Free/$8
Apps
Peripherals

Mac Gaming: Use a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 Controller

If you’ve been playing computer games for a long time, you’re probably used to keyboards and mice as substitutes for joysticks. But console gamers may prefer standard gamepads for Mac gaming, particularly given how widely available and popular they are. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to play Mac games with Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 controllers. Start with the PS3’s DualShock 3, which uses the same Bluetooth standards embraced by every recent Mac. You’ll need a controller as well as the USB cable—any Mini-USB to standard USB cable should do the trick. Connect the cable and controller to your computer and then open System Preferences to ensure that Bluetooth is on and discoverable. Then, hold down the PS button for three seconds and unplug the cable from the Mac. That’s it: the Sony controller will have connected with Bluetooth and be ready to go, driver-free. Feral Interactive has a video that walks you through the process.

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Free
Apps

Google Chrome 14

While Apple’s Safari 5 is still our default Mac browser of choice, Google’s Chrome (Free) browser has found a permanent place in our editors’ docks for a whole slew of reasons. The main one? Chrome runs a “sandboxed” version of Adobe’s notoriously screwy Flash Player, which lets us play Flash-based videos when necessary, without exposing the rest of our Mac to the instabilities of the power-hungry and buggy plug-in. Just updated to version 14 with full Lion compatibility, Chrome also integrates really well with all of the company’s services, runs apps, and has a neat combination search/address bar.

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$7
Apps

Gameloft Gangstar: Miami Vindication

You may have heard the announcement a few weeks ago that Grand Theft Auto 3, San Andreas, and Vice City are now available on the Mac App Store. The thing is, those games go back as early as 2001 and Rockstar Games is still charging $15 a pop. For less than half that price, you can now purchase Gameloft’s Gangstar: Miami Vindication ($7), the latest game in a franchise clearly inspired by GTA, but now stands on its own after lighting up iOS devices for a couple of years.

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$240-$370
Peripherals

Iomega Mac Companion Hard Drive

One of the best and defining features of the iMac is the all-in-one design, which has looked great every year since the original model’s introduction, and helps keep your desk free of clutter. Iomega’s new Mac Companion Hard Drive ($240-$370) continues the clutter-free theme. Available in either 2TB or 2TB capacities, it fits right on the iMac’s or Thunderbolt Display’s base, adding storage capacity and three USB ports to your computer. Smart, right?

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$430
November 2011
Camera

Canon PowerShot S100

Look at the picture and you’ll think Canon’s new PowerShot S100 ($430) is exactly the sequel everyone’s wanted since the company debuted the breakthrough S90 two years ago. Well, it’s not: whereas the 2009 S90 and 2010 S95 were targeted directly at a different kind of camera buyer—the person who cared less about megapixels, huge zoom ranges and other specs than shooting speed and image quality—the S100 has taken a turn for the mainstream, packing lots of spec bumps into a slightly slimmer body. Some of the changes are wow-caliber, including the addition of a GPS chip for geotagging, as well as Canon’s new DIGIC 5 processor for rapid noise reduction, 1080p full HD video recording, and 8 frame-per-second shooting. And other changes… let’s just say serious “enthusiasts” won’t all be happy, but ambitious point-and-shoot upgraders may have just found their holiday toy of choice.

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$265
Cases

Booq Cobra Pack

At this point, it’s possible to carry an entire mobile office in a bag smaller than a traditional backpack—a MacBook Air, iPad 2, camera, and some chargers all take up less space than old Windows laptops. But there are definitely folks who have to—or want to—carry around larger MacBook Pros and all sorts of other toys. If you fall into that category, Booq’s Cobra Pack ($265) may just be the right solution for you.

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$50
Apps

VMware Fusion 4

We’ve seen this dance before: a few weeks ago Parallels introduced its latest Desktop 7 Windows virtualization software for Macs, and right on cue, VMware has released its response in the form of Fusion 4 ($50). Although there are more than 90 new features, the company is focusing on three main selling points. Fusion 4 is designed for OS X Lion, even more Mac-like, and offers turbocharged performance.

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$149
September 2011
Extras

Sifteo Cubes

Announced in 2009 as Siftables, Sifteo’s Cubes ($149) will finally become available this month, and we’re seriously intrigued by what they’ll mean for the future of interactive gaming. The basic kit includes three of the Cubes, a charging dock and AC adapter, as well as the USB wireless adapter that hooks into your Mac. Your computer beams games over to the tiny-screened Cubes, which serve as interactive displays and toys, with a minimum of three and a maximum of six Cubes working together at a time. Imagine a bunch of iPod nanos interacting with each other’s screens and you’ll have the right general idea.

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$2,499
September 2011
Peripherals

Wacom Cintiq 24HD

It mightn’t be as mainstream as Apple’s new Thunderbolt Display, but we have a feeling that the new Cintiq 24HD ($2,499) is going to be an object of lust for graphic designers, other creative professionals, and regular folk alike. This behemoth interactive monitor combines a 16:10 ratio, 1920x1200-pixel HD screen with the company’s pen technology, and is capable of detecting 2048 levels of pen pressure. You can write directly on the screen to interact with drawing and painting apps. Drooling yet?

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$1
Apps

Celmaro Plug Spy

We’ve talked about ways to protect your Mac from theft before—Griffin’s TechSafe Cable Lock System was a noteworthy hardware solution. Unfortunately, even that well-designed accessory doesn’t have universal compatibility across Apple’s notebook line—it doesn’t work with the MacBook Air—and a locking system can be a pain to actually set up. Fortunately, Celmaro has come up with a software solution that really does work with any Apple laptop running Lion: Plug Spy ($1). This ingenious little app integrates right into the screensaver and password system of your computer, transforming your power supply into a theft alarm.

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$20
Apps

IOSPIRIT Remote Buddy Express

Although it may not be quite as ubiquitous as it was a few years ago, the Apple Remote is still a handy little device for Mac users—even though Lion has nixed the media management app Front Row. Thankfully, German developer IOSPIRIT is looking to increase the value of your plastic or aluminum accessory with Remote Buddy Express ($20).

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$169-$349
November 2011
Peripherals

mLogic mBack

We’ve always wanted to fill that hole on the iMac’s leg with something other than just cables, but to the best of our knowledge, no company has come up with something meaningful to do with it. Now, with the announcement of mBack ($169-$349) from mLogic, the hole has a purpose beyond cable management. mBack is an external hard drive that takes up no space on your desk; it mounts right on the iMac’s back, leaving you room for all your other gadgets.

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$400
Coming Soon
Peripherals

HP TopShot Laserjet Pro M275

With all the chaos that’s been taking place at Hewlett-Packard recently, we weren’t expecting to see anything neat out of the HP labs any time soon—but with its computer, tablet, and phone businesses up for sale, that leaves printers. So it’s nice to see that the upcoming TopShot Laserjet Pro M275 ($400, aka Laserjet Pro 200 Color MFP M275nw) has a cool new trick up its sleeve: 3-D object scanning. The feature’s impressive in and of itself, but the price makes this multifunction printer and scanner sound like a steal.

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$40
Apps

Feral Interactive Colin McRae: DiRT 2

Originally released two years ago for pretty much every other platform save the Mac, Feral Interactive’s Colin McRae: DiRT 2 ($40) has finally found its way on to Apple computers through the Mac App Store. This off-road racing title is another nail in the coffin for the “Macs don’t play games” argument: with beautiful graphics and plenty of tracks, racing fans are going to be pretty happy with this one.

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$40
Apps

AgileBits 1Password

Whether or not it’s obvious, you almost certainly have a huge number of logins, passwords, and usernames for various web sites—as well as credit cards, drivers licenses, passports, and other information that you sometimes would like to access on your computer. Our favorite way to manage them all is 1Password from AgileBits, which has recently received two major updates: first, AgileBits added support for OS X Lion and Safari 5.1, and then it released a new version for the Mac App Store. 1Password gives you the luxury of security without the need to actually remember everything on your own. Updated: We’ve added some screenshots and new information about the Mac App Store release of 1Password; check it out after the break!

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