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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…)

When Google acquired Sparrow, the most popular Mac email client of the day, back in July, it seemed all hope for email on OS X was lost. People thought they’d have to resort to Apple’s stale Mail app because Sparrow’s support may end. Mail all that bad, but it really isn’t the simplest thing out there and trying to do little things is often arduous. So that gave independent developers another chance to do something big: build a great new mail app for the Mac.

It all started with .Mail, or the “Dot Mail App” as some have referred to it. This appeared to be the most beautiful mail client ever on a Mac, but it was only a mockup at the time it was first shown off. It’s now in development, but it’s still a ways off, so people are constantly searching for a Sparrow alternative. An interesting little app by the name of Inky came across my desk the other day and it looked promising. After all, who doesn’t want to try out an app that has an icon nearly identical to Pearl from Finding Nemo? (more…)

You’re probably aware of Tiny Tower, a tycoon and management-style game from developer NimbleBit that recieved strong reviews and some pretty strong attention when it seemed Zynga blatantly ripped them off. Earlier this year, they released a new game, Pocket Planes, for mobile platforms which also received critical acclaim (scoring a full 10/10 in our iPad review) and got me seriously addicted.

When browsing the Mac App Store recently, I came across an interesting discovery. NimbleBit has brought the insanely popular game to the Mac in a port that even boasts syncing with its iOS brother. Let’s take a look and see how it stacks up to the well-recieved experience on your iPhone and iPad. (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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Going on vacation is good for anyone. It can relieve the stress of work, give you insights to a majestic piece of the Earth, or even inspire you to paint something you’ve found along the way. The process of going on a vacation is different for a lot of people. Some prefer to drive, while others take a flight, mostly when they’re going abroad. On the road, it’s common for folks to stop in a hotel to rest for another day’s drive. Even if they end up flying, a hotel comes in handy when they’ve landed.

Most people use services like Kayak.com or Expedia, which are handy tools for finding affordable and decent places to rest. All these services have iPhone apps, but you don’t often come across one for the Mac. Bellhop is changing that. The app, developed by Conceited Software, aims to make your hotel-finding process on the Mac effortless. Sounds promising, but is it any good? (more…)

If you’re an audiophile like me, you probably know the pain of trying to use high-quality music files with iTunes. Even though iTunes does a pretty good job of playing your lossless sound files, you’re always left wondering if you’re missing something, not to mention the fact that iTunes doesn’t support FLAC files.

If these things bother you on a daily basis, we’ve found an application that might be able to help you: BitPerfect. It’s an app that’s designed to help you squeeze the best possible audio quality from your sound system, according to its developer. Let’s take that claim for a test and see if it’s worth the price. (more…)

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…)

Sometimes an app comes along that just wows you with what it does. It makes something incredibly difficult seem effortlessly simple, and you wonder why nobody had done the same thing before — or if they had, why you didn’t already know about it. Sweetie is one of those apps. It’s more a toy than a full-fledged image processing app, but boy does it impress.

Sweetie turns your photos — and any other images you choose — into beautiful ASCII art. The results are spectacular, and I’ve never enjoyed testing an app for review as much as I did here. The interface has some serious issues, which will need to be rectified before Sweetie can really shine, but that shouldn’t stop you from picking it up. (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…)

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