Skype has released the latest public update to its popular VOIP software, version 5.6, which brings full-screen support for Lion users, a wealth of bug fixes and a slightly overhauled user interface. The update can either be downloaded directly from Skype’s website or via the app itself (click on “Check for Updates”).
We’ve collected the top four reviews, roundups and how-to articles from across the AppStorm network in February. 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!
Adobe has released the fourth incarnation of its popular photo editing software, Lightroom, with a wealth of new features, including improved support for video and a price tag that has been slashed in half compared to previous versions. The new version, Photoshop Lightroom 4, costs just $149 for the stand-alone version (an upgrade from Lightroom 3 costs $79, instead of $99 previously) and Adobe hopes that this lower price will coax amateur photographers who may want to start using a professional software package into buying it. Previous versions of the software were priced at $299, a steep sum for most people. The new pricing strategy may also be an attempt to compete with Apple’s Aperture, another favourite among photographers, which can be had off the Mac App Store for $79.99.
Nothing gets the week started off right like a good old fashioned Microsoft vs. Apple debate. Once upon a time these were a staple in the Mac user’s daily life but these days we focus much more on Google and Android as a major threat than crazy Ballmer and the gang in Redmond.
For a moment, let’s look back at Microsoft and ask a question that’s essential for every new Mac user: Office or iWork? If someone is faced with the choice of purchasing only one of these suites, which should it be and why?
Only a few years ago iWork was a new competitor in this game but it’s had more than enough time to rise to the challenge of taking on the formerly undisputed champion of documents. The question is, has it? On the other side, while iWork has been increasing in popularity, Microsoft has been hard at work making Office seem more at home on the Mac. Office now closely resembles Apple’s software in both functionality and appearance.
So which is better? You decide! Cast your vote in the poll and then leave a comment below defending your opinion.
eScan, a popular security software solution for Windows PCs, will release a Mac Edition of its security software at the 36th Annual Conference of MACAL (Michigan Association for Computer Users In Learning), which is due to be held at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, MI on March 8 and March 9, 2012. eScan for Mac will feature real-time protection against malware and other threats and will provide extensive reporting and automatic database updates to ensure a complete safeguard against all the threats on the web.
Our featured sponsor this week is Gemini, a gorgeous and super easy way to locate and eliminate duplicate files on your computer.
MacPaw, the developers that brought you CleanMyMac, have released yet another fantastically useful and well designed Mac utility. Gemini helps you free up tons of disk space by cutting the clutter that results from having multiple copies of the same files scattered around your machine.
The workflow here is incredibly easy, just drop in a folder that you want to scan or target your entire drive and Gemini will immediately get to work, finding duplicate files of every type. After the scan you can take advantage of the one-click auto select to avoid a manual screening process. You can see a large preview of any file that has been targeted for deletion just to make doubly sure that you know what is being eliminated and there’s one final receipt of selected files to approve before deletion.
Gemini will ensure that one copy of every file is always kept so you can feel safe knowing that no important information will ever be deleted.
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If you’re looking for a way to free your drives from duplicate file clutter, you’re definitely going to want to check out Gemini. To learn more, stop by the Gemini website. If you’re ready to download your copy, visit the Mac App Store today!
The folks at MacPaw were awesome enough to temporarily cut the price of Gemini in half so be sure to grab your copy now before the sale ends!
The news from the Apple-sphere this week has undeniably been dominated with the announcement of the long-awaited iPad 3 release, which is due to be unveiled next Wednesday at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco along with a possible 8GB iPad 2 designed to compete with cheaper tablets in the market. Most Apple fans are certainly very excited for this launch as that dream of an iPad with a crystal-clear retina display may finally become a reality!
With the speculations of the iPad 3′s features aside, here is Mac AppStorm’s weekly roundup of the goings-on in the world of Mac software.
Unveiled alongside that Superbowl Commercial all the way back in 1984, the Macintosh was to become Apple’s main focus and through the years saw host to such iconic designs as the MacBook, iMac and, more recently, the MacBook Air. However, while the Mac is undoubtedly close to all our hearts here at Mac.AppStorm, there’s been a perception as of late that Apple are letting things slide with regard to their computers, in large part due to the phenomenal success of iOS. As the argument goes, in a huge profit driven company like Apple it’s the bottom line that counts and last year saw more iOS devices sold in one year than the entire lifetime of the Mac.
Don’t be too quick to write off the future prospects of the Mac just yet though, while portable devices such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod are all very important to Infinite Loop, Mac sales are strong and increasing market share significantly. Indeed, Apple are finding that there’s more demand than ever for their computers and I’d like to make the argument that the Mac’s strongest years are quite possibly ahead of it, with Apple set to increase their efforts and ensure that the Mac becomes yet more popular still.
I do not intend here to rehash any of the digital ink already put out there on Mountain Lion. Our own James Cull did an excellent job rounding up what we know about Mountain Lion. And Scott Danielson has had an in-depth look at Messages for Mac. I want to address instead something that might be nagging at all of us Mac users just a bit.
With Mountain Lion, Apple has stepped up the game of brining the two ecosystems of Mac and iOS closer together. The trend started (arguably perhaps) with Apple’s “Back to the Mac” event in which iLife was touted to have taken cues from iOS design, FaceTime was brought to the Mac, the Mac App store was announced, the MacBook Air was introduced, and oh yeah, Lion was announced with many features reminiscent of iOS.
Lion brought with it many iOS like advancements; enhancements to Multi-Touch Gestures, Full Screen apps, Launchpad, Resume/Auto Save/Versions, an iPad like Mail interface, iCal and Address Book highly styled like the iOS counterparts, auto termination of applications again borrowed from iOS, reversed scrolling to better match up with touch screen devices, and many more things that all spell out one thing; OS X is borrowing heavily from the design of iOS.
Perhaps it’s only fitting since OS X spawned the existence of iOS in the first place. They share much base code in common. In fact, Steve Jobs very much emphasized in the iPhone introduction keynote of 2007 that the iPhone OS (as it was then called) was really OS X. But what’s actually going on here? Should we fear for the future of OS X?
We’d like to say a big thank you to last 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.
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!
- MobDis – An incredibly easy way to build mobile sites without writing a single line of code. MobDis features an intuitive drag and drop workflow that’s so simple to master, you’ll be creating awesome sites in minutes flat. It’s a free download so there’s no reason you shouldn’t check it out!
- Photo Transformer – Photo Transformer is a super fast image browser. No need to build a library, just point it at a folder or directory of folders and it will instantly dive in and find all of the image files. From here you can browse the flexible thumbnail grid and quickly filter the results by file type, size, date created, etc.
- Ramotion – Typically we reserve weekly sponsorship slots for our favorite apps but Ramotion has such an impressive portfolio that we simply couldn’t turn them down. One of Ramotion’s primary strengths is icon design. Stop by their icon portfolio for some samples of their work along with a collection of amazing free Mac OS icons.
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!