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Amazon jumpstarted the eBook revolution with its Kindle devices and companion apps for every platform, and Apple’s kept up with the trend with its polished iBooks apps for iOS. The Mac has lagged behind mobile devices with eBooks reading, but there’s at least been the Kindle app and a number of half-way decent apps for DRM-free eBooks.

This year, though, that’s all changing. There’s the new Clearview that’s a very nice app for DRM-free eBooks, and Apple’s finally bringing iBooks to the Mac with OS X Mavericks. And for tech eBooks, the new Safari Flow web app makes it easier than ever to learn from eBooks without spending all day reading. It’s an exciting time for eBook fans.

That’s why we’re wondering how many eBooks you read per month. I tend to read at least 2 or so a month, more some months, but how about you? Leave your answer in the poll, then let us know if you’re excited about iBooks coming to the Mac this year in the comments below.

‘Tis the season for design-friendly web tools, with Google making a free Web Designer app and Hype 2 making it simpler than ever to create beautiful HTML5 animations. But several weeks ago, a preview of an app caught my eye with its attempts to make normal web design simple for anyone with an eye for design: Macaw.

Advertised as an app with the flexibility of an image editor but designed for making clean CSS and HTML code, Macaw looks like the web design tool we’ve all been waiting for. It’s the simplicity that tools like Frontpage advertised years ago, but with the clean, modern code that otherwise would take hours in a text editor. Pulling off such an auditions project, though, isn’t so simple, which is why they started a Kickstarter campaign yesterday to fund their efforts to make Macaw and bring it to the Mac and PC.

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Adobe and Microsoft — along with Evernote, Wunderlist, and other web app companies — think the future of software is subscriptions. Apple seems to think the future is lower priced pro apps without upgrades on the App Store, and free bundled apps for everything else. Game developers think the future is free apps with in-app purchases. And traditional developers with paid apps and discounted upgrades are being pushed to the side.

Is paid indie software doomed, perhaps by the very App Store that pushed so many developers to prominence?

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We’re used to Google launching free new web services (and shutting them down) on a whim, so it was rather odd yesterday to see that Google had released a new free desktop app: Google Web Designer. Designed for Mac and PC, without even a version for Google’s own Chromebooks or perhaps Android tablets, Google Web Designer looks like an Adobe app and feels like a blast from the past.

Actually, though, it’s intended to blast away a technology who’s time is long past: Adobe Flash. It’s free, and it’s called a Web Designer, but it’s directly designed to help you make animated and responsive HTML5 ads for Google’s DoubleClick ad platform, presumably both to cure the web from the last vestiges of Flash and to help ads on Google’s platforms get clicks on mobile.

But hey: it’s also essentially a basic free version of Hype that you could use to make animations for your site, even if you’re not advertising with Google.

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We’ve just closed our giveaway; congrats to our winners Luke, feedpuppy, ca01ei, Alexander, and Ngoc!

Mac app bundles are a great way to get a ton of apps on the cheap, but usually they’re filled with aging apps that are ripe for an update. Not this time. Paddle’s Cheaper by the Dozen bundle this week includes 4 debut apps that just launched — and you can get them and the other apps in the bundle for just $34.99 right now, or possibly for free with our giveaway.

This bundle includes Bluetail, the brand-new vector app we gave an 8/10 last week, and the just-launched Marked 2 that’ll help you proof and export your Markdown writing that’s nice enough to get a 9/10 in our review. You’ll also find the somewhat older Raskin for viewing your Finder files in unique ways, MenuMate to make menus more accessible in your apps, the new GoodDay that brings mobile web apps to your Mac’s menubar, and the beautiful EarthDesk to turn your Mac’s background into a stunning dynamic image of the Earth. And more!

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Best of all, we’ve got 5 copies of this great bundle for our readers. For a bundle with this many great apps, though, it’s going to take a tiny bit more effort to enter the giveaway. You’ll need to signup for the Paddle team’s email newsletter first at paddle.com/signup, and then leave a comment here letting us know what app you want most from this bundle. Finally, for an extra chance to win, share the giveaway post on your social networks and leave a second comment here with a link to your social post for an extra entry.

Hurry and get your entries in; the giveaway closes on Friday, October 4th!

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

YouTube’s started letting you queue videos for offline viewing in their mobile apps, but if you want to watch YouTube videos on your MacBook or a non-smart device when you’re offline, you’re going to need more than what Google offers you. That’s why you should download a free copy of 4K Video Downloader this week.

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4K Video Downloader is the simplest way to save videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and more to your Mac. Just copy the video’s link from your browser, paste it into 4K Video Downloader’s app, pick the quality and format you want to save, and start it downloading. Minutes later, you’ll have a full-quality copy of the video for your offline video viewing pleasure. It’s like Instapaper or Pocket for the videos you want to watch later.

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There’s more, too. If you want to download Instagram pictures to your Mac, extract audio from any video file, or turn your photos into a slideshow, there’s a free 4K app to help you out. Every one of the 4K apps are free, open-source, and run on OS X, Windows, and Ubuntu, so you can use them wherever you work — and if their free tools become an important part of your workflow, you can contribute to their development and make sure there’ll be free tools for you to use whenever you need them.

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

Missing a bill payment is more than just frustrating — it can be a very expensive experience thanks to overdue fees, not to mention the inconvenience if your utilities get cut off. But then, there’s no reason to forget to pay your bills nowadays. You could add calendar reminders or put your bills in your todo list or Reminders.app.

Or, you could use Chronicle, the Mac app for keeping track of your bills. With its brand-new iCloud sync and a fully redesigned companion iOS app that looks great in iOS 7, its the best way to keep track of all your bills and more.

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We’re two days into Fall 2013, and Apple’s promised for months now that OS X Mavericks is “Coming this fall”. Mavericks isn’t here yet, but after a blockbuster opening weekend for the iPhone 5c and 5s and the long-anticipated iOS 7 release, Apple’s finally turning its attention back to the Mac. Nope, the anticipated Retina Display MacBook Pro isn’t here, nor is the announced revolutionary Mac Pro.

Instead, first up in Apple’s fall Mac refresh is a new iMac. This year’s refresh brings a welcome but modest spec bump to the existing thin iMac design, with the latest quad-core Intel i5 Haswell processors (at the same speeds as last year’s models), high-speed 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Intel’s Iris Pro graphics on the low end. The higher end iMacs now include NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 755M, or GTX 775M graphics cards, respectively, for even better graphics performance, but even the base-model iMac’s Iris Pro graphics should perform better than last year’s baseline NVIDIA 600 series graphics. In a somewhat surprising move, though, Apple’s still shipping 5400rpm platter HDDs with the base iMacs, and an SSD or Fusion Drive is still an extra upgrade for all iMacs.

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This year’s iMacs likely won’t prove a temptation for anyone with a 2012 iMac, but the spec upgrade at least puts them in a more competitive spot with this year’s chips. There’s still no Retina display, or anything more exotic like a touch screen, so Apple’s got plenty of stuff left to add to the iMac in coming years.

The new iMacs should be just the start of Apple’s fall Mac refresh. We’ve still got OS X Mavericks and the new Mac Pro coming for sure, and during WWDC a new iWork was mentioned as well — something we sure hope comes sooner rather than later seeing as we’re all still using iWork ’09 today. The MacBook Air was already updated this year, but both the Retina Display MacBook Pro and the Mac Mini could at least use a similar spec upgrade as the new iMacs, so hopefully we’ll at least get that this fall as well.

Now, let’s just hope Apple doesn’t wait until the last day of fall — officially December 20th — to get Mavericks onto the App Store!

Pagico, considered a ‘brilliant cross-platform project and task management app‘, has developed legions of fans since its launch. Perfect for managing complex projects across multiple platforms (Mac, Windows, Ubuntu and iOS), Pagico’s destop version retails at $50. It is available for both Desktop and iOS.

If you need design or web development work done, for a limited time only you can claim a Pagico desktop license with any purchase of services from Microlancer.

Microlancer is a marketplace for design and code services including logo design, PSD to Website, WordPress customization and many, many more.

How to claim your Pagico desktop license

  • Browse Microlancer to purchase the design or code service you need.
  • After purchasing the service, fill out this form and include your order ID.
  • Once we verify your order details, we’ll connect you with your Pagico license.

This offer applies to Microlancer purchases made from Tuesday, 24 September 2013 to Tuesday, 1 October 2013 AEST. (more…)

We just closed our giveaway; congrats to our winners lapfelix, Poporin, ptrix, Markus, and Andrew!

Everyone loves bundles, but how about 3 new bundles? That’s what our friends at Paddle have this week. They’ve got two new games bundles — the Pay What You Want Variety Games Bundle and the Fall Pay What You Want Game Bundle — with 5 games each for Mac and PC, as well as a bundle of Mac apps from Little App Factory.

Each of the bundles are a great deal since they’re pay-what-you-want bundles like the popular Humble Bundles, but we’ve got something even better: 5 copies of the bundles for our readers. 5 lucky readers are going to win all 3 of these bundles this week.

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