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Remember how useful those kitchen timers where, the ones that you had to spin around to get them counting? They could be used for a lot of things outside the kitchen, and they were very fast and easy to setup. It seems like we haven’t been able to get the same thing working for a computer app, where you can just quickly set an alarm in a few seconds without a million options or setup steps to get in the way.

Today we’re reviewing an app that wants to your go to fast timer and alarm app. It’s called ChronoSlider. Does it deliver?

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These days, it sometimes feels like I sign up for a new social network every single week. So many people I know work on a daily basis with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Flickr, LinkedIn, Foursquare, YouTube…the list goes on. Often, managing those networks is as big of a task as the actual work you have to get done. As a result, we’ve seen growth in an obvious market for apps and services that consolidate those networks and let you manage what gets shared and where.

Life Stream is a (very) young contender in this space, developed by Bloop. It attempts to integrate all of your social networks into one stream of social media information. How well does it execute this premise? Hit that “more” link to find out.

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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.

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Despite the rise in popularity of TV on demand, Internet and Twitter, I still like listening to the radio. It offers such a wide variety of songs and different kinds of programs that, for example TV, doesn’t offer. Call me a dinosaur if you will, but I would much rather listen to the radio for a couple of hours than wind it away in front of some lifeless, cheap TV program.

Believe it or not, I don’t actually own a radio – I tune in via the Internet. I am currently based in Germany, and from time to time, I need a good, solid dose of British culture to remind me of my roots. I can get all my British radio stations (such as BBC Radio 1) via the Internet, without having to pay any kind of license fees (unlike television).

When you look at the figures, the popularity of Internet radio is on the rise. In 2007, 11% of the U.S. population listened to the radio via the Internet; in 2008 this figure had crept up to 13% (and is presumably still on the rise). It’s certainly cheaper than buying an actual radio, and you can listen to stations from different parts of the country.

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Platformers are perhaps one of the most popular, the oldest and overdone genres in gaming. They have been re-thought a bunch of times over the years by adding a few new gimmicks to them, but most of them seem to have lost their touch and are no longer fun the way they used to be.

Today we’re reviewing a platformer that brings back to form the retro style of gaming, eight-bit and all. Everything from the graphics to the music is done in a fantastic way that combines old-school gaming with the kind of deeper gameplay found in newer games. It’s called Bit.Trip.Runner.
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I am a very fussy person when it comes to my iTunes library. I like to have it completely organized and I can’t stand it when there are gaps in the song information or when cover art is missing – it’s one of my pet peeves. A tidy iTunes library leads to a clearer mind and, in my opinion, a far better listening experience.

There are a number of ways to tidy up an iTunes library on a mac. The first (and the most long-winded way) is to sit down with a beer and trawl through all your songs, filling in any missing information by using good old Wikipedia! This is not a problem if you’ve only got a few songs, but if you’re like most of us, you’ve got a large music library and you’ll want something a little more sophisticated to help you organize it. Read on to see if SongGenie is the answer you’re looking for.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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