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Firefox Australis: a Brighter Future for the Original Alternate Browser

It’s been quite some time since I’ve used Firefox on a daily basis. It simply hasn’t felt that Macish in a while, especially since Apple gave us the minimal scrollbars and multitouch gestures in Safari with OS X Lion. And if you want the latest apps and extensions, Google Chrome’s the browser with the most action these days. Firefox seemed left to being the default browser on Ubuntu, and not much else.

Yet, Firefox — the descendant of Netscape — was the original alternate browser for most of us back when Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was king of the land. In today’s Webkit-dominated landscape, it’s still the leading alternate that’s paving its own path to rendering the web. It’s hard to want to lose that.

That’s why Australis, the new Firefox redesign that’s coming in Firefox 28, is so exciting. It’s got UI innovations that keep Firefox unique and exciting, along with more OS X integration that ever that make it feel a perfect part of your Mac. And it’s ready to use today if you’re brave enough to rely on nightly alpha releases of a browser.

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Thanks to Our Sponsor: MacX Video Converter Pro

Videos can be annoying to view from all of your devices, since there’s so many different formats and aspect ratios in use. If you want all of your videos to look great on the devices you use most, you’ll need a tool to make it simple to convert all of your videos to the format you want. This week, you can get a copy of MacX Video Converter Pro for free to converting your videos as simple as it could be.

MacX Video Converter Pro is designed to help you convert any video you want into the formats you want. You can convert videos you’ve downloaded, ripped from DVDs, or from your phone or cameras into any format you want, complete with the quality and aspect ration settings you’d expect if you want to tweak the settings. You can even download YouTube and other online videos and convert them to the formats you want, record video from your Mac’s FaceTime camera, and turn your photos into a beautiful slideshow, all from MacX Video Converter Pro.

Normally $49.95, MacX Video Converter is currently free for their Thanksgiving promotion. You can get a full copy for free, with the license key included in the download, and convert all your videos to the formats you want and download online videos for your offline viewing pleasure before you have to travel for the holidays. Then, when you get home, you can use it to convert your videos into the formats you need for sharing, and turn your holiday photos into beautiful photo slideshows to share with your family and friends.

Get Your Copy of MacX Video Converter Pro for Free!

Hurry and get your free copy or MacX Video Converter Pro — or a discounted copy of MacX DVD Ripper Pro or MacX Video Converter Pro Pack — before their promotion ends on December 6th!

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.
Hidden 2: Theft Protection for all Your Apple Devices, Rebooted

Your Mac and iOS devices include the oddly named “Find my iPhone” service that’ll let you track and remotely wipe any of your Apple devices from your iCloud account. It’s a great service that’s already helped many work with law enforcement to get their devices back, and many more protect their data even when their device isn’t recoverable. But, of course, you’ve invested hundreds and even thousands of dollars into your devices, so it’d only make sense to do the best you can to make sure you can recover your devices if they’re ever stolen.

Hidden is a device tracking service we’ve reviewed several years ago, and found that it worked really great for tracking your device and more if it ever happened to get stolen. It automatically takes pictures of the thief and screenshots of what they’re doing on your Mac, and lets you see them online from anywhere along with a map of where your device currently is located. And now, with the just-released Hidden 2, it’ll track keystrokes and active processes on your stolen Mac, and works great on OS X Mavericks.

Most interestingly, it also works on iOS devices, so you can track your Mac, iPad, and iPhone all from the same Hidden account. On the Mac, of course, Hidden can run as a background process, but on iOS it doesn’t have the same freedoms. Instead, it uses the background location service on your iOS device to track your device if you report it as stolen, and then triggers a fake alarm notification on the device. When the thief tries to turn the alarm off, it’ll launch the app and take a photo of the thief, just like it would on the Mac. It’s an ingenious solution to track all of your devices with a bit more features than you’d get from Apple’s Find my iPhone.

And, this month, you can sign up for Hidden for 15% off — that’d let you track 1 device for just $1/month, or 5 devices for $3 month. Just sign up for the free trial, and use the coupon code NOVEMBER15 to keep your devices safe on the cheap. That’s a great way to keep your devices a bit safer.

Win a Copy of Compartments 2 from AppStorm!

We just closed our giveaway; congrats to our winners m13, Alaeddin, Edi, rjko, and loopion!

It’s so easy to lose track of your stuff. Sure, you’re unlikely to actually lose your fridge — if so, you’ve got bigger problems than an app can solve — but what’s the odds you’ll forget when your warranty’s up or how much everything in your office cost originally? When a spreadsheet doesn’t cut it, you need an app that makes it simple to track your stuff. That’s exactly where the new Compartments 2 excels.

Compartments 2 is a new OS X Mavericks-focused upgrade to one of the best Mac apps for keeping track of your stuff. It can keep track of everything you own, remind you when your warranties are almost up, and make it easy to print out a list of all your stuff organized by room. It’s great — and this week, we’ve got 5 copies to giveaway free to our readers!

All you’ve got to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment below and let us know why you’d love to get a copy of Compartments 2. Then, you can optionally share the giveaway on your social networks and leave a second comment below with a link to your shared post for an extra entry.

Hurry and get your entry in — our giveaway closes on Friday, November 22nd!

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

Win a Copy of Airmail from AppStorm!

We’ve closed our giveaway; congrats to our winners Rose, mrtnway, Brian, Shuwei, and Ivan!

There’s a lot of great email apps for the Mac coming out right now, but if you want one that’s fun and simple — and ready to use today — Airmail‘s easily one of the best options. It’s the top paid app on the Mac App Store right now, and for good reason: it’s just $1.99, but gives you the most customizable email experience on the Mac today.

It’s not as simple out-of-the-box as Sparrow, but it’s the closest option to it on the Mac today. If you’ve been looking for an app to simplify email without making it too geeky, it’s the app for you.

And it’s cheap at $1.99, but we’ve got something even better: 5 free copies for our readers! Just leave a comment below letting us know what email app you currently use and why you want to switch to Airmail to enter the giveaway. Then share the giveaway on your favorite social networks and leave another comment with a link to your post for an extra entry.

Hurry and get your entry in — the giveaway closes on Friday, November 15th!

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

RedShift Astronomy: A Helpful Stargazing Aid

It would take a cold heart to write off the night sky as merely sparks of light in the blackness. Yes, gazing upwards on a clear evening provides a beautiful show, but it also offers a perspective of our location in the middle of everything. So, it seems bizarre that astronomy is often thought of as a niche hobby of knitwear-clothed nerds, but perhaps that perception can be attributed to the depth of mind-stored knowledge that has traditionally been required to fully appreciate the heavens.

It seems to me that this perception is due an update. Information about the stars has never been more accessible, thanks to technology and, in particular, apps. One of the first generation of standout iOS apps was GoSkyWatch, which utilized the iPad’s accelerometers and compass to allow users to pan around a virtual sky filled with information. But sometimes, you just want to digest information in the light, warm surroundings of your sitting room.

Hence, there seems to be a place for OSX apps like RedShift Astronomy. Packed with information, and brimming with 3D visualizations, this $18.99 offering should be a hit with anyone interested in exploring the universe. But does it do the magnificence of space true justice?

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Want Great Apps? Then Help Developers.

Imagine, for a moment, that the apps bundled with OS X — Preview, TextEdit, Safari, Mail, and the rest — along with the iWork and iLife apps were the only apps that could run on the Mac. There’d still be a lot you could do with a Mac, and some would still buy them — but in all reality, if there were no 3rd party apps for the Mac, we’d all end up switching platforms.

Apps make or break our computing experiences. They’re what make a thousand dollar slab of aluminum turn into something that can do whatever we want. The lack of indie apps on Windows is one of the sharpest contrasts with the Mac’s vibrant 3rd party app market — and that’s what keeps our Macs being amazing machines, far more than the core stuff in OS X.

But apps are tough to make, and take serious time and money to develop and design and support. And it’s getting harder — the race to the bottom in app pricing has made it tough for developers to keep making amazing apps. It’s time we started helping developers out.

Here’s how:

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MailMate, the Markdown-Powered Power User Email App, is Crowd Funding for v2.0

Half of the world assumes that Email is dead or at least dying, while the other half of us desperately search for the Next Best Email App™. Mail.app’s a pretty great email app — especially for power users — now that its Gmail integration got fixed, and Airmail’s winning acclaim as the Sparrow replacement everyone’s been waiting for with its customizable UI. There’s also the new Unibox that aims to simplify email even more where you’ll never need to archive or file messages, and old standbys like Postbox and Outlook.

And then, there’s MailMate, a power-user email app that’d I’d managed to not notice until it was mentioned in a recent AppStorm comment. It’s lightweight, insanely fast, and is packed with keyboard shortcuts, advanced search and smart mailboxes, Markdown support, and more that make it the ultimate power-user email app. And now, its developer is raising funds on Indiegogo to make v2 better than ever.

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Thanks to our Sponsor: Airmail

Email’s the original way to privately message online, and it’s still the way most of us communicate with our colleagues online. It works, but it can be overwhelming and take up far more time than is necessary. That’s why you need a lightening-fast email app that works the way you want, and Airmail is the Mac email app you need for that.

Airmail is the email app that works the way you want. It can look as clean as Sparrow, as professional as Mail.app, or anything in-between — your choice. It can use Gmail shortcuts, or your own favorite shortcuts, can send attachments with your favorite upload tool (Dropbox, Droplr, Google Drive, CloudApp, or even your own FTP server), use the language you want, and so much more. Everything in Airmail is configurable so it can be exactly the email app you want it to be.

Airmail

Then, it’s everything else you’d expect an email app to be. It’s fast, supports every email service you’d expect including Exchange, IMAP, and POP3, and integrates great with your Mac. It even includes the new OS X Mavericks interactive notifications so you can reply to messages without leaving your work in another app. It’s a great, modern email app.

Get a Copy of Airmail Today!

For just $1.99, you can get your own copy of Airmail from the Mac App Store and start making email work the way you do. It keeps getting new features and more so fast, it’s bound to be the email app you love for months and years to come.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.
Weekly Discussion: What’s Bugging You in Apple’s Newest Software?

We’ve each got favorite new features in Apple’s new OS X Mavericks and the new versions of iLife and iWork. The renewed focus on the Mac this year is refreshing, especially in light of the sweeping changes in iOS 7, and the new Mac Pro and power users features in Mavericks yield hope that Apple still is focused on making the very best personal computers, not just touch devices.

And yet, all is not perfect. The new iWork has suffered sharp criticism over its lack of power user features, something Apple is now working to rectify. Mail.app initially had problems with Gmail, though those have already been patched. But there’s been more frustrations, from the seemingly weak implementation of Tags in Finder to battery issues and persisting multiple display frustrations, that we’ve heard complaints about. The dock, of all innocent things, has met complaints over the inability to make it 2D in the bottom position now, combined with complaints from others who don’t like the new side dock.

We’ve already helped out with some issues in the comments on our Mavericks review and more, but are wondering what other issues you’re facing with Apple’s latest software? Leave a comment below, and we’ll try to see if we can find solutions or workarounds for you.

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