Amazon jumpstarted the eBook revolution with its Kindle devices and companion apps for every platform, and Apple’s kept up with the trend with its polished iBooks apps for iOS. The Mac has lagged behind mobile devices with eBooks reading, but there’s at least been the Kindle app and a number of half-way decent apps for DRM-free eBooks.
This year, though, that’s all changing. There’s the new Clearview that’s a very nice app for DRM-free eBooks, and Apple’s finally bringing iBooks to the Mac with OS X Mavericks. And for tech eBooks, the new Safari Flow web app makes it easier than ever to learn from eBooks without spending all day reading. It’s an exciting time for eBook fans.
That’s why we’re wondering how many eBooks you read per month. I tend to read at least 2 or so a month, more some months, but how about you? Leave your answer in the poll, then let us know if you’re excited about iBooks coming to the Mac this year in the comments below.
OS X is already powerful by itself, and it’s packed with a lot of built-in apps that can help you accomplish everyday life tasks. However, it’s only when you’re using something like Alfred, LaunchBar or Quicksilver that you actually unleash the full potential of your machine. Things that are already simple on your Mac turn into lightening-fast tasks with these apps.
Though Quicksilver has been available for 10 years, it’s been kept a bit too much under the radar compared to its alternatives like Alfred. By popular demand, here’s our in-depth dive into the original app that puts “Mac OS X at your fingertips”. Let’s give this gem of an app the love it deserves.
‘Tis the season for design-friendly web tools, with Google making a free Web Designer app and Hype 2 making it simpler than ever to create beautiful HTML5 animations. But several weeks ago, a preview of an app caught my eye with its attempts to make normal web design simple for anyone with an eye for design: Macaw.
Advertised as an app with the flexibility of an image editor but designed for making clean CSS and HTML code, Macaw looks like the web design tool we’ve all been waiting for. It’s the simplicity that tools like Frontpage advertised years ago, but with the clean, modern code that otherwise would take hours in a text editor. Pulling off such an auditions project, though, isn’t so simple, which is why they started a Kickstarter campaign yesterday to fund their efforts to make Macaw and bring it to the Mac and PC.
When you’re a small business or freelancer, keeping track of invoices and estimates ensures an easier time for both you and the taxman. What’s more, poorly designed invoices can deter clients, both existing and potential, from future business. While Pages and Microsoft Word are certainly ways to create better looking invoices, there are more suitable apps available. One such app is Billings Pro, a tremendously popular app that takes invoicing to a whole other level. However, the app is subscription-based, something that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Enter GrandTotal, an app that offers much of the same functionality at a one-off cost. Despite its rather bland interface and seemingly overwhelming array of options, GrandTotal isn’t your traditional invoice generator. It’s a fully fledged invoice and client management app that not only creates some great looking paperwork but lets you keep track of payments and outstanding balances, as well as managing an inventory.
Thanks to an expansive set of features, robust security, a comprehensive list of browser extensions, and cross-platform compatibility, 1Password has become a powerhouse security app. We all know that we should be using unique, complex passwords for all the sites and services we use, but remembering them can be as frustrating as it is impractical. 1Password, as the name implies, has helped users create and securely store login information while only requiring that you remember a single password.
After releasing 1Password 4 for iOS earlier this year, AgileBits has updated their original Mac app to v.4 with new features and a refined interface. In terms of the number of times I access it on a daily basis, 1Password is undoubtedly my most-used app, and I have been anxiously awaiting this update. The wait has been well worth it.
Adobe and Microsoft — along with Evernote, Wunderlist, and other web app companies — think the future of software is subscriptions. Apple seems to think the future is lower priced pro apps without upgrades on the App Store, and free bundled apps for everything else. Game developers think the future is free apps with in-app purchases. And traditional developers with paid apps and discounted upgrades are being pushed to the side.
Is paid indie software doomed, perhaps by the very App Store that pushed so many developers to prominence?
YouTube apps seem a bit unnecessary, especially when it’s pretty easy to just go to the website and navigate around their pretty decent interface. But what if this kind of apps actually brought some incentives, such as simpler browsing and a better viewing experience that resembles watching a TV channel?
We agree that there’s very little a YouTube app can do to make it necessary and more convenient to use than the website. We found an app called MiniTube that seems promising, but is it up for the task? We’re reviewing it today, so let’s find out!
We’re used to Google launching free new web services (and shutting them down) on a whim, so it was rather odd yesterday to see that Google had released a new free desktop app: Google Web Designer. Designed for Mac and PC, without even a version for Google’s own Chromebooks or perhaps Android tablets, Google Web Designer looks like an Adobe app and feels like a blast from the past.
Actually, though, it’s intended to blast away a technology who’s time is long past: Adobe Flash. It’s free, and it’s called a Web Designer, but it’s directly designed to help you make animated and responsive HTML5 ads for Google’s DoubleClick ad platform, presumably both to cure the web from the last vestiges of Flash and to help ads on Google’s platforms get clicks on mobile.
But hey: it’s also essentially a basic free version of Hype that you could use to make animations for your site, even if you’re not advertising with Google.
We’ve just closed our giveaway; congrats to our winners Luke, feedpuppy, ca01ei, Alexander, and Ngoc!
Mac app bundles are a great way to get a ton of apps on the cheap, but usually they’re filled with aging apps that are ripe for an update. Not this time. Paddle’s Cheaper by the Dozen bundle this week includes 4 debut apps that just launched — and you can get them and the other apps in the bundle for just $34.99 right now, or possibly for free with our giveaway.
This bundle includes Bluetail, the brand-new vector app we gave an 8/10 last week, and the just-launched Marked 2 that’ll help you proof and export your Markdown writing that’s nice enough to get a 9/10 in our review. You’ll also find the somewhat older Raskin for viewing your Finder files in unique ways, MenuMate to make menus more accessible in your apps, the new GoodDay that brings mobile web apps to your Mac’s menubar, and the beautiful EarthDesk to turn your Mac’s background into a stunning dynamic image of the Earth. And more!
Best of all, we’ve got 5 copies of this great bundle for our readers. For a bundle with this many great apps, though, it’s going to take a tiny bit more effort to enter the giveaway. You’ll need to signup for the Paddle team’s email newsletter first at paddle.com/signup, and then leave a comment here letting us know what app you want most from this bundle. Finally, for an extra chance to win, share the giveaway post on your social networks and leave a second comment here with a link to your social post for an extra entry.
Hurry and get your entries in; the giveaway closes on Friday, October 4th!
Envato staff or those who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm are ineligible to enter.