- Freebie Friday: Freebies on AppStorm
- Do You Use Social Networking to Find Work?
- Envato Awards: Top Selling Marketplace Items of 2011
Posted: 09 Feb 2012 04:00 PM PST
The AppStorm team have been hard at work again. Here is a huge bunch of great free apps and web services they covered.
Keep Your Mac Tidy and Fast with CleanGenius
Have you ever wondered why your Mac slows down after a couple months of use with no maintenance? Well, one of the reasons is because sometimes temporary files, which are supposed to be deleted, are kept without receiving any real use anymore. That, and of course, all the stuff that you have probably installed lately.
Luckily, we have a few apps that can help you keep a clean computer and a garbage-free hard drive. One of the newest options is an affordable alternative called CleanGenius. Is it any good? Let's see!
TimeMachine Scheduler: Take Charge of Your Backups
One of the best, and perhaps most undervalued features of Mac OS X is one that was introduced in 10.5 Leopard: Time Machine. As Macintosh users, we often forget just how good we have it when it comes to matters like this. I was recently discussing backup options with a Windows using friend of mine and none of the options we could find for him came even close to the ease of use and painlessness (not to mention the system level integration) of Time Machine.
Nevertheless, after I started using Time Machine in Leopard, I quickly found one major drawback. Every hour, regardless of what you are doing, Time Machine starts a backup. It slows the system down, if you back up to a Time Capsule as I do, it slows the network down, and it's unnecessary. I really only want one incremental backup per day, but this isn't possible by default. This is where TimeMachineScheduler comes into play.
Master Tabbed Web Browsing With Sleipnir 3
In Norse mythology, Sleipnir is the gray, eight-legged steed that Odin rides to Hel. In the world of technology, it's an amazing web browser that you just have to try.
Though you may have never heard of it, Sleipnir has been around in various forms for years (it's also on just about every operating system around). The latest version, Sleipnir 3 offers a truly unique and streamlined browsing experience optimized for OS X Lion. Join us as we dive in and check it out.
15 Free Alternatives to Popular Mac Software
There's a huge range of amazing paid software out there, but more often than not there is some form of free alternative. For those of us who can't afford to spend up on every great app we desire, gathered here are 15 great free pieces of software that achieve much the same purpose of a popular but paid application.
Of course – nine times out of ten you get what you pay for, and the paid applications are usually going to do the job better, look nicer, or have more features than any free app. But that doesn't mean free applications are worth overlooking, as they will often be more than functional enough for your needs.
SpeedTao: A Promising Download Acceleration App
I'm sure you're familiar with the many download managers available for Mac, such as JDownloader, Leech (which we reviewed in 2010) and others. The purpose of most of these apps is to help folks who have multiple downloads keep things neatly organized and packed into one app.
JDownloader even offers a special multi-link capability that lets you paste as many links as you wish into a box and the app will automatically start downloading them in order. This stuff is great for power users, but today I'm going to show you a new app that offers the same capability in a more simple manner, it's called SpeedTao.
Hopper: Simple Copy and Paste to the Web
Sometimes I come across an app and think to myself, "Why didn't I think of this before?" Usually these apps are simple, easy to use, and take no time to learn at all. They are ones that I use all the time to do everyday tasks.
Hopper is one of those that fits this description. It is so simple, yet can be so effective for me. It is a lightweight web application that you can use as a place to store a variety of different things.
Drag-and-Drop Task Management with Pegby
Every day, lots of new websites and apps are popping up around the internet with one sole purpose: to help the everyday person of today manage the things they need to do. These are often generally carbon copies of each other and by there being so many variations of the simple to-do app, it can be confusing for most of us to know which one to use.
A new contender in this field is Pegby. It takes its own unique stance on getting stuff done and offers a radically different type of system than has been seen in most other GTD apps that grace the internet. You can read on to find out more about this exciting app!
Content Managed Simply with GatherContent
If you're a developer or designer, chances are you've worked on a project where knowing the type of content the client will want to add is crucial to the design or development process. Emails are sent around containing the content but it can be incredibly difficult to keep it all managed, especially if that content isn't final and subject to change in the foreseeable future. If only there were a system where content could be managed easily by both parties and kept in a manner that is convenient for both.
This is where GatherContent comes in. It offers an easy way for developers and clients alike to manage the content that will comprise the website while the website itself is still being developed. Read on to find out more.
Chill: Come Over and Watch Something
Chill. Most everyone has used the word before, generally as a verb. 'Wanna chill?' is a fairly vague question, but there's a general understanding that you're going to be spending time with the people that you care about, enjoying some form of media, and sharing the experience with the people that you know.
Chill is bringing this to the web as a place for you to share and watch videos with the people that you choose to follow. There's enough to do on the Web that requires some thought; it's about time to chill and catch up on some videos.
Wunderkit Beta: A Beautiful Task Management System
Last year, we saw the rise of a startup company that began with the simple idea that everyone needs a way to remember, organize, and prioritize what they want to get done. They took that idea, and built an app called Wunderlist that was both beautiful and functional. However, the company, 6Wunderkinder, knew that they could take that idea a step further, and began to work on a bigger product: Wunderkit.
Wunderkit has been carefully designed by the team at 6Wunderkinder, and over the past year as they've released updates to Wunderlist, they've also been working away at designing Wunderkit. It's finally in private beta, and we've been able to get in and try out out. Keep reading to see our first impressions of Wunderkit.
Better Bookmarks With Grazely
Bookmarking apps are not exactly the rare breed they used to be. A lot has changed over a couple of years. In fact, there is too much supply than demand in the marketplace. On the other hand, the volume of bookmarks are going up exponentially and in nine out of ten cases users are locked into the service they first sign up with.
That probably explains the torrent of new wave bookmarking apps. Grazely is a next generation social bookmarking tool that helps you discover, save, organize and share exciting content on the web, privately or publicly. Is this web app as exceptional as it clams to be? Let us go find out!
Gentlemint: Pinterest For Men
I have to admit, when Pintrest first came out, I thought to myself, there is no way that this thing has any use and will disappear soon. Boy, did I eat my words and then some. It has grown to one of the most popular websites in its very short existence. So after getting rave reviews about it from my wife, I decided to give it a try, and I quickly realized, why so many people liked it so much, and why I didn't. I felt like I was in a scrapbooking class with nothing but females; I lost interest quick!
The guys over at Gentlemint felt my pain and realized that there was some untapped potential here, so they came out with their version of Pintrest, but this one is strictly for men, at least that is the target audience. What a genius idea, contrary to what others may say, us men love to share cool, manly things that we find on the net with others as well.
Quick Look: Get Dealy
In this Quick Look, we're highlighting Get Dealy. The developer describes Get Dealy as site offering sales on tech products. Deals on Mac software, web applications, and resources for creatives and developers. We've got over 120,000 members and are growing every day!
GoPollGo: The Quickest Way to Find Public Opinion
Everyone has an opinion about almost everything. Never mind if one is an expert in a topic or not, there will be something to say about it anyway. Now that social networking is a rage, you cannot away escape from opinions as they are always being shouted and posted around you.
Most of what I wrote above holds good for face to face, off the cuff conversations. However, if you were to look for people to give their opinions on the record, even anonymously, the numbers won't be flattering. From the mighty Polldaddy to the innovative new comer Eval.me, there is no dearth of free and paid apps to create online polls. The problem is getting people to give you their opinion in a structured poll rather than just in a random ranting tweet. How does GoPollGo stand out from the rest?
Quick Look: Cool Mojito
In this Quick Look, we're highlighting Cool Mojito. The developer describes Cool Mojito as a web app that lets you create a professionally designed Facebook page within a few minutes, for free. It's as easy as dragging a widget with our drag and drop widget-based interface.
Authentic Jobs: Get Hired Today
I don't need to tell you that finding a job can be hard. With our economy shrinking by the day and our forced competition with people across the world, finding a decent job that will allow you to support yourself continues to grow difficult. Thankfully, people smarter than myself have thought about this and are doing their best to help us find work.
Authentic Jobs is one such example. Built by Cameron Moll, Authentic Jobs is a job board for creative professionals, connecting prospective employers with a large pool of talented and passionate job hunters. Authentic Jobs has just released their iPhone app, and we've got a full review today.
Introduce Yourself with Evernote Hello
You're at another conference. You hate these things because you've always got to try to pretend like you're having a good time, even with the knowledge that your boss expects you to meet and expand your network of contacts. As you reach for what appears to be a shrimp cocktail made of some vegetable you've never seen before, you hear, "Hello, I'm Jan. What's your name?"
These types of introductions happen all the time, whether you're at a conference or just hanging with your friends. Problem is, sometimes it's easy to forget who you met and when, and that loses you the contact in the process. Evernote Hello looks to solve that problem by giving you a fun and intuitive way to record those interactions, and then syncs those notes with your Evernote account. Is it worth the download? Let's go meet some people after the jump.
My Xbox LIVE: A Handy Companion For Your Xbox
The Xbox 360 is a remarkable device, offering a vast number of entertainment options (be it video games, movies, music and apps). Another big part of the Xbox LIVE experience is the ability to interact with friends via multi-player gaming, chat or even watching a movie together with the Netflix app. While all these options may not be included, My Xbox LIVE offers the ability to keep in touch with your Xbox LIVE friends, and much more.
Find out exactly what My Xbox LIVE brings to your iPhone experience after the jump.
Flava: Saving Life's Memories Through Your iPhone
The iPhone is a great portable device to capture all those special moments in our life. To help in this process, there are a handful of apps that help you chronicle these events; Path as we reviewed before, comes to mind.
Not too long ago, I stumbled upon Flava, which is a journaling application for the iPhone. But as I started to get into it and use it, I realized there is so much more to it. There are some great features that make it stand out and it could potentially be a great way to capture those special moments in your life.
ImGame: The New Mobile Gaming Check-In App
Ever since Foursquare saw a massive growth in popularity, it's become clear that mobile social networking is on the rise. Facebook also recently purchased another big-time check-in service, Gowalla, back in December 2011. But users are look for more than geographic check-ins.
ImGame is a revolutionary idea which attracts gamers of all crowds! The app behaves as a check-in social network where you can share what game(s) you're playing. Check-ins are performed in real time and you can even accept push notifications for when your friends are online too. Find out more after the jump.
Searching the Web with DuckDuckGo Search
When you think of website search engines, it's big-name brands like Google or Yahoo! which come to mind — even Microsoft's Bing is doing very well in the rankings. However, there is an underdog in the mix and it's not Dogpile.
DuckDuckGo Search is a very simple engine which borrows a lot of traits from Google's UI. Their search functionality is easy to use and also includes extra features for custom searches — in this way you can limit to specific domain names or even search in alternate places such as Wikipedia. Their web app is certainly fantastic, but the company has done an even better job for their iOS app, which we'll delve into after the break.
Shotz: A Beautiful Gallery-Style Dribbble Client
The immensely popular invite-only design network known as Dribbble has become a topic of discussion. Designers from all over the world are joining and sharing some very creative works. Submissions include mobile UI design, web layouts, logos, illustrations, along with a handful of other talents.
Shotz is the most recent Dribbble client I've been playing with. It features a pixel-perfect layout for the standard iPhone and retina display. You can check out recent Dribbble shots, popular submissions and even access data from your own Dribbble account. It's the perfect app for any digital artist.
Zite: A(nother) Personalized Magazine for the iPhone
So many of us are on the constant lookout for things to read without a good way to find them. Sure, there are things like Flipboard and Twitter, but sometimes we want a more carefully-curated reading list without the responsibility of apps like Instapaper.
This is where Zite comes in. After debuting on the iPad, Zite made the jump over to the iPhone, much like competitor Flipboard. Is Zite worth sticking on your phone, or should you look elsewhere for your lusted-after content? Read on and find out.
Hipmunk: Mobile Flight and Hotel Search
I know I don't have to tell you that searching for and purchasing airline tickets is an incredible pain. Attempting a simple search often results in elevating your blood pressure followed by either anger or remorse because you know you didn't get the right tickets. It's a horrible experience nearly across the board.
I say "nearly," because one start-up has been doing some great work at making that experience less awful. Let's be honest, the bar has been set pretty low, so any improvement would be noticed, but Hipmunk has made some serious strides. Their web service is by far the best for searching for airline and hotel travel and they also have an accompanying iPhone App which is what we'll be taking a look at today. Does the experience spill over to mobile devices or does it fall short? Read on to find out.
The Sims FreePlay: Simulation Wrapped In Great Graphics
The Sims is one of my favourite gaming franchises and I've been playing them longer than any other. For those that don't know, The Sims is a series of simulation games revolving around your own customised, virtual family with a ton of different paths you can take them on. The game is a juggernaut on PC and pretty popular on both home and handheld consoles.
Back in 2009, EA Mobile brought The Sims 3 to the iPhone. While that game remains in the App Store, EA recently introduced The Sims FreePlay, a brand new app that, as the name suggests, is available for free!
Make Your Moviegoing Plans With Wigglehop
If you're anything like me, you're very big on simplicity. When I'm using a product, I want it to be simple, polished and easy to use (one of main reasons why I came back to the iPhone after a brief stint with Android). However, I find the market for movie apps to be anything but.
The two major movie apps, Fandango and Flixster, are packed full of features which may be useful to some, but don't make it easy to simply find a movie I want to see in a nearby theater. You can also find movie times via the IMDb and the iTunes Movie Trailers app, but that's not really their main function.
If share this point of view as well, join us after the jump to find out why Wigglehop may be just the app to use for your next movie going experience.
Doxo: Cloudifying Your File Cabinet
Every year around tax time, I always remind myself that I need to start to go paperless. So in the last year or so, I have started to make the move and Doxo has definitely played a part in that venture.
Doxo is kind of like your digital file cabinet, so to speak. It's the place where you can keep all of your monthly bills, statements or other files that you know that you will never look at, but you should keep just in case. The big difference is that you are not taking up storage in your house or your computer to do this, it is all in the cloud.
Courtside: Dribbble on Your iPad
Dribble is a truly special website. It doesn't really do anything, it just shows out-of-context designs uploaded by the designers themselves, snippets of logos and interfaces.
Despite this, it is one of the most captivating sites out there due to the sheer beauty of the content. While it may not be of much material use, Dribbble is a great source of inspiration – impacting our lives and work indirectly.
Courtside is a free iPad app which connects to Dribbble and shows you the latest/best content from the site – iPad style. But, is it any good?
Squrl: Flipboard for Video?
The iPad is quite a revolutionary device, in that it tries to change the way we do many things. There are tons of apps for doing just about anything with a few simple swipes of your fingers, but navigating through videos can still be awkward unless you're using YouTube.
The app that we are reviewing today is called Squrl, and it tries to make browsing videos from different sources fun, intuitive, and simple. Let's see how it fares!
Temple Run: Escape the Demon Monkeys!
About a week or so ago, all of a sudden, I started receiving an onslaught of people asking me "What's your high score on Temple Run?" I'd never heard of the game, but the sheer mass of people enquiring about my standing made me think it was something significant, so I decided to download it and give it a whirl.
Temple Run is a very simple, casual game that fits into the same category as blockbuster time wasters Angry Birds and Doodle Jump. It's an endless runner, where you'll try to escape a team of demon monkeys by navigating a network of pathways in a state of disrepair.
Sleipnir: A Fresh Look at Web Browsing
The alternative browser market is starting to grow as more and more people are looking to branch out from the default Mobile Safari that ships with every iPad. After reading a review on Mac.AppStorm of the Mac version of Sleipnir I immediately downloaded the iOS versions, and I've spent enough time to get a feel for the ecosystem.
Will this mythological browser make its way onto your home screen, or should you avoid it like the eight-legged freak that it's named after? Let's find out.
Pepperplate: Your Kitchen Assistant
Pepperplate is a service which aims to revitalize your kitchen workflow. Currently you might be stashing PDF recipes in iBooks or saving recipe webpages in Evernote but with Pepperplate your recipes can work smarter.
Before you can use Pepperplate you will need to go here and create an account. Creating an account is free and allows you access to your account from the web, iPhone, Android, and iPad.
Pepperplate is your go-to kitchen app. The app can store recipes, plan meals, and create shopping list from your recipes. The app supports timers while cooking your recipes and you can share your recipes through email, Facebook, and Twitter.
PicsArt Photo Studio: A Complete Photo Editing Tool
When anyone thinks of editing a photo, whether to retouch it or to add special effects, the first name that comes to mind is Adobe Photoshop. But while the desktop version is a powerful and popular industry standard, the mobile version does not live up to the same standard, in my opinion.
Don't get frustrated; you will get what you need. PicsArt is a mobile app with abundant photoshop-style features that you'll want to try out.
PicsArt Photo Studio is a free Photo Editing Tool available for the Android Devices running Android 1.6 or above. Despite being free, it bundles a lot of features that even some premium apps lack. With a great user experience on top of all that, this app is a great choice for photo addicts.
Track Your Spending With MoneyWise
Most of us would benefit from keeping track of our finances more carefully, and in the age of smartphones this no longer involves a pocketful of receipts and all your third grade math skills. I reviewed a lot of finance apps over at iPhone Appstorm, and was surprised not to find a similarly crowded market for Android apps.
MoneyWise stands out as a fully-featured expense tracker with a free (ad-supported) version for those of us who can't afford to spend money on apps that stop us from spending money. Let's find out if MoneyWise can help take take the pain out of financial responsibility after the jump!
Viber Provides Free and Easy Calls and Messages
Viber is a fresh, new, and easy-to-use take on VoIP calling from your Android device. It allows you to call and text anyone free and clear anywhere on the globe as long as you both have the Viber app and a data or Wi-Fi connection. With more than 40 million users on both Android and iPhone, Viber remains completely free and without advertising. While VoIP from a mobile device is not a new concept and is a crowded field to be in, Viber is still able to stand out. This is because of its design, implementation, and the fact that you just can't beat free.
Search By Speech With Dragon Go!
Nuance Communications Inc. are a company specialising in voice recognition software. Many of you may be familiar with their Dragon line of computer software, superb pieces of kit that write your spoken words on-screen in real time.
Their new program for Android, Dragon Go, isn't exactly the same sort of software. It's a searching and browsing application that uses your voice to interpret your queries. So is this application as impressive as Nuance's desktop product? Let's find out.
Handcraft Your Internet Radio With 8tracks
Internet radio usage has been on the rise with apps like Pandora and TuneIn Radio. The reason these apps have become so popular is because people like listening to music that relates to a specific song or genre.
The major downfall with most of the applications out there is that the playlists are generated by an algorithm, rather than actual human beings. This method unfortunately lacks personalization and doesn't quite feel as intimate as music should be. Wouldn't it be much more attractive to have your playlists created by real music listeners?
This is where 8tracks comes in. The entire program is centred around DJs who make playlists based on a specific genre. As the title implies, these playlists have to be at least 8 tracks long. This is quite a different concept and definitely provides a greater sense of flow from one track to the next. No longer will you have to be disappointed by Pandora's or Genius's choices of songs.
Lapse It: More Control Over Your Time Lapse Videos
A while back I wrote a guide about making time lapse videos with your Android. There, I showed you the basics of time lapse, and gave a small review of two apps: Tina Time Lapse and TimeLapse, both very capable applications. Lapse It would have been on my list, but at that time it was built for the Adobe AIR Platform, which my phone doesn't support.
Lapse It has since been redesigned from the ground up as a fully native app. This means it's faster and more robust than any previous version. Naturally I had to give it a try, and in this article I'll give you my thoughts.
Path: A Social Network in Miniature
I have too many people that aren't my friends on Facebook. Instead of a place that allows me to share my life with my closest friends and family, Facebook feels more like a restaurant where everyone that you have ever known keeps trying to sit at your table. Old friends, friends of friends, and people that I don't even know have all been added, deleted, replaced, and ignored.
Path aims to solve this problem. Instead of allowing (or encouraging) me to have four hundred friends, Path wants me to share with the people that really, genuinely matter to me. Is this new app (and its philosophy) going to make its way onto your phone? Let's find out.
Frictionless Login and Account Management with Dashlane
Let's face it: creating secure passwords and actually remembering those darn things are mutually exclusive. And most people, understandably, choose one thing or the other leading to a net loss of usability and security.
Developers saw this niche and started creating applications that take care of your credentials for you. And to take it a step forward, most even do automatic form filling for you — a boon with those long winded, unusable forms you see on most checkouts.
Dashlane is a new entrant into this arena. Can it dethrone the incumbents? Let's find out!
Launch Apps Beautifully with RocketDock
While I find the whole Mac vs. PC debate quite pointless, there's one good thing that came out of it: apps for each OS that bring in some desirable functionality from the other. For Mac OS X, there's RightZoom which allows for true window maximization and Witch, that offers more comprehensive window-switching.
For Windows, you can try Dexpot to get Exposé- and Spaces-like desktop behavior, and for the ubiquitous dock, you can try one of my favorite apps of all time – RocketDock.
RocketDock is an app launcher that puts a dock on your desktop with icons to launch apps from. It comes with a nice feature set and offers plenty of room for customization. If you love the OS X dock or simply enjoy a clutter-free desktop, you should definitely give it a try. Plus, there are lots of things it can do apart from displaying app shortcuts. Let's take a closer look.
Evernote for Windows Phone 7: Your Brain in the Cloud
I practically live in Evernote. The application serves as my outboard brain, holding all of the bits of information that I can't keep straight in my own head. Evernote was one of the first applications that I installed when I first started using Windows Phone, and I put that little elephant through its paces for the sake of a full review.
So is this version of Evernote as compelling as the rest of the suite, or will this application be the one thing that an elephant pretends that it forgot? Let's find out.
Come into Musical Harmony: A Review of doubleTwist
We as Windows users, watched by the sidelines as Mac people got iTunes to sync their portables devices and wireless syncing of content, while we had no real solution. doubleTwist is here and aims to be that solution.
doubleTwist offers a beautiful and seamless way to wirelessly sync, play your music collection, and even purchase from Amazon MP3, all on Windows. Lets jump right in and check it out!
Deck Out Your Desktop With Rainmeter
Some people are blissfully content with the default Windows desktop interface. And then there are people like me — I absolutely needs to customize the living heck out of everything I use. While various parts of Windows are quite customizable, the desktop itself is a monolith that doesn't want to be customized. Switching wallpapers and moving around your icons is all you've been able to do so far…
Rainmeter is an application that aims to give your desktop a complete overhaul replete with eye candy. Does it do its job and do it well? Let's find out!
Posted: 08 Feb 2012 10:00 PM PST
We’ve talked a lot in the past about how you can use social networking to market your items. But it’s also useful for finding work, whether it be freelance jobs or full-time employment. That’s especially useful if you’re part of the silent majority who don’t yet support yourself entirely from your Envato marketplace earnings. Do you use social networking to find work?
The guys at the Jobvite Blog have recently put together a great infographic called The Social Job Seekers. (Click here for the article, and here to view the image full size.) Like all good infographics, it’s detailed, multifaceted, and you can see the relationships between the various facts and stats at a glance. It’s worth exploring.
And explore the infographic is exactly what Melanie Brooks did for FreelanceSwitch, digging for nuggets that might give freelancers more options for picking up extra jobs. If that describes you, you owe it to yourself to have a thorough read of her commentary and analysis of the infographic, called Finding Work on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Not to steal all of her thunder – I really think you should head to FreelanceSwitch and read the whole post – I’ll finish with three tips Melanie gives to freelancers about how to make the most of LinkedIn for finding work:
Which social network sites do you use to pick up freelance work? Do you have any tips or strategies to share with us? What did you find most helpful about the FreelanceSwitch post, or Jobvite’s infographic? Let us know in the comments.
Posted: 08 Feb 2012 07:46 PM PST
At Envato we love to recognize excellence, which is why we’ve created the Envato Awards. We are rolling out the red carpet for the items and authors who reached stunning heights in 2011. Head to the awards page to see the ‘Best of 2011′ for the top 5 selling items from each Marketplace.
It's hard work to get to the top and we appreciate those who put in the hard yards to inspire and motivate the rest of us. So do yourself a favour and check out the competition, who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to get your items in the 2012 awards. Show some love for the Marketplace high achievers of 2011 and check out the Envato Awards.
Congratulations to our top sellers of 2011!
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