Always on the search for a new way to get things done, I jumped at the chance to give Silo a go. It has a companion app on just about every device, so I’ve always got my list and todos on me, something I’ve found is important not only to me but to anyone committed to being truly productive. I put the Mac version of the Silo app through its paces to see how it stands up to the competition. (more…)

I’ve long said that the best tools are the ones that do one thing well. There are some app categories that really benefit from this, but something I’ve been learning with all my photo-taking tools is that photography apps often benefit the most from it. I love my all-in-one kits like Photoshop and Aperture, but they’re not perfect. There’s certainly room for improvement in certain areas.

One of those areas, at least for me, lies within vignettes and focus points. I like to tinker with them, and they often cause really cool effects, but I never like to keep them — they never turn out well. For the longest time, I thought it was just me, but I’ve come to realize it’s also the tool. It should be no surprise to many that MacPhun, one of the kings of photography apps, has come up with an incredible solution for this problem called Focus 2. Read on to find out what makes this a must-have for photographers who love a little focus in their lives.

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I bought Day One as a gift to myself on all of my devices last January. I’ve always wanted to keep a diary and have been consistently impressed with the diligence of those who return to a journal day after day. I just never seem to keep up with daily personal writing, and I inevitably misplace my journal, eventually forgetting about it entirely for months at a time. Day One’s omnipresence on my Mac, iPhone, and iPad seemed like it would fix all of that for me.

And it did! Now Day One has updated with some great new features on the Mac app, and I wanted to take a closer look at all the improvements. (more…)

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” wrote Charles Dickens, in a sentence that happens to sum up almost every human experience in my opinion. But for technology, the one thing that brings that quote to mind most is eBooks. See, eBooks are a brilliant idea. With a simple tap, you can download a full book that’d otherwise have taken a trip to a book store or a wait of a few days from Amazon. That downloaded book can be read on your phone, tablet, Mac, or eReader, devices which you already cary around and most of which weigh less than the average hardback — and which can also hold hundreds and thousands of books. It’s a bookworm’s dream come true.

And yet, eBooks are far from perfect. For every beautifully detailed eBook, like those made for iBooks with iBooks Author, there’s a horribly formatted Kindle book that doesn’t do justice to any text. Or, there’s the low-quality scanned PDFs of books that you’ll find online from questionable sources, that’ll quickly convince you eBooks are a terrible idea.

But eBooks shouldn’t be a bad idea, and you shouldn’t need an interactive, multimedia eBook to make it nice. Enter Vellum.

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I write in Markdown all the time, the easy-to-use writing syntax conceived of by John Gruber (of Daring Fireball fame). The nice thing about the syntax is that it doesn’t require any one specific app, so web writers can use it with whatever text editor they feel like — including default editors like TextEdit for Mac, which is much more powerful than most of us realize, I think.

That hasn’t stopped the flow of Markdown editors from arriving for Mac, though. Recently, I stumbled upon Lightpaper, which will be familiar to anybody who uses Android. Lightpaper Pro is well known on the Google Play Store, and I even reviewed it on Android.AppStorm. I went so far as to include it amongst the most noteworthy Markdown-equipped Android apps. The real question is: can lightning strike twice for developer Clockwork Engine with the Lightpaper Mac app? Read on to find out if this app is worth exploring, even in its beta state. (more…)

Storage space is at an all time premium these days, with the shiniest new Macs shipping with incredibly fast — but also rather small — SSDs. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re not wasting space on your Mac, which is exactly what MacBooster, our sponsor this week, is designed for.

MacBooster will scan your Mac for bloated caches, the old files left behind by apps you’ve uninstalled, duplicate files, and more. It’s stuff you could delete yourself, but nobody has has time for that — and odds are you’d overlook most of the stuff taking up space. So MacBooster does the hard work for you, finding what’s taking up space and clearing it out for you. Minutes later, your Mac will have a lot of free space that was simply taken up by junk.

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There’s more, too. MacBooster will help you fully uninstall apps the next time you’re removing an old app. It’ll also find the biggest files on your Mac, so you can perhaps find those old videos that need a new home on an external drive to free up space for the stuff you’re actually using. Then, it’ll show you what’s starting up when you boot your Mac, so you can turn off the stuff you don’t need and speed up your startup time.

If your MacBook’s SSD has started feeling cramped and you want to save yourself some cleanup time, here’s the tool that can clean it up and free up the valuable space you need before the holidays. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for your Mac!

Get MacBooster 60% Off for Christmas!

Best of all, you can get your own copy of MacBooster for just $19.95 from now until December 25th in the MacBooster Christmas Sale. That’s 60% off its normal price, and if you’ve been wanting an app to make it easier to clear out your app caches and fully uninstall apps, it’s the perfect time to treat yourself to a cleaner Mac for Christmas.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

’Tis the season to give presents — so you’re likely spending your weekend running around trying to find the perfect gift for that nice someone. But there’s only so many ties and snowglobes one can use. So why not get the geeks in your life something special this year?

No, you can’t get a new Mac Pro yet, and even if you could it’d have to be a very special someone if you were going to put one of those under the tree for them. That doesn’t mean you can’t get something very nice for them still, all without breaking the bank. So here’s our favorite geeky Mac gifts for this year, ones we’d love to receive and happen to think you’ll be tempted to splurge on for yourself as well.

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A week or two ago, I read an article that talked about the concept of Enough.” The idea is that you don’t need to make a million dollars a year to be happy, you just need Enough to buy what you need when you need it. Shortly thereafter, a friend of mine and I have a conversation about his shoes, of all things. Turns out that he owned a pair of Dr. Martens shoes, and for the past seven years he’s just had them resoled, keeping them in his rotation ever since the first day he bought them.

So what the heck do these two things have to do with Apple? It’s about a little epiphany I had the other day. Bear with me, there’s a point to all this. (more…)

It’s the time of the year for gifts, and yet if you spend enough time around AppStorm and other app-focused sites, you’ll find a number of gifts throughout the year. We’re always excited to feature a giveaway of an app we love, and I’m certain many of you have filled your launchpads with apps you’ve picked up on deals and free giveaways we’ve featured. And yet, there’s one thing that always seems to stump almost everyone once in a while: redeeming gift codes.

So here, in a nutshell, is how to redeem an App Store gift code for any Mac or iOS app — or just to add App Store credit to your account if you’re lucky enough to find an iTunes Gift Card in your stocking this year.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, croons Andry Williams, and if free stuff makes your day, that’s never more true than online during the Holidays. There’s giveaways galore — and for the next 30 hours or so, there’s a giveaway that’s come all the way from 1997 to wish you a happy 2013 holiday season.

The GOG team — the people behind the DRM free game store that re-releases classic games for the Mac and PC — have just launched their 2013 DRM-Free Winter Sale with over 600 games discounted by at least 50%. There’s different deals available every day, with everything from sets of classic games to discounts on newer games like Papers, Please and Faster Than Light. There’s apps for every genre and taste — relive classic sims with SimCity 2000 and Rollercoaster Tycoon, or take on Duke Nukem 3D, all with steep discounts. Each deal’s for a limited time, so you’ll need to hurry and grab the games you want when you see they’re discounted.

But the very best deal is just for today, so you’d better hurry and grab it. From now until 1:59PM GMT on Saturday, you can get Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics for free from GOG. These classic post-apocryphal RPG games would normally sale for $29 on GOG, and you can now download the whole set for nothing. Each game is dated — original Fallout is now 16 years old — but hey: how can you pass up an opportunity to get what Gamespot called “one of the best role-playing games to be released in several years” back when they reviewed it?

Be sure to tell all of your gaming friends — here’s your chance to almost give them a Christmas gift for free! And hey, even if you miss out on this giveaway, you might as well add some holiday cheer and pick up a few discounted games from the still ongoing sale through the end of the holiday season. You’ll even be able to vote on the deals you’d like to see, and could check some special people off your holiday gift list by gifting them a game or three while saving money yourself.

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