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One source of frustration for Mac users, especially those switching over from Windows, is the inability to switch between windows of an application using command + tab. Fortunately, many developers have come to the rescue offering solutions that allow for switching between open applications and windows within the same app using a keyboard shortcut.

One such application is Optimal Layout . But to think of Optimal Layout as just an application switcher would be a serious understatement of this app’s capabilities. It’s more of an application / window switcher plus all-around window manager. This app has become indispensable for me in my daily computing. It is set to open at login and seems so natural to OS X that in my mind its functions should be standard in in the OS. Read on to find out why this app fits so well into daily computing on OS X.

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Not too long ago, we reviewed Parallels Desktop 7 and deemed it to be a great app for all those needing to run alternate operating systems on their Macs. Now the team behind Parallels has release a new version of their flagship app and we decided to take a renewed look to see if they managed to improve on an already excellent product.

Join us as we discover some of the improvements and tweaks Parallels Desktop 8 has to offer and work around the few snags we found along the way.
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If you’ve read a few of my articles in Mac.Appstorm then you’ve probably seen how big of a fan I am of Evernote. It’s a wonderful service: not only does it let you create, organize, and share notes easily, but it also lets you keep everything synced up and accessible through many places, like their website, and the iOS, Android and Mac apps.

The Mac app has been around for some time now, and even though it gets continuous support and works just fine, it has been in need of a UI overhaul for a long time. Well, just a few days ago the Evernote team revealed a new update that will bring a complete re-do to the app, and just now we’ve had the opportunity to test out the beta version of the new Evernote 5. Let’s see what’s new!
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If you live in your calendar, chances are you’ll want more than the built-in Calendar app offers. Calendar in OS X isn’t bad, per se, but it’s definitely not as powerful or productivity-focused as many wish.

As many people are aware, BusyCal is a very commendable iCal replacement. Since the release of BusyCal 2, though, it’s fair to make the bold statement that BusyCal is an exceedingly commendable iCal (or, as with OS X 10.8, Calendar) replacement. It has the potential to make you more productive and efficient with the addition of some very well received and welcomed features. Let’s take a look. (more…)

The best and worst thing about Gmail is that it’s web-based. Keeping a browser tab open for it is both convenient and annoying. You can set it up with your desktop mail client of choice, of course, but that comes with its own baggage and issues. I like the idea of something in between the two — an app that I can install on my computer that isn’t overloaded with features I don’t use and segregated from my web browsing. MailPop Pro is just the ticket.

It lives in your menubar, is instantly accessible at all times, and improves upon the Gmail web app in a multitude of ways (with one big caveat). Let’s dive in. (more…)

There surely isn’t any shortage of apps for viewing and interacting with your Instagram feed right from your Mac. We’ve even presented a comparison of a few of them to you not so long ago.

Today we’re going to present you yet another newcomer to the Instagram Mac client market that is a bit different from the rest, in that it lives in your menu bar and is considerably simpler (and cheaper) than the rest. It’s called Instabar, so would you like to take a look at it?

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I rely on RSS feeds as my main source of news and interesting stories on the Internet. But I don’t have time to go through every single story blurb to see what I’d like to read in full. I know I’m not alone in my awful noise to reading time ratio. The developers of Cream, a new lightweight RSS reader, seem to get this, and so they baked a recommendation engine right into their app.

Cream sports a modern, clean interface and design, but I’m not sure that it’s quite ready for the prime time. Let’s explore what it does well, and where it falls short. (more…)

Skitch received a major upgrade to version 2.0 last September, taking the Mac community by storm—in a bad way.

Personally, I’m pretty open-minded towards app upgrades. I almost always welcome changes made to an app’s design and functionality, giving it the benefit of testing out the changes first before making any judgments. So, you can imagine how curious I was when I saw how version 2.0 enraged so many of Skitch’s users just after it was released. Did Evernote really push out an update that broke Skitch, a fine application, and made it clunky and unusable? (more…)

ScreenFlow 4, the most recent version of the premier Mac screencasting application by Telestream, landed yesterday. We were given a look at it last week in advance of its official release and have the review for you hot off the press!

Read on to see how ScreenFlow 4‘s feature improvements, such as improved production features and Retina capabilities, stack up and whether it’s worth the hefty price tag.

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It’s easy to get lost among all the new content that we are around everyday. Throughout the day I usually find through many different ways (Twitter, RSS and what not) tons of articles and blog posts that I would like to read, but can’t do so right then and there. That’s why apps like Instapaper, Pocket and Readability exist, so that you can save articles for later without getting them lost in the sea of content out there.

But having an account with each of these services can get pretty confusing, and even if you only use one of them, using it in your browser is not always convenient. Today we’re reviewing Words, an app that can help you access and keep those articles that you bookmark, directly in your Mac. It’s especially interesting now, as it’s the only way to read Instapaper offline on your Mac now that the former Read Later app has been turned into the new Pocket for Mac. And, we’ve got 8 free copies for our readers to try it out, so keep reading!
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