It’s been nearly 4 years since Steve Jobs originally announced and demoed iBooks on the original iPad, marking Apple’s first steps into the eBook market — ones that’s cost Apple a DoJ lawsuit. iBooks is a great iOS eBook app, one backed by an extensive library of titles and great support for DRM-free ePub and PDF eBooks. The only thing that’s kept many of us from switching to iBooks for our book purchases is that there’s no way to read iBooks books on a Mac.

That ends today. With OS X Mavericks’ release, iBooks for Mac is finally a reality. It’s a best-in-class eBook app, though surprisingly is far less integrated into OS X than we would have expected.

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Ever wanted to tweak a photo, but decided not to since it’d take too long? Or perhaps you decided to skip tweaking the picture since you can’t afford a copy of Photoshop. There’s now no excuse not to tweak your photos, though. Beautune, our sponsor this week, makes it insanely easy for anyone to touchup their photos in seconds.

Beautune is a powerful yet simple tool that lets you perfect your portraits in just a few clicks. You can automatically soften skin, brighten photos, remove imperfections, add digital foundation, and more in just a click. You can then remove wrinkles, reshape your face, whiten teeth and boost your lip color all with told that make these complex tasks incredibly simple. Just take a minute to watch this video, and you’ll be blown away by how simple it is to touchup photos in Beautune:

When you’ve got the people in your photos looking great, it’s time to focus on the rest of the picture. Beautune gives you a simple tool to blur the background so the people stand out best in photos, and then lets you add built-in filters, vignettes, and frames to turn your pictures into works of art. All of that, in a simple interface that anyone can use. It’s the photo tweaking tool you need.

Beautify Your Pictures with Beautune Today!

You’ll have to try Beautune for yourself to see how easy it makes photo touchups. You can download a free trial of Beautune from their site, then get your own copy of Beautune from the Mac App Store for just $14.99 for a limited time. That’s a steal for all the editing power it’ll give you in an app that’ll just take you seconds to learn.

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It’s finally here. After Apple kicked off WWDC ’13 with OS X Mavericks and the brand-new Mac Pro, it’s been months since Apple did anything major for the Mac. iOS 7 and the new iPhones — plus brand new web apps and Logic Pro X, both for the Mac, we can’t forget — have taken up all of Apple’s public attention since then. But tomorrow, Apple’s promised that they “still have a lot to cover”, and we couldn’t be more excited.

There’s likely to be new iPads released, of course, and perhaps new covers (that suspicious word pops up in their invite), but at Mac.AppStorm we’re most excited about what tomorrow means for the Mac. We’re almost certain that OS X Mavericks will either be released tomorrow or very soon after — there’s almost no way it’ll be released later than this week, at this point. But then, back at WWDC, Apple promised a new iWork, and we’d sure love to see a redesigned and vastly improved iWork ’13 and perhaps a companion iLife ’13 to boot. Plus, the MacBook Pro Retina Display is due for a spec bump, as is the Mac Mini — and the new Mac Pro is still supposed to be coming out this year. And, there’s the ever tantalizing prospect of absolutely brand-new products from Apple, though somehow it doesn’t seem too likely we’ll see that tomorrow.

Ok, your turn: what are you looking forward to most tomorrow? Any predictions for Apple’s fall announcement this year?

And stay tuned this week: we’ve got a ton of OS X Mavericks content ready for your reading pleasure as soon as Apple releases the first non-cat-named version of OS X.

Apple has always provided a means to back up your iPhone so that, should anything disastrous happen, you’re safe in the knowledge that you can easily restore your backup to a new one. At first, this was simply through iTunes but along came iCloud and now backups are performed directly to Apple’s servers, saving the burden of iTunes syncing.

While this protects our iPhone’s data from something such as loss, theft or damage, what happens if we inadvertently delete some information such as some notes, a voice recording or document within an app?

PhoneView is an app that provides a level of interaction with an iPhone (and iPad) that goes far beyond anything iTunes lets us do. Even without jailbreaking, we’re able to delve deep into the iPhone’s filesystem and directly access app data, messages, call logs and more so they can be easily archived and backed up – as well as recovered if the worst has happened.

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We’re used to syncing — so used to it, in fact, that it’s more strange when an app doesn’t sync on its own or over iCloud these days than anything. But for native apps, that’s typically where it ends. Even in new “cloud” offerings for the Mac, such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud, the only part of the app that’s online is the file and setting sync (and the fact you can download apps, but that’s anything but new). Web apps, even ones with native app counterparts, have the advantage of always running online, so they can often have nice extras like collaboration and options to add stuff via email and more.

The Omni Group is well known for their Mac and Web apps, but they also make a little free extra online service for their apps: the Omni Sync Server. It’s what powers OmniPresence, their new iCloud-like document sync service, and is also the default way to sync OmniFocus if you don’t choose to use your own server for syncing. And they’ve now taken that sync server and added something you’d expect from an online productivity app: Mail Drop.

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Private journals are a much better way of venting your frustration than Twitter. Studies have proven this. (Okay not really.) This explains Day One’s success. The thing is, there aren’t that many quality journaling options available on the Mac. I reviewed Capture 365 Journal — a nice-looking alternative — about a year ago and found it to be less than satisfactory compared to Day One. Is there no hope for a Day One stand-in? I think I’ve found one, actually.

Its name is Bits, developed by the people who brought you Numi. It lives up to its very short name, and I’d go so far as to call it the smallest journaling app available on the Mac. It’s very minimal in appearance, but the developers have given it a unique strength: blog integration. Could this tiny app be the basic digital journal we’ve always wanted? (more…)

For IT departments and network administrators, keeping track of all the Macs on a local network can be a tricky business. Apple’s Remote Desktop app, one that hasn’t been updated in years, is showing its age. Keeping track of all the Macs on a local network, along with software they’re running, can often descend into a poorly-kept and rarely-updated spreadsheet.

Network Inventory Advisor provides some useful reporting tools to keep track of all the Macs on your local network. Combine its ease at which you can add new Macs to the app with some genuinely useful reporting tools, you’re left with an app that every network admin needs to check out.

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When it comes to music, I thoroughly enjoy listening to new music that I’ve never heard of before, especially when most of what makes up so-called popular music is X-Factor cast-offs or pop groups that have been so obviously manufactured you can still see the welding joints. Now, before you start throwing the F-word my way, by which I mean “flannel”, there are plenty of popular music acts that I enjoy listening to. Unfortunately, there’s only so many times I can enjoy the angelic tones of Miley Cyrus before I begin to crave something more, something different.

JamStation is a music discovery app for the online service Jamendo, providing a radio-like way of listening to new music. While basic, it delivers on its singular promise of providing you access to new artists.

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AirPlay is built into iOS and OS X these days, making it simple to mirror anything on any of your devices to your Apple TV. Oddly, though, there’s no built-in way to steam your iOS screen to a Mac using AirPlay, even though the 27” iMac might as well be a TV at that size.

As is so often the case, there’s an app for that. There’s AirServer, the tool that, once installed, lives in your Mac’s Preferences and makes it easy to stream from iOS to your Mac, and Reflector, which makes it look like you’ve actually got an iOS device on your Mac screen. Then, there’s the brand-new X-Mirage that aims to be the best tool both for AirPlay streaming and one-touch recording of anything on your iOS device screen.

Keep reading to see how it stacks up to the competition, and to get a chance to win one of 5 copies of X-Mirage.

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Not every device prefers to use M4A as its main audio format. Some situations call for an MP3 file, and sometimes even something outlandish like OGG. The App Store is full of “free” music converters that either don’t work or have an abundance of ads. After researching things a bit, I discovered a quality alternative to anything available in the App Store. It’s MediaHuman’s Audio Converter, one of the few freeware apps with an appealing user interface. The question is, does it perform as well as the paid apps? Let’s find out. (more…)

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