2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$2,200-$3,600
Peripherals

G-Technology G-Speed Studio

G-Technology takes design inspirations from Apple’s professional Mac models. For the longest time, the company’s hard drives were encased in perforated metal, resembling the old Power Mac G5 and Mac Pro towers. Now, G-Speed Studio ($2,200-$3,600) has a shiny, black plastic shell, much like the current Mac Pro. The RAID drive comes in three capacities—12TB, 16TB, and 24TB—each filled with four drives. Built with two Thunderbolt 2 ports, G-Speed Studio is capable of speeds up to 700MB/s. Read More

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. Read More

$189
Furniture

Ikea PS 2014 Secretary

Ikea’s new PS 2014 line is all about taking advantage of small spaces without sacrificing style. Just because you live in a studio apartment doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to have nice things. Secretary ($189) is a perfect example of that ethos. A compact computer desk, it’s functional when you need it, and gets out of the way when you don’t. Read More

CustomUSB Gigs 2 Go

Just when we thought we’d seen it all when it came to flash drives, CustomUSB has arrived to shake things up a bit. Gigs 2 Go ($25-$70) is a clever new take on USB drives, designed especially for those who want to hand out data. Available in 1GB, 8GB, and 16GB capacities, they come connected in blocks of four, so you get 4GB, 32GB, or 64GB of storage across the included drives. Read More

$30
Apps

DigiDNA DiskAid

If you’ve ever had to do a clean install on your iPhone or iPad, then you might know the pain of losing data in apps that don’t store it in the cloud—saved games, documents, and the like. With DigiDNA’s DiskAid ($30), there’s some salvation. Plug your device into your Mac and the app will scan it, pulling in all the relevant information. Then you can back it up on a per-app basis. Read More

$40
Apps

The Omni Group OmniFocus 2

For people who are serious about digital organization on the Mac, there’s one name that tends to stand out above the rest: The Omni Group. It’s earned quite the reputation with its suite of software, including the newest title, OmniFocus 2 ($40). Sure, some may consider that expensive for an app, especially considering it’s another $40 for the pro version, but considering the 106 five-star ratings—out of 114 total—it seems to be hitting its mark. Read More

$220-$500
Peripherals

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt

Much like Apple, LaCie tends to find a design it likes, and then keeps reiterating it over the years, rather than completely reinventing its products every cycle. Take its Rugged portable hard drives. Last time we saw it updated, it was to the Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series name, but now, there’s Rugged Thunderbolt ($220-$500). It has the same metal body and bright orange rubber border, but there are a few extras built in this time. Read More

$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. Read More

$120-$200
July 2014
Peripherals

Corsair Flash Voyager GTX

High capacity flash drives are nothing new, but Corsair has taken a different approach than many with its Flash Voyager GTX ($120-$200). You can think of it more as an SSD in a smaller format. That’s because it’s been optimized for crazy fast speeds that are above and beyond what you might expect from a standard USB 3.0 drive. Both 128GB and 256GB versions of the drive will be available in July. Read More

2015
Apps

Apple Photos

There’s not too much information on it yet, but Apple showed off its new Photos app for the Mac at WWDC. No, not iPhoto, but a brand new app that’s coming next year. It takes all the features from the iOS 8 version of the software and brings it to the desktop. It’s based around both viewing and editing, with all your photos stored in the cloud. We’re looking forward to hearing more in the future. Read More

Free
Fall 2014
Apps

Apple OS X Yosemite

At least year’s WWDC, iOS 7 was the biggest news, but this time, OS X is in the spotlight. Apple has just introduced OS X Yosemite (Free), with a new flattened look that’s similar to but not as dramatically cartoony as iOS. From the dock to Finder windows, icons to typography, there are some serious refinements. And it’s not just looks: new features are baked in too, including Notification Center upgrades, a brand new Spotlight, iCloud Drive, Mail, Safari, and more. And then there’s continuity. Read More

$250-$1,300
Peripherals

Monster Digital OverDrive mini

Although they’re not at a competitive level with traditional hard drives yet, the price of SSDs are definitely coming down. This is a good thing for everyone (well, except for the hard drive manufacturers) as it means faster, more reliable storage in a greater number of products. Take Monster Digital’s Apple Store-exclusive OverDrive mini ($250-$1,300). The external storage packs certainly aren’t as cheap as more traditional competitors, but they excel in a number of other ways. Read More

Samson Meteorite USB Condenser Microphone

We featured Samson’s original Meteor mic way, way back in 2011. Now, three years later, comes the sequel, sporting a logical name: Meteorite USB Condenser Microphone ($60). The design is highly similar to before, but it’s been shrunk down into a smaller package, consisting of a spherical microphone with an integrated cable, and a desktop stand. Read More

€30/~$41
Extras

Arnoldsche Keep It Simple by Hartmut Esslinger

As Steve Jobs famously said, “Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” Of course, the outside world rarely gets to see those any of those 1,000 things, as Apple only publicizes the few products that got the thumbs up and made it out to store shelves. Publisher Arnoldsche and designer Hartmut Esslinger are finally giving people a look into what could have been. Keep It Simple (€30/~$41), subtitled “The Early Design Years of Apple,” tells the story of the company’s beginnings, and includes photos and drawings of prototypes that haven’t been seen before. Read More

$160
March 2014
Peripherals

Lenmar ChugPlug

Lenmar’s ChugPlug ($160) was one of a handful of Best of Show Award-winners at the 2014 International CES, and the only solely Mac-focused product of the bunch. Up until now, the only real option for providing portable power to a MacBook has come in the form of Sanho’s HyperJuice, an accessory that requires physical hacking of the power supply. ChugPlug offers up to four extra hours of use without having to tear apart a wall adapter. Originally posted in January 2014, this article was updated May 27, 2014 with hands-on impressions and testing results! Read More

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