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With the rise of the App Store and a divergent wave of mobile gaming, independent developers are finding it easier to get their ideas out there. It’s still hard to publish a full Xbox 360 or PS3 game because the most popular ones are found on shelves and available in disc format. The PlayStation Store and Xbox Games Store are beginning to change the way titles are distributed by pushing digital delivery methods; new consoles, the PS4 and Xbox One, are helping pave the way for this change with more storage and even some cloud capabilities. Valve’s Steam platform has understood this concept for a long time, and it’s now moving into Apple’s domain with Steam for Mac.

The App Store, though, is still where the indie action is. Since the App Store has made it so much easier for developers to promote their creations, there are some amazing new indie titles making their way to players like you. After a good deal of research, AppStorm wants to share with you the best indie games available right now, along with reasons why they’re worth purchasing. (more…)

Apple’s best known for its devices and the operating systems that make them shine, but it also has quite the variety of professional software that it produces as well. This week saw Apple unveil its brand-new Logic Pro X, which by all accounts is a great upgrade to Apple’s professional music production tool — but Apple makes far more than just that.

Perhaps most commonly seen on Macs and iOS devices is Apple’s consumer media apps — iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand — that used to make up iLife, but since they come free on all Macs anyhow and aren’t really aimed at pro use, those don’t count for this list. But let’s include the iWork apps — Pages, Keynote, and Numbers — which compete head-to-head with Microsoft Office and can definitely stand for a decent amount of professional use. Then, there’s Aperture, which is the best competition for Adobe’s Lightroom, and Final Cut Pro, one of the top professional film editing apps. There’s also the companion apps — Motion, Compressor, and MainStage — that take them further.

I love the iWork apps, and others on our team love Logic Pro, Aperture, and Final Cut Pro. We’d love to know which of these you use in your work!

I’m always a little bit bemused when I see reviews characterizing one app as the absolute best compared to another. I’ve been writing software reviews for a while now, and I’ve been a tech junkie for a significantly longer period of time. I’ve learned that there is rarely such thing as an absolute proof in the software world. In fact, there are usually compelling reasons to use as many apps you can get your hands on.

Photo management and editing software is the perfect example of this. I like Aperture and Lightroom — I recently gave Lightroom 5 a glowing review here at Mac.AppStorm. Professionals are also divided: Many use Aperture, but many others use Lightroom. There is no clear winner, and since the programs are mostly mutually exclusive, I decided to do a ton of workflow comparisons and some sleuthing to see if I could make them work together. (more…)

Do you think you are already set on an app for viewing your pictures? Well, I can almost guarantee that app is slow and full of stuff you don’t need, as most of these are bundled as image viewers, image editors, and social network apps all at once. But what if we were to show you the simplest app for viewing your images without any hassle, just perfect for that occasion when you are trying to show your latest trip pictures to your family? One that, even, aims to be faster and simpler than OS X’s Quick View.

The app we are reviewing today — LilyView, from the team that brought us Unclutter and DaisyDisk — tries to remove any kind of complexity from an image viewer app. It provides a super simple way to view your pictures, and that’s about it. The concept sounds a bit lackluster, but maybe that’s good thing. Let’s see?

We just closed our giveaway — congrats to our winners, Adam and Jeff!

There’s been a ton of great bundles already this summer, but the best one yet just might be StackSocial’s Summer 2013 Mac Bundle. It’s got tons of great apps that we’d recommend any day: Parallels Desktop 8 to run other OSes on your Mac, SnagIt to capture and tweak screenshots like a pro, Typinator to keep you from wearing out your keyboard and fingers typing too much, Boom to make your MacBook’s speakers loud enough to watch a movie with friends, ColorStrokes to make your photos even more special, and more for just $49.99. That’s quite a steal.

If you’ve been wanting those apps, we’ve got the perfect chance for you, since we’ve got two copies of the full bundle to giveaway to our readers. And, even if you go ahead and buy a copy of the bundle today (or already bought a copy), you’ll get your full purchase refunded if you win. How’s that for an awesome giveaway?

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All you’ll need to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment below and let us know what app you want most out of this bundle. Then, share the link to the giveaway on your favorite social network and leave another comment with a link to your post for an extra entry.

Hurry and get your entry in; we’re closing our giveaway on Saturday, July 20th!

Envato staff or those who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm are ineligible to enter.

If you've been looking for the best way to quickly edit photos and turn them into artwork for free on your Mac, look no further. Fotor, our sponsor this week, is an amazing photo editor that's 100% free, and you've got to try it out.

Fotor brings the best of photo editing basics — along with filters and enhancements that’d rival Instagram — to your Mac for free. You’ll find tools to adjust the color in your photos, crop them to the size you want, tweak brightness and contrast, auto-enhance your photos with a variety of default settings, and more. If you want to make your photos more artistic, Fotor lets you add effects, borders, and customizable tilt-shift effects to your photos. When you’re done, you can quickly share your photos to Flickr and more directly from Fotor.

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That's not all. Fotor can also turn your photos into digital collages with 80 included templates or the photo shapes of your own choice. You can tweak the background, photo corners, shadows, and more to make the collage look just like you want. Then, with Fotor's next update, you'll be able to add text to your images and collages, edit EXIF data, and more.

Get Your Free Copy of Fotor Today!

Best of all, Fotor works wherever you do — on your Mac, but also on your iOS devices, Windows PCs, and Android. It even has an online version at where you can edit photos, make photo collages, and even make eCards directly from your browser on any computer. There's no reason not to try Fotor out.

So go download Fotor for free on your Mac this week, and let us know what you're using it for. It's a surprisingly great free photo editor, one we gave a 10/10 in our recent review.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

Back at the end of June, I received a press release from Toronto-based developers Marketcircle, the team behind the acclaimed Mac business app Daylite (which I recently reviewed right here on Mac.AppStorm), stating that Billings would be discontinued and that Billings Pro would be offered in its place. It took me a while (and a couple of reads through the e-mail) to actually process what was going on and, more importantly, what it would mean for me seeing as I was a keen Billings user.

For those of you who don’t know, Billings is a great time-tracking and invoicing application aimed towards freelancers. Not only can you keep track of all your clients (and bill them for your services) but you’ve also got access to some pretty powerful reporting tools (these are especially useful when it comes to filling out your tax return) and the app will also keep track of all your unpaid invoices, reminding you when any are overdue.


Need to convert videos and audio to different formats often? The latest version of MacX Video Converter Pro just might be what you need — and it’s for free until July 25th. MacX Video Converter Pro lets you convert video in over 320 formats to the exact format you need, so your videos will look perfect on any device. Plus, it can record your screen or your FaceTime camera, giving you an easy way to make a screencast. The latest version is faster than ever, so you won’t have to worry about your videos taking too long to convert.

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All you’ll need to to get your free copy is head over to the MacX Video Converter site, download a copy, and activate it with the following key before July 25th:


If you happen to have a Windows PC, you can get a copy of it from their Windows site as well. And enjoy!

This time, the giveaway’s open to anyone — Envato staff, writers, Mr. Scrooge, and anyone else who needs to convert videos!

Last month we took a look at The Walking Dead, a post-apocalyptic adventure game that offered up an enticing narrative worthy of the full 10/10 score that we awarded it. Now, developer Telltale Games has released 400 Days, a DLC installment that brings a new story to The Walking Dead universe while we wait for a full-on second season release.

The Walking Dead: 400 Days is canon to the storyline of the first season of The Walking Dead but, aside from the odd cameo and reference, it is an independent experience, presenting the tales of a new group of survivors. Make sure you’ve checked out our first season review, then join us for a look at 400 Days. (more…)

The Mac App Store has become the default place to find and install apps on your Mac, and for the most part it's been a great boon to OS X. It's made it easier for indie developers to get an app published and noticed, and has made it simpler for new Mac users to find the great Mac apps they've heard about. In OS X Mavericks, it's getting even better, with automatic background update installation and options for subscriptions, say, for an Evernote Pro upgrade.

But for many, that's not enough. The Mac App Store works great for selling the first version of an app, but after that, there's no way to sell an upgrade version without releasing it for free, or releasing it as a new app. That takes away the old upgrade incentive of being able to pay less to upgrade to the new version. There's no way for developers to cross-promote their own apps, either, or offer discounts to students and others as they might have in their own online stores.

So what do you think Apple still needs to change about the Mac App Store? And are you excited about the new automatic app updates and subscription options in Mavericks? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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