This Week in App News

This week has been another busy one in the world of app news so without further ado, let’s get started!

Pixelmator 2.1 now available with Mountain Lion, iCloud and Retina Support

Probably the biggest update we saw this week was to Pixelmator, the popular Mac alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop, up to version 2.1. The update, codenamed “Cherry”, brought along Mountain Lion and iCloud support, so any changes to images being edited are pushed across all devices running Pixelmator, a load of new effects, including Vintage, Miniaturize, Black and White and Rain and full Retina display support for the new MacBook Pro.


Pixelmator 2.1 with retina support for the new MacBook Pro and iCloud sync across all your Macs.

For our full rundown of the new features, head over to Julia’s excellent roundup. Pixelmator is available exclusively on the Mac App Store and existing owners of the software will receive the 2.1 update for free and if you don’t already own it, then you can purchase the app, which is currently on sale at the reduced price of $14.99 (standard price: $59).

Things 2.0 released with new cloud device sync and more

It wasn’t just Pixelmator that saw a significant update this week, either. Things, the popular task manager app for Mac and iOS devices saw a significant update across both the Mac and iOS arms to version 2.0. The new version brought along Daily Review, so you can control tasks with due dates by either accepting or rejecting them, Things Cloud, a new cloud synchronisation service across all your devices (Mac, iPhone and iPad), instead of Wi-Fi sync seen in previous versions and a slight overhaul to the user interface.

Things 2

Things 2 was a major update to an already fantastic GTD app.

For a full rundown of the new features and what we think of Things 2.0, head over to Quintin’s review. The new version can be had either by going to Updates in the App Store or via Check for Updates within Things.

Candybar is, sadly, no more

Candybar, the popular tweaking utility that helped Mac user customise their Dock to their liking has, sadly, reached the end of its life. Although the app theoretically supports Mountain Lion, the developers state that Apple has changed the way the Dock is rendered in OS X 10.8, thereby meaning that it is no longer possible to customise the Dock’s look any more (however the indicator lights can still be modified!).

The developers have therefore made the app free and the latest version can be downloaded from their website, with a serial number to match. Apart from minor 10.8 releases, the app will be unsupported and has been handed over to The Iconfactory, so the responsibility to develop something new from the ashes of Candybar is now up to them. Watch this space.

Pulse now available as a web app

No longer confined to the realms of mobile devices, the developers of the popular news reader Pulse have now released a web version which can be viewed on any computer using virtually any browser, as long as it is supported by them. What’s more is that if you already use Pulse on another device (your iPhone, say) then you can sync your sources with the web version really easily (just follow the instructions on the site).


The web version of Pulse, which features the same tiled interface as seen on the iOS and Android versions.

The familiar tiled interface also makes a welcome appearance in the web version and browsing through articles is a real joy. For our thoughts, head over to Dean’s comprehensive review on our sister site Web AppStorm (spoiler alert: it got a very high score!).

TextMate 2.0 goes open-source

In response to new restrictions on apps introduced in OS X Mountain Lion, the developers of the Mac text editor TextMate have released the code to the new version 2.0 on the GitHub repository. According to ArsTechnica, the code is being open sourced in order to counteract what some developers see as Apple’s increasingly limiting user and developer freedom on the Mac platform.

One of Mountain Lion’s main focuses is security and one of the new features is the limitation of the capabilities of apps distributed via the App Store (also known as sandboxing).

Valve will start selling non-gaming software starting September 5th

From September 5th, Valve will no longer sell exclusively gaming software via its online distribution platform Steam, but rather a whole host of software which range from “creativity to productivity”. According to The Verge, any non-gaming software sold via Steam will take advantage of its features, such as a simplified installation process, auto-updating and the ability to save work to the Steam Cloud.

And finally…

Macs played a vital part in the Mars Curiosity landing

OK, so it’s not app news but it’s something exciting at the least!

I’m sure we’ve all heard the old adage of Macs being the favourite of yuppies who sit in Starbucks all day sipping on overpriced fancy coffee, but now it seems that they have a much more important role in today’s society. A still taken from the live stream inside the control room at NASA show a sea of Macs alongside the rocket scientists and yes, a closeup confirmed that they were indeed running OS X, not just Windows under Boot Camp or Parallels!


NASA’s control room, complete with MacBook Pros!

Although we Apple users can’t be entirely smug yet (there’s still several things that our precious Macs won’t do), it does shut up those gloating Windows users…for the time being, anyway!

Heard Anything Else?

If you’ve heard anything else exciting that’s happened this week then go ahead and post a link to it in the Comments section below for the benefit of our other readers!