Mac Starter Pack: unleash your iTunes gift card and upgrade your Mac with these great apps

App Starter Pack Mac 2014

Let’s assume you unwrapped a brand new Mac this year (awesome!) or scored a ton of iTunes/iBooks/App Store credit (still awesome!) and you need ideas for awesome apps to buy and check out for your new MacBook or iMac. Tons of new apps have launched on the Mac this year and even more have added new features and remain essential. Below are some of my favorite Mac apps that I’ve used needed from time to time or even use daily and should give you a solid place to start whether your a brand new Mac user or Mac veteran looking to do more with your machine. Read more

Facebook Messenger and Heads Up take top slots in Apple’s most popular iOS app lists

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Apple has released the list of this year’s most popular iOS apps, with Facebook’s Messenger app and Warner Bros.’ Heads Up! game taking the top spots on the free and paid charts, respectively. The freemium Clash of Clans was the top grossing app of 2014.

Social networks claimed all of the top five free spots, with Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram coming in behind Messenger. Between the main Facebook client, Messenger, and Instagram, the social networking company managed to capture the majority of the top five slots.

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Facebook launches ‘Stickered’ companion app for Messenger on iOS

After moving the messaging component of its iOS client out into a separate app, Facebook has continued its pattern of breaking up the functionality of its software today by launching a new iOS application called Stickered.

The app launched a few days ago on Android, but only became available today for iOS users. It allows users to add stickers to photos from their camera roll, or overlay them directly on a live camera view before snapping a photo.

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Savage Interactive debuts Procreate Pocket, bringing iPad illustration tools to larger-screened iPhones

Demonstrating the types of apps that will increasingly migrate from Apple’s tablets to its larger iPhone 6 models, Savage Interactive has released Procreate Pocket ($3), a shrunken-down version of its signature iPad app Procreate. Widely admired for its professional-grade drawing tools, Procreate previously enabled tablet users to compose multi-layer illustrations using numerous brushes and a mistake-friendly, multi-layer Undo tool. Read more

Algoriddim releases djay Pro for Mac w/ Spotify integration, 4 deck support, iCloud syncing, more

djay Pro

Algoriddim is ending the year with a bang with the launch of djay Pro for Mac — its most powerful version of the popular music mixing app.  Spotify integration added access to over 20 million songs for djay users in May, and Algoriddim released djay for Android for the first time this part October. With the release of the professional version of djay for the desktop, Algoriddim is adding access to your Spotify library for mixing right in the DJ app and highlighting ‘pro’ features and capabilities with this brand new version. Read more

Drafts for iOS regains Notification Center widget in latest update

A few weeks ago, the popular note-taking app Drafts for iOS was updated at Apple’s request to remove its Notification Center widget, which the company said violated the rules for extensions. Now, it seems the tech giant has reversed its decision. Today’s 4.0.6 update to Drafts re-introduces the widget, which has gained additional functionality since the previous version.

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Emoji Type keyboard brings predictive emoji typing to iOS

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If you’re a fan of emoji, you’ll want to 👀 at Emoji Type, a new third party predictive keyboard for the 📱. Emoji Type comes from the iOS developer of Product Hunt. Like with any iOS 🎹, installing the Emoji Type app prompts you to enable the keyboard in Settings. Once you’ve done that, you can switch to Emoji Type by hitting the 🌐  icon on the keyboard.

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Orlando Magic teams up w/ Chase for special promos for Apple Pay launch this Friday

We heard earlier this week that the Orlando Magic would become the first NBA team to offer Apple Pay to fans through a partnership with Chase. Today we get the official announcement from the team confirming an Apple Pay launch at the Amway Center for this Friday, Dec. 19 and some other details regarding special promos: Read more

Fleksy keyboard for iOS updated with GIF support, extensions, and new themes

A major update to the Fleksy keyboard for iOS was released today, adding several big new features and a handful of new themes to the popular app. Most of the new features are added through a framework called Extensions.

Extensions allow the user to specify certain optional features to be included on the keyboard. Some of the extensions that come with the new app include a fifth row on the keyboard for numbers, the aforementioned GIF keyboard, and even a one-handed typing mode on newer iPhones. Several others are also included.

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Pixelmator for Mac gets pinch-to-zoom support and a bevy of other improvements

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Popular image editor Pixelmator has been updated today with a whole host of new features, fixes, and improvements. First on the list is something many users (myself included!) have been hoping to see for quite a while now: full support for Apple’s pinch-to-zoom gesture. The update also makes the Shapes, Gradients, and Styles palettes capable of scrolling and being resized.

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