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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…)

There have been many takes on Mac antivirus software over the years. Some people still refuse to believe that Apple’s prized computers can get infected, but the reality is that the Apple world is less secure than you might wish. ClamXav is a great app if you’re looking for some extra protections from the dangers out there, and it really works its hardest to keep your Mac safe. Our own Jorge Rodriguez reviewed this fine app at the beginning of this year, saying that “it feels trustworthy”.

But aren’t there some other worthy competitors to Mark Allan’s minimal virus protection approach? Why yes, and I think the most notable one comes from Symantec. It’s called iAntivirus. That’s right, the developer of Norton also made a Mac antivirus app that’s nothing you should overlook. It’s an extremely minimal approach with only four menu options, but there’s still a lot of protection offered. Let’s take a deeper look, shall we? (more…)

Typing has become as essential to life as writing and reading. It’d be impossible to use most tech products today without any typing skills, and if you use computers for any extended period, you’d better be fast while typing or you’ll quickly get left behind. Accuracy and speed are still crucial skills, even with AutoCorrect and speech detection built into OS X today.

Keys is an app that aims to get you typing faster than ever and to help you improve the accuracy of your typing. The average person can type around 50-70 words per minute, but with Key, you’ll hopefully be typing like the pros at 150 words per minute in no time. It might be the perfect app for back-to-school season, getting you ready to type up essays, or for any of us IT pros that want to speed up our typing. Let’s take a look and see if this is the app you need to make your typing more efficient on the world’s best OS for writing. (more…)

Offloading PSDs and other digital art for a price is an art in itself. There are so many different ways to distribute your unique creations that things can get crowded. Stock digital art is a popular thing on the Internet and there are many who would pay for a unique, well-designed item. I’ve personally been a supporter of Envato’s own GraphicRiver or AudioJungle for the delivery of said items, but there are more apt solutions than these — you just have to look for them.

And that’s where Folio makes its grand entrance. If you want a quick way to upload your art, whether it’s a user interface for an iPhone app, vectors, or even audio, this could just be the best tool for the job. Unfortunately, it’s invite-only right now and they took a good month to send me one. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try it though; I’ll take a deeper look after the break. (more…)

When it comes to sharing code snippets with others, there aren’t really many services that do it justice. Many lack syntax highlighting, and don’t even have desktop clients to make the experience of uploading a snippet pleasant. There’s plenty of ways to share code, but few that check all the boxes for a perfect Mac-to-web code snippet sharing experience.

SourceBox is an app that allows you to easily upload snippets of code and other text to PasteBin, as well as their own SourceDrop service and other popular sites for sharing code snippets online. If you find yourself often needing to share bits of code, this just might be the app you’ve been looking for. (more…)

Mountain Lion was released less than two weeks ago, and we’re still finding new features and nice touches Apple put in their latest OS. While you may have read every review, including an excellent one written by Alex Arena here on Mac.AppStorm, there’s still lots to discover in the newest built-in apps.

Notes, Reminders, Messages, and Game Center are Apple’s latest attempt to bring popular built-in iOS apps to OS X Mountain Lion. These apps include connectivity with iCloud as well as some extra features unique to the Mac versions. If you already have other apps you love for taking notes and keeping up with your todos, you may have just ignored these new apps, but there’s plenty included to make them great apps to keep around. Join me as we begin our tour of the latest apps included in OS X Mountain Lion! (more…)

Our giveaway is now closed, and we’ve randomly selected our 3 lucky winners from the many entries we had. Congrats to Chris, Crazyhunk, and Lucas, who just won a free copy of Mountain Lion! We hope everyone gets to try out Mountain Lion sometime soon; it really is a great OS (though we might be biased…)

Today, Apple has finally released their latest addition to the OS X family with version 10.8, also known as “Mountain Lion“. This new version brings with it a whole host of improvements, most of which focus on bringing features such as the Notification Center and iCloud from iOS to the Mac. In addition to those new features, 10.8 also includes systemwide refinements, which make the OS feel like what Lion should have been. And, at only $19.99, it’s the most affordable version of OS X yet.

Read on for our in-depth review of Apple’s latest big cat, and a chance to win a free copy of Mountain Lion!

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If you work regularly with an editing program of any sort – be it Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, Avid, or other advanced programs – chances are good that you understand how truly important your personal preference files are. From keyboard shortcuts to import/export presets to installed plugins, preference files can incorporate a lot in a good editing program. In fact, without the proper preference files in place, an experienced editor’s productivity can completely disappear.

This brings me to the focus of the article – why it is important to always backup your preference files. If you are a serious editor, you probably already know why you should backup the files, and you might even be doing it already. If you don’t yet understand why you should backup the files or simply want to learn an easy way to backup the files with a convenient, free program called Preference Manager, then read on after the jump.

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Wouldn’t it be great if Apple released an app that we could use to customize the look of the operating system? Just imagine that for a bit. Think of how you’d tailor your experience. Think of the abundance of different themes that people would post on the internet for everyone else to use. Hey, think about how many roundups we would write up!

Sadly for us, the ability to theme our system’s interface has never been an easy or flawless task. Sure, we had Manifique and a few apps like it, but now they are gone. That’s why icon customizers are still interesting, since tweaking icons is one of the best ways you can still tweak your Mac experience.

iCondubber is dubbed as the “definitive icon/theme manager”, and while it probably isn’t the “definitive” icon manager, it is without a doubt a helpful and useful tool. Let’s take a look, and see if it’s worth trying out. (more…)

It’s a huge pain having to constantly juggle multiple windows and apps to get the information I need to reference for the task at hand. Whether on a tiny MacBook Air or a spacious two-monitor desktop setup, I often have to rapidly switch from text editor to App Store to any of a dozen browser tabs while I work on an article.

With ScreenFloat those days are now largely behind me, as I can float screenshots of the pertinent information atop other windows. It’s easy to use, surprisingly versatile, and a huge time saver. And it lives right in my menubar (although there’s also an option to show the Dock icon instead, if you’re out of menubar space).
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