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Mac apps have gotten away from being highly customizable, sticking instead to a curated set of defaults that often lean towards clutter-free interfaces like most writing apps, or the skeuomorphic designs Apple prefers today. But the highly customizable apps aren’t gone completely.

Today, we’ve had the chance to interview the team behind Calendar Plus, a highly customizable calendar app for the Mac that’s been surprisingly popular on the App Store. Read on to hear their thoughts about developing for the Mac and designing customizable apps. (more…)

Ever get nostalgic for 8-bit gaming, but don’t want to play an old game in Dosbox? Shaun Imman‘s critically acclaimed The Last Rocket was a hit on the iPhone when it launched last year, earning 10 stars in our own review.

The Last Rocket has just recently been released for the Mac, and I was eager to try it out as soon as I saw it in the App Store. Spoiler: it was every bit as good as I expected.

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This week has been yet another busy one in the world of app news so without further ado, let’s get started!

Happy reading! (more…)

Cooking at home has become a lost art due to the omnipresence of diners, fast-food restaurants, and the surplus of other ways to eat out. I’m not bashing great food that others can prepare, but why don’t you fire up that oven sometime to make some cobbler? If that seems too complicated, there’s always the stovetop which can cook caramel for popcorn this evening — it’s a great accompaniment to the film you’re planning to watch with your significant other.

Okay, enough of my urging you to prepare the delectable. If you happen to cook things even on occasion, I’m sure you keep a folder with recipes in it, if not a tactile book in your cupboard. What if I told you that there’s an easier way to organize things using Michael Göbel’s Recipes app on your Mac? Yes yes, you want to know more. Well then let’s get started. (more…)

We’d like to say a special Thank you! to our weekly sponsors from the past month, 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!

ANTETYPE

Designing user interfaces can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. ANTETYPE includes pre-designed UI elements for OS X and iOS, as well as Android and Windows, so you can design customized apps that look great any platform. It features a smart layout and responsive widgets that make it quick to apply your changes to your whole app design. It might be just what you’re looking for to speed up your app design process.

Onde iTunes Converter

If you’ve purchased iTunes music for years, chances are you have some older songs with DRM protection. Rather than pay per song to get rid of the DRM, you could just get Onde iTunes Converter to quickly convert all of your songs to unprotected formats. Best of all, you can use it to convert any audio or video you have into the audio format you want, so you can play the music you own anywhere.

Pixelmator

The leading Mac-only image editor continues to lead the way with innovative new features a year after winning an Apple Design Award. Pixelmator now supports iCloud, includes retina display graphics, and a host of new image effects that make it easy to tweak your pictures. You can now make a miniature scene and more with only a couple clicks in Piexlmator’s new effects browser. It’s easily the best alternate to Photoshop on the Mac.

Chronicle

It’s tough to stay on top of all of your bills and make sure they’re paid on time, but paying your bills on time can be crucial to maintaining your credit score. That’s where Chronicle comes in. It makes it easy to remember when your bills need paid, with push notifications and recurring bill support. Its latest version even has retina display graphics, so it’ll look great on any Mac!

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.

Sports games have always been rare on the Mac, owing largely to the economics of development — such games are expensive to make, so you need a big audience to justify it, and the Mac install base has never reached the critical mass for sports titles. Golf games are something of an exception, however, with several Tiger Woods, Links, and Jack Nicklaus releases for the Mac on the commercial end, coupled with a dozen or so shareware titles in the past 15 years.

Nova Golf fits more in the spirit of the low-budget shareware games of old, and it comes at a time when the only other real options for a golf simulation on a Mac are the latest Tiger Woods Cider port, World Challenge Golf 2011, or GL Golf — Nova Golf’s award-winning predecessor. It’s a solid game, but it’s also disappointing in its current state. (more…)

Our giveaway is now closed, and congrats to Dimitrios Savvopoulos, timlou, and Rafta for winning a copy of Scrawl! Be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming giveaways in the future!

We’re always looking for better ways to take notes. There’s so many things to think about, Post-it notes just don’t cut it, and even Mountain Lion’s built-in Notes app doesn’t fit what most of us need. We need a simple place to put notes and quickly find them again, no matter where we’re working.

Scrawl is a great app for that. It’s a note taking app that lives in your menubar, one we were excited about when we reviewed it earlier this year. Since then, it’s gotten even better, with iCloud integration, native keyboard shortcut and Share Sheet support, and more. It’s a great way to quickly jot down notes in your menubar and find them whenever you need them.

Scrawl normally costs $1.99, but we’ve got 3 copies to giveaway for free to our readers. If you’d like to win a copy, just leave a comment below telling us why you’d love to start using it. For an extra credit, share the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or App.net, and then include a link to your update in your comment, and you’ll get two entries in the giveaway.

Our contest will close on midnight Monday, September 3rd, so hurry and get your entry in!

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

Here at AppStorm, we review many games throughout our various networks. From Mac games to iPhone and Android games, we can’t help but to give some love to the gaming culture. With the recent addition of Game Dev to the Tuts+ network and our own Gaming Month here at Mac.AppStorm, we decided to review an app that isn’t a game, rather, a game creator: GameSalad.

GameSalad is an application that allows you to create games for a variety of platforms. So in essence, this app can help you create your first game in no time. If you are an indie game developer or someone interested in creating a soon-to-be iOS smash-hit, GameSalad is probably the best and easiest way to get your hands dirty and let your creativity run wild.

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eBooks have become an important part the tech world these days. Many of us have dedicated eBook readers or tablets with eBook apps. I personally read more books than ever, but just a couple weeks ago purchased the first paper book I’ve purchased in years. Today, Amazon’s making more from Kindle books than hardcovers and Apple’s even had the DOJ inquiring into its eBook business practices. It’s an infant industry, but one that’s growing by leaps and bounds.

Today, you can buy almost any book you can think of and read it on your Mac or other devices in seconds. The Kindle app is ubiquitous thanks to Amazon’s extensive library of titles, but many indie publishers sell DRM free eBooks that you can read in Preview or apps like Calibre. Apple still hasn’t brought iBooks to the Mac, but many of us hope they’ll release a Mac version of it eventually.

I personally read PDF eBooks in Preview and Kindle books more than anything on my Mac, but I’m curious what you use to read books on your Mac. We’d love to hear your thoughts about your favorite book apps in the comments below!

I don’t know about you, but my music gets really old sometimes. When I’m looking for new music, I often struggle with what app to use. I tend to default to web apps, but I really wanted to find some various Mac apps that I can use to find new and exciting music. I tried a number of different applications and found a pretty decent variety.

Some apps on the list are simply a way to utilize a web app via the desktop. Others are completely unique applications which allow you to discover new music in unique and innovative ways. The list includes just a few of the many applications out there, as I tried to stay away from including too many applications which simply provide a way to play an online service via a desktop application. Follow me beyond the jump to learn more about some of the cool apps I found to discover new music.

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