We’ve written before about the proliferation of apps that only do one thing, and do it very well. There’s something to be said for simplistic, minimalist tools that you bust out only when you need them, plow through the task, and close them again with blinding efficiency. One of the categories of apps that I find this to be the most true is graphics and design apps. Tools like Photoshop and Illustrator have ruled supreme as workhorse, Swiss Army Knife-style apps for some time, but innovative and well-designed apps are popping up all over that aim to replace single functions from these apps, and they often do it better than the larger programs.

Today we’re going to take a look at Spectrum, which is a beautifully designed app from developer Eigenlogik. Its designed to make it simple to create color palattes in a simple, beautiful interface. Put on your creative hat, and let’s dig in to find out more about how Spectrum works.

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I’m a huge news junkie. I run multiple RSS apps on my Mac, including Pulp and Reeder, each for different sets of RSS feeds that I subscribe to. In those rare moments that I get to step out of the office, whether I’m standing in line at the deli down the street or riding a bus downtown to meet up with my brother for lunch, I’m usually on my phone checking even more news feeds. Simply put, I drink heartily from the fountain of information that the Internet provides.

I recently stumbled across a somewhat unique RSS aggregator, and I wanted to show it to you today. Retickr is an app that lets you put together custom playlists of news feeds and display the top stories from them as a scrolling ticker on your screen. The idea is relatively novel and the execution is unique, but does Retickr have what it takes to become an arterial channel of information?

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Some days, it seems to me that we’re in a technological era that demonstrates simultaneous trends of increased utility and decreased complexity. The strive for simplicity is apparent in Mac software, and the effects are often increased productivity and clarity. The best example of this that I can come up with is a growing number of Mac apps that set out to do one thing really well, rather than the swiss-army-knife applications of the past (not that there isn’t still a time and place for those).

Today, I’m going to take a look at one such application called SnipEdges. Developed by Houdah Software, SnipEdges is a new kind of global snippet manager. It uses the confinement of your screen as its management method, rather than a hierarchical window, and it does so to great effect. Let’s dig in, shall we?
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They say that necessity is the mother of invention. It would stand to reason, then, that with the emergence of the Internet, it would be necessary to have an invention that would help us cope with the massive amounts of information. Of course, the category of RSS readers has been present for some time, but it’s almost as if that isn’t sufficient enough anymore. I can set up my RSS reader to pull from several different websites, but I can’t limit my information absorption to 5 or 20 or even 100 different websites; it comes from everywhere.

Some of the other AppStorm sites have talking about Pocket, a web service formerly known as Read It Later. Pocket, and other similar services, aim to let you save various articles and videos for later consumption, rather than letting them interrupt your workflow. Today we’re going to look at Read Later, which is a Mac desktop client for both the free Pocket and the paid Instapaper. The app was originally released as ReadNow, but it’s evolved quite a bit since we covered it, so let’s see what’s new.

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Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t deny that Apple’s family of mouses (mice?) have come a long way since the dreaded Hockey Puck, and provide a dramatically different experience than almost any other mouse on the market. The entire line up of peripherals feature multi-touch gesture support, which can be modified (along with tracking behavior) quite extensively from the preference pane built in to OS X.

But why should it stop there? The mouse is the primary medium through which we interact with our computers, so it stands to reason that it should be an implement with almost limitless power. I’ve wrangled up seven great apps that extend the functionality of your mouse, whether you’re using a Magic Mouse, the external Magic Trackpad, or the built in trackpad. Heck, most of these even work with third party mice.

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I’ve been a gamer for a long time. I’v always been interested in heavy duty PC gaming and console gaming. However, the more time I spend on my Mac and various iOS devices, the more I find that my gaming focus is shifting to lighter weight games that require less of a time investment, both long term and on a ‘per sitting’ basis.

The perfect example of what I mean by this is Cubemen, a tower defense/real time strategy hybrid from 3Sprockets. Cubemen is a real time game played on a board of square spaces between you and another player or computer, and the object is to overwhelm your opponents forces. Read on to find out more about how Cubemen works.

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This post is part of a three-part series of roundups dedicated to finding apps for your home and family life. Today, in part two, we’ll focus on fun and useful apps that your grandparents might enjoy. Reread part one here.

Switching to a Mac-centric household can be hard on certain members of your family, particularly the ones who might tend to be a little more traditional in their technology usage: your grandparents. Fear not, though, for today we present you with a list of 10 apps, both useful and entertaining in variety, that may be just the thing you need to ease any old-fashioned users of any age into using your fancy new computer. Hit the jump to read on!

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Last time we did a feature on the lightweight, cloud-based content-sharing app Droplr, it was in an early development phase. Since then, we haven’t looked very closely at it, despite the raging rivalry between fans of Droplr and it’s main competitor (which I’ll talk more about later). Well I aim to remedy that, and since Droplr has recently been upgraded to Version 2, what better time than today?

If you’re not familiar with the app, Droplr is a lightwight file-sharing service. Put simply, it works like this: you choose some content, and a method of uploading it, and then Droplr generates a shortened URL that you can then use to direct your friends, family, or colleagues to that content. But that’s only the beginning. Any old app can share content, but it’s the details that give an app the upper hand. Read on to find out more about the new Droplr for Mac.

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As a writer, and specifically one who reviews apps, a rock solid screenshot utility is absolutely essential. Sure, I could use the good old fashioned ⌘⇧3 or ⌘⇧4 keyboard shortcuts that are built into OS X, but sometimes “fullscreen” and “area” aren’t enough options. Also, those screenshots are saved to the desktop, and that can become quite messy quite quickly. And unless I feel like launching the all-powerful Photoshop (and I usually don’t), I can forget about doing any sort of meaningful annotation.

Today I’m going to give Voila a shot. Voila is a screenshot utility from Global Delight that boasts an arsenal of useful features for when you need to capture whatever it is on your screen. Read on to find out how Voila stacks up against OS X’s default screenshot key-combos, or, God forbid, the dreaded Grab utility!

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If you spend any time at all with your nose in the realm of productivity software (and you know we do), then you’re probably aware of the splash that 6Wunderkinder made when they finally opened their super-secret new web app, Wunderkit, to public beta just a mere few weeks ago. By building on the success of Wunderlist (which many would agree is one of the most refined task-list managers on the market thus far), 6Wunderkinder designed a highly anticipated platform that has the potential to change the way we organize our life.

In a not entirely unexpected move, 6Wunderkinder released a Wunderkit client for both Mac and iPhone on the same day that the beta of the service went public, and those of us who utilize those platforms got a taste of what’s to come from 6Wunderkinder’s almost certain multi-platform roadmap. Today, I’m going to take a look at attempt number one at the Wunderkit client for Mac. Hit the jump to find out more.

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