Album artwork is a big part of iTunes! For a lot of people, it helps make content easier to locate by adding an image to each artist and album. It’s also a half-developed feature, however. Apple could do a lot more with the album artwork from the iTunes Store. The developer of Bowtie had the same thoughts, so he introduced an app that put artwork on your desktop where you’ll see it often. Now you don’t have to open iTunes to see what’s playing; do a quick show-the-desktop gesture on your trackpad instead.

The Bowtie utility isn’t everything, though. Themes make it worth using: themes designed by individuals. There is a superfluity of different ways to view album artwork with Bowtie, from the pleasant default theme included with the app to minimal, yet interesting ones like Pixld. Since there are 15 pages in the app’s theme downloader and even more around the ‘net, it seemed like a good idea to gather up the most fetching for Mac.AppStorm readers. Keep reading for ten of the best Bowtie themes out there.
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This morning, I woke up to a Reeder full of articles about Apple’s new announcements in yesterday’s keynote. Living in Asia makes it a bit tough to watch keynotes live, and Apple usually doesn’t even stream them live online. After reading through the articles and checking through Apple.com, I didn’t really feel the need to watch the full keynote. I enjoy watching Apple’s product launches, but this one felt like one I could skip. Incidentally, it turned into a very exciting keynote for Mac users, with new iMacs and Mac Minis, but still, I could find what I needed to know from Apple.com’s pages.

That said, I’ve watched tons of Apple keynotes over the years, especially while Jobs was still alive and doing his magic on stage. I’ve gone back and rewatched portions of old keynotes to see how Apple’s changed (ouch, the fonts in old keynotes hurts to look at), and listening to Jobs’ speeches from when he first came back to Apple gives a unique perspective on the company.

So how about you? Do you always watch Apple’s keynotes, or do you just pick choice ones to watch? Or have you never watched an keynote before (is that even possible)? We’d love to hear your thoughts below!

To say the universe is big would be a gross understatement, so the idea of creating an app that lets people explore outer space must be hugely intimidating. Solar System simulator Cosmographia tackles the subject on a limited scale, by focusing on just the stuff in our galaxy. It has 3D models and star maps, great visual effects, and everything is built from real scientific data.

Cosmographia is akin to a beginner’s guide to the Solar System, and insofar as that it’s an impressive app — well presented and pretty to look at, with no assumptions of prior knowledge. But it doesn’t go deep enough, and you’re likely to leave wanting more.

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Just because Apple held an iOS-focused event yesterday — there was some Mac news, but most of the announcements were focused on a smaller Apple-branded tablet — doesn’t mean there are no Mac deals. In fact, there are quite a few this week, including Gemini, Trine and Trine 2, and BusyCal 2. Catch them all after the break. (more…)

It’s very frustrating to take what you think is a great photo only to find it’s blurry when viewed later. Blur can result from poor focus, focusing on an object other than the one intended, or motion. In poor light the camera shutter often must stay open longer to allow in more light and it’s easy to move your hand resulting in a blurred image. Normally after seeing a blurry photo you’d have no alternative but to trash the photo.

On TV shows, there always seems to be a magic “fix photo” button that is used whenever a character needs fix a blurry image that magically restore it to perfect clarity. In real life, there is no magic button. But, there are some programs that can restore some clarity to images, and Blurity is one of the best. It will take a blurry image and in a few clicks produce a photo with recovered detail and far less blur. Let’s see how well it works.

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Apple has announced a whole host of new and upgraded products in their most anticipated announcement as of yet, which took place at the California Theatre in San Jose. The venue was a good choice for the announcement (especially given its ornate interior) and at 10 AM PST, Tim Cook took to the stage with all eyes on him.

Want to find out everything they announced? Read on for our full roundup.

NOTE: All images used in this post are reproduced with permission from Wired under the Creative Commons agreement. (more…)

Our giveaway is now closed, and for once, everyone who entered won a copy of the app! How awesome is that?

Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of a numpad on your Macbook or Apple wireless keyboard? There’s not many good ways to put one into a laptop, and I for one like the Apple wireless keyboard’s size. But during tax season, or any other time I need to run though a lot of numbers, I sometimes wish I had a handy little numpad on the side.

Earlier this month, I got an email from developer Yi Lin, letting us know about their newest app: Numeric. Numeric is a simple calculator app that turns your Magic Trackpad into a multi-touch numpad. Just drag your mouse cursor to the app, then tap on your touchpad at the spot the number or function should be, and it’ll be entered in the calculator.

It’s not perfectly easy to use, at least at first, and I found myself hitting the wrong numbers more than not. But after a few minutes of playing with it, I found that I could reliably run through simple calculations just by tapping my fingers on the touchpad, and it definitely felt easier to use than the built-in Calculator app. It reminds me of Flutter, by using your Mac’s hardware in new and unique ways, and I definitely found Numeric fun to use.

Tweet To Win a Copy of Numeric

If you’re dying to try out turning your touchpad into a multitouch calculator, you can grab a copy of Numeric from the App Store today for just $0.99. If you can wait just a bit, though, we’ve got 30 (yes, thirty) copies of Numeric to giveaway to our readers!

If you’d love to win a copy of Numeric, just click the link below and send out the resulting tweet (or just copy and paste), then leave a comment below with a link to your tweet, just as in most of our giveaways.

 

We’ll close the giveaway at the end of the week, so hurry and get your entry in!

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

Alfred is awesome. Over the last couple of years this app launcher has garnered a substantial and loyal following, and its easy to see why. It’s an awesome app launcher in its own right, but as we have noted elsewhere, with the Alfred Powerpack, this app becomes much more awesome. It turns into a clipboard manager, iTunes player, file browser, and with a bit of tweaking, the ultimate notes manager.

Whether you prefer to manage notes with Mountain Lion’s native Notes app, or would rather keep notes in plain text files, Alfred has you covered. Read on to find out how to turn Alfred into the ultimate notes manager.

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Our sponsor this week is Snapheal 2.0, an incredible Mac app to fix your photos in minutes. Just after one week after the launch, Snapheal 2.0 became the top-selling Mac photo app in the USA & over 30 other countries, and has been featured in Apple’s What’s Hot category. And no wonder: Snapheal’s packed with impressive features, enough that we awarded it a 9 in our recent review. You can go ahead and try it out now with a free trial, or read on for more info about the app and its special discount and more!

Snapheal 2.0 is an impressively simple and affordable image editing app for your Mac. Snapheal removes unwanted objects from pictures, fixes skin imperfections and restores damaged photos faster and better than many expensive photo editing apps. With the new 2.0 update, it got even more cool features, including 3X faster erasing, a smart lasso for better selection, new algorithm for erasing big objects and skin healing, Clarity and 15 other new retouching tools, as well as Mountain Lion, Retina Display, and iCloud support.

Want to see how powerful Snapheal is? Check out this brief video showing how to erase objects in Photoshop and Snapheal, and you’ll see how easy it is to quickly remove objects in Snapheal, at a fraction of Photoshop’s cost. And if you want to see more of what Snapheal can do, check out the images at Snapheal’s website.

Go Get it … and get another app for free!

The best part is, Snapheal is just $7.99 for a limited time in the Mac App Store, 60% off of its normal price. If you’re ready to start editing your photos quicker and simpler, be sure to get it soon! You can download a free trial from their site, or get your own copy straight from the App Store.

Then, if you purchase a copy of Snapheal during this week’s AppStorm sponsorship, you can get a free copy of FX Photo Studio PRO for Mac also! FX Photo Studio is one of the best photo filtering apps on Mac App Store, loved by thousands photographers around the world. The pro version includes 70 photo effects & 40 stylish frames, painting with effects, 25 extra photo editing tools, and more, and also supports RAW files and images with up to 32 megapixel resolution.

To get your free copy of FX Photo Studio Pro, just purchase a copy of Snapheal from the App Store and then send a picture you’re editing from inside the app (using the Share option) to [email protected] with the email subject “appstorm promo”. The offer is valid until October 29, 2012, so be sure to hurry and buy your copy of Snapheal and send in your screenshot before it’s too late!

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

iTunes is probably one of the most used applications on Mac. It comes pre-installed, plays music well, and has the iTunes Store where many people shop for new music. It’s the way we manage our iPods, iPhones, and iPads, lets us watch movies, listen to music, and more. It’s priceless to many first-time Mac users, even if it does have a few flaws.

Of course, there are those who enjoy alternatives. While iTunes should still be used for syncing one’s library to an iPod or iOS device, a lot of third-party substitutes do a fine job of playing music and other content. A more beautiful way to play music is something the Mac could use — iTunes isn’t really the most aesthetically pleasing right now — and until the iTunes 11 update is released, why not take a look at the additional solutions? (more…)

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