Well, as you probably might have guessed, the news this week has been dominated by Apple’s surprise announcement of Mountain Lion, the next reincarnation of their OS X operating system and if you’re lucky enough to be registered as a developer with Apple, you can already try out the beta by downloading it from their website.

Mountain Lion is looking to bring more features inspired by iOS into OS X, yet still keeping them two very distinct and separate operating systems. New features include Messages, a brand new Notification Centre and full Twitter integration. Feel free to join in our “debate” on whether Apple has made the right move here in the comments section of the original post and be sure to read Joel Bankhead’s comments on it over at What’s Hot: Big Cats.

In other news this week…

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One area where I still prefer the old way of doing things over a computer is in scribbling and doodling to reach an idea. As much as some may argue, writing in a computer just isn’t quite up there with paper and pen in terms of creative freedom, and doodling freely to form an idea is a practice that many of us have.

The app that we are reviewing today sort of tries to bring this practice to your Mac. It’s called DoodleDesk, and it pretty much does what its name says. Let’s check it out!

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This was the week Apple publicly followed up in on its announcement that iCloud would be pivotal throughout the next decade. The release of Mountain Lion reaffirming their intention to make the user experience more consistent across every device, with iCloud as the centre. James Cull’s piece on the convergence of iOS and OS X outlines the changes announced so far, and inspired a lively debate into whether this is really a step forwards!

This is the fourth episode in 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…

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We go through a lot of apps here at Mac.Appstorm. We review a ton of applications and we research and test even more. A fair amount of time is spent on trolling the App Store as well as the web searching for applications worth a review.

I’ve become increasingly more aware that I’ve developed a bias toward paid applications. I don’t think I’m alone with this viewpoint. I see people in my circle more interested in paying for apps now than more than ever. What does this mean? Is the market maturing?

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When iTunes was first released, it quickly impressed users with its intuitive interface and extensive feature list, soon becoming the standard music app not only for Mac users, but many Windows users as well. Though it started out strong, the constant addition of new features and subsequent decreases in performance have left many dissatisfied users complaining of sluggishness and feature bloat.

Enqueue is one of several new apps attempting to offer an alternative to iTunes for frustrated Mac users, offering a simplified experience, better performance, and improved features. Let’s find out if it delivers!

If you saw our post earlier, then you know that Apple dropped a bomb on us with a sneak preview of the upcoming Mountain Lion update to OS X. James touched briefly on the handful of new features that Apple announced, all of which are exciting and intend to bring an even more iOS-like experience to your Mac. However, because I’m particularly interested in communication, I’m going to go a little bit more in depth with one particular feature of OS X Mountain Lion: Messages.

Messages is the new Mac app that replaces iChat, and the beta is available for download today. I’ve been toying with it all morning, and I have to say that I’m very pleased with it. Hit the jump to see what it’s all about.

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Great news! We’ve selected our five winners. Each of the entrants listed below will be receiving an email with further instructions on how to claim their prize.

A huge thanks to the folks at Tumblita for sponsoring this giveaway and to all of you that entered. We’ll be back with another competition soon and next time your name could be on that list of winners!

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Just over 6 months after the current release of OS X was released, codenamed “Lion”, Apple is already teasing us about the next major update to its default operating system, Mountain Lion. The preview of OS X 10.8 was released today to registered developers with Apple, with summer touted as the general release date to the public.
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There was a time when I read a lot more actual books than is possible for me to read these days. I work a full time job, I have a daily commute, I have a family, and I have to try to get some exercise in. It all adds up to make me a little short on “sit down and read” time. Thankfully, I have in the last couple of years discovered an alternative. Audiobooks have been a great way to satisfy my appetite for a good book and still fit into my schedule. I most often listen to books on my commute, or when exercising.

But obviously the best way for me to listen to Audiobooks is on my iPhone since that is always with me. Some of my audiobooks are on CD, and of course I could rip them like any CD and they would appear in my iTunes library, split up awkwardly into different tracks, and mixed in with the rest of my music. But there is a much better way.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on March 1st, 2011.

So you’ve just bought a new Mac, perhaps even switching from Windows. As you’d expect, your friends come over to marvel at your new computing behemoth. So what do you show them? The way Safari expertly renders CSS drop-shadows, or how easy it is to make a sumptuous scatter graph in Numbers?

Of course not. You want to show them the fun, pointless stuff which will make them recoil in awe.

This post compiles 10 of the best apps, easter eggs and tweaks which serve little purpose but to inspire and amaze you and others. You won’t use these apps every day, but there’s no harm in knowing about them as a fun party trick…

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