2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$49.90
Oct 2014
Peripherals

Mobee Technology Magic Hub

Mobee Technology is back with another cool Mac peripheral, this time taking its usual unique design to the world of USB hubs. Mobee’s Magic Hub is the world’s first four-port USB 3.0 hub designed to sit discretely at the back of an iMac or Apple Display. Not only does Magic Hub attach to the back of your Mac stand like it was designed to be there, but it’s even directly powered by your standard Apple power cord, passing power through to your iMac or Display, and eliminating the need for a separate wall adapter or outlet while remaining powered to charge your USB devices even when your iMac or Display is turned off.

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$70
Apps

VMware Fusion 7

VMware has announced Fusion 7 ($70), its newest software allowing users to run Windows programs on a Mac. The release is no surprise — every year VMware and Parallels Software release their new virtualizers around the same time, supporting the latest OS X revisions. As expected, Fusion 7 is compatible with OS X Yosemite, featuring enhanced Retina display support, multi-GPU optimizations, and over 40% improvements in both performance and energy utilization compared with Fusion 6. Users upgrading from Fusion 5 or 6 will get a $20 discount.

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Free
Apps

Autodesk Pixlr

Autodesk’s popular web- and iOS-based photo editor has now come to the desktop as Pixlr for Mac, providing most of the same fun effects and photo enhancement features that users of Pixlr Express for iOS have come to know and love. Users can apply quick fixes and effects from a pallet of hundreds of available options, including one-click fixes to balance out colours and lighting, or can dig deeper into advanced editing features such as merging images, erasing imperfections, and adding focus and effects to specific areas.

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$70
Cases

Incase Icon Sleeve with Tensaerlite

Incase is synonymous with laptop sleeves and cases. The company just announced its Icon Sleeve with Tensaerlite ($70), which provides maximum protection for your 13” or 15” MacBook Pro when you drop it. What exactly is Tensaerlite? Incase describes the material as providing “maximum impact absorption through a lightweight bumper frame.” In short, it offers solid shock protection without a lot of heft.

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Satechi BT Wireless Smart Keyboard

Satechi has been working towards the ultimate keyboard experience for Mac users for nearly a decade. The newly-released BT Wireless Smart Keyboard ($55) is its latest attempt at a compelling multi-platform keyboard device. Designed to sync with 5 devices at a time, it’s an ultra-efficient keyboard for users with productivity in mind. Using the keyboard’s function key in addition to the 1-5 number keys, users can seamlessly switch between connected devices.

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$295
Cases

Booq Cobra Brief

The traveling professional should have a bag that not only carries all the essentials but also looks decent while running through an airport. Booq has released Cobra Brief ($295), a bag geared towards professionals who are looking for quality and comfort on the go. Made from ballistic nylon with YKK Zippers and leather trims, Cobra Brief is designed to carry your MacBook (or other laptop with up to a 16” screen) and your iPad while traveling. Nicely segmented pockets hold tons of accessories in individual compartments, too.

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Free
Apps

Dropbox Mailbox for Mac

When it was released for the iPhone and the iPad last year, Mailbox took the iOS world by storm with its unique and streamlined approach to e-mail management on the go. Users with overflowing inboxes striving for “Inbox Zero” nirvana came to appreciate the ability to quickly and easily file messages away or defer them for later with straightforward swipe and tap gestures. The missing piece for many power users, however, was access to the same e-mail management features from the desktop—although Mailbox tied into a standard Gmail or iCloud account, users were left to look for a web interface or other e-mail client while sitting at their desk. That’s now changed with the public beta release of Mailbox for Mac, giving users the same powerful mail management features across both the desktop and mobile platforms.

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$70
Mounts

Rain Design iLevel 2

Rain Design has released an updated version of its iLevel laptop stand, the iLevel 2 ($70). The iLevel 2 brings your MacBook to eye level for improved ergonomics and posture. This anodized aluminum stand is designed to complement the look of your MacBook.

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$80
Apps

Parallels Software Parallels Desktop 10

Every year, Parallels releases a new version of its eponymous PC emulator for Macs, and with OS X Yosemite just around the corner, so is Parallels Desktop 10 ($80). Boasting Yosemite support and “cool new features of Yosemite in your Windows apps,” including Mac-style social media sharing within Windows, version 10 also promises the typical speed and performance increases—this time, 48% faster opening of Windows documents, 50% improvements in speed, and 30% better battery life than before. You now have the ability to easily optimize the Windows virtual machine for specific purposes such as productivity or gaming; improved virtual disk and 10% better memory management systems reduce the app’s footprint on your computer, as well.

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$75-$80
Cases

Power Support Air Jacket Clear Black for MacBook Pro

Japanese film and minimalist case maker Power Support has been a favorite of iLounge’s editors for years, even though it has radically cut back its product lineup since the iPad was released. The company’s completely clear Air Jacket shells for MacBook Air caught our attention years ago; now it’s offering Air Jacket Clear Black for MacBook Pro ($75-$80), which lets you tint the exterior of your Retina display-equipped MacBook Pro.

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$1,750-$1,850
Furniture

Jeremiah Collection Mid Century Desk

Even as technology advances, our tastes long for the past. Even though their materials differ, Apple’s metal and glass devices can be paired with equally beautiful wooden furniture that reminds us of the way things were. The Jeremiah Collection Mid Century Desk ($1,750-$1,850) is a wood desk that complements the modern design of your iMac. Handcrafted in San Francisco, it’s assembled in 6-12 weeks after the order is placed in your choice of three different sizes and two different types of wood.

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$99
Cases

Timbuk2 Spire 15-Inch Laptop Backpack

Having made some of the most durable ballistic nylon bags we’ve ever tested—generally device-agnostic ones—Timbuk2 has set its sights firmly on MacBook Pro users with Spire ($99), a coated polyester backpack that looks a lot like recent designs we’ve loved from Chrome, STM Bags, and Mission Workshop. Built with a roll-top opening system and offered in either jet black or blue/gunmetal versions, Spire has a padded rear pocket with enough space for a 15” MacBook Pro, plus enough space for some large books, an iPad, and accessories.

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$20
Apps

Macphun Software Tonality

The forthcoming departure of the powerful image editor and manager Aperture from the OS X ecosystem has hit many photographers right in the gut. If you’re searching for an alternative and enjoy black & white photography, Macphun Software offers up Tonality ($20) for your pleasure. Tonality is a 16-bit RAW image editing application that allows users to quickly and efficiently process color RAW (or other format) images to Black & White.

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$129 -$149
Cases

Waterfield VertiGo 2.0 Laptop Bag

A new school year is right around the corner, to the joy of parents worldwide. Some students will be flocking to their nearest Apple Store to pick up MacBooks or iPads and they’ll need something to keep them safe for toting around. Waterfield, known for its high-end bags and sleeves, has introduced the VertiGo 2.0 Laptop Bag ($129 - $149). It’s a stylish bag for your new Mac or iPad that’s large enough to carry additional accessories.

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$20
Apps

Mac Attender Network Radar

Diagnosing problems with your Mac’s wireless network can be seriously challenging — average users can’t hope to master the science of examining individual devices for issues, or getting a big picture sense of how everything’s working together. Mac Attender’s Network Radar ($20) isn’t the least expensive way to help you tackle network issues, but it’s the best-designed option we’ve seen. After you choose a wireless or wired network to scan, it presents you with a list of green/yellow/red status devices, their IP addresses, vendor information, ping speeds, and last activity times. One glance lets you quickly determine what each device on your network is, as well as what might be slowing things down or failing to work at all. More detailed information, including the MAC Address, available services, and identifiers, can be found by clicking on any device that interests you.

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