SSDs are amazing. They’re so fast, once you’re using to using one in your day-to-day work, switching back to working from a traditional hard drive is painful. You’ll get so used to apps opening nearly instantly that everything will feel slow. It’s no wonder Apple’s switched its most popular laptops – the MacBook Air and the new MacBook Pro Retina Display – to SSD.

There’s only one problem: SSDs cost more per gigabyte than traditional hard drives, so instead of the roomy 500Gb hard drives you might be used to in other computers, a MacBook with an SSD will likely only have 128-256Gb of storage. With HD video downloads and retina display ready apps, it’s rather easy to fill that up.

If you’ve got a 13″ Air or a Retina Display MacBook, though, you’ve got an SD card slot. Now what if that could be used to add extra storage that felt integrated fully with your Mac? That’s exactly what the Nifty MiniDrive - a tiny microSD card adaptor that sits flush with the exterior of your MacBook - sets out to do.

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App.net is a new social network that’s initial approach as a real-time platform offers a similar experience to Twitter. After the blue bird’s latest announcements regarding 3rd party apps, App.net has turned out to be the new favorite spot for people who appreciate the development of applications and Kiwi is the new kid on the block.

If you’ve got that dejà vu feeling, you must know that Kiwi is also the previous product from the same developers. After Twitter slammed the door on third-party developers, the creators of Kiwi simply packed their things and moved along. Kiwi for Twitter has been unsupported since then and its developers joined a new adventure.

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Our sponsorship is now closed, and congrats to our winners: Eric, Ozan, Mohamed, Blake, and Costee!

Our recent sponsor Live Wallpaper is a great way to make your Mac a nicer place to work. It comes with dozens of beautiful themes that can make your Mac even more beautiful than it already is, and it can keep you up-to-date on the weather and more without having to switch over to Dashboard.

At $0.99, Live Wallpaper is a rather cheap addition to your Mac, but if you’re really pinching pennies, we’ve got something you might like: 5 copies of Live Wallpaper for our readers! Want to win one? Here’s what you need to do: take a screenshot of your desktop (just tap CMD+Shift+3), then upload the picture (CloudApp and Droplr are great tools for this) and share a link of it in the comments below. Then, share the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or App.net, and add a new comment here with a link to your post for an extra entry in the giveaway.

We’ll close the giveaway on March 6th, so hurry and get your entry in!

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

There’s so many apps in the App Store and elsewhere for the Mac, there’s no way anyone could use them all. We sure don’t. Each of us on the Mac.AppStorm team has our favorite apps that we use for work and more every day, the apps that have stood the test of time for us. We thought you might like to see the Mac apps we each find most important, so we’re starting a new series. Jacob’s first, with his favorite apps, and check back next Wednesday for another of our writers’ favorite apps.

And now, over to Jacob:

Here’s my formulaic morning: Get up and eat breakfast, then open my MacBook Air and start work. What is “work”? That depends on the day. Sometimes it’s writing industry-related news, other times it’s reviewing the latest FarmVille clone, and once in a while I get to do a roundup. Today happens to be one of those roundup days, and I’m excited about it because I get to share some cool stuff with you.

Have you ever wondered what a writer here uses for his daily duties? It’s time to find out, starting with my personal Launchpad of top hits.

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Last year, Adobe launched their Creative Cloud subscription service along with the newly released Creative Suite 6. Creative Cloud lets you download every one of the full apps from Creative Suite Master Collection to your Mac or PC, and share creative files online for $49/month. That’s still pricey over time, but a huge savings over the initial cost of buying Creative Suite Master Collection outright for $2,599.

If you already have a copy of Creative Suite, though, upgrading to the latest version often still works out cheaper if you have a smaller edition. I had Creative Suite 5.5 Design Standard, and upgraded to CS6 Design Standard for far less than a Creative Cloud subscription would have cost me. Another option is buying a one-app version of Creative Cloud, which is one way, say, to get Photoshop for $19/month.

Creative Cloud apps get updates more often than their traditional Creative Suite counterparts, so Photoshop users especially already have new features over those of use with Creative Suite. It’s one of the many ways Adobe is trying to push us all over to the subscription side.

About 15% of you said you plan to get Creative Cloud in our poll last year, and more said you’d consider it. That’s why we’re wondering how many of you actually use Creative Cloud. Has it worked out good for you, or are traditional upgrades still your preferred way of getting Adobe apps?

Mac gamers always get shortchanged when it comes to big releases. We typically get blockbuster titles after everyone else, while the smaller commercial games rarely make it over at all. That’s been changing over the past few years, thanks to the impact of Steam, the Mac App Store, iOS converts, and cross-platform support from indies. But we still end up late to the party more often than not.

Here’s over a dozen recently-released (i.e., since 2011) Mac games that took so long to reach our fairer platform that the party’s already packed up and ended for Windows and console gamers. Don’t be fooled by their age, though — as the cream of the crop from the last decade in PC gaming, they’re more than worth your attention.

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If you have a small amount of storage in your computer, then you know what it feels like to constantly be running out of space and having to sacrifice certain files and documents in order to give space to new apps and other things. Have you ever wonder just where on earth all your precious space is going?

Today we’re presenting you an app that can help you easily find huge files that are hogging up all your space, maybe without you even knowing it. It’s a useful little tool for finding files by size in your storage disks called Broom, but that’s not all it does. Want to check it out?

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Whether your work involves visually representing ideas to your co-workers, or you constantly have to give online visual assistance to customers, family or friends, sharing screenshots with annotations is something that we always do and that could always be done simpler.

Today we’re going to review a small app that lives in your menu bar and can help you take, annotate, and share screenshots over Dropbox the fast way. It’s called Glui. Let’s check it out and see if it’s up to the task.

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Minimalist text editors burst on to the Mac app scene a few years back (actually the Soulmen were pioneers of this field back in 2002, but the truly minimalist apps came out years later). Since that time, there has been a proliferation of minimalist text editors—some would even say the category is too crowded. Many of these editors incorporate Markdown or MultiMarkdown syntax for formatting, with some even providing a live preview and standard keyboard shortcuts for applying syntax (see Byword).

I was searching for an app that would easily create HTML, but display the text as rich text, and stumbled upon Texts. I was in for a big surprise when I discovered just how powerful this “minimalist” text editor is. Read on to find out what I mean. (more…)

Is your Mac running slow? Are your applications crashing? Are you running out of space on your Desktop? Get your Mac back in shape with an incredibly fast disk utility that will optimize and clean your hard drive, speed up Apple Mail, free memory, organize your Desktop, and more. That utility is MacOptimizer, our sponsor this week, which its developer describes as a “must have app for every home and business”.

MacOptimizer can clear your system of temporary files, unnecessary language files, and the extra files on your desktop: everything that’s eating up the precious space on your SSD. It can also optimize and repair your Mac so your OS and applications run faster, and run system maintenance tasks to keep your Mac running smoothly. Best of all, it gives you easy access to hidden OS X settings and other useful tweaks that make it easier to work on your Mac.

We found it to be a solid app that did what it said it would without causing problems in our recent review, and you’ll likely find your favorite use for it once you give it a try. It’s a polished way to get your Mac working the way you want.

Go Get It!

Ready to give MacOptimizer a try? It usually costs $29, but this week is on sale for just $19 for this sponsorship. It’s a great chance to grab a copy of MacOptimizer to keep your Mac fit and tweak it to work just the way you want.

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