With the announcement that Google Reader will be discontinued as of July 1, 2013, a lot people are scrambling for another feed reader service. If you’re one of them, you may be looking for more than just a web app to replace Google Reader and want a desktop app for your Mac to create a better reading experience. The problem is that so many Mac feed readers depend on Google Reader and won’t work without it.

We’ve gathered some alternatives you can start using right now ahead of the big shutdown. Some of the best feed readers out there are on the list, and we’ve got a good range of full-featured and minimalist, paid and free. Hopefully you’ll find something that can fill the Google Reader-sized hole in your heart.

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Spotlight is one of your Mac’s best built-in tools, letting you find apps, files, emails, and more in seconds. Once you try to dig deeper, though, you’ll quickly find Spotlight’s interface to be limiting. That’s where Disklens, our sponsor this week, comes in. Disklens builds on Spotlight’s powerful search engine, adding a convenient user interface on top that’s aimed at maximum efficiency in the daily routine of locating information on your Mac.

At first glance, Disklens looks and feels very similar to Spotlight. Disklens performs a much more extensive search, however, delivering several thousand search results in a matter of seconds. You can dig through them all by selecting search categories, if you’re looking for items of a specific kind. Then, mouse-over an item to get more info about it, including file size, creation date, and a link to it in Finder, or tap space to see a Quick Look preview of the file. Then, you can drag-and-drop search results anywhere so you can use what you find.

Disklens includes all of the Spotlight features you love, but makes them even better. If you’ve looked for a search alternate but didn’t want anything too different, then this is the app for you. You’ll feel at home, this time, though, with more power at your fingertips. Disklens doesn’t try to get too fancy feature-wise. It just focuses on providing a simple, convenient, and streamlined approach to locating information on your Mac.

Go Get It!

Ready to get more out of searching on your Mac? Disklens is a great way to do it without spending much at all. You can download a free trial of Disklens to make sure it does everything you need, then get your own copy for just $3.99 from their online store. If it’ll make you even a bit more productive, that’s a small price to pay for the time you’ll save!

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

Note taking application are probably second only to task management apps in the App Store now. I’ve used many of them, but keep coming back to the same few programs that best meet my needs. I would probably would count Evernote as my favorite cross platform version, but in truth my favorite note taking application isn’t on the Mac. It’s OneNote for Widnows. While most Office programs come in a Mac version, OneNote is a notable, and frustrating, exception.

While OneNote compatible programs aren’t unknown, there are few and most have fallen far short of replacing OneNote. Microsoft’s SkyDrive includes a web based version that functions for many basic editing tasks, but loses some of the powerful features that make OneNote so useful. Many Mac users find themselves resorting to keeping OneNote installed on a virtual machine to keep access to the program.

Outline is a new program in the Mac App Store that promises to bring OneNote to the Mac. Has OneNote finally arrived for the Mac? Let’s find out. (more…)

Ever need to work with Microsoft Office files, but don’t want to pay for a full copy of Office? Or do you use iWork by default, but want to make sure your converted documents will look fine on your boss’ Windows computer?

Microsoft has just the thing for you: the Office Web Apps. We’ve just tried out the latest Office Web Apps over at Web.AppStorm, and it turns out, they work quite good.

So what’s the catch? Nothing, really. You get stripped-down versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote that run in your browser, and you can sync the real files back to your Mac using the SkyDrive for Mac app. And you could then continue using those files on your Mac, say in iWork, just fine.

Sound like just what you need for a basic Office solution? Then head over to Web.AppStorm for the full scoop on the Office Web Apps.

Continue reading at Web.AppStorm.net…

Cloak is a fantastic little VPN that protects your privacy and allows you to browse the Internet safely on your Mac. Unfortunately, you must pay a price for quality.

Or must you? The team at Spotflux doesn’t think you should pay for privacy, so they have developed a great little VPN that works on Mac, Windows, iOS, and soon Android. As with anything that’s free, there must be a downside, right? Let’s find out. (more…)

Say what you want about the heralded eventual doom of email, I don’t think it’s going anywhere fast. And since it seems to be hanging around, developers are trying to rejuvenate it: adding to its features, bending and tweaking and overall making it a more enjoyable, convenient experience.

Mail Call contributes to this vein by putting the mail right in the menubar. But how easy is it? Let’s find out.

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Hello again!

It is time for another fresh update on the world of the Mac. This week we brought to up to date on everything from Apple hiring the former Adobe CTO, to the new version of PDFpen and Photoshop Elements hitting the Mac App Store, a bunch of great deals to save your pennies, and links to the most interesting articles that showed up this past week. It’s enough to keep you informed and entertained for the weekend.

Hope you enjoy the ride!

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Twitter has hit something of a boom recently. From a small tech startup in San Francisco a mere seven years ago, it has blossomed to one of the largest social networks globally and the tenth most visited site on the Net. The influence of Twitter can be seen everywhere — from TV shows with hashtags in the corner to big companies promoting their brands and products with @names and hashtags — and the words “retweet” and “follower” have entered the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary as proper English words.

The Mac certainly isn’t left out here and you’ll be glad to know that there’s plenty of choice when it comes to Twitter clients. In this roundup, I take a look at eight of the best and weigh up the pros and cons of each one. If you’re unsure about which Twitter client to use, or simply fancy switching to another one, then read on for my recommendations.

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Screenwriting is not for the weak of heart. Writing the next blockbuster to break into Sunset Blvd is no easy task, and the required applications to do the job often come with an expensive price tag. The film industry itself mostly forces you to use a specific formatting for your scripts and spend more than 200 bucks on an application that is not even that good.

Highland is the prime resource for screenwriters that use the Fountain syntax to write their screenplays. It’s a minimalist, almost distraction-free writing environment that is closer to iA Writer or Byword rather than any other screenwriting application. So if you have any interest in learning a little bit about the struggles to write down your favorite films or have no clue what is this Fountain thing, keep reading.

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Have you ever been transported to a faraway planet after your particle accelerator melted down and become best friends with a giant mud alien? If you have, call me, we should talk, because that is too cool, but let’s be honest with ourselves, you’re probably never going to do anything that cool.

If you want to pretend, though, you should maybe play Another World, because it has all that, a pterodactyl creature, and more. A refresh of the 1991 game, called Out of This World in North America, the 20th anniversary edition of Another World has all the charm and unexpected comradery that made the original so poignant. But is Another World still worth another look after all these years? (more…)

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