This isn’t going to be your typical Mac app review. Minecraft isn’t sold on the Mac App Store. It’s a cross-platform game that has over 3.5 million paid players across Windows, Mac, and Linux, making it one of the most wildly successful indie games in recent memory.

Minecraft is a creative/adventure sandbox game originally devised by independent Swedish game developer Markus Persson (known to the community as Notch) and continually developed by his company Mojang. Minecraft has its inspirations, but as a gamer, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a game quite like Minecraft gain so much steam and such a huge following. What makes it so great?

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You know how everybody says you’re supposed to take about a short break from the computer every hour if you want to keep your sanity? Chances are you’ve heard of this but don’t really practice it. Time moves differently while you are working on a computer, and sometimes it’s hard to keep track of how long you’ve been in front of the screen.

Today we are reviewing an app called BreakTime that reminds you of when you are supposed to take breaks from the computer. But how well does it work at keeping you away from the computer once you have those scheduled breaks? Let’s see.

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As many of the Mac AppStorm writers will tell you, backup is important! It is the single thing that is protecting you from massive data loss, hours of frustration and lots of hair pulling.

With the advent of Leopard, Apple released a built-in backup utility that makes backup a breeze, called Time Machine. However, Time Machine was developed for local use only. It will backup to a Firewire or USB hard drive plugged directly into your computer as well as a Time Capsule device on your local Wifi network. While that is a very good thing, natural disasters do occur, as does theft and simple hard drive failure that can put your backup at risk. What if you could use Time Machine to backup to the cloud?

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Thanks to the advent of point and shoot digital cameras and megapixel rich smartphones, many among us have collections with as many pictures, or even more, than a professional photographer’s. It’s true that digital photography makes freezing those wonderful moments in life with so much ease, but handling, categorizing and archiving them has become a daunting task.

Apps that help organize photos come in all kinds and sizes. Great apps like Picasa are available for free. However, if you are someone who take your image collection seriously, a full blown organizer is the right way to go. ACDSee Pro has been around for a long time and has carved its own niche in the photo organizer vertical. After the break, we’ll check out how the app can put your photography workflow into overdrive.

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A site-specific browser allows you to have the convenience of a dedicated desktop app wrapped around a website. You’ve seen these before and might even have a few Fluid or Prism apps sitting in your dock. Even so, you’ve never seen an app quite like Raven before.

This innovative browser attempts to be an all-in-one hub that turns your favorite sites into custom apps that sit in a sidebar. So what happens when a site-specific browser allows you to browse and save multiple sites? Does it become just a regular browser or something new and amazing? Read on to find out.

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Our sponsor this week is Drive Genius 3, an awesome and affordable way to mange your internal and external drives.

Drive Genius 3 is the ultimate tool for whipping your drives into shape. Whether you want to free up space with the super easy DriveSlim feature or are looking to perform some maintenance, Drive Genius 3 has you covered. Defrag, scan, repair repartition, duplicate, securely erase your drives and a whole lot more.

Used By Apple Geniuses!

Drive Genius 3 is the best hard drive utility on the Mac platform and is used by Apple at the Genius Bar as part of the ProCare Yearly Tune Up. Maintain, Manage and Optimize your Hard Drive with Drive Genius 3. Work on your external, non-start up drives with the special Mac App Store version, Drive Genius 3 LE.

Go Get It!

Drive Genius is available on the Prosoft Website for $99. The special Mac App Store version, Drive Genius 3 LE is available for only only $59.99. Go grab your copy today and take control of your drives!

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


Several months ago, I wrote this piece regarding the then-current state of syncing among Mac apps and their mobile counterparts. What I didn’t know at the time was that Apple was toiling away in the forges of 1 Infinite Loop on what we now eagerly look forward to as iCloud. In case you’ve been living under a rock, iCloud is Apple’s latest attempt at a cloud-based sync service. Though we all saw the tragic end to .Mac and MobileMe, iCloud shows quite a bit more promise.

Today, I’d like to explore what iCloud means for third party developers. Specifically, I want to outline the potential I see in iCloud, and where I would like to see it go with regard to third party software.

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I’m a fortunate soul who hasn’t really been forced to use a Windows PC since elementary school. For the most part, I get by entirely on Macs both for home and work use.

I recently had the realization though that not every Mac user is quite so lucky. I know several people who love Macs, own Macs and would prefer to use them 100% of the time, but are still forced to use the standard issue Dell or HP provided their employer.

Today we want to know what your situation is with Macs and PCs. Do you use a Mac at home, work or both? For the sake of simplicity, we’ll lump student work and schools in with work.

After you vote in the poll, leave a comment and tell us if you ever use a Windows PC and why. Do you personally find a need to use Windows frequently? Are you being forced? Do you like it just as much or better for certain tasks?

We’re immensely pleased to announce that, after months of waiting, a new member of the AppStorm network has landed: Windows.AppStorm!

Complimenting Mac.AppStorm, Web.AppStorm, iPhone.AppStorm, iPad.AppStorm, and Android.AppStorm, our new Windows site will be offering reviews and roundups covering the entire Windows ecosystem, including Windows Phone 7, and games, along with tips and tricks to get the most from Windows.

We’re incredibly excited to bring you excellent Windows content of the high quality you’ve come to expect from AppStorm – daily reviews, how-to’s, roundups, news, and opinion. Read on to find out the best way to get involved!

Go to Windows.AppStorm…

If you’re a freelancer, you’re probably familiar with having to split your time between your work and the more managerial aspects of your business–like invoicing and bookkeeping. Here at AppStorm, we’re fond of the apps that take the edge off of this part of our day, and we’ve likely all used some sort of time tracker software. Usually, you have to create a client, and then a ticket, fill in all of the details of the project, and start a timer, all before getting to work. But what if you just want to get started and worry about all of that tedium later?

Enter Finch, a new kind of time tracking app from TouchStudios. Finch sits in your menubar or in your dock and automatically clocks the time you spend using each app.

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