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SSDs are amazing. They’re so fast, once you’re using to using one in your day-to-day work, switching back to working from a traditional hard drive is painful. You’ll get so used to apps opening nearly instantly that everything will feel slow. It’s no wonder Apple’s switched its most popular laptops – the MacBook Air and the new MacBook Pro Retina Display – to SSD.

There’s only one problem: SSDs cost more per gigabyte than traditional hard drives, so instead of the roomy 500Gb hard drives you might be used to in other computers, a MacBook with an SSD will likely only have 128-256Gb of storage. With HD video downloads and retina display ready apps, it’s rather easy to fill that up.

If you’ve got a 13″ Air or a Retina Display MacBook, though, you’ve got an SD card slot. Now what if that could be used to add extra storage that felt integrated fully with your Mac? That’s exactly what the Nifty MiniDrive – a tiny microSD card adaptor that sits flush with the exterior of your MacBook – sets out to do.

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Our sponsorship is now closed, and congrats to our winners: Eric, Ozan, Mohamed, Blake, and Costee!

Our recent sponsor Live Wallpaper is a great way to make your Mac a nicer place to work. It comes with dozens of beautiful themes that can make your Mac even more beautiful than it already is, and it can keep you up-to-date on the weather and more without having to switch over to Dashboard.

At $0.99, Live Wallpaper is a rather cheap addition to your Mac, but if you’re really pinching pennies, we’ve got something you might like: 5 copies of Live Wallpaper for our readers! Want to win one? Here’s what you need to do: take a screenshot of your desktop (just tap CMD+Shift+3), then upload the picture (CloudApp and Droplr are great tools for this) and share a link of it in the comments below. Then, share the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or App.net, and add a new comment here with a link to your post for an extra entry in the giveaway.

We’ll close the giveaway on March 6th, so hurry and get your entry in!

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

Last year, Adobe launched their Creative Cloud subscription service along with the newly released Creative Suite 6. Creative Cloud lets you download every one of the full apps from Creative Suite Master Collection to your Mac or PC, and share creative files online for $49/month. That’s still pricey over time, but a huge savings over the initial cost of buying Creative Suite Master Collection outright for $2,599.

If you already have a copy of Creative Suite, though, upgrading to the latest version often still works out cheaper if you have a smaller edition. I had Creative Suite 5.5 Design Standard, and upgraded to CS6 Design Standard for far less than a Creative Cloud subscription would have cost me. Another option is buying a one-app version of Creative Cloud, which is one way, say, to get Photoshop for $19/month.

Creative Cloud apps get updates more often than their traditional Creative Suite counterparts, so Photoshop users especially already have new features over those of use with Creative Suite. It’s one of the many ways Adobe is trying to push us all over to the subscription side.

About 15% of you said you plan to get Creative Cloud in our poll last year, and more said you’d consider it. That’s why we’re wondering how many of you actually use Creative Cloud. Has it worked out good for you, or are traditional upgrades still your preferred way of getting Adobe apps?

Mac gamers always get shortchanged when it comes to big releases. We typically get blockbuster titles after everyone else, while the smaller commercial games rarely make it over at all. That’s been changing over the past few years, thanks to the impact of Steam, the Mac App Store, iOS converts, and cross-platform support from indies. But we still end up late to the party more often than not.

Here’s over a dozen recently-released (i.e., since 2011) Mac games that took so long to reach our fairer platform that the party’s already packed up and ended for Windows and console gamers. Don’t be fooled by their age, though — as the cream of the crop from the last decade in PC gaming, they’re more than worth your attention.

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Is your Mac running slow? Are your applications crashing? Are you running out of space on your Desktop? Get your Mac back in shape with an incredibly fast disk utility that will optimize and clean your hard drive, speed up Apple Mail, free memory, organize your Desktop, and more. That utility is MacOptimizer, our sponsor this week, which its developer describes as a “must have app for every home and business”.

MacOptimizer can clear your system of temporary files, unnecessary language files, and the extra files on your desktop: everything that’s eating up the precious space on your SSD. It can also optimize and repair your Mac so your OS and applications run faster, and run system maintenance tasks to keep your Mac running smoothly. Best of all, it gives you easy access to hidden OS X settings and other useful tweaks that make it easier to work on your Mac.

We found it to be a solid app that did what it said it would without causing problems in our recent review, and you’ll likely find your favorite use for it once you give it a try. It’s a polished way to get your Mac working the way you want.

Go Get It!

Ready to give MacOptimizer a try? It usually costs $29, but this week is on sale for just $19 for this sponsorship. It’s a great chance to grab a copy of MacOptimizer to keep your Mac fit and tweak it to work just the way you want.

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

It’s not every day a good game comes to the Mac. In fact, there aren’t many who consider the platform to be one for games. Thanks to the Mac App Store, some quality titles are slowly making their way to Apple’s computers. One consistent publisher has been LEGO with its editions of popular fiction — Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, etc. This week LEGO released yet another beautifully-built game, this time for fans of The Lord of the Rings. But the game releases for the week don’t end there. Let’s take a quick look at the top two games that just arrived on the Mac App Store. (more…)

News started on paper, then it went to the television, and now we have digital print. People still read the daily local newspaper and some even request a print edition of The New York Times or Wall Street Journal. It seems to be only a matter of time until print newspapers are completely discontinued. When it is, we’ll all be reading digital articles. So you may as well start finding a nice RSS reader, because it gets awfully tiring visiting all your favorite publications when you wake up.

I was looking around in the news section of the Mac App Store the other day and stumbled upon Leaf, a straightforward approach to news reading. After a bit of usage, I’ve gathered my thoughts on the app.

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We’ve just closed our giveaway, and our lucky winners are Joel, Richard, Marc, Paul, and Noah!

If you read Mac.AppStorm yesterday, you likely saw Pedro’s review of Tadam, a new minimal tool staying productive with the Pomodoro method. It’s a simple little menubar app that helps you time your work and breaks, elegantly.

Tadam is a rather cheap utility, at just $3.99, but we’ve got something better: 5 free copies of Tadam to giveaway to our readers. Just enter a comment below and let us know what other Pomodoro method apps, if any, that you’ve used before. You can also share the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or App.net, and share the link to your post in a new comment for an extra entry.

Hurry and get your entry in; we’ll close the giveaway a week from now on Wednesday, February 27th.

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

If you’ve ever wanted a more advanced to-do list app for your Mac, you’re bound to have tried OmniFocus or Things – or both. They’re the two most popular – or at least most talked about – task management apps on the Mac, with a somewhat similar feature set and seemingly equally fanatical fans.

OmniFocus 1 first came out in early 2008, while Things 1 came out in early 2009. Each have received a number of updates over time, and Things just released their second full version last year. OmniFocus 2, on the other hand, is one of the apps we’re anticipating most in 2013.

Both apps sync online, are designed to work with the GTD method, let you schedule tasks and organize things, though in their own manner. They’re really both great apps, though Things shines a bit more right now in the design and ease-of-use department, and OmniFocus is definitely the more geeky and “hackable” of the two.

So, which is your favorite of the two? Or have you foregone both Things and OmniFocus, and spent your GTD dollars on other apps?

For the record, I’m an OmniFocus guy, and can’t wait to get started using OmniFocus 2 ;)

Looking for a way to make your Mac’s background a bit more exciting? Then you should give Live Wallpaper, our sponsor this week, a try. It’s been the #2 paid app in the US Mac App Store, and is still the #9 top paid app today, months after getting released.

Live Wallpaper lets your Mac showcase more than just a pretty picture. It lets you see the date, time, weather, and custom text, integrated into a beautiful picture or animated background. It’ll work on multiple monitors, too, giving you a great way to take advantage of your extra screen real estate. Even if you use full-screen apps or spaces on OS X, Live Wallpaper will work just the way you’d expect – like your default OS X wallpaper.

Live Wallpaper includes over 20 themes, with more being released all the time. You can fully customize the themes in Edit mode, changing the background and moving around the time and other objects in the theme. Or, you can download custom themes and talk to other users on the Live Wallpaper forum.

Go Get It!

If you’ve been wanting a simple way to liven up your Mac’s desktop, and make it a bit more useful at the same time, then be sure to try out Live Wallpaper. It’s just $0.99 in the App Store, plenty cheap enough to try out and see if it’s what you need to keep your Mac’s desktop from growing too boring. Plus, it just might be enough to keep you from ever having to switch over to Dashboard again.

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