2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$8-$80
Apps

Realmac Software RapidWeaver, Analog, Courier + LittleSnapper

At this point, much has been said about the passing of Steve Jobs. On top of “visionary” and “genius,” one of the phrases that’s come up most often is “thank you”—we’ve said it a few times ourselves. Realmac Software, as a way of giving something back, has decided to say thank you in its own way: it’s offering to donate the sales of its software titles to Pancreatic Cancer UK through October 7. All of the company’s apps are beautiful, and available in the Mac App Store. Read More

$50
Apps

Flying Meat Acorn - The Image Editor for Humans

Pretty much everyone uses Macs to store pictures, but very few people want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on professional-grade editing software. That’s where Flying Meat’s Acorn - The Image Editor for Humans ($50) comes in. It’s a Photoshop-like tool, only less complicated and a heck of a lot cheaper. It allows you to work with layers, add text and shapes, use filters, and more. Read More

$9
Apps

Kunst-Stoff The Great Jitters: Pudding Panic

Just in time for Halloween, German developer Kunst-Stoff’s The Great Jitters: Pudding Panic ($9) has made its way over from Apple’s iOS devices to the Mac App Store. To say that the concept is weird would probably be an understatement, but that’s part of the charm. Your goal is to get a blob of pudding through a haunted house without fainting from fear, while at the same time trying to scare the monsters in the maze. Read More

$2
Apps

The Growl Project Growl

The Growl Project’s Growl ($2) has long been worth installing early on almost any new power user’s Mac. Now, the notification tool has been updated to version 1.3, and there are some significant differences. First, it’s only available from the Mac App Store. And instead of being free, it now costs a couple of bucks. But there have been updates to the features, too, so you’ll probably want to shell out the couple of bucks for it. Read More

$109-$139
Cases

Blackbox Bamboo Cases

Blackbox is yet another example of a company with a cool idea that depended on crowd-sourced funding from Kickstarter, winding up with lots of public support for its Bamboo Cases ($109-$139). Available in custom sizes for all of the machines in Apple’s current notebook lineup, these beautiful, handmade wooden sleeves are sure to attract attention while keeping your computer safe. Read More

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. Read More

€40/~$54
Cases

Case Scenario Space Invaders Sleeve

There are two main factors that set Case Scenario’s Space Invaders Sleeve (€40/~$54) for the 13” and 15” MacBook Pros apart. One is the license from the legendary 80’s video game—the sleeves are available in two different coated-canvas designs: one is white with a black sprite repeated over the surface, while the other has a black background and a rainbow array of space ships lined up diagonally across the sleeve. Read More

Free
Apps

Hexage Robotek

We almost passed by this little gem in the Mac App Store, but we’re happy we stopped to check it out. Hexage’s Robotek (Free) is a really neat game that combines elements of RPG, strategy, and pure luck. Set in a distopian future overrun by robots, it’s your job to fight through the bad guys one city at a time to take the world back. In-app purchases ranging from $1 to $3 make the game a bit easier, but they’re not necessary to complete it. Read More

LaCie LaPlug

If you’re looking for one of the most affordable ways to turn any USB hard drive or flash drive into a network- or cloud-accessible device, LaCie has you covered with its new LaPlug ($75). Designed by Neil Poulton, the simple black box is deceivingly powerful. Plug your drive into the port on the front, and it instantly becomes accessible from any computer on your home network, or even remotely through a browser-based interface. Read More

$100 + $40
Peripherals

Wacom Bamboo Capture + Wireless Accessory Kit

Wacom’s just updated its Bamboo series of drawing tablets, offering three new models packed with plenty of software at lower prices. Of the three, the mid-level Bamboo Capture ($100) strikes us as the most appealing. The pen-and-touch model—it supports input from both the included stylus as well as Multi-Touch gestures—has a 5.8” x 3.6” active area that’s perfect for photo touchups and drawing sketches. Included in the box are Adobe Photoshop Elements and Autodesk Sketchbook Express. The latter is available for free from the Mac App Store, but a trimmed down version of Adobe’s software costs $80 on its own, with the full version going for the same $100 as the tablet. Pretty good deal, right? Read More

$130-$150
Decor

IMG Lighting Beacon 600 + 600LE

IMG Lighting’s Beacon 600 and 600LE desktop lamps ($130-$150) are somewhat funky-looking, but they’ve been designed to complement Apple’s MacBook Pro. Other than the obviously unique design, the big selling point is how they produce light: these lamps use 600 Lumen LEDs rather than conventional bulbs. Not only do they give you the bright light that you need, they’re better for the environment, too. Read More

$29
Cases

Grove Bamboo Back

If you’re looking to add a bit of flair and protection to your MacBook, you have quite a few options, including stickers and hard plastic cases, both with their own positives and negatives. Grove has come up with a new alternative: Bamboo Back ($29). Available in sizes for everything from the 11” MacBook Air to the 17” MacBook Pro, these handmade wooden plates spruce up your machine and personalize it, too. Read More

$40
Apps

EA Sports FIFA Soccer 12

If you’re a soccer fan, you’ve probably lamented the lack of great soccer games for your Mac. (You might also call it football, but that’s a topic for another day.) EA Sports has addressed the first of these issues by finally bringing its famous soccer series to the Mac with FIFA Soccer 12 ($40). The spectacular 3-D title is available only as a digital download through distributor GameTree Mac—no Mac App Store support for this title—and is out now. Read More

$2,900
Camera

Lensbaby Movie Maker's Kit

Moviemaking technology has moved way past the days of smearing Vaseline on your lens to achieve cool effects: between post-processing filters and distinctive lenses, there are all sorts of really cool ways to make videos stand out visually. Lensbaby has made a name for itself in recent years with affordable imaging accessories, and has now packed a bunch of its most noteworthy tools into the Movie Maker’s Kit ($2,900). Some of the effects may have Vaseline-like blurring, but at least you dwon’t have to clean off your lens when you’re through. Read More

$9
Apps

Global Delight Technologies Boom

The volume of music and videos on your computer is determined by two main factors: the file itself, and the speakers on your Mac. Sometimes, one or both of them won’t live up to your expectations, delivering lower audio levels than you’d like—a particular problem for MacBook Air users. While you could plug a set of external speakers into your computer, Global Delight Technologies has created a software solution called Boom ($9) that’ll save you a few bucks and the hassle of having to lug speakers around. It intelligently maximizes the volume levels of your audio and video files to match the peak output capabilities of your machine, creating noticeably louder sound without dramatically compromising the quality. Read More

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