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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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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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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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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.

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.

Have you ever wished that you could improve your reading speed so you could read everything you need each day faster while retaining the same reading comprehension? Then you need to try out 7 Speed Reading, the new speed reading app for the Mac.

Whether you’re a professional trying to speed up your workday or a student trying to cram in your extensive reading list ahead of finals, learning to speed read is one of the best ways to speed up what you need to get done. 7 Speed Reading promises to teach you to read 3 times faster than before, with full reading comprehension. It does that by helping you remove bad reading habits and improve your reading focus using the app’s adoptive UI. With detailed tutorials and personalized training exercise, you’ll find your reading speed improving in no time.

7 Speed Reading for Mac

Then, you can improve your reading speed without spending any extra time learning, since you can import any Wikipedia article or your own text into the app for practice. That way, you’ll be reading the stuff you’d already need to read today while learning to read faster at the same time. Or, you can take advantage of 7 Speed Reading’s built-in library of eBooks to learn new stuff while improving your reading speed.

Best of all, 7 Speed Reading will help you keep track of how much your reading speed has improved over time, and includes tips on ergonomics to help you take care of your eyes and body while you’re working at your computer. It’s one app that’ll directly improve your life, and prove it.

Start Speeding up Your Reading Skills Today!

Ready to start speeding up your reading skills? Then get your own copy of 7 Speed Reading for Mac for $79.95. It comes with a special vocabulary training course for free to help you improve your vocabulary, and best of all includes a 1 year money-back guarantee if it doesn’t end up working out for you.

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

If you’ve been around the Apple scene for any period of time, you’ve probably learned about two of the best resources out there for finding out more about your Mac: Mactracker and the MacRumors Buyer’s Guide. Between those two places, you’ll learn what Macs you should buy and when, discover specifics about an older Mac and so much more. Heck, Mactracker helped me ID a Power Macintosh 9500 sitting around my friend’s office the other day.

Which is why, while watching the recent Apple Event, I started thinking about how long it’s been since the Mac mini has seen an update. And then when Phil Schiller said about hardware, specifically the Mac Pro. So what was this throw-away comment and what does it mean for the Mac mini? Let’s talk it out. (more…)

We’ve just closed our giveaway — congrats to our winners Rahul and Yaron!

There’s Mac app bundles going on all the time, but there’s seldom bundles this good. The brand-new Productive Macs bundle features an all-star set of apps, a set so good you’ll likely want to use every app in the bundle.

The bundle includes Keyboard Maestro, the keyboard shortcut app so versatile we used it in a recent tutorial to control the Mac from the iPad. It’s easily worth the cost of the bundle on its own, but there’s more. You’ll also get the time management tool Vitamin R, Numeric Notes for simple calculations, Trickster to help you take control of your file system, Default Folder X to make it simple to find the folders you need, the flexible notes app NoteBook, and FX Photo Studio Pro for simple yet powerful touchups to your pictures. All of that, for the low price of $29.99.

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And, as you should have suspected from the title, we’ve got two copies of the bundle to giveaway! It’ll take a tad bit of extra work to get your entry in, though: you’ll need to share this post on your favorite social network, then leave a comment below with a link to your post and the name of the app you want most.

Hurry and get your entry in — our giveaway closes on Friday, November 8th!

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

We’d like to say a special Thank you! to our weekly sponsors from October for sponsoring our site and for the great apps they make. If you would like to feature your app on our site with an advertisement, be sure to check out our available slots on BuySellAds or register for a weekly sponsorship for your app.

If you haven’t already checked out our the great apps that sponsored our site last month, be sure to check them out now!

Colossus

Colossus is an advanced system monitor for your Mac that makes it simple to keep on top of the most important stats. For just $3.99, it lets you keep tabs on your Mac’s CPU activity, memory, download and upload speeds, battery, storage, and temperatures with an optional addon in your menubar, a floating window, or a customizable dock icon. You can keep track of as few or as many stats as you want, in the places you want.

Beautune

Beautune is a powerful yet simple tool that lets you perfect your portraits in just a few clicks. You can automatically soften skin, brighten photos, remove imperfections, add digital foundation, and more in just a click. You can then remove wrinkles, reshape your face, whiten teeth and boost your lip color all with told that make these complex tasks incredibly simple. It also gives you a simple tool to blur the background so the people stand out best in photos, and then lets you add built-in filters, vignettes, and frames to turn your pictures into works of art. All of that, in a simple interface that anyone can use. It’s the photo tweaking tool you need.

ReadKit

ReadKit is the perfect post-Google Reader RSS reader for the Mac, with built-in native RSS sync and full-featured support for all of the best new RSS reader services, including Feedly, Fever, NewsBlur, Feed Wrangler, and Feedbin. You can then add your reading later services — including Instapaper, Pocket, and Readability — and bookmarks from Pinboard and Delicious, and keep everything together in one app. It’s easy to find everything you want to read, with Smart Folders and search, and simple to make your reading experience just the way you want with 4 beautiful themes and the reading font and size of your choice.

VideoGet for Mac

VideoGet for Mac lets you download videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and hundreds of other sites without any more effort than saving an article to your reading later service. Just copy the link to your video, add it to VideoGet, and select what format you want to save your video in. You’ll find detailed settings for your saved video format, resolution, and quality so you can save space on your Mac or watch videos on any device you want. It’s like Instapaper or Pocket for online videos.

And a special thanks to you, our Mac.AppStorm.net readers, for reading and sharing our articles. We couldn’t do it without you!

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot and join the apps above.

It’s been just over a week since OS X Mavericks was released, and yet our analytics show that over 40% of you have already upgraded to Mavericks. That’s quite the quick switch, but then, Mavericks being free made it an easy jump. Plus, it looks and works practically the same as Lion and Mountain Lion, on the surface anyhow, so there’s not really anything new to learn.

But there is a lot of new stuff under the hood — and even closer to the surface if you look around. There’s the new tags and tabs in Finder, iBooks, Maps, and a new version of Calendar and Contacts without all the leather. Power users will love the new multiple display support, and developers have all kinds of new API goodies to play with. There’s even new fonts, and AppleScript support for Reminders of all things.

But sometimes, the things we thought were most exciting don’t end up being what we use the most. I was terribly excited over Finder Tabs, then ended up not using them nearly as much as I thought I would. iBooks, on the other hand, is my new go-to place for some inspiration and down-time distraction, and I’ve loved having it around as much as I thought I would. Apple even seems to think it’s a pretty big addition, and is featuring iBooks on the first screenshot in Mavericks’ App Store page.

So how about you? What’s your favorite feature in Mavericks after spending some time in it? We’d love to hear how you’re using the new Mavericks features in your work and play!

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