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It’s Email App Season on the Mac

Ever since Google bought out Sparrow, we’ve been hoping for a new best-in-class email app for the Mac. We listed the elusive .Mail as one of the main apps we hoped to see released in 2013, but alas, nothing has materialized to date.

That’s no reason for doom-and-gloom. Instead, there’s an updated Mail.app in OS X Mavericks, along with the just-released Unibox and Airmail 1.2. Plus, there’s a public beta of Mail Pilot for Mac coming soon. Here’s the latest email choices on the Mac, with enough options that almost everyone should find a mail app they like for now.

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Photoshop, Watch Out: Pixelmator 3 FX is here

iWork is Apple’s answer to Microsoft Office, and its pro apps directly compete with Adobe’s Lightroom, Premiere Pro, and Audition. But when it comes to Photoshop, the alternate even Apple itself shows off these days is Pixelmator.

Just over 6 years after the first version of Pixelmator was released, the 3rd version of Pixelmator is here with a slightly new name: Pixelmator 3 FX. This new version brings the long-awaited layer styles along with new liquify effects and a brand new, faster-than-ever editing engine.

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Cook, Serve, Delicious: Divine Dining Preparation

For many, entry-level food service preparation is not a life-long dream. Yet those lusting after powering five-star, Michelin-grade dining experiences need to start from somewhere, even if that’s just a one-man operation making salads and corn dogs in the middle of a city.

Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a fun restaurant simulator that takes you through the process of running a small operating on a floor of an inner-city skyscraper and developing it into a full-on five-star experience. Through Steam, the game is available as a result of the community-based Greenlight program and today we’re going to check whether it’s worth your time. (more…)

Ember 1.2 — The Smartest Image Library, Ever

The Realmac team's LittleSnapper was the Mac screenshot tool of choice for anyone who wanted to save more than just individual image images to Finder. LittleSnapper turned made it simple to keep a library of everything you've ever snapped, and then annotate and tweak the shots all from one app. And then they decided to start over and make a new app: Ember.

Ember was designed from the ground up to be the best way to organize all of your design inspirations — not just for geeks managing screenshots of apps, even though it's still awesome for that as well. Essentially, you throw all the pictures you want — screenshots, sure, but also photos of architecture or crafts or web design mockups — into your library to easily find them later. Throw in tags and descriptions, and you've got a whole new way to manage those images that otherwise would get lost in Finder.

And now, with the Mavericks-focused v1.2 upgrade, Ember is smart enough to help you find just what you want from your library, and keeps your image assets backed up in iCloud.

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Today’s Apple Event: What You Need to Know

Did you watch today’s Apple Event live? Well we did, and just in case you missed something, here’s EVERYTHING that happened today in one convenient place. Ready? We bet you are. Then let’s go! (more…)

Thanks to Our Sponsor: Beautune

Ever wanted to tweak a photo, but decided not to since it’d take too long? Or perhaps you decided to skip tweaking the picture since you can’t afford a copy of Photoshop. There’s now no excuse not to tweak your photos, though. Beautune, our sponsor this week, makes it insanely easy for anyone to touchup their photos in seconds.

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. Just take a minute to watch this video, and you’ll be blown away by how simple it is to touchup photos in Beautune:

When you’ve got the people in your photos looking great, it’s time to focus on the rest of the picture. Beautune 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.

Beautify Your Pictures with Beautune Today!

You’ll have to try Beautune for yourself to see how easy it makes photo touchups. You can download a free trial of Beautune from their site, then get your own copy of Beautune from the Mac App Store for just $14.99 for a limited time. That’s a steal for all the editing power it’ll give you in an app that’ll just take you seconds to learn.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.
What Are You Expecting Most in Apple’s Announcement Tomorrow?

It’s finally here. After Apple kicked off WWDC ’13 with OS X Mavericks and the brand-new Mac Pro, it’s been months since Apple did anything major for the Mac. iOS 7 and the new iPhones — plus brand new web apps and Logic Pro X, both for the Mac, we can’t forget — have taken up all of Apple’s public attention since then. But tomorrow, Apple’s promised that they “still have a lot to cover”, and we couldn’t be more excited.

There’s likely to be new iPads released, of course, and perhaps new covers (that suspicious word pops up in their invite), but at Mac.AppStorm we’re most excited about what tomorrow means for the Mac. We’re almost certain that OS X Mavericks will either be released tomorrow or very soon after — there’s almost no way it’ll be released later than this week, at this point. But then, back at WWDC, Apple promised a new iWork, and we’d sure love to see a redesigned and vastly improved iWork ’13 and perhaps a companion iLife ’13 to boot. Plus, the MacBook Pro Retina Display is due for a spec bump, as is the Mac Mini — and the new Mac Pro is still supposed to be coming out this year. And, there’s the ever tantalizing prospect of absolutely brand-new products from Apple, though somehow it doesn’t seem too likely we’ll see that tomorrow.

Ok, your turn: what are you looking forward to most tomorrow? Any predictions for Apple’s fall announcement this year?

And stay tuned this week: we’ve got a ton of OS X Mavericks content ready for your reading pleasure as soon as Apple releases the first non-cat-named version of OS X.

OmniFocus Mail Drop: Adding Web Services to a Traditional Mac App

We’re used to syncing — so used to it, in fact, that it’s more strange when an app doesn’t sync on its own or over iCloud these days than anything. But for native apps, that’s typically where it ends. Even in new “cloud” offerings for the Mac, such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud, the only part of the app that’s online is the file and setting sync (and the fact you can download apps, but that’s anything but new). Web apps, even ones with native app counterparts, have the advantage of always running online, so they can often have nice extras like collaboration and options to add stuff via email and more.

The Omni Group is well known for their Mac and Web apps, but they also make a little free extra online service for their apps: the Omni Sync Server. It’s what powers OmniPresence, their new iCloud-like document sync service, and is also the default way to sync OmniFocus if you don’t choose to use your own server for syncing. And they’ve now taken that sync server and added something you’d expect from an online productivity app: Mail Drop.

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Bits Connects Your Journal and Blog

Private journals are a much better way of venting your frustration than Twitter. Studies have proven this. (Okay not really.) This explains Day One’s success. The thing is, there aren’t that many quality journaling options available on the Mac. I reviewed Capture 365 Journal — a nice-looking alternative — about a year ago and found it to be less than satisfactory compared to Day One. Is there no hope for a Day One stand-in? I think I’ve found one, actually.

Its name is Bits, developed by the people who brought you Numi. It lives up to its very short name, and I’d go so far as to call it the smallest journaling app available on the Mac. It’s very minimal in appearance, but the developers have given it a unique strength: blog integration. Could this tiny app be the basic digital journal we’ve always wanted? (more…)

JamStation: Flawed but Useful Music Discovery

When it comes to music, I thoroughly enjoy listening to new music that I’ve never heard of before, especially when most of what makes up so-called popular music is X-Factor cast-offs or pop groups that have been so obviously manufactured you can still see the welding joints. Now, before you start throwing the F-word my way, by which I mean “flannel”, there are plenty of popular music acts that I enjoy listening to. Unfortunately, there’s only so many times I can enjoy the angelic tones of Miley Cyrus before I begin to crave something more, something different.

JamStation is a music discovery app for the online service Jamendo, providing a radio-like way of listening to new music. While basic, it delivers on its singular promise of providing you access to new artists.

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