There’s Markdown writing apps, and there’s rich text editors. Then there’s Ulysses III, the app that combines the best of both into one of the nicest writing environments on any platform. It looks sharp and works great, and I use it for a good portion of my writing these days — something I never would have considered back in the days of Ulysses 2.

Recently I had the chance to talk to Max Seelemann from The Soulmen team, and was able to arrange an interview with him about his team and their work. Here, for your reading pleasure, is their thoughts on OS X Mavericks, iCloud, building the best apps for each platform, and the story behind how Ulysses III came to be.

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Our giveaway is now closed; congrats to everyone who won a copy!

Macs haven't come with iDVD years, after not getting any updates in Apple's iLife '11. You can still burn data DVDs from Finder and audio CDs from iTunes, but if you want to make a movie DVD with a menu, scene selection and more, you'll need to find another app. And even if most of us just upload our videos to YouTube and Vimeo these days, it's still nice sometimes to have a home video on DVD to share with family and friends.

That's where iFunia DVD Creator comes in. It's a full-featured app that helps you create the movie DVDs you want. You can import all of your videos, add subtitles to your tracks, create a menu using the included professional menu designs, and burn them to disk. It'll even help you add basic touchups to your videos before you burn them if you'd like.

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iFunia DVD Creator usually costs $39.95, but it's on sale this week for just $6.99. But even better, we've got 10 copies to giveaway to our readers for free! Just leave a comment below and let us know what you'll be using iFunia DVD Creator for to enter our giveaway. You can also share our giveaway on your favorite social network and add a second comment here with a link to your post for an extra entry.

Hurry and get your entry in: we're closing our giveaway on Wednesday, June 26th!

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

Let’s be honest, Apple’s calculator app nearly as appealing as the other stock apps on the Mac; heck, it even falls short against its iOS counterpart. With just the basic functions available, it’s one of the least used (not to mention forgettable) apps on my computer. And of all things, it has a Dashboard sidekick that’s even more forgettable.

On the flip side, this can mean more breathing room for more flexible and powerful mathematical tools for the Mac. In fact, a quick search on the Mac App Store shows a wide range of apps to choose from, ranging from scientific to purpose-specific calculators.

One of these that I’m interested in is Numi by Dmitry Nikolaev & Co, a menubar app that moves away from the typical way we use calculators by incorporating text into computation. The idea is that calculations can be made more comprehensive by adding text into the process, and so it is easier to see and understand how we’d arrive at the result.

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We all love finding great deals, but it’s easy to waste more time trying to find good deals than it’s worth. Then, it’s easy to get tempted to get things that you don’t really need right now, just because they’re a good deal.

What if you could spend $2 and let your Mac find the deals you’d like to know about automatically? That’s exactly what LittleFin’s new app, Deal Alert, is.

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Japanese is notorious for being one of the hardest foreign languages to learn as an English speaker (alongside Arabic, Chinese and Korean). Not only it is radically different to English, with very little similarities to our own mother tongue, but the entirely different writing system can make it a real nightmare to learn. Yet the question, “how do I learn a foreign language?”, has, unfortunately, a multitude of different answers and there isn’t one simple way of learning a tongue from far-away lands. You could, of course, by just a textbook and learn it yourself, but in this day and age, with our modern technology, there must surely be a more effective and exciting way of learning some conversational Spanish before your trip to the Costa del Sol or, in this case, some Japanese before that big business trip to Japan.

Human Japanese, which has been featured on the front of the App Store, believes that it can help you learn Japanese in a new and intuitive way. At a mere $9.99, it’s certainly less expensive than the options out there (such as Rosetta Stone, which starts at $179 a level) but does a bargain price equate to quality?

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Do you love your Mac, but still prefer using an Android phone? Or perhaps do you have an Android tablet but a Mac and iPhone? It’s more common than ever these days to use a number of different operating systems, and thanks to cross-platform apps and cloud syncing services, it’s also easier than ever to get them all to work together.

Our sister site Android.AppStorm has put together a roundup of the best tips and tricks to get your Android devices working great with OS X and iOS. Take a few minutes and jump over there to see how you can get all of your devices working together they way they should anyhow.

Continue Reading on Android.AppStorm…

There’s extremely powerful and complex task management apps like OmniFocus that are the subject of books and screencasts. Then, there’s the barebones, dead-simple task lists like Clear, or plain text todo lists that feel more like text editors, such as TaskPaper.

But perhaps you want something different. An app, perhaps, that has features like due dates and tags you’d expect in a professional task app, but that’s simple and uncluttered. You want a todo list that’s great with a mouse, but equally great with just your keyboard. And you don’t want to spend a fortune.

How does $4.99 for a menubar todo list app with scheduled tasks, tags and task notes, and rich keyboard support sound? That’s exactly what Taskdeck is.

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Last year, we took a look at some of the best games available on Steam. Since then, we’ve had a fantastic year of releases for the platform, giving us enough reason to take a revised look at gaming on a Mac through Steam.

While some of last year’s entries remain undoubted staple components to any good Steam library, they’ve been joined by a host of fantastic games from both AAA and indie developers. Whether you’re a long time Steam user or planning on making a start with OS X gaming, here’s the must-have collection of games that you may well want to add to your wishlist for this summer’s sale. (more…)

There’s opensource freeware software, the bundled apps that are essentially free with your Mac, dirt cheap apps on the App Store, and incredibly expensive apps like AutoCAD and Adobe’s Creative Cloud apps. And everything in between. You could spend nothing on software, ever, if you really wanted to, and use just what comes on your Mac and other free apps you could download. Or, today, you can spend a fairly small amount and get quite a few really good programs, with the wealth of apps on the App Store today.

On the other end, though, even as apps seem to be getting cheaper, there’s more in-app purchases and subscriptions that’ll eat up your money. You’ll find yourself paying to unlock that feature you really wanted, or subscribing to Office 365 so you can collaborate with people at work. Or, you’ll pay for an Evernote subscription after you find it so useful as a free app.

We’ve all got different budgets for software, and we’re wondering how much you usually spend. Think of all your software purchases and subscriptions, and let us know about how much you spend per month. I’d personally be somewhere in the $20-$50 range, but then, I buy a lot of software for testing and more. Where are you on this scale, and has that gone up or down over the years? We’d love to hear more about your app spending in the comments below.

iMessage is a great idea. It makes SMS and MMS a thing of the past, between iPhones at any rate, and is as fast and full-featured a one-to-one chat system as you could want. With the Messages app on the Mac and iPad as well, it’s the best of old-school chat and SMS, rolled into one.

At least, it’s supposed to be, theoretically. In real world usage, though, iMessage doesn’t always work perfect. It works best between iPhones, in my use at least, but can often get things messed up when syncing to the Mac. Then, Messages.app itself on OS X is a rather anemic messaging program, despite including support Jabber and other chat services that were traditionally included in iChat. It works for chatting, but if you need to dig deep into your chat archives to find a file someone sent you, you’re going to have a tough time.

That’s why the folks at Flexibits — the people behind my favorite calendar app, Fantastical — made Chatology. It’s the companion app for Messages.app that can make iMessage a power-user tool. (more…)

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