With the initial download issues surrounding the launch of the Mac App Store slowly being cleared up (a reboot seems to fix most problems!), it’s time to dig around and see what new software is available to download.
In this post, we’ll be taking a look at some brand new apps now available, along with a few important updates that have launched to co-incide with the App Store. We’ll also showcase a few fantastic bargains that you should take advantage of while they’re still available!
Read on to find out about the most exciting Mac software updates you’ll have seen for quite some time…
This has to be one of the stars of the show today, and judging by the response so far on Twitter, everyone seems really impressed with how well it works. My first impression is that it looks like a great step forward, but I’m not sure how I’ll feel about the futuristic interface after a few weeks of heavy use.
A worthwhile update, though, and we’ll be publishing an in-depth review very soon with full details!
It’s rare to see a new graphics application grace the desktop stage, and SketchBook Pro is definitely an interesting candidate. Moving across from the iPad (as is the trend with many new apps today), it’s a welcome alternative to the standard Photoshop setup.
This is a really powerful beast, and it’ll be interesting to see what type of adoption it receives from the graphic design crowd.
While we’re on the topic of graphics apps, Pixelmator has taken a dive in price to just $29.99. This is a bargain for such a powerful piece of software.
I’m a huge fan of everything Bjango produce, and MiStat is no exception. A beautiful icon and interface are coupled with a very functional piece of software that provides a quick overview of all your system stats and vitals.
It’s interesting to note that Bjango have developed this new app, rather than adding iStat Menus to the Mac App Store. I suspect this could be to do with permissions, and type type of APIs developers are able to use (as iStat Menus integrates with OS X on a fairly low level).
I’m a big fan of the occasional Angry Birds game on my iPad, but wasn’t sure how well it would convert across to the desktop. Although it doesn’t have the same natural feel when compared to using a touch screen, it’s a fun addition to my Mac desktop.
Certainly worth a few dollars for killing time while waiting for your next conference call, but unfortunately all the levels and gameplay are identical to the existing mobile version for now.
The main thing to note here is that the three main iLife applications are now available to buy separately, rather than solely as a package. Priced at $14.99 each, this is a trend that also carries across to the iWork suite of apps.
I really welcome this, as there are apps in both packages that I don’t use regularly (iWeb, iDVD, and Keynote to name a few). Being able to pay just for those that you regularly use is a great step forward.
Price: $14.99 per app
Heavily discounted for the launch of the Mac App Store, this iOS game has made the jump across to the desktop. Classic side-scrolling gameplay combined with impressive graphics make this a steal at just $0.99.
You can also use your iPhone or iPod touch as a wireless controller for the game, though there’s a bug in the initial version that means you’ll need to log out of MobileMe for this feature to work.
Courier has hit the App Store with a huge reduction in price, down to just $4.99. We’ve mentioned this app a few times on AppStorm, and it’s a great way to quickly share content on social media. A great example of the type of well-designed utility I can’t wait to see more of on the App Store.
Aperture has seen a huge reduction in price to coincide with the App Store launch, and is now a really affordable upgrade for people using iPhoto. For this reason alone, it’s worth featuring in this roundup.
Whether or not you’ll want to buy it depends largely upon what type of photographer you are. Unless you need the advanced features offered, it’s best to stick with the faster performance and simpler interface of iPhoto.
If you’re starting to take a more advanced approach to photography, this new lower price could be a compelling reason to buy Aperture today.
DropBook is a simple way to post anything to your Facebook profile, right from your desktop. It doesn’t have the slickest interface ever, but works fairly well and is a good way to quickly and easily get information over to Facebook.
Perfect if you’re a really dedicated Facebook fan, but probably not worth downloading if you’re just an occasional user.
This a game that’s making the jump across from iOS, and is a fast-paced, retro style action affair. The graphics and fun and friendly, and it’s an indie Mac game that’s worth exploring if you have a spare evening on your hands.
Although this isn’t a new application, I spotted it on the Mac App Store for the first time today. If you’re looking for a contact and project management solution, this could be a great alternative to many of the web applications available.
The interface is fairly slick, and it could be a worthwhile investment (rather than signing up to a monthly web app subscription).
I’m a paper-free nut, and currently use a fairly expensive piece of software called DevonThink Pro Office for managing my scanned documents. This simple alternative, Filed Documents, plays nicely with the most popular document scanners, and looks like a simple solution if you’re wanting to start organising that overflowing filing cabinet.
To use the developer’s wording, “Sound Stage helps developers create stunning, high-quality video demonstrations for iOS or Desktop applications”. It takes high resolution screen video capture a step further, adding various pieces of functionality to make it particularly useful for software demonstrations.
Now if only the Mac App Store allowed developers to serve video demonstrations of their software…
AppControls caught my eye on account of the simple-but-sleek application icon. It’s essentially a way to create high-quality graphics with minimal effort, perfect for use in your mobile application, website, or mockup.
It can generate the resolution required for the Retina Display, and also generates custom CSS for Webkit and Mozilla. Impressive stuff, but a touch on the expensive side unless you know you’ll use it regularly.
Another game here, Zen Bound takes a more laid-back approach to gameplay and is a fairly relaxed affair. It’s calm, soothing, and makes use of the multi-touch controls available on most Apple trackpads/mice.
Get your zen on…
Taking Photo Booth to the next level, Fun Booth is a silly-but-fun piece of software that makes it easy to capture and manipulate images from your iSight/FaceTime camera. Add hats, props, and all manner of crazy alterations before uploading the result to your social media website of choice.
Not the Mac App Store’s finest hour in terms of professional software, but there’s no harm in a bit of fun from time to time…
This is the first (and is unlikely to be the last) application that I purchased completely accidentally, but it turns out to be a fairly neat collection of solitaire card games.
There’s plenty on offer here, but you may also like to check out the free alternative entitled Solitaire Greatest Hits. Also, be careful where you click in the App Store!
If you’re a web designer and regularly find yourself slicing up PSD files to create a new design, iSlice might be able to make the process quite a bit simpler.
It’s completely free, and supports a wide range of different graphics formats for reading and writing files.
I’m all for a fantastic recipe/cooking application, and YummySoup is a good looking piece of software. It’s currently on sale for half price, and makes it easy to create and store a digital copy of all your favourite recipes. The interface is very visual, and it’s a fun app to use.
You can also import recipes from many different websites automatically, and publish your own creations for other people to try out.
If you’re a regular user of Safari’s Private Browsing feature, Tiptoe might be an interesting application to check out. It essentially allows you to privately use your computer, doing it’s best to mask any traces of files saved, opened, and applications used.
It supports 24 applications at the outset, and is certainly a unique concept!
CoverSutra has taken a dive in price, and is a fun application to try out if you’re looking for an iTunes controller.
The interface is beautifully crafted, and it packs a wide range of functionality – search your music, access playlists, show your current track, and lots more.
OldBooth makes the jump from iOS, and is another fun way to play around with the webcam built into your Mac. It applies a range of filters to make photos look antique, sports a delightful interface, and is generally all-round goof fun.
I’ve often thought that it would be useful to have a way to merge all the information Facebook stores with my local Address Book, and FBContacts seems to be just the ticket. It has a simple interface for showing potential matches, and can automatically sync Address Book with Facebook.
GPS Tracking and Paths are all the rage at the moment, and myTracks seems to be a good option for making the most of the data captured by your GPS device. It can plot a path taken, automatically geo-tag photos, and lots more. Worth a look if you regularly travel, or don’t have a GPS-equipped camera.
I often find myself frustrated when trying to reboot, having to manually unmount all the various drives and devices I have attached to my Mac. This simple utilities handles the process automatically – even stopping a Time Machine backup if there’s one currently in progress. Well worth a dollar.
Apptivate is a “simple, beautiful hot key manager”. This new version allows you to launch/execute/open a file by pressing a sequence of key combinations, sports a really attractive interface, and is a good way to speed up your computer workflow if you feel the need to!
If you regularly find yourself browsing various web design “inspiration galleries”, Galleried is a fun way to quickly receive a dose of inspiration on your desktop. It takes a feed from a handful of different web gallery sites, and feeds it up in an attractive application.
Whether it’s worth $10 is very much a personal decision. I’d probably be happy sticking with a handful of RSS feeds, but you might think differently!
Time for the obligatory weather applications… Weather HD is a fairly traditional app that shows the current weather and temperature, along with a forecast for the next few days ahead. Well designed, though there are plenty of websites that offer a very similar experience for free!
Taking a completely different route, swackett is something very unique. Turning complex weather information into something easy to understand, swackett will tell you whether you need a sweater, coat, or jacket before you head out the door.
Great fun, and a refreshing take on a sometimes-stale genre of software. It seems to only be available in the US store at the moment.
What Are Your Favourites?
So which software have you been particularly impressed with? These are the new and interesting apps that have stood out of the crowd for me, but I’d love to hear which software you’ve really enjoyed using over the past few hours.
Feel free to share your thoughts on the Mac App Store in general as well!