If you looked around an Apple Store today with all the machines turned off — and all the iOS devices out of sight — everything would look almost the same as it did this time in 2012. And yet, a lot has changed. The Mac Pro may be the only Mac with a huge redesign this year, but under the hood, every other Mac has gotten rather significant spec bumps. Battery life has been the huge winner this year, with the new Air giving an astonishing 12+ hours of battery life. And the new Mac Pro proved that Apple *does* care about pro users still.

On the software front, you could again think nothing had changed in a cursory glance in our imaginary Apple store, since on the surface Mavericks looks little different. And yet, it’s faster and more power efficient under the hood, and has new apps that are each rather nice. Plus, there’s the new iWork, redesigned for better or worse and now free with all new Macs.

So that’s 2013. But what’s next? A redesigned MacBook Air, perhaps, or an iOS 7ified OS X? Or a totally new computing product that’ll surprise us all?

Give us your wildest and most hoped-for predictions for Apple in 2014. We’d love to hear them!

Email’s the essential private messaging tool that’s been with us since the earliest days of the internet, but sometimes it can be so frustrating. Most email apps are inflexible, with dated interfaces you can’t tweak. That’s what’s so nice about Airmail, our sponsor this week.

Airmail’s the new email app that’s gotten everyone’s attention this year, and for good reason. It combines the simplicity of a modern Mac email app with the customization you’ll love, so your email app can work just like you want. You can pick from 8 different message styles, so your email inbox is as full-featured or minimal as you’d like. There’s options for a modern or classic window style, and three composer window views. Then, you can tweak font sizes, badges, and language, so everything in Airmail looks and works the way you’d expect.

Airmail

Airmail also includes a ton of extra features so it’ll work with the services you want. It’ll check your email no matter what service you use, and includes IMAP, POP3, and even Exchange support. It can automatically upload your email attachments through Dropbox, Google Drive, Droplr, CloudApp, or your own server, and can archive emails to Evernote so you can easily find them later.

Get Your Copy of Airmail Today!

There’s no reason to start the new year with your old email app, when you can get your own copy of Airmail from the App Store for just $1.99! So why wait? Go get your own copy of Airmail, and see what everyone’s been talking about. It’s a fresh new email app that’ll look and work the way you want, so your email experience won’t be so annoying in 2014.

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

Writer Pro is a bit bipolar. On the Mac, the app takes writing to a different level; elevating Markdown and a clean workflow into a smooth running system that is a pleasure to use. But on iOS, it’s a mess with very little reason to appear on your homescreen. And both apps cost $19.95.

And so, I’m conflicted. I like using Writer Pro, but I don’t enjoy using it on both platforms. In addition, new additional information about the developers has appeared, making me feel even worse. So should you spend $20 or $40 on the Writer Pro app system, or is it best to just walk away? Let’s find out. (more…)

In order to help improve password security, Apple just recently introduced iCloud Keychain in OS X Mavericks and iOS 7. The service is designed is to sync passwords, credit card information, wifi passwords, and account login information across devices.

Though it appears to do those tasks relatively well, it is Apple’s first foray into this field, and there are several well-established contenders already. Today, we’ll compare and contrast iCloud Keychain to LastPass.

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Merry Christmas!

It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone already! And yet, it’s been a great year. Apple showed us they’re still serious about pro users — and, of course, tested our faith with iWork. And then, 3rd party developers did their best again this year, amazing us with great new apps and updates. There’s so many apps that it’s hard to imagine we didn’t have last year — and old favorites that have become even dearer to us.

Whether you got a new Mac today, or perhaps got an App Store gift card that’s burning a hole in your pocket, or just happen to have some holiday downtime and would like to try out some new apps, here’s the very best app reviews, op-eds, and more from Mac.AppStorm this year. So get your reading later app ready, and enjoy!

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There’s so many video file formats, it can be infuriating trying to figure out how to play them all. So why not convert your full video library and put all of your videos into your favorite formats, then save them in the sizes that’ll be best on each of your devices? That’s exactly what Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate, our sponsor this week, is designed for.

Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate can convert over 100 video formats — everything from .mov and .wma to DVD ISO images — into any format you’d like. But it’s far simpler than you’d imagine. All you have to do is drag in your videos, select the device you want to watch the video on, and let Wondershare do its job. Or, you can tweak the settings if you like to the exported video format and size you want. Then, you can use it to add the metadata you want to your videos, and it’ll automatically add them to your iTunes library for simple playback and sync to your devices.

And that’s not all. Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate also includes a simple video editor so you can trim, add effects, and subtitles and more to your video clips and share just what you want. You can also can download online videos so you can watch them offline on your Mac just like you could with YouTube’s mobile apps. It can also burn videos to DVD, so you can backup your special footage and share it easily with anyone.

Get Your Copy of Wondershare Video Converter!

Want a simple way to share all of your great holiday videos, or perhaps convert some of your videos to keep the kids entertained on your Christmas road trip? Then grab your own copy of Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate today. It’s 20% off for the holidays, so you can get your own copy for just $59.95 this week!

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

There’s so many things you could get as a gift, but there’s only a few things you’d actually hope to get. Surprises are always the best, but it’s hard to silence the inner child and not wistfully think of what gifts you’d like to get if you could get anything you want.

I know, I know. Every self-respecting Apple fan would kill to have a new Mac Pro — especially in Ive’s signature RED edition — under the tree, but the chances of that — at least without you knowing about it — are rather slim. But there’s still tons of other great gifts, from the practical ones like external hard drives to the surprising ones like hardcover books about Apple or perhaps coding and design that you’d love to have grace your bookshelves.

We’ve already rounded up the Mac gifts we think are the very best, but I’m certain there’s other great geeky gifts we overlooked. So, assuming you were nice and not naughty this year, what geeky Christmas presents are you hoping will be under the tree this year? Or did you already go out and splurge on some geeky gifts for yourself? We’d love to hear about them!

My Desktop can start looking pretty crazy if I’m not careful. I try to keep it clean and all of my files sorted and organized, but I’m just as guilty as anyone of creating a pile of files I’m working with on my Desktop. I end up creating folders to sort them, but that defeats the purpose of keeping everything where I can see it.

Enter Desktop Groups, a useful app for organizing all of that stuff that clutters up my Desktop. Rather than hiding everything away in folders, I can keep all of my files out and accessible. I’ll take a look and see if Desktop Groups can really improve my organization and productivity. (more…)

Control Center, recently added to iOS 7, put a lot of often reached for settings and tools close at hand. While that’s great for iPhone users, it doesn’t do a lot for us on the Mac. There’s some great stuff in there, though, and I’d like to have all of that at my fingertips or the click of a mouse. Controls+ aims to connect Control Center and OS X by putting a lot of the best tools in the menu bar. (more…)

I want an easy way to get inside of package installers, those .PKG files, without actually installing them. Is that too much to ask? It’s not, because Pacifist does just that. In fact, it does a lot more, allowing users to look inside of all sorts of files and find info about installers, too. I tried it out and will let you know all about it. (more…)

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