It’d be hard to be a creative professional and not have heard the drama around Adobe’s move to subscriptions with Creative Cloud‘s release. We’ve covered the good and bad of the move to subscriptions, and even wrote an Open Letter to Adobe about the changes. Creative Cloud has many good things — it’s even cheaper than buying Master Collection and upgrading every time — and the upgraded apps have a lot of nice new features. There’s even the value-add of font and file sync. But, if you want to own your apps, or not have to pay for upgrades and new features you don’t want, though, it’s hard to see the upside to Adobe’s new move to a subscription-only system.
The good thing is, Adobe’s got more competition for its apps than ever before, especially on the Mac. There’s an embarrassment of riches on the App Store and beyond for everything from photo editing to web design to animation. We’ve rounded up the best alternate apps to everything Adobe sells, from Acrobat to Premiere and everything in-between, so if you’re not so excited about shelling out $50/month to Adobe, here’s your chance to jump ship with great new apps.
I adore my Retina MacBook Pro. It’s powerful and fast, and that display is beautiful. As an early adopter, I’m well aware of some of the compromises I’ve had to make for this laptop. Early adopters are different than the rest of consumers — we don’t care if we need to adopt hacks or special utilities for our new toys. We already own the future.
But those hacks and utilities aren’t always easy to find. That’s why we’ve compiled some insanely useful apps for your shiny machine. It took me months to realize I needed some of these, but especially if you’re a developer, you’ll easily see why you need these tools. Here’s the best little utilities to make your retina display MacBook even better.
Marketcircle’s Billings was discontinued in June 2013 in favour of their subscription-based Billings Pro, an app which we’ve reviewed and think is awesome. Subscription-based software isn’t for everyone, however, and we’ve been frequently asked to recommend some alternative apps to Billings Pro that doesn’t require any recurring costs.
If you’re looking for an invoicing or time tracking app to replace Billings, or perhaps simply want to know what’s out there, here’s the 10 best simple time tracking and invoicing apps on the Mac today.
MacBooks might look nice in their original boxes from Apple, but it’s not very practical to carry them around in the original box all the time. And you’d really, really better not carry around your MacBook on its own. That just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
So what should you do? Why, you’ll need to get a nice case for your MacBook. Whether you’re still carrying a thick MacBook Pro, or have switched to the slim MacBook Air, you’ll need at least protection for your Mac, and at most a place to put all of your cables and papers and more. There’s a ton of different bags out there, so we’ve rounded up our team’s favorites.
Here’s the MacBook bags, backpacks, sleeves and more that the AppStorm team uses.
We’ve covered a ton of the apps our team relies on in our long-running Apps We Use series which we finished up the end of May. We didn’t get everyone included, though, so today we’re back with one more installation of our Apps We Use series.
This time, you’ll get to see that apps that our writer Jonathan Garro uses in his work.
When you get a laptop, you lose a typical convenience from using a desktop, where you could lay one hand on the keyboard and the other on the mouse. From the moment that you open the lid for the first time, you gotta make the choice: trackpad or keyboard. I picked the keyboard as my favorite place to keep my hands, perhaps because I write quite a bit, you know?
Maybe you’re a writer, a developer or just can’t get used to the trackpad. Either way, this is a roundup of the best keyboard-centric apps for you, a keyboard lover.
Did you just get a new Mac? Or maybe you’ve had one for a long time and are just looking for some cool affordable apps to download. Either way, we’ve got a fun roundup for you. There are a bunch of paid apps on the App Store, and many of them do their job well, but what about free ones? What if you don’t want to pay for a new text or photo editor? There are a lot of free and open-source alternatives to popular apps, but they’re often hard to find.
In this roundup, we’ve gathered a list of great free apps that you should download, even if for a moment to try them out. They’re great, and you’ll likely find at least a few to add to your workflow. They’re also all native apps not tied to a service — so you won’t find the likes of Evernote and Droplr — so you can use the apps anywhere, anytime.
Here’s the best free stuff, just for your Mac, in 2013.
If you like to read on your Mac, then Apple’s WWDC 2013 announcement of iBooks coming to the Mac with OS X Mavericks was a breath of fresh air. Macs have had a great PDF reader — Preview — built in for as long as we’ve had OS X, but for ePub eBooks, we’re left to forge for our own best reading app. There’s tons of contenders, but very, very few exceptionally good apps in the category.
Even if you have Mavericks Developer Preview today, though, you still can’t get iBooks just yet. If you want to read eBooks on your Mac today, you need another option. And if your Mac can’t run Mavericks, or you don’t want to upgrade when it comes out, you’ll still need something else then.
That’s why we’ve got though every major eBook app for the Mac, tried them out, and put together the very best for you. There’s two standout apps, that we really recommend, and then others that fill in other gaps.
Here’s to the readers!
If you’re still using Google Reader, there’s a weekend project that you’ve got to take on: exporting your RSS feeds, and finding a new RSS reader app. That’s because it’s the end of June already, and Google’s shutting down Google Reader on Monday!
Over at Web.AppStorm, we’ve written a tutorial for getting your data out of Google Reader — including your favorites — and into other services. Then, we’ve just rounded up the 5 best online replacements for Google Reader, most of which already work with Mac and iOS apps you likely already have tried out. They’re all great, and we’re sure you’ll find one you like there — even without leaving your Mac behind.
It’s the eve of WWDC 2013, and Apple’s cloud sync platform, iCloud, is one of the highest priorities in every developer’s mind. It’s been 603 days since iCloud‘s launch and exactly 1 year 5 months after the App Store burst onto the Mac scene, and yet both feel like they’ve hardly moved forward at all.
Sure, they’re both widely successful, and the App Store especially has change the way we approach buying apps. But the App Store has also made it tough for developers to make upgraded versions of apps economically feasible, leading them to add in-app purchases for new features, or add their own subscription-based services to make money. Of the two, though, iCloud has been the most problematic, leading developers like The Soulmen to have to rewrite major parts of iCloud sync code to get it to work in their apps (Ulysses III, in this case).
We’re all hoping Apple significantly improves iCloud this year, and perhaps there’ll be major announcements about both it and the App Store next week. But there’s also alternates now. Aside from just relying on Dropbox for sync, the Omni Group has built their own iCloud competitor, OmniPresence, and Paddle is making it simpler for indie devs to sell their own apps with in-app purchases, outside of the App Store. (more…)