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‘Tis the season to drive around town buying presents, travel hours to see relatives, to try to keep from being the Grimp while muttering Bah, humbug! under your breath. In all seriousness, the holidays are a great time to relax, stay away from email and your desk, and focus on spending time with your family.

If you’re like most of us, your Mac is the machine you use to get work done, and you’d be just as glad to get rid of it for a few days while you unwind. But then, your Mac can be a nice companion on trips and during holiday parties, giving you an easy way to play festive music, throw pictures together into a movie, and more. iOS devices are great for that too, but sometimes its nice to have a full computer at your disposal.

That’s why we’re wondering: when you travel for the holidays, does your Mac come along too? Or are you just as glad to leave it at home and get a few rare days that you’re not in front of the computer? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Our sponsor this week is Pixelmator, the beautifully designed, easy-to-use, fast, and powerful image editing app for the Mac. It keeps getting better, with new updates that added soft proofing, new effects and an effects browser, alignment guides, iCloud support, and more!

Best of all, the latest updated added CMYK support to Pixelmator, so you can now work in CMYK colors and print your pictures while making sure they’ll look the same on everything: your computer, your mobile devices, and in print. It even now has advanced PSD support so you’ll be able to work even better with Photoshop files.

That’s in addition to the great editing features that users already love in Pixelmator. With advanced layer support, drawing and retouching tools, file versions, web export features, and more, there’s something for everyone to love. Best of all, it’s built on the best OS X technology, letting it take advantage of your GPU to speed up your work and helping you work faster with Automator integration.

Go Get It!

If you’re ready to get started editing photos and creating beautiful digital art on your Mac in an app that’s designed to make the most of OS X, head over to the App Store and pick up a copy of Pixelmator! Pixelmator usually costs $59, but it’s on sell for the Holidays for just $14.99 right now. You can even download a free trial from their site to try out all of Pixelmator’s features for free for 30 days.

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

It’s been a busy one this week with app updates and the launch of Apple’s Best of 2012 for the best Mac applications in the store so read on for our full weekly news roundup!


There are tons of reasons you might need to make a photo collage. Maybe it’s for a work project, a presentation at school or you simply want a good way to cherish some special photos. You can always choose to print out the photos and glue them to a surface, but that’s so old-fashioned (and who even has a glue stick anymore?) If you’re looking for a digital alternative to sticky fingers and glue smudges, Choco is a newer collage making program that is perfect for a variety of uses.

In Choco you have a lot of options to choose from. You can take the easy way, importing your photos automatically into one of the more than 100 existing templates. You can work a bit more, adding images yourself and editing the basic template. For the most ambitious among us, you can even choose to make your own collage, entirely from scratch. I took Choco for a test-drive, so stick with me after the jump to learn more about the program and what kind of collages I was able to produce.


Good evening, folks. It’s Thursday, the 13th of December, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey‘s release is just one day away. (Unless you have the luxury of a 10 p.m. or midnight showing near you.) I’ve been listening to the soundtrack, and in fact it’s been with me during the composition of this entire deals article. So, if you see some old-English, remember why it’s there. Now, on to the deals of post boxes, healing things with a snap, and so many languages, evening an translator can’t help you. Don’t worry though, Elvish is not among them. Let’s be off! (more…)

Looking for a new indie game to try out? Released this September, Subset Games’ FTL: Faster Than Light is an indie spaceship simulator/RPG that has garnered a lot of praise among the indie game community. FTL’s fresh take on old strategy games is finishing out the year at the top of several Best Of lists. Does the gameplay stand up to the hype? (more…)

We’ve collected the top four reviews, roundups and how-to articles from across the AppStorm network in November. Whether you’re interested in Mac, iPhone, Web, Android, Windows, or iPad apps, there’s bound to be something you didn’t spot over the course of the month. Now would be a good time to explore a part of the AppStorm Network you’ve never seen before!

Thanks for reading AppStorm, and I hope you enjoy looking over some of our favourite posts from last month!


Editing pictures can be such a hassle, especially if you rely on a professional image editing app. While applications like Photoshop are great, they can be overkill when I just want to share my weekend photos from the beach. Still, I want those pictures to look good, or better than they do now, so I need an image editor that’s just enough for social sharing.

Polarfox may be that app. With some great presets and fun filters, image editing is easy while still making some great pictures. Integrated sharing lets me put all those pictures on display, too. But is this tiny image editor enough or will I end up wanting more? (more…)

Last year, one of the newest features Apple announced for the iOS and iPhoto was Photo Stream, a simple way to get the pictures you take on the go on your Mac. If you have an iPhone and take pictures all the time, but want to keep them on your Mac, it’s a great service … provided you don’t take more than 1000 pictures before syncing with your Mac.

It’s an interesting way to keep your pictures synced along with the rest of your files with iCloud, but most of us have many different ways we sync data already. From Dropbox and other online storage apps to social networks where we usually share photos directly already, there’s a ton of ways to get your pictures off your phone without syncing or using Photo Stream.

More interesting, though, is that Photo Stream could work just between two Macs, or a Mac and a PC with iCloud installed. That way, your most recently imported photos are on all of your devices, even if you don’t have an iPhone.

So do you use Photo Stream on your Mac? Do you find it very useful, or could you just as easily use something else? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.

I work at home and can go days at a time only seeing my cats and my husband (occasionally confusing the two in my otherwise solitary existence), so social media lets me keep in touch with my friends and keep my sanity, such that it is. Besides being a fan of social media, I’m also a big fan of the Mac menubar, and I have lots of little apps up there that put me in contact with my friends. I’ve got Messages and an instant messaging app, I’ve got an email app, and I’ve got all my social network apps.

That’s a lot of apps, and only today my husband (or was it my cat?) asked what’s going to happen when I run out of room on my menubar. It’s time I consolidate, and SocialButterfly is going to help me do that. Four social networks in one, SocialButterfly is a menubar app that can replace at least a few of my icons up there. Does SocialButterfly have the features to replace the apps, though? (more…)

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