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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!


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!


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!

Thanks to Our Weekly Sponsor: Jumsoft

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.


In the mobile, digital world in which we live, it is more important than ever to have your data, calendar appointments, contacts, notes, and to do lists up-to-date, no matter where you are or what device you are using.

In a perfect world (for me, anyway), all of the software I use would stay synced with MobileMe (and MobileMe would be free!). Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and different software developers provide different services and methods for keeping the desktop and mobile versions of their apps in sync.

So what are the options, and which one is best?


Winners Announced!

First of all, thank you so much to everyone that took the time to share their thoughts and suggestions about the site. It’s amazing to hear your feedback, and we’ll certainly be taking it on board.

I’m excited to let you know that we’ve gone through and chosen the competition winners! Congratulation are in order to the following ten commenters:

  1. Barry
  2. Robert Hoppe
  3. Steven Griffiths
  4. Antonija
  5. Dario
  6. Ryan Quintal
  7. Josh H.
  8. Thomas Furlonger
  9. T24G
  10. Thomas Wylie

We’ll be in touch soon with your license codes!

Competition Now Closed

I’m excited to let you know about an awesome competition kicking off today, with ten licenses of Tagalicious up for grabs! We reviewed this app last week, and it’s a fantastic way to clean up your music library and ensure all your tracks are correctly tagged.

Tagalicious automatically finds the right information and tags for songs in your music collection, and the information Tagalicious finds for your songs is seamlessly updated in iTunes.

Not only does the app add tags, but also album art and song lyrics. In no time at all, your music collection looks richer everywhere, from Cover Flow in iTunes to the Now Playing screen on your iPhone.

Entering the competition is really easy. All you need to do is leave a comment below, telling us one thing that you’d like to see change on Mac.AppStorm. I’d love to read a little bit of feedback about how we could make the site better for you!

The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick ten winning comments at random on Thursday, 10th March. Best of luck, and I look forward to reading your suggestions in the comments.

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.

We still have a few Weekly Sponsorship positions available in March, so act fast to get your slot booked in now!

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!

  • Smaller – Smaller is a graphical user interface for YUI Compressor on the Mac. It helps you batch minify CSS and JavaScript files, and is the perfect tool for web designers and developers.
  • PDFpen – If you regularly work with (or need to edit) PDF documents, PDFpen can be an absolute life saver. It has a friendly, easy-to-use interface, with a feature set that rivals that of Acrobat Pro.
  • gNotifier – gNotifier is a multi account, multi service notification application for Google Apps and Gmail. Priced at $4.99, it shows notifications for your Google Apps services right on your Desktop.
  • Projector – Projector is designed to keep track of tasks in a project, handle a budget, and plan your time. It provides everything you need for professional project management.

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!

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