2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

Free
Apps

How-To: Remove, Limit, Or Fix Adobe Flash On Your Mac

People freaked out when Apple flatly refused to let the iPhone and iPod touch support Adobe’s Flash plug-in, forcing the companies into a messy public battle over Flash’s power consumption and stability. Four years later, it’s long past obvious that Apple was right, particularly since Flash is now wreaking havoc on Macs with OS X Lion installed. Here are some quick tips for removing, limiting, or sandboxing Adobe Flash so that your Mac doesn’t lock up or lose half of its battery life. We’d recommend that you dump Flash altogether, but if you can’t do that, we have some tips to (try to) fix it, as well.

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$300
Cases

Samsonite Aluminum Attaché

Metal boxes imply important, top-secret contents—they’re the stuff of James Bond movies, the President’s nuclear “football,” and even Apple’s classic iPhone 3G commercial. If you’re looking for an affordable way to upgrade your MacBook to secret agent status, Samsonite’s Aluminum Attaché ($300) will help you create the same aura of mystery and importance. It’s actually available on the company’s website and from Amazon for half the MSRP—a pretty reasonable deal, really.

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$399
September
Speakers

Focal XS Book Music System

French manufacturer Focal’s upcoming XS Book Music System ($400) is the follow-up to its impressive XS computer-ready speaker system from a few years ago. This time around, the company has ditched the subwoofer and iPod dock; what you have instead are two thesaurus-sized silver and black speakers that fit right in place alongside the current Mac lineup. They’re made from plastic and fabric, and match the iMac and Apple’s 27” LED Cinema Display / Thunderbolt Display designs really well. Updated August 11, 2011: We’ve added some additional impressions to our prior coverage below.

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Mobee Technology The Magic Bar

We’ve already seen Mobee Technology pull off a similar trick with the Magic Mouse, so it is not a huge surprise to see the company unveil The Magic Bar ($60)—but we’re still interested in this neat accessory, which we first checked out at CES in January. Just like its little brother, The Magic Bar is an inductive charging station, but this time it’s for Apple’s Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad. It’s an easier and more environmentally-friendly solution than having to replace and throw out your AAs every few months. Updated August 11 and 30, 2011: Although it took a few months longer than expected, Magic Bar has finally been released. We’ve added detailed pictures to our photo gallery. And subsequently, we added new detailed impressions below.

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$40
Cases

Incase Neoprene Slim Sleeve

Incase’s Neoprene Slim Sleeve ($40) has been a standard accessory for years. Watch the bag section of an Apple Store for an afternoon and you’ll definitely see a few make it out the door. Ready for a change, the company has updated the unit across the board with new versions for everything from the 11” MacBook Air to the 13” MacBook Pro. Updated: New hands-on pictures after the break!

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Free
Apps

Freshcode Bodega

As great as it may be, the Mac App Store isn’t the only or even the original digital storefront for Apple’s computers. Back in 2009, Freshcode released Bodega (Free), and it’s still going strong today. Just like Cupertino’s version, you can browse through free and paid apps, and buy them right through the store. Bodega also has some features that Apple doesn’t offer, including the ability to update tons of apps that aren’t in the App Store.

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Free*
Apps

Illusion Labs Touchgrind

The iPhone version came out all the way back in the beginning of 2009, making its way into early iPod gaming TV commercials. Now Illusion Labs has brought Touchgrind (Free) to the Mac through the Mac App Store. If you’re familiar with the original, then you know what this one is all about: use your fingers to control a skateboard and pull off awesome tricks around the park. Except… you’re no longer touching the screen.

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Moshi Zefyr 2

Under light usage conditions, Apple’s base-model MacBooks, Airs, and Pros tend to run almost silent and pretty cool to the touch, but there are times when even the latest power-sipping machines can get hot. So it’s great that Moshi’s just-introduced Zefyr 2 ($80) to cool them off, using a unique folding aluminum housing and three-speed, USB-powered fans. One model is designed to accommodate any Apple laptop from 13” to 17” in size.

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$50
Cases

Cocoon Grid-It! Wrap for MacBook Air

There are all sorts of laptop bags and cases with a few accessory pockets—they’re almost always preconfigured and incapable of changing over time. But your carrying needs may change a lot from day to day. That’s why we like Cocoon’s Grid-It! Wrap for MacBook Air ($50). Available in both 11” and 13” variations, it’s a clever way to carry your computer and organize the stuff that goes with it.

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Free*
Apps

Fiplab Tab for Google+

With 10 million users signing up during its first two weeks—and close to double that now—Google+ is shaping up to be a real competitor in the social networking world. If you’re one of the circle-loving service’s account holders, you’ll probably like what British developer Fiplab has done with Tab for Google+ (Free*). This Mac App Store title sits in your menu bar, giving you quick access to everything Google+.

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~$5,500+
Furniture

MotoArt Airplane Desks

If you liked the Restoration Hardware Aviator Wing Desk we featured last week, then you’re going to love MotoArt’s Airplane Desks (~$5,500+). These guys are the real deal: actual repurposed plane parts, modified to become your new work surface. That’s assuming, of course, that you can work with the distraction of something this awesome sitting immediately beneath your Mac’s screen.

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$35
Camera

Moshi Universal Media Reader

Apple may be steadily trimming physical media readers out of its Mac computers, but the need for those readers isn’t going away quite yet. For the foreseeable future, you’re going to have to use memory cards to transfer photos from your favorite digital camera into your Mac photo library and editing apps. That’s why we’re digging Moshi’s Universal Media Reader ($35). It’s especially handy if you have an 11” MacBook Air without any sort of card reading capabilities, but the CompactFlash slot is useful on any Mac computer.

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PNY 16GB Hook Flash Drive

Take a quick look in your drawer and you might just find more flash drives then pens—they’re super-common these days, but most of them are terribly forgettable. So if you’re going to carry one, it might as well look good and have plenty of storage space. Enter PNY’s 16GB Hook Flash Drive ($45), available at your neighborhood Apple Store.

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$10
Apps

Namco Bandai Games Time Crisis 2nd Strike

Stop and think for a second: just how many quarters have you dropped into Time Crisis arcade games over the years? If you’re anything like us, the figure is probably much higher than you’d like to admit. But right now, a single roll of those quarters is enough to let you play a new Time Crisis game as much as you want. After separate appearances on iOS devices, Namco Bandai Games has brought Time Crisis 2nd Strike ($10) to the Mac App Store—somewhat impressively, with a new GunCon control option.

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