I went for years not even knowing what a text insertion or text expansion app was, and when I finally did learn, I was so put off by the high prices of some of the big names on the market that it took awhile before I even found out what the big deal was. Once you’ve started using a text insertion app, though, it’s hard to imagine those days of yore, when you used to actually type things. The memories still haunt me.

But man, are those apps expensive, right? Not necessarily, and today we’re going to take a look at aText, a great text insertion app with a tiny price tag. But does that mean it’s also going to be small on features? We’ll check it out! (more…)

Since the emergence of Dropbox, many cloud services have spawned all over the internet, and you probably use a few or all of them. From desktops and video games in the cloud to file-sharing, file-syncing cloud services, you are bound to have a membership to at least one – even if you didn’t intend to.

That isn’t a bad thing, though. As many of you may know, cloud services are extremely useful for school, work, or personal use, not to mention that the cloud will most likely be our future. Because of this, today we will cover the top cloud services and some applications that support them. (more…)

It’s not every day a good game comes to the Mac. In fact, there aren’t many who consider the platform to be one for games. Thanks to the Mac App Store, some quality titles are slowly making their way to Apple’s computers. One consistent publisher has been LEGO with its editions of popular fiction — Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, etc. This week LEGO released yet another beautifully-built game, this time for fans of The Lord of the Rings. But the game releases for the week don’t end there. Let’s take a quick look at the top two games that just arrived on the Mac App Store. (more…)

Working on your computer can be of huge help or hugely distracting. It’s very easy to get anything done on it, but it becomes less likely that you’ll get things out of the way when you’ve got a world of entertaining distractions one click away.

Some people might be mentally strong enough to keep interferences out of their way on their own, but for the rest of us weaklings, it might be a little harder to keep procrastinations out, and that’s why productivity methods like Pomodoro are so popular. We’ve already looked at one Pomodoro technique app this week – Tadam – which is a nice but minimal app, so let’s look at another app that’s more full-featured. It’s called Tomatoes.
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There are a lot of apps to make your Mac faster. At least, ones that claim to do so. Most of them are either a waste of time, hard to use, or completely unnecessary. The best “cleaning” app I’ve ever come across is CleanMyMac, but it has its area of expertise, and some areas are out of its reach.

Whereas cleaning is typically in one arena and tweaking is in another, some apps are hybrids, apps that take on both sides of the fixing-your-Mac equation. 128bit Technologies’ MacOptimizer is just that. (more…)

If you were a SkyDrive user before April of last year, you probably got that free 25 GB storage bump, or if you’re an Office 365 user, you may have a chunk of storage sitting around. Even with a new SkyDrive account today, you’ll get 7 GB of free storage. Pony up $10, and you’ve got yourself an additional 20 GB for the year.

In fact, with a whopping 100 GB only running you $50 per year, SkyDrive is probably one of the least expensive cloud storage and file synchronization services out there. What do you get for your money, though? We’ll take a look at the SkyDrive app for Mac and see how well it compares to the competition. (more…)

In the past few years, plain text has come back as a popular format. Instead of using full-featured word processing and notes apps, many of us are sticking to plain text for everything. It’s simple, works everywhere, and an increasing number of new apps are using plain text instead of their own proprietary formats, which makes it even easier to keep your data in sync.

From note-taking to task managers, most of the writing in our lives can be easily formatted from plain text files, with a system of simple syntax instead of proprietary formatting. TaskAgent for Dropbox enters the plain-text app market as a new way to manage your tasks in plain text.

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News started on paper, then it went to the television, and now we have digital print. People still read the daily local newspaper and some even request a print edition of The New York Times or Wall Street Journal. It seems to be only a matter of time until print newspapers are completely discontinued. When it is, we’ll all be reading digital articles. So you may as well start finding a nice RSS reader, because it gets awfully tiring visiting all your favorite publications when you wake up.

I was looking around in the news section of the Mac App Store the other day and stumbled upon Leaf, a straightforward approach to news reading. After a bit of usage, I’ve gathered my thoughts on the app.

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Microsoft Office is the one set of software you can almost guarantee will be on any computer you touch. It’s been out for the Mac since 1985, 5 years before it was on PCs (as hard as that seems to believe today), and has dominated the word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation market long enough that’s it’s the de facto standard.

There is competition, most notably on Macs from Apple’s own iWork, but also from open-source office apps. OpenOffice.org, a Sun Microsystem project, was the most prominent free office competitor for years, but was then forked into LibreOffice after Oracle bought out Sun. LibreOffice 4.0 was recently released, with native versions for OS X as well as Linux and Windows, so it seemed time to take it for a spin.

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We’ve just closed our giveaway, and our lucky winners are Joel, Richard, Marc, Paul, and Noah!

If you read Mac.AppStorm yesterday, you likely saw Pedro’s review of Tadam, a new minimal tool staying productive with the Pomodoro method. It’s a simple little menubar app that helps you time your work and breaks, elegantly.

Tadam is a rather cheap utility, at just $3.99, but we’ve got something better: 5 free copies of Tadam to giveaway to our readers. Just enter a comment below and let us know what other Pomodoro method apps, if any, that you’ve used before. You can also share the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or App.net, and share the link to your post in a new comment for an extra entry.

Hurry and get your entry in; we’ll close the giveaway a week from now on Wednesday, February 27th.

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

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