At the opening keynote of their World Wide Developer Conference, Apple wasted no time in introducing dozens of improvements to OS X as part of their 10.9 Mavericks release. And no, a Maverick isn’t a big cat you’ve never heard of, it’s the first in their series of releases named for places in Apple’s home, California. But the changes in OS X extend far beyond a new naming convention reaching to all corners of the OS with everything from a more refined (leather-free) interface to new power management under the hood allowing all day battery life on some MacBooks.

Read on to find out more.
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One of my favourite things about App.net, apart from its fantastic user core, is its wide open API. The folks at ADN are genuinely interested in ensuring that third-party developers can make great products using the site’s features, and sometimes, there are apps that come along that are so genuinely interesting they make me question how I ever doubted the social network in the first place.

One of the other great features of ADN lies in its storage capabilities. Each free account gets 500MB of storage with a 10MB file-size limit, while each paid account gets 10GB of storage with a 100MB file-size limit. I think that even the free account’s offering is really generous. Combine ADN’s open API with its storage capabilities, and you end up with ingenious little Mac gems like Swing. (more…)

Even if you’re a genius, it’s impossible to remember everything possible about all the programming languages and libraries you need to know to build a successful app. Instead, you likely end up Googling answers as you go along, or have to dig though several different documentation sets in different apps at the same time. There’s no reason to waste time like that.

Just in time for WWDC, we’ve got a must-have tool for all developers sponsoring us this week: Dash. It’ll make your life easier by keeping all of the documentation you need right at your fingertips. Dash supports 80+ API documentation sets, ranging from Cocoa and Android to HTML and CSS, so regardless of what language or framework you’re using, Dash has you covered.

Alongside the beautifully crafted documentation sets, you’re also able to store your own snippets of code, with snippet expansion and variable placeholders that bring unparalleled flexibility to your code snippets. This combination of documentation and snippets makes Dash the go-to app for all your programming resources needs.

Dash integrates with your favorite IDEs and apps, from Sublime Text and Xcode to Alfred and Vim, so that you can convenientely search for what you need from wherever you want. Regardless of what your current workflow is, it should be easy to integrate Dash into it.

You can also easily generate your own documentation sets for your own projects. Pre-made generation tools are available for Objective-C, Python, Ruby or Java, as well as instructions on how to generate documentation sets for anything you need. Documentation sets generated by popular tools like Doxygen or Appledoc are also supported, as well as all the documentation sets available at CocoaDocs.

Get Your Copy of Dash Today!

Dash usually costs $19.99, but just for WWDC it’s on sale for just $7.99 this week. You can download Dash for free from the App Store to try it out, then purchase the full version for $7.99 this week only as an in-app purchase. That’s a small price to pay for the time it’ll save you in developing your next hit app!

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

This year’s WWDC is probably the one of the most anticipated Apple events of all time, with the promise of new and (hopefully) completely revamped versions of both iOS and OS X. Mac.AppStorm and iPad.AppStorm are here to help you keep track of it, with 3 liveblogs for you to watch and participate in! Unfortunately, we won’t be covering it from San Francisco, but we will be providing quality news coverage and analysis both during the presentation and afterwards.

There are three ways you can follow the event:

  1. Our ScribbleLive blog, manned by Mark Myerson, which will automatically update, and you can provide your own thoughts and comments in the live stream.
  2. Our Twitter accounts, @macappstorm and @ipadappstorm (both manned by James Cull). All our tweets will be marked with the hashtag #appstormwwdc — please feel free to use this for thoughts and comments so we can see them.
  3. Our App.net accounts, @macappstorm and @ipadappstorm (both manned by Jordan Merrick). Again, please use the hashtag #appstormwwdc for any thoughts and comments.

We’ll start at 5:30 PM (GMT) so see you there!

Slicereader 0.2 is now on the App Store, with a bookmarklet to make it easier to add websites to read, support for Markdown, HTML, and plain text, and more.

It’s been an amazing past few years for writers. With full-screen distraction free writing environment pioneered by WriteRoom, Markdown formatting from Gruber, focused writing from iA Writer, the exporting wonders of Marked, the brand-new hidden Markdown formatting of Ulysses III, and more, it’s amazing how far we’ve come from the cluttered days of drafting our work in Word.

Reading apps, unfortunately, haven’t gotten much attention at all. Yes, there’s a number of apps for reading articles later on your Mac, some of which are even very nice (I’m particularly fond of the new ReadKit). But, sadly, none of them are totally new. They’re not changing the way we read on the Mac, the way iA Writer and Folding Text and others have changed the way we write on the Mac.

This weekend, that’s just changed with the brand-new beta app Slicereader. Designed by Mutahhir Ali Hayat, a programmer at Hog Bay Software that works on FoldingText and Oak Outliner, Slicereader is the most innovative reading app on the Mac yet. It’ll change how you read longform text. Here’s why.

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Apple’s rumored to be releasing a new streaming music or perhaps internet radio service at WWDC next week. It could happen, of course, but then again, similar things have been rumored for years now, especially after Apple acquired Lala in late 2009.

There’s no need to wait, though, if you’re wanting a top-quality streaming music experience on your Mac today. There’s tons out there — even Google’s jumped into the fray now — but one of the best, Rdio, just got a major update to its apps this past week. It’s got a nicer design, has great new social integration that actually makes sense by letting you keep up with what’s popular among your friends. And it’s got a great music selection.

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Our writer Nathan Snelgrove takes the redesigned Rdio for a spin over on Web.AppStorm, so jump over to the article there to see what’s great in the newest version of one of the best streaming music services online today.

Continue Reading at Web.AppStorm…

It was a fateful Thursday late last July when Sparrow announced they’d been bought out by Google. The indie email app that’d taken the Mac by storm, Sparrow was a fast favorite of anyone who wanted a more modern email experience — one that was fast, minimalist, and integrated with cloud services. It hit all the right spots, soared in popularity, then nearly as quickly was taken from us. Sparrow still works, but it’s a zombie without much, if any, of a future.

The Sparrow-shaped gap on the App Store has yet to be filled. There’s tons of promises of new email apps, but few have made it onto the scene yet — at least on the Mac. There’s the old standby alternates like Outlook and Postbox, but they don’t replace the minimalist approach to email that Sparrow embraced. The iPhone can claim Mailbox, Triage, and numerous other new email apps, but on the Mac, most Sparrow fans have stuck with the aging app, while others have taken a look back at Apple’s admittedly nice Mail.app.

That’s changed this week, though, as Airmail was released to the App Store. We’d taken a look at it months back when it was still in beta, but now that it’s fully released, can it replace Sparrow for diehard fans?

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Mobile Computing is becoming more and more common these days, with Apple leading from the forefront. With the MacBook Air and Retina Display MacBook Pros being the headline Macs these days, it’s extremely comfortable to own a portable computing device rather than a desktop. Security becomes a paramount concern with such devices as they are prone to loss or theft when carrying around.

Even when using an iMac, data security is vital to keep sensitive information private. Using Filevault for encryption is one way to go, but it encrypts the entire drive. If you plan to secure only certain folders, you’ll have to look at third party alternatives. And there are quite a few free and premium apps that help solve this problem.

I’m a vocal advocate of TrueCrypt, yet, I found Espionage’s offering very interesting. Is it as good at securing my Mac and simple to use as they promise? Time to check it out!
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It’s the eve of WWDC 2013, and Apple’s cloud sync platform, iCloud, is one of the highest priorities in every developer’s mind. It’s been 603 days since iCloud‘s launch and exactly 1 year 5 months after the App Store burst onto the Mac scene, and yet both feel like they’ve hardly moved forward at all.

Sure, they’re both widely successful, and the App Store especially has change the way we approach buying apps. But the App Store has also made it tough for developers to make upgraded versions of apps economically feasible, leading them to add in-app purchases for new features, or add their own subscription-based services to make money. Of the two, though, iCloud has been the most problematic, leading developers like The Soulmen to have to rewrite major parts of iCloud sync code to get it to work in their apps (Ulysses III, in this case).

We’re all hoping Apple significantly improves iCloud this year, and perhaps there’ll be major announcements about both it and the App Store next week. But there’s also alternates now. Aside from just relying on Dropbox for sync, the Omni Group has built their own iCloud competitor, OmniPresence, and Paddle is making it simpler for indie devs to sell their own apps with in-app purchases, outside of the App Store. (more…)

Adobe shocked the creative world by announcing last month that it’s abandoning its Creative Suite in lieu of Creative Cloud subscriptions. Rather than paying thousands of dollars for a complete set of Adobe creative apps, you’ll only pay $50/month for everything they sell. That little change has many Adobe users up in arms, ready to desert Adobe for alternate apps.

But Adobe’s not the only one making a subscription play this year. Microsoft’s now doing the same thing with Office 365, and Autocad, Mathematica, and other major developers have done the same for years. The difference is, Adobe’s making a subscription-only play: individual purchases are no more, and subscription is the only option.

That doesn’t have to be such a bad option, though. Here’s why.

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