What’s Hot: Mac.AppStorm Steps It Up

You may have noticed some changes here at Mac.AppStorm this week…

It’s an exciting time to be writing, and reading about, Mac apps and Apple – to this end we’re pushing forward with a brand new, and wholly invigorating, publishing schedule! You can look forward to double (that’s right) the number of posts you’re used to here on Mac.AppStorm – consisting of plenty more of the hearty posts you love; Reviews, How-To tips, Roundups, and Opinion pieces. In addition to lots of delicious new content to get stuck into!

This is the first of a feature series called ‘What’s Hot’ that will look to give you something interesting to chew on at the end of the week. We’ll look at any great new Mac apps (including editor and reader favourites), interesting pieces of news, and other miscellaneous artifacts…


It’s nice to know where you’re going when you’re reading, isn’t it? I’m going to kick this first one off using a sensible format; a list of six things.

Six Things

1. New Schedule

This gets prime position because it’s the very reason this article is being written! Mac.AppStorm has launched into a new publishing schedule with dramatic aplomb, giving you more of what you love!

We’re moving into publishing twice as much content every week, and stepping up our game in regard to news coverage. I pleased to announce that long-time writer James Cull has become our go-to guy for breaking news and interesting developments. Stick with Mac.AppStorm and never be left out of the loop!

We’ll still be holding on to our strong app focus, but also covering important topics surrounding Apple and related technology. Get excited!

Mac.Appstorm news coverage.

2. Tell Us What You Think

We love to get feedback and discussion on articles here at AppStorm, so always feel free to share what you think. Whether you disagree with the review of an app, have a strong opinion about a move that Apple’s just made, or simply have a question – hit the comments section at the bottom of each and every article!

Especially in regard to new features and articles we’d love to know what you like, and what you don’t like. We have an awesome community here at AppStorm, and it’s all the more vibrant when you get involved – leave comments on What’s Hot posts about the apps that are on your radar, and you might get a mention in next week’s post!

3. iBooks Author

On to some apps, then. First off this week is the newest app from Apple, iBooks Author. Announced at yesterday’s Education Event, iBooks Author describes itself as a way to:

Create and publish amazing Multi-Touch books for iPad.

It could very well revolutionise education, by opening the door for anyone to create and publish their own detailed and interactive textbooks. The books themselves are designed for the iPad, but the creation must be done on a Mac. If you’re interested then head over to the Mac App Store to check out iBooks Author, and read our news post on the event.

Also, it’s free.

iBooks Author

4. Snapseed

A smaller, but still significant app announcement at No. 4. Snapseed is now available for the Mac. Snapseed is a hugely successful iOS app that was given Apple’s prestigious ‘iPad App of the Year!’ award, and now it’s available for the Mac.

Using Snapseed you can enhance, transform, and share your photos with ease using incredibly advanced features, all from one of the leading photography software companies, Nik Software. If you’re interested in giving your shots a little love, but aren’t looking for professional editing software,
Snapseed might be just perfect – and a snip at $19.99.

5. Day One

Each week I’ll be asking on Twitter what apps you, the readers of Mac.AppStorm, are really loving that week. Are there new apps that you just can’t stop using? Or have you fallen back in love with an old classic?

One great suggestion this week was from @13thirtyone, who suggested Day One as an app that he’d rediscovered. Day One is an excellent journaling app that has highly reviewed iOS counterparts, it’s definitely worth a look…

6. 40+ Super Secret OS X Lion Features and Shortcuts

Not much needs to be said about this one. Read it and be enlightened!

What’s Hot

So that was the first What’s Hot post, what did you think? Feel free to leave comments below, I’ll check them out for next week’s feature!


  • Sigilist

    “It could very well revolutionise education, by opening the door for anyone to create and publish their own detailed and interactive textbooks. The books themselves are designed for the iPad, but the creation must be done on a Mac. If you’re interested then head over to the Mac App Store to check out iBooks Author, and read our news post on the event.”

    Let’s examine this more closely inside of the “hype.” That anyone can create a textbook does not equal a revolution in education. There are vast differences between information (data) and knowledge (test in application), opinion (unsupported) and viewpoint (supported). The social aspect of the information age has proven that the noise to signal ration has grown exponentially; this has actually degraded the transmission of valid information usable for the transformation into knowledge. The greater the noise, the longer it takes to find what is valid for use. This is not to say that opening up the publishing standard is a bad thing, for it isn’t; but such generic, overblown claims are a sales pitch and nothing more. Take from a past educator, teacher, college instructor.

    The limitation that the software only runs on one platform and produces material for only one associated set of devices/platforms is certainly not a revolution. It is an indoctrination, a factionalization, an inherent attempt at control and assimilation. There is not getting around that it is about profit and the further lock in of customers.

    The only hope here is that as has sometimes been seen (and less that previously claimed) it may spur the truer open standard of e-publishing to newer heights, though the inclusion of multimedia isn’t always increasing the learning curve. Interactivity can be more to the point, for the conversion of information to knowledge requires that the information be tested in use to see what its good for (if anything), that it is sound, and that it is actually as represented. Of course, some forms of controlled interactivity can and do reinforce false knowledge. That in itself is not a criticism of the software but rather a criticism of the blind hype seen herein.

    Putting aside Apple’s continued self-service packaged as altruism, there is the hope that this software might be used to the best purpose proposed. But of course only under Apple’s control… repeat… control. This is not the way to grow any true interactivity beyond the package itself.

  • Signor D

    News? One good reason to stop reading mac.appstorm.
    The rest of the article seems pointless and of scarce interest.

    D

  • Ramsubramani

    will definitely stop reading mac.appstorm

  • Juz

    I tried Day One on iPhone, where I wanted to be able to do most of my entries as that is the “5 minutes to tap something out” computer for me. It never really filled that gap enough for me. It’s lovely looking app, and does the basics well, but search is a weakness, so it never felt that it would suit my data-centric approach.

    I turned instead to **Memento**, which I have fallen in love with.
    http://www.momentoapp.com/

    :– Killer Feature:
    Automatically import the Twitter and Facebook posts you authored automatically. Shows you want caught your eye that day, great feature.

    :–Other Pros.
    Nice tagging system, allowing you to add tags like people (autofill from your address book) and events and custom.
    Include photos.
    Nice backup to iPhone option, which you can then add.

    :– Cons
    iPhone only for now, iPad to come.

  • http://www.aeronaves.org/ Aeronaves

    i Agree in good reason to stop reading mac.appstorm. Thanks for Sharing !

  • Felix

    More news do not make this website (more) attractive.
    I visit mac.appstorm to learn about best practices and unknown features as well as to read reviews on new software (and some hardware) = things which have been released and are available. I love these articles which list gazillions of tools and especially appreciate the active discussion in the comment section about who is plastering which apps onto the menu bar. I come here to learn more on how to get the most out of an already excellent system.
    To “step up the game” I don’t want to read news here, I get these through other channels. I would rather expected a more critical approach on your reviews. To me it seems like that 90% of the apps get between 7 and 9 points, while a 7 already seems rather subpar (e.g. Ecoute 3). Don’t sugarcoat the results by just using one half of the range. Maintain a strong opinion about what’s interesting, what’s average and what’s just bad. This is what makes me come back to a website.

    • Hawk

      I have also been coming here mainly to discover new apps. The reviews themselves haven’t been too helpful.

    • Toby Seers

      Hi Felix,
      I understand your aggravation about having apps that are only in the 7-10 rating, but we have this for a reason. We try to only review what we believe to be apps that our readers will enjoy and benefit from. As I’m sure you are aware of there are thousands of apps for the Mac, and it wouldn’t be possible nor useful to review all of them. So we try to review what we find to be the better ones, and if we feel that while reviewing an app it is not suitable, and is getting a review of 5 or less we will likely not publish it. This is because we don’t want to be publishing poor quality apps that our readers won’t find useful or enjoy.

      So you are right, you do see a large majority of apps being rated 7-9, we really do try to be as critical and accurate as possible when giving the reviews and as a result give judgements based on a number of criteria.

      Hopefully the end result is a publishing of quality apps, with in depth reviews that allow our readers to get a feel for the app before and make a more educated decision as to what apps to get. Rather than bombarding you with reviews of low quality apps. I hope this helps explain why you see a majority of highly rated apps :)

      • http://www.thegraphicmac.com Jim

        Just as helpful would be at least a list of apps you’ve taken the time to review and found that they’re not worth buying (or publishing a review about).

  • Hawk

    Too bad, because I have been reading this website for a few weeks and I haven’t been overly impressed by your often exaggerative writing style and the accuracy of some of the things you write.

    So now you’ve consciously chosen quantity over quality. I probably wont be checking back very often.

  • FubarGuy

    Yeah, maybe split the News items off as a separate sub-section so it doesn’t get too “overloaded” on the Apps page. Like some other commenters, I already get a LOT of the Mac News from various sources already, and if it makes it harder to navigate .appstorm then it will just become a chore to keep visiting. Be nice to your regular readers, change slowly.

  • http://www.gorsgraphics.com/ Gor

    A heads-up… the link to “40+ Super Secret OS X Lion Features and Shortcuts” is broken.

  • Victor

    Even though you will be posting more, please do not overpost. I really enjoy coming to this site because I know I’ll discover some cool app I haven’t heard of, and the frequency of posts is nice (as opposed to others which have so many posts per day and most of them are junk).

    You guys kick ass in your articles right now, and I think apple news coverage would be cool.

  • Adam

    It appears as though the 40+ super secret features are so secret that the webpage got taken down…

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