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Winners Announced

I’m excited to let you know that we’ve chosen the ten lucky winners! Did you make the cut?

  1. Zhe
  2. Sébastien Lavoie
  3. Stefan
  4. Bryan
  5. Toby Adams
  6. Aeox
  7. Florian L.
  8. Quine
  9. Ewan
  10. Glyn

Congratulations – we’ll be in touch soon with your promo code!

Competition Now Closed

As well as sponsoring the site this week, the lovely developers behind Ensoul have been kind enough to donate ten licenses for our awesome readers.

Ensoul is a great application for creating and preparing beautiful iPhone backgrounds and contact images. It has a stunning interface, a simple workflow, and even handles the process of transferring the images across to your phone (you can read our full review here).

Entering the competition is really easy. All you need to do is leave a comment below, telling us how often you change your iPhone background! Is it every month? Every week? Or every day?

The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick ten winning comments at random on Thursday, 24th March. Best of luck, and I look forward to hearing what you have to say in the comments!

With this week’s release of the iPad 2 (in the USA, at least), I know that many of you will now be sitting at home feeling ever so slightly less satisfied with the original iPad sat on your desk. It’s a strange phenomenon. Your iPad is no less amazing today than it was last week, but it feels that way…

Very few Apple fans can afford to buy each and every new product release, and the feeling of being slightly “out of date” is something that we’ve all come to accept as the norm. This isn’t exactly a bad thing. Let’s face it – a twelve month old iPad is still a long, long way ahead of any other competing device on the market.

But how does Apple’s release cycle operate, and is their approach working?

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Maybe you’ve played guitar for fun since you were a kid, or you start your day by singing in the shower. You may not be a professional musician–in fact, you might not even pass for decent–but you’ve always wanted to play with home recording and see what you can come up with.

The price tags on professional digital audio workstations like Apple’s Logic Pro are prohibitive for the hobbyist, to say the least, but there are plenty of cheap and even free apps for the Mac that can help you realize your secret dream.

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Generally speaking, I usually find the “insurance upsell” to be a total rip-off. Only last week I was offered the chance to insure my new kettle against damage. I mean, really? It’s a kettle…

But when it comes to Apple products, I tend to have a different opinion. I’ve bought AppleCare for two machines in the past, and both times I made the most of the extended warranty with repairs or replacements for various parts.

Although it may look like a solid, magical piece of aluminium, your MacBook is actually a very complicated piece of technology. And things do go wrong! Although AppleCare costs a few hundred extra bucks at the outset, I’ve always found it to be a worthwhile investment.

But do you feel the same way? I’d love to hear your opinion, as this is a topic that doesn’t come up all that often. Are you an AppleCare user, and if so, have you ever actually needed to use it?

I’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to this week’s sponsor, 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. Meet your iPhone’s new beauty advisor!

We were admittedly sceptic the first time we heard of Ensoul. I know my way around Photoshop fairly well, and didn’t think that I’d need such an app; after all, why spend money on something that you can do already with your own tools?

But after trying Ensoul for just a couple of minutes, it became clear to me that this app really is worth the $9.99. It’s incredibly easy to use, removing the need to think about screen resolution, cropping, resizing, or even transferring the images to your phone. It’s a breeze to use.

Add to that the ease with which you can assign photos to your contacts, and Ensoul is the perfect app for those of you who like to personalize your iPhone and enjoy the process thoroughly!

Take a look at Ensoul on the Mac App Store, or check out our in-depth review!

Apple’s Keynote is already renowned for awesome design, thoughtful typography, and generally beautiful templates. For design-savvy presenters, Keynote is always the best route to take for slides that astound and engage your audience.

Today we’ll be taking a look at 10 beautiful examples of Keynote Templates, each with the capacity to make your carefully-crafted presentation stand out from the crowd!

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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 software for managing your font library, explaining a (slightly geeky) process for taking a look at the applications accessing your hard drive, suggesting software for helping with academic research, and helping a reader get to grips with GeekTool.

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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People have mixed opinions about notifications. Is it better to have a subtle popup appear every time an email arrives, or would you prefer to just check it manually?

And what about changing iTunes tracks, Twitter DMs, Dropbox uploads, and everything else that happens in the background. Should you be informed about all these events as well?

The worst case scenario would be that each of these events is handled by different applications, leading to a complex mess of different notification locations, styles, and sounds. Thankfully, we have an application called Growl that does a wonderful job of solving this problem.

Put simply, Growl is a central “notification server” for your Mac. It takes information from all your different applications, and shows relevant notifications in the same consistent way. You may even be running Growl without realising it, as it comes bundled with many popular Mac apps (though they’re not particularly happy about it…)

I’d be interested to hear what you think about notifications. Are you a Growl-lover, or do you prefer to work uninterrupted? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, and vote in our poll above!

I’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to this week’s sponsor, Jumsoft. In particular, their latest release of Keynote Themes. 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.

The whole pack includes 15 themes: from the clear and crisp “Subtle Mind”, to the cold, stylish “Glossy Metal” and the richly-textured “Nostalgia”. Each theme includes 50 master slides – a mix of bullet, text, and photo-oriented layouts – plenty of versatility for any presentation.

If you’d like to find out more, be sure to visit the official Keynote Themes site, and take a look at what’s on offer. The full collection of 15 themes is available to buy now for $79. Definitely worth considering if you’re a regular Keynote user!

It used to be that the world of games on the Mac was an open wasteland, populated by software that was more appropriate for children than for console-loving adults. But now, that’s not really the case. Yes, sometimes the games take slightly longer to come to market, but they come to the Mac all the same, ready for some hardcore action.

So here we have Bioshock, a very popular game for the PC and consoles that was released several years ago. In fact, it’s even seen a sequel, which isn’t yet available for the Mac.

So is this game worth the $40 price tag? To find out, I downloaded the demo and gave it a shot. The results are after the jump.

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