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Apple may have its hands full with iOS 7′s redesign (and the almost forgotten OS X Mavericks upgrade and new Macs like the brand-new Mac Pro), but it still found time in its schedule to give their stable of iCloud web apps a solid upgrade. They’ve been beta testing a new version of iCloud’s web apps for some time now, and today, the new apps are ready for you to try out.

There’s the iWork for iCloud apps that we’ve already looked at, but there’s also fully redesigned Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, and Notes apps as well — plus a new launchpad that includes the iOS 7 animated blue background. And the apps don’t just look nice, but they also work very nice.

If you’ve never gotten into using the iCloud apps online, here’s why you should start using them today — if for no other reason than to give your Mac some of the update love before Mavericks comes out.

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When Apple brought iCloud Tabs, Photo Stream, and AirDrop to the Mac and iOS, users could finally stop emailing things to themselves or plugging in their iOS devices to transfer a photo. Still, AirDrop and these other services don’t do everything. What if you wanted to send your clipboard to your mobile phone or tablet? Or maybe you have a text document that you need to take with you to a lecture. Either of these scenarios can be solved with Dropbox, but what if there was something faster?

DeskConnect boasts “seamless” transfer of text, audio, driving directions, etc. from your mobile device to your computer and vice versa. Over the years, there have been a lot of these services, from Clipboard to Bump, but none of them have truly brought desktop and mobile together for a unified experience. Does DeskConnect? (more…)

Doo is an all-new document management app that promises to provide access to all your important files and documents within a single app, keeping everything organised. Think of it as Evernote just for your documents, allowing you to keep everything in sync across multiple devices with little to no effort required.

It’s latest version was recently released for the Mac, so we wanted to dive in and see how it holds up in today’s world filled with a mixture of computers and mobile devices. Here’s what we found.

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Delicious. No, I haven’t just finished a meal. I’m recalling a time, not so very long ago, when we all used bookmarking services to keep track of our favourite parts of the web. It seems strange, then, that most of us have moved on. It is undoubtedly the case that we still save plenty of bookmarks. Equally, the link capturing tools at our disposal have barely changed in the nine years since Delicious stepped onto Yahoo’s slippery, corporately-greased slope.

Of course, Delicious wasn’t the only option back then — there were native bookmark library apps available, too. With the advent of modern-day cloud syncing, the concept of keeping bookmarks somewhere other than in your browser seems weird. For folks who make a lot of bookmarks, however, the abysmal bookmark organization tools with which browsers are still lumbered is a problem which a third party app can solve.

So, it would appear that there’s still a place for apps like Pins — a native OS X bookmark manager priced at $14.99 in the App Store. It offers to attach tags and notes to your links, it provides cloud syncing, and it even captures page previews, but can Pins really provide a compelling, Utopian alternative to your browser’s in-built bookmarks manager?

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I’m seldom an impulsive shopper, especially when it comes to real products – though apps often get me to drop a dollar or five without nearly as much thought. At $35, though, the Chromecast seemed tempting enough to be worth a shot. I write about web apps for a living, but have never owned a Chrome device, so this seemed like the perfect chance to give the Chrome device ecosystem a shot.

There’s a tiny twist, though: I’m an American living in Thailand, and the Chromecast was solidly a product aimed at the American market. But surely it could be the perfect cheap dongle to turn any TV into a smart TV with your smartphone as the controller, no?

After doubling my initial investment in postage and waiting several weeks, I finally had a Chromecast in the back of my LG 42″ LED non-smart TV in my living room in Bangkok. It was both magical and frustrating. Here’s why.

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We reviewed iDocument earlier this year and whilst it was a very capable app, some of our readers weren’t able to get on with it, whether it was due to the way it handed their documents or ongoing performance issues.

The developers, Icyblaze, seem to have been taking all the feedback on-board and have recently released iDocument 2 — a complete reworking of the original app. I’ve been taking it for a spin to see just how different iDocument 2 really is from its predecessor.

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Have you ever set and thought that your iPhone apps are simpler and quicker to use than their Mac counterparts? The same task that’d take 15 seconds on your phone often seems to take a half-dozen clicks on the Mac, especially if you’re using a web app. There’s the counterpart problem, of course, that mobile native and web apps often have less features than their desktop counterparts, but if you’re just wanting to check your Twitter feed or Gmail, the mobile feature set is often perfect.

So why not bring all of that to the desktop? Actually, there’s a number of menubar apps on the Mac that are essentially a tiny window for the mobile web app of a particular service, such as Gmail. Then, there’s the just-launched GoodDay. From the team that brought us Moneybag, GoodDay is an interesting shot at making mobile-style apps makes sense on the Mac desktop.

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There’s Google Drive and Dropbox and iCloud for storing your personal files, and CloudApp and Droplr for drop-dead simple file sharing from your menubar. But just when those seemed like enough, Minbox took the world by storm several months ago by privately sending files of any size instantly to your colleagues.

It turns out that even that isn’t enough. The brand-new Cloudup — an online file-sharing service that our Web.Appstorm review called a slick and elegant file-sharing service — has raised the bar with its Mac app. It’s the best of Droplr’s menubar file sharing with Minbox’ approach of instantly sharing without waiting for the upload to finish, combined with an intuitive way to share multiple files at once. For a beta app, it’s giving the existing simple file sharing tools a run for their money.

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I do some professional photography work when it’s called for (engagements, product shoots and sometimes event work), but I feel the need to clear the air even before it starts. I am as absolutely sick of terrible photo apps as you are. I hate all the photography apps that claim to be “the next big thing.” There’s a special place of disdain in my heart for photography apps that don’t do what they claim to do, or are, in effect, more time-consuming than doing similar work in Photoshop.

It is with this negative attitude that I apprehensively downloaded Beautune, a photography app meant to make cleaning up portrait shots as simple as possible. I expected to hate it. At the end of the day, I ended up falling in love with this app. Beautune is singlehandedly one of the best options I’ve ever seen for professional portrait retouching. Read on to find out what makes Beautune so, so good.

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I never knew that sorting and counting change could be so engaging. That is, at least, before I tried ChangeReaction and got hooked on its unique twist on the match-three formula. It’s an audio game — a video game without graphics — designed with blind people in mind, although sighted folks can certainly enjoy themselves too.

Unlike a regular video game, where you act on both visual and auditory stimuli, ChangeReaction is entirely predicated on what you can hear. You piece together the scene and gauge your progress, and do pretty much everything, solely by listening to sound effects and voice samples and pressing keys on your keyboard.
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