The Mac App Store was a big hit during 2011. This is no surprise due to the fact that 2011 was the store’s inaugural year. Ever since that January release, the Mac App Store has grown into a very popular and efficient tool for Mac owners. Now, Mac users can download Apple software like iLife, iWork, and others online without even having to visit a store or wait for postage. While it wasn’t as popular as the iOS App Store, due to the sheer number of users, it still makes its mark as an important aspect of Apple.
Best of Communication
Facetime has been available on iPhone for a very long time. This year, the service became available for all iDevices, including Macs. The application comes free with iLife, and 99 cents for those without it. The application is great and you don’t even need the application open to receive calls.
Echofon is the best application on Mac for Twitter. The simple, yet high quality, application is available for iPhone as well. The application has multiple account support and full Twitter feature support. There is also a paid $19.99 version that is ad-free.
The Skype for Mac application allows you to communicate with friends and family on the other side of the world, or the other side of the street. Skype is the program that put VOIP chat on the market. Calling Skype to Skype is free, calling landlines are at a low cost. But Skype provides many promotions and sales that go toward landline calls.
This was one of the first downloaded mail clients that I downloaded on my Mac. Sparrow provides a clean, streamline email client on your Mac. Creating, replying, and making attachments to emails are very easy to do. If you’re a Gmail user, Sparrow is a must.
Best of Entertainment
1. Angry Birds
Angry Bird made its debut on iOS, but now it’s available for Mac. If you don’t know what Angry Birds is, the game involves attacking the green pigs that have stolen your eggs. The pigs hide behind wooden planks and boxes, but it’s your mission to make them vanish.
There are a large number of classic games available on the Mac App Store. The newest release is Monopoly for Mac. The game, released on the 15th of December, brings the original classic Monopoly game to your Mac. One drawback to this new game is its large file size, contributing to many crashing reports, but it’s just like the original board game with beautiful graphics.
Pac-Man for Mac brings the game that created child memories to a modern system. The Pac-Man application does come with a few drawbacks, including some glitches. But the game works great a majority of the time, available for endless game play – or at least until you get taken by one of the ghosts!
4. Flight Control HD
Flight Control HD is a hit on the iOS App Store, and now it’s available for Mac users alike. The main objective to Flight Control is as easy as, well, Angry Birds. You guide the planes to the runway. If they make it there without a plan crash, you move forward to the next level.
Best of Productivity
The notebook application Evernote is the bin for all of your Internet discoveries. If you have a quick note you need to create, a to-do list, or class notes, Evernote is the perfect application to keep all of your notes in one place.
The free iProcrastinate application helps you to know what needs to get done, and how to get it finished. iProcrastinate partners with your iOS application, allowing you to have everything done on your iPhone, reflected on the Mac application.
Things are the ultimate application for getting your tasks organized. Things for Mac act as your personal assistant, giving you an idea of what you have to get done for that day. You can add notes to yourself and sync all of this with your iCal for Mac and Things for iPhone.
This is the ideal application for students. Smartr allows you to create and study flashcards that can also come with images. Smartr is also a smart application and can base what you are understanding and form a great study guide for you to master the information.
Best of Photography
Any Mac user with iLife knows what iPhoto is. The native Mac application allows you to edit photos in a snap. You also have the ability to organize photos based on events/folders. In addition, when you connect your iDevice, you have the ability to import photos from the device to iPhoto.
This is the newest photo application to hit the scene. This application puts erasing on the front burner, allowing you to edit out objects and individuals in the photo. Snapheal is a great Photoshop alternative for individuals who don’t understand or can’t afford the software.
Detail oriented Mac photographers will appreciate Pixelmator. The application is made to add the finishing effects and touches to amazing photos. This is unlike other photo editing applications that are there to change the photo’s look. In addition, Pixelmator was also awarded “Best of Mac App Store 2011”.
Aperture is an application brought out by Apple, made for Mac photographers. The software provides a ton of photography tools that work great with other Mac applications as well. Individuals interested in Aperture should remember that it isn’t supported on Windows.
Best of Music
The popular artists of today all had to start from somewhere. SoundCloud is the platform for the new artists of today to get some of their music out there. SoundCloud is also a community of individuals interested in hearing these new artists. Plus, it’s free; so what more can you ask for?
2. Garage Band
All Mac users know about Garage Band. This consumer friendly music application allows you to create wonderful tunes and tracks straight in your Mac, free with iLife. Garage Band also partners with the other Mac apps in your system. So if you created a song in Garage Band for a movie you’re creating, it is easily accessible in iMovie as well.
Long gone are the days when being a DJ didn’t include a computer. The application Djay now allows you to integrate your iTunes library and mix tracks. Anyone who uses Djay can find himself or herself easily lost in the application. For $50, it’s worth the price tag.
4. Take Five
Music lovers always have that time when they must pause their song and attend some other responsibilities. But when we come back, we may sometimes forget to play the music again. Take Five automatically plays the song you were once listening to after five minutes once you pause the song.
Best of 2011…
This year, for Mac applications, we chose swackett X as the top Mac app for 2011. The concept and UI were the two main points that brought me to this decision. The concept of basing the weather report on your attire is something that I can see grow even outside of Mac applications. They represent this with great-animated “peeps”. You can also purchase themes for $0.99 each.
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