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Interviews

The App Store made buying software something normal people do again — but almost as quickly, it’s seemingly turned into a marketplace of free apps paid for by in-app purchases. Marco Arment of Instapaper fame has argued that “Paid-up-front iOS apps had a great run, but it’s over”, while Joe Cieplinski, the developer behind Teleprompt+, argues that “there is a whole world of untapped potential on the App Store for developers who can solve real problems for people who are happy to pay.” I’ve always sided with the latter argument that paid apps will never die, but it only takes a few minutes of browsing the App Store to see that freemium apps have seriously encroached on the domains previously held by paid apps.

Are paid apps dead, or not — and is this just about iOS, or is it the same on the Mac? To answer that, we’ve talked with Nik Fletcher, product manager at Realmac Software, about their team’s experiences with app pricing and sales on both the iOS and Mac App Store. Realmac has recently faced backlash on the iOS App Store over Clear+’s pricing, but at the same time decided not to run discounts on their pro Mac apps, so they have a unique perspective on both markets.

To them, there’s a bright future for carefully considered in-app purchases and paid pro software. Here’s the interview:

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We love the apps that developers make for the Mac, but it’s easy to forget about the apps that help developers make the apps. From code editors to icon designers to documentation and snippet repositories, there’s a ton of different apps that developers rely on to help them make the best Mac apps they can. This week, we’ve got an exclusive interview with a developer who’s apps are expressly designed to help Mac developers.

Vadim Shpakovski is the creator of CodeBox, the wonderful snippet-storing application for OS X that we liked when we reviewed it last year. He’s also made ResolutionTab, PNG Compressor, and Hunting, all tools aimed at helping developers on the Mac platform, and released a decent amount of open source work at his own site. We thought it would be interesting to talk to Valdim about his work, and he kindly agreed to answer some questions about OS X and what it means to be a designer of top-notch OS X applications.

Here’s the scoop for your weekend reading pleasure!

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There’s Markdown writing apps, and there’s rich text editors. Then there’s Ulysses III, the app that combines the best of both into one of the nicest writing environments on any platform. It looks sharp and works great, and I use it for a good portion of my writing these days — something I never would have considered back in the days of Ulysses 2.

Recently I had the chance to talk to Max Seelemann from The Soulmen team, and was able to arrange an interview with him about his team and their work. Here, for your reading pleasure, is their thoughts on OS X Mavericks, iCloud, building the best apps for each platform, and the story behind how Ulysses III came to be.

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Two years ago, we had the chance to talk with the CatPig Studios team about Radium. They led us behind the scenes at the inspiration behind their popular menubar radio app for the Mac, and why they develop for the Mac in particular.

The world's changed a lot in the meantime, with seemingly countless music streaming services competing to be the only way you listen to music. And yet, the Radium team has pushed on, releasing a brand-new version of Radium this year that's nicer than ever.

We got the chance to interview Kirill Zorin from CatPig Studios again this week, so here's the latest info about their work, and how they're competing in 2013's online music landscape.

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Kyle Kinkade is the man behind Monocle Society, and has worked with other popular development teams such as Tapulous and Monster Costume. He’s responsible for an app called Pomodorable, that brought the Pomodoro Technique to your Mac in an understandable and fun way.

Recently, the app had to be taken down due to branding problems. We had the opportunity to talk with him about what happened, what’s next for the app, and what his thoughts are on the market for productivity apps.
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Macworld has always been a great place to network with your favorite app developers. There were even times when apple attended the conference and announced its own products. Now that those days have come and gone, it’s important to focus on the smaller companies, like Smile Software.

While at Macworld 2013, I spoke with Greg Scown and Jean MacDonald about the company’s history and latest developments. It’s the perfect follow-up to our previous interview with the company.

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We love learning about the work that goes into making the apps we love. We got a chance to talk to Marcelo, the developer behind Should I Sleep, an app that we’d reviewed and ran a giveaway of recently. He provided some insight into their development process, and how they get the ideas for their apps.

Join us after the break to learn more!

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If you’re looking for a great new way to take notes on your Mac, there’s a new app you might want to check into: Noted. Our own Stef Gonzaga recently found it to be a simple but powerful note-taking application in her recent review of Noted. With a touch of Things’ design, bright icons, and Markdown support, it sure looks nice.

There’s so many notes apps, it’s terribly hard to choose between them. That’s why it was interesting to get a chance to talk to Allen, the developer behind Noted. Stay with us after the break to learn more about the inspiration behind Noted and what’s next for the app!

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We’re focusing on apps to help you with writing this month, and software art practice Dark Heartfelt Software makes some of the best. They’ve already had great success with minimalist writing apps Grandview and Launchwrite, which force you to focus on the current word and sentence rather than the entire document. Now they’ve released a new app, Notesdeck, which allows you to edit and consolidate notes across four different cloud services and between your Mac and iOS devices.

We got the chance to interview the man behind Dark Heartfelt, Michael Petruzzo, about his apps and design process. Read on to hear about Notesdeck, software design as art, App Store frustrations, and more.

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It’s always exciting to come across new, upcoming apps that seem exceptionally promising. That’s exactly what Records for Mac is. It’s an upcoming database app for the Mac that aims to make databasing much more accessible to everyone, with a graphical app that lets you quickly add and sync data, and more. That’s quite a lot to pull off, especially since most databasing apps are far from simple to use, so we were eager to learn more.

We were excited to get a chance to interview the Push Popcorn team about their work on Records, and what we can expect from it. Keep reading to hear about their workflow, the Macs and apps they use to build Records, and more.

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