This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on September 20th, 2011.
While I’ve used iTunes for the longest time, and it works pretty much as my media center; I have to come to terms with the fact that it isn’t as great as it could be. It’s heavy, slow, glitchy and at times I find it very annoying.
Ditching iTunes is especially enticing when you now have all these new options available: apps that go from streaming free music, to playing you a personalised radio with music that suit your musical tastes. iTunes is still my main music app, but it’s being quickly overtaken by some of these other options.
As always every Wednesday, here are our weekly picks of the best deals on the App Store for this week.
Happy downloading! (more…)
Since 2008, Apple has shifted the design of all MacBooks with a unibody aluminum shell, starting with the original MacBook Air and continued with the MacBook Pros. Today, if you buy a MacBook, you’ll have to get one with an aluminum unibody, as that’s all they sell now. Apple’s hailed the design as stronger yet lighter than previous designs. It’s certainly proved popular with customers. Every high-end PC, it seems, tries to one-up Apple’s unibody design.
Plastic cracks and scratches, and rarely would hold up to any heavy blows or falls. Aluminum is much more resilient, but is still susceptible to scratches from hard objects and even bends from hard falls. It’s far from the hardest or strongest material on the planet. Just search for bent MacBook Air, and you’ll find some horrifying pictures online (of course, if a plastic notebook took the same blows, it likely would have cracked and shattered instead of just bending … but still).
That’s why we’re wondering how your unibody MacBook Pro or Air is holding up. Have you gotten some small scratches and bent corners, or does yours still look factory-fresh? Is the unibody design working better for you than other laptops you’ve had in the past? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
The Sims series is an undeniable icon of PC gaming, selling more than 150 million units and earning a place amongst the best-selling video game franchises of all time. Controlling the lives of virtual people (the “sims”) has become somewhat of a phenomenon and, while hardcore gamers might laugh it off, The Sims has introduced gaming to whole new demographics.
The Sims 3 was released in 2009 as the latest base game of the franchise and the first to be simultaneously released on both Mac and PC. In this review, we’re going to take a look at a game that remains immensely popular on the platform and that’s role in it’s franchise makes it an icon of Mac gaming.
Our weekly sponsor this week is Pixelmator, the most beautiful image editor designed for the Mac. Its got more features than ever, has been designed for the Retina Display, and for a limited time, is available for only $14.99!
Pixelmator has been a leading Mac image editor for years now, and even won an Apple Design Award in 2011. The team hasn’t sat still since then, quickly adding new features and enhancements to the app. The most recent update brought a number of new features to Pixelmator, including iCloud support, a Retina Display ready interface, a ton of great new effects in a dedicated Effects Browser, alignment guides, and Mountain Lion native sharing.
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 before the summer sale ends! Pixelmator usually costs $59, but you can get it 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.
So, you got a Macbook Pro with Retina display. Congratulations, we are all jealous of you — no seriously, we are. But as you look at those pixels or, well, the lack thereof (that you can see anyhow), you are probably wondering what is the best way to showcase that amazing looking 2880×1800 resolution display. If so, you are in luck. This roundup will give you some of the most amazing Retina-ready wallpapers.
We’ve gather 100 wallpapers to choose from, in every category you can think of. We’ve also heard your problems with loading the page when there are too many big images, so we’ve place the wallpapers in thumbnails. Then, we’ve put all the wallpapers found in this roundup in a handy zip file that you can grab after the break. How’s that for a great wallpaper roundup?
Most of my solo work time passes with music in the background. Sometimes I’m playing music from my iTunes library, and sometimes I’m streaming music from online radio stations or subscription services. Controlling it all can be a pain. Whether I’m writing a review for AppStorm or balancing Excel spreadsheets at work, I normally have to switch back to the music program to pause a song if someone walks in. If a song comes on that I’m not in the mood to listen to, then it’s even worse since I have to swap to the player to skip and then back to my work. Even this brief interruption can take me out of flow and require time to pick up where I left off.
Fresh off the presses, here is MacAppStorm’s weekly news roundup.
Our giveaway is now closed, and congrats to @Poporinful, @kgoworek, and @tmcalvin for winning a copy of Slidevana!
Have you ever struggled to find the perfect slide layout to show your business concepts, research information, marketing plans, and more in a simple, easily understandable format? Whether you’re a Keynote fan or a PowerPoint devotee, it’s often easier to spend more time tweaking your slides’ design than actually researching and putting together the info you’re supposed to be presenting.
That’s where Slidevana comes in. Their team has build what they call “the ultimate presentation toolkit”, designed to take the pain out of designing slides and help you focus on presenting your message in a clear way your listeners will understand. It includes slide designs for every business concept you’ll need to present, lists, charts, and tables, to layouts that communicate complex business concepts such as timelines, architectures, sales funnels, and common frameworks. Slidevana’s vast array of layouts means that creating a presentation is as easy as copying the perfect slide and pasting the content that captures your message.
Mac users have the choice of using Apple’s Keynote app for beautiful, cinematic presentations, or the industry standard PowerPoint, both of which are great options for making presentations. Slidevana is designed to work great in both Keynote and PowerPoint, and you can either buy it for the app of your choice or get the Slidevana bundle for $99 that includes all of their slide designs for both Keynote and PowerPoint. Best of all, though, we’ve got 3 Slidevana bundles for our winners, so you could get started making better presentations for free!
Tweet to Enter
If you’d love to win a free Slidevana bundle, including over 150 slide layouts for PowerPoint and Keynote, it’s easy to get your entry submitted. All you have to do is click the link below and send out the resulting tweet (or just copy and paste), then leave a comment below with a link to your tweet. That’s it! We’ll then randomly pick 3 winners of the bundle when we close the contest.
We’ll announce the winners next week on August 23rd, so hurry and get your entry in today!
Envato staff or people who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm, however, are ineligible to enter.
Minecraft is a popular game, one that we awarded a perfect 10/10 in our review late last month. Many gamers choose to play the game in its single player mode, but the collaborative, multiplayer building is an immensely popular feature that powers hundreds, if not thousands, of gameplay servers.
You too can host a Minecraft server right on your Mac and, in this article, we’ll show you just how!