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weeklypoll

Remember Dashboard widgets? Long before the iOS app gold rush, there was another little burst of developer activity in the Mac community: Dashboard Widgets. These mini-apps used to be all the rage with waves of new widgets hitting Apple’s featured collection every week. These days though, despite the fact that Dashboard is still an active OS X feature, the development of third party widgets seems to have crawled to a near stopping point.

I think Apple needs to do one of two things: drop Dashboard completely (like the did with Front Row), or once again make it worth using by revitalizing the widget market. One way to do this would be to create a special section of the Mac App Store specifically for Dashboard widgets. Giving developers a central point to distribute and earn income from widget development would no doubt help give this market the boost it needs.

What do you think? Should Apple allow Dashboard widgets in the Mac App Store or would this just create a mess of low quality, barely useful clutter? We want to know your opinion! Vote in the poll and leave a rant below in the comment section.

Lately the world of Mac software has seen quite the surge in photo editing apps, many of which are banking on the retro photo craze that helped fuel Instagram to a huge user base and billion dollar sale. This increase in the average user’s interest in photography will surely lead to a lot of questions about how to keep all of those images nicely organized into separate libraries and/or albums.

It seems like a perfect time to take a refreshed look at what Mac owners are using to keep their photographs organized. Are you a fan of the simplicity of iPhoto or do you require the professional kick of apps like Lightroom and Aperture?

Vote in the poll and let us know about your organization process in the comments. If your favorite app isn’t listed, also be sure to let us know what it is.

Both the iTunes App Store and the Mac App Store have given developers a great place to easily distribute their software to customers. While some developers may feel lost in a sea of competition, others find ways to stand out and become overnight success stories.

Though the two platforms are similar, it’s interesting to note the differences. For instance, it seems free apps abound on the iTunes App Store but developers seem more prone to charge for their work on the Mac platform, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Through AppStorm I’ve met lots of hardworking developers and am more than happy to drop a few bucks for a great app to help make it worth the developer’s time.

Today I’m curious about how far you’re willing to go to get your hands on an awesome app. What’s the most that you’ve ever paid to download an app from the Mac App Store? Answer the poll to be counted and then leave a comment below telling us about the apps you’ve purchased at this price point.

During Apple’s recent announcement of the “New iPad,” Tim Cook dropped the term “post-PC” so much that it became distracting. One thing is for sure, Apple wants to drill this concept into your brain. They know where the future of the industry is and they’re making dang sure you’re on board with their self-fulfilling prophecy.

According to some recent statistics from mobiThinking, Cook is right. They estimate that 25% of U.S. mobile web users are mobile-only, meaning their primary way of accessing the web fits nicely into their pocket.

Today we want to put some of these concepts to the test by asking which device you primarily use to access the web. Do you mostly browse on a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone? After you vote in the poll, leave a comment below telling us what you use and why.

Nothing gets the week started off right like a good old fashioned Microsoft vs. Apple debate. Once upon a time these were a staple in the Mac user’s daily life but these days we focus much more on Google and Android as a major threat than crazy Ballmer and the gang in Redmond.

For a moment, let’s look back at Microsoft and ask a question that’s essential for every new Mac user: Office or iWork? If someone is faced with the choice of purchasing only one of these suites, which should it be and why?

Only a few years ago iWork was a new competitor in this game but it’s had more than enough time to rise to the challenge of taking on the formerly undisputed champion of documents. The question is, has it? On the other side, while iWork has been increasing in popularity, Microsoft has been hard at work making Office seem more at home on the Mac. Office now closely resembles Apple’s software in both functionality and appearance.

So which is better? You decide! Cast your vote in the poll and then leave a comment below defending your opinion.

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the wizards at Infinite Loop are pushing out a major OS X update later this year: Mountain Lion.

If you’re like me, you’re nerdy enough that you simply can’t wait to get your hands any new version of OS X. Apple has such a tight hold on me that I have to keep up to date with every little software update they push out.

Unfortunately, since hardware tends to be a great deal more expensive than software, many of us quickly fall behind in this category. Consequently, I was dismayed to read TUAW’s recent article outlining the minimum hardware requirements, which revealed that my beloved 2007 MacBook would no longer be supported.

Here’s the list of all the supported hardware that we’re currently aware of, meaning if your Mac is older than the models listed below, you’re out of luck.

  • iMac (mid 2007 or later)
  • MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, 2.4/2.2 GHz), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
  • Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

With this list in mind, we’re wondering how many of our readers won’t make the cutoff. Do you use an older Mac? If so, will you be able to run Mountain Lion? After you vote in the poll, leave a comment below and let us know what you think about this. Are you bummed that your Mac won’t take the update or are you apathetic?

There’s been a lot of discussion in the past couple of years in the Mac community about the level of importance OS X and the Apple desktop experience has in the overall hierarchy at Apple. For instance, PCWorld recently posted a piece boldly titled, “Mac OS Dwindles in Importance to Apple.”

Our poll question today is aimed at getting your opinion on this. Do you feel like OS X development and progress has taken a backseat in Apple’s eyes to the newer and more exciting iOS platform? Cast your vote in the poll and let us know.

Once you’ve voted, answer an even more important question in the comments: is this a good thing? There’s perhaps an inherent bias in the question that assumes that putting less attention towards OS X in favor of iOS is somehow negative. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. If iOS truly is the future of Apple, then isn’t it good that they’re diverting so much time, effort and resources to that project?

However, many of us still work on a Mac desktop for 40+ hours per week and therefore might not be too happy at the thought of Apple putting our beloved operating system on the back burner. Then again, maybe this argument is void and Apple hasn’t slowed their progress on OS X in the least. What do you think?

OS X Lion was announced way back in October of 2010 and released in July of 2011. You’ve now had lots of time to prep for the switch and over six months to make the purchase and upgrade your system (granted that your Mac can handle the upgrade). So have you? Are you running Lion on your primary Mac or are you still on Snow Leopard?

For the readers who are still kicking it old school, we want you to chime in as well. Are you still running Leopard or perhaps something even older like Tiger or Panther? We want to know!

After you vote in the poll, leave a comment below and tell us why you run the version that you do. If you’re on an older version, is it because you simply haven’t felt the need to upgrade, haven’t had the cash or are you being help back by an older Mac that can’t upgrade any further?

This week at AppStorm we’ve looked at not one, but two interesting iTunes companion apps. Notice that I used the term “companion” and not “replacement.” This is because these apps are meant to supplement your iTunes use, not get rid of it.

The two apps that I’m discussing are Ecoute and Sonora, both of which have the same basic goal: to provide you with a simpler, faster way to listen to your iTunes music library.

iTunes is a powerhouse of functionality and serves as the go-to hub for your syncing music, movies, books and apps to various iOS devices. But as great as iTunes is, the increasing popularity of apps like Ecoute and Sonora bring to mind interesting questions about whether or not iTunes has become bloated over the years. In iTunes you’ll find everything from half-baked social networks to ringtones, which is admittedly a lot of extra functionality when you just want to listen to your favorite tunes without all the distractions.

On the other hand, maybe the features aren’t the problem. Perhaps Apple just needs to rethink the interface entirely. The final possibility is of course that we’re all over thinking this. iTunes is exactly what we need and requires very few, if any changes.

What do you think? If you could change one thing about iTunes, what would it be? Vote in our poll and then leave a comment below with your thoughts. Have you tried Sonora or Ecoute yet? Do you think there’s a legitimate market for these types of apps? We want to hear your thoughts.

Everyone loves getting a new Mac, but not everyone loves dishing out the requisite dough. Whether you’re looking at a $599 Mac Mini or a $2,499 Mac Pro, the expense can be burdensome. With new Macs, shopping around doesn’t typically help too much as prices tend to be fairly uniform.

However, if you’re willing to venture into the land of refurbished Macs, price tags can become much more friendly. For instance, on the Apple.com Refurbished Mac page you can typically find savings of up to almost 30%.

Today we want to hear your thoughts on refurbished Macs. Cast your vote in the poll to let us know if you’ve ever purchased a refurb, whether through Apple or someone else. After that, leave a comment below and tell us about your experience. Were you happy with your refurbished Mac? Would you recommend this route to someone else?

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