2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

Free
Apps

Retickr LLC Retickr

Some people get their news by visiting sites multiple times throughout the day. Others use RSS readers to stay up to date. With its eponymous app, Retickr (Free) presents a third option: it’s a scrolling ticker that runs across your Mac’s screen with the stories that you care about. It integrates RSS feeds as well as your Facebook and Twitter accounts to show you the posts and articles that you want to see, either with preset playlists or ones that you create yourself. Click on any story, and you get a full view of it instantly. Read More

$60, $149-$199
Apps
Peripherals

MCE Technologies Blu-ray Player

Blu-ray Disc playback has long been a white whale for Mac owners, and if the Mac mini and MacBook Air are any indication, the chances of seeing any optical drive incorporated into future Apple machines is getting slimmer and slimmer. The drives that you can currently hook up to your Mac only allow you to author; you can’t even watch Blu-ray movies without dual-booting into Windows. Or at least that’s the way it was up until now. MCE Technologies has finally found a solution to the problem, and is now offering its Blu-ray Player software as a free add-on with its internal drive for the Mac Pro ($149) and external USB 2.0 and eSATA drive ($199). If you want to buy the software on its own, it’ll cost you $60. Read More

$99 Upgrade/$199
Apps

Alien Skin Software Blow Up 3

Shrinking a photo is easy, but making it bigger is challenging. Stretching just resizes the pixels you have, so the result is blurry, pixelated images that don’t look too great. Alien Skin Software has been making Photoshop plugins for almost 20 years, and its Blow Up 3 ($99 Upgrade/$199) is a direct solution to this issue. It works with Photoshop CS4 or newer, Elements 8+, and now Lightroom 2+ as well. Read More

$5
Apps

Maha::Software PandaBar

In recent months, music services such as Pandora have become essential parts of our working and relaxing time. One big problem with some services is that there’s no convenient way to control them as easily as iTunes offers with the Mini Player. That’s where Maha::Software’s PandaBar ($5) comes in. This Mac app gives you a variety of quick controls for your Pandora stations, including an easy-access Menu Bar tool. Read More

$2
Apps

St. Clair Software Jettison

St. Clair Software’s Jettison ($2) is one of those apps that offers a feature you’d think would already be baked into OS X, but is missing for one reason or another. In this case, it’s automatic ejection of external disks. If you close the lid on your MacBook and unplug your drives, you’re going to see the “disk was not ejected properly” dialog box when you open it back up, suggesting that your files may have been damaged in the process. Jettison is smart enough to automatically eject all of the external drives you have attached when you put your Mac to sleep, letting you pick up and go without worrying about corrupted files. Read More

$5
Apps

Jammbox Discovr Music

The developers at Jammbox know there are dozens of ways to listen to music on your computer now, so they took a different approach with the music app Discovr Music ($5). Instead of playing music, this Mac App Store title helps you find your next favorite band or artist. It’s an awesome tool for discovery, and looks really cool too. Read More

$30/$60
Apps

Pixelmator Team Pixelmator

Let’s face it: most people who think they need Photoshop don’t need Photoshop. Unless you’re a professional who constantly uses dozens of Photoshop-exclusive features, you can save several hundred dollars and go with Pixelmator Team’s Pixelmator ($30/$60) instead. We’re only comparing it to Photoshop for reference, but the title really stands on its own—it was just updated to version 2.0 this morning, and is now an even better value, especially if you get it before the price hike. Read More

$25
Apps

Raskin Software Raskin

As much as we like the Finder interface on OS X, we’re certainly not opposed to it being presented in another, better way. That’s exactly the idea behind Raskin Software’s Raskin ($25), available in the Mac App Store. Instead of multiple windows and lots of text, this app places everything in a zoomable interface that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for and work with those files. It’s named for Jef Raskin, a key member of the original Macintosh development team, and inspired by his work. Read More

$10
Apps

Bloop Web Security

We tend to take for granted that apps know and track a lot about us—probably more than you realize. Some apps constantly phone home, relaying back all sorts of information. Bloop’s latest app Web Security ($10) doesn’t stop them from doing so, but at least gives you a better sense of all the connections that are coming and going from your Mac. Read More

$1
Apps

Claus Zimmermann TieSight

Alright, so you never really learned how to tie a tie. Most of the time, that’s OK, but when you’re about to go for that job interview or show up for a wedding, you need to get it right. Pardon the cliche, but yes, there’s even an app for that now. German developer Claus Zimmermann has released his TieSight ($1) app in the Mac App Store, and it’s a surprisingly cool tool: TieSight uses the camera built into your Mac to show you exactly how to properly knot your tie, while you’re wearing it. Read More

Free
Apps

Apple OS X Lion 10.7.2 Update

The biggest news of the day may be the release of iOS 5 for iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches, but there’s updating fun to be had on your Mac today, too. Having been in beta alongside iOS, Apple has released OS X Lion 10.7.2 (Free). This pretty major update brings the company’s iCloud synchronization service and related goodness to your machine. Read More

$8
Apps

AirServer AirServer 3.0

So, you’ve got a small apartment, dorm room, or just have a need to hole up in your office for a while, and all you’ve got for a screen is your gigantic 27-inch iMac. You’ve got access to great content on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, but how to get that content onto the Mac? That’s where AirServer 3.0 ($8) comes in, acting as a virtual Apple TV inside your Mac. Read More

$10
Apps

Bonadies Creative LetterMpress

As the story goes, Steve Jobs kept attending classes after dropping out of Reed College, choosing subjects that he was actually interested in. One that had a profound impact on him was a calligraphy class; what he learned there inspired him to use beautiful fonts on Apple’s computers, a signature feature of all Macs today. That’s why we think he’d appreciate the Mac App Store title LetterMpress ($10) from Bonadies Creative. It allows you to create authentic-looking letterpress prints, right on your Mac. Read More

$8-$80
Apps

Realmac Software RapidWeaver, Analog, Courier + LittleSnapper

At this point, much has been said about the passing of Steve Jobs. On top of “visionary” and “genius,” one of the phrases that’s come up most often is “thank you”—we’ve said it a few times ourselves. Realmac Software, as a way of giving something back, has decided to say thank you in its own way: it’s offering to donate the sales of its software titles to Pancreatic Cancer UK through October 7. All of the company’s apps are beautiful, and available in the Mac App Store. Read More

$50
Apps

Flying Meat Acorn - The Image Editor for Humans

Pretty much everyone uses Macs to store pictures, but very few people want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on professional-grade editing software. That’s where Flying Meat’s Acorn - The Image Editor for Humans ($50) comes in. It’s a Photoshop-like tool, only less complicated and a heck of a lot cheaper. It allows you to work with layers, add text and shapes, use filters, and more. Read More

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