$20
July 2012
Apps

Apple OS X Mountain Lion

So much for Lion being the last major release of OS X. All but out of nowhere, Apple dropped a preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion ($20) on us a few months back, along with a promise that the new operating system will be released in late summer. If you thought Lion was bringing the iPad back to the Mac, well, you haven’t seen anything yet: Mountain Lion is even more iOS-influenced, replacing a collection of old Mac apps with renamed and improved editions akin to iPad versions. The 4.34GB download is now available in the Mac App Store. Below is our initial feature list, as well as the updated we posted after this year’s WWDC.

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Free
Apps

Handbrake Project Handbrake

Ask the team behind HandBrake (Free) what their software is all about and they’ll tell you it’s “an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.” In simpler terms, it converts DVDs into videos you can store on your Mac and watch on all of your Apple devices, at no cost. There’s no better way to get videos ready for your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, and the latest version’s freshly released with bug fixes that make this awesome app even better.

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Free
Apps

Intuit Mint QuickView

Even if keeping track of your finances was a pain in the old days, you’re out of excuses today: there are now more than enough services to help you keep on top of your money and credit. Mint is one of the most popular options, and now Intuit has brought data that was previously accessible only via the web or your iOS device to the dedicated Mac app Mint QuickView (Free). This Mac App Store release lets you quickly view your spending, income, account balances, and more. 

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Free
Apps

Tapbots Tweetbot for Mac Public Alpha

The rumblings were true: Tapbots has released a Mac version of its popular robot-themed iOS Twitter client, now named Tweetbot For Mac (Free). Despite the fact that it’s very early “public alpha” software complete with plenty of warnings about its far-from-final state, at least two of our editors have already made the switch and are very happy with its performance. Fans of Tweetbot for iPhones and iPads should take note, as should anyone else simply looking to try out a new Twitter client for their Mac.

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$1
Apps

SquidMelon Live Wallpaper

Though it doesn’t make a fantastic first impression, SquidMelon’s Live Wallpaper ($1) is nonetheless a cool demonstration of how your Mac’s desktop background can evolve into something more interesting. Once it’s painlessly installed from the Mac App Store, Live Wallpaper offers you a single, decidedly Windows-like “Modern” backdrop complete with an ever-visible clock and weather forecast at the top of the screen—nice photography and idea, minus great graphic design and layout. But once you open the Preferences menu and manually download 11 other currently-available themes, a process that really should be automated for the user and displayed on first launch, you’ll see this app’s potential: some of the apps feature persistent animation, while others subtly integrate huge clocks or small special effects into beautiful images.

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$5
Apps

Ayopa Games W.E.L.D.E.R

Not every iOS game leaping to the Mac App Store gets us excited, but when it’s one as good as Ayopa Games’ W.E.L.D.E.R. ($5), we take notice. At only a buck more than the iPad and iPhone universal version, this steampunk-inspired word builder is a smart buy. It’s a lot of fun and you might just learn a thing or two.

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$15
Apps

Disney Interactive Brave: The Video Game

Nearly anyone that followed the career of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs also has a soft spot for Pixar and its films, so it should come as no surprise that we’re excited to see its latest film, Brave. Set to coincide with its premiere, Disney Interactive’s Brave: The Video Game ($15) has arrived on the Mac.

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Free
Apps

Found Software Found

Found Software’s new Found (Free) app is the latest third-party Spotlight alternative for your file-searching needs. Like Apple’s search tool, Found scans your Mac for files matching whatever term you put in. The big difference here is that it adds support for cloud storage systems including Dropbox, Gmail, and Google Docs/Drive. Once you’ve logged in to your accounts, just start typing in Found’s search window and boom—your files pop right up.

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Free
Apps

kyleconroy Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne

Apps like this demonstrate why the Internet is so fantastic. Just a few weeks after the fan-favorite TV show Community debuted a video game-inspired episode —you can check it out here—Reddit user kyleconroy and his team released Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne (Free). Built from the ground up on the love game engine, it’s a faithful recreation of the 8-bit game the study group plays in the episode. Cool. Cool cool cool.

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$5
Apps

Mactaris Sight Control

Sight Control ($5) is the first app from Mactaris, and it’s a really cool idea: the app automatically identifies the camera built-in to your Mac, whether it’s an older iSight or more recent FaceTime/FaceTime HD camera, and then gives you total control over its output. You can adjust a number of settings including the exposure time, contrast, saturation, and white balance temperature until the picture is just how you want it. From there, almost any of your photo or video apps such as iChat/Messages, FaceTime, and Skype will reflect the changes.

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$50-$100
May 24, 2012
Apps

Panic Coda 2

If you code web sites on your Mac, Panic’s Coda is probably already one of the key apps in your arsenal. Years after its original release, Coda is about to receive a huge update with the release of Coda 2 ($50-$100), which is coming to the Mac App Store on May 24, 2012. Over 100 new features are being added, including changes that radically improve the user interface—and let you work across two different devices at the same time.

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$15
Apps

AirServer AirServer

Developed by the company of the same name, AirServer ($15) has evolved a lot since its early days. At first it simply turned your Mac into an AirPlay receiver, capable of streaming audio and video from compatible devices. When iOS 5 added AirPlay mirroring, so did AirServer. Now with its update to version 4.3, the app has been refined even further, and the developer is calling it “the game console for the Mac” due to gamer-friendly features.

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$1
Apps

The Hyperwords Company Liquid Words

Now that the Internet has brought a world of information to our fingertips, the challenge is to quickly find what you’re looking for. Liquid Words ($1) is a new Mac App Store title from The Hyperwords Company that sets out to do just that. A powerful reference tool, it allows you to drill down into any subject in a matter of a second or two. What makes it so fast compared to a traditional web search? Keyboard shortcuts.

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$25
Apps

Telltale Games The Walking Dead

Zombie lovers of the world, rejoice! Following the successful TV adaptation by AMC, Telltale Games is now bringing Richard Kirkman’s ultra-popular comic series The Walking Dead ($25) into the Mac gaming realm. Like many of the developer’s titles, this one is episodic: episode one is available right now, with four more set to be released on a monthly basis, with each additional episode included for the initial asking price. Telltale calls this an adventure horror game, though after playing through the first chapter, we’d say it’s better described as an interactive story. You’ll need a relatively recent Mac running Valve’s Steam to experience the impressively textured, cel-shaded 3-D world.

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$50
Apps

Feral Interactive Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Ultimate Edition

The gap’s shrinking between the release dates of big console/PC games and Mac versions, as demonstrated by Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Ultimate Edition ($50), published by Feral Interactive. First released in August 2011, the prequel to the popular series has now landed in the Mac App Store, and is ready to be downloaded by anyone who meets the—admittedly high—minimum specs.

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