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Photography can often be a troubling trade when little things don’t go according to plan. After all, if you only have one chance to take a photo, you had better get a good one. Post processing has become a big part of modern photography, from amateur tools like Snapseed to more professional apps Photoshop, Aperture, or the increasingly popular Lightroom.

But simply owning Photoshop or Aperture isn’t enough. You must keep it up to date and use the best plugins for your trade. I’ve been doing a lot of concert photography lately, so I decided it was time I got a better way of reducing noise (a high ISO is required with my fairly slow lens). Imagenomic’s solution, Noiseware, seemed most appropriate, so I began with the 30-day trial. During that time, it was useful enough to sell me on getting a full license. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this plugin better than Photoshop’s built-in noise moderation.

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It is hard to believe, but we are already in October. In the gaming industry, this time of the year is known as review season due to the many video game releases around this time. This year, for example, it all started with Borderlands 2, followed by Resident Evil 6, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Dishonored, and more. Sadly, none of these games are for OS X.

Worry not though: there are many new games coming to the Mac App Store, so we will have your back when it comes to your gaming needs throughout the season. This time, however, we will be talking about one silly little game known as RC Mini Racers. It may not be the most immersive game you’ve ever seen, but it may help you kill sometime while you take a break from work, or wait for those “triple A” titles to launch.

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Keeping on top of all the bills that come in can be difficult. Have you ever wished you had an app to help you stay on top of them without much trouble, that didn’t cost an arm-and-leg like most financial apps? If so, you’re in luck.

Bills to Pay is exactly what the title hints at: an application in which you note the bills you need to pay. A newcomer to the App Store, Bills To Pay is priced at $5 which is low enough for anyone’s budget. But is it worth the admission price? Let’s find out.

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Have you ever searched the Mac App Store for task management apps? If not, go check real quick; we’ll wait. Surprising, isn’t it? There’s literally hundreds of results. Outside of the mainstays (Things, Omnifocus, and Wunderlist to name a few) there are some diamonds in the rough out there, great apps that might not be as polished but deserve more than simply being ignored in the App Store. Onlytasks may just be your diamond in the rough.

By implementing several unique features—such as Evernote sync and Calendar integration—Onlytask provides an appealing option in the task management category. Odds are, you’ve never tried it before, so let’s take a look.

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Have you ever lost track of where you submitted a story or article? Or had to go searching through your email to remind yourself of the status of one of your submissions? Or are you simply unsatisfied with your current system for keeping track of your submissions?

If you find your self answering yes to any of these questions, then Story Tracker is likely the solution you are looking for. It’s an app for serious writers that submit articles, stories, and more to multiple publications, and want to keep track of them all. Let’s check it out.

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Games don’t often show players the future implications of their decisions or the systems behind their interactions, but for Eden Industries’ Waveform this is a core feature. It tasks you with guiding a wave of light safely through levels, layering ever greater complexity on a simple idea.

Colorful visuals, great music, and slick presentation combine to make Waveform a compelling, atmospheric experience well worth your attention, although the game falters and frustrates at times. (more…)

The market for text editors is quite overwhelming, as there are tons of  apps out there with all sorts of features and a broad range of prices. There’s markdown apps for writers, code editors for developers, simple apps to just jot text down, and everything in between. For a newcomer app to break into this market successfully is perhaps harder than with any other app market, as it would need to be exceptionally good in order to really catch our attention.

We came across such an app last year, that despite being in an alpha stage, showed a lot of promise and even made it in our top apps to keep an eye on in 2012. It’s called Chocolat, and now that it has gotten an official stable release, we thought we’d check back on it and see what has changed since the last time we reviewed it.
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Computers should be so smart today, and yet, it feels like we have to babysit them, performing menial tasks, instead of putting the computer’s own power to work. We’re blown away by voice command apps like Siri, and yet our MacBooks that are far faster take more effort to use. There should be a way to automate it more.

ControlPlane is an open-source context-sensitive automation application. In short, what this means is actions can be triggered based on where you are, what you’re doing or when you’re doing it. There’s a vast number of ways you could put it to use, and it’s limited only by your imagination. So if your curiosity is already piqued, read on while I take you on a small tour.

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Markdown is kind of a big deal right now. It’s one of the most popular ways to turn plain text into formatted text, and it’s showing up everywhere from blogging tools to note apps to comments online. The App Store is filled with text editors built around Markdown, each priding itself on having a minimalist interface that makes it easy to write in plain text. It’s hard to know the best one to use.

We’ve covered more then a few markdown apps in the past, and the list of Markdown apps is constantly growing. In this stage of the game, app authors need to create an app that stands above the pack to be competitive. Is Markdown Pro one of those, or just another editor in the pack? (more…)

The old days of Mac OS 8 and 9 are now far behind us, but there are certain features I — and many of my fellow veteran Mac users — still miss. Besides the fabled WindowShade, and Finder windows that behaved predictably, I long for the flexibility and power of the Control Strip, Launcher, and Application Menu. These have all been replicated in OS X to some degree, but sometimes the Dock and the new Apple Menu just don’t cut it.

Speedy resembles the old Control Strip, with a narrow bar of icons that each contain a separate menu, but it functions more like a Launcher and Application Menu combined. It offers a list of all running apps and open windows, quick access to your favorite files, folders, or recent/favorite web pages, clipboard snippets, workflows handling, and more. I’ve fallen in love with it. Allow me to explain why. (more…)

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