2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

Free
Apps

Apple Mac Icon Font

It was January 24, 30 years ago, that Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh to the world. Fast forward to today, and obviously things have changed a bit. We’re thrilled to see Apple recognizing the anniversary in its stores and on its website, paying tribute to the machine that made the company what it is. Poke around Apple.com today, and you’ll see a cool timeline, complete with line graphics of each and every Mac. Developer Greg Barbosa did some digging, and found they’re actually part of a Mac Icon Font (Free, automatic download). Read More

$99+
Fall 2014
Peripherals

Palette Palette

For most people, a keyboard and either a mouse or trackpad is plenty to control a Mac. But people using certain apps, such as music and photo editors, benefit from more granular control. That’s where Palette ($99+), from the company of the same name, comes into play. A modular series of physical controls, it allows you to customize a unique work flow. Read More

$4
Apps

Raffael Hannemann MyPhotostream

We have to agree with developer Raffael Hannemann: “Photo Stream on OS X is broken.” While it works seamlessly on iOS, accessing pictures from iCloud on the Mac requires using iPhoto, which for all its merits, has become bloated and slow, especially over the past year or two. That’s why we can get behind his new app, MyPhotostream ($4). All it does is display pictures from Photo Stream in a reverse chronological order. Read More

Griffin PowerMate Bluetooth

If you’ve been a Mac fan for years, you might remember Griffin’s original PowerMate. A simple silver dial, it was a neat USB accessory that let you scroll or change volume levels as you turned it. Now there’s a sequel: PowerMate Bluetooth ($60). Take one guess as to the big difference here. Read More

StarTech.com Thunderbolt Laptop Docking Station

Thunderbolt docks have never been too popular, but there’s nothing wrong with having more options. The latest competitor to Belkin’s Thunderbolt Express Dock and the handful of others on the market is Thunderbolt Laptop Docking Station ($280) from StarTech.com. Coming in at $20 less than Belkin’s dock, it offers almost all of the same functionality and includes a meter-long cable, plus an extra port the Belkin dock lacks. Read More

$50
Apps

The Omni Group OmniOutliner

Digital organizers, listen up. The Omni Group has just released the fourth edition of its outlining software, OmniOutliner ($50). Available for free for those using OmniOutliner 3, a $25 upgrade for people running older versions, or a fresh download for those just jumping in, it can be found on the Mac App Store or Omni’s website. It’s a powerful tool for keeping track of pretty much everything, and has been updated with a number of new features. Read More

Seagate Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive

Not every new hard drive shown off at the 2014 CES was a crazy expensive piece of art. Take Seagate’s much more standard looking Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive ($270). At a little over half the price, it delivers four times the storage. That’s right, this portable hard drive packs a whopping 4TB; that’s a first for a drive that’s meant for travel. Read More

LaCie Sphère

If you’re thinking $500 is crazy expensive for a 1TB speaker these days, we’re right there with you. But exceptions can be made for works of art, and LaCie’s new Sphère ($490) may be one of them. Designed, handcrafted and silvered by Christofle in France, it’s definitely a looker. The specs may not be killer, but you’re paying for the packaging with this one. Read More

Corning Thunderbolt Optical Cable

We’re not necessarily suggesting you run out an drop more than the cost of an iPad mini on a cable. But if you’re so inclined, Corning is now giving you the ability to do so. Its Thunderbolt Optical Cable ($330) is a solution for a niche market. At 10 meters, it’s much longer than Apple’s standard Thunderbolt cable, yet performs at Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 speeds thanks to the optical technology inside. Read More

Free
Apps

Google Google+ Auto Backup

There are a million different ways now to share your photos, but there are never enough ways to back them up. Google’s hopping on the scene with a stealthy new app that’s only available for download when paired with its Picasa tool. Google+ Auto Backup (Free) takes advantage of the cloud storage space the company offers to users, automatically copying photos from your computer to a Google server. It’s a simple tool, but it’s hard to ignore the value of the functionality, especially given the price.  Read More

$150
Cases

Booq Boa nerve

Booq is back at it, with yet another bag for taking your Mac on the road. This time, it’s a messenger bag called Boa nerve ($150). Not only has the company made the bag look nice—something we’ve come to expect—but it has also built in some really cool features that make it a particularly great choice for bikers. Read More

$20
Apps

Valve Left 4 Dead 2

If you’re a fan of 3-D shooters, act quick: Valve’s fantastic 2009 zombie survival game Left 4 Dead 2 ($20) is free right now! Why rush? Because after 1:00 PM ET today, December 26, the game jumps back up to its normal level. Free games are good, and good free games are even better. You’ll rarely find such a great deal on a high quality title like this. Read More

Free
Apps

OpenEmu OpenEmu Multiple Video Game System

Even as video games continue to advance, the classics remain in high demand. ROMs allow you to play older titles—that’ve been acquired legally, of course—but before now, there’s been no good system for collecting all your games in one place. Enter the OpenEmu Multiple Video Game System (Free). Think of it as the iTunes of ROMs, designed to organize, store, and play your favorite antique games. Read More

$500-$900
Peripherals

Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+

Several years after the Thunderbolt high-speed cable standard was first introduced, most of the drives using Apple’s connector are large, professional-grade, desktop-specific devices. Some time ago, Elgato introduced a more portable solution in the Thunderbolt SSD, and nearly two years later, it has returned with a sequel called Thunderbolt Drive+ ($500-$900). The price has jumped significantly from the original model, but so have the performance and capacity of the new drive. Updated December 20, 2013 with new photos and hands-on testing results! Read More

$3595
Peripherals

Sharp 32" PN-K321 4K Ultra HD LED Monitor

If you were holding out hope that an Apple-branded 4K monitor would arrive in stores alongside the new Mac Pro, you’ll probably have to keep holding your breath until later in 2014. But even though there’s no new Thunderbolt Display from Cupertino, the Apple Store does have a launch day 4K display option available: Sharp’s 32” PN-K321 4K Ultra HD LED Monitor ($3595). Yes, it costs more than the base Mac Pro tower itself, but isn’t a pretty picture (and the ability to edit 4K movies) worth it? Read More

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