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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.

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!

  • Jumsoft – This is a fantastic selection of fifteen beautifully hand crafted themes for Apple’s Keynote, designed to make your presentations stand out from the crowd.
  • Ensoul – With this nifty Mac app, you can create beautiful iPhone backgrounds and contact images with just a few clicks, work in a gorgeous interface, and transfer everything to your iPhone easily.
  • Twitterrific – I absolutely love every application that the Iconfactory produce, and this Twitter client is no exception. It’s thoughtfully designed, beautiful to look at, and a pleasure to use.
  • Pixelmator – One of my all-time favourite apps, this is a fantastic alternative to the increasingly-bloated Photoshop for all manner of graphic editing work.

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!

I’d like to say a big thank you to this week’s sponsor, Flux. Billed as an advanced HTML5 Web design application, Flux is capable of creating stunning sites from scratch. Far from being a simple template based solution, it’s a creative design environment.

Flux can edit existing sites, or create brand new ones using HTML and CSS. You can even drag and drop in pre-designed objects like photo galleries and navigations menus.

Whether you’re wanting to create your first website, or you’re a seasoned pro, Flux is definitely worth giving a try! It’s always good to try out a range of design and development tools, and I’d certainly recommend experimenting with Flux today.

It’s priced at $119.99 on the Mac App Store, and you can download a fully-functional trial from The Escapers website to decide whether its for you.

I remember when I started playing guitar how useful a piece of software became to my learning. It was called Guitar Pro and it allowed you to download any sort of guitar tab to manipulate it and use it to learn the song. It had an amazing community behind it, and you could find a remarkable number of songs to download.

I’m not sure what happened to that app, as I haven’t heard much from the developers lately and I stopped using it quite a few years ago (it became too complicated and annoying to use).

The other day, as I was browsing for apps like Guitar Pro, I found an amazing piece of software on the App Store called Capo. It is much different than Guitar Pro – and it might even be better.

Want to find out why? Keep reading!

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It’s time for another “Ask the Editor” post today. A big thank you to everyone who sent in their questions – it’s great to have the chance to help you out with your Mac-related queries and quibbles.

Today I’ll be offering some advice about ripping dual-layer DVDs, whether it’s worth upgrading to Snow Leopard with the imminent release of Lion around the corner, and suggesting a few utilities for “window snapping” tools.

Read on for plenty of handy Mac knowledge, and I hope you’ll find most of it useful for your own situation as well!

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Winners Announced

Thanks to everyone who took part in the giveaway this week! I’m excited to let you know that the winners have been chosen, and congratulations are in order to:

  1. Lissa O
  2. Adam Cloninger
  3. Miklos
  4. Brad Bolman
  5. Touchfreak

Well done to the lucky winners, and we’ll be in touch soon with your license code!

Old Competition Post

To celebrate the release of Watts on the Mac App Store, I’m excited to let you know that we have five promo codes to give away today!

Watts is a simple menubar utility that regularly walks you through the process of calibrating your MacBook battery. This is something you should do from time to time, to ensure that you gain the maximum life from the notebook battery. We’ve reviewed Watts in the past, and found it to be a really helpful utility for assisting with keeping your battery in tip-top shape.

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 terrible laptop battery life.

The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick five winning comments at random on Wednesday 6th April. Best of luck, and be sure to check out Watts in the meantime and download a trial copy!

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