2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

Pay What You Want
Available Until December 27, 2011
Apps

Humble Indie Bundle #4

The holidays are the best time of the year to give and to get, so Humble Indie Bundle #4 (Pay What You Want) definitely comes at the right time. Not only do you get up to seven solid games from independent developers for whatever price you choose, but a portion of the profits goes to two worthy charities: the American Red Cross and Child’s Play. If you’re looking for a gift for the gamer in your life, look no further.

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$10/$20
Apps

MacPhun Snapheal

Enhance. Sharpen. Remove that bush. MacPhun’s new Mac App Store release Snapheal ($10/$20) may not work quite like photo software on shows like CSI, but it does take many of the more impressive photo editing features from apps such as Photoshop and present them in an inexpensive, easy to use title. Photobombers, your days may be numbered.

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$2
Apps

KroNick Photo Police

Photoshop is a great thing—it lets you bring out the best in your photos by making adjustments until every pixel is exactly how you want it. And, of course, it also lets you hide anything that you may not want to be seen; blemishes, ex-lovers, those kinds of things. New software from KroNick may just throw a wrench into your plan to convince people that your photographs are perfect: Photo Police ($2) actually exposes portions of photos that have been corrected.

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Chronos Lumio

We like some of the wallpapers that Apple ships with Lion, but the selection is limited to just a few dozen different images and a lot of them have been around for years now. If you’re going to replace the background with something new, skip the cat pictures this time and pick up Chronos’ Lumio ($5) instead. With over 250 professionally designed wallpapers, there’s sure to be some legitimately nice images that you can stand staring at for at least eight hours a day.

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$10
Apps

Rogue Amoeba Piezo

iPods used to ship with a “Don’t steal music.” sticker across their screens; Apple may want to plaster that warning on the Mac App Store listing for Piezo ($10) from Rogue Amoeba. This app does one thing: it saves audio from any application on your Mac. Safari, Spotify, and FaceTime are just a few of the many examples. If it makes noise, Piezo can record it.

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$10
Apps

Stephen Lavelle English Country Tune

We almost skipped right over Stephen Lavelle’s English Country Tune ($10) because, well, it’s called English Country Tune. But we’re very happy we didn’t because this Mac App Store title is one cool game. It’s a 3D puzzler that kind of looks like Two Tribes/Mobigame’s Edge but is definitely a different beast.

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$9*
Apps

Information Architects iA Writer

There are a lot of great things to say about Information Architects’ iA Writer ($9*). It’s a beautifully simple text editor that supports auto markdown. You can focus on just your text with its Focus Mode that highlights one sentence at a time. The developer has also embraced many of Lion’s new features such as Auto Save and Versions. If you’re a writer, chances are you’ll really appreciate fewer distractions.

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$20*
Apps

iZotope The T-Pain Engine

What would happen if Apple decided to release a crunk version of GarageBand? Chances are, it would look a lot like iZotope’s The T-Pain Engine ($20*), now available for a 33% introductory discount on the Mac App Store. With a steampunk look and intuitive controls, this app is all you need to make the new club hit.

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Free
Apps

Running with Crayons Alfred

Think about how much time you spend searching on your computer. Whether it be on the web, rummaging through your file structure, or using Spotlight, chances are it’s a sizable chunk of your day. It makes sense then to have one centralized app for all your searching needs. That app exists, and it’s called Alfred (Free), from Running with Crayons. Alfred helps you find and launch any file or app on your computer, search the web, and more, all from your keyboard. Just hit your custom hotkey setup, type your query, and hit the on-screen combo to open your result.

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$10
Apps

Broken Rules And Yet It Moves

We love games with cool gameplay mechanics, and those with unique graphics, so it’s no wonder Broken Rules’ And Yet It Moves ($10) caught our eye. What started as a student project got turned into a full-fledged physics game, and for good reason. The world is made out of a collage of cardboard and shreds of paper that’s vaguely reminiscent of the Paper Mario games, although a bit more bleak.

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$3/month and up
Apps

Cirrus Thinking Dolly Drive

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: backing up your Macs is a must. As seldom as Macs crash, a loss can be catastrophic when it happens. Thankfully, users have tons of backup options. iLounge + Mac has already featured plenty of external hard drives that utilize Time Machine, as well as online backup services such as Backblaze. Cirrus Thinking’s Dolly Drive is a combination of the two alternatives: it lets you use Time Machine, but backs up to the cloud rather than a hard drive at your place. And it starts at only $3 a month.

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$20*
Apps

iBrewMaster, Inc. iBrewMaster

Home brewing is a fun hobby, relying on science and creativity to produce a popular product: beer! If you’ve never tried using a home brewing kit, you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish using one along with iBrewMaster, Inc.‘s iBrewMaster ($20*) from the Mac App Store. This app truly has everything you need to manage the brewing process from beginning to end, educating you on how to tweak the steps to change the flavor of your beer.

 

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$20
Apps

Algoriddim Djay 4

One of the coolest apps to show off your Mac is Algoriddim’s Djay, which turns even the most music-illiterate schlubs into amateur DJs within a matter of minutes—it’s an absolute blast to use. Today, the developer has released the newest iteration of the software, Djay 4 ($20). Because this is a brand new version, there’s no upgrade path, but given the app’s capabilities, 20 bucks strikes us as a fair price. It’s a complete redesign and rewrite of the stellar title, with plenty of new features to make it even better than before.

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$15/$30
Apps

The Mental Faculty Mental Case

Technology was supposed to improve education. Years ago, students took notes with pen and paper; these days, laptops are as likely being used for Facebook as for studying. A recently updated app called Mental Case ($15/$30) has a chance to change how students study with their computers, by reinventing the concept of flashcards. Instead of simple text notes and scribbled images on paper cards, The Mental Faculty’s app lets you create digital cards with images and videos—a multimedia experience, complete with structured study schedules.

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$5
Apps

MumboJumbo 7 Wonders: Magical Mystery Tour HD

MumboJumbo’s games tend to have a few things in common: addictive gameplay, beautiful graphics, and nice soundtracks. So we jumped right on top of 7 Wonders: Magical Mystery Tour HD ($5) when it showed up in the Mac App Store this week, and came away impressed—this match-three puzzle title has the added depth and frills we’ve come to expect from the company, including both a rune-matching main game and construction-themed mini-games to break up the action.

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