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There’s always a downside to being an early adopter when it comes to computers. If you, like me, jumped on the MacBook Pro with Retina Display bandwagon already, you’ll notice that there are a considerable amount of apps that aren’t compatible with the beautiful new Retina display.

Retinizer is a completely unsupported way to bring crisp text to some non-Retina applications until developers take the time to upgrade their apps. In this quick review we’ll take a look at Retinizer, and how well it performs with popular applications.

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When it comes to image editors, Adobe Photoshop remains the gold standard for professionals. But for students, the amateur, or anyone starting their career, the $700 price tag (or even ~$200 with a student discount) is likely prohibitive. There are cheaper apps available, such as Acorn and Pixelmator, but they offer far fewer features.

Luckily, there’s GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) a completely free and open source image editor that nearly matches Photoshop’s versatility. It’s long been available on the Mac if you had X11 installed, but never looked the part of a high quality Mac app. That’s all changed with the latest 2.8.2 release of Gimp, which shipped as a fully native Mac app. That’s what prompted us to take a closer look at the most popular Photoshop alternate.

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In OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple introduced Launchpad. Launchpad is widely seen by many as an early attempt by Apple to slowly introduce elements of iOS into OS X. Although a valiant attempt by Apple, many noticed all of the flaws within Launchpad immediately. The biggest concern with Launchpad is the lack of customization and what the user can change. Well now, independent developers are picking up where Apple left off.

Launchpad Manager is the genius creation of Attila Miklosi; its concept is to add increased functionality to an almost useless Launchpad. Launchpad Manager comes in two flavors, free and pro. The Pro version will set you back $7.99 but it will add cool features like group organizing, layout saving, and more! The developer has provided us with the pro version for review, so lets get to it! (more…)

You’ve probably gotten invited to more than your share of Facebook events, and if you’re like me, you tend to lose track of them fairly quickly. Either you RSVP that you can’t make it, and when you change your mind, you can’t find the event to save your life, or you did let the organizer know you’d be coming but promptly forgot until Facebook reminded you the day of the event.

With seemingly everyone using Facebook events to plan everything from baby showers to beauty pageants, I’ve thought there has to be a better way. So did the developers of Going, a menubar app that keeps track of all your Facebook events for you and even syncs up with Calendar. With the ability to RSVP, create events, and event post to Facebook, is there anything Going can’t do? (more…)

If you want to store your notes in the cloud, but haven’t clicked with Simplenote and are looking for a better solution than a TextEdit file in your Dropbox folder, CloudJot may be the note syncing app you’ve been waiting for. It keeps your notes close at hand, both on your desktop and in your menubar, while always staying synced to Dropbox.

Is CloudJot as robust as the Simplenote apps we’ve reviewed? Or is it a gimmick playing to Dropbox’s popularity? We’ll see how well CloudJot shapes up as a quick note-taking app while testing it’s syncing chops. (more…)

On a fine summer day this year, I stood in front of my MacBook Air — yes, sitting had become tiresome — thinking of a way to make my process of reviewing apps better. Sure, there are lots of ways my workflow could be improved, but I had one element in particular that kept me from being a pedant: the unobtainable icons for iOS apps. I could review whatever I wanted, but how was I to get a quality 200 x 200 pixel image? I thought about it a bit and to no avail, then pushed on to another task that needed attention.

A few weeks following the transpiration of said events, I happened upon Retina Mac Apps, my new favorite place to discover quality Mac apps. Among the collection of beautiful icons was Pragmatic Code’s Crunch, an app that stood out by having an icon closely resembling the well-known home button found on iOS devices. I wondered, why would a Mac app have such an icon? After a bit of reading, I realized that this was the very app I had been searching for weeks before. So I downloaded it and have been using it regularly. If the idea of this app sounds like something you see yourself using, keep reading for a assiduous appraisal of the app and its worth. (more…)

I tend to just take quick glances at my calendar, checking the dates of events coming up or looking to see if I can fit something new in. Sometimes it’s a huge pain to open the app on my phone or computer, so I end up guessing whether I have anything on a particular date — which is a recipe for disaster.

What I need, I realized a few weeks ago, is a good menubar calendar that I can call on at a moment’s notice with a simple click of the mouse or tap of the keyboard. Qbix’s Calendar Plus fits the bill, and to sweeten the deal it includes great customization options. Let’s check it out. (more…)

Image editing can be fun, but it can also be tedious and frustrating, especially if you want to make changes that require either professional apps that cost a lot or skills that only come from years of experience.

Removing unwanted objects from photos – people, power lines, trash, you name it – can be either very easy, depending on the background and general composition of the image, or a huge a pain. Snapheal can make this a breeze for you. The editing app has received a major update and we’ll take a look at what has changed and how it will affect your workflow.

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Half-Life. To this day the series stands as an iconic and fairly revolutionary gaming release that’s legacy commands all the attention of the industry press whenever there’s a whisper of its third iteration. The original Half-Life was released to much critical acclaim and remains a classic in the eyes of gaming history, albeit not one that was ever released for OS X.

While the 1998 game was indeed never introduced on the Mac, the 2004 sequel, Half-Life 2, was released alongside Steam’s debut on the platform. Half-Life 2 and its subsequent episode takes a familiar gameplay setup and key characters while throwing them into a significantly developed storyline and new environment. As we begin to wrap up our coverage of the state of OS X gaming, its time to dedicate some time to one of gaming’s most iconic products and take a history lesson in the Half-Life universe. (more…)

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