QuickerTek QCard 2

It’s not always possible, but we appreciate when accessory developers make it easy to enjoy newer hardware technologies inside older Macs. That’s what QuickerTek has done with its new QCard 2 ($149). The card replaces the AirPort card already in your notebook computer, adding 802.11ac capabilities to bring it in line with what Apple is shipping these days. There are only two models that are supported, but that’s better than nothing.

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Free
Apps

Twitter, Inc. Twitter 2.1

It’s free. Simple. And now there’s more to love, except for one little unfortunate change. Twitter 2.1 has just hit the Mac App Store, adding support for multiple windows, autocompletion of usernames and hashtags, and new font size preferences. All you’ll have to accept is the huge, ugly gray bar that’s been added to the top of the app’s window, which moves the close, maximize and minimize buttons further away from the icons, and provides an explanation (“Timeline,” “Profile,” “Search”) for where you are in the menu system.

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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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$40-$70
Peripherals

LaCie RuggedKey

Perhaps you’ll never be in a position to drop your flash drive from 300 feet above the ground—but wouldn’t it be nice to know that it would survive if you did? That’s LaCie’s pitch with the new RuggedKey ($40-$70). Styled after the company’s popular Rugged hard drives, this USB 3.0 flash drive comes in 16 or 32GB, and can really take a beating.

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$9*
Apps

Information Architects iA Writer

There are a lot of great things to say about Information Architects’ iA Writer ($9*). It’s a beautifully simple text editor that supports auto markdown. You can focus on just your text with its Focus Mode that highlights one sentence at a time. The developer has also embraced many of Lion’s new features such as Auto Save and Versions. If you’re a writer, chances are you’ll really appreciate fewer distractions.

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Free
Apps

Shazam Entertainment Shazam

Shazam has been around for the iPhone since the earliest days of the App Store, and it’s one of those titles that’s really continued to get better with time. It’s not much of a surprise then, that the app has finally made it to the Mac; starting today, you can download Shazam Entertainment’s Shazam (Free) from the Mac App Store. The always-on tool lives in your Menu Bar, ready to name your tunes.

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$20
Apps

CHROMAom ColorSchemer Studio

Picking the right colors for a job is essential, whether you’re designing a website, redecorating a room, or simply trying to coordinate outfits for a supremely dorky family photo. CHROMAom ColorSchemer Studio ($20) is a simple, easy way to pick, choose, create, and keep track of different color palettes for any occasion.

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$280
Cases

Hex Marquee Laptop Briefcase

When it comes to bags, there are carriers designed for functionality, and others designed with style in mind. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to find models that fit both categories, such as Hex’s new Marquee Laptop Briefcase ($280). Like most Mac bags these days, it’s made to hold both your laptop and iPad. Constructed from real leather and set up as a briefcase, it’s going to work in many situations where a backpack may not.

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Free
Apps

Kayak Explore

If you’re trying to plan a trip without knowing where you actually want to go, or what you want to do, Kayak’s new Mac application Explore (Free) will help you set your agenda in a really cool way. You can think of Explore as the modern day equivalent of throwing darts at a map—a cool interface that we really like.

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QuickerTek mCard

A month ago, we wrote about QuickerTek’s QCard 2, a replacement Wi-Fi card that adds 802.11ac support to a handful of recent MacBooks. Now the company is back with mCard ($149), a wireless card designed for even older machines. mCard allows access to faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi networks, as well as adding the Bluetooth 4.0 wireless standard. Depending on Apple’s software support, this might be useful for people who want to take advantage of the Continuity features of OS X Yosemite without buying all new Macs—just be aware that there’s still some ambiguity over whether Continuity will be supported for third-party wireless hardware.

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Free
Apps

Apple OS X Lion 10.7.2 Update

The biggest news of the day may be the release of iOS 5 for iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches, but there’s updating fun to be had on your Mac today, too. Having been in beta alongside iOS, Apple has released OS X Lion 10.7.2 (Free). This pretty major update brings the company’s iCloud synchronization service and related goodness to your machine.

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Sonnet Fusion F2QR

We’ve seen plenty of external hard drives for Macs over the years, and while they look different from one another, they tend to have pretty similar features. Sonnet decided to do something different with its new Fusion F2QR ($569): it’s offering a RAID array in a truly portable package. There are actually two 1TB drives in this 5.9” x 6.1” x 0.95” aluminum case, capable of supporting four different storage configurations. The price isn’t cheap, but there’s definitely value in a redundant backup solution that you can carry anywhere.

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$2
Apps

St. Clair Software Jettison

St. Clair Software’s Jettison ($2) is one of those apps that offers a feature you’d think would already be baked into OS X, but is missing for one reason or another. In this case, it’s automatic ejection of external disks. If you close the lid on your MacBook and unplug your drives, you’re going to see the “disk was not ejected properly” dialog box when you open it back up, suggesting that your files may have been damaged in the process. Jettison is smart enough to automatically eject all of the external drives you have attached when you put your Mac to sleep, letting you pick up and go without worrying about corrupted files.

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$3
Apps

Space Inch Lost Photos

Twitter and Facebook may be the main ways we share photos now, but it wasn’t too long ago that people sent pictures back and forth primarily over email. Back then, images may never have been downloaded or added to your photo library, so they’ve all but disappeared. Space Inch wants to help you find them again with Lost Photos ($3). This straightforward Mac App Store title downloads all the pictures from your e-mail account—both to you and from you—that it can find. Sharing options are built in, too.

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$8
Apps

Studio Mee PaintMee

Taking pictures is easy enough, but making paintings is definitely a lot harder. What if there was a way to turn your photos into paintings? That’s exactly what PaintMee ($8) from Studio Mee does. Sold through the Mac App Store, this title removes the need for painting talent, and leaves you with beautiful results each time.

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