2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$2/$5
Apps

iDevelop Co. Lock Screen 2

Even though iOS users have been using it for four years, the “Slide to Unlock” gesture is still pretty cool. Most likely because they don’t have touch screens, Apple hasn’t yet brought the gesture to Macs, even with the addition of Multi-Touch trackpads to the whole family. Luckily, Mac App Store developer iDevelop Co. has come up with an app called Lock Screen 2 ($2/$5). In addition to adding a sliding lock mechanism to your Mac, it lets you choose a customized lock screen graphic, sound effects, and more, creating a layer of passive or active screen security for your computer.

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Free/$8
Apps
Peripherals

Mac Gaming: Use a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 Controller

If you’ve been playing computer games for a long time, you’re probably used to keyboards and mice as substitutes for joysticks. But console gamers may prefer standard gamepads for Mac gaming, particularly given how widely available and popular they are. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to play Mac games with Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 controllers. Start with the PS3’s DualShock 3, which uses the same Bluetooth standards embraced by every recent Mac. You’ll need a controller as well as the USB cable—any Mini-USB to standard USB cable should do the trick. Connect the cable and controller to your computer and then open System Preferences to ensure that Bluetooth is on and discoverable. Then, hold down the PS button for three seconds and unplug the cable from the Mac. That’s it: the Sony controller will have connected with Bluetooth and be ready to go, driver-free. Feral Interactive has a video that walks you through the process.

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Free
Apps

Google Chrome 14

While Apple’s Safari 5 is still our default Mac browser of choice, Google’s Chrome (Free) browser has found a permanent place in our editors’ docks for a whole slew of reasons. The main one? Chrome runs a “sandboxed” version of Adobe’s notoriously screwy Flash Player, which lets us play Flash-based videos when necessary, without exposing the rest of our Mac to the instabilities of the power-hungry and buggy plug-in. Just updated to version 14 with full Lion compatibility, Chrome also integrates really well with all of the company’s services, runs apps, and has a neat combination search/address bar.

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$7
Apps

Gameloft Gangstar: Miami Vindication

You may have heard the announcement a few weeks ago that Grand Theft Auto 3, San Andreas, and Vice City are now available on the Mac App Store. The thing is, those games go back as early as 2001 and Rockstar Games is still charging $15 a pop. For less than half that price, you can now purchase Gameloft’s Gangstar: Miami Vindication ($7), the latest game in a franchise clearly inspired by GTA, but now stands on its own after lighting up iOS devices for a couple of years.

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$50
Apps

VMware Fusion 4

We’ve seen this dance before: a few weeks ago Parallels introduced its latest Desktop 7 Windows virtualization software for Macs, and right on cue, VMware has released its response in the form of Fusion 4 ($50). Although there are more than 90 new features, the company is focusing on three main selling points. Fusion 4 is designed for OS X Lion, even more Mac-like, and offers turbocharged performance.

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$1
Apps

Celmaro Plug Spy

We’ve talked about ways to protect your Mac from theft before—Griffin’s TechSafe Cable Lock System was a noteworthy hardware solution. Unfortunately, even that well-designed accessory doesn’t have universal compatibility across Apple’s notebook line—it doesn’t work with the MacBook Air—and a locking system can be a pain to actually set up. Fortunately, Celmaro has come up with a software solution that really does work with any Apple laptop running Lion: Plug Spy ($1). This ingenious little app integrates right into the screensaver and password system of your computer, transforming your power supply into a theft alarm.

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$20
Apps

IOSPIRIT Remote Buddy Express

Although it may not be quite as ubiquitous as it was a few years ago, the Apple Remote is still a handy little device for Mac users—even though Lion has nixed the media management app Front Row. Thankfully, German developer IOSPIRIT is looking to increase the value of your plastic or aluminum accessory with Remote Buddy Express ($20).

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$40
Apps

Feral Interactive Colin McRae: DiRT 2

Originally released two years ago for pretty much every other platform save the Mac, Feral Interactive’s Colin McRae: DiRT 2 ($40) has finally found its way on to Apple computers through the Mac App Store. This off-road racing title is another nail in the coffin for the “Macs don’t play games” argument: with beautiful graphics and plenty of tracks, racing fans are going to be pretty happy with this one.

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$40
Apps

AgileBits 1Password

Whether or not it’s obvious, you almost certainly have a huge number of logins, passwords, and usernames for various web sites—as well as credit cards, drivers licenses, passports, and other information that you sometimes would like to access on your computer. Our favorite way to manage them all is 1Password from AgileBits, which has recently received two major updates: first, AgileBits added support for OS X Lion and Safari 5.1, and then it released a new version for the Mac App Store. 1Password gives you the luxury of security without the need to actually remember everything on your own. Updated: We’ve added some screenshots and new information about the Mac App Store release of 1Password; check it out after the break!

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Free
Apps

Tynsoe.org GeekTool

Just a word of caution: this app is only for people familiar with UNIX—a fact that the developer is quick to point out in the Mac App Store listing—but if you’re not intimidated by shell commands, Tysoe.org’s GeekTool (Free) can pull off some pretty cool tricks. It can display information right on your desktop, eliminating your need to go to a separate app. Three different default plug-ins are supported.

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$10
Apps

Colibri Games The Tiny Bang Story

The price is almost worth it for the graphics alone, but Colibri Games’ The Tiny Bang Story ($10) has plenty of other things going for it on top of its good looks. Like Myst and Machinarium, this point-and-click puzzler is conceptually simple—find objects hidden throughout the world and complete puzzles to advance—but it’s a bit more challenging than it sounds.

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$10
Apps

Chris Laurel Cosmographia

As much as we all may want to head into space, the chances of that happening any time soon are pretty slim. But thanks to the magic of computers and Chris Laurel’s Cosmographia ($10), you can move through the solar system, traveling between stars, planets, and other celestial bodies. The high-resolution graphics are sure to impress; in fact, they’re so intensive that they won’t work on older Intel GMA 950 and 3100 graphics processors.

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$10
Apps

DotEmu Irem Arcade Hits

If you grew up playing video games during the ‘80s and ‘90s, the 18 arcade titles contained in DotEmu’s just-released Irem Arcade Hits ($10) are going to bring back a rush of memories. The collection includes some really seminal titles from the era when games were transitioning from 8- to 16-bits, as well as lesser-known releases and interesting sequels. If Irem’s name isn’t familiar, it’s the developer that originally released the Sega/NEC hit shooter R-Type, Nintendo’s Kung Fu, and Sega’s Vigilante, as well as many other good to great games.

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$80
Apps

Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac

Most people who run Windows on their Macs do so out of obligation rather than a passion for Microsoft’s operating system, but business and occasionally educational software sometimes requires access to a PC. One of the most popular solutions has just been updated: Parallels has released Desktop 7 for Mac ($80), the same great virtualization software that you’re used to, now optimized for Lion with some enhancements and cool new features. Updated: We’ve added some impressions and screenshots of Desktop 7 for Mac below.

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Free
Apps

Titanium OnyX

Mac users are lucky: Apple’s computers don’t need PC-like constant under-the-hood maintenance. That said, there is some value in occasionally tuning up your machine. That’s where Titanium’s OnyX (Free) comes into play. It’s been around since Mac OS X 10.2, and was just updated for Lion, so it’s ready to clean up your machine.

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