2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

Free
Apps

Autodesk Motion FX

Ever since it decided to take the Mac seriously as a platform, Autodesk has been on a real tear, releasing all sorts of apps—everything from the $900 AutoCAD LT to SketchBook Express, a free drawing app. The company’s newest release is a bit different from everything else it has out now, though: Motion FX (Free) uses your FaceTime camera to create some really cool realtime video effects. Think of it as a pumped up version of Photo Booth, at no charge.

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£120-£140
Extras

Braun BN0032

Braun is well known for its industrial design, particularly in the work of Dieter Rams, which Apple’s design team has used as inspiration in Macs, iPods, and other products over the years. That’s why we wanted to showcase Braun’s BN0032 watch (£120-£140)—a traditional analog clock face surrounded by clean, timeless lines. You’d be hard pressed to miss the resemblance between it and Apple’s current lineup of products.

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$20
Apps

Fishlabs Galaxy on Fire 2 Full HD

It may be one of the more expensive Mac App Store games we’ve featured, but Fishlabs’ Galaxy on Fire 2 Full HD ($20) is also one of the most gorgeous. As an upgraded port of the iOS title, the German developer took advantage of the more powerful Mac platform and really refined the experience. Don’t worry: you still get to blow plenty of stuff up in space, but now everything’s a lot prettier.

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$45-$50
Cases

Wrapsol Protective Film Wrap

We’ve already told you how much we like film protectors for our MacBooks, and in the past, we’ve really liked the ones from BodyGuardz/NLU, but Wrapsol’s Protective Film Wrap ($45-$50) is definitely worth considering as well. Available for all the current Mac notebooks, they’re an incredibly thin and light option for protecting your computer. The film uses a wet application method, so it’s not the easiest thing in the world to apply, but if you follow the instructions you’ll be happy.

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~$1,400
October
Camera

Sony Alpha SLT-A77

Sony had a busy morning, introducing a slew of new and exciting cameras; the most important of the bunch is probably the Alpha SLT-A77 (~$1,400, aka α77), a mid-priced DSLR rival with a host of new technology inside. Several things set it apart from earlier rivals, starting with 24.3 megapixel resolution: SLT-A77 packs the latest version of Sony’s Translucent Mirror system, which enables accurate 19-point autofocusing, electronic viewfinder accuracy, and high-speed shooting. Twelve shots per second at 24 megapixels is nothing to sneeze at, and full HD AVCHD 2.0 video recording is included, as well.

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£651 and up
Furniture

Supporto Ltd. System Supporto

Apple’s Jonathan Ive is a ridiculously talented designer, and like all great creative minds, his work has been inspired by outside influences. British furniture designer Frederick Scott is credited as one of them, having created System Supporto, a family of office furniture (£651 and up) that Supporto Ltd. says is amongst Ive’s favorite designs, and is in heavy use within Apple’s industrial design studios. If the black-on-silver and glass designs look familiar, that’s no surprise: it’s been speculated that Ive channeled Supporto’s look into the current family of Macs.

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$55
Mounts

Macessity MiClassic Mount Bracket for Mac Mini

There are quite a few accessories made to slap a Mac mini underneath your desk, but Macessity’s MiClassic Mount Bracket ($55) takes a different direction. Not only is it a tray to hold the headless Mac, but it also has a four-port USB hub built right in.

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Free
Apps

Evernote Skitch

We almost recommended Skitch last week, but as interesting as the screen capturing app was, the $20 price tag was a pretty big turnoff. What a difference a week can make: the company just got purchased by Evernote, and the price dropped by a full 100%. Now that it’s free, there’s absolutely no reason not to hop on the Mac App Store and pick it up right now. It’s a pretty darn powerful screenshot tool—way more beefy than shift-command-3 or -4.

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$5
Apps

Bloop Life Stream

Bloop’s new app Life Stream ($5) isn’t going to stop you from wasting time on social networking sites; heck, it’ll probably drag you in deeper. But it’s at least going to reduce the amount of time you have to spend switching between different web pages and apps. Designed as a browser-free experience, it brings your online life together into a single window: Tweets and Likes and Check-Ins, all living together—what a wonderful world.

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$200-$350
Peripherals

FastMac External Slimline USB 2.0 Blu-ray Optical Drive

Steve Jobs may still think that Blu-ray’s licensing terms are a “bag of hurt,” but if you want to burn these high-capacity discs on a Mac, you do have some options, as FastMac is now offering a whole line of External Slimline USB 2.0 Blu-ray Optical Drives ($200-$350). Consider this fair warning: they’re mostly for authoring. Since Mac OS X doesn’t support Blu-ray playback, you need to rely upon third-party software for recording, and Boot Camp over to Windows if you want to watch Blu-ray discs on your Mac’s display.

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$7
Apps

Two Tribes/Mobigame Edge

We really got a kick out of the iPhone and iPad versions of Edge ($7), so we were excited to hear that Two Tribes was porting Mobigame’s now-classic cubic platform game to the Mac. Luckily, it lives up to our high expectations: from the same cool artwork to the chiptune soundtrack, it’s everything we liked, only bigger on the Mac’s screens.

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$50-$60
Cases

Incase Andy Warhol Protective Sleeve

Art fans rejoice: your MacBook Air or Pro no longer needs to be transported around in a bland, pedestrian sleeve. With Incase’s newest entries into its Andy Warhol Protective Sleeve ($50-$60) line, an even wider variety of the famed pop artist’s designs are available to cover your machine. There are versions for 11”, 13”, and 15” Macs, with the two larger sizes costing a bit more.

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Kanex C247DL

Just what are you supposed to do if you have an older Mac—a machine with a Single- or Dual-Link DVI port—and a newer 24” or 27” LED Cinema Display? In the past, there would’ve been no easy way to make them play nice together. But now Kanex has jumped on the problem, adding another adapter to its already extensive list: C247DL ($149). This little white and gray box actively converts the DVI signal to Mini DisplayPort, allowing you to hook right in.

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Free
Apps

Kayak Explore

If you’re trying to plan a trip without knowing where you actually want to go, or what you want to do, Kayak’s new Mac application Explore (Free) will help you set your agenda in a really cool way. You can think of Explore as the modern day equivalent of throwing darts at a map—a cool interface that we really like.

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$69 + Free
Apps

Apple Apple OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive + Lion Recovery Disk Assistant

OS X Lion has been available for just under a month—just enough time for Apple to release its promised OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive ($69), a solution for users who can’t or won’t buy Lion from the Mac App Store. It’s the full OS on a physical drive, and it costs more than twice as much.

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