This week, I’m incredibly proud to have Pixelmator as our Mac.AppStorm sponsor. One of my all-time favourite apps, this is a fantastic alternative to the increasingly-bloated Photoshop for all manner of graphic editing work.
Labelled as an “image editor for the rest of us”, Pixelmator’s interface is enjoyable to use while maintaining a simple learning curve for new adopters. If you’re already a seasoned Photoshop pro, you’ll feel right at home with the familiar palette interface and similar tools.
Pixelmator is based on Core Image technology that uses your Mac’s video card for image processing. This means that it’s fast. It supports a huge range of graphics formats, and the price of $59 is a welcome change to the inflated charge for many competing apps.
Although I still use Photoshop from time to time, Pixelmator has become by go-to tool for 80% of tasks that require working with graphics. If you yearn for a faster, sleeker alternative to Photoshop, give Pixelmator a try today.
Today we’re giving away two copies of a high-quality wire-framing tool for OS X, Justinmind, usually priced at $495. It allows you to easily create wireframes for web, desktop and mobile applications, and quickly generate great prototypes for HTML layouts.
If you’re a web or software developer, Justinmind can act as a really helpful tool for planning and preparing a new project.
You can create fully functional wireframes and simulate them, even testing the behaviour of passing data in/out. If you’d prefer to simply have a HTML output, then Justinmind is also capable of exporting a live, interactive HTML website wireframe.
To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post, letting us know what you’d like to use Justinmind for. We’ll randomly select the winners in one week, on Friday 17th December.
Best of luck!
Thanks to everyone who took part, and congratulations to the two winners, who we’ve chosen as:
- Liam Cain
- Jens Thomsen
Well done, and we’ll be in touch with your license code very soon!
For those who didn’t win a free license, you can apply for one if you publish a review of Justinmind Prototyper and Justinmind Usernote on your blog. Just contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!
It’s a big day at AppStorm HQ today, as we’ve launched an exclusive preview of two new sites that are due to kick off in the New Year. I hope you’ll join me in welcoming both Android.AppStorm and Windows.AppStorm to our growing family of sites!
As a die-hard Mac user, I know what you’re thinking… Windows and Android? Well allow me a minute to explain our thinking. After all, even the most dedicated Mac user has a reason to boot into Windows from time to time, and it’s difficult to ignore the storming success of Android in recent months!
With Windows 7 restoring some lost Windows pride, it’s time PC users had a place to find awesome apps from both small indie developers and the big powerhouses. Plus I’ve been hearing really good things about the new Windows Mobile, so you can expect to get a dose of non-desktop apps too! To kick things off we have:
If you’re interested in checking out what’s available on the other platform, be sure to take a look! Perfectly happy with your Mac? Don’t worry – we won’t be inundating you with Windows content here at Mac.AppStorm and you can stay in your beautifully designed Mac bubble!
Lately Android has been appearing on all sorts of devices. With a few different app stores and so many incredible developers making apps for Google’s open source platform, you need a trusted place to get the low down on Android Apps. So head over and check out the new site!
I know plenty of Mac users who love their Android phones, so hopefully this one will be useful for quite a few of our readers. Our first bumper post takes the form of:
The New AppStorm Homepage
Last, but not least, we have a brand new AppStorm homepage over at AppStorm.net. This offers a central place to find out about all the different AppStorm sites, and we’ll be expanding and improving this over the coming months.
Thanks for Reading!
Thanks again for taking the time to read our sites every day. I hope you enjoy the teaser posts we’ve launched today, and I’m really looking forward to getting into full swing with both sites in 2011.
Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments, along with any suggestions for content you’d like to see on the new sites!
With Macworld 2011 slowly approaching, I thought it would be interesting to ask whether any of our readers have attended this conference previously (or are planning on going next year).
If you’re unaware of what Macworld is, essentially it’s a four day event that covers everything to do with the Mac. It includes user sessions focusing on teaching, an Expo floor for software exhibitors, various conference programmes, and generally lots of Mac-geekery! It’s based in San Francisco, running from the 26th-29th January.
Although Apple used to attend this event, the company pulled out prior to last year’s event. It seems that the 2010 conference was still a major success, despite their absence, and Macworld will be running once again next month.
The AppStorm team is going to be in attendance in January (a first for all of us!), and we’re really looking forward to meeting a few of you there. Let us know if you’ll be going in the comments!
This week, we’re proud to have RapidWeaver 5 as the Mac.AppStorm sponsor. Released just a few days ago, RapidWeaver 5 is a worthy upgrade to an already stellar piece of web design software for the Mac.
Whether you’re just starting out with web design, or you’re a seasoned professional, RapidWeaver has a versatile set of tools that can really help with the visual process of website design. You don’t need to write a single line of code, but you can if you want to.
RapidWeaver comes bundled with an array of stunning designs, and a versatile publishing system. In a few clicks you can have your content uploaded to MobileMe, or any other SFTP or FTP server.
Version 5 introduces the new RapidWeaver add-ons, better handling of site resources, a new site map plugin, and 6 brand new themes. A completely free trial is available if you’d like to download RapidWeaver and give it a try.
We also have an exclusive competition for AppStorm readers, and we’re giving away five licenses for this brand new version. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post, letting us know what type of website you’d like to create with RapidWeaver!
The competition closes at midnight on Friday, and we’ll randomly select the winners shortly afterwards. Good luck, and be sure to give RapidWeaver a try in the meantime.
I’m pleased to let you know that the winners of the competition have been announced! Congratulations are in order to:
- Peter Vangeen
- Neil Planchon
- John Mac
Your license codes will be on the way soon!
When Steve Jobs gave a preview of the new version of OS X, he talked at length about the idea of bringing what they’d learned through iOS “Back to the Mac”. Unsurprisingly, sweating the details of one of the best mobile interfaces in the industry has given Apple a great deal of insight and experience that can be applied to OS X.
This concept excites some people, and disturbs others. Although I love my iPad, do I want the same experience on the desktop? Or is this platform still better suited for more intricate, complex interface design?
Although iPhoto ’11 started to hint at how this transition may play out, it still felt very much like a traditional desktop app. I couldn’t really see how bringing iOS interface elements and functionality to the desktop would lead to an overall better experience.
Until this week.
Having spent two days using the Reeder for Mac beta, I’m completely blown away by how well—when executed to perfection—this amalgamation of iOS and OS X can work.
In today’s interview, I’m talking to Andrew Pepperrell, the developer behind one of my favourite applications of the year—Alfred. This is a fantastic application launcher, and seems to keep growing and expanding every month. It’s certainly been developed with care and attention to detail!
Andrew has taken a few minutes out of his busy day to answer our questions, talk about how Alfred is developed, share his thoughts on the latest Apple developments, and even drop a few hints about what to expect in future versions…
I hope you enjoy the interview!
We’d like to say a big thank you to this month’s Mac.AppStorm sponsors, and the great software they create! If you’re interested in advertising, you can purchase a banner advertisement through BuySellAds, or sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot.
Thank you to the fantastic applications we had sponsoring each week during the month, all of which we personally recommend you download and try out!
- CleanMyMac – A great tool for keeping your Mac in tip-top shape that packs an impressive functionality punch for the price. I run CleanMyMac every couple of months, and it always manages to free up several gigabytes of unnecessary data.
- Billings Pro – The basic version of Billings is perfect for freelancers and small companies – but if you run a larger organisation, it’s definitely worth taking a look at Billings Pro. This advanced version offers powerful time tracking, synchronization between different computers, and the ability to review and approve invoices. It’s a powerful beast.
- Radium – A lightweight internet radio player with a wonderfully retro icon! Radium allows you to listen to thousands of radio stations from around the world, right from your OS X menu bar. It’s simple, functional, and an absolutely fantastic way to listen to the radio on your Mac.
- TextExpander – If you regularly find yourself typing the same piece of text over and over again, TextExpander could be a real life-saver. It’s a simple way to store a library of regularly used text snippets, and easily recall them using a pre-defined keyword. We also have an exclusive discount code (APPSTORMTE) for AppStorm readers, good for 20% off until the 5th December.
Thanks for reading AppStorm this month, and for checking out the software that our sponsors create. I really appreciate it.
I’m looking forward to all the exciting things we have planned for next month. It’s going to be a pretty amazing end to the year, so stay tuned!
Apple’s retail operation has been a huge success for the company, with over 300 stores worldwide, across 11 different countries. Rather than a dry retail experience, everything in an Apple Store is carefully thought about—right down to the type of wood used for the counters.
The model of “Come to shop. Return to learn.” works well, instilling a sense of creativity and education into an otherwise very commercial experience. Although the primary aim of an Apple store is obviously to sell Apple products, the commitment to having creative specialists and dedicated trainers is something rarely found elsewhere.
I have a couple of Apple Stores close by in Manchester, but have been finding that over the years they are becoming far more crowded, all the time. What used to be a fantastic browsing experience is now akin to fighting your way to the front of a packed concert venue.
Are you finding the same thing? And how often do you visit an Apple Store nearby? I’d be interested to know whether you still find it a great place to check out the latest Apple gadgets, or if the ever-increasing crowds make visiting more of a necessity than a pleasure.
If you regularly find yourself typing the same piece of text over and over again, TextExpander could be a real life-saver. It’s a simple way to store a library of regularly used text snippets, and easily recall them using a pre-defined keyword.
I use TextExpander countless times every day, and it comes in handy all the time. Whether you often send out very similar emails, or just like to speed up your coding, you should definitely give TextExpander a try.
Version 3 brings a range of new features, including fill-in-the-blank snippets, shortcuts for entering new snippets, a shortcut to edit the last expanded snippet, and snippet search and suggestion via a quick keyboard shortcut. There’s an excellent video tutorial that demonstrates all of TextExpander’s features, including these new ones.
We also have an exclusive discount code for AppStorm readers, good for 20% off the full version TextExpander (single license or family pack). Just use the code APPSTORMTE when checking out, and be sure to do so before it expires on the 5th December!