Minecraft is a phenomenon. The game that was born from one man’s mind has sold nearly 7 million copies and generated an immensely devoted community of fans. It’s been heralded as one of the best games of all time, and it’s not at all difficult to see why.

When we reviewed it last, Minecraft was still in beta, version 1.9, and has since been officially released, taken out of beta and received a wealth of significant updates. With Minecraft 1.3 hot off the presses and hitting as a free update, it’s time to take another luck at why this game is so successful and offer some update views. (more…)

With so many task management, GTD, and to-do apps available, for a new task management app to be worth the trouble to try out, it has to give you that extra bang for your buck. A good task management application has to identify a hole and try to fill it, and do a really good job at the same time, or it’s just not worth moving from another task app that’s getting the job done.

Currently available to download for free while in beta, Nokumo is attempting to solve your task management woes, make your workflow more productive, and make it worth your while to switch to a new app. Giving you a space to keep your contacts, events, tasks, and projects under one roof, Nokumo looks to be a powerful application. But can it deliver on its promises?

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Our weekly sponsor this week is Slidevana, the ultimate presentation toolkit. It helps you build better Keynote and PowerPoint presentations in less time than ever, giving you time to focus on what you’re presenting instead of how you’re presenting it.

How often have you worked for hours on a presentation, only to realize that you’ve spent most of your time pushing pixels in Keynote or PowerPoint rather than really honing your message? Slidevana is a unique presentation toolkit takes the tedium out of creating clear, elegant slides and enables you to focus on conveying your message.

Slidevana contains over 150 slide layouts including everything from basic layouts, such as lists, charts, and tables, to layouts that communicate complex business concepts such as timelines, architectures, sales funnels, and common frameworks. Slidevana’s vast array of layouts means that creating a presentation is as easy as copying the perfect slide and pasting the content that captures your message.

Slidevana features a clean, minimal design that looks professional and highlights your insights. It is available in two color schemes: Slidevana Dark is designed to deliver maximum visual impact for audiences of any size, and Slidevana Light is perfect for presentations that need to be both projected and printed.

Go Get It!

If you’re ready to get started spending less time on your presentations while making them more powerful than ever, you can get Slidevana for PowerPoint or Keynote for $79.00. Your purchase includes free, unlimited lifetime updates, and if you’re not satisfied for any reason, you can get a 100% refund just for asking.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

Mountain Lion has been out just under a week, and millions of us are already running it on our Macs. Apple’s announced that they sold 3 million copies of Mountain Lion in 4 days. Despite some initial problems with the Up to Date program, and expected slowdowns for first-day downloads, Mountain Lion is running strong, and very few of us have encountered major problems with it.

That’s why we’re wondering if you’ve taken the plunge and upgraded already, or not. Did your upgrade go good, or are you having trouble taming Apple’s latest cat? Or are you waiting for updates and for time to try upgrading? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

And, if you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to read our own Mountain Lion review for an overview of the new features, as well as our roundup of smaller changes throughout the OS, including new iCloud features.

Free-To-Play games have been part of gaming for a while, but they are often seen as low budget and graphically-ugly MMO games. After E3 closed its doors this past June, however, some of the most notable titles that emerged from the event were Free-To-Play. This has shaken up the industry a bit, and from it, we now have a future console in the works like the OUYA (which is aimed at supporting free-to-play games), new free-to-play games coming out left and right, and even some retail games embracing the free-to-play model.

Today, the free-to-play model is being adopted by more and more developers. These games are no longer ugly-looking creations that attract only a certain type of gamers, either. From MMOs to FPS games, there is a free-to-play game for everyone.

Now, most recent free-to-play games are not Mac bound (yet), but there are still plenty of titles to enjoy on your OS X machine. The following is a list of some of the greatest free-to-play games available for the Mac. Keep in mind that some of these games may be rough around the edges if you’re playing on Mountain Lion.

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Mountain Lion has brought its share of changes OS X, changes that bring many iOS features to the desktop. From the new Notes and Reminders apps to Notifications Center and Messages, it seems that the Mac looks more like a mobile device every day.

That’s not to say OS X isn’t a great desktop OS. Mountain Lion brings many small features that make your daily workflow nicer, as well as a number of little changes that might make you scratch your head. After nearly a week with Mountain Lion, here’s some of the biggest changes we’ve noticed throughout the OS.

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There are so many different ways to keep notes on the Mac, but even with the advent of Notes on iOS and now OS X, Simplenote has remained one of the most popular apps for taking notes. Simplenote on its own is a convenient way to access text notes via your web browser from just about anywhere. Matched up with the literally dozens of apps for Mac, PC, and mobile, you can have complete control over your notes wherever you go.

We’re going to look at five of the Mac apps for Simplenote and see where they succeed and where they fail. Whether you’re a Simplenote veteran looking to try something new, or you’ve never even thought of using an app to manage your notes, we’ll take a closer look at what makes a good notes app. While there’s still more Simplenote apps to be had out there, hopefully this list will help you break free of pen and paper. (more…)

This week has been an extremely busy one in terms of the going-ons in the Mac app newssphere (and I think we all know why…!) so without further ado, let’s get cracking.

Happy reading!

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MacTuts+ is the superb new site dedicated to teaching people how to use their Mac, and OS X, more effectively. We’ve got you covered for apps, but combine that with an in-depth knowledge of OS X and you’ll be unstoppable, limitless!

This is a quick roundup of the best tutorials from MacTuts+ in July, from how to create a foolproof backup system for your Mac, to getting to know Safari 6 — dive in and become a pro!

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Last Thursday was a sad day for Sparrow users ’round the world. The company announced, in quite a surprise turn, that it had been acquired by Google and that any new features for their Mac and iOS apps will no longer be developed – presumably because the team are now busy overhauling the default Gmail client with some of Sparrow’s fancy features.

Sparrow was one of the leading examples of the innovative apps on the App Store that helps make OS X a better platform for everyone. Plus, it was one of the few email apps that actually worked better than the alternatives. So what does all this mean for the future of email on OS X?

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