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Whatever profession you’re in, there’s a strong chance that as a Mac.AppStorm reader you occasionally need to delve into a FTP client. Whether that’s to transfer a file to someone, update your website, or access a service such as Amazon S3 – there are a multitude of reasons why an FTP app might come in handy.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Transmit 4. It’s a beautiful app with a very thorough feature set – two selling points that make it hard to ignore. In fact, it was one of the apps that originally made me want to switch across to the Mac (along with everything else designed by Panic at the time…)

There are plenty of other contenders, though – Forklift, Interarchy, and YummyFTP to name a few!

These all have their own unique selling points and features – you’d be amazed at how much scope there is for individuality in such a theoretically mundane niche of software. From disks that mount on your desktop to Automator support and “Droplets” – software can actually make FTP fun!

I’d be interested to hear which application you use – feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Which FTP app do you use, how often do you need to open it, and why?

This week’s wonderful AppStorm sponsor is a new Mac application called Hearts Cards. For the past decade or so, the card game “Hearts” has been a staple time sink for Windows user, but there hasn’t been a great equivalent for the Mac.

With the recent opening of the Mac App Store there have been several attempts to bring this classic card game to Mac users, but many of these have been somewhat half-hearted (if you’ll excuse the pun).

This is one of the first solid Hearts games on the Mac App Store, and it’s great fun to play. You can check out a video demonstration at the developer site, and submit your requests and feedback for future versions.

If you’d just like to give the app a try (it’s only $4.99, after all), you can head straight to the Mac App Store and take a look!

Old Competition Post

Most Mac users will find a need for an FTP client from time to time, and there are plenty to choose from. Forklift is undoubtedly one of our favourites and the latest incarnation in version 2 brings a fantastic range of new functionality.

Forklift will connect to any server you can throw at it (FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, S3, iDisk, SMB, AFP and NIS), can synchronise browsing between local and remote folders, split/combine files, mount remote volumes as a local drive, and much more. Usually priced at $29.95, we’re giving three readers the chance to grab their own copy completely free!

All you need to do is leave a comment below, letting us know how you use your current FTP app. Is it to manage your website? Backup files to Amazon S3? Or to connect to other computers on your network?

The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick three winning comments at random on Wednesday, 20th April. Best of luck, and happy FTPing!

Winners Announced!

Congratulations to the following three winners, who will shortly be receiving their Forklift license!

  1. Laurence Wilks
  2. Geoffrey Schumann
  3. Robert in SF

It’s not often that you see customers queueing for a new product release. With the exception of the occasional video game or smash-hit novel, Apple are fairly unique in their ability to encourage masses of tech geeks to congregate outside their stores a few times each year.

I’m far from immune. Over the past few years I’ve queued for an operating system, a couple of iPhones and, most recently, the iPad 2 (which garnered the biggest line I’ve ever seen).

Although the general media relish the opportunity to ridicule these events as being attended by gadget-obessed Apple “fanboys”, this isn’t always the reality.

I met a huge range of people queuing for the iPad 2 – from kids just finishing the school day, to a handful of 70+ year olds. Some people were disgruntled at the notion of having to queue to get their hands on Apple’s latest gadget, but many people enjoyed the experience. It’s a fun, social atmosphere and a good chance to chat with like-minded tech enthusiasts.

I’d be interested to know how many of you have stood in line to get your hands on a new Apple gadget. Is this something that I’m unique in enjoying, or would you agree that it can be a fun experience? Share your thoughts in the comments!

I’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to this week’s sponsor, Jumsoft. In particular, we’d like to highlight a fantastic offer they’re running at the moment on two of their Pages products: the Inspiration Set, and Clipart.

Both of these are currently on offer over at the Mac App Store for the reduced price of $9.99. This is a great deal for a large collection of Pages add-ons, which can really boost what the application has to offer.

The Pages Clipart package contains a total of 1,200 polished clipart pieces to help you compose even more thrilling text documents. This isn’t your average, boring Microsoft Word clipart – the high quality of design fits what you’d expect in graphics built for an Apple app.

The Inspiration Set includes 150 Pages templates: 100 from the previous version and 50 brand-new additions that have only been released in the past few weeks.

Check out the offer on either Clipart or Inspiration Set, and make the most of this reduced price before it ends on Friday 15th April!

First things first – I’m not a “hardcore” gamer. In fact, some of the few games I play are Flight Control, Plants vs Zombies and racing games like the Need for Speed series. I was asked to review Asphalt 6: Adrenaline newly available on the Mac App Store and was interested to hear that it was a ported game from the iOS platform, which I why I was eager to take a look at it.

Now we’re all familiar with the “Back to the Mac” ideology where developers bring back elements of the iOS platform into Mac applications. One of the best examples is Reeder and Day One. How well would this work with a game though? Would the UI stay the same or would it be just the major game elements that would match?

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Ever since Apple’s initial foray into touch screen technology with the iPhone, people have wondered whether touch based input would make the transition to the Mac desktop. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have an iMac that you could reach out and touch, swiping between applications and interacting with your media?

Well, maybe. Consumers are divided on whether or not this would be a good thing and, despite many other computer manufacturers including this technology in their machines, Apple has taken a fairly out-spoken stance against it. It’s now almost four years since the release of the first iPhone and we’re yet to see any sign of touch screen input making its way to the Mac.

But will this always be the case? And – even if Apple does decide to start shipping new-fangled touch screen Macs – would it be something we’d really use?

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Let me be frank. Full, up-front disclosure: I’m not a graphic designer or a photographer. I know very little–all things considered–about light, exposure, hue, saturation and filters and all of those other things that prolific users of Photoshop concern themselves with.

What’s interesting is that it ended up seeming as though it were these precise qualities (or lack there of) that made my reviewing Imagerie rather fitting. App4Mac set out design an image editor for every day use–for people without the expertise needed for professional grade image editing software. For people like me.

But is Imagerie the tool for the lay-persons image editing needs?

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We’re taking a step away from the usual weekly competition today to bring you something a little more exclusive! This week only, Mac.AppStorm readers can get a copy of Wallpaper Wizard completely free (usually $6.99).

This is an application we’ve covered a few times in the past, and our review is a great place to start if you’d like to find out more. The bottom line is that Wallpaper Wizard gives you a great solution for finding and applying thousands of fantastic wallpapers for your Mac desktop.

Read on to find out how you can grab your own free copy of the full version!

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Launching applications is a functional, necessary action that you take every day. Rather than being an exciting process, when it comes to opening an app, the less friction and interaction required the better.

For a long time, Mac users have favoured a dedicated application launcher for doing just this. Although you can store plenty of handy application shortcuts in your Dock, it soon becomes cluttered and difficult to navigate (and it requires the use of your mouse).

For speedy application launching, few options are better than a piece of software such as Quicksilver, LaunchBar or Alfred. For the purists among you, OS X’s built-in search tool – Spotlight – is perfectly adept at this. Just invoke it using Cmd-Space and type the name of the application you’d like to start!

But which do you prefer to use on a daily basis? Or are you perfectly happy with the OS X Dock? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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