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Web development remains one of the areas in which the Mac app ecosystem shines brightest. As the technologies underpinning the internet continue to evolve, we’re thrilled to see eager developers providing new tools to take advantage of those technologies and simplify formerly arduous tasks. Like producing graphics code, for instance.

Last year, I reviewed PaintCode, an app that facilitates the creation of Objective-C interface graphics using natural graphic design tools. PixelCut has expanded their reach with the brand new WebCode, an app that offers the same tools geared toward the creation of code-based graphics for the web.

After the jump, let’s dig in to see if the tools are as useful for web design as they were for app development.

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Fire is an element that many of us can identify with: it looks beautiful, its powerful, you’ve probably burned something with it, and it has different meanings. Let’s face it, there is something mesmerizing about watching flames burn, whatever they’re touching.

Fire in gaming is no different, we’ve seen it used in various ways, but what about a game where all you do is burn things – cute things, for that matter. This is exactly what Little Inferno is like. Granted, burning things can be fun at first, but in a game where all you do is burn things for the sake of burning things, Little Inferno leaves a little to be desired.

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All right all you note taking app aficionados, there’s a new plain text note taker on the block: Just Type. You may be familiar with its iOS counterpart, which has been out for a while, but this popular iOS note taker just recently hit the Mac App Store.

This app is definitely worth a look, but is it worth switching to? Can it replace Simplenote? Read on to find out.

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For freelancers, time tracking can be the bane of our existence. We know we need to keep track of all the time we spend on client work but, more often than not, we sometimes forget to start that timer or even can’t remember how much time we spent on that mockup. It’s an inconvenience we all wish we could avoid but when you’re in charge of your own time, keeping track of it should be a priority.

To make time tracking simpler, AppBieger have released an app called RealTime which — instead of just a simple timer — automatically tracks the time you spend within apps.

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The most recent addition to the X-COM franchise, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, recently made the jump to the Mac. Including all the previously released downloadable content, this Elite Edition has been much anticipated by Mac fans of the franchise.

Let’s take a look and see how gameplay on the Mac matches up to console and whether it’s worth it to double up if you’ve already got XCOM on another system. (more…)

AirPlay Mirroring was one useful new feature Mountain Lion added to Mac OS. AirPlay Mirroring allows sending the screen of your Mac to display on a TV connected through an Apple TV. The usefulness for presentations is obvious, but I’ve found it most useful as a way to share a video to the room. While iTunes allows sending to an Apple TV, its limited in usefulness. AirPlay Mirroring let’s anything that can be displayed on your Mac to appear on an Apple TV. Instead of huddling around your MacBook display or the monitor on your iMac, everyone can watch it on the larger television screen your Apple TV connects to.

It’s not a perfect solution as the quality isn’t always great with stutters and pauses in the video a common problem. It also ties up your Mac when the display is mirrored. This works fine when watching short videos off YouTube or other online sites, but sometimes you don’t want to give up your computer for an hour or more to watch a longer video or move. Perhaps your roommate or significant other wants to watch a movie, but you’d just as soon catch up on email or finish a presentation.

Beamer offers a solution. It promises to send a video file to your Apple TV without having to completely give your Mac over to showing video. You can play any video from your Mac on your Apple TV. Since it’s an application the video can play while you continue doing other things. Let’s see how well it meets the promise.

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Before Halo rocketed to system-selling success, before Marathon showed how an intricate story could weave into an action-heavy first-person shooter, it was 1993 release Pathways into Darkness that put Bungie on the map. The company’s third game, PiD combined the first-person action of id Software’s Wolfenstein 3D with an exploration-focused adventure game.

It was a revelation, quickly reaching bestseller status and earning plaudits across the Mac-focused press. And now you can play it in OS X (without an emulator), courtesy of a port by Mark Levin and Bruce Morrison. I’ve spent the past few weeks struggling through its many twisty passages, and am pleased to report that it’s still a great game.

But boy is it hard — brutally so. Allow me to walk you through a little of Pathways into Darkness’s legacy and gameplay, and to explain why — difficulty aside — you should seriously consider giving it a try.
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Whether you’re just learning to play guitar or you’re an experienced musician, it’s always helpful to have some music theory resources lying around. Chord books are especially useful for guitarists, they can help you find variations for playing known chords as well as new ones to play around with. But wouldn’t it be nice to have an interactive chord book on your computer?

ChordMate is just that, and much more. It’s a Mac app that can help you find new chords, new voicings, and even string together chord progressions right on your computer. Sounds interesting?

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You’ve got a lot of things to write down, but you want to keep them safe. Sure, there are a lot of notes apps to choose from, but how secure are they? Bluenote not only keeps your notes secure with AES-256 encryption, but it will also manage your passwords for you, too.

We’ll take a look at all Bluenote has to offer! (more…)

Every product requires preparation to release, especially new mobile apps. If you’re trying to make people more productive, you’ll . Creating a great app demands planning, testing and studying in the look out for the best ways to achieve its intents.

One of the main culprits for a poor app is poor navigation, often caused by the lack of a prototype where you can visualize your app’s engines and hierarchies between screens. That’s what Briefs does. It allows you to set actions to the elements of your static design and create an interactive mockup, which you can send to partners for feedback or just grab a feeling of how it is to navigate within your project.

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