Apple’s brought a number of iOS features back to the Mac, and some of them are really great. I happen to love the new iBooks for Mac (even though, oddly enough, I preferred the old version of iBooks for iOS), and both Reminders and Notes are a nice little addition even if they’re not the apps I use for their respective functions. But some of the new features just aren’t as useful on the Mac — Game Center, for instance, is likely an app you never open on the Mac.

But there’s another OS X addition that’s both useful and not at the same time: Notifications and their home, Notification Center. I like the native notifications for OS X and rely on them throughout the day, and the new interactive notifications are a rather nice addition even if they’re not something I use that much. But Notification Center is simply something I have to clear out every so often since I’m a neat freak. I never go there to check for things I missed, and the few times I accidentally open it I notice dozens of long-past notifications that just need cleared out. Usually, I’ll see a Mac notification and it gives me the info I need, so there’s no reason I’d need to click on it for it to do its job. And yet, that unclicked notification will end up in Notification Center waiting for me to clean it up.

So I wonder: do the rest of you use Notification Center? Do you check it regularly, or would you be just fine with only plain notifications and no Notification Center to keep track of missed ones? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

From an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign early last year to its initial release as a web app with a dark, bubbly plastic design last year to a streamlined, lighter and brighter iOS app earlier this year, Mail Pilot has had quite the journey so far in its short life. And now, that journey has finally brought it to the Mac in a native app that brings another hint of what an iOS 7 redesigned OS X could look like.

At every step, the core idea was still at play: your inbox is filled with things you need to do, so why not treat it like a to-do list? You could then check off emails you’ve completed (say, just read the message and noted the info, or replied if that’s needed), schedule emails to clear off later, and keep a list of messages you’ll need to come back to. It’s designed to simplify your email, and is now ready for you to try on your Mac.

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We’re apt to think that just another app will solve all of our problems. Apple’s “There’s an App for That” campaign sounds all too perfect: we’ve got problems in life, and there’s an app out there that can solve it.

That’s quite the tantalizing solution, but there’s one problem: it won’t work.

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It was common knowledge until earlier this year that Apple was going to kill the Mac Pro — and then, they stunned us all with the reinvented new Mac Pro at WWDC ’13. We were equally prepared to accept that Apple wasn’t really focusing on its iWork apps, since they hadn’t received a major upgrade since ’09, and were delighted to catch a one-sentence promise of a new iWork during the same keynote. Combine that with OS X Mavericks’ new power user features, like tabs in Finder and better multiple display support, and it’d be easy to say that Apple finally was focusing on power users again.

And then, we got the new iWork apps, and they each had features cut out. Mavericks, even, crippled Mail.app’s Gmail integration. And so the pendulum swung back again: see, Apple doesn’t care about power users at all.

Leave it to Cupertino to push the pendulum back yet again by announcing that they’re bringing features back to iWork over the next few months, and they’ve already fixed Gmail integration in Mail.app. And yet, that shouldn’t be surprising all: it’s how Apple works.

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There’s screenshot tools, and then there’s screenshot tools. There’s the apps that let anyone quickly grab something off their screen, mark it up to show what they mean, and share it simply. Then there’s the apps that help you capture anything, organize it, sort the shots into detailed libraries, and much more. I’m currently writing a comparison between the best pro screenshot library tools for the Mac, but truth be told, that’s not what most people need. Indeed, even for those of us who do need more advanced screenshot and image tools, it’s still the quick and simple tools that are often the most valuable even if they’re the cheapest.

So, whether you’re on a Mac or PC, or a Chromebook even, here’s the very best tools for simple and quick image annotations — the apps to circle something and add some text, and save without a hassle, whether you’re annotating a screenshot or any other image. These are the best image annotation apps for getting the job done quickly.

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Ever wanted to show off your iOS apps on the big screen, or stream Airplay content to your projector without an Apple TV? Or want to record a screencast of your iOS apps in action? Then you need an AirPlay server like the new X-Mirage.

X-Mirage turns your Mac into an AirPlay server that can mirror multiple iOS devices to your Mac at once. You can show off an iPad and iPhone app side by side, stream iTunes movies or Radio to your Mac over AirPlay, and more without having to install anything on your iOS devices. Just run X-Mirage, and you’ll see your Mac in your AirPlay settings on your iOS devices automatically. Seconds later, you’ll see your iOS apps in full quality on your Mac, and can record them in action in one click.

x-mirage

X-Mirage has everything you’ll need to put everything from your iOS devices on the big screen, record them in action, and more. Best of all, its one-click record and play/pause buttons make it equally great for recording your apps and just using X-Mirage to play media from iOS on your Mac. It’s simple, and works great.

We loved it in our recent review, and are sure you’ll love it as well.

Get X-Mirage 38% off This Week!

X-Mirage usually costs $16, but this week we’ve got an exclusive discount for our readers. You can get your own copy of X-Mirage for just $9.92 with the coupon code xm38deal. But hurry: the deal only is valid this week!

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

Our giveaway is now closed: congrats to maj8614 and Dreamquest, our winners!

What better way to celebrate the internet’s own shopping holiday than by giving away a ton of apps? We’re already running a one-day-only giveaway of 50 copies of Airmail — be sure to enter that giveaway if you need a new email app. But how about another giveaway with a whole bundle of great apps?

Yup, that’s exactly what we’ve got. The StackSocial team is running a Black Friday Mac Bundle, with $419 worth of apps including tons of apps we recommend and use ourselves for just $49. There’s MotionComposer for making animated sites, PopClip to bring iOS-style text editing popovers and more to the Mac, Gemini to find duplicates on your Mac, iStats Menus to keeps tabs on your Mac, Numi to simplify calculations, and more!

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 5.26.47 PM

We’ve got two copies of the Black Friday Mac Bundle to giveaway — and once again, the giveaway is today only. Just leave a comment below and let us know which app you want most. Then, share the giveaway on your social networks and leave another comment with a link to your post for an extra entry in the giveaway.

Hurry and get your entry in — the giveaway closes midnight EST today!

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

Our giveaway is closed — Congrats to our winners!

The internet already had quite an amazing Black Friday, with incredible deals on Macs, apps, and more. But today’s Cyber Monday, and we’ve got something even better for you: 50 free copies new email app Airmail.

Airmail’s shot up the paid apps list on the App Store, and for good reason. It’s the most configurable email app on the Mac today, with themes that’ll fit every style, and the OS X Mavericks features you’d expect today like interactive notifications.

And, thanks to the generosity of their team, we’ve got 50 copies to giveaway today. As normal, leave a comment below to enter, then share the post on your favorite social networks and leave a second comment to get an extra entry. But hurry: we’re closing the giveaway at midnight EST Monday, December 2!

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

We’d like to say a special Thank you! to our weekly sponsors from November for sponsoring our site and for the great apps they make. If you would like to feature your app on our site with an advertisement, be sure to check out our available slots on BuySellAds or register for a weekly sponsorship for your app.

If you haven’t already checked out our the great apps that sponsored our site last month, be sure to check them out now!

Reflector

Reflector turns your Mac into an AirPlay receiver so you can mirror your iPhone or iPad on your Mac’s screen. You can stream videos and audio to a Mac, use your iMac’s large screen (or a Mac connected to a projector) to wirelessly stream a presentation from Keynote or other presentation apps, or just demo your new apps to your investors in the boardroom on the big screen, complete with the real look of the iOS devices they’ll run on. You can even mirror multiple devices at the same time to show off multiple apps, or differences between two versions. And if your company happens to run on PCs, you’re still in luck: there’s Reflector for PC as well that’ll give you the same great features.

And we’ve still got a discount on it, too: you can get 25% off Reflector with our coupon code macappstorm25.

MacX Video Converter Pro

MacX Video Converter Pro is designed to help you convert any video you want into the formats you want. You can convert videos you’ve downloaded, ripped from DVDs, or from your phone or cameras into any format you want, complete with the quality and aspect ration settings you’d expect if you want to tweak the settings. You can even download YouTube and other online videos and convert them to the formats you want, record video from your Mac’s FaceTime camera, and turn your photos into a beautiful slideshow, all from MacX Video Converter Pro.

Airmail

Airmail is the email app that works the way you want. It can look as clean as Sparrow, as professional as Mail.app, or anything in-between — your choice. It can use Gmail shortcuts, or your own favorite shortcuts, can send attachments with your favorite upload tool (Dropbox, Droplr, Google Drive, CloudApp, or even your own FTP server), use the language you want, and so much more. Everything in Airmail is configurable so it can be exactly the email app you want it to be.

7 Speed Reading

Whether you’re a professional trying to speed up your workday or a student trying to cram in your extensive reading list ahead of finals, learning to speed read is one of the best ways to speed up what you need to get done. 7 Speed Reading promises to teach you to read 3 times faster than before, with full reading comprehension. It does that by helping you remove bad reading habits and improve your reading focus using the app’s adoptive UI. With detailed tutorials and personalized training exercise, you’ll find your reading speed improving in no time.

And a special thanks to you, our Mac.AppStorm.net readers, for reading and sharing our articles. We couldn’t do it without you!

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot and join the apps above.

Turkey Day 2013 is over, and now it’s time for the biggest savings of the year: Black Friday and its close cousin Cyber Monday. And, as usual, there’s more than enough incredible deals to go around. There’s Apple Store gift cards if you buy a new Mac, steep discounts on App Store apps, and much more. Best of all, the majority of them are open to anyone, anywhere — even if you’re not in the US, there’s plenty of Black Friday offers for everyone!

Here’s the very best deals for apps and gadgets we love and recommend — but hurry, most of the deals are only for today or this weekend!

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