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As of 1 March, 2012, all new apps/updates submitted to the Mac App Store will be forced to implement a security feature called sandboxing. In brief, sandboxing limits the scope of each application by restricting how much of your system that app has access to. Developers will have to go through Apple and request specific entitlements in order to receive permission to stretch the limits a little further and give their apps access to certain information.

The benefit here is obvious, your system will be much safer given the restricted access that apps will have. The downside though is a big one for seasoned Mac users and developers of particularly powerful utilities as this restriction has serious potential to limit features. As Techworld.com reports, Alfred’s developers have hesitated to submit the Alfred Powerpack to the Mac App Store for this very reason.

Back in June, I wrote and published an article titled“1984 and the Future of Mac Software” containing a fairly gloomy outlook on the future of the Mac should it continue down its current road towards heavier developer regulation. It seems fairly obvious that Apple wants control over every aspect of what does and doesn’t make its way onto your Mac. That’s not inherently a bad thing though, iOS serves as a great example of a successful system (that users love) which happens to be very tightly controlled by Apple.

Ultimately, whether or not sandboxing is a good thing is completely up to you. We want to hear what you think. Vote in the poll above and leave a comment explaining your answer.

Hat tip to SmileyKeith for submitting this poll idea via Twitter. Shoot us a tweet at @MacAppStorm with the hashtag “#appstormpoll” if you have a poll idea you’d like to see published.

Our featured sponsor this week is FreeSpace, a lightweight utility that helps you keep an eye on your disk space.

FreeSpace is a menubar utility that can show you how much space is available on all local, connected, network drives, and disk images with a single click. All the partitions and drives are grouped into their own categories. FreeSpace also allows you to eject all connected drives by 1 click on the menu, or eject individual drives by clicking an eject icon next to each drive name. FreeSpace comes with mount and eject indicator, which flashes on the menu bar when mounting or eject is complete.

There’s a lot to love about this little gem. It’s awesome to be able to manage your drives so easily right from the menu bar. My favorite feature is the ability to eject discs without switching to the desktop. FreeSpace also works great with Time Machine. When the Time Machine drive is plugged in, the free space is immediately shown on the menu. When Time Machine backup is complete, Free Space flashes an eject indicator to show that the drive has been safely ejected by Time Machine.

Go Get It!

FreeSpace is available in the Mac App Store for a mere $0.99! The developers could easily justify charging double or triple that so this price is really a steal. Stop by to grab your download today and instantly take control of your external drives.

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


As we move to more and more things becoming digital, it’s not surprising that we can now have cookbooks as eBooks and even as apps on our Macs. And thanks to integrated technologies cooking apps don’t have to simply hold a recipe, but can include detailed photos of ingredients and step-by-step tutorials.

The Photo Cookbook makes it deliciously easy, to fix any kind of dish and it does so with beautiful images and easy to follow instructions. Learn after the break how this app can bring you on your way to be the chef in your kitchen.

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We’ve discussed, on several occasions here on Mac.AppStorm, the niche of apps comprised of consumer-grade imaging and design software. It is still a fairly young app space with huge potential for hobbyists and part-time designers that may not have the funds (or the feature requirements) for the professional tools like those developed by Adobe.

I like to dabble a small bit (emphasis on “small”) in vector art, and with a brother who is a graphic designer by trade, I’ve had my time to play with the big guns like Illustrator. Not only is it way more firepower than I’ll ever need, but I’m also not willing to shell out the required cash for what amounts to a part time hobby for me. Today, I’ll take a look at iDraw, a vector drawing app by Indeeo with a more reasonable price tag and a less immensely overwhelming feature set for the small-timers like me.

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Quicksilver. For seasoned Mac users that word instantly draws up fond memories of an app that was once at the top of every list of must have utilities. The beloved launcher has been out of the game for years though, an unceremoniously abandoned project that went before its time.

It seems though that the story doesn’t end there. The open source Quicksilver project, housed at QSApp.com, is alive and kicking and recently released a major update for Lion users. Intrigued? Read on!

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We recently published an in-depth look at a completely unique new web browser called Raven. This site specific browser focuses on improving the way you use web apps with a super slick and convenient interface.

We were surprised to learn that the developer has created a dedicated AppStorm app for Raven! Read on to see what it’s all about and how you can get it!

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Good news! We’ve chosen the winner for our awesome StackSocial SuperBundle! Congratulations to Twitter user CrypticLacuna, you’ll be receiving an email shortly with instructions for how to claim your prize.

For everyone else, thanks so much for entering. Check back soon for more awesome app giveaways.

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Big news, our favorite launcher is finally about to hit version one! It’s hard to believe that the app has received so much attention and good press while in a fairly experimental state but the simple truth is that Mac users simply can’t get enough of Alfred’s perfect combination of depth and simplicity.

Read on as we take a renewed look at what Alfred can do along with some awesome new features you can look forward to in the 1.0 release!

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We’d like to say a big thank you to last 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!

  • Studiometry – Studiometry is a powerhouse of professional organization tools that’s been serving the industry for over eight years. Whether you’re managing contacts, generating estimates, tracking work, or billing clients, this one app has you covered in a single beautifully cohesive workflow.
  • Live Interior 3D – A powerful and intuitive home and interior design application that lets you build the house or office of your dreams right on your Mac.
  • Studiometry – Studiometry is a powerhouse of professional organization tools that’s been serving the industry for over eight years. Whether you’re managing contacts, generating estimates, tracking work, or billing clients, this one app has you covered in a single beautifully cohesive workflow.
  • Disk Drill – Disk Drill recovers data from HFS/HFS+, FAT, NTFS & other file systems right on your Mac. It helps you undelete Mac OS files using its two powerful Mac recovery methods: Quick or Deep scanning. Disk Drill data recovery for Mac OS X locates and recovers deleted files from any mountable media like your main drive, external hard disk, memory cards, iPods Classic, etc.
  • Drive Genius 3 – Drive Genius 3 is the ultimate tool for whipping your drives into shape. Whether you want to free up space with the super easy DriveSlim feature or are looking to perform some maintenance, Drive Genius 3 has you covered.
  • Finch – Finch is an app that takes all the effort out of time tracking. If you can open it, you can use it! With virtually zero configuration, Finch sits quietly tucked away in your menu bar and collects data throughout the day. It monitors what windows and apps are active on the screen at any given time.

Finally, thanks to you for reading AppStorm this month, and for checking out the software that our sponsors create. I really appreciate it – you make the site what it is!

AppleInsider recent published an interesting article that doesn’t bode well for Mac Pro fans. Supposedly, diminishing sales of the Mac Pro have led to considerable discussions at Apple over whether or not it will be profitable to continue the line further.

Though there will always be users who need more processing muscle than your average Mac owner, iMacs have become such powerful machines that many users are more than happy forgoing the Mac Pro’s high price tag when shopping for a workstation. It’s not a giant leap of logic to see the Mac Pro today as the Xserve of yesterday. The question is, will it reach a similar fate?

Vote in the poll and let us know what you think will happen to the Mac Pro. Is this overhyped doom and gloom? Is the Mac Pro here to stay? Or will it disappear, perhaps in favor of an even more powerful iMac? Let us know what you think and leave a comment below telling us why!

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