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After my flatbed scanner died around a decade ago, I completely gave up with owning one. They were slow, clunky, and something that I only used half a dozen times a year. Besides, everything was going digital, and we’d soon stop receiving paper altogether, right?

Unfortunately, that never seemed to happen. And eight years later I had two filing cabinets and various files full of receipts, invoices, statements, and all manner of other correspondence. I decided that enough was enough, and picked up a ScanScap scanner to digitise all those documents.

Coupled with DevonThink Pro Office, everything has OCR performed on it (Evernote works just as well), and I’m now filing cabinet free! Scanning once again feels like a state of the art process to be doing, with a modern combination of hardware and software.

But is this something you do? I’m not sure whether a scanner is considered a necessary computer accessory any longer… Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

So the 2011 WWDC keynote finished a mere hour or two ago, and there’s a great deal to talk about! Not least the launch of the wonderfully exciting, dare I say revolutionary, iCloud.

Do you spend precious time keeping all your devices in check? Synchronising calendars, contacts, apps, and documents, or simply backing up your invaluable photos, videos, and music?

Not anymore.

Read on as we delve into the vital information about iCloud, discover the potential it has to transform the way you use your computers!

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In today’s WWDC keynote, Apple shared the usual set of Mac statistics that we now almost take for granted. Notebook and desktop sales are up, the platform continues to outgrow the PC industry as a whole, and everything is going swimmingly. There’s still a major bias toward portable computers – 73% of Macs sold are notebooks.

One of the headline stories centred around what to expect in their next operating system — OS X Lion — due for release in July 2011. Not only did Apple announce that this will be a download-only release through the Mac App Store, but it’s also their lowest priced operating system to date, costing $29.99.

Let’s take a look at what you can expect from the big cat!

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Many people have bandwidth limits with their ISPs, and with the amount of tempting content on the web these days, it can be hard to stick within these limits. Enter this week’s sponsor — Rubbernet — a new app from Conceited Software which tracks what apps are accessing your network connection, and how much bandwidth they are using.

Not only is this useful for monitoring bandwidth usage, but it can be used to detect any software which might be secretly sending out personal data of yours. Rubbernet is a remarkably useful application, and sports a very pretty interface.

If you have a cap on your bandwidth – or regularly use mobile internet/tethering – this is a fantastic way to keep an eye on what’s going on. I’d definitely recommend giving it a try, and downloading the free trial that’s available from the Rubbernet website.

If you’re already a fan, let us know in the comments!

With Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) coming up on June 6th, forums and message boards across the internet are filling up with speculation about what is going to be announced. Apple are inviting us to “join us for a preview of the future of iOS and Mac OS X” and it’s set to be the most popular WWDC yet.

The event was sold out within 12 hours, faster than any other WWDC and tickets for the event were reportedly being sold on sites such as eBay and Craigslist for as high as $4,599, nearly triple the face value of $1,599. This popularity can only mean two things: Apple is planning to release a major new version of Mac OS X and, possibly, a new version of iOS, the sister version of OS X designed for the popular iPhone and iPad.

The new version of Mac OS X, Lion, is set to be a major overhaul of Apple’s default operating system and was announced in October 2010 in a keynote entitled, quite fittingly, “Back to the Mac”.

The last major rework of Mac OS X was seen back in 2007 with the release of Leopard (Snow Leopard, released in August 2009, simply optimized certain areas of the OS), so the OS was in need of some modernization to keep it competitive. Three previews of the new operating system have already been released to developers via private previews and some new features have already been noticed however, in true Apple-style, they will surely save the best bits for the official announcement.

Let’s take a look at what we can expect from Steve Jobs’s keynote on the latest version of Mac OS X.

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Thanks to the Mac.AppStorm Weekly Sponsors

We’d like to say a big thank you to this month’s Mac.AppStorm sponsors, and the great software they create! If you’re interested in advertising, you can purchase a banner advertisement through BuySellAds, or sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot.

Thank you to the fantastic applications we had sponsoring each week during the month, all of which we personally recommend you download and try out!

  • Forklift – Now in a seasoned version 2 release, Forklift offers everything you could need from an FTP client. It’s capable of connecting to more or less any type of server imaginable, can split/combine large files, synchronise browsing, and remotely edit files – all with full keyboard control.
  • TextExpander Touch – TextExpander touch replicate the text-expanding magic on your iPhone or iPod touch, and it does so very well! You can store snippets, then quickly retrieve them to send to Mail and Twitter clients, or use them in any other app via copy-and-paste.
  • SoftFacade – SoftFacade specialize in designing user interfaces for mobile apps, websites and the media – and their work is absolutely fantastic.
  • Smoke – Not your usual graphics editor, Smoke is all about creating unique graphical effects. It offers a unique type of brush that renders stunning graphics with the simplest mouse movements.
  • Radium – Radium allows you to listen to thousands of radio stations from around the world, right from your OS X menu bar. It’s simple, functional, and an absolutely fantastic way to listen to the radio on your Mac.

Finally, thanks to you for reading AppStorm this month, and for checking out the software that our sponsors create. I really appreciate it – you make the site what it is!

Graphic designers need to consider a number of crucial design elements when creating work – layout, colour, dimensions, typography – you name it, a designer will have to incorporate it into their designs. Although Photoshop can handle most of a designer’s needs, there are many parts of a design which you’ll need other software for.

Art Director’s Toolkit from Code Line tries to fulfill all of a designer’s needs. It has tools for layout, colour, dimensions, typography – a total of 11 tools.

In this review, we’ll discover if it’s a designer’s perfect companion, of whether they’ve made several good tools rather than one great one.

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Great news, we’ve randomly selected our ten winners! Here’s a quick list of the commenters (based on the names they gave) that will be receiving a copy of SideFolders for Mac. If you won, you’ll be receiving an email shortly with more information.

  • Eddie
  • Jeannie
  • Tio Istivi
  • iMac
  • Hok
  • Tomas
  • Kevin
  • duckzila
  • Robert Sarudy
  • Mike Diaz

A huge thanks to everyone who entered! Stay tuned for more great giveaways and awesome coverage of all things Mac!

Original Post

I’m pleased to let you know that we’re kicking off a competition to win ten copies of SideFolders. This app aims to give you quick and easy access to your recent, and regularly used, files and folders through a useful sidebar panel that appears on your desktop. We recently reviewed the app, and this might be a good place to start if you’d like to find out more.

Entering the competition is really simple – all you need to do is leave a comment on the post. That’s it! Let us know why you’d like to win, tell us a funny story, or just have a short rant about your complex sidebar needs…

The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick ten winning comments at random on Wednesday 8th June. Best of luck, and be sure to check out SideFolders in the meantime and download a trial copy!

WWDC 2011 is just around the corner, and both developers and users have high expectations. This is the annual conference for Apple developers and, since they no longer exhibit at Macworld, is the one “official” platform that Apple uses each year for announcing software and hardware upgrades.

Although Apple has strongly implied that we won’t see any updated iPhone hardware, it’s difficult to be completely sure of what to expect.

It’s likely that the two main areas of focus will be iOS 5, and OS X Lion – two major software updates that Apple will be releasing this year. Both of these hold lots of promise, and we’re still not sure of the exact features that either will offer.

Although Lion has been available as a developer beta for a while, it’s not unheard of for Apple to announce extra features and functionality nearer the launch date.

Speculation surrounding “iCloud” is also rife, with some people hoping for a cloud music service (this seems likely), and others wanting an official Apple file-synchronisation system akin to Dropbox. We’ll have to wait and see!

I’d be interested to know which of these you are particularly looking forward to, and what you’ll be hoping to see announced. Of course, another big question is whether we’ll see Steve Jobs presenting. I certainly hope so.

Thanks to Our Weekly Sponsor: Radium

Our sponsor this week is Radium, a lightweight internet radio player with a wonderfully retro icon! Radium allows you to listen to thousands of radio stations from around the world, right from your OS X menu bar. It’s simple, functional, and an absolutely fantastic way to listen to the radio on your Mac.

In our recent review, we gave Radium a lofty 9/10 rating. For such a simple and understated application, it packs a real functionality punch.

If you like this app as much as we do, you might want to check out the brand new Radium Store with a big collection of fantastic Radium t-shirts! These are super-cool, in a range of different colours and sizes.

Be sure to spend a few minutes giving Radium a try today – you’ll be glad you did!

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