As a guitarist, I’ve learned there are a few tools I consider to be essentials. They’re on me all the time. I’ve got the standards, like a pick in my wallet, even though the likelihood of me playing a stranger’s guitar is precisely 2% (and I already have fifty other spares in my guitar case). I’ve got a leather strap which feels great on my shoulder and never comes off my main electric guitar. And I’ve got my iPhone. With Agile Partners’ Guitar Toolkit app, I’ve got a great tuner on hand whenever I need it. The app’s loaded with tons of incredibly handy features, but let’s be honest: my main use is the for the insanely accurate tuner.

That’s why I was excited when Agile Partners got in touch with me to show off a preview of their newest Mac app. SteadyTune, as it’s been appropriately titled, is a multi-instrument tuner that lives in the menu bar of your Mac. How awesome is it? Read on to find out.

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We’ve just closed our giveaway; congrats to our winners —Emanuele, Stephanie, ooredroxoo, Maxim, and Carlos.

Keeping all of the info for your projects and tasks together in one place can be difficult, especially if you need to work on a Mac and a PC. I was so excited to see how well Pagico works for cross-platform productivity when I tried it out for our recent review. It more than met my expectations for a cross-platform productivity app, and is honestly one of the nicest team productivity apps for the Mac, period.

That’s why we’re excited to have 5 copies of Pagico Desktop to giveaway this week. You can use it on your Mac or PC — or even on Ubuntu — so this giveaway is something you can take advantage of even if you’re planning on getting a Mac sometime but don’t have one yet.

As normal, just leave a comment below and tell us why you’d be excited to get a free copy of Pagico to enter the giveaway. Then, share the giveaway on your favorite social networks and share a link to your post in a second comment below for an extra entry.

Hurry and get your entry in; we’re closing the giveaway on Friday, July 26th!

Envato staff or those who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm are ineligible to enter.

I’ll never forget the first time I installed Mathematica in college. I was excited by the demos, and wanted to see how much it could help me take my calculus knowledge further — and take the drudgery out of math. Turns out, it was far more complicated to use than I ever anticipated, even more so than my trusty TI-89.

Couldn’t CAS — computer algebra systems — be a bit less complex and more accessible to everyone who doesn’t have time to take a whole class on using them? Computers were designed originally to solve complex math, but normal calculators, spreadsheets, and CAS systems have remained too basic on the one end and too complex on the other to change the way most of us feel about math.

It’s more than understandable that we’d tend to be skeptical when a new app claims to make math simpler for everything from engineering to basic budgets at the same time — but that’s exactly what Calca claims. It’s a markdown text editor fused with a CAS; can it possibly be the answer to the frustrations of math?

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With the rise of the App Store and a divergent wave of mobile gaming, independent developers are finding it easier to get their ideas out there. It’s still hard to publish a full Xbox 360 or PS3 game because the most popular ones are found on shelves and available in disc format. The PlayStation Store and Xbox Games Store are beginning to change the way titles are distributed by pushing digital delivery methods; new consoles, the PS4 and Xbox One, are helping pave the way for this change with more storage and even some cloud capabilities. Valve’s Steam platform has understood this concept for a long time, and it’s now moving into Apple’s domain with Steam for Mac.

The App Store, though, is still where the indie action is. Since the App Store has made it so much easier for developers to promote their creations, there are some amazing new indie titles making their way to players like you. After a good deal of research, AppStorm wants to share with you the best indie games available right now, along with reasons why they’re worth purchasing. (more…)

Apple’s best known for its devices and the operating systems that make them shine, but it also has quite the variety of professional software that it produces as well. This week saw Apple unveil its brand-new Logic Pro X, which by all accounts is a great upgrade to Apple’s professional music production tool — but Apple makes far more than just that.

Perhaps most commonly seen on Macs and iOS devices is Apple’s consumer media apps — iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand — that used to make up iLife, but since they come free on all Macs anyhow and aren’t really aimed at pro use, those don’t count for this list. But let’s include the iWork apps — Pages, Keynote, and Numbers — which compete head-to-head with Microsoft Office and can definitely stand for a decent amount of professional use. Then, there’s Aperture, which is the best competition for Adobe’s Lightroom, and Final Cut Pro, one of the top professional film editing apps. There’s also the companion apps — Motion, Compressor, and MainStage — that take them further.

I love the iWork apps, and others on our team love Logic Pro, Aperture, and Final Cut Pro. We’d love to know which of these you use in your work!

I’m always a little bit bemused when I see reviews characterizing one app as the absolute best compared to another. I’ve been writing software reviews for a while now, and I’ve been a tech junkie for a significantly longer period of time. I’ve learned that there is rarely such thing as an absolute proof in the software world. In fact, there are usually compelling reasons to use as many apps you can get your hands on.

Photo management and editing software is the perfect example of this. I like Aperture and Lightroom — I recently gave Lightroom 5 a glowing review here at Mac.AppStorm. Professionals are also divided: Many use Aperture, but many others use Lightroom. There is no clear winner, and since the programs are mostly mutually exclusive, I decided to do a ton of workflow comparisons and some sleuthing to see if I could make them work together. (more…)

Do you think you are already set on an app for viewing your pictures? Well, I can almost guarantee that app is slow and full of stuff you don’t need, as most of these are bundled as image viewers, image editors, and social network apps all at once. But what if we were to show you the simplest app for viewing your images without any hassle, just perfect for that occasion when you are trying to show your latest trip pictures to your family? One that, even, aims to be faster and simpler than OS X’s Quick View.

The app we are reviewing today — LilyView, from the team that brought us Unclutter and DaisyDisk — tries to remove any kind of complexity from an image viewer app. It provides a super simple way to view your pictures, and that’s about it. The concept sounds a bit lackluster, but maybe that’s good thing. Let’s see?
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We just closed our giveaway — congrats to our winners, Adam and Jeff!

There’s been a ton of great bundles already this summer, but the best one yet just might be StackSocial’s Summer 2013 Mac Bundle. It’s got tons of great apps that we’d recommend any day: Parallels Desktop 8 to run other OSes on your Mac, SnagIt to capture and tweak screenshots like a pro, Typinator to keep you from wearing out your keyboard and fingers typing too much, Boom to make your MacBook’s speakers loud enough to watch a movie with friends, ColorStrokes to make your photos even more special, and more for just $49.99. That’s quite a steal.

If you’ve been wanting those apps, we’ve got the perfect chance for you, since we’ve got two copies of the full bundle to giveaway to our readers. And, even if you go ahead and buy a copy of the bundle today (or already bought a copy), you’ll get your full purchase refunded if you win. How’s that for an awesome giveaway?

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All you’ll need to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment below and let us know what app you want most out of this bundle. Then, share the link to the giveaway on your favorite social network and leave another comment with a link to your post for an extra entry.

Hurry and get your entry in; we’re closing our giveaway on Saturday, July 20th!

Envato staff or those who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm are ineligible to enter.

Ever wanted a simpler way to share files with Dropbox, Skydrive, or Google Drive? After all, with each of them, you can get tons of storage for free or cheap, and odds are you’re already using one of them to keep your files in sync anyhow. Why not use them instead of signing up for something like Droplr or CloudApp?

There’s a lot of reasons, really. For one, Droplr and CloudApp let you drag-and-drop files from your desktop or any Finder folder to directly share from your menubar, whereas with Dropbox or other services you’d have to add files to your folder first, then get a link, which is more time and steps. Then, there’s no simple way to take a screenshot and upload the file in one step.

That’s where Share Bucket comes in, with its drag-and-drop sharing from the cloud storage service of your choice. It’s not perfect, but it does make sharing files a lot quicker without CloudApp or Droplr.

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If you've been looking for the best way to quickly edit photos and turn them into artwork for free on your Mac, look no further. Fotor, our sponsor this week, is an amazing photo editor that's 100% free, and you've got to try it out.

Fotor brings the best of photo editing basics — along with filters and enhancements that’d rival Instagram — to your Mac for free. You’ll find tools to adjust the color in your photos, crop them to the size you want, tweak brightness and contrast, auto-enhance your photos with a variety of default settings, and more. If you want to make your photos more artistic, Fotor lets you add effects, borders, and customizable tilt-shift effects to your photos. When you’re done, you can quickly share your photos to Flickr and more directly from Fotor.

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That's not all. Fotor can also turn your photos into digital collages with 80 included templates or the photo shapes of your own choice. You can tweak the background, photo corners, shadows, and more to make the collage look just like you want. Then, with Fotor's next update, you'll be able to add text to your images and collages, edit EXIF data, and more.

Get Your Free Copy of Fotor Today!

Best of all, Fotor works wherever you do — on your Mac, but also on your iOS devices, Windows PCs, and Android. It even has an online version at fotor.com where you can edit photos, make photo collages, and even make eCards directly from your browser on any computer. There's no reason not to try Fotor out.

So go download Fotor for free on your Mac this week, and let us know what you're using it for. It's a surprisingly great free photo editor, one we gave a 10/10 in our recent review.

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