$50
Apps

BusyMac BusyContacts

BusyMac’s BusyCal has long been a great option for many users who have found the standard Calendar app in OS X a bit too basic for their needs, and now BusyMac has brought the same sort of advanced features to your address book with BusyContacts ($50), a powerful replacement for the standard Contacts app on OS X. Designed to be a full-featured contact manager, BusyContacts integrates seamlessly with BusyCal and Apple’s Mail app, providing a flexible CRM solution. Features include customizable views to allow you to view contact information in a variety of different ways, along with an activity view that gives you a display of appointments, tasks, and even recent e-mail conversations, messages, and social media posts associated with your contacts.

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Free*
Apps

Serif Affinity Photo

On the heels of last year’s successful release of Affinity Designer, Serif is back at it again with a public beta of Affinity Photo (free*), which promises to be a new affordable app that may give Photoshop a run for its money. Described as “unashamedly pro even as a beta version,” Affinity Photo is packed with higher-end features that creative professionals need and love, including end-to-end CMYK, LAB color, editing at 16-bits per channel, ICC color profiling, Frequency Separation editing, live blend modes, full support for Adobe Photoshop PSD files and 64-bit plug-ins, and more.

 

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$10
Apps

Overmacs PhotoSweeper 2.0

For some of us, keeping our photos in order can be a confusing mess, and the longer you’ve been into digital photography, the more problematic this is likely to be for all but the most hardcore archivists. While Apple’s iCloud Photo Library promises to fix this going forward, chances are that between Aperture/iPhoto, Finder, and your iOS Camera Roll, some duplicate photos may have crept in somewhere along the way. Sadly, most photo management tools don’t really do a very good job of even preventing you from importing duplicates in the first place, much less finding them after the fact. Fortunately, for those looking to tackle this problem, there’s PhotoSweeper ($10), a handy little tool provided by Overmacs that can quickly crunch through your photos — just about wherever they happen to be stored — and identify various forms of duplicates so that you can more effectively deal with them and clean up your library. We’ve been fans of PhotoSweeper for a while, and with version 2.0 it gets even faster and more intuitive.

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Free*
Apps

Apple Photos for Mac

When Apple originally took the wraps off iOS 8 at last year’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference, one of the great new features introduced was iCloud Photo Library, promising the ability for iOS and Mac users to keep one big, master photo library in the cloud, with albums and even edits automatically and transparently syncing across all of your devices. While the idea was a neat one, the actual timeframe for rollout has required some degree of patience, with the feature debuting piecemeal. iOS 8.1 last fall provided a “beta” version built into the update, a web-based portal was provided a couple of weeks later, and this week the preliminary and long-awaited Photos for Mac (Free) has finally arrived, completing the circle.

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Free*
Apps

Running with Crayons Alfred 2.6

For many Mac users, it’s much faster to keep fingers on the keyboard when it comes to launching apps, searching your Mac and the web, or performing other quick tasks. While OS X Yosemite has made some nice improvements to Spotlight, for those who still want even more flexibility and control, there’s Running with Crayons’ Alfred 2.6 (free). Designed to allow you to quickly find and launch apps on your computer, run workflows, and search the web all from your keyboard, the latest version provides a number of enhancements, with the most significant being a new iOS Alfred Remote app that lets you control your Mac from your iPhone or iPad.

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Free
Apps

Pushbullet Pushbullet for Mac

The Handoff and Continuity features in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite are a really handy addition to improving inter-device workflows, but the features are still somewhat limited to Apple’s own technologies and pairings of third-party apps specifically designed to support the features. For those looking for something that goes a bit beyond, there’s Pushbullet (free), a pair of iOS and Mac apps that provide many of the missing pieces for sharing data between your Mac and your iOS devices.

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$200
Apps

Apple Logic Pro X 10.1

Apple’s Logic Pro studio app has become a staple in the professional recording industry, and the debut of Logic Pro X a couple of years ago made some huge strides in making the app even more accessible and polished. With the release of the latest update, Logic Pro X 10.1 ($200), Apple adds a handful of new advanced features such as an intelligent beat profile for electronic and hip hop styles, as well as some handy Yosemite integrations such as MailDrop and AirDrop support.

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Free
Apps

LastPass LastPass for Mac

While we’ve generally been fans of more offline solutions for storing our passwords, there’s no disputing that the cloud-based password vault service LastPass service has a huge following, with a well-designed web portal and accompanying iOS apps. While the service has also long provided browser extensions to autofill passwords, a major missing piece – until now – has been an actual desktop app for Mac users. With LastPass for Mac (free), the company addresses this deficiency, providing a full-featured desktop client for managing your LastPass password database.

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$1
Apps

Raffael Hannemann DockPhone

The new Handoff feature that debuted with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite provides a great way to answer incoming iPhone calls using your Mac, but it’s a little bit more complicated for those who want to use their Mac to handle all of their iPhone calling needs, including placing outgoing speakerphone calls from their desk. Raffael Hannemann’s DockPhone ($1) provides an answer in the form of an inexpensive little OS X app that makes better use of the Handoff feature, providing a Mac-based dialer that allows you to place calls through your iPhone while sitting at your Mac.

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$50
Apps

Algoriddim djay Pro

Algoriddim’s djay app has pretty much set the standard for digital DJ’ing, having debuted for the Mac back in 2006 and then of course, it later morphed into impressive iPad and iPhone versions. Now, however, Algoriddim has taken its flagship app to the next level with djay Pro ($50), a landmark update and redesign that brings the Mac version more in-line with the highly popular iOS versions, while aiming to take advantage of the full power available on the latest Mac platforms and build a user interface that is powerful enough for pros, yet accessible enough for the average consumer. The new version, rewritten as a native 64-bit application, provides a 60fps graphics engine and is optimized for the Retina Displays on the MacBook Pros and new iMacs. A $50 price tag is the 40 percent-off launch price for an unestablished amount of time.

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$15
Apps

MacPhun Snapselect

One of the mixed blessings about digital photography is that without dealing with the costs of film and development, it’s really almost too easy to collect a huge amount of photos. If you’ve been in the digital photography game for more than a couple of years, chances are that unless you’re meticulously organized, you’ve got folders full of photos that have just been transferred onto your computer and left for later because it just takes too much time to sort and organize everything. MacPhun’s Snapselect ($15) is a new app designed to help you clean up that mess, and take much of the headache out of getting your photos into some semblance of order.

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$15
Apps

Global Delight Boom 2

While Apple’s media devices – the iPhone, iPad, iTunes and Apple TV – have become popular platforms for listening to music and watching videos, there’s still a lot to be said for using your Mac, especially in light of Apple’s new high-resolution iMac and MacBook Pros. However, while Macs provide decent enough sound for average use, there’s arguably room for improvement if you’re looking for truly high-quality sound. Enter Boom 2 ($15) from Global Delight, the next generation of the acclaimed system-wide volume booster and equalizer for OS X.

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$30
Apps

DigiDNA iMazing

It was only five months ago that we were impressed by DigiDNA’s DiskAid, which went past Apple’s iTunes with the ability to back up individual iOS apps, including settings and files — to keep or transfer to other devices — as well as completely clone one iOS device to another. Now DiskAid has become iMazing ($30), as what would have been DiskAid 7.1 is now iMazing 1.1. Redesigned with an iTunes 12-style UI, iMazing boasts complete iOS 8 compatibility, super-simple backups, and the ability to navigate your iPhone, iPad, or iPod’s hidden file system without the use of jailbreaks or other hacks. That means it’s capable of some really neat tricks that users in need of iOS device file management or recovery tools will really appreciate.

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$37
Apps

Aspyr Media Civilization: Beyond Earth

Fans of the venerable Civilization franchise have something extra to be thankful for today as the highly anticipated Civilization: Beyond Earth ($37) lands on the Mac. Currently available at a special launch price on the Mac App Store, the new sci-fi themed chapter takes Civilization players to the final frontier where they must tame a new world and write the next chapter for humanity. The usual Civilization game play aspects abound here, with players challenged to explore and colonize an alien planet, choose the direction of their new culture, research new technologies, build armies, cities, and wonders, and much more.

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$15
Apps

Sierra Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions

The Geometry Wars rage on with Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions ($15), the latest instalment in the popular franchise. Launched simultaneously for Mac, PC, Xbox One and PS4, the new arcade shooter pits you against waves of enemies on a three-dimensional battlefield made up of geometric shapes. The new game provides over 50 single-player levels, including adventure and classic arcade modes, ten different battle modes, and four unique companion drones. Multiplayer modes are also in here for both cooperative and competitive play.

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