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If you’ve been using the Mac before the App Store was around, and even before the iPhone was released, it’d be virtually impossible to not have heard of — or tried out — NetNewsWire. Developed by Brent Simmons, lately of Vesper fame, NetNewsWire was the original RSS reader app, all the way back in 2002 before most of us were blogging or had even heard of RSS. It was later bought out by NewsGator, as the Mac counterpart to their FeedDemon on Windows, and was designed to sync with NewsGator’s RSS synchronization service. Then Google Reader came along, and NetNewsWire and FeedDemon jumped ship to the search giant’s reader for sync, just like everyone else.

Google Reader’s impending death on July 1st spelled death for FeedDemon, and could have well done the same for NetNewsWire if it hadn’t been sold to Black Pixel in 2011. It took a while for any news to come out, other than that when NetNewsWire first sold to Black Pixel, Brent Simmons said “NetNewsWire’s best years are still to come.”

This week, at long last, we get to see what the future holds for the Mac’s most storied RSS reader app with the long awaited NetNewsWire 4 beta. And the future looks pretty good.

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I’ve been trying to find just the right RSS feed reader. I’m pretty low maintenace. I just want to put feed URLs in and get posts from my favorite sites out. If the app looks good and doesn’t take up too much space, that’s even better.

That’s why I was so excited to try out Favoriteer. It’s a slimmed down feed reader, and it looks to have just the features I want with none of the extra cruft that just gets in my way. Can Favoriteer stand up against all the other feed readers on the market? (more…)

The last time I took a look at App.net’s file storage, I took a look at Swing, a Droplr-like app for easy file sharing using the social network’s storage API as its backbone. I loved it (and still use it), but also saw the need for an app that could leverage ADN’s API to act more like Dropbox.

Entire Filebase: It’s a beta app developed by Pete Burtis, but it’s largely stable now and mostly feature complete. Let’s take a look and see what Filebase has to offer Mac users. (more…)

Way back in 2009, when Mac.AppStorm was in its infancy, we reviewed Daylite, a really easy way to manage your business using just one app — and it impressed us. We really loved the range of features, different business areas present within the app and the tight e-mail integration.

Since then, though, a lot has changed with Daylite so let’s take a look at the fourth version to see if it is still as good as we remember it to be.

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How many windows do you have open on your Mac right now? How about when you are working? If you consider yourself a Mac power user, you likely work with a large number of windows open at the same time. There are a few ways to make working with droves of windows more manageable including the built in options (mission control and cmd-tab), using multiple monitors (like this guy demoing the new Mavericks multiple display features), or third part solutions. For the past couple of years I used Optimal Layout until recently switching to HyperSwitch — based on Paula’s review — for my window managing needs.

Another third party window management solution recently updated to 2.x: WindowMizer. It replaces the discontinued app WindowShade X as a way to “roll up” your windows similar to a window shade rather than minimize them to the dock. This is actually a previous feature for Macs back in the day, but is it still useful?

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Let’s be honest, Apple’s calculator app nearly as appealing as the other stock apps on the Mac; heck, it even falls short against its iOS counterpart. With just the basic functions available, it’s one of the least used (not to mention forgettable) apps on my computer. And of all things, it has a Dashboard sidekick that’s even more forgettable.

On the flip side, this can mean more breathing room for more flexible and powerful mathematical tools for the Mac. In fact, a quick search on the Mac App Store shows a wide range of apps to choose from, ranging from scientific to purpose-specific calculators.

One of these that I’m interested in is Numi by Dmitry Nikolaev & Co, a menubar app that moves away from the typical way we use calculators by incorporating text into computation. The idea is that calculations can be made more comprehensive by adding text into the process, and so it is easier to see and understand how we’d arrive at the result.

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We all love finding great deals, but it’s easy to waste more time trying to find good deals than it’s worth. Then, it’s easy to get tempted to get things that you don’t really need right now, just because they’re a good deal.

What if you could spend $2 and let your Mac find the deals you’d like to know about automatically? That’s exactly what LittleFin’s new app, Deal Alert, is.

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There’s extremely powerful and complex task management apps like OmniFocus that are the subject of books and screencasts. Then, there’s the barebones, dead-simple task lists like Clear, or plain text todo lists that feel more like text editors, such as TaskPaper.

But perhaps you want something different. An app, perhaps, that has features like due dates and tags you’d expect in a professional task app, but that’s simple and uncluttered. You want a todo list that’s great with a mouse, but equally great with just your keyboard. And you don’t want to spend a fortune.

How does $4.99 for a menubar todo list app with scheduled tasks, tags and task notes, and rich keyboard support sound? That’s exactly what Taskdeck is.

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iMessage is a great idea. It makes SMS and MMS a thing of the past, between iPhones at any rate, and is as fast and full-featured a one-to-one chat system as you could want. With the Messages app on the Mac and iPad as well, it’s the best of old-school chat and SMS, rolled into one.

At least, it’s supposed to be, theoretically. In real world usage, though, iMessage doesn’t always work perfect. It works best between iPhones, in my use at least, but can often get things messed up when syncing to the Mac. Then, Messages.app itself on OS X is a rather anemic messaging program, despite including support Jabber and other chat services that were traditionally included in iChat. It works for chatting, but if you need to dig deep into your chat archives to find a file someone sent you, you’re going to have a tough time.

That’s why the folks at Flexibits — the people behind my favorite calendar app, Fantastical — made Chatology. It’s the companion app for Messages.app that can make iMessage a power-user tool. (more…)

Skype, FaceTime, Facebook, and more have revolutionized how we communicate with others. It continues to blow my mind how we are busting through the walls of communication to work with others who are miles apart. It’s more normal these days to collaborate with people across the planet, in many ways, than it is to collaborate with those across the hall. It’s a brave new world.

One new app that can make communication simpler, in many ways, is Collaaj. It’s an app that lets you communicate to others using video, audio, and your Mac. It’s the collaboration of Skype combined with the simpleness of email, in a way that’ll help you get your point across to others better than you could with just text and images but without having to be online at the same time.

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