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In the past few months, RSS has gone through a dramatic transformation from being a one-man show to becoming a free-for-all with many players in the fold. I know a lot of people on Feedly, but I ended up going with Feed Wrangler to get things done. I think the transition to privately owned content, instead of Google’s focus on ad-serving, is highly beneficial.

But that being said, some services have been replaced by apps who operate independently of any free or paid RSS service. These are app-dependent RSS feeds that operate independently of cross-platform services. The most popular of these is probably NetNewsWire, but with version 2.0 of Leaf RSS Reader, Leaf enters the fold as a prime contender. I imported my Feed Wrangler feeds to the service to give it a whirl.

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The least enjoyable part of setting up new computers is installing apps, for me anyhow. The Mac App Store makes this a lot easier, but many essential and valuable Mac apps are not present in the App Store either by choice from the vendor or due to the limitations placed on apps located in the store. Instead, you have to find the installer, download it, install it, then rinse/repeat a dozen times.

In the Windows ecosystem, Ninite offered a way around this problem. It allows you to install a number of popular apps from their library by running a single application. It’s simple and convenient, and made setting up a new PC or reinstalling Windows a little bit less annoying.

While you need to reinstall OS X far less often than Windows, it’s can still be a time consuming task when needed. Plus, you still need to setup apps anytime you get a new Mac. That’s where Get Mac Apps comes in. Their home page says “It’s like Ninite for mac!”, so let’s take it at its word and see how well it works. (more…)

Even though Apple users are blessed with iMessage, it’s not truly cross-platform, so some people prefer Google Hangouts (which doesn’t have a native Mac app) or Facebook. There are even those who still use WhatsApp, but this once-popular system has recently been challenged by Line, a competitor from Japan. Sporting “stickers” and a solid messaging platform, the service has taken Asia by storm; it’s now becoming very popular stateside as well.

Line’s developers recently released a Mac companion to the fleet of mobile apps. It looks nice, but is it worth using? (more…)

I’ve been using Mac for years, but sometimes there are apps that everybody else swears by that I’ve never used. One of those apps is Yojimbo, which has a long history on the platform and is something many popular bloggers completely swear by.

Recently, Yojimbo was upgraded to version 4.0, which brings with it a new syncing option and — well, not much else. But in today’s day and age, is a service like Yojimbo still relevant when our Macs aren’t our sole tool anymore and we’re all using iPads and smartphones everywhere we go? Read on to find out what my thoughts are on the state of Yojimbo in 2013.

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You don’t have to be a designer to be surrounded by images you need and love. There’s always Instagram, pictures you were tagged on Facebook, a cool infographic you saw at a random page, photos from your child’s birthday or your New Year’s party. Snapping a picture is so effortless these days we even burn ‘film’ on our so-so everyday meals. We’re swarmed by images, some of them we’d like to store.

Regarding this personal matter, we recently reviewed Ember, but some readers weren’t satisfied by its terms of acquisition and lack of a few features to justify its price tag, some even mocked it as nothing but a private Pinterest. Among the comments, we heard of a promising upcoming app, currently in beta, called Inboard. Can it rekindle the flame of our image libraries?

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Quick access to a reliable forecast is important for reasons beyond simply having some fall-back material during lulls in everyday conversation. Knowing what the weather has in store for your location can guide wardrobe decisions and help you decide on whether that picnic should be postponed to a drier day.

There are plenty of websites that offer accurate forecasts, and even Google can give you a quick-look at your location’s weather with a simple search query. Living Earth HD for Mac aims to keep you up-to-date on weather conditions without having to open your browser. Is it ready to replace your local weatherman?

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For the past five years, I’ve been relying upon FileMaker’s Bento to manage structured data on my MacBook. Unfortunately, the Apple subsidiary recently announced that it was ending development of the friendly database application. The company will stop selling Bento after September 2013, and will end user support after July 2014.

It’s time for a new simple databasing app for the Mac. In this review, I’ll be looking at an indie database app called Tap Forms to see how it stacks up as a Bento replacement. It looks promising — and hopefully it can eventually take the Bento crown. (more…)

I do a fair bit of photo editing — everything from screenshots to engagement and wedding shoots — and there are some things that take way too long to do in Photoshop or any of its equivalents. One of those things is collages. Another one is setting up a background image.

In Photoshop, you’d have to create a background layer, adjust the colour, adjust the size of your next layer, and drag them around until it fit right. That’s great if you’re really particular and know exactly what you’re looking to do. But sometimes, you just want a really cool and quick way to show off your weekend at the beach. And you want it to take about ten seconds from conception to Facebook sensation. This is where Diptic comes in.

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MainStage has long been Apple’s answer to the live music performance industry. While the company hasn’t listed names of popular bands who use the app (like they did with Logic Pro), there are quite a few artists who use the concert-optimized DAW for synthesizers and sometimes even mixing. I’ve been using the second version of MainStage to play synths at church for over three years now, and while it was a learning process to understand things, I’m fully invested in the app now, and I love it.

When I saw MainStage 3, I was excited to see new features like arpeggiators and drum machines finally making their way to the app. The sparkly user interface, too, looked like a nice change. After a bit of testing, I’ve come to a few conclusions about the app. Let’s go over them. (more…)

AirPlay is a fantastic feature if you want to listen to a podcast wirelessly on your home speakers or watch a film that’s available only on Amazon Prime Video (which is not included with the Apple TV). However, it is missing one feature: the ability to stream from your iPhone to your Mac, rather than a TV. This could be handy if you use your iMac as a TV and want to play your movies and games on the big screen, or don’t want to take your iPhone out of your pocket to listen to a podcast while in the coffee shop (because you didn’t buy Instacast on both platforms).

There has long been a solution available, properly titled AirServer. The thing is, we never got around to reviewing it here at Mac.AppStorm, so today I’m going to do just that. Is the little utility worth the price and does it do everything that’s promised? (more…)

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