.

Just over 6 years after the first version of Pixelmator was released, the 3rd version of Pixelmator is here with a slightly new name: Pixelmator 3 FX. This new version brings the long-awaited layer styles along with new liquify effects and a brand new, faster-than-ever editing engine.

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The Realmac team's LittleSnapper was the Mac screenshot tool of choice for anyone who wanted to save more than just individual image images to Finder. LittleSnapper turned made it simple to keep a library of everything you've ever snapped, and then annotate and tweak the shots all from one app. And then they decided to start over and make a new app: Ember.

Ember was designed from the ground up to be the best way to organize all of your design inspirations — not just for geeks managing screenshots of apps, even though it's still awesome for that as well. Essentially, you throw all the pictures you want — screenshots, sure, but also photos of architecture or crafts or web design mockups — into your library to easily find them later. Throw in tags and descriptions, and you've got a whole new way to manage those images that otherwise would get lost in Finder.

And now, with the Mavericks-focused v1.2 upgrade, Ember is smart enough to help you find just what you want from your library, and keeps your image assets backed up in iCloud.

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15 months after OS X Mountain Lion was released, Apple’s upgraded the OS that started it all. This time, though, it’s the name of a surfing location in California that graces the latest OS X instead of another cat name — but then, it is hard to top a Lion when it’s the king of cats.

So OS X Mavericks 10.9 it is. It’s the last OS before Apple either decided to use a two digit number after 10 or bumps the number up to 11 — or totally rebrands it as OS Xi, my personal favorite prediction. And instead of being a sweeping UI overhaul of the OS like the dramatic changes in iOS 7, OS X Mavericks is a release that’s almost not noticeable at first. You could use a Mac running Mavericks and not notice it wasn’t running Mountain Lion if you weren’t looking close — it’s that similar.

And yet, it’s not the same. Mavericks is a core release that makes OS X faster, more power efficient, and brings some great new apps and power user features along for the ride. It’s the foundation of things to come, and yet, it’s going to be a great OS for the next year in the mean time. And it’s 100% free for all Macs, so there’s no reason not to upgrade.

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Odds are, you’ve never tried to use your Mac as a dash-mounted GPS. The thought likely never crossed your mind. And yet, if you ever plan trips before leaving, or perhaps still print out paper maps as a backup against vacation disasters, you likely still visit Google Maps online semi-frequently. You might even have Google Earth around still for the occasional scenic virtual stroll around the globe.

Maps for Mac is now the best way to plan your trips, if you’re comfortable relying on Apple’s maps data. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a nice extra on the Mac, one you’ll likely find yourself reaching for instead opening a new tab for Google Maps.

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Steve Jobs infamously quipped in ’97 that “Internet Explorer is a really good browser”, then followed up 6 years later by unveiling Safari and predicting that “many will feel it’s the best browser ever created. A decade later, and Safari commands around 14% of the browser market — and additionally, derivatives of its Webkit core power Safari and Opera as well, which have a combined marketshare of around 32%.

iOS is largely responsible for Safari’s large browser share today, but on the Mac, Safari still gives you the smoothest browsing experience. Apple’s maintained that with Safari 7 in OS X Mavericks, and thrown in some extra features that make browsing nicer, even if Safari’s not competing in the web app’s world the way Google’s Chrome is. It’s the browser still focused on making browsing nice.

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Finder’s demise has long been foretold. It hasn’t received much love since Snow Leopard’s release, and the addition of iCloud seemed to spell doom for the way we’ve always managed files. And then, WWDC 2013 happened, and the lowly Finder was back in the spotlight (ahem).

Some of OS X Mavericks’ most exciting new features are in Finder and the ways it can help you find and manage your files more easily. There’s tabs in Finder at long last, along with tags that happen to make iCloud files more accessible to other apps of all things. It’s time to take a deep look at the essential underpinning app to the Mac: Finder.

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