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The announcement of the Mac App Store was something of a semi-surprise. We all considered it a future possibility, but there was a significant amount of doubt over whether Apple would actually flip the switch and implement the idea. As it turns out, in less than 90 days, we’ll have the Mac App Store sitting on our desktop!

For the majority of Mac users, this will be a great addition. It takes away the headache of a complicated installation process, removes the need to understand what a .DMG is, and gives them an easy way to find software they may not have otherwise.

Many people, myself included, take solace in the fact that this is “just one way” to install software on our Mac. We’re not tied to only installing software that has passed Apple’s approval process, and are free to tinker to our heart’s content. This isn’t a closed eco-system.

But will this always be the case? Today I’d like to ask what you think Apple’s future intention is with the Mac App Store. Will it always be “just one way” to install software, or will it one day be the only way to install new apps on your Mac? And would this be a good or bad thing?

Have your say in the comments!

I’ve been a Mac user now for about a year and a half, give or take. As is common, I’m completely happy I took the plunge and will never look back. There is very little I dislike about my MacBook and OS X. If you’re looking to convert yourself I’ll tell right now, you won’t regret it. The rumors are true. It is a fantastic experience overall.

But there are certainly some possible areas of frustration. As an advanced Windows user, I found many aspects of OS X to be overly-simplified, and really quite alien. Today, I’ll be outlining a few of these examples – and explaining the best way to deal with this source of frustration!

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Winners Announced

I’m pleased to announce that we’ve announced the three lucky winners! Congratulations are in order to:

  • Wiehann Radyn
  • Adam M
  • Smyge

Original Competition

Today we’re kicking off a new competition to win a copy of TextExpander. We recently published a head to head of text expanding apps, putting different software in this category through its paces. Text Expander came out as one of the best apps available, and we’re thrilled to give you the chance to win a copy today!

We have three full licenses up for grabs, and entering is really simple. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post, letting us know why you’d like to win a copy!

The competition will run for one week, and we’ll announce the randomly selected winners on the Thursday 28th October. Good luck, and enjoy your weekend!

The announcement of a new operating system is no small deal, so today has proven to be an exciting time for Mac enthusiasts everywhere. OS X Lion seems set to be a huge step forward for the Mac operating system, and there are some significant changes to be expected.

A few of the top highlights include a Mac App Store, Launchpad, full-screen apps, and “Mission Control”, but read on for the full lowdown on what to expect from Apple’s next big cat.

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As far as bundled software goes, iLife packs a serious punch. Apple’s suite of iApps is a serious selling point for OS X, and one of the reasons that many people are compelled to switch to the Mac platform. As with any software suite, there’s a constant battle between maintaining a solid, up-to-date set of applications without succumbing to “feature bloat”.

Today we’re going to be taking a look at some of the new features that Apple has added to iLife 11, along with talking about the two apps that were left out in the cold… Join us after the break to find out more!

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Welcome to our coverage of Apple’s “Back to the Mac” event. We’ll be keeping you updated in real-time with news from across the web. You can see when things kick off in your time zone, so stay tuned for all our news and analysis.

There’s plenty of anticipation and hype surrounding Apple’s Mac event tomorrow, and I’m really excited to see which new features and functionality are announced. It’s about time that the Mac and OS X saw some love and attention from Apple.

So, what do I really want to see announced tomorrow? First and foremost, I’d love to see anything that helps to improve Apple’s support for cloud functionality and syncing. This has been a long time coming and, although it’s related to iOS as well, it might make an appearance as one of the new pieces of core functionality in OS X Lion.

Second, I’m excited about the potential that AirPlay has to stream content between devices in real-time. Being able to send a video wirelessly to my iPad or iPhone from my Mac would be fantastic, as would doing the same thing in reverse.

As for all the rumours surrounding tweaks to the OS X interface? I could take it or leave it. I’m a big fan of the look-and-feel of the current Snow Leopard UI and, short of adding iOS style scrolling (and “pull to refresh”), there isn’t much I’d change.

What are you hoping to see tomorrow? Let us know your favourite potential feature in the poll above, and give me a shout in the comments if what you’re excited about isn’t listed!

This year AppStorm is taking part in Blog Action Day to raise awareness about clean water and water conservation. We’re going to take a moment to think how using your Mac also uses up the world’s water resources, and showcase a few apps useful for understanding this better.

We’ll also think about a few fundraising ideas that you could explore, using the software already on your Mac! Join us after the break for some handy Mac tips, and fascinating environmental information.

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Apple today announced a new media event, due to be held in six days on the 20th October. Called “Back to the Mac”, it signals the focus of the presentation will be upon OS X, and Apple’s Mac hardware lineup. If you’ve become a little tired of the successive stream of iPhone, iPad and iOS announcements over the past 12 months, now’s a good time to start getting excited!

The invitation states “Come see what’s new for the Mac on October 20, including a sneak peek of the next major version of Mac OS X.” I’ll be taking a look at what the announcement is likely to cover after the break!

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I’ve read a few interesting articles this week about whether apps that help you achieve better productivity or a “distraction free” environment are really a good thing (e.g. WriteRoom). On the face of it, this type of software does help you get more done and avoid a cluttered workflow. But is it that simple?

Another argument could be that the process of trying out all these new “productivity enhancing” applications is actually just a way of putting off work that needs to be done! Wouldn’t it be better if you just settled on a single app and got to work?

I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on this. How do you view this process of searching for and trying out new apps? Does it ultimately lead to the “ultimate” set of software for a productive workflow, or is it just another way of procrastinating?

As a side note; if you want to read something slightly more in-depth about this topic, try this recent article by Merlin Mann. Lengthy and detailed, but fascinating nonetheless.

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