$329
Apps

FileMaker, Inc. FileMaker 15

Apple subsidiary FileMaker, Inc. has beefed up its custom app software substantially in FileMaker 15 ($329), introducing new tools to streamline the app creation process, and to help users who want to get more out of their iPhone. Red highlighted text now identifies problem areas in Script Workspace and a multiple undo feature allows for instant recovery of scripting work. The top call statistics-logging feature now diagnoses slowdowns separately from other operations, so developers can continue to use their apps at the same time. Simple licensing options provide ways for teams of five or more to gain access to the FileMaker Server and share information in real time.

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Free
Apps

Macphun Filters for Photos

One of the less publicized features in Apple’s new Photos app for OS X is the ability to plug in extensions that add to the built-in photo editing capabilities, so users who want to get more creative with their photo editing and presentation can take advantage of new tools without having to leave the comfort of the Photos app. Macphun has been one of the more active companies in supporting the new Photos app’s extensions feature, bringing the ability to use its popular photo apps such as Noiseless and Tonality as extensions. Now, Macphun has taken the next step with Filters for Photos, a new free app that vastly expands the number and capabilities of built-in Photos app filters, adding 30 new filters with advanced controls.

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$12
Apps

Metaclassy Byword

Users who do a lot of long-from writing on their Macs, especially in Markdown, will appreciate what Metaclassy’s Byword ($12) brings to the table. Recently updated for El Capitan, this popular Markdown text editor provides a simple and efficient way to author posts in a clean, distraction-free user interface. Although Byword can be used for editing any types of text files, and even crafting HTML pages, where the app really shines is in its Markdown features, with support for footnotes, tables, and cross-references along with live syntax highlighting and previewing as you type and the ability to export the resulting rich-text document to HTML or PDF.

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$109
Cases

WaterField Designs Atelier Folio

WaterField Designs has released the leather Atelier Folio ($109) to compliment the newly updated 12” MacBook. The simple cognac-colored sleeve is created from a single cow hide, lined with red Ultrasuede scratch-free microfiber and has an invisible magnet inside the leather fastener to hold the case shut. The slim sheath measures 12.25” by 8” and is designed to mold gradually to the shape of the MacBook, providing an even closer fit over time. The Atelier Folio is available for pre-order now with shipments set to begin on May 12.

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$1,299 to $1,599
Macs

Apple MacBook (April 2016)

Apple’s updated 12” MacBook is a mostly minor tweak to last year’s offering, adding newer processors and an improved battery to the existing slim design. Apple touts upgraded sixth‑generation dual-core Intel processors, but like the fifth-generation found in the previous MacBook they are still listed as 1.1 GHz and 1.2 GHz, depending on the model. The laptop is the same weight, thickness and general design found in the previous model, but it’s now also available in rose gold.

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Kensington Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball

Kensington is billing its new Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball ($100) as a solution to both cluttered desks and the strain of repetitive motion caused by using a traditional mouse for extended periods. Aimed at users performing tasks that require a high level of detail, Kensington claims the trackball boasts a superior level of cursor control and accuracy due to Kensington’s proprietary DiamondEye optical tracking technology. The company’s TrackballWorks software also allows users to adjust cursor speed for more precise control and customize functions for all four buttons, making it especially appealing to the left-handed.

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Free / $30
Apps

Eltima Software Commander One 1.5

We were pretty impressed with Eltima Software’s Commander One when we looked at it last fall — it’s a great tool for all of those Mac power users who find the built-in OS X Finder app far too limiting, and an advanced dual-pane file manager for Mac written entirely in Swift. Now at version 1.5, the latest Commander One (free/$30) adds a nice list of new features and connectivity options, making an already great tool even better. A new Connections Manager provides a streamlined way to configure support for FTP, Amazon S3, Google Drive, and Dropbox accounts, and you can also now tie in Dropbox Business and Microsoft OneDrive, along with any server supporting the WebDAV protocol, although you’ll need to invest in the $30 Pro upgrade for some of the more advanced online services.

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Epson Expression Home XP-430 Small-in-One Printer

Epson’s Expression Home XP-430 Small-in-One Printer ($100) is a sequel to last year’s XP-420, an AirPrint-compatible printer designed for fast and easy color printing from a Mac or iOS device. This latest version sports a 2.7” color LCD screen and a built-in memory card slot along with Wi-Fi Direct support so you can print without needing to associate it with a wireless network. Epson also bundles its usual suite of tools, including built-in tools for red-eye removal, cropping, and photo restoration when printing directly from memory cards, Epson Connect for mobile printing support, and Epson Creative Print.

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$40
Mounts

UPPERCASE Designs KRADL for 12-inch MacBook

UPPERCASE Designs has expanded its line of KRADL laptop stands to include a model designed specifically for 12” MacBook. The solid aluminum KRADL for 12” MacBook ($40) holds the closed laptop in a vertical position. It can be used with an external monitor when the MacBook screen isn’t in use, or simply as storage, freeing up valuable desk space. An anti-slip silicone pad along the base prevents damage to a desk’s surface and keeps the stand firmly in place.

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$348 — $649
Peripherals

OWC Digital Aura SSD for Mid 2013 and Later Mac laptops

If you’re using one of Apple’s more recent MacBook Pros with Retina Display or a mid-2013 or later MacBook Air, up until now you’ve pretty much been stuck with whatever SSD storage Apple gives you — the proprietary interface on these more recent MacBooks have made homegrown upgrades a challenge. Fortunately, OWC Digital has just released the new Aura SSD for Mid 2013 and Later Mac laptops ($348 — $649), providing recent MacBook users the ability to seamlessly upgrade their storage to eight times the capacity of their stock SSDs with no more effort than removing a few screws.

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$79
Mounts

Grovemade MacBook Dock

Grovemade’s previous Laptop Stand provided a nice aesthetic touch for those who like to accent their high-tech aluminum MacBooks with a more natural wood-finished product look, and now the company has expanded its lineup with its new MacBook Dock ($79), an elegant handcrafted wooden stand that helps you make the most of your workspace by holding your MacBook upright — great for when you’re using it with an external monitor and keyboard.

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$5
Apps

Charles Aroutiounian AtmoBar 3

If you’re a Netatmo user, you’re probably already at least passingly familiar with Charles Aroutiounian’s AtmoBar client, which lets you monitor your Netatmo stations right from your Mac desktop. If you’ve found the prior version to have gotten a little stale, you’ll be happy to know that Aroutiounian has completely rewritten it from the ground up, re-releasing it with full support for all of the newest Netatmo modules, including the Rain Gauge and Wind Gauge.

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$500
Apps

IK Multimedia Miroslav Philharmonik 2

If you’re an aspiring composer, you’ll definitely be interested in what IK Multimedia’s new Miroslav Philharmonik 2 ($500) has to offer. Described as “the most emotional orchestral collection ever,” this app easily provides one of the most comprehensive collections of classical instrumentation that we’ve ever seen on the Mac — a 58GB sound library with over 2,700 instruments, including strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion that let you put together everything from a small chamber music ensemble to a full-on symphony orchestra — a sound bank pioneered by legendary jazz bassist Miroslav Ladislav Vitouš. Even more impressive is that all of the sound samples are expertly performed with real musical articulations, including legatos, pizzicatos, spiccatos, and staccatos, played by professional musicians.

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Kanex MultiSync Aluminum Mac Keyboard

These days, just about every Apple device works with an external keyboard, from the iPhone to the Apple TV, and since most traditional Bluetooth keyboards only pair with a single device at a time, you’re often left juggling multiple keyboards or constantly repairing. This is where Kanex’s new MultiSync Aluminum Keyboard ($100) comes in — it allows you to simultaneously pair up to four Bluetooth devices and easily switch to your preferred device using four quick function buttons above the numeric keypad.

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$20
Apps

Bloom Day One 2

If “life blogging” or even simply keeping a personal journal of your activities is your thing, you’ll definitely be interested in taking a look at Bloom’s newly-updated Day One 2 ($20). The company has taken its popular note-taking and journaling app and pumped it up with some great new features, including support for multiple journals and multiple photos per journal entry, an entirely redesigned and modernized user interface, and the company’s own Day One Sync 2.0 service, to tie it in with other Macs and the companion Day One 2 for IOS.

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