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The basic concept behind SwitRing isn’t exactly new, mouse-activated gestures have been around for ages. In fact, I used to be quite fond of using the gestures feature in Quicksilver. It’s nice to be able to whirl your mouse around as if it were a magic wand and have that interpreted as a command to carry out a specific action.

Typically though, gesture apps work basically the same way: you draw a basic shape with your mouse, then associate that with an action. The problem of course with this method is that three weeks later you can never remember all those silly shapes that made so much sense when you set them up. The alternative is something like BetterTouchTool, which adds more multitouch features to your Magic Mouse or trackpad.

SwiftRing is an app still in its infancy stages that seeks to rethink how mouse gestures work. Instead of forcing you to memorize various acrobatic cursor actions, all you do is press a hotkey and move your mouse in a given direction. Let’s take a closer look and see how this works.


Essentials is an interesting and useful app that takes almost every type of information you could want and makes it only a keyboard shortcut away. It doesn’t impose structure on you but instead gives you a broad use utility that you can use however you want.

What can you do with Essentials? Read on to find out!


Desktop clutter is a popular discussion topic for many computer users, and our AppStorm community here is no different. We’ve had a lot of discussion on the merits of keeping an organized digital workspace, as well as tools that will help you do it. OS X has built-in functionality to help you hide desktop files that you don’t need to see all the time, but that can lead to some confusing organization, since you’ll need to constantly be aware of the files you have hidden. So what’s a Mac lover to do?

Skedaddle is an app exclusively for hiding desktop content, and it is one of the most lightweight and efficient apps that does so.


As a student, I know exactly how boring studying is. You spend all day locked in your room, poring over a textbook thick enough to stop a bullet at 30 yards, and trying to concentrate on those printed words while resisting the temptation to let your mind wander.

Sound familiar? I’m sure every student has been in this situation at least once and I can tell you now, it isn’t a fun one to be in. But studying doesn’t have to be a daily slog through endless sheets of notes and lifeless, black-and-white textbooks. There are plenty of ways to rekindle the ever so slight spark of fun in your studies.

Everyone has their own different study techniques, but I find that flash cards are a useful way of memorizing information quickly and easily. However, going down to Staples and buying a pack of note cards is a bit too 20th-century. In this digital age, we want something more modern and “flashy”.

This is where Smartr comes in. It is a small, lightweight flash card application for Mac OS X that helps you easily compile flash cards and test yourself on the computer. This avoids the need for hundreds of note cards lying around everywhere and saves you the time it takes to write them all out by hand.

Let’s take a look at Smartr in a bit more detail to see if it can really make studying less of a chore.


Twitter. 5 years ago that was a word that described the sound a songbird makes. And while that’s still the first definition in almost every dictionary you check, in the public mind it means something else entirely. It’s a social network, one composed of short little messages intended for public consumption. Like any good ecosystem, Twitter has changed the definitions of more words than just its name. Now we have “tweet,” “retweet,” “follow,” and of course “hashtags”. More than vocabulary, the sphere of influence Twitter has created has its clients buying into the ornithological metaphor as well. You’d be hard pressed to find a Twitter client that doesn’t have a bird or something bird-related in its icon.

It’s true of the Twitter client we’re going to talk about today. It’s called Wren, and has an adorable yellow bird as its icon. However, the similarities with its Twitter client brethren ends there. Wren is something different. By some people’s definition, it shouldn’t even be called a Twitter client. It has no timeline, no “river of information” to wade through. And yet I contest it is a Twitter client, one that every Twitter user should take a long, hard look at and see if it’s the missing piece in their Twitter workflow. Let me show you what I mean.


Back when I first started writing for AppStorm, I got to review a very pretty GTD app that had just come out called Wunderlist. Back then, it was just getting started and it barely even had a Mac and a Windows app.

A little more than 6 months later, Wunderlist now stands as one of the most popular “Getting Things Done” app, not just in the Mac, but on several other platforms like Android and iOS. What has changed since then? Let’s take a look at how Wunderlist has evolved.


FADE IN on a young writer seated at his desk, his face alight with the joy of inspiration. He scribbles furiously on a notepad, trying to capture the magic of his movie idea. Outside his office window, a full moon prods him on.

Later, with his idea captured in handwritten notes, he decides it’s time to start typing. “If I’m going do this right,” he thinks, “I better buy some screenwriting software.” Research reveals that the leading software, Final Draft, costs a whopping $239. Our hero is not a professional writer though, so there’s no way he can justify dropping $239 to support an inspirational whim. He searches for something else, something reasonable, and — dare he think it? — something better.

His search takes him to The Mac App Store, where he finds, for $29.99, a brand new product called Movie Draft SE, and as he presses the buy button, he wonders to himself, “Will this reasonably priced app help take my script from inspiration to completion or will it frustrate me to the point where I abandon my award-winning idea before it can reach the second act?”


Instagram is a great mobile app for sharing pictures with other people. It has grown quite a lot recently, and since it lacks a first-party desktop app, developers have had their hands full designing apps that bring the Instagram experience to the Mac.

We’ve talked about plenty of these apps, but let’s see if this one differentiates itself from the competition in any way.

Instadesk was a cheap and useful solution, while Carousel was a more fashionable and simpler, but more expensive solution. What makes Instaview great? Let’s see!


Almost all of our favorite to-do list apps these days have cloud components, either in the form of a free or pay-to-use browser-access service, or Mac/iOS apps that sync over the air with a pay-per-year plan (not to mention the future implications of iCloud). But what about a free-to-use system with Mac, iOS, and web browser access?

Enter NotifyMe, a cloud based to-do app for Mac and iOS from the folks over at PoweryBase. Once the apps for each device are purchased, the syncing service is free to use, and data is stored in the cloud for easy access from any computer via a browser portal. So how does NotifyMe stack up?


Think fast, how many web app accounts do you have? Now, how many software licenses? What about bank accounts or email addresses? I’d wager at least several dozen. That’s a lot of user names, passwords and numbers to remember. To help Mac users keep track of their myriad digital profiles, a number of apps have been developed to store and organize all your personal and private information.

I’ve been an avid 1Password user for almost a year now, and I’d be useless without it. However, at $40, it’s not the most affordable option available, and major competitor Wallet is still a bit steep at $20. MyWallet is a newer app offering the basic functionality of a password manager at the much more palatable price of $2.99. Read on to find out if you can still enjoy the benefits of password management without shelling out the cash.


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