2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$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.

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$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.

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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.

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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.

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Free
Apps

The Vienna RSS Project Vienna

The past few years haven’t been great for RSS, with the biggest blow coming from Google’s discontinuation of Reader service. There are of course still viable RSS readers out there, but nothing stands out as a clear winner. Here’s one to consider: Vienna (Free), from The Vienna RSS Project. As the open source software core behind the now-abandoned RSS app NewsFire, Vienna is fully featured, and has seen continuous updates for years.

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$29
Apps

Feral Interactive Hitman: Absolution - Elite Edition

Coming from Feral Interactive, one of the preeminent game publishers on the Mac App Store, Hitman: Absolution - Elite Edition ($29) is the latest big name title to make it to the Mac. As is usually the case, it’s trailing the original console release by a few years, but at least that means a lower price and DLC bundled in. One of the titles in the series that’s the inspiration for Hitman GO, recently released on iOS, this is a much more violent game, tasking you with assassinating people left and right.

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$30
Apps

Feral Interactive LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

It’s done it with Star Wars, it’s done it with Harry Potter, and it’s done it with Lord of the Rings. Now, Feral Interactive is bringing the LEGO treatment to Marvel’s super heroes with, well, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes ($30). Set in Manhattan, this title is full of the trademark LEGO game humor we’ve come to expect, plus over 100 playable characters, including both heroes and villains.

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$50
Apps

AgileBits 1Password 4

There’s no question that Internet security has been a huge concern over the past few weeks and months, especially in the face of the Heartbleed exploit. That’s why apps such as AgileBits 1Password 4 ($50) are so important. We’ve covered the software in the past, but it does so much more now than just fill in passwords on websites. The most recent update specifically addresses Heartbleed with its Watchtower feature.

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$22
Apps

Deep Silver Dead Island

Some people may say zombie games are overdone, a genre that’s jumped the shark. Be that as it may, Deep Silver’s Dead Island ($22) is still among the best and deserves some attention. First released back in 2011—yes, it’s a bit of a gap—the title is finally available on the Mac through the Mac App Store. At least that waiting has a payoff, as there are two DLC packs included with the download, and a special weapon.

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$10
Apps

Broken Rules Secrets of Raetikon

From Broken Rules, the developer of the extremely well regarded And Yet It Moves, comes Secrets of Raetikon ($10), a new game now available in the Mac App Store. Not surprisingly, it’s a visually stunning adventure, although the style is totally different than that earlier title. Playing as a bird flying through the game, you explore a story that becomes revealed through interactions with the world and ancient runes.

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$50
Apps

Bohemian Coding Sketch 3

We like to think creative design work shouldn’t be limited to only those who can offered the right software, and that’s why Bohemian Coding’s Sketch 3 ($50) is so appealing. For a reasonable price, the app gives you graphic design tools that would otherwise cost hundreds or more. Now on its third edition, Sketch has of course added a slew of new features, and is getting some pretty great reviews.

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$20
Apps

Aspyr Media SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition

SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition ($20) has just made its way to the Mac App Store thanks to Aspyr Media. Yes, it’s been available on other platforms for a few years now, but don’t let that fact stop you from appreciating this version of the classic city building simulator. The relatively inexpensive download gets you not only the main game, but also the Rush Hour expansion pack, offering extra transit options and more disasters.

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$20*
Apps

Peng Sun Lens Blur

Claiming to add a higher quality of blur to photos, Peng Sun’s Lens Blur looks like a pretty cool app. It’s all based around the bokeh effect, which the developer defines as “the pleasing or aesthetic quality of out-of-focus blur in a photograph.” Used right, blurry photos can be pretty cool, and this should be an easy way to achieve them.

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Free
Apps

Microsoft OneNote

Although Microsoft doesn’t offer all of its OS X software through the Mac App Store—the Microsoft Office suite is conspicuously missing—it does have a handful of titles available for download. Today, that list has grown by one with the addition of OneNote (Free). Long available for iOS (and of course Windows PCs), OneNote is a digital notebook similar to Evernote that allows you to take notes and sync them across various devices using the cloud.

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$3
Apps

Charles Aroutiounian AtmoBar

Weather nerds rejoice! Developer Charles Aroutiounian, who we last covered when he released his unofficial Hue app, is back at it again with AtmoBar ($3). The Mac app brings desktop compatibility to Netatmo’s Urban Weather Station, meaning you can see all the glorious details of what’s going on in the world of weather, right from your menu bar.

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