Posts Tagged

news

Four years ago I had the idea to build a blog network dedicated to reviewing and rounding up apps. We started with Mac apps and then quickly expanded to additional channels covering iOS, Android, Windows and Web apps. While the network has been successful in traffic and audience, reaching some 100m+ visitors over the four years, it’s ultimately not fit within our broader company mission. So I’m here today to announce that unfortunately after four years of app guidance, we’re closing AppStorm down.

As many readers will know, AppStorm is a product of Envato. Our company is dedicated to helping people earn and learn online, and our main products are the Envato Marketplaces, Microlancer and Tuts+. AppStorm has always been a bit of a fringe product for us, and one that loses money. Losses on their own would be OK if the site was a great fit for what our company purpose is. But despite my best efforts for the last couple of years, the fit has been loose at best.

If we are to do a good job of our core mission, it’s important that we are focusing our best efforts on it. So without the fit, even a route to profitability wouldn’t save the network for us unfortunately.

For a time we explored selling AppStorm to try to find a good home for the network so that our readers would continue to be served well, but we couldn’t find the right company to sell to.

So we’ve ended up here at a dead end with an announcement that at the end of December we published our last posts. The network will remain live here for at least 12 months, so if you’ve bookmarked posts, or use the network as a resource you can return still to do so.

I’d like to thank all our editors, writers and readers for supporting AppStorm over the four years. We delivered some amazing content, built a wonderful readership, and hopefully helped a lot of people meet a lot of great apps. And ultimately that was what this network was all about.

If you know of other great app review sites that readers will find helpful, please do leave a comment!

Thank you all!
Collis

For a brief moment on June 10th, it seemed like Apple was going to support notification syncing between your iPhone and your Mac. It seemed like they said if you got, say, a New York Times push notification on your phone, you could get it on your Mac as well. That feature turned out to be just Safari Push Notifications — an option to let websites push notifications to your Mac the same way mobile apps push notifications on your iPhone. A nice feature still, perhaps, but nothing that’d bring the iOS and OS X synergy we thought was coming.

And yes, Safari Push Notifications are a good idea and a nice new feature, to a degree. But at the same time, they can be one of the most infuriating, in-your-face new features on the Mac. Here’s why.

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There are lots of RSS readers in the App Store, and with each release, it seems they’re each more feature-rich and impressive. What if you don’t need all of the bells and whistles and the sometimes hefty price tag? What if you just need to know when the sites you’re interested in get an update?

NewsBee, more or less just a menubar app that links to your favorite sites, may be the answer. It’s not really an RSS reader, since you can’t actually read anything in NewsBee. Instead, it aggregates the titles and links of all the most recent posts of a particular site. But is NewsBee just enough for a menubar RSS app or not even close? (more…)

I’m a huge news junkie. I run multiple RSS apps on my Mac, including Pulp and Reeder, each for different sets of RSS feeds that I subscribe to. In those rare moments that I get to step out of the office, whether I’m standing in line at the deli down the street or riding a bus downtown to meet up with my brother for lunch, I’m usually on my phone checking even more news feeds. Simply put, I drink heartily from the fountain of information that the Internet provides.

I recently stumbled across a somewhat unique RSS aggregator, and I wanted to show it to you today. Retickr is an app that lets you put together custom playlists of news feeds and display the top stories from them as a scrolling ticker on your screen. The idea is relatively novel and the execution is unique, but does Retickr have what it takes to become an arterial channel of information?

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We’re excited to let you know about the latest addition to the Tuts+ family — Mactuts+!

Mactuts+ is focused on teaching you how to use your Mac more effectively, efficiently, and powerfully. You’ll learn about the basics of OS X, how to switch, how to use accessories and time-saving software, work with your Mac in an enterprise setting, and how to save time with advanced productive tips and tricks.

Read on to find out more about how the site will complement Mac.AppStorm, and learn about our $1,000 competition!

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They say that necessity is the mother of invention. It would stand to reason, then, that with the emergence of the Internet, it would be necessary to have an invention that would help us cope with the massive amounts of information. Of course, the category of RSS readers has been present for some time, but it’s almost as if that isn’t sufficient enough anymore. I can set up my RSS reader to pull from several different websites, but I can’t limit my information absorption to 5 or 20 or even 100 different websites; it comes from everywhere.

Some of the other AppStorm sites have talking about Pocket, a web service formerly known as Read It Later. Pocket, and other similar services, aim to let you save various articles and videos for later consumption, rather than letting them interrupt your workflow. Today we’re going to look at Read Later, which is a Mac desktop client for both the free Pocket and the paid Instapaper. The app was originally released as ReadNow, but it’s evolved quite a bit since we covered it, so let’s see what’s new.

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This week’s news isn’t quite as populated as last week’s because, as you all know, Mountain Lion made its first developer preview debut last week. However, there was some special news during the week including the Growl developers’ response to Apple’s latest operating system. You see, Growl was once a great notification system on the Mac, but now it seems that Mountain Lion’s Notification Center — which was conveniently ported from iOS — has replaced the small app.

This may come as a disappointment to some since Growl worked so well and had lots of customization, but the developers have responded in a blog post from last weekend assuring that the service is not dead and that the developers are in the process of investigating other options for Growl’s purpose in Mountain Lion. This is great news for the many users out there who’ve been devoted to Growl. Hopefully they will be able to integrate Growl into Notification Center or something in a way.

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RSS and news apps make up one of the more crowded categories at the App Store, spanning the ranges of quality and price. Despite the abundance of RSS apps, they tend to all have similar feature sets, and differentiate themselves based on their interfaces (and often a few gimmicks). NewsBar enters this crowded market with a unique approach to displaying your news feeds, so let’s find out if it’s more than just another flashy fad RSS reader.

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Ever since the release of the Mac App Store, I’ve been waiting for one specific category to take off: News apps. More specifically, innovative and free news apps.

This expectation isn’t some fanciful dream but something that arose out of a clear precedent: the iOS App Store. Today we’ll briefly discuss what the iOS App Store has in this area that the Mac App Store is desperately lacking and whether or not we can expect this void to continue in the future.

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That’s right! AppStorm has now landed on Google+ and will be delivering you app related goodness right to your Stream! We’re excited to let you know that now, in addition to Twitter and Facebook, you can get involved with Mac.AppStorm over at Google+! We’ll be using Google+ to let you know about the latest app news, reviews, how-tos, and roundups. Read on to find out more…

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