$150
July 2017
Apps

IK Multimedia Syntronik

IK Multimedia has built a well-deserved reputation for creating powerful and authentic digital music tools, and the company’s new Syntronik is sure to be another hit with musicians. The new virtual synthesizer promises to take the virtual instrument game up another big notch with 38 iconic synths and string machines samples with IK Multimedia’s usual attention to detail. The app features a new hybrid sampling and modelling synthesis engine combined with a large set of high-quality modelled effects. Over 2,000 preset sounds are included that cover a huge selection of vintage synths, including some ultra-rare classic synthesizers that few will ever have an opportunity to lay their hands on.

yntronik includes 17 amazing instruments, available as a collection or separately, with over 2,000 preset sounds covering a wide selection from 38 of the most iconic to ultra-rare and painstakingly multi-sampled vintage synthesizers. Syntronik’s synthesis engine goes well beyond traditional sampling thanks to a brand new analog modeled filter section created with the utmost expertise from IK, the pioneer in virtual crcuit modeling. This is coupled with exclusive DRIFT™ technology to accurately reproduce the behavior of oscillators from real hardware synths. All of this combined with an effects section that is unrivaled in the world of virtual instruments along with advanced features like 4-part layers, splits and arpeggiators make Syntronik the ultimate source of inspiration with the widest palette of synthesizer sounds ranging from exact reproductions of the originals to sounds never heard before that will stand out from the crowd in productions covering any genre and style.

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$40
Apps

Aspyr Media Mafia III

More than half a year after its release, Aspyr Media has brought its action-adventure game Mafia III ($40) to the Mac. The third-person shooter follows Vietnam veteran Lincoln Clay as he uses the skills he learned in war to avenge the deaths of his mob brethren at the hands of the Italian mob. The game features epic gun fights, intense hand-to-hand combat situations, plenty of fast-paced driving and more subtle spoken interactions showing off the main character’s street smarts as Clay attempts to rebuild what he lost and rise to the top of his city’s criminal underworld. The game is large and graphically intensive, requiring some pretty daunting minimum system requirements — a minimum four-core Intel i5 3.2 GHz CPU and an AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics card with at least 2GB of VRAM — so only users with a recent iMac or a mid-2015 or later MacBook Pro can really play it.

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$10
Apps

Bloop Airmail 3.2.5

Bloop has rolled out a handy update to Airmail 3 for Mac ($10), its advanced e-mail client that it debuted last year, adding some key improvements that all heavy e-mail users can appreciate. The app now provides the ability to set an auto-response for when you’re out of the office and includes new HTML templates to make it quick and easy to send polished messages. The update also adds support for the Bear write and DEVONthink knowledge management apps, making it simpler to transfer text from either source into an email. Google legacy accounts are also now supported as well, and privacy enhancements offer more peace of mind that you’re the only one reading your messages.

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Free
Apps

Blizzard Entertainment StarCraft

Blizzard Entertainment has made its iconic StarCraft military strategy game free for Mac users ahead of the release of StarCraft: Remastered, a new version of the classic game complete with crisply updated graphics. For those who haven’t already invested countless hours in this series, StarCraft puts the player in the middle of a struggle for survival between three space-faring races: humans (or Terrans in the game), the buglike Zerg and the mysterious Protoss. Each race has its own units and structures with unique abilities, leaving the player to gather resources and figure out how to best upgrade their forces to combat a variety of threats. The free download also includes the StarCraft: Brood War expansion.

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$10
Apps

Overmacs PhotoSweeper 3.0

If you’re anything like us, you probably have more duplicate photos laying around your Mac than you know how to deal with, especially considering the multiple tools Apple has created over the years for managing photos. We’ve been through iPhoto, and then Aperture, and now the macOS Photos app, and since digital memories are often precious, it’s not uncommon to be a little reluctant to trash a folder of photos unless you’re absolutely certain that you’ve got a copy somewhere else. So unless you’re hardcore about spending time keeping your file system and photo libraries in pristine order, chances are you’ve got duplicate folders of photos sitting around in dusty corners of your filesystem. Enter PhotoSweeper 3.0 ($10), OverMacs’ latest update to our favorite app for dealing with duplicate photos across all of your libraries and filesystems. Version 3.0 adds a great new “side-by-side” view that lets you much more easily compare photos from two distinct sources, ensuring that you’re only cleaning up photos from one place while ignoring duplicates within each group. So you could put your Apple Photos library on one side, and a folder full of JPGs on the other to easily eliminate those that you’ve already imported.

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$60
Apps

IK Multimedia Fulltone Collection for AmpliTube

As if the collection of gear in IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube 4 wasn’t already impressive enough, the music tech company has released another new collection of great high-end sounds and effects in the new Fulltone Collection for AmpliTube. Featuring a wide range of tones from the classic to the contemporary, the new collection promises “boutique sound for the discerning musician” inspired by guitarist and composer Michael Fuller’s vision for quality stompboxes.  The Fulltone Collection includes three powerful processors that work great in both music production and creative sound design, which, thanks to IK’s usual focus on hyperrealism, provide all of the mojo and feel of the original Fulltone hardware folded into the intuitive design of AmpliTube.

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$25
Apps

SmallCubed SigPro

If you like getting fancy when signing off on your e-mails in Apple Mail, you’ll appreciate what SmallCubed’s SigPro ($25) has to offer. Recently given a major update for macOS Sierra, SigPro carries on where Apple Mail’s built-in signature options end off, allowing you to not only specify individual signatures for each of your mail accounts, but also distinct signatures to be used for each of your mail aliases on a single account. It goes far beyond this, however, with advanced dynamic signature features ranging from including account-specific info like your e-mail address while using the same signature block across multiple accounts, to including random quotations, the song you’re listening to in iTunes, your latest blog posts, and even a Skype button for your contacts to quickly reach out to you with a click.

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$150
Apps

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office ($150) is offering an update through its beta program that enables the new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar to be used with Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. After registering for the “Office Insider” program, Office users will have access to all kinds of new shortcuts in the Touch Bar, including the ability to change fonts or format text in Word, reorder slides in PowerPoint, save recently used functions or color cells in Excel, and view calendar appointments in Outlook. Microsoft has also added Touch Bar functionality to Skype for Business calls, with the ability to activate, mute and end calls. The update is free to those who already own Microsoft Office.

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Free
Apps

Zoho Notebook

If you’ve been looking for an attractive and easy-to-use note-taking app that fits somewhere between Apple’s built-in Notes app and the leviathan that is Evernote, you might want to take a look at Zoho’s new free Notebook app for Mac. Zoho’s award-winning iOS Notebook app had been around for a while, and has also gained some very nice iOS updates recently such as an iMessage app, Siri search support, and even searching of audio notes using new APIs in iOS 10. This addition of a Mac app makes for a big step in providing a more comprehensive note-keeping solution. Users familiar with the iOS version will find that Notebook for macOS provides the same common user interface, with attractive, fun, and gesture-rich navigation brought over from the iOS side; two-finger trackpad pinches are used to open and close notebook and notes, and two-finger swipes can be used to swipe on a notebook for more information or to flick through grouped note cards. Notes can be given unique colors for quick identification, and a variety of cover styles are available for each notebook — or you can use any photo of your choice.

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$200
Apps

Apple Logic Pro X 10.3

Apple has announced a major update to its Logic Pro X 10.3 ($200) recording app, with advanced support for the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro models along with a new modern design and several other advanced features. Touch Bar users can now view and navigate their project in a timeline view right in the Touch Bar, along with accessing volume and Smart Controls for any selected track. The Touch Bar also provides access to performance controls, such as a piano keyboard and drum pads to play and record software instruments, and keyboard shortcut sequences can be assigned to controls on the Touch Bar, as well. A new Track Alternatives feature provides the ability to quickly create and switch between different groupings of regions and edits on any track, allowing more flexibility in experimenting with creative ideas or evaluating different versions of a track in progress. Selection-based Processing has also been added, allowing users to combine multiple Logic and third-party effect plug-ins into one or more audio regions.

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$3
Apps

Fingerlab Yuri

In Fingerlab’s new game Yuri, the titular character awakes in his bed in the middle of a dark and strange forest, filled with fantastical plants and mysterious beasts. Players navigate Yuri through this odd world, rolling along on the casters of his bed to cross rivers, find secret passages and explore all the way to the center of the Earth. The side-scrolling platformer has 10 hand-drawn levels with no menus or counters to distract with the noir feel and the fast-paced gameplay. Original music and sound effects add to the unique artwork, immersing the user in an experience reminiscent of the adventure comics that inspired the game’s creators. Yuri is available for Mac or iOS for $3.

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$300
Apps

IK Multimedia MODO BASS

IK Multimedia continues to push the envelope forward with their analog effects modelling with their new MODO BASS virtual electric bass instrument app — the first of its kind to physically model the properties of a real electric bass. MODO BASS promises to deliver a completely new level of realism and playability, recreating not only the sound profile of the electric bass but also the human technique of how the instrument is played in real time, and all of the effects and amplifiers that would be in the sound chain. The app includes a collection of twelve of the most iconic electric basses in history, all specifically modelled, ranging from “60s P-Bass” based on an Alder body 60s era Fender Precision Bass and “70’s P-Bass” based on an Ash body Fender Precision Bass, all the way to more eclectic options such as the Ibanez Soundgear based “Japan Bass” and the Warwick Streamer inspired “Flame Bass.”

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Free / $1.50/month
Apps

Shiny Frog Bear

If you do a lot of writing or note-taking on your Mac and have been looking for a new way to handle it all, you may be interested in taking a look at Shiny Frog’s new Bear (free / $1.50/month). It’s a writing app that supports a wealth of advanced features while maintaining a very clean and accessible user interface. It’s designed for everything from quick notes to in-depth essays or even code snippets — syntax highlighting is supported for over 20 programming languages — and you can use hashtags to organize your work and easily link notes to each other, while still ensuring that everything remains stored in plain text for maximum compatibility and portability to other apps.

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$150
Apps

Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 + Premiere Elements 15 Bundle

Adobe has just rolled out two major new releases to its consumer-grade photo and video editing apps, Photoshop Elements 15 and Premiere Elements 15. Available in a bundle for $150 for new customers, or $120 for those upgrading from a previous version of either, the two new apps add some interesting new features for users who want to take their photo and videos to the next level but aren’t interested in the price or complexity of Adobe’s full Photoshop or Premiere applications. New organizational tools let you catalog your entire photo library, tracking down photos by people, places, and even subjects like sunsets, birthdays, or pets by analyzing your photos and applying smart tags based on their content. A new Facial Feature Adjustment tool lets you transform frowns into smiles and make other changes to facial features in your photos, and Premiere Elements 15 now includes a haze elimination tool to automatically sharpen your videos.

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Free
Apps

Apple macOS Sierra

As in previous years, Apple debuted another major version of its Mac operating system back during the June Worldwide Developer’s Conference, but with a slight twist this year — the company is retiring the traditional “OS X” name in favor of calling the new operating systems macOS, bringing the naming more logically in line with iOS, tvOS, and watchOS. While still continuing the same version numbering — it’s 10.12 under the hood — today’s public release of macOS Sierra (free) feels like the first pages of a new chapter in the evolution of the Mac operating system, bringing with it even more features to unify the experience with iPhone, iPad and even Apple Watch users.

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